Dear Jasper and Kestrel,
Yesterday Cousin Liza and I went to a party in the hills of Prunedale, just north of Salinas. Our friends Kitty Petruccelli, her husband Mike Godin, and their kids Isaac and Rhys were visiting from Florence, Massachusetts. They were staying at the very cool home of Thomas and Susanna.
It was chilly there, though not snow-cold like up there in Portland, but the sunshine was so bright and the sky so blue, it felt almost unreal. When we got there, we saw Rhys, who is going-on-seven, jumping on the trampoline. Liza watched for a while, then climbed up and let Rhys bounce her, then got up her nerve and jumped very well. She was having so much fun!
Inside, the grownups were setting out delicious vegetarian food and talking. Along with our hosts there was Bill Minor, who plays piano and writes poetry, his wife Betty and their son Tim, who coaches high school track in Reno, Nevada. He and I talked about teaching and why we love being able to make a difference in kids’ lives.
Angela der Ramos, who I met, along with Kitty, at a writing class at UCSC in 2001, arrived and told us about her work with the teacher’s union and her run for the CTA board. She, too, is making a difference, but from further up the teaching/administrator/policy making food chain. Her energy and truth-telling is always amazing to me.
As the afternoon moved along, Liza found a sand pile in the yard and she and Rhys played there for a while, then Thomas started gathering firewood, and Liza helped him. She helped lay the fire in their new fire pit, just up the hill from the house. She has lots of practice from helping her daddy.
There is also a very nifty guest house, which used to be a barn. It has one room downstairs and one upstairs, connected by a ladder. Thomas showed Liza how to use the safety bar to get up and down. We liked looking out at the trees from the top floor. It was like being in a tree house.
Once the fire was built, people started moving out to the yard. It was chilly enough that the fire felt good, but Thomas stayed in bare feet. My phone stopped working, so I have no photos of faces around the fire, which I was hoping to get. I also have no pictures of Kitty, Mike, Angela, or Bill…blog fail, sorry.
When it got near bedtime, Angela gave us a ride back home and we had a late dinner of crab salad that Auntie Olga had made. Very tasty.
Then a little bit of Mary Poppins, and off to bed.