Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks.

It's the season.

When the girls were little, we would go around the table and each say the one thing that we are thankful for that year. Sounds like a silly exercise. "I am grateful that I passed my math exam. " "I am happy to have two front teeth." But it is an important part of living life. Giving thanks.

This morning I had breakfast with my good friend Patti. I haven't been able to see Patti in a while since she is working two jobs while juggling life at home and checking in with and visiting with her 93 year old Mother in Colfax. Missing my dear gal friend with who I can share the daily ups and downs, I began to catch her up on the life and times of the Younglings.

I noticed the tone of what I said began to sound a bit like complaining - the girls are too far away - the plane tickets are expensive. Money is tight. I haven't been able to walk as much as I'd like. I feel like I am getting old...etc etc. You get the picture. I neglected to say this;

I love waking up to the beauty of where I live. The fog laying like a blanket covering the lush oaks of Tennessee Valley while the sound of the turkeys warble in the air. Glad that I can go outside and not have to scrape snow off my car. Thankful for my new little hybrid (even though it is really black not blue). Blessed to have a man sharing my life with whom I am still madly in love and who I respect deeply and enjoy thoroughly. I am thankful that my life is so bountiful, I haven't known true want ever. Thankful that our children are bright and beautiful and have a life of great promise in their hands. I am blessed that they still want to share some of that life with us. We are lucky to have extended family who like each other and even though miles separate us, we are strongly connected. I am blessed that whenever we do get together there is inevitably laughter and joy.

My friends are to me, such a gift. They are there with me through all of the trials of life. But they are also there when there is not much to say. They have stood by me, and me them. Throughout the 3 day, many have walked with me, more have supported me and all have inspired me. To them I am very thankful.

I am thankful for being born into a country whose core values of individuality are tempered by the common good. I am blessed to have a profession where I can help people reach the fundamental goal of owning a home. I feel lucky that people trust me to ease transitions and make the most of things for them. I am thrilled when I can provide the best for the best of my clients.
The ways in which I am blessed go on and on and on. Each day I wake up look in the mirror and remember just how lucky I have been.

So this Thanksgiving, even though it will be quiet and we won't all be together, remember this Thanksgiving, the one thing I am grateful for is you. Thank you for being a part of my life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The leaves of fall

Over this past weekend I flew to Washington DC to help my daughter Allison and Son in Law Chris look for a new place to leave. It took 5 hours to fly to see them. To go and see my daughter Katie would take nearly 2 hours up in Seattle. My sisters live about the same distance away and my brother Ken and his family are in Bend. That's a puddle jumper or a long drive. My father is in San Diego. My aunt is in New York. Glenn has family down the peninsula.

What happens when the leaves on the tree are clinging to the longest branch? Are those the first to fall when autumn hits? The ones what hold fast in the tree's center surely are protected from the wind, the cold and the changing climate, more that those at the edge.

We drove through piles of leaves in Virginia as we looked for a rental for Allison and Chris. I thought about how different their lives will be from mine. How exciting the change must be. How separated from them we are through the miles. How much I miss having all my family close. How I wish it were different. But what sustains me and keeps me from total depression is that we are made of the same stuff and even though we are far from each other, that will keep us from losing touch entirely. Staying close through the miles today is much easier than it was a generation ago. When my parents moved to the west coast, my father was separated from this family by a continent. I remember spending a few weeks at summer in the unfamiliar humidity of New Jersey. I remember the weekly phone calls (Sundays usually) to stay in touch. My sister Vicki's son Michael is in Maryland. Besides the occasional plane ride to be physically together, they stay in contact via Skype and blogs. Vicki can see Aubry's first tooth the day they first notice it. But still.... I know nothing is a good as being able to hug someone you love.

So this weekend was good. I was able to hug Allison and Chris. Walk with them on the Mall, strolling the Smithsonian, sit on backside of the Lincoln Memorial and watch the setting autumn sun. I could see where they will be living so it will help me feel more connected when they are away. I was able to use my "Realtor" card and instruct their agent how to negotiate. (I am sure he appreciated that).

