Sunday, June 20, 2010
Bright Spots on the Landscape
People always associate Southern California with beaches, and although the shores here are great, I'm much more partial to the local hiking trails. I try to hit the ones near my or Mr. W's house every weekend if I can. A few weeks back, my sister took me and my niece on one we'd never tried and we were delighted to find an explosion of wildflowers. According to my dad, when they were fighting the Station Fire out here last fall, they not only doused the fire with water but also seeds. When I went back this weekend, it wasn't as spectacular, but still had a lot of blooms to boast.
Speaking of my dad, we very much enjoyed Father's Day with him today. One of the things I love most about my dad is that he'll make friends with anyone. As a kid, I remember him waltzing into our vacation campgrounds with random folks he'd met down the way who were then invited to dinner. He can strike up conversation with anyone passes by his house while he's watering the lawn. He jokes around with waiters and store clerks and anyone he can get a laugh out of. So, as usual, I found it so endearing today as he chummed up with Mr. W, giving him a very detailed tour of my parents' motorhome and showing off his flourishing tomato plants.
I was also very touched when he told Mr. W and me a story about how a hummingbird had flown straight into the sliding glass door a couple weeks ago. My dad is a huge animal lover, so he rushed to the little bird's aid. He said he picked him up and held him on his back and watched the little bird's eyes tracking his every move. He petted him on the head and rubbed his belly a bit and the next thing he knew, the bird rolled to his feet and flew away. I may have told this story here before, but when I was getting ready for the senior prom, my dad rescued a baby dove who'd fallen out of the nest in our front yard. There I was in my prom dress, helping my dad wash this bird in the kitchen sink. It warms my heart the way he cares about creatures big and small.
Sidenote—the picture above is a crevice that was carved out from the post-fire flooding that happened in the mountains above my house. Pretty crazy to hike through it and see all the tree roots sticking nakedly out of the ground.
Okay one last story about my dad. So, every time my parents go on vacation, they bring all of us kids (and the grandkids, too) a souvenir. They mean well—they're showing their love by purchasing trinkets. But I already know they love me. So I tell them—every time—not to bring me anything. I already have enough stuff to fill my apartment and make frequent trips to the Goodwill. This annoys them to no end. They want to do things their way. They want to buy souvenirs. So they decided on their recent trip to Alaska that, as punishment, they would buy me the junkiest memento they could find. A super cheesy Alaskan shot glass. They were so proud of themselves.
But I got the last laugh (and made my dad laugh really hard, too) when I wrapped up that shot glass and gave it back to my dad for Father's Day.