Saturday, April 02, 2011

Hawaii, Hermosa Beach and a Mendocino Mountain Top

I hike down the mountain every morning to this spot, then hike back up again. Since I still don't know where to settle I'm settling here with my friends in Mendocino for as along as it takes for me to figure out what the heck I should do, where I should go. My cabin used to be Laura's office but has been turned into rustic guest accommodations. This will be the second time in five years I've lived here. Laura's animals like me and they are getting to be very old. Laura wants me to look after them when she travels. It was Laura who taught me about photographing flowers. I've set up a work area in my cabin and have been carving a mahogany book cover. What I love about this cabin is that if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can carve if I feel like it. I spent the whole last year looking for sharing situations so I wouldn't have to be alone all the time. Now I'm finding out that I really need my own space, but I need to find people to hang with during the day. Laura and I share a meal every day. I've only been here a week but the weather has been warm and sunny, before that they'd had rain and snow. I'm meant to be here.
Above is my cabin and below is my desk and the view from my window of a madrone grove. This is where I wrote my first book and intend to write my third book.

Janice, below, is the best tour guide. She always takes me places I've never been before. Whenever I visit we take her coffee can of coins to the supermarket and put them in a machine that counts them. This year the leaden mass turned into $144. This was our mad money - meals out at restaurants, movies and parking. She drove me down to San Pedro along the coast one week after the tsunami in Japan. I kept thinking, why are we hanging out along the coast?, but it was beautiful. She took me to see the Korean Friendship bell, then we stopped at White Beach where they have rocks riddled with holes. I found two small rocks with holes perfect for making into pendants for necklaces. I spent two weeks in Hermosa then Janice drove me up to Mendocino, after a short stop in Santa Cruz to see Fran and Patti. It all worked out amazingly perfect, especially because I'd bought a lot of books (60 books from the Hermosa Beach Friends of the Library Bookshop for $15.) I also bought a ton of hardwood to make a new series of my books: oak, black walnut, mahogany, and beach. Janice and I are into tools and she encouraged me to buy a router, which I'm now using on my first book cover.

The night before I left Maui the big earthquake hit Japan. The next morning Hawaiian Airlines announced that all of their flights were canceled - luckily my flight was on Alaska Airlines and took off as scheduled. Their hub was in Portland where I switched planes - to exactly the same plane and only one row off of my previous seat - and landed at LAX around 11:30. Every time I fly I swear I'll never do it again, well, until next time. The next morning Janice took me out for breakfast at Scotty's on the beach using our mad money, then to the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick's Day parade.

I hadn't seen my Aunt June (below - she'll be 88 soon) and cousin Ron for many years. Ron and Lynn invited us over to their place in San Juan Capistrano and we ended up having a great time. They constantly travel - I'm not the only wanderer in the family. We spent hours talking, then they took us out for a Chinese dinner and brought us home to teach us how to use their new Wii game. We had good fun.

Below are a few more shots from Hawaii. The bowl with flowers are from the plumeria (frangipani) trees found everywhere in Hawaii, filling the air with their powerful scent.

One of Deb's orchids, below.

The weekend before I left, Maha and Deborah took me to a wine tasting event (really delicious wine made from pineapples), then drove me down the coast where a massive lava field was created in an eruption in 1820.

Oh heck, I forget the name of the island.

Before I left for Hawaii my friend Janet told me to watch out for the deep crevices that are found all over the Hawaiian islands. These crevices, created from old lava flows, are very deep and usually filled with trees and other growth. Evidently there are cases where people went hiking and left the trail to never return again, falling hundreds of feet to their death. In back of Deborah's house was one of those crevices. In the photo below you can see the tops of some trees. They are dangerous also because they can fill with water in a storm and flash flood. It seemed to me like a lost country, hidden away, littered with bodies and dinasaurs (why not?).

The girls sitting on the Monster Tree, their name for the tree because it snakes along the ground long enough to provide a bench for three kids before bending up with its many eyes looking at you.

Pucalani, where Deborah lived, means hole in the heavens because it rarely rains on this part of Maui, but when it rained, it really rained.

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