December 31, 2019

One of my grandsons and his mom came to visit me a couple of days before New Year’s.  They live in Montana, so I don’t get to see them often.  We went to San Clemente and had a truly incredible time.  The weather cleared up as soon as we arrived, and the sea spread blue before us.  The fish restaurant by the sea was great, as was walking on the pier amongst the expectant fishermen.

And then we walked on the beach.  Subtle, soft, pastel purple appeared on one side of the sky.  For an hour, we watched nature’s artistry unfold, seeping from one part of the sky to another.

Like lava flowing down a volcano, the red fluid filled the palette of the huge panorama in the sky, accentuating the strong black lines of the long pier.  Magnificently, slowly, sculptures of mountains, towns, cities, and rivers emerged from the layers of clouds.  A whole new world was created above us as we stood in awe beneath.

The sand of the beach morphed into a coarse covering of colorful flecks of wet brightness dancing in the sun that was left.  Excruciatingly slowly, the colors receded from the sand.  The people on the beach turned into graceful, happy silhouettes dancing on the beach on their way home.

Nature enthusiastically welcomed 2020 as only nature can!  How will we human earth creatures welcome 2020?

To You from Suellen Zima in kindness and peace

It has been a day of wondering.  Our normal southern California sun did make it out for an unusual very short time.  It also rained for awhile to remind us that we perhaps will not have to face a drought this year.

The next time I looked out my window, everything was heavily misted in fog.  Fog doesn’t come often here during the day, but always seems to fill the air with curious questionmarks.  At one point, since I grew up in snow, it looked almost like snow was lightly falling.

My mind crawled into the fog and went along willingly.  It has been a strange year for me.  I am rather remarkably still alive  after my August, 2018, heart attack.  I still occasionally see the cardiologist who recommended stent surgery and 5 major drugs for the rest of my life.  When I turned down his suggestions, he still agreed to stay my doctor without any expectation I would ever take his advice.  We get along well, and, on some level, he appreciates my self  treatment of exercising regularly and breathing with the trees.

I took on two new tasks this last year that were so new, they both challenged my aging brain.  Both involved clubs that I led.  One was the Shalom Club of Laguna Woods, and the other was becoming the founder of LWV YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard).

After a year of nurturing the new Shalom Club, I have turned it over to other capable people while I will remain in the background.

And I have propelled myself into very new territory for me — finding ways to keep myself and other Laguna Woods residents remain in the Village as they run out of money.

It’s not just a Laguna Woods problem, but also a much wider California phenomenon that is changing the fabric of California society.  Many of us can no longer afford to live in homes we bought years ago because the monthly fee keeps rising while our incomes don’t.  Residents here with deeper pockets suggest we move to Arizona, or Nevada, or Florida and leave Laguna Woods to those who can preserve its present way of life.

It’s complicated — a governor who is requiring every city to have a plan for building more housing.  But within that plan, are many loopholes and inconsistencies that don’t make sense.  We’ve had such a plan for the last 20 years, and what was done?  Nothing.  Can there be hope for a new plan?

There is a slippery slope that goes with not having enough money to pay the monthly  fee of about $700.  It involves endless fines, liens placed on your home, worrying through sleepless nights, and then being forced to sell your home and go … where?

I am taking workshops on homelessness, learning new guidelines on possible options I haven’t yet heard of, and becoming proactive in time to save myself, if not my home.

I am testing the so-called “plasticity” of my old brain to learn new things.  I am feeling active, and challenged.  And sometimes very tired.

Happy New Year!



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