I feel the earth move…

On Sunday, my husband I went for a drive after cabin fever was setting in. We headed west to Pt. Reyes Station – Bear Valley Visitor Center, for a little hike and picnic. But we first stopped at our favorite deli to pick up lunch. When we arrived at the park, it was practically empty which would make it easier to social distance. 🙂 We also noticed a plethora of signs most likely about Covid restrictions. After doing some light reading, we learned that several trails were closed, except for the Earthquake Trail which was open. More than fifteen years have passed since we took the kids on this trail when they were little, so why not check it out again? The trail is dotted with interpretive signs about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and my cell remained handy for photos. This quake struck the coast of Northern California on Wednesday, April 18 at 5:12 a.m. and the magnitude was a whopping 7.9. Nature also had a lot to offer, so let’s take a look…

In case you’re interested, below is a little “earth shattering” information I pulled from https://www.nps.gov:

The San Andreas Fault runs the length of the boundary between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate in California. The narrow Tomales Bay and the narrow Olema Valley, along which Shoreline Highway (Highway 1) travels, overlie the San Andreas Fault and were formed as a result of tectonic forces.

Not only do two plates meet along the San Andreas Fault, but they move against each other. The forces causing this movement lie more than 90 miles (150 km) below our feet in the earth’s mantle. Currents of magma slowly circulate up from within the mantle, spread out under the oceanic and continental crusts, carry the plates along then sink to circulate again. Like a crowded bumper car rink, the plates crash and grind into each other as they move. It is along plate boundaries where the action takes place. The Pacific plate is estimated to creep northwestward about two inches a year, but the most dramatic displacement of this fault occurred in 1906 when the Point Reyes Peninsula leapt ~20 feet northwestward.

We have experienced some big quakes in our lifetime that rattled and rolled enough for us to think of the Big One. But we don’t worry about them anymore. California has been our home for so long that it’s probably just a matter of getting used to the tremors – like getting used to hurricanes on the East Coast and tornadoes in the Midwest. No, we don’t want “The Big One” to strike when we’re still living in this state. But natural disasters can’t be avoided. Thus, it’s more of an issue of which would you rather deal with. So, we take one day at a time and hope for the best, the very best!!!!

And now, for your listening pleasure, a little Carole King…

I hope you enjoyed the tune and this glimpse into how the earth moves. And let’s hope The Big One never shakes and shivers in our lifetime!

Stay safe,
Lauren
💗💗💗



Wow!!!

Dear Friends,

I haven’t felt like doing much blogging lately, so I’m sorry for missing so many lovely posts. But, as a follow-up to my recent blog post, health issues have been resolved, although some gray area needs explaining and clearing up. So we’re still waiting, but all is a bit brighter. Then just when we sighed with relief, another cause to worry arrived this week, but we’re not alone. It’s been a tough year, period! In so many ways!

Even though negative thoughts tend to stick like glue, when positive thoughts arrive, they are welcomed like a warm embrace. So, we carry that positivity with us everywhere we go because suggesting a mindset of the opposite would only create doom and gloom. And I can’t help but fall gracefully into the magic of the season even if Covid lurks in the shadows. I love the Christmas carols, the twinkling and colorful lights of joy, and this season of hope even in dark times.

Then, on my early morning walk with Copper today, the sunrise greeted me with a BIG smile. We just can’t have enough photos of sunrises and sunsets, can we? I looked to the sky and thought, “Wow! Another gorgeous sunrise! Another day to enjoy life and all the people and joys in it that make us so grateful.”

And in every dark moment, a hint of hope shines through…

New bloom!

I hope all of you are doing well in spite of this crazy, tragic, and stressful year. And if you’re feeling down, I hope the sunrises lift your spirits as you lean into people around who love you. And when the sun is hidden, I hope its warmth stays in your hearts, guiding you into each new day.

Sending virtual hugs, Lauren 💓💓💓🎄🎄🎄

There’s nothing like…

coffee on the patio with some good reading material
happy blooms
a gorgeous sunset
covid humor

More fires rage, the pandemic isn’t going away soon, and political and social unrest remains. So, everywhere we go, whether on a stroll around the neighborhood or a walk around the house, it’s the little things that have the ability to quell the anxiety if we give them the opportunity. XOXO

Lately…

Lately…

the world sings virus lyrics
and lungs struggle to take in
gray air. I can’t help noticing
clouds parked on foreheads.
Looking to the horizon, dusty
cobwebs hang in each corner.
It’s time to dim the lights
out of memories, how life
once was. Fingers itch to
press life’s reset button
.
Answers remain ambiguous.
I want to watch the sun
breathe in and out and

the moon ride the night
as stars dance in the sky –
trying to find my place
in an
ever-changing
landscape.

