Posts

What’s the alternative to a little time off? Usually it’s some other kind of time off, like a stress-related illness or maybe prison. Like most of the Middle Class, I don’t often give myself time off, and taking a vacation is the last thing on my mind. Taking my boys on a trip? Of course, but that’s not really a vacation. We spent 10 days in June whirling around New York and returned exhausted… I mean, uh, exhilarated. Outside of a daily workout, a monthly massage or a trip to the grocery store at midnight, quietude is not in my repertoire.
As a wearer of many hats, there is that perpetual something or someone needing my immediate attention, a feeling I’m sure you can relate to, and after a surprisingly good upturn in the Denver real estate market, mama’s ready for some serious downtime.
So how do you define what you need to rest and reinvigorate?
For me it starts with place, and the ocean is always a suitable salve to soothe my soul. Salt and sound bring me deep rest and my eye loves the infinite horizon. The drama of the Northern California coast works her moody, wondrous magic as a simple walk peels back layers of deadlines and expectation. Tonight I head to San Francisco to gather my best friend and a morning drive up Highway 1 to Point Reyes, maybe Bodega Bay. As the sun downs we’ll wind our way eastward, landing in Sonoma for dinner with the family and a laid back weekend.
It’s not the wine that calls, but the olives, the sourdough bread and the smells that are uniquely These are the ways I spell relief. Oh, and there is that little thing in town, the 115th Annual Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival…
Back to San Francisco for a few days in the City; museums, chocolate and cable cars. A bay cruise and a good meal are great, but what I’m craving is that intense time with friends, living life side by side in moments over decades. Then I’ll be ready to return to all those dragons that need slaying.


Sonoma State Beach photo courtesy of Trip Advisor. Semillon grapes, courtesy of Scott Palazzo and Palazzo Napa Valley Wines, and the best RHCP video ever made.

We all know how babies are made, yet there is a different kind of co-mingling and sufficient collective labor that really useful things are born. Remember the commercial with the jingle “Look for the Union Label”? *cue sappy music* Feels like a such long time ago, when the American worker was protected by strong unions and lauded for a job well done. Everything has changed; manufacturing, the job market, the way we view organized labor and how we treat our workers. Our teachers and government employees have become the enemies as time sweeps them up in a political sentiment of smaller government. This is no longer the world of FDR, JFK and LBJ, whose visions of a Great Society have been ground to pieces in the profit mill.
The spirit of the American worker has been stripped down, diminished by outsourcing, plant closures and the low-lying message that we are replaceable in a world of Corporate profits, soaring CEO salaries and raided retirement funds. What has not changed is our ability to create and it is the creative spirit that wins every time. I remember the moment when I realized that outside of nature, everything I understood as the world around me was imagined, invented, engineered and build by someone. I was ten and awed by the notion. The dreamer, the doer, the builder, the sower, the seller, some toiling alone in the dark of night, others gathered in a field at the break of dawn– by the sweat of our brow and the wings of desire… Inventor, financier, laborer, public servant, hand-in-hand… We built that. *Music swells*
On this holiday weekend as you take respite, remember those who came before, who toil today and those who search for work in this difficult economy. Give thanks to the laborer who dug the ditch, laid the pipe, cut the trail, built the roads, the railroads, the bridges, stitched your clothing from the weaver’s fabric, assembled your car, your iPhone, your laptop. Take a moment to appreciate the teachers who taught you and the postman who carried the news of your college acceptance. Hug a tree in gratitude for the deck where you’re slaving over the BBQ grill, for those who brewed your beer and stuffed your sausage— all of these people have lead you to where you are in this moment and where you’ll be in the future. Stuck in traffic on the Eisenhower Tunnel. Happy Labor Day everyone!