After several canceled vacations, the mermaid and I finally got away and tried to put the pandemic behind us. Our destination: the tall trees of California, Pacific Redwoods, and Sequoias. These trees are among the oldest living things on earth with some Sequoias clocking in at almost 2,200 years old. But first we had to get there, and that meant flying to California.

The mermaid, although quite adapted to the Atlantic Ocean, has had a lifelong fear of California and the possibility of earthquakes. But with so much happening around us, she agreed to cast her fears aside and visit the “left-coast.”

Our starting point was San Francisco, a beautiful city that has been under siege the last two years with an overabundance of homeless. When

 With the mermaid out of town, I decided to take the new puppy for an early evening walk and then head out to Bar Marseille for a quick dinner and to hear The Pointers, the all-female band from Breezy Point. I became friends with one of the ladies through the Connolly’s open mic series a few years ago, and I always liked her song choices and the way she played her Gibson Songwriter guitar. I also was familiar with the keyboard player, as she sings with the terrific guitar slinger and singer

 It’s funny how we meet people in our lives. Most of our close friends we meet in grammar school or on our block as neighbors. The randomness of the alphabet seats us near someone and we strike up a conversation that first day and then 50 years later we look back and we are still friends. Some folks come along later in life though, either through a job, or maybe because of a common hobby, or sometimes through our kids, as we shepherd them through life, we meet the parents of their friends. I

 It’s been a while, sorry about that, but as Austin Powers once said, “I lost my mojo, baby, yeah!” The pandemic has hit us all in ways we never would expect: getting sick, fear of vaccinations, loss of loved ones, isolation, crumbling of our city by bumbling city managers… the list goes on and on. And well, it just got too sad to write about.

But there have been rays of light and hope, and I have been blessed with a double dose of puppy love. First, a beautiful and delightful grandchild, who

 Our guide had asked “why Iceland?” And I proceeded to tell him exactly why. First of all, with a return to something akin to normality, it felt like it was time to take a trip. And not just a drive to Montauk or New Paltz, it needed to feel like being “away!” Europe seemed to be having a bit of an outbreak, covid and fighting, so that was out. Coming out of winter, one would think to head to the Islands, or maybe Central America, but that made too much sense. So, I did the opposite, I went

 They are just numbers, right? They don’t mean anything, you are as young as you feel, right? I keep telling myself that. I mean if 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40, and 60 is the new 50…Oh, who am I kidding! 65 is different.

I mean I feel great, the mermaid controls my intake of milk duds and scotch, and soda, although she does a better job with the milk duds then the soda or scotch, but hey a man’s gotta have some creature comforts, right? I continue to work out and my mind is razor

 Sunflowers are by their very definition, sunny, smiling, always reaching up toward the heavens. They are inspirational in that they grow from a tiny seed and grow quickly during the late summer months, proving that we all can grow too. Some breeds of sunflower are gigantic with multiple branches that shoot out and create their own heavenly host of flowers. And sunflowers are full of their own seeds, so that when they get tired, and begin to bend over back toward the ground, they spread their

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