Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Suzie Q

Song - Suzie Q by Creedence Clearwater Revival

My sweet cousin Susan passed away Thursday morning and I began reminiscing about the fun times that we had together.

Susan is in the center of her family with her arm around her dad - 1958

In the 60's my Aunt and Uncle would rent a cabin near Donner Lake. My family used to go and stay with them sometimes.

I am on the left & Susan on the right -  in some very short dresses!  Oh my!!!

All of the cousins took water skiing lessons from a little old lady who worked at Donner Lake (now that I think of it she was probably all of 52). I remember her having us stand on the beach with our skis on and hold onto the tow rope.  She would pull us right into the water off the beach and you never had to work at standing up! Nor did you get wet!!

Probably not safe anymore......and probably wasn't safe then either.  Kind of like how fun it was to sit on the tailgate of dad's station wagon with our feet dangling near the road all the way home from the swimming pool.

 At the cabin one night, my older brother David and cousin Bill were supposed to be babysitting us and our two younger brothers while our parents went out for dinner.

Susie is the one with the party hat on and that's me next to her with the braids

Well, this particular night we were all in our bedrooms getting ready for bed.  Susan and I were sharing a room on the second floor and Bill & David had the room right next door.

We are in the forest, it's very dark and we hear a scratching on our bedroom window.  Someone was trying to get inside.  How can this be - we are on the second floor?  A bear perhaps?

David with his arm lovingly draped around Susan leg

We scream, head for the door and the door handle comes off in Susan's hand. We fall to the floor, wet our pants and when the boys open the door for us, they were laughing hysterically and holding a very long stick..............they had to do the dishes for a week!

Susie is on the top row, second from the left.  I am next to her and our two older "stinker" brothers are next to me.  David is holding our cousin Patty and Bill is next to him with the dark hair.

Susan and I used to pick Pampas Grass flowers in the empty lot across the street from her house in El Cerrito.  We would stick two fronds each into the back of our shirt and pretend that we were angels. Now you are a real angel Susie.

 You will be missed.......

“Scars remind us that the past was real”  -- Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wild Women

Song - That's Right You're Not From Texas by Lyle Lovett & His Large Band

On Tuesday evening Mr. B took me to a lovely restaurant.  The food was exceptional as were the drinks.

Light and refreshing on a warm summer evening.  Guess what this was called?

.......the Lyle Spritzer.

Now you might think that this is a funny name for a drink unless you look closely at the menu and take note of the first cocktail offered - a  Lovett Old Fashioned.  And if you put the two together, you might think we were going to see Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at Wente Vineyards. 

And you would be right!

But first Apricot and Berry Tart with Lemon Verbena Whipped Cream. It just melted in my mouth.  We actually had an incredible 4 course dinner but we were enjoying it so much that I forgot to take photos. You can just trust me on that one!

For my birthday in June, Mr. B gave me two tickets to see Lyle Lovett & His LARGE Band and it was the perfect evening under the stars.

I have seen Lyle a number of times and what is always so striking to me is what a "gentleman" he is. Not sure if it's a Texan thing or if he was just brought up right! He has this incredible dry sense of humor.  He has 13 other people on stage with him and shares stories about each one.  Funny little tidbits that had the audience rolling in the isles.

One of my favorite members of his band is Ms. Francine Reed who grew up singing in her local church. Click HERE to get a sample of her style with Wild Women!

 This woman sings with great passion and you can just tell that she enjoys it with her whole heart and soul!

Lyle did as well and as he encouraged each musician to share in a solo portion, he just grinned on like a proud papa!

 Thank you Mr. B for the great tickets and for being my wine Sherpa for the evening!

"Women always go through the door first. Even ardent feminists would admit it's nice. It's not an acknowledgment of women as the weaker sex; it's perhaps an acknowledgment of women as the stronger sex." --Lyle Lovett
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