It is exciting to me that there is so many adventures on the horizon. I only hope that as the winds swirl we will always find our ways to each other somehow.

P.S. I know in September of 2011 we will be walking DC in the 3 day. There's an adventure we can share. It meant the world to me to walk with both Allison and Katie this year. When walking in DC this weekend, I noted people have different strengths. Chris is a good reader. He spent a lot of time reading things in the Smithsonian exhibits. I on the other hand want to keep moving and see a lot...... Standing makes me nervous, and achy. Walking to Chris, too far, is not his thing. But Allison and I...we could walk to Timbuktu and back.

My heart is still touched by the phone call from the 3 day gal Brittany, who told me how the money we raised was paying for the study she was a part of. THAT my friends makes it all worth while. I hope you will continue to help making a difference. PLEASE Donate as much as you can ....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What believing can do...

I stood on the curb at the intersection of Market and 3rd, behind crowd barricades, amongst the faithful waiting for the arrival of the 2010 Giants. To the right of me was a Mother with her children, behind my left shoulder was the mother and granddaughter of a 92 year old Giant fan who could not attend the parade. To my left at my feet was his great grandson. A father stood behind me off my right shoulder with his 4 year old daughter on his shoulders as she held a sign saying "I believe in torture."

Directly in front of me were three other small children sitting on the curb being as patient as children can be waiting. And Kathy my neighbor, stood by my side anxious to take it all in to report to her son (who would be watching from his computer in Arizona." I thought to myself, you could pull out anyone here and they would have their own story of why they needed to be here, today...
Out of nowhere, I said "See what happens when individual people united for a common cause." Smiles and "that's right" rung out in agreement.
This band of hearty Giant fans had arrived from the East Bay, via BART, from Marin via the Ferry, by foot, bus and car. They all came early enough to find a spot where they would be able to see history. Kathy and I arrived around 9am for the scheduled 11am parade. As we waited a group of people gathered in front of the barricade blocking our view.

We yelled, we asked the police for help, we escalated trying to get across to those people breaking the rules that we would not stand for their rudeness. They ignored us. As one of the children who stood in front of us shifted with some discomfort at our heckling, the mother elbowed him and said "don't turn around". A few police actually tried to get them to move back behind the barricade, but they ignored them as well. I yelled "SPITBALL!" Another of us yelled "ENTITLEMENT!" Another "RUDE!" Finally, a group of around 10 police came in a solid line and physically moved them back and put up a barricade. The man behind me said' It's like you said, looks what happens when people unite for a common cause!"

THE 2010 Giants. They have been called many things. Certainly if bets had been made at the beginning of the year the odds were heavy against this team being in the post season let alone the World Series. There are people in San Diego, Colorado, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Arlington who are still shaking their heads. How could this happen? How could this unlikely group of people win it all?
If they had been at that parade they would have caught a drift of why.
The parade route was the same route taken by the 1958 Giants that welcomed the team to SF from the East, as the first team west of the Mississippi. The parade wound its way through the same streets and buildings from which ticker tape rained on the heads of Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Davenport and Felipe Alou.

In the 2010 parade some of the most revered giants were Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichel. For the Giants it had been 56 years since the NY Giants won the world series. Since then only a couple of close calls...many broken hearts. There had been records broken. memories made. But the world series had alluded some of the finest players in the game. For them, those players who had come so close, today was sweet. For the fans who cheered them on today was like honey.


Say what you want about San Francisco, it is unique. It honors and respect diversity. It often seems bored with the conventional. This team was replete with characters.

As Aubry Huff passed me in the parade he held high over his head his red thong. The "rally thong". Brian Wilson with his black shoe polished beard and mohawk stood like a military statue at the other side of the trolley car casting a tall and eery shadow.

