Parting Shots

March 26, 2014

Making the LAX scene this moment. Maybe I should say I am chil-LAX-ing at the airport.

The Southwest terminal feels like a busy downtown bus station; it’s teeming with people, the PA system is a non-stop, competing set of over-modulated announcements about canceled flights, changing gates, missing people. It’s SRO and the floors are covered with sprawling people and their junk. Best so far, sitting among the UCLA track team on its way to Texas for a spring break relay meet.  A buffer, studlier gaggle of kids you’ll never find. I actually had a couple rushes of adrenaline, as I guess my neuro-transmitters still remember the path to pre-race anxiety and fire at the mere sight of track uniform.  Heh.

Anyway, returning to Davis today. Yay. I do feel the trips to see my mom are important and enjoy the time with her, but am glad to be returning home.  Yesterday, we were driving back to PV, after having lunch with Aunt Ellie, Uncle Bud, John, and Alexis at Legends. We were on the Vincent Thomas Bridge, high above the gargantuan LA Harbor. The thought bubble over my head said, Oh boy, just one more day, then I am going home! My mom’s thought bubble, expressed through her sad, resigned eyes, was, Oh shit, only one more day, then Kari goes home.  I feel bad about this. No, I feel terrible and helpless about this.  I feel so, so sorry for my mom these days. It kills me. Her loneliness hurts. Her anxiety is overwhelming. Her immobility, innumerable losses, frustrations, fear, anger… it all just kills me.  I don’t know what to do about it. I wish she’d make some different choices, like moving into an assisted living complex or a senior housing community of some sort, but she is so stubborn. She says no before she really allows herself to calmly consider the pros and cons. Part of me gets it… she loves her house, loves the quiet, loves the ocean and trees…. but I also think she’s cutting herself off from life. I guess I’ll write more on that later.

In the meantime… some parting shots.

Here is the first house I babysat at when I was about 11 or 12. The Walters. I babysat twins Christa and Linda, who were five, on a regular schedule for an entire summer, and then occasionally thereafter.  I still just love this house… down at the end of the block:


Here is a house down on Paseo del Campo. To me, it looks like Candyland.  This is only a portion of the guy’s yard, but it was all like this.. just went on and on.  I guess he likes succulents, huh?



After living on Via La Selva my whole life, looking, as we did, at Skunk Hill from our driveway forever, I finally actually hiked up the darn thing yesterday. I remember once when I was a kid, standing on the driveway, half in awe and half scared out of my wits as a fire raged on Skunk Hill. My dad had one of my brothers up on the roof with a hose to keep our shake roof moist (most of our neighbors had the ubiquitous red tile roof, but our house was more ranch style than mediterranean… so wet down our roof we did.

So, I headed down the street, across both directions of PV Drive North and the bridle path, and across Paseo del Campo to a trail which leads down to a dry creek (that drains into Pee Water Springs, and eventually spills out on the rocks below Malaga Cove School) and up the hill.

First thing to note is how sandy the soil is around these parts.  Like walking on the beach, man.



In our area, all the soil’s like that. It’s funny to imagine anything growing in this. My mom’s flower beds–the same.

Here’s that creek bed:



Then up. Here’s what it looks like at the top.



On one end is the PV golf course, on the other end is the Malaga Cove Plaza. From one end to the other can’t be more than a half mile, if that. And maybe it’s a quarter mile wide. Will ask Jim to google earth it. The two residential streets that surround it are PdC and Via Campesina.

It’s not like it’s exquisite hiking or anything, but considering I lived about a quarter mile from Skunk Hill–as the crow flies–it’s kind of amazing I never explored it. So I was a little excited, like, Whoa, who knew!  Seriously, a creek?

As for flora and fauna.. not much. I imagine skunks and peacocks roam, lots of rodents probably.  I saw what I thought was poison oak, but not likely.  Just lots of eucalyptus, some sort of scrub and lots of beetles. People walk their dogs up there, but I didn’t see anyone. Worth a return for the view back to my old neighborhood!  I always forget what a hill we lived on… for living in “the flats.”

One more shot from the mom visit… I got a kick out of her clothing choice so snuck this pic while she was watching her current favorite women’s player (Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland) lose her match in the Sony Open.


One Response to “Parting Shots”

  1. Sabrina OHanleigh Says:

    Hi Kari! I miss you and am enjoying reading your posts. I am home with a kidney infection. Waiting to hear from urgent care if these antibiotics are actually working. I am so glad you get to visit your mom. It sounds as though you are moving through some emotional work. I am too tired to write any more, but wanted to say ,”hello” and thanks for getting Jocelyn started on the “road” to earning her driver’s liscence.

    Love, Sabrina

    Sent from my iPhone


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