Category Archives: BonsEye
I have worked with college age adults since, I was, well, just barely no longer a college age adult myself. And while not chronologically that many years ahead of them; I’d had life experiences that set me apart in ways that felt like light years. Some days, I would hear little pangs within myself; little pangs of envy at what seemed so simple, so fresh, so ready for possibility. I was putting things back together for me, so to speak, and at the same time helping them find their way. I realized years later how we truly helped each other.
Along with programs and events, my work entailed just spending time, talking, listening. Hearing their worries. It ranged from homesickness, to college majors, which fork in the spiritual path to follow; quiet conversations about where families went wrong and the years of wondering how to cope. Some made progress; for some the struggle continued. With each student, I would listen; we’d laugh. I knew a lot of stories.
The most consistent lament that stood at the threshold of my office was that of love; it hadn’t arrived, it had gone wrong already, it had shown up and then went away. It was unrequited; I knew one young man who so painstakingly tried to pursue each of three beautiful young women, sisters, who one by one all came to attend this same university. As each one arrived in her freshman year, I saw his heart expand with a little bit more hope each time, only to be dashed. I also often witnessed the exquisite joy when two sets of eyes met and never looked away and the great weddings in subsequent years.
I remember a few young women in particular who were just heartsick that the completion of their ‘Mrs. Degree’ was not going according to their much anticipated plans. Having been bounced around a bit, in the love department; I wanted them to realize that there is no rush. That they had so much good in their lives and to not come at this with fears of never and what-ifs. I ended up coming up with a phrase I ultimately used over and over; if you gotta hurry, you gotta worry. What’s the rush I would ask them. Why the need to fast track this?
I think all of us want to know what’s coming next.
The other day, a friend of mine updated her Facebook status to say: ”Why is waiting so hard?” I don’t have any idea if she was waiting for medical results, a pizza delivery or the departure day for a special trip. But her question caught my attention.
I think we all push the envelope in terms of wanting some kind of security in our lives; and for many of us, the security is in the knowing.
We are rewarded these days, by being in a hurry all of the time, and rushing on to the next big thing, rarely allowing ourselves to even fully realize, much less enjoy or savor that which we finished. TV and media of all kinds reinforce this quick pace and so when things move slowly, or perhaps seemingly not at all; I think it’s safe to say that we all struggle somewhat with not knowing what’s around the next corner; or what things mean, exactly.
We often want it all spelled out for us.
Another way of saying, perhaps, how difficult it is sometimes to just wait. No matter the reason for waiting – news, good or bad, a special day, a blossoming romance to blossom, wondering if we got the job – I love both the knowing and the wisdom found in the words that John Steinbeck wrote to his son more than 50 years ago, with sage advice in the form of an eloquent and intimate letter between father and son, about the importance of not being in a hurry…
New York November 10, 1958
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.
First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.
Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.
We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.
And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
A quiet Sunday stretches out before me; a day full of nothing, but well, nothing. Plans have not been made. The to-do lists of what needs to be done have agreed to be patient with me on this day. Always busy, and on the go, mostly by choice, I heartily welcome this day as does one who is just about to enjoy a perfectly created favorite meal set before them; anxious to dig in and yet desiring to savor every last bit, not wanting it to end.
In these moments, quiet as can be, I hear so much. No television, no music. But yet, so much.
I can hear the season finally starting to change from summer to fall; the gentle shift in the air makes an exquisite sound.
The leaves high in the trees tell me there is an easy breeze to this day.
The shadows, dancing across the grass, are the back up singers to this song; I can almost hear the way the getting-more-golden-by-the-day light of this early autumn day bounces.
My own thoughts in my head, make a variety of sounds; bumping, groaning and popping. Normally much noisier in there than it is today.
Memories sliding, shifting, and in some cases, readjusting. Settling. Resting.
The thundering of a jet high above, transporting people to places far and wide; I conjure the noise of an airport terminal in my mind and appreciate even more the stillness of this moment.
Birds squawking and chirping; carrying on fascinating and important conversations with one another.
Voices of neighbors in nearby homes, all living their own interesting lives, so different and yet so near, to my own.
