I am so fortunate to have acquired some outstanding friends who having willingly allowed me to mooch!
The past two days were an R&R event in Berkeley, CA at the home of Mark and Susan. I should point out they actually live in prestigious North Berkeley. What is the difference you may be wondering? Mon Dieu, it is of course the view.
What a lovely place to light–a beautiful home filled with treasured lamps, furniture and various other interesting items. And the garden out back was to die for as it was filled with exotic plants of every nature!
I fit in well with my friends–physically active, foodies and movie mavens too! I exposed them to root beer floats and carmel popcorn.
It is interesting to how tied we all are to rituals in our lives. Obviously there are specific actions or practices one adheres to that provide balance and continuity to life. Individual eccentricities add spice to our rituals. So when one decides to follow a totally different course–like this bike trip how can balance be maintained; or is it necessary?
With little thought I had already instinctively established several rituals: at least three calls a day to my wife so she knows I ok, completing a regular blog entry and enjoying a root beer float as a reward for a ride well done.
The one significant ritual I have had for years has been daily physical activity. On this trip physical activity is all consuming–like a job. Funny, now my rituals focus on separating myself from the “work of the day”.
The opportunities to visit friends and family along the way has also fulfilled my obvious craving for daily structure. During my visits I urge my hosts to maintain their routines and the seek to be invited along. The sense of normalcy that is injected into my day is momentarily restorative since it is so removed from my usual activity of the day. Fortunately my hosts have been gracious and inviting — allowing this intruder great access.
One ritual I truly treasure is going to the movies especially independent films. Lucky me that Mark has a similar interest. Susan, Mark and I went Ho see “Ruby Sparks”. This was an entertaining film that takes an unusual approach to love. In some ways it was very “Woody Allenisk”! I also had the opportunity to nosh at a true Jewish deli, to chow down on some really “bad” deep dish pizza for dinner and breakfast the next day. One of the most personal rituals I got go share was a visit with one of the matriarchs of their family. Shirley was funny, insightful and unpredictable; in other words a real pip.
As I move along I want to thank Mark, Susan and Shirley for allowing this intruder momentarily into there private lives. Once again I am so fortunate to know such wonderfully giving friends.
One last comment before I move on — I hope Rami has a wonderful birthing experience.
Now on to Santa Cruz. For next couple of days I am in Hollister staying with Kevin my “baby” brother. He has been reading this blog and surprised me with the makings of a root beer float when I got to his home.
We are debating how long it has been since we were last together and my niece is convinced that it is over seven years ago. No matter, every opportunity to re- connect is welcomed and enlightening.
Lastly, the pictures are of Mark and Susan’s home and of SF Bay. The vantage point for the latter is a mountain I climbed and the location is south of San Mateo. My apologies for clarity!