Tag Archives: Pacific Grove

Proteas bloom in Monterey.

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The week before Lent I journeyed to California’s Central Coast to visit my son and his family in the busy city of Monterey. Besides being popular among tourists who like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea, the John Steinbeck (Cannery Row) connection, etc., it has military and higher educational value thanks to institutions such as the Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense Language Institute; a state university and a school of international studies.p1060736crp

 

 

But for me, of course, the main attraction is three little boys and their parents! I had two entire days to hang out with them all and read stories, play with Matchbox cars, cook and eat…. Four-year-old Liam and I cleaned up the kitchen together one morning and pruned the butterfly bush the next. He really did work!p1060756

We visited the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum where I took pictures of the boys at the feet of a stuffed grizzly bear, and they played with magnetized glass eyes such as taxidermists use, trying to fit them into the proper skull.

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My own favorite exhibit was of sands from around the world. It made me want to start my own collection, to go with my rock collection. I’ll need to get some small bottles that I could tuck in my pocket or camera bag, and always be ready to save a sample.

 

 

 

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Joy made an elaborate picnic that we ate on the beach, and then we spent an hour exploring the sand there, and the creatures that wash up. It took most of the following week to identify the animals as pyrosomes (the long pink things) and Corolla spectabilis pseudoconchs (the transparent roundish ones). A marine biologist friend of Kit’s pointed us to this article on: Tubes and Slippers, which also shows them side-by-side.

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The proteas are blooming in Monterey:

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It was a blessed trip. I’ll stay closer to home now for a few weeks.

Happy March to you all!

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Vacation with Bread and Water

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California’s Central Coast was our vacation spot last weekend. We spent time with Soldier and Doll and with our friends whom I will nickname Mr. and Mrs. Bread. Their friendship is so nourishing on many levels, body and soul, that it demonstrates just how crucial phileo is to us humans.

Loaves of grain are humble and plain in a way, but throughout history people have often lived by this kind of food and little else. Thank God for friends who also lavish us with agape, ministering to us of the One who is our Bread of Life.

All six of us had a refreshing walk along the shore in Pacific Grove, where we saw the oldest active lighthouse on the West Coast. The light on Point PiƱos has never missed a night since 1855.

Mr. Bread played his mandolin as we strolled along under blue skies that reflected in the ocean, and we shared our discoveries of egrets and flowers and succulents. Doll found a rare black abalone shell, which was actually a beautiful blue-green. Some red-flowering aloes had long ago been planted along the path and grown into giant clumps.

We ate our picnic lunch in the courtyard of one of the many historic buildings in Monterey. This city was the capital of California under Spain and Mexico, not long after it was founded in 1700.I always enjoy visiting gardens that I have no responsibility to care for, especially if they are modeled on the historic, as was this one above. But I didn’t get to examine everything in great depth. I was always falling behind the group when trying to get the perfect picture of an aloe flower or a grove of cypresses.

 

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A good vacation, especially at our age, must include physical rest. We had a that in good measure, being lulled and comforted by hearing the waves crashing on the rocks below our bedroom window. And watching the waves — I think I would never get tired of it. It seems healthy to have in one’s field of vision the things that are obviously not man-made; compare that to a busy city with traffic, stores and offices. The ocean stretching away as far as I can see, or the stars and constellations that glittered above us all weekend, fill my conscious mind with the reminder that there is Something Bigger Than I Am going on here. And it’s been going on longer than men have been remembering.

Today I was lucky to be able to stay home and rest mentally from the excitement of traveling. This quiet day, combined with the nurturing gifts I received on the weekend, have given me some energy to get out of my January slump –just in time to look up with some hope at what February has to offer.