The hum of cars passing by my urban dwelling, each carrying someone thinking their own thoughts on their way to somewhere. Do they ever have these kinds of quiet days, I wonder?
The clink of of collars and tags jingling as our four-legged friends are taken for a walk down my street.
Yes, it is a quiet Sunday, stretching out before me. And somehow, time seems suspended, and instead of fearing the nothingness, I sit in awe of the everythingness.
On the last leg of the road trip, I took the long way home, the one with the prettiest of views…
We decided to drive up the coast of California and it was a stunningly beautiful coastal day; a mix of just the right amount of fog to punctuate the otherwise hardly detectable difference between the ocean blue and blue skies. For awhile, we cruised behind a zippy red sports car and we tried to keep up, imagining that we were them! But, before too long, we lost them, as we made the first of many stops along the way to take in the view. What we found at this stop was the perfect beginning to the ending of a wonderful vacation.
It truly ‘sealed’ the deal for us.
Along California’s central coast is a population of Elephant Seals. Turns out, we passed by during the quiet time of the year; hundreds of the seals were lounging about on the beach, but come January through May? The ‘rookery’ as it is called, will be home to thousands of these guys and gals.
Elephant Seals spend eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, surfacing for maybe 3-5 minutes before plunging to the depths again. They migrate thousands of miles, twice a year, to their land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest. The rookery we saw is along Highway 1, seven miles north of San Simeon and is home to about 17,000 animals.
When you think of hanging out on the beach, wouldn’t you think of snacks, roasting hot dogs, enjoying a beer? Right? Well, not the 5,000 lb elephant seals. They go on a diet while on land, and when on the beach, they do not eat.
The adult animals come on to the beach in the winter for the birthing and breeding season with adult males arriving in late November or early December when they contest for a dominant position on the beach. Winners in that contest are referred to as alpha males or beach masters. Funny, some things are so similar across different species…
Another interesting similarity? The peak of mating is around Valentine’s Day. And then, the females leave.
The Elephant seals form harems, in which the dominant, or alpha, male is surrounded by a group of females. Mother Nature’s Bachelor show? On the periphery of the harem, the beta bulls wait in hopes of an opportunity to mate. They assist the alpha bull in keeping away the less dominant males. Fights between males can be bloody affairs in which the combatants rear up and slam their bodies against each other, slashing with their large canine teeth. However, not all confrontations end in battle. Rearing up on their hindquarters, throwing back their heads, showing off the size of their noses and bellowing threats is enough to intimidate most challengers.
The rookery is a very noisy place during the breeding season as males bellow threat vocalizations, pups squawk to be fed, and females squabble with each other over prime location and pups. Kind of just like families, right? Gargles, grunts, snorts, belches, bleats, whimpers, squeaks, squeals, and the male trumpeting combine to create the elephant seal symphony of sound.
What is an elephant seal? A deep-sea diver, a long distance traveler, an animal that fasts for long periods of time, elephant seals are extraordinary. They come together on land to give birth, mate, and molt but at sea they are solitary. Tremendous demands are placed on their bodies.
Yep, sealed the deal for us!
The photo above captures it all for me; the easy breezy carefree feeling of cruising down the highway, just The Kiddo and I, and the natural beauty we enjoyed in so many spots along the way.
I had a loose plan; a general itinerary of points A to B to C, etc., but when I asked Kiddo as we set out if he wanted to know the plan, or be surprised as we went along, he surprised me and said he wanted to find out as we rolled on down the road. I suppose that it’s true, how apples don’t fall far from the tree; I love spontaneity and was thrilled he was on board for what we came to jokingly refer to Mama’s Mystery Tour!
A few notes from the road:
- Apparently, a pound of cherry sours is not enough for a 9 day, 18 city, 871 mile trek through California.
- An impaired cell phone, that loses GPS signal more often that it finds one, could very easily resemble a frisbee.
- As fun as all the driving was, it seems that being behind the wheel for many days is not good for the waistline!
- Blogging from impaired cell phone mentioned above requires the use of a part of the brain I didn’t know existed!
