Tuesday, February 14, 2012

requiem for willi

Willi Hart died last week. He preceded me on the path, showed what lay ahead, even in death. He gave it all he had. It wasn't enough.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I just guided my best friend Loretta to an Arco station, then pointed her across the Ross Island Bridge and southward toward her home. My old home. The past three weeks, despite surgery, has been filled with moments of joy because of my girlfriends. They carried my purse, did the driving, put up with my whining, made me lunch, brought me treats, and otherwise spoiled me. Judith and Joan, who brought me a meeting, Kristi, who brought us dinner from Local Boys, Kristy gave me a sheet of tin for my studio and Kurt hammered it into place, JoAnne took me on a drive to the waterfalls, Athena brought chocolate, Vali took me to an encauastic show and dinner, and now Lorretta, have each contributed to my healing in ways much more important than the physical -- although the treats were much appreciated. There's just nothing like being with people who know you. I am blessed. Lorretta stayed two nights and I was able to show her around my neighborhood. I think she loved it. I'll make a city girl of her yet.

Today I am in so much pain. It seems to be getting worse instead of better. I suspect I am doing too much. Driving is very difficult. Painful. Sleep is impossible. I am taking less medication and hurting worse. This happens. It is the trajectory of recovery. Familiar. It goes like this: I think I am better, cut back the narcotics, and find out why I was taking them. Its a process. Of acceptance, of awareness, of honesty. This week I begin physical therapy. OH, did I say physical therapy? I meant torture.

Sunday is Cooky's 70th birthday party. I'm working on an encaustic piece for her. She likes blue moons. I'll see what I can do.

Friday, February 03, 2012

yreka gold heist

Siskiyou gold display circa 1947

Happy Ground Hog's Day!! My husband is broken-hearted this morning. Somebody got to it before he did. The nugget in the middle of the photo, the pure 28 oz shoehorn nugget from Scott Bar, should have been his. He had planned something a bit more elaborate: a Mission Impossible swat team kind of operation, hovering helicopter, ropes and guns and such to avoid alarms and discovery. But wait! No alarms went off at all.

On Ground Hog's Eve, two guys hid in the bathroom with a sledgehammer and did a routine shopping mall smash and grab, and walked out the front door in the morning. The alarm on the case didn't even go off. And they walked away with 3 million dollars in pure gold. There are some crimes that deserve to be done. That gold has been sitting there for years, unguarded, in little more than a country store candy counter display case. What were they thinking?

Initially, I hoped they'd get away with it -- and the criminal part of me that lives on despite years of therapy, persistent as moss, really hopes they do -- but they'd likely melt down the nuggets to buy meth and I really really really hate the idea of losing the collection to that monster. I understand the indignant County officials who thought the collection was safe, because absent the meth epidemic and backyard stills, Yreka is a relatively safe place.

Etna, Scott Valley, Humbug, Callahan (where my son's father died) -- these are places that hold memory for me: the lovely drive down the hill into the long stretch of meadow that is Scott Valley, the impossibly steep grade coming out. I used to take my son down there to spend time with his dad but not in the winter, I'd never get him out. I remember the times when his dad would get pulled over, toss the car keys before getting carted off to jail, leaving my eleven year old son to find the keys and drive the Jeep home over unpaved roads grown men would avoid and spend three days eating canned food waiting for me to pick him up because there was no phone.

Ah, Marky. He's survived alot. This beats the previous record held by me for exciting things that happened on Ground Hog's Day.

  This is a photograph of the feathers of gold left when the quartz is removed by an acid process. This gold is in Carson City, another of my husband's imaginary conquests.