Posted by: marinmom | October 5, 2011

Tahoe, California

I think fall is the best time of year to visit Tahoe. The crowds have dispersed, sunny days await  and fall foliage is peeking through the greenery.  Itinerary is simple:

Friday–We usually drive up from the bay area and take one of my favorite hikes from the base of Squaw Valley to Shirley Lake. In less than 100 yards from the start we are immediately removed from the bustling world and walking through rustling woods surrounded by the splashes of a rushing creek. We always stop along the way to dip a toe in the creek pools and to gaze at the mountains spread around us.

Saturday–Love to visit the beach at Sands Harbor, clamber from one warm granite boulder to another and plunge into the breathtaking cold, clear water. Water toys can be rented right on the beach.

Sunday–We like to take this hike on our way home. We drive down to Sugar Bowl and hike the easy Mt. Judah/Mt. Lincoln loop trail.  The trail begins just before Donner Summit. This hike can easily be adjusted to whatever our schedule needs to be, a short ramble or a long meander to grab that last mountain moment we need before we face the week.

Note: Both hikes are dog-friendly.

Posted by: marinmom | January 18, 2008

Airport Security is Real

My three-year old son left his backpack unattended at the airport.  After a tense meeting with five burly  security guards it was returned to us. Why? Because one frazzled mother frantically told the lead guard,”You must give it back to me it has his sleep blanket in it.”

He was a father, he understood.

The bag was returned with a smile. Calm spread throughout the terminal. I boarded the plane with the realization parents around the world understand the unmistakable importance of a sleep toy for keeping the peace.


Posted by: marinmom | January 18, 2008

Half a fort

Today, my son and his friend climbed up the hill beside our house to play in a fort they found in a eucalyptus grove. It was destroyed. They decided to rebuild after  some distress and disappointment that someone had willfully destroyed their newly formed fort. After an hour or so, it was half rebuilt and they were all done. We ran down the hill and came home to popsicles and ice water. The neighbor kid looked at me in all the seriousness of a nine year old and said, “I am so proud I built half a fort today.”

I am going to follow his example and take pride in my half finished projects instead of berating myself about how little I have done or how incomplete some projects are despite my focussed attention. I will rebuild even if someone or something strikes down something I care about. Thanks for the inspiration, kid. I will build a fort with you any day.

Posted by: marinmom | January 18, 2008

About the Boy who is Always Grumpy

My seven year old son, with an air of the world weary observer said, “Oh mom that’s just the way he is.”  If only I could have that level of acceptance and calm.

Posted by: marinmom | November 21, 2007

Prom date

My daughter’s schoolmate asked her to a prom two years from now.  That is a crush.  Oh for that sweet feeling.

Posted by: marinmom | November 6, 2007

His mom rocks

My friend with cerebral palsy mother is and was incredible.  I remember at a very young age she made him do something by himself.  Pour his juice, get a sweater, something small for me, but difficult for Scotty.  I glanced at her briefly  and she knew I thought she was being mean.  She then gently explained to me that she was not always going to be on this earth to look after him and it was her job to make sure he could lead an independent life.  Even then, as a young girl, I understood the importance of task and admired her determination to make him stand on his own.  She succeeded.  She also taught me a lesson on motherhood.  I need to give children  the independence and skills to cope with life.

I admire her and yet wish I could console her. At the time, she was certain he would outlive her.

Posted by: marinmom | November 5, 2007

Lonely road

Last night a childhood friend died. We were no longer close and we had not seen each other for 30 years. But, I would have recognized him on the streets of his town, Spokane Washington. He had spastic cerebral palsy and had an unmistakable gait.

Our mothers were close friends and he was frequently my playmate. At the time, of course, I knew something was different with him, but I didn’t think about it or worry about it. We ran in the fields, fought and chattered together. We were part of two large families and he was just part of the grand “us.” I hadn’t thought of him for a long time until my sister called to say he had died.

He had a lasting impact on my life. As a ski instructor, I was always given the kids who needed extra help, I volunteered in college at a home for disabled adults and I thought about becoming a speech therapist a few years ago.  My childhood friendship taught me patience, empathy and compassion.  I know I will soon forget this sadness, we were no longer close, but I will remember his brightnesspite the obstacles of his disease.

I am a better person because he was part of my life.  He is missed.

Posted by: marinmom | November 4, 2007

blog month to do

Crazy to write a blog a day. I started my job at start up last month.  It is Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and it is now 7:00 p.m.  no end in site.  This is madness.  Beautiful day, warm, missed two soccer games and lunch with the in laws.  This is a one.

Posted by: marinmom | November 2, 2007

Hiking on Ring Mountain

I really did not want to go running this morning. I was tired, I had got home from my job last night at 9:30, made school lunches, watched a really boring car show with my husband and crawled to bed. This morning, I actually went back to bed and fell asleep for an additional 15 minutes. I was late. I was supposed to be up at 6 to prepare for the day. Jumped out of bed, slammed out breakfast and tossed on my running gear because it was there, dropped the kids at the bus and started dragging my sorry ass down that sidewalk with sprightly dog, Ping. She bounced. I trudged. I went up the hill looking for some song on my ipod that would inspire me. Nothing, not even Madonna was going to get through my foggy brain. Kept trudging, complaining to myself about the fog, the cold, everything I had to do today. I did not want to be with me. I was not good company. Suddenly, I looked up, literally the light dawned on me. I had climbed out of the fog. Mt. Tam was rose out of the fog like a beautiful woman rising from a steamy lake, the road beckoned ahead. This moment of rare beauty transformed me from a dreary rat running on the treadmill to a woman running with boundless energy.

I will run again tomorrow.  Each day brings a moment of bliss when I run.  I need those moments, they are my fuel for the day.

Posted by: marinmom | October 31, 2007

Where is my dog

Today, my dog, Ping ran away on a hike. I had dropped the leash to tie my shoes and she spotted three deer and gave chase. At the same time, she stirred a jack rabbit from his hiding place. Can you imagine the excitement in that little dog brain. I knew my little bag of doggie treats could not withstand the competition of a real chase. I stood on the hill for ten minutes calling her name with nightmarish thoughts about another lost dog coursing through my brain. So, in the end, I found her, put her back on leash and brought her safely home. Keep your dog safe this Halloween night. Open doors and creepy pranksters abound. posted a few tips on this very subject.  Just  a friendly reminder.

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