I'm sitting in the shade, at a picnic table, with the ruins of an old cabin behind me. I have iced water with me, my iPhone, typing on my iPad.

To my left is an outcropping of serpentine. To my right, a eucalyptus tree. Down the hill is a rotary furnace, where men worked in the heat, extracting mercury from cinnabar. In front of me, Silicon Valley.

A few generations ago, there was a town here...well, around the bend, the ruins are still here.


There is no running water, no electricity. There is a church, a school, a barn. Down the hill...a cemetery. The cometary makes me sad. The thought of a woman, following a cart carrying a casket...a long, winding trail down the hill to a flat spot on the hill. This is a small cemetery, surrounded by a white picket fence. The gate is shut and the grass, like all the grass here this time of year is dry and crunchy. There are no grave markers.

No grave markers. Because the family of a miner couldn't afford it? Because nobody wanted to carry stone up the hill? Maybe there used to be wooden markers that have long since rotted away...

Above me...turkey vultures.

Around the bend, down the hill is a geocache. If I find it, it's my first one.


(yes, I did find it)

We had a very nice time at Joshua Tree, with a few new photos.

Tom's vision is stable, with an improvement in the results of the OCT (where they take a photo of the optic nerve.). Dr. Chicani said it's what they expected, and we don't go back for three months!

We borrowed a white cane for the airport - everybody we told said it's a good thing to help him navigate, and to help others identify Tom. The letter from the doctor also said that we can pre-board, so we won't have to fight for luggage space.

My pain is much worse, I'm blaming my eating today. The evidence is mounting that my pain is caused but diet, although I still want to nail down a diagnosis.

no, it's not a bleak as it sounds.

It's just that (at this moment) I am very aware that I cannot see the road that lays ahead of me.  See the new photo at the top of this blog...I took it last August in the Upper Peninsula.  Very foggy, very obscure...I could not see the road ahead.

There are a couple of wildly divergent paths that life could take...and I have zero clue which fork my life might take.

A couple of months ago, I could imagine the future.  Now...I just can't.

I think that's a good leaves my future (and my trust) squarely in the hands of God.

Look again at the photo.  Not very long after I took that, the sun came out.  It was sunny...I found this

At the end of the day, the fog clears.  Life will be good.  God is good...and in control

When traveling

I have a couple of kits that I call redundancies - I can just throw the kits in the car or luggage and go without having to worry about whether or not I forget some essential "stuff".  There's stuff I have to pack, but this list cuts down on packing anxiety.  I have way more hair picks and can openers than any human being can use because I've had to stop and buy one.  I haven't checked these kits this spring and had to go buy toothpaste in Marquette...

Electric Stuff:

  • power strip
  • camera charger (this is the one thing I have to move, so I'm picking up another one
  • cell phone charger
  • computer power cord
  • iPod charger and sync cord

The power cord is an essential so that I don't have to pull out tables and things in a hotel room and use lots of outlets.  I've left a cell phone charger in a room so I plug in one power strip and use that for all of my "pluggables."  When it's time to leave, I grab the power strip and if I have everything attached to it, I have all my cords.

Kitchen Drawer:

This is more for long distance driving and camping.

  • paring knife
  • plate, bowl, cup, flatware
  • can opener
  • a few herbs and seasonings (include salt and pepper)
  • foil packets of tuna or salmon
  • foil packets of mayo, lemon juice, relish and mustard
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • coffee "pod" singles
  • artificial sweetener packets
  • single serving packets of almonds, cashews, walnuts

Bathroom stuff:

travels size:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • body soap
  • body lotion
  • contact solution
  • advil
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush

Other stuff:

  • nasal rinse bottle and packets
  • contact case
  • extra pair of contacts
  • razor
  • deodorant
  • emery board
  • face moisture
  • lip balm
  • hair clippies and ponytailers
  • pick or comb