My Little Piece of Heaven

“My soul can find no staircase to Heaven
unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.”
Michelangelo

 

PBRC Areial View

Aerial view of Portuguese Bend looking out on the Pacific Ocean.

JimmyPBRC GardensPBRCJimmys Favorite Past TimeBlue Grooming Bay

There’s a very special place that is not well-known among Angelenos. I always felt extremely fortunate to have been part of this very special place. The beautiful flowers, trees and vegetation encompassing this place made it my secret garden.

The aromas from fresh hay, flora and fauna were always intoxicating. The 1920s Spanish architecture of the home and stables so breathtakingly dreamlike, that it was often used as a film location.

For over eight wonderful years I would visit this place daily, rain or shine. The reason for my visits was because my best friend Jimmy lived there. He and I would explore the surrounding hills and valleys. Every spring we hiked and then we relaxed on the rich green grassy knolls.

It was my church, my sanctuary, my favorite place to be. It made me feel needed, wanted, and safe. It gave me purpose. It kept me happy and sane.

I miss this place more than I ever thought possible.

Now, it is forever in my daily thoughts as well as my nightly dreams. I would like to return someday, but it is much too painful to return. For to return to this place, where Jimmy once lived, would not be the same without him.

So, for now, I look at old photos and videos and reminisce about a time when I was the happiest I’ve been in my life. Those years seem as if they were all a glorious and magical dream. A time when I was the closest to heaven as I’ll ever know.

This wondrous place was and always will be, my little piece of heaven.

Shine On

From the Heart

“The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched
– they must be felt with the heart.”
Helen Keller

From the Heart

Daisy 1985 to 2005

There’ve been dozens of dogs that I have known throughout my life. All of these dogs were not merely pets, but all were considered family members. All these dogs had unique personalities as unique as their breeds. But, there was one dog of mine that stood out from all the rest. She was a Golden Retriever from the pound and her name was Daisy.

Daisy arrived unexpectedly one day. A friend had obtained Daisy from the pound and because of this friends recent hip surgery she was finding it difficult to care for Daisy.

I was hesitant to adopt a dog. Mostly because I worked at a demanding full-time job, had a young son, and my boyfriend and husband to be was recovering from a massive heart attack. Also, Daisy had a bad reputation for getting into the trash, digging her way out of yards and running away, and was extremely unruly. But, there was something I saw in this dog’s eyes. Something that showed me we were kindred spirits.

One of Daisy’s worst habits was jumping on anyone that entered our home. To my surprise, Daisy was a quick learn. After her first week with us, she stopped getting into the trash, never jumped on anyone ever again, and never ever dug one hole in the yard. In fact, you could leave every door open in the house and she wouldn’t step one paw over the threshold.

I had lots of experience over the year’s training difficult dogs, but Daisy wasn’t difficult by any means. On the contrary, she was the smartest dog I had ever encountered. She was so well-mannered, that one night my husband left a half-eaten roast beef sandwich on the coffee table and Daisy didn’t eat or even lay a paw on the sandwich.

Why was Daisy such a good dog?  It was simple. She had the best food, the best care, was taken for daily walks, and she was loved and groomed like a princess. She was always made to feel secure. Basically, Daisy knew how much we loved her.  A love that we both felt, from the heart.

Shine On

2020 Earth Day

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers,
the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters,
and teach some of us more
then we can ever learn from books.”
John Lubbock

 

2020 Earth Day 2

 

Fifty years ago today, a man named Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin began Earth Day. He was inspired after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.

Why do we need an Earth Day? Because it works! Earth Day broadens the base of support for environmental programs, rekindles public commitment and builds community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities.

Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in campaigns every year.

So, don your favorite face masks, go outside and celebrate in 2020 fashion, Earth Day.

Shine On

Strive to Do Better

“When you know better, you do better.”
                                                  Maya Angelou

 

Strive to do Better

 

“Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption.”

This third verse from the song, “My Way”, famously sung by Frank Sinatra, conjures up lots of memories. Mostly memories of things in my life I regretted.

Everyone has regrets in their life. Unfortunately, there are no “do overs” in real life.

I can’t change the past. But, I can learn from my regrets, move forward, and always strive to do better.

Shine On