Week 265 April 27, 2019

Happy Orthodox Easter! The images here include a neighbor to our AirBnB’s decoration light up at night and the eggs that were painted  by one of our AirBnB guests’ family.

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And, Belated Happy Earth Day! A friend sent a link this week to see “80 beautiful photos from around the world for Earth Day.” While slowly inhaling the photos, I realized that Loren and I have been to 30 of these places. Of the rest I counted 22 that I would still like to visit. If you want to view the photos, you can find them online at:
https://www.cincinnati.com/picture-gallery/travel/2017/04/21/80-beautiful-photos-from-around-the-world-for-earth-day/100743930/ 

This week Loren and I helped the mom of a childhood friend of Loren’s celebrate her 98th birthday! We enjoyed one of her daughters’ delicious lemon meringue pies together, yum! We also celebrated the publication of one of her granddaughter’s newest books.

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Loren and I also received the “official” invitation to the wedding of special friends who we made in Romania. I wish we could attend. Since we cannot, I will hold hope that we will see them again someday.

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Loren and I also enjoyed dates with a friend of mine from Bikram Yoga San Jose, and, with friends from our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Sunnyvale this week. While in the South Bay we stopped to pick up our mail and so enjoyed seeing all the growth and blooms, both in our yard,

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and in the yards of our San Jose neighbors.

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I must mention our Golden State Warriors again this week. Loren and I watched the finale of the Round 1 Playoff games. We watched two of the three games at our AirBnB with other guests, one of whom texted me a couple of cute images that perfectly describe our enjoyment at the win of the 4th game. We also agonized together the loss of the 5th.

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Loren and I watched the 6th game with other friends at their home, where we were entertained again by their returning nesting owl to a palm tree, and their lovely garden and yard. The are preparing to host one of their daughters’ wedding here next week. Oh, and our Warriors won, taking them to the starting game of Round 2 tomorrow…

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This time next week Loren and I will have completed the 2019 Hike for Hope with Loren’s sister and a friend of hers. The hike is a fundraiser for Hope Hospice who helped with their Mom’s care. It will take place at Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore. We are on the Team: Colibris for Lil. Colibri, or hummingbird, were among her favorite birds. 

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Week 263 April 13, 2019

This week felt more like spring, except for the days where it was still cold enough to wear a sweater during the day. Loren and I spent one day at our house in San Jose, doing some gardening and other maintenance work. It was nice to snap photos of what’s been blooming in our front yard,

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and our back yard.

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Afterwards we stopped to see a friend. Her dogwood tree receives more sun and therefore boasts more blossoms. It was fun to catch up with her and her father too. He happened to be visiting from Wisconsin. Loren and I had met him at the suggestion of this friend a couple of years ago when we drove through Wisconsin.

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She sent us home with a rose from her front yard. As the week progressed, the bud further opened and has provided us a delightful fragrance, just as she had said it would.

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One evening Loren and I watched our Golden State Warriors in their last game of the regular season at the arena in Oakland. We enjoyed watching with other guests from our AirBnb, just as we have watched a few Warriors games together recently. We appreciated the station broadcasting the sentiments of the fans, players and coach about their history in Oakland. Except for this year’s playoffs, they will play in San Francisco from now on.

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I was inspired to write a poem about what I heard, taking me back to my elementary school days…

Basketball Haiku
Claire Adalyn Wright

Nothing compares to
the sounds of sneakers squishing
across a gym floor.

The next evening we enjoyed a BBQ with Loren’s sister, and watched the final College Men’s basketball game. She invited us to join her for a hike on May 4, to help raise money for the Hope Hospice organization that helped care for their Mom in the last 3 weeks of her life. If you would want to join us or to donate, here is the link to the team:

http://events.hopehospice.com/site/TR/Hike/General?team_id=1774&pg=team&fr_id=1140

One day I went to the dentist and was amazed that she was able to remove my old crown and replace it with the permanent one both in the same visit. I am continually impressed with how technology can enhance our day to day lives. 

Loren and I spent another day with a dear friend, her beau, and his sweet dog. We went on a wonderful hike which included a picnic, then visited and dined out together. A memorable and meaningful day.

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We are especially proud of this friend, who has generously opened her home to two asylum seekers from El Salvador. Prior to arriving at her home they each had been held in detention upon entering the United States to apply for asylum. One of them has received asylum and has most recently procured a job in a commercial kitchen. She will continue to live with our friend for the foreseeable future. The other is legally prevented from an opportunity to work yet, so her priority must be to learn English. She has a hearing with a Judge coming up next month. We wish both of these young women all the best in their goals. If you would like to hear the story of one of them, you can read about her at this site (click and click again on the headline below the photo):


Loren and I finished our week signing off on our taxes, just before Monday’s due date. We appreciate our fortune to have been born in this country – the land of the free, the brave, and the payers of their annual taxes.

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Week 258 March 9, 2019

Our week was spent having more special time with Loren’s Mom, for the most part. She is fading more with each day… Loren and I have done more hand holding with her this week, and she has spent more time with her eyes closed.

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One day Loren’s Mom told us she had a stomach ache on a couple of occasions. Later that same day she had us in stitches when the visiting Hospice nurse asked her,

     “Does your tummy hurt you?”

She replied,

     “No. Does it hurt you?”

We are grateful to have this time to be with her, and especially to help a bit to relieve Loren’s one sister who does and has done the majority of her caregiving. We actually had one day this week of sunshine where his sister was able to be in the backyard for a time, doing some of the gardening she and his Mom have always loved doing. The vase of flowers comes from their devoted gardening efforts.

