SnowBird Diaries
Mendocino at last
Wed, 15 Jun 2005
Dear John and Delia,

We made it to Mendocino after a bit in the emergency room and 2 nights in the hospital for my heart irregularities. We were lucky to finally have one of the events documented, as they have been a stress factor, showing up unexpected now and then, and of unknown cause and consequence. Also I may now have a better backup medication but that remains to be worked out, as the dosage still seems too high.

This time it was an unusually severe episode, which happened suddenly during our brief three-day stay in Santa Barbara to switch our southwest gear for our northwest stuff. Possibly a consequence of the flu aftermath plus high temperatures during the last of our SW stay. Final diagnosis was episodic atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. My hospital experiences were not good and as soon as they said it was ok to go Bill picked me up with the camper and we raced out of town as fast as we could go. I do so get tired of cities, altho Santa Barbara is a pretty small and aesthetically appealing one, with all it's Spanish-style architecture, patios, parks and flower-filled walkways. But it is not the empty wild country I love most.

Now we are settling into our old Mendocino routine - Bill swimming several times a week while I walk down to the Noyo River, shopping at the Harvest Market in Ft. Bragg, about ten miles north along the coast, which has all the organic food and other great stuff we wished we had when traveling in S. Cal and Arizona, Bill going to the portrait session on Wed a.m. and to the figure drawing class at the Mendocino Art Center on Sat afternoons, while I walk on the headlands, etc.

Learning how to use oils is a slow process for him, since he has been in the habit of dashing off pen, watercolor and pencil studies in a short time and oils take a more sustained effort. However, he has started on one at the Russian Gulch State Park picnic area (our motorhome is too long to get down to the beach and camping area there). Not such a good place for me to walk, so we go somewhere to walk before and then to the picnic area in the afternoons for a while.

There was a lovely rainstorm last week and there was so much rain overall during this last year that all is lush in the woods, and still much green everywhere with wild flowers. Temperatures in the 60- and 70s the way we love them!

We have been watching the videos of an HBO series called "Six Feet Under" and enjoying them very much. The writing, acting and basic multicultural themes and comments on the American way of dealing with death and sex are fascinating. We are so out of touch with the popular culture, since we rarely see TV and wouldn't have known about it. In this case the series had been recommended to us by several friends whose judgment we trust.

Best recent book we've read: The Sexy Years, by Susan Sommers. Really documents a lot we have personally experienced but taught us a lot of new stuff, too. She very carefully researches her statements and it shows. I am very impressed that she is using her popularity as a "personality" to inform and inspire women the way she does. Her detailed description of how she handled her cancer (she was still very young at the time) is riveting and impressive. A kind of bravery and good sense I would have a hard time equaling. Bill is also impressed with her discussion of aging in men. It is available in paperback, and a pleasurable, easy read - you should check it out.

Let me know what is happening in your life.

Love, H