Dan Loses His Mind While his World is Shaken, Rattled, and Rolled (part 6 of 6)

Prelude:  Many people have approached me in the three weeks since my temporary amnesia/aphasia event saying something like “It must have been scary.”  It was scary in 2002.  At that time, with similar symptoms, I had no idea what the future held.  It scared the sh%$ out of me.

Since it happened before, this time wasn’t so scary.   For the first hour in 2017, I had no idea what was happening.  Why would I be scared if I had no idea what was going on!

During the second hour I could sense I was remembering more and speaking a little more clearly.  I was not scared; I was encouraged, especially since I remembered that previously in 2002 I came out the other end just fine.

If it happened again in the coming year, now that would be scary!

So, what do we know with any certainty?   Not much.

Fact #1: On June 27, 2017, I had a temporary episode of amnesia (I didn’t remember squat) and aphasia (gibberish flowed from my mouth).

TIA or TEA are acronyms being thrown around as possible diagnoses.

TIA stands for a transient ischemic attack (ischemic relating to the heart).

Hitch D and H with paddles

Re: TIA.  My echocardiogram and carotid artery tests suggest that my ticker is doing just fine.  No surprise, my parents lived healthy lives into their 90s.  To cover all bases, the neurologist wants me to start taking baby aspirin daily, just in caseAspirin prevents blood clots from forming in the arteries. It can help certain people lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke.

I have no limit on my physical activity; pickleball, ping pong, and working out at the gym top my agenda.

Next week, the neurologist wants me to wear a Holter monitor for 48 hours, which will continuously record my heart’s activity as I go about my daily activities.  I’ll keep you updated.

But a TIA is not the neurologist’s first choice.

It’s the TEA.   TEA stands for transient epileptiform amnesia (which in my case might apply since the neurologist couldn’t rule out some form of epilepsy after reading my EEG (electroencephalogram).  So, there’s no certainty, but it’s the leading choice in the clubhouse.

YH bases

To cover all bases again, I have been put on a low dose (500 mg twice a day) of Keppra to prevent seizures, if some form of epilepsy is what I have.

The bottom line is that the neurologist doesn’t know what caused my temporary amnesia/aphasia.

YH safety net

So, a reasonably wide net has been thrown to cover a host of possibilities.  I get that and am thankful for the caution.

After such an event, by law I am not allowed to drive for three months.   I get that caution, too.  Not driving will be inconvenient but hardly a sacrifice.  I am retired.  Hannah and I regularly play pickleball and go to the gym together.   I have a modest social life (read: limited).

So, for three months, we err on the side of caution despite an uncertain diagnosis and no explanation for a cause.

YH dehydration

I wonder whether dehydration due to caffeine consumption and not drinking enough water (2002) and not drinking enough water (2017) might have triggered the temporary amnesia/aphasia.  The medical professionals never suggest such a connection.  And why this time, when I have been dehydrated many times before?

Without any explanation for the cause of my two events (2002 and 2017), I still wonder.

Takeaways:

YH water

Whether dehydration had anything to do with my temporary amnesia/aphasia, I have become a zealot for drinking water daily.  Each morning when I awake, I drink two eight-ounce glasses of water.  Three more follow: mid-morning, before lunch, and with lunch.  Dehydration will not be the cause of any future such event.

I live in a town on the coast of Maine with a great community hospital and in a country with excellent Medicare health coverage for seniors.  I’d recommend York Hospital for its effective loving kindness health care.

YH David and Dan

David Stoloff, my department chair at Eastern, stopped by to check on me.

Since posting of these blogs, I have appreciated many people contacting me and wishing me well.

I heard from a childhood friend who referred to me as Brother Dan in his email of support.

Thank you, Brother Tom.

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Dan and Hannah Make California Memories with Owen and Max

Vent family rawding with O and P

Tip, Max, Molly, Poppa, Owen, and Omi at the beach in Carpinteria.  Yes, it was incredibly windy.

Heading West during their February school vacation week, our daughter Molly, her hubby Tip, and our grandsons, Owen (kindergarten) and Max (pre-school) are coming to California for some R and R and some O and P (i.e. Omi and Poppa).  Hannah and I are pumped to ride the rails with our grandsons.  If it sounds like we are hobo wanna-bes, you just might be right as we do have wanderlust in our souls.

Staying in a rented house in Carpinteria a mere mile from the train station, Hannah and I have planned a twenty-mile train ride for the four of us to Ventura with its beachfront promenade, sandy beaches, and unexpected in-town adventure.

Vent map of train route

Carpinteria is 85 miles north of Los Angeles

Once the Amtrak Surfliner pulls into the Carp station, we climb the steps to the second deck where the comfortable window seats are.  With others buried in their phones and laptops, we four have the good fortune to get oceanside views.  Paralleling the six-lane 101 highway, we are traveling slower than the mid-morning traffic.  Rolling along between the mountains to our left and the multi-million dollar beachfront homes to our right, we have begun another adventure with our guys.

Vent 1AA train receipt

Vent 1B O and O on the train

Owen and his Omi looking out to the Pacific

Vent 1C M on train

Max checking out tides with the Channel Islands in the distance

Vent 1 H the drama queen

Yours and my favorite drama queen

Vent 1A P and M

Max ready for some crazy eights with his Poppa

Vent 1D boys holding their ears at train

The horns of the train are indeed LOUD!

Once in Ventura, we disembark at the County Fairgrounds, which is just a parking lot away from the Pacific Ocean.  Soon, we are strolling down the wide beachfront sidewalk among the President’s Day crowd enjoying another sunny day in Paradise.