- My blogging friends have great taste in music! We had so much fun with all the tunes on our Road Trip Song List, and a special shout out to Lori for the awesome mix CD that accompanied us all along.
If you happen to catch the road trip bug, here are a few items that you might want to pack for your next trip:
Co-founders James Fisher and Tatiana Parent suffer from an incurable case of wanderlust. So, they decided to design a web and mobile platform that streamlines discovery, planning, booking and navigation into one engaging road trip planner. (This is how I learned about Googleplex and the Steve Jobs garage!)
(Shout out to Rick for showing me this great app at the front end of the trip!)
Waze is the world’s fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.
- Gas Buddy:
GasBuddy can help you find cheap gas prices near you
The not-nearly-as fun-as-packing-unpacking is almost done, back to work today, school starts Tuesday, photos to edit are waiting patiently for my attention, but in these moments of being back, I am simply savoring the experience. The time out on the open road with my kiddo. Great adventures. Making memories. Creating new inside jokes. Seeing new places and old places through new eyes. Experiencing a rite of passage together. Having my son get to spend time with an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a granddad and more friends than I can count on two hands, all in one road trip.
And, while sitting on the beach in the photo above, our almost last stop, I quietly said, ‘what a great trip, huh honey?” not really expecting a nine yr old to answer directly. But he did. Oh did he.
“Best trip ever, mom.”
What kind of tour guide would I be, if I didn’t give you one last highlight? If you are viewing this on a Apple/Mac, an iPad, or iPhone, or listen to your tunes with an iPod, well this is where all those devices were, in a sense, born. On the way home, our last ‘stop’ – we only stopped long enough for me to snap a photo – was a drive-by of the house where Steve Jobs started Apple in his garage! We saw Googleplex and I wanted The Kiddo to see how something so big can start out so ordinary, so small.
We are still working on the CA Dreamin’ Travel Trivia scores and the results [including the answers!] will be posted later this week. I might even have a side-trip post or two; we shall see! And, don’t forget, we have prizes! In the meantime, thank you for riding along with us; it was so fun to have you as part of this experience, your comments and (sometimes humorous) trivia answers added SO much to our expedition. I will leave you with a road trip song list highlight…the first time this song played, we were just heading out of San Francisco…thank you Lori!
Bonnie & The Kiddo
Though we are out of cherry sours, and may have slowed our pace ever so slightly, the adventures continue and the road trip carries on…
…a castle …
We spent a day looking into the lives of the rich and famous in an era gone by. Hearst Castle, visioned and built by none other than William Randolph Hearst is nothing short of opulent, stunning and rich with detail. It took 28 years to complete the masterpiece!
Our next stop was a look back and a look forward. We visited the university I attended for my graduate program. It was a study in contrasts – witnessing the incredible changes made on the campus over the years since my last visit, contrasted with the parts that remain not only unchanged but incredibly familiar; it was exciting to see the improvements and comforting to feel at home. But, it wasnt just a stroll down memory lane, it was also seeing it through the eyes of my friend who now works for this university and will be part of future change and so many young lives. And… exposing The Kiddo to life on a campus and all that his future may hold.
And yet another study in contrasts; one coastline but two different experiences. Just minutes apart but one is socked in with a freezing damp marine layer and the other glimmering in the sunshine. We have one more day in this seaside gem, guess which beach we are choosing?!
And now, for your
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA QUESTION #5 (4pts)
Hearst Castle took 28 years to complete, and was designed by the famous and foremost female architect in California. Who was she?
A. Julia Morgan
B. Julia Roberts
C. Julia Stiles
The Road Trip is nearing the end of the road, but we may have one or two things still up our sleeves…you will just have to keep riding along! We love having you along for the ride
Until next time, you know..
Safe travels: wheels, heart, mind and soul.
Bonnie & The Kiddo
Hello travelers and happiest of Mondays, though I do fully realize the oxymoron of that statement!
This last stop on our road trip travels was all about home. Oh, no, The Kiddo and I are not done with our travels, not even close…but the last stop took us to my hometown for the weekend.
I took the old country roads I know like the back of my hand from the beach to my family home. I have to say, it was more than a little surreal to listen to music, with the current associations of today, while driving the roads filled with memories stacked up since my earliest driving days.