Timmy Linecum, pot smoking, loose lipped pitcher of enormous talent and a strange grace and simplicity stood with a righteous grin and a Red Bull baseball cap. Girls screamed as Busty Posey came by, honoring him with his name blazoned on their midriffs set high on top of a MUNI bus.

Pablo Sandoval stood with his Mother and held an air horn. Andrez Torres marched with a singular purpose like a conquering hero down the middle of the street. Sergio Romo walked with orange rally towel over head down the center of the street. Leading the cable car that held the singer who made Journey famous, Steve Perry. Following the real thing, was a float that held a singer who had made a name for himself by borrowing "Don't Stop Believing" to make a Giants anthem. Senators, Mayors, owners and managers. Announcers and sponsors and the support people from hot dog vendors to ticket sellers. Diverse yet warm and exciting.


These players were supportive of each other, even if it meant they took a back seat. In a sport where egos often reign, here for the 2010 Giants, often it was a different player who made the play of the game. This was a team where the highest paid player sat on the bench during the playoffs and still managed to be supportive of his team. A team where Cody Ross acquired in August was without a doubt the reason why the Giants were able to capture the National League Championship. Several players were playing inspired ball because they were brought onto a team that believed, they were worth it. A team where a player at the twilight of his career was the MVP of the World Series hitting the winning home run in game 5 of the series. There appear to be no prima donnas, only a team. TEAM where the efforts of each individual unite for a common cause.

If you were around this team in August, September and October you would not be surprised at the look in the eyes of the players and fans on this Wednesday in November.
Belief had been validated.

Mike Kepta/Chronicle

Brian Wilson had had breakfast with Mike Krukow on the morning of the last game. With no hesitation, he looked at Mike and said "today's game has been written." It was a done deal. There was no doubt as to its outcome. This belief...this audacity was a center piece to the success of the Giants this year. But it wasn't always easy to believe. Come behind victory, after come behind victory, one run games, miracle plays all led to the word TORTURE as the definition of the year. But that torture was something we all came to thrive upon because our Giants didn't let us down. They believed they could do the impossible, we saw that they believed and we found out what belief can do. It can turn "torture into rapture."

Smiles in the crowd and a deafening roar continued throughout the entire parade. After the last vehicle passed, and we began to make our way home, we all were touched with the realization we had shared in history. And we all left as champions.

Eric Risberg/ AP

Oh my, what people can do when they believe.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Photos of the PARADE

Heading to the parade

Decked out

Kathy believes
Kids believe
Mid century folk believe

Sometimes it is hard to believe

Waiting for the magic...
Happy to be there.

Go.... GIANTS....
Signs of the old days...

It's generational

1.5 Million....

Make way
Kids with a sideline seat
Office workers wait...


Doggies past the barrier...


KGOBauer limo....look carefully, I am in the reflection....

Muni bus put to good use?

Trees for a good vantage point

The bus gets boarded...

Kathy and me....
CAL Band

Kruk and Kuip
John Miller


Eye candy

I can't hear you!

Horse with SF hat
Mounted police

B of A float
Lt Gov elect, Mayor Gavin Newsom

Gavin and family

Diane Feinstein

Owner Bill Newkom

Larry Baer
Peter MacGowan

Willie Mays

Willie McCovey

You tell me..... I know it is someone.

Giant Alumni



Brian Sabean


Steve Perry from Journey


Lou Seal

LOU Seal
Dave Rigetetti

Dave THE Trophy! with Bochy

Bruce Bochy

Aaron Rowland
Aaron and family

Cody Ross
Madison Bumgarner

Nate Sheirholtz
Santiago Castilla
Eugenio Valez
Andres Torrez walking the walk...

Sergio Romo


Whats that I see???? could it be....
THE THONG! Thanks Aubry!
Those player liked those girls on the bus!
Walking back... to the Ferry
If you look really carefully you may see some confetti still in the air.