Letting go

This picture, taken at Fair Oaks, is cluttered, with too many light holes, colors and elements, with no obvious focal point. Yet, it is beautiful. No matter how much we plan, we often run into chaos, losing focus, wondering and swimming through the unknown. It can, however, be beautiful, only when we let go.

22 Degrees

A 22 degree halo around the moon tonight, here in Livermore, California.
There is an old weather saying, “Ring around the moon means rain soon.” I sure hope so, for the sake of the whole state.

Beauty of whole

We visited a friend and his family in San Francisco yesterday. They live in one of many Edwardian homes in Sunset district, each of them similar, yet unique, contributing to the beauty of the whole.
We, the people, ever so divided, should be more like that.

South Livermore, California

Livermore, California, where we lived for 12 years, is the home of 40 wineries.
Church friends have graciously provided us with accommodations while visiting our California “hometown” for a few weeks.
This is a view from a window of a mother-in-law unit of where we are now staying.
The rolling hills probably didn’t change much for thousands of years. I hope they stay the same for centuries more.

Shadow Cliffs Revisited

This was our favorite fishing spot before we left for Palestine more than three years ago. Jonathan and I caught dozens, if not over a hundred, trouts here. We let most of them go so others can enjoy catching them as we did. It looks the same as we remember. We were, however, very surprised to be skunked! I thinks the water isn’t quite cold enough for them to be active at this time of the year.

Iron Horse Trail Regional Trail, East Bay, San Francisco Area

Ahh… it’s great to be back in Northern California again, even only for a few weeks.
Iron Horse Trail Regional Trail connects two counties and 12 East Bay cities. I did not run the entire 28 miles of it today, but a good part of it.
I have never seen so many walkers, runners, bikers in just a few hours. It’s no wonder that Northern Californians, in general, are good looking!

Lafayette Reservoir, California

Jonathan and I went fishing at the Lafayette Reservoir, California, today. The first thing we noticed was the oddly tall tower sticking out of water, and I was pretty sure the Princess Rapunzel didn’t live there.
It was built in 1927 to match the intended height of the dam, which collapsed during construction. They then had to scale the dam back 1/2 of its original height. The tower that was built first remain.
Not everything goes as we planned, no matter how smart and careful we think we are. We know that first hand, living among Arabs in Palestine / East Jerusalem for last three years!

2000 mile trip

We planned on driving for 3-4 days from Minnesota to California, taking our time, stopping at different places.
Our first place – The one and only Corn Palace, Michelle, South Dakota. The entire “painting” is done with corn. The design changes every year. It kinda made me hungry just to look at it.

Wall Drug Store is THE tourist attraction in the middle of South Dakota. I am willing to bet nobody has NOT stopped at the place when driving by hundreds of roadside billboards leading to it. They have a pretty good selection of jackalope

A trip through South Dakota, of course, can’t be complete without the pose in front of the presidents.

We entered Wyoming at dusk, right into the eye of a nasty snow storm!

We were very glad to get out of the fierce snow storm in Wyoming, especially after being stuck in the accident caused traffic jam for around four hours!
The Great Salt Lake in Utah isn’t quite salty as the Dead Sea but it is just as beautiful. It is, however, much more lively, providing habitats for millions of birds, waterfowl and brine shrimp.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13)

Meeting the at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, before it set.
While taking this picture of Jonathan, I kept looking at the sky and mumbled to myself – “Whomever painted the sky is a pretty good artist, knowing everything about composition and complementary colors. He is so good that he probably never uses Photoshop!” I can’t wait until I meet Him someday with all my buddies.

We cut through Lake Tahoe, even though it took a little longer, because it’s there. The largest alpine lake in North America is like those beautiful women in the bible that certain men could not keep their eyes (sometimes hands) off of! smile emoticon We just could not look away.
The first snowfall of the year made itself at home, filling in spaces where many others have been, year after year.
It’s GREAT to refresh my soul with such magnificence!

House of Melvin Sr and Jr

I have not seen my cousins for over 20 years. It was great seeing then again at their father’s place today. Lot’s of good memory at the place, especially the fresh corn feed they had every year. Even today, I refuse to eat any other kind of sweet corn, especially canned ones. Nothing else compares to the ones freshly picked off the field, right into the pot.

Their grandfather sold a 300+ acre farm in the early 70’s. Melvin Sr, my cousins’ father, decide to stay in the area by keeping 10 acres of the original land. He moved a shed that was part of the farm when he built the house on the property.