TIME AND PLACE

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Made it. Hike. Didn’t Die. Borscht. Now real life can begin again…and, darn, it turns out NOT to be all about me. However holiday actually does continue just a few more days and, next up, two of my favorite subjects, Jordan and the beach. So nice after many years to catch up with presenter friend Jordan. Also known as Travel Friend Jordan. We met at conferences and festivals over the years when… Read More

It was Monday morning and there I was…still in holiday mode. Teresa went off to work and I sat around  blogging with a whole slothful day ahead. I stayed an extra day in order to go a reading in San Francisco; my UCLA writing adviser has a new book and perhaps hearing her talk about it would inspire me to write more/better/brilliantly…or at the very least simply to put words on paper/feed… Read More

My thoughtful family gave me a perfect birthday; truly a day to remember. I only had three objectives: Climb Black Mountain; Do not drop dead at the actual anniversary moment of my birth; and Eat Russian food. They were all met with only a little effort on my part and lots of family love and humor. I promise…once this photo album is posted, there’ll only be one or two more posts about… Read More

It is April 1st in San Diego. It is not my Black Mountain-climbing birthday yet but yesterday some west coast family friends came over for dinner and cake in honor of this week’s upcoming celebration of my increasingly unavoidable oldness. As usual…when in San Diego the view from Scott’s dining room must launch each visit. This is Mission Hills and, as you know from every one of my excessively documented visits, from… Read More

And therefore I must have a birthday. This is a hard one…so I’ve stopped writing book or blog. Stopped thinking generally. I’ve just been Marie Kondo-ing my past. This compulsion to ‘tidy up’ closets, bookshelves, desks, drawers, bins, and cupboards; to rid my life of what doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ elicit a tear, of that which no son or grandchild will want, is powerful. It has become very nearly an obsession and I’m… Read More

What better way to end the holidays than with those wild California kids. They made the Thanksgiving holiday so much fun, so full of pleasure and joy. Today it’s a rainy (seventeen snowflakes around noon) wintery day; Friday actual snow is projected but this is Albuquerque so what are the odds! Enjoy….

So many choices for Christmas trees in our Minnesota woods. We always celebrated on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. Mom made lefse and we put up the tree…cut that very day in our woods. We had ham with pineapple and sausages and sweet potatoes on top for supper. Then Mom read the story of the baby in the manger from the bible and we opened presents. When I was very… Read More

2018 has been a year of preparation—for 2019 when I join the ranks of the old-old (although that doesn’t officially happen until I cannot make it up Black Mountain). However it is year’s end and here I am—still unprepared. I’ve tried. I have really tried. Climbing up and down the side of that schooner in heavy gear and walking the 10K in the Duke City Marathon. Allotting the reading of history as… Read More

Of course Oslo, the capital of Norway and its largest city, is not perfect. No place of human habitation could be—humans being the most imperfect of all things alive. Oslo may be as close to perfect, in terms of livability, as an urban conglomerate can come however. I’ve spent a few days here and there around the city over the years and I choose to declare it perfect…with a few exceptions. Oslo… Read More

I’ve been back in Albuquerque three weeks. I didn’t sleep enough last night so, before coming to theater-sit this afternoon, a nap seemed in order. As I dozed, trying to sleep, my king-size, ever-so comfortable bed in New Mexico wanted to morph into beds at Neset, on board the Linden and the Finnmarken, in Trondheim, in Stavanger and all those other Norwegian beds—wide and narrow, hard and soft, rolling and still. Sleep… Read More