Posted tagged ‘at the park’

Park Adventures

August 5, 2017

Even when I had Younger Eyes, I was never particularly adventuresome.   I might ride a particularly frightening roller coaster when pressed by my friends or try white water rafting in the Colorado river.   But there was no skydiving or bungie jumping, even though there was a part of me that wondered what it would be like.   In my forties, I ran 13 marathons and participated in a dozen triathlons … I guess hanging on for the last few miles of 26.2 … or swimming in high surf half a mile off the shore at seven in the morning with hundreds of other exercise-nuts qualifies as an adventure.   But now that I’m in my seventies, my adventures are more passive … and they usually take place at Yorba Regional Park where I spend an inordinate amount of my time.  While spotting a particularly fat ground squirrel or seeing a newly hatched baby bluebird might not bring the burst of adrenaline true adventurers crave, they are exactly the what this old curmudgeon craves.   Septuagenarians need endorphins, not adrenaline.




March 30, 2017


I am most often a grateful person who can look to the good things that life has given me instead of focusing on the difficulties.  That is not an ability I was born with, in spite of the fact that I am the son of a woman who could do exactly that, even in her later years when the effects of diabetes were making her life harder and harder.   Fortunately, pragmatic optimism and an attitude of gratitude can be learned … my particular education came in the rooms of a 12-Step program but I am sure there are other places it can be found.  However, for the last few months … and in particular, the last few weeks … issues with my adult son have dragged me downward.   A clash of lifestyles made it necessary for us to (finally) push him out the door and this week, after several false starts, he moved out … not, of course, without some nasty arguments with us on the way.  To say life at home has been stressful is an understatement and it certainly doesn’t end with his moving.  He is still our son and still on our minds. (more…)

(Not Quite) Instant Replay

September 8, 2016

wp-1473320738150.jpg Last night, I got a late start to the park to top off my walking for the day … and keep my Fitbit off my case.  Twilight was well underway as I handed the ranger my Regional Park pass.  I needed about 5000 steps to make my daily goal and may have been driving a teensy bit fast on the way to my usual parking place.  Heck, there was nobody around, or so I thought … but someone shouted, Slow Down!!!! in a four exclamation point tone of voice.  My Inner Curmudgeon, IC, always on the lookout for a confrontation, whispered, Did you hear that?  I pretended I didn’t.   I parked my car and was minding my own business, putting in my ear buds, when a gangly fellow in an orange tee skated up on roller blades. Check that.  Actually, his dog, a medium-sized retriever mix, was pulling him along. (more…)

Working in the Park

April 9, 2015

park workI was up to late last night, thinking about a solution to a scientific problem I’m working on, but with the help of a Costco brand OTC sleep-aid, I slept until 8:30.   I got up and and helped my wife, Muri, get the house ready for our housekeeper (a statement that puzzles me each time I say it) then headed over to the park.  The plan was to do a little writing then work on my laptop to see if my idea actually works.   Nothing makes me feel gratefully self-employed as much as working in the park.  My Inner Curmudgeon likes it there, too, but he requires that certain conditions be met or he does what curmudgeons do. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 7/28/2014

July 28, 2014

park1We are in the midst of California summer, this year’s version bringing with it more humidity than usual.   Yes, by back east standards … and particularly by Florida standards … it isn’t humid at all but after 45 years here, it feels sticky to us.   That … along with the numerous large groups descending on our park for company picnics and family reunions … makes our park a less frequent destination for weekend outings.  And, in addition to the heat and crowds, summer brings out the biting insects.  We are blessed here that mosquitoes are not a big problem here, but there are a variety of bugs that you have to beware of in the park.   Perhaps the nastiest of the bunch is also one of the smallest … chiggers.  Last week, sitting at my favorite table by the lake, I was assaulted by the little buggers.  Their bites create nasty red welts with an intense itch that comes up just short of a sting and at least for me, nothing but ice seemed to help.  After two days of getting up several times a night to ice my legs so I could go back to sleep, my daughter suggested using heat.  I found a post online (here) about using a hair dryer on the bites to remove the itch.  It worked like a miracle.  How exciting to have a use for a hairdryer again after years of baldness. (more…)

Park Peeps

February 26, 2014

park1If you’ve been a reader here for a while, you’ve read about my park.  Of course, it’s not my park at all, it’s Yorba Regional Park, part of Orange County’s Regional Park system.  Muri and I both buy annual passes every year and it serves, on occasion, as our office, outdoor family room, picnic pavilion and spiritual enclave.  If we’re in the mood to watch people go by, it can also be a kind of Theater of Life.  Most of you are probably too young to remember Naked City, a police show that aired in the late fifties.   During the introduction to Naked City, the narrator would say, There are eight million people in the Naked City and everyone has a story. (more…)

2013 – A Park Oddity

August 1, 2013

park1This week has been a working week.   The deadline on the project where Nothing Works draws inexorably closer and we’re scrambling to write a report, so Wednesday, after working all morning, I decided to take a lunch break for a walk in the park.  I have made a mid-year resolution to walk twelve miles this week … not to long ago that would have been a resolution to run thirty, but that’s in the past.  Knees and Achilles tendons worn by years of running are not up to that any more.  At any rate, I took my 45 minute walk, meditated in my camp chair for fifteen minutes, then headed off to Costco for a cheap lunch (hot dog and drink, $1.59).   On the way out, I stopped at the men’s room near the far end or the park to … well, you know.  As I was standing there … well, you know … someone emerged from the stall and walked behind me, repeating something over and over in a sing-song voice.   I glanced over my should and saw a fortyish man in an orange T-shirt.  He dropped something in the trash and walked back to the stall, saying the same thing several times.  This time I (more…)