Monday, March 25, 2013

UCSC Banana Slugs Return to Del Norte for Spring Break

My College Freshmen are my youngest son  and his girlfriend of the past two years.  I got lucky this year, for the first time in seven years my husband and I have the same spring break, and UC Santa Cruz did too.  So the kids flew in to our huge, Crescent City International Airport, where we almost missed them in the crowd

Then they came home where they got to hang out in luxury at our palace with my oldest son,  (just off a crab boat for his first season as a fisherman) and his girlfriend and her daughter, who will be 2 in a few months.

but after awhile the luxury becomes boring and you need to work off some of the brownies and cookies and we headed out to the redwoods.  Not a big deal at all as we were just taking a walk in a grove that is less than 4 miles from my front door.  I was surprised at the kids reaction though.  Growing up here had warped their view on trees for sure, they used to go to Yellowstone and the black hills and laugh at the toothpicks we called trees back where their Dad and I grew up, but when redwoods are just trees to you, you are warped.

But I remember going back to Wyoming after being away, and suddenly it was all beautiful, the golden prairie against the faded blue sky, the purple mountains topped with snow even in August, the red earth.  Mom laughed at how I reacted, I just didn't expect that reaction from these guys because they are still in the coastal redwoods, but they kept staring and taking pictures to text to friends and gasping over how big these trees are compared to the redwoods they live in there.

staring at the twisty tops here



So we played gawky, fascinated by everything, tourists in our own backyard and it was wonderful, and the weather co-operated.

If Light is in your heart, you will find your way Home. (Rumi)

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.  Chinese proverb

Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Years after the Tsunami in Crescent City

The Tall Ships, Hawaiian Chieftain and The Lady Washington come most years to visit our harbor, but had to pass us by two years ago this month when the harbor was destroyed by the same Tsunami that devastated Japan. Last year and this they get to return because some repairs have been done, but the progress is very slow. 

 Before the Tsunami, the harbor was a thriving, busy place filled with boats taking turns in the various seasons with trying their luck for the dungeness crab and the prawns and tuna hauls that kept the fishing community afloat, both literally and financially.

This is a picture I took of my TV screen when they were showing how the water from the harbor was being sucked out of the harbor and then came flooding back in 10 minute cycles

This blog has previous posts about tsunamis in Crescent City

 This is the boat my son, in high school when the tsunami hit, now works on as a crabber, but even though it still is listed as being out of Crescent City, It has to dock elsewhere except for loading and unloading as there are not enough places to tie up the fleet now, so as the season winds down my son is heading south from Eureka to Bodega Bay.
boxes filled with crab are unloaded

 Here is the edge of the harbor parking lot as crab season finishes up and the pots come in to be stored and repaired
Many rocks are piling up as the silt and rocks in the harbor are removed to try and make the boat basin deeper and more usable

This barge and crane are in the same corner today that Is shown in that screen shot from the TV news above with the docks sitting on the mud

 nets spread in the parking lot with floats attached
 pipes waiting installation to replace the old, damaged concrete ones

 The rectangles are docks which were damaged and need replaced in the water once the heavy machinery finally leaves

Last year the family of Dustin Weber, the young man who was swept to sea here and recovered 400 miles north when his body washed up in Washington, had his ashes returned as his family completed the walk between those two location.

  I haven't seen anything in the local news this year mentioning the anniversary, just the reminders that work is ongoing and repairs are not expected to be completed until at least 2014. Still, life goes on, and the wreckage transforms again into a working harbor.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Gift In Memory Of Dad

My Dad's mug converted into jewelry by Suzie Melbraaten Warner
 Today, I got a package with four necklaces in it.  It was a gift from a talented friend who has a gift with glass-working.  Suzie made the necklaces from a shard of old brown pottery from a mug I used to see my Dad carrying around as he sipped Sun Tea in the Wyoming summers.

My Dad , Paul Edward Miller, was a younger sibling in a family with a dozen kids. When he was only 6 his Mother died and his oldest sister, Dorothy already was married and had children of her own, but she took over raising her siblings along with her family. She just told her Dad and her husband to turn their paychecks over to her and she'd make sure everyone had food, clothes and a home. Amazingly, she did it all and never asked for thanks.

Somehow, my Dad was so surrounded by love that he learned how to be the perfect friend and parent to children and everyone loved the games and adventures he would lead. Even the problems that came our way never slowed him down for long.  When Mom couldn't get pregnant after I was born, he couldn't imagine raising an only child, so adoption came naturally wen I was 4 and my brother entered the family at 6 months old.  But when he was 8 and my mom's Dr. suddenly informed her that her ulcer had a heartbeat, Dad was a bit nervous, "What? Am I supposed to hobble out on my walker to play catch?" asked the 40 year old man.

Then when he found out that this unexpected baby had Down's Syndrome, he proved once more that love ruled every decision he made, and tossed out the home health people who came to try and tell them that the only place that child should be placed was in an institution.

My family after I returned from School in Beijing China in 1987

Mom and Dad around 1962

My Dad and maternal Grandfather selling Antlers in Cody Wyoming

Born to be a Grandpa

He was born to be a grandpa but when he had four grandchildren 3 and under, and another on the way, he fought a very painful battle with a fast moving form of esophageal cancer and was gone before those grandchildren could remember how eagerly they were welcomed and how much they were adored by Papa Paul

My Dad, Brother and son

Papa Paul never got enough Grandkid time

My family on fishing bridge in yellowstone 1977

Dad pulling us in the snow for hours

Dad, turning yellow from jaundice & only3 months to live

my brother and Dad in 1979 
So Thank you Suzie for the chance to carry my Dad's memories a little bit closer to my heart.