It was time for my brother and son to reconnect, and time for my little man to visit with my old man. And, we shared an afternoon and evening with the grown up kids from my days of childhood in a home more magical than any I’ve visited since. We shared stories of today; travels, tales of parenthood and ailing parents. We laughed until our bellies ached over stories about our parents’ shenanigans, wondering how there are still stories we haven’t all heard at this point in time. We drank Manhattan’s and Port. We were comforted, at least I was, simply by being in each others presence; knowing that this is a safe place of belonging. We all go way back, to the very beginning.
Earlier that day, my son and I shared a unique experience together that neither of us will forget. The world, and opinions are way too complicated for me to share photos here (but I have some awesome pictures!) of our morning out in a countryside vineyard where we both learned how to handle, respect and shoot a rifle. It was a rite of passage for the both of us; just in different ways. And, to see my son and brother bond is priceless. And apparently, I’m a natural. Be afraid…very afraid!
Before leaving, and heading to our next destination, I managed to get…
Me: Dad, what do you most regret NOT doing in your life?
Dad: Not being more friendly, more kind.
I was stunned after that. I just nodded and thanked my dad for his answer. He’s so right. It reminded me, immediately, of the piece recently shared online – the commencement speaker who most regrets his failures of kindness. My dad, he’s a smart cookie.
Before we headed out, The Kiddo asked his Granddad to show him his Colonel uniform from his Army days, and with my brothers help, we got to see and touch and feel this incredible piece of history.
I loved our family stop; and it was hard to leave. Each place has that in common. After that, we hit the road, turned up the volume and opened some candy for the next leg. Oh, the cherry sours? History. Thing of the past. GONE. (sigh)
And now, time for your thinkin’ and Googling hats…
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA QUESTION #4 (4 pts)
What small. CA town is considered the Earthquake Capital?
And today, we have a bonus round, for 3 points:
Which of the following CA towns is known as the artichoke capital of the world?
Bonus bonus (extra 1pt) if you’ve ever HAD an artichoke!!
Until next time, safe travels
Wheels, heart, mind and soul.
Bonnie & The Kiddo
Good morning roadies!
Today we did things a little differently; we stayed in one place. Well, for the most part. And we started the day off slowly with coffee, visiting and catching up with some friends. The Kiddo invaded our host’s game closet and found this game for us to play: Real Dumb Laws. Yes, this is a real game.
I wanted you all to get a sample of the questions; the asterisk indicates the answer. These examples make me very glad that our road trip is not taking place anywhere in Rhode Island or Mount Vernon, Iowa. I wish I could understand the need to throw bricks onto a highway. Or, maybe not.
After a relatively quiet morning [there was a lot of laughter involved while playing the game of really dumb laws, probably enough to be able to pass on the left in Rhode Island!], we headed to a place from my own childhood. It was a treat to take The Kiddo to the Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk and revisit days of yesteryear. We rode the rides, ate the hotdogs and played on the beach.
The photos below are fuzzy; as we were in motion as I snapped away. I can remember summer days on this very same carousel, racing to get an outside horse that goes up-and-down so as to be positioned to grab the ring to throw into the clowns mouth. Back in the day, a ring in the mouth earned a free ride. Today, with one-price wrist-bands, a ring in the mouth earns pride and bragging rights!
It was pure joy to relive this favorite memory with The Kiddo and teach him the horse-finding, ring-grabbing, and ring-tossing ways. We gave it our best effort but other than the fun of a shared experience, our only bragging rights come from scoring the last two outside horses right next to each other. If you are wondering if I ran like a crazy mama around the carousel to find those two horses, I think you probably already know the answer to that question.
As with all the days and miles behind us so far; this mama is loving the time with The Kiddo, finding our way out on the open road and making it up as we go. I like driving…it truly is the getting that is most important. And while I left my heart in San Francisco, we realized today that The Kiddo left his computer charger in San Francisco. Not quite the same, or is it?