Lauren Scott (c)

From Fabulous to Flames

We’re home now after another wonderful lake adventure and so grateful to have had blue skies before they turned hazy. Our hearts are heavy; praying for all those affected by over 600 wildfires burning up and down the state of CA, and for the firemen and first responders. Yesterday, the air was very smoky, the worst yet, and the advisory continues through Wednesday. The surroundings are a bit eerie. As more dry lightning is possible for today, our bags are packed because at the top of our street is dry open space. So, we’d rather be prepared in the event that hill ignites. It’s frightening, and I can’t imagine what others have endured who have had to evacuate, who have lost their homes or loved ones. And then think of the animals affected. It’s heartbreaking. We’re keeping all who are in the path of fires in our hearts. In the meantime, we swam in the refreshing lake, relaxed in our site, and did some hiking. It was great to get away, but also good to be home safely. Hope you enjoy these photos (only a few of the many we took; I can’t help but take too many)…

Stay safe wherever you are!
Lauren 💗💗💗

4/24/20

The world suffers.
The patio is

our shield.
Wine fills

crystal
we’re careful
not to shatter

like human lives
across the globe.

The dog snores
without a care.
Hummingbirds

fly like
the Blue Angels.

A warm breeze
winds its way
in between us
and the roses
.

Silence –
a soothing
melody.

And yet,
we know
what lies
on the

other side
of silence.

The world aches
where peace
is far removed
from day-to-day.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

A Covid 4th of July!

Since my husband and I had yesterday off for the holiday, we took a drive on the back country roads, stopped at a deli along the way for takeout sandwiches, then headed to one of our favorite parks. Our morning began early because we wanted to dodge crowds due to Covid. We were prepared, though, ready to social distance and sport our masks when necessary.

When we arrived, the park was already half full with patrons eager to enjoy this beautiful day – temperature in the mid-seventies, perfect. We pulled into a parking stall, and before enjoying lunch, we ventured onto the trails for a good walk. Surrounded by Redwoods and all that nature offers in this outdoor playground is nothing short of magical.

We embraced serenity while walking along the creek, but were saddened by the deserted camp ground. Empty sites dotted the road – the new reality. Aww, but look at the Redwoods and how tall they stood: Proud and Majestic! Soft ferns sprinkled along the trail provided visual sustenance. Oh, but if you don’t watch where you’re going, among the beauty lies something wicked: poison oak! Don’t let its radiant red bursts of color fool you! If you aren’t wise, you’ll pay the price. We gently moved past the pretty red leaves, careful not to let them reach out and grab us. Then we stumbled upon a Bay tree adorned in woodpecker art. Look closely at the trunk; isn’t the texture interesting?

The comfortable side note was that not many people were out. We donned our masks now and then when needed, but we felt safe to brave the outside world and visit this park before the holiday crowd showed up later in the afternoon. The sandwiches were delicious and time together outdoors is always special. Time for reflection and a chance to chat about life without distractions – only the trees bend to listen to our whispers, and the leaves sway in the breeze, as if to wave when we walk by. This was a wonderful prelude to our Independence Day festivities this year when things are so strange and surreal.

To celebrate today, we’ll take a walk in the cool morning before the sun warms us up. We’ll enjoy the deer as they saunter by in the neighborhood. We’ll give thanks that Covid hasn’t touched anyone we know and love. When the clock strikes five o’clock, we’ll enjoy wine on the patio and our son who lives at home will join us. I’m thankful to have at least one of my children home to hug, even if he is 6’2” and 25 years old. Then Matt will perform his grilling magic for dinner. We’ll make it a good day because we’re employed and healthy. We miss our daughter and son-in-law in TN, but thanks to Facetime, we’ll see them this afternoon. Will this July 4th be memorable? It sure will, but not in a way that was intentional. And we’ll think of those who have perished and whose families are hurting and struggling to make sense of it all.

I wish you all a Happy 4th of July, too, in spite of the pandemic we’re living in.
Love and virtual hugs,
Lauren 💗

A Turning of the Page

June 9, 2020

This past Tuesday, my husband and I
watched our daughter and fiance
exchange personally written vows
before saying, “I do.”
Their words were eloquent
and brought tears to our eyes.
The uniqueness of this ceremony
was the Zoom factor!
They have been together for 9 years
and engaged for almost 2.
Then came Covid-19 to disrupt everything.
Original plans had to be canceled,
and they decided to wait
for when large gatherings
could resume again.

