Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is special, as we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. on the same day Barack Obama, a man of color, is inaugurated as President of the United States ... for the second time. I view these events as a testament to how much progress our country's made, and it gives me hope.

On this special day, I reflect on our past, while looking optimistically to our future.

Let's all take a moment to reflect and appreciate this day, no matter our country of origin, religion or gender.

Friday, January 18, 2013

SPANISH FRIDAY: Pajarito Kamikaze

Algo raro ocurrió cuando regresamos de California. Al día siguiente por la madrugada disperté a un ruido desconocido que se oía PLOP--PLOP--PLOP. Estaba yo tan cansada que no me levanté a investigar. Figuré que probablemente era la cola del perro que pegaba una de las puertas de abajo, y además después de varios minutos se desapareció el ruido.

El ruido PLOP--PLOP--PLOP continuó por varios dias, siempre a la misma hora, hasta que por fin me comenzó a volver loca. "Que diablos tiene ese perro!?" pensé. Cuando me levanté a regañarlo miren lo que descubrí.

¿Alguien me puede explicar por que sucede esto?

Something strange happened when we returned from California. The following morning I woke up to an unfamiliar noise that sounded like PLOP--PLOP--PLOP. Being so tired, I didn't get up to investigate it. I figured that it was probably the dog's tail banging on one of the doors downstairs, besides, after several minutes the sound disappeared.

The PLOP--PLOP--PLOP continued for several days, at the same hour, until it finally started to drive me nuts. I thought, "What the devil is wrong with that dog?" Look at what I discovered when I got up to scold him. 

Can somebody explain to me why this is happening?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Look What I Found

Don't you love it when you find something you thought you'd lost? You know. Like that pair of earrings you only wore once? Or a phone number scribbled on a scrap piece of paper belonging to someone you'd promised to call, but never did? How about ... a book?

I'd gone to visit my brother knowing that I'd be poking around several shelves of books that had belonged to my father, thinking I might find something to bring back. Well. I did find something. The original leather bound copy of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE I'd read as a kid. The first classic I'd ever read, in fact.

I couldn't pluck that red book from its shelf fast enough. Once in my hands, I opened it to sniff its old book smell and remembered how much I'd disliked Mr. Darcy, and being so moved by the ending that I'd attempted to write a scene of my own. Even back then.

This book and a few others made it back to the East Coast. They stowed away under the plane seat in front of me, because there was no way they'd get checked with the luggage. I mean, what if they lost me, again? Yeah the husband thought I was nuts.

My brother has agreed to set aside a few other books that belong to this collection that I'll grab the next time I'm in California. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll find a few surprises inside them, too.

Monday, January 14, 2013

People, Places and Things

Ontario, CA
Memories of the distant past made new.

So many people, places, things ...

Yet, it's that sense of time and place that follows me like a shadow. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that the time and place I find myself in, is never the one at which I'm physically present, rather the one tucked away somewhere in my mind; I idealize that which I cannot touch. Please tell me if any of what I've said makes sense, or if I'm alone in this restlessness.

Arbol de Aguacate

My recent trip home revealed some familiar places and things that I'd either legitimately forgotten or had never truly seen. Such as a landscape flanked by majestic snow-capped mountains and a crystal blue sea. Lush green hillsides dotted by goats, cows and sheep. Seedlings I'd played around as a child that, now, reached for the sky with leaf-like fingers, yielding fruit for my son's small hands. Yes, I was about that age.

Then there were those sights, sounds, smells and embraces that brought forth memories a little brighter, louder and fragrant than the others.  Como mi pan dulce y agua de tamarindo. A slice of homemade flan at six a.m. My mother, brother, beautiful sister and childhood friends.

Ironic isn't it that the one place we dream and hope to someday leave to grow, is the very one that so many years later, you can't wait to see.