The maps show our place sits between two creeks. There’s at least one good solid storm in the forecast. With a few days off to go, maybe it’s time to hit a point or beach for some nature while it’s nice out, since there won’t be any fish anywhere else we regularly visit.

A tree with nearly completely barren branches, except for remnants of golden brown leaves along its lowest reaches, stands against pale blue northeastern evening sky Monday, November 28, 2022 in San Pablo, California. Nearby trees are visible along the horizon and fill out a skyline above a low apartment building roof.

A visit to the old neighborhood is no longer a full meal, not that it was ever a buffet. No matter how long one lived there, there’s always bits and pieces to which one won’t be privy. These days, I graze. I pick up what fits on my plate, place it with care and move along.

A three story apartment building in the 200 block of Athol Avenue in the Cleveland Heights neighborhood of Oakland, California, with cars parked curbside and a large green recycling bin beside a downhill skiing driveway leading to an under-building garage space.

Looking forward to picking up a couple of friends for today’s book club. We’ll talk about last month’s pick: “Certain Dark Things” by Silvia Moreno Garcia. Club members enjoyed her “Mexican Gothic” novel last year. A. and I will bring pupusas from a local grocery to share.

A cropped snapshot of thirty or forty out of several hundred haphazardly stacked books perched within the big wooden bookshelf in our living room

If I’d known I was going to have to leave this way, I’d like to think I’d have behaved different. Maybe I wouldn’t have sat with my friends in that Austin, Texas cafe fifteen-some years ago and shown them our futures. But by now, there wouldn’t have been anywhere to stay.

Flags for the city of San Pablo, the state of California and the United States flap gently in the breeze against a blue sky outside City Hall in the 1000 block of Gateway Avenue in San Pablo, California

The only ways I’m able to get insight into, or a deeper understanding of anything I’ve ever tried were to ask questions, read, treat it like a game: less abstract and theoretical, more physical and practical. Even then, it’s only understanding, neither success nor victory.

A glance upward from my balcony at tall clouds with dull gray undersides and at least one light meringue colored still sunlit peak in a light blue sky with soft but strong chilly winds around 4:40 pm Monday, November 7, 2022 in San Pablo, California

The only exemption the future offers will be for those who act as if no one will be exempt. One may pray or plan, but the future usually laughs at them both. This means it is better to do what is right and necessary, lean into what is just and sustainable, and be watchful.

A close-up but not quite macro shot of double pickups next to a saddle bridge on a shiny red vertically aimed Hamer Slammer electric guitar with a set of medium light strings coming over the bridge and over the pickups.

The contractor who renovated our condo days before we moved in last year stopped by, taking in ideas for more upgrades and weighing what license our HOA may grant to carry them out, before letting me help install the curtains I’d tried and badly fumbled fingered on my own.

set of navy blue Ikea curtains against a pale gray painted wall. The curtains hang from a thin black metal telescoping rod mounted onto black wall mounted brackets over a quarter circle shaped window. Beside the window and curtains sits a well used rope wound and carpet covered three level cat tree.
Source: New feed

Yesterday’s day off involved several enjoyable things: the frictionless first-time use of my phone as a Clipper card to enter and exit BART stations; an hour or so talking with a friend about summer travel to Berlin and Barcelona and Stockholm; a serendipitous run-in with a blogging acquaintance; a few minutes sunning myself in a park and watching free coffee dispensed from a productivity software company’s pop-up truck; visits to and brief conversations within the San Francisco public library’s main branch (with someone who’d visited London during and apparently for the Jubilee, as well as the Isle of Wight and other unspecified southern England locations) and the Berkeley public library’s central branch for renewed accounts and freshly minted cards; the sneaking sense or awareness of time-off as something distant, not merely experienced or unwillingly dreamed about; and lastly, the view from certain hills’ backsides of stratus clouds slipping and clinging to the tops, unevenly spackling the ceiling overhead with patches of grey before giving way to a brilliant orange glow along the horizon just before sunset.

Around midday today, I overheard a woman at a table in the cafe section of a chain bookstore. She had a British accent, and she was talking to a man sitting with her about the royals. She remembered having the day off from work in 1952, when George VI died, and she sounded a little rueful about how long she felt Prince Charles has had to wait.