After 3 months and many conversations,
they reached the same conclusion:
they just wanted to be married.
So, pressing pause for months
or even another year seemed senseless.

With the blessings of family and friends,
they pulled off a Zoom wedding
from Tennessee!
The ceremony was beautiful
and we joined in
from California
with no technological glitches.
We couldn’t be happier.
Was it ideal?
No, but they are now Mr. & Mrs.
and that’s what matters most.

When we get the green light
to throw a party, there will be
a big reception and replay
of their wedding vows.
So we can’t wait for that
exciting event!

It was refreshing to celebrate such a joyful occasion that gave us reason to “clink our glasses” and something positive to smile about.

Congratulations,
Steph and Ryan!
We love you!

To be fully seen by somebody and be loved anyhow –
this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

JUST MARRIED!
❤❤❤

Wishing you all something bright and sunshiny to celebrate in these times of uncertainty.
~Lauren 💗💗💗

Searching…

Each day, we search within ourselves to find beauty that soothes us during these pandemic times. I’ve always loved flowers and what they symbolize: New Life and Hope. But I’ve never had a green thumb – hubby has two for both of us. Given the fact that we’ve lived under a dismal cloud since March, blooms have been more dazzling than in past years. Did I value these precious gifts before? Or did I take them for granted? Have you wondered the same?

This weekend, I planted white alyssum and orange geraniums (of course, with the guidance of Mr. Hubby Green Thumb). Their brilliance enriches our landscape of pinks, purples, and reds. I’ll admit, though, the whole process was hard work, but I felt quite accomplished when the job was done. And when I gave them their first drink of water, it was as though I could hear them sigh…Now I have a better appreciation for those who find planting annuals and perennials cathartic.

We know beauty lies in many other forms, poetry for one, and recently, a friend sparked my interest in writing a Triolet poem, a form I’ve never dabbled in. So, because I’ve been profoundly drawn to flowers this year, below is my first Triolet attempt with them in mind…

Blossoms

They’ve graced us with their presence
But have we missed their shades in haste?
In this shelter are there lessons?
They’ve graced us with their presence
And mastered their attendance
With joy and beauty interlaced.
They’ve graced us with their presence
But have we missed their shades in haste?

IMG_9977

IMG_9975

I hope you enjoyed my Triolet and I’m sharing these blooms that were part of my Mother’s Day gifts from my husband. Lately, I’ve been into the vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds. Aren’t they gorgeous? 

The impact of Covid-19 has been different for all of us, but I hope you will search within to find some form of beauty each day to carry you through. Stay safe and well. 

Sending love and virtual hugs,
Lauren ❤❤❤

Poem in the San Francisco Chronicle!

Dear Friends,

I want to share that one of my poems, The Virus, was published in the SF Chronicle yesterday! A writing friend read it and she suggested I send it in to the paper. To my surprise, it was published! So, this news from yesterday was a great start to my Friday and also a positive kick-off to the new month of May.

During the health crisis, I have often written in my journal, expressing how my family is affected and how we are faring in these uncertain times. Then some of those thoughts turned into poetry and the Palindrome form evolved. 

If you are interested in checking out the poem in the SF Chronicle, the links are below:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/letterstoeditor/article/Letters-to-the-Editor-poem-The-Virus-15238619.php

Otherwise, here is the poem:

The Virus

Its effect appears as shattering
As it slips unnoticed into homes,
When death numbers continue to rise
Like the Spanish flu filling tombs.
But each night there is howling
And each night there is singing,
So even under gray clouds hanging,
The music becomes encouraging
As we crawl through this haze.

Our spirits lift, feeling optimistic
When the darkness plays that song.
As voices make a touching statement
Needless boundaries are withdrawn.

Needless boundaries are withdrawn
As voices make a touching statement.
When darkness plays that song
Our spirits lift, feeling optimistic.
As we crawl through this haze
The music becomes encouraging,
So even under gray clouds hanging,
Each night there is singing
And each night there is howling.
Like the Spanish flu filling tombs
When death numbers continue to rise,
It slips unnoticed into homes,
The virus appears as shattering.

Lauren Scott Swalberg (c) 2020

I hope you enjoyed my poem and may you find a sense of calm and a glimmer of joy in your weekend as we continue on this unprecedented journey. 

~Lauren 💗