When I left for yoga on Sunday morning at the start of this week I noticed unusually strong winds and numerous fallen dead ends of redwood branches strewn all over the front walk, the yard, the driveway of our AirBnB and streets in the neighborhood. I was thinking with a smile about nature’s own pruning. When I returned to our AirBnB and was preparing to soon drive to pickup Loren and his mother, Loren called to ask if I smelled smoke? He said there was a lot of smoke and an orange glow visible from his mother’s house, that he and his sister thought came from the area of our AirBnB.
I could see nothing from either the first or second floor, but soon smelled the smoke too. All I could think of was how a fire could easily rage out of control with the continuing strong winds. I threw a few precious belongings together, alerted our hosts, and drove to Loren’s mother’s house. I could see heavy smoke blanketing the flatlands far in the distance as I drove down the steep hills. Fortunately I saw nothing of a fire along my way. When I arrived Loren said his call to 911 assured him that we were simply smelling smoke from the Vacaville fire. Phew. This being the week of the year anniversary of the most destructive fire in California history – the Tubbs or Santa Rosa fire, was all too sobering. Our “Red Flag” area fire warning ended on Monday, but fire season is not over.
It turned out that Loren’s Mom begged off from joining us to see our Golden State Warriors in Open Practice. As Loren and I drove towards the Oracle Arena in Oakland, we saw a fire truck, a fire pickup truck and a fire car exiting the Lake Chabot regional park main entrance. We assumed they had just responded to a false alarm, and I can find nothing about a fire in Castro Valley that day online.
With all that I can now say we had a fun time with attending the Warriors Open Practice! We paid the highly affordable price of $5 per ticket, thanks to another guest at our AirBnB alerting us to the event. This is the start of “The Dubs” last season playing in Oakland, as next year they will play in San Francisco. We were among the first 10,000 people to arrive, meaning we received our complimentary Champs caps.
The coaching staff was introduced and brought on the court first, then the team players .
The team warmed up and played a little before some of the players were instructed to invite audience members onto the court. They broke into two groups and the losers of the slight competition had to do pushups! Some of the kids were quite talented. But the most amazing to see was the twin boys who were Steph Curry look-alikes. Amazing!
Then the team shared their initiation of the rookies – each new player must perform a song. The only tune of the ones they sang that Loren and I knew was Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror. The rest were more contemporary than we are familiar with. Afterwards we enjoyed taking a couple of photos of our AirBnB friend and her son, and with the twins who were seated near us.
On a sad note this week, we learned that our neighbors in San Jose had to put their adored pup down.
Other miscellany include the sight on my way to teach the 6am and 7:45am Bikram Yoga classes was that the simple white ghost along the route was lit up colorfully in the dark.
And, I finally this week had our waterproof camera film developed from our overnights on New Zealand’s Doubtful Sound and live aboard boat at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
We finished our week taking in a performance at the local theater, of Four Men in Paris, featuring aspects of the lives of writers and illustrators James Baldwin, Chester Himes, Oliver Harrington and Richard Wright, all active in the US Civil Rights movement.
Today we are heading to Monterey overnight to attend the wedding and brunch of a dear friend’s daughter!