Here are a few more of Loren’s Mom’s frequent comments that I want to capture:

   In Italian: “A domani matina,” meaning, “See you tomorrow morning,”
   “Heavy duty,” for when she wants to emphasize her awe at something,

Otherwise, Loren and I had one day where we picked up our mail from San Jose. We were tickled to see the trees we pruned a couple of months ago are beginning to bud out.

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And, we had a few nice exchanges with relatives who live around the US recently, all who have had a brutal winter. My one cousin in New Hampshire expressed it as:

     “A wicked see saw winter weather wise with a lot of messy storms.” 

There have been similar reports of brutal weather from all corners and the interior of the US this winter. What I know about California is, this is the coldest winter here since 1949. I think we are all looking forward to spring!

Week 257 March 2, 2019

Loren and I would have left for Australia this week, where we would have caught up with some friends, like this Italian couple who sent photos from their visit there now,

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however, we have canceled our travel reservations to stay in California to help with Loren’s Mom care for now. How does the saying go? “Humans plan, God laughs.” At least that is true some of the time.

One day this week a childhood friend of Loren and his wife came to visit Loren’s Mom which she thoroughly enjoyed, and another day their son paid a visit and again she was happy, even enjoying a bite of the breakfast pastries he brought. Sadly, I neglected to take photos to post… I did try to capture one of Loren’s sister’s cat who kept me company a little while on the chair in Loren’s Mom’s room, but she refused to pose nicely this time.

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I want to record some of Loren’s Mom’s favorite sayings that I have heard these past few weeks – actually she has said them over the nearly 30 years I have known her, like,
     ”It’s a beau-u-u-u-u-tiful day!
     “How’s it going?” or, “How’s it going wichu?
     “Hallelujah Baby!” 
     “That’s yummy,” sometimes emphasized as “yummmm-mee!
          which she nearly always says on drinking a sip of water these days.

And, in her first language of Italian or the Piemontese and Genovese dialects of her heritage,
     “A domani!” meaning “See you tomorrow!”
     “Salute!” for “Cheers!” when she is enjoying a sip of her favorite Moscato wine with us!
     “Anduma!” a short form of “Anduma, stuma o cosca fuma!”
          meaning, “Are we going, are we staying, or what are we doing?”

I caught an image of her reading the San Francisco Chronicle one day, and I want to share these two precious photos, one from her Oakland High School graduation and another from her wedding day.

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Otherwise this week, Loren and I have enjoyed seeing part of the Oscars, a couple of Warriors Games on TV,

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and, it was a delight to run into a San Jose yogi friend who was also taking class at the local studio here one day this week!

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Week 256 February 23, 2019

This week has been one of ups and downs. Is it possible that Loren’s Mom’s recent heart condition could have cleared her dementia? I have felt that she has been more herself this week, cheerful and alert. On the night of the NBA All Star game I brought a special dinner to her and Loren’s sister’s home. I was pleased that she ate some of the popcorn appetizer. “It’s my favorite!” she said, and waved her thumb in delight. But, she ate next to nothing of the soup, purposely adapted for her no-sodium diet. And, she asked to return to bed before the game was over. After the game I baked the dozen cookies I had prepared for desert, but by that time she was ready to go to sleep and said she would enjoy them the next day.

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I taught my last 2 scheduled classes of Bikram Yoga this week, early on the morning that the Snow Moon was still visible in the morning sky… I am happy our “atmospheric river storm” has concluded, what one news report called “a rolling conveyor belt of storms.”

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Loren’s Mom has always been chipper, upbeat and positive, so often saying “Super!” or “Super, duper!” when asked how she is, even including this week. One time I had the opportunity to rub her back and she said it felt good. When I have had opportunities to talk with her between her dozing, often times she greets me with, ”Good Morning!” But what brought tears to my eyes as I left her room one time was when she said, “Take good care of Loren.” I promised I would. After the basketball game evening, she stayed in bed more and dozed or slept a good part of the time. We came to think it was time to say our goodbyes, keeping vigil part of the week by her bedside. 

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That next day Loren’s Mom perked up and insisted that the very next day she would get out of bed. She began eating more than she had been as well. Loren helped me with cutting apples for a cake I made at Loren’s Mom’s home, with the last of the apples picked last fall from the tree in her front yard. It was gratifying when she ate some of the cake that evening!

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One evening I enjoyed having dinner with a dear friend, and this time I thought to take a photo…

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On Friday, a Bikram Yoga teacher friend was married, and another teacher friend who attended sent photos of the happy couple and of herself, helping me feel like I was there.

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In helping to rearrange furniture in Loren’s Mom’s bedroom, I came across this gem of a photo of her and Loren’s Father, another young happy couple. What a treasure it is! Loren’s Mom also adores a home-made pink blanket that I think Loren’s sister made, and perks up when I offer it to her.

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Grateful that Loren’s Mom seems to be recovering some, Loren and I finished our week taking in one of the Oscar nominated movies, Green Book. It was moving, and I will be interested to see if it wins Best Picture.

REPOSTING in Progress: Weeks 2 to 109

This place holder is for the entries from our original blog to be added, eventually. Please check back – this re-creation is a labor of Love and will take a bit of  t-i-m-e- which, while still traveling, we do not always have a lot available to devote to this.

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To Our Loved Ones

Dear Family and Friends,

As we were preparing to leave home, some of you asked,
“Will you be on FaceBook?”
We replied, “No.”
“So will you have a blog?”
“No,” our answer again.

One friend however felt it necessary for us to have a blog, took the initiative, and went home to create this. Voila! All we had to do was learn how to make posts to it. Thank you, our friend!

We invite all to join us vicariously here, as we begin our Journey Toward Wholeness,
Claire & Loren

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