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA QUESTION #3 (4pts)
CA is riddled with laws and litigation, so today’s question is inspired by today’s fun and games! Fill in the blank:
In California, in Los Angeles county, it is against the law at house parties to _________________.
a. serve alcohol
b. show home videos
c. eat fruitcake
d. charge admission
Until next time, safe travels: wheels, heart, mind & soul.
Bonnie & The Kiddo
Despite the accuracy of Mark Twain’s famous line about the chilly summers in San Francisco, there is just something about that city that makes me catch my breath. And it’s just always hard to leave.
After a rainy, damp and, almost wintery morning, I found myself bidding a fond farewell as we drove through the hilly, bustling streets to our next destinations.
…a walk through the summer of love. Try explaining the significance of the Haight to a nine year old…
…Getting a view from above it all…
…And seeing the forest for the trees…
And then it was time to buckle up, turn up the tunes and plug in the GPS.
On the way from point A to point B we found…
A PEZ museum! Who knew!? And the worlds largest Pez dispenser…
We asked Google maps where we should go next and guess what? We went to Google!
No inside tours or photos are allowed at Googleplex (I tried!), but we caught a glimpse of a tubular slide two stories hight, in the staff lounge area! Needless to say, this made an impression on The Kiddo.
We are tucked in for the night, after making our way to the beach to spend some time with friends, ready for tomorrow’s adventures.
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA QUESTION #2
(2pts) True or False?
California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year.
Until next time, safe travels: wheels, heart, mind and soul.
Bonnie & The Kiddo
Miles have been logged, cherry sours have been consumed and sights have been seen. In other words, today has been all…
We also made time for some
With our hands, and eyes, and minds at the new Exploratorium.
We got a Lyft from a long-time friend,
who took us on a whirlwind tour of the City by the Bay
We even saw someone famous!
As we hunker down for the night, I will leave you to ponder this:
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRVIA: question 1 (3pts)
Name one of the islands found in the San Francisco Bay. Bonus points if you can name more than one!
Until next time…safe travels of all kinds
Wheels, heart, mind and soul.
Over a year ago, I learned about The Color Run, and I was hooked, immediately! I started following the Facebook feed for The Color Run and when I saw that it was coming to the city where I live, I sent out an email to several of my friends, saying, “We should do this! Who’s in?“ A few responses later and a few of us had signed up. Well, months later when the day arrived, one of us had moved out of town, one was on vacation, and the other, well her husband broke his leg while taking their kids ice skating. That left me and one other, who now had a back injury. Getting old is not for the weak!
So, my friend T and I made it and we are now Color Runners! She was a total trooper and rode her bike to save her back; I ran and we successfully matched our pace and had a
colorful great time. The Color Run is billed as “The happiest 5k on earth” and I believe it! It was a great experience and when people are expected to be happy, and covered in color and surrounded by fantastic music, well, it just brings out HAPPY!
The Color Run is an event series and 5k paint race that takes place in United States, South America, Europe and Australia. The untimed event has no winners or prizes, but runners are showered with colored powder at stations along the run. It has therefore become the largest five-kilometer event series in the United States. In 2013, The Color Run will hold events in over 130 cities in the United States, South America, Europe and Australia. Runners begin dressed in clean white t-shirts, and pass through a color station once every kilometer. Each color station is associated with a different color, with volunteers blasting the runners with dyed cornstarch out of spray bottles. Runners complete the course covered in the safe and colorful powder. At the finish line following the run, there are typically celebrations featuring a dance party .
The people watching was off-the-charts fun! The hair. The socks. The shoes. The tu-tus. Oh the tu-tus! I think I love a man who can rock a tu-tu. Even if just on his socks!
I loved the color stations, where as you run through, race volunteers bombard each runner with color. There is a haze of blue, orange, yellow, pink and with each station, each runner is painted in more and more color. It’s just fun!
But the most fun?
The finish festival.
A race completed.
Color. Loads of Color.
What you won’t see are the photos of T and I at the very end; we looked like we had been through a war zone. We stopped at a Starbucks on the way home, and lets just say that being covered in paint is a great conversation starter! A 35 minute power shower and an afternoon nap later, I was quite happy!
Put some color into your life…today! What’s your color? Me? Hands down, it’s orange!