Vent 2 on beach with surfer

With ocean temps near 60F every surfer wears a wetsuit

Vent 2A M on promenade

The Ventura Promenade with the Ventura Pier in the distance

Walking ¾ of mile towards the Ventura Pier, we hit sandy beach gold for two kids who have come from New England’s snow and temps in the 20s .  They race to the water’s edge, then run back before the incoming tide washes up over their feet.

Vent 2B M at beach

Vent 2C M at beach

Max with Owen in the distance

Vent 2D M at beach again

Just before lunch time, we head into downtown Ventura to meet up with our fish taco and pickleball friends, Bruce and Anneli.  They are our fish taco friends for last year they invited us out for lunch al fresco at Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack in downtown Ventura.  Click here for that blog.

Today, they surprise us with gingerbread cookies at the upstairs loft of their architectural firm.  Check ‘em out.

Vent 3 cookies with Anneli

Max, Owen, and Anneli

Vent 3A cookies with Bruce

Max, Bruce, and Owen

Max looks at one with the number 12 and immediately says, Tom Brady!  In addition to a pickleball player, there are two more challenging identifications needed.  The boys say lizard for one, but Bruce nudges them and says, It’s a little more than that.  He gives them “amphibian” as a clue.  Owen nails it “gecko.”

Vent 3B O and M with hot chocolate

Anneli wonders if they know the other gingerbread figure.  Without a moment’s hesitation, Max blurts out, The Eiffel Tower.  As impressed with our grandchildren as we are, they offer the boys hot chocolate.  Oh, they have one more thing for us: 30 minutes of Calilfornia love for us New Englanders.

Vent 3D six of us

Spending two winter months in California, Hannah and I are beginning to create a community of folks, like Anneli and Bruce, that is making Carpinteria a home away from home.  It’s the latest chapter in our journey – where we find good people again and again.

Vent map from york to carp

Sounds like a great road trip, but we flew from Boston to Los Angeles

 

Dan and Hannah Play Tournament Pickleball Part 3 of 3

Click here for part 1 and Click here for part 2 to set the stage for this concluding blog.

Starting the first of our final three games of the tournament, we are up against the powerhouse Ellen and Mark duo.  We know Ellen from our weekly game in Westbrook.  She’s effervescent while he’s immediately likable with an easy-going manner.  As strong players, they are versed in the winning strategy for mixed doubles pickleball.  Ah, but we are up to the challenge with our third shot drops, reasonably reliable forehands, bountiful good luck, and Hannah’s lobs.  In our best match of the evening, we prevail in a tight one.

PBT Leesa and H with grid

Leesa and Hannah 

With our fifth win, Hannah and I are looking at being in the money.  I mean, literally, being in the money.  Each player paid $10 to play tonight with the winning team splitting $80, second place divvying up $60, and third dividing $40.  We are now looking at the possibility of a third place finish as we have only lost to Carolee and Tim and have yet to play the still undefeated, odds-on favorite team of Patty and Steve.

Up next are the athletic pair of Shannon and Gordie.  Shannon is a racquet ball player of the first order and Gordie is reliable and affable.  Being our seventh game after three hours of play at 9P, Hannah and I are riding high.  Shannon and Gordie wake us up as they knock us down a peg or two by taking charge immediately; all of sudden they are serving for the match at 14-8.

While Hannah and I figure what the hell, we’ve had a helluva run this evening, we do work our way back to 14-10, and finally down just 14-13, my serve.  Usually steady Eddy with my serve, I hit my serve long to lose the chance to tie!  My bad.  Perhaps, we are not meant to win.  Now Shannon and Gordie each have a serve to win the game.  Holding them scoreless, we quickly run off three points to win 16-14 in a comeback most would agree that is comparable to the Patriots 28-3 return from the dead to defeat the Falcons in the Super Bowl.

PBT group shot

Back row from left to right – Dan, Brandon, Norm, Steve, Mick, Carolee, and Tim  Middle row – Ellen, Mark, and Allen  Front row – Leesa, Erin, Carly, Janet, Shannon, Patty, and Hannah  (Not pictured – Gordie)

Third place is ours, no matter what happens v. Steve and Patty, our final opponent.  We are 6-1, and they are 7-0.  As savvy tournament-tested players, they have a winning strategy as well as our powerful players.   We make them only slightly uncomfortable and we fall quietly 15-7.

Having only two losses, Hannah and I are looking at a sweet third place pay day.  And then…

…we see Norm and Leesa still on the court v. Carolee and Tim, the team that crushed us.  Learning that Norm and Leesa are up 14-12, I am not surprised that any team with Norm has a chance.  After giving up a 13th point, they close out the match 15-13.

PBT h with winnings

Sixty big ones!

Immediately, I do the math [i.e. we are now second at 6-2 as Carolee and Tim have fallen to 5-3].  No lie, it was cool to win.   We are all humble on the outside and about to shit on the inside.

So what did I learn:

  1. Social pickleball works for me.  How can you beat the combination with delectable hors d’oeurvres with non-stop pickleball?
  2. Round robin play is my idea of a good time.  No waiting.  My pickleball-induced ADHD is satisfied with lots of play – eight games in nearly four hours.
  3. Even social tournament pickleball is about targeting the weaker player.  That’s life.  There were times I played the role of the coat rack.  There’s no crying in baseball or pickleball.  That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
  4. Bangers bang.  I could (and often do) look at the bangers banging as an opportunity to improve my soft game.  I’m still not a fan of banger-topia!
  5. We were so damn lucky tonight to come in second.  (1), we could have easily lost our first game [we won 15-13 after being behind], (2) and we could have easily lost our second game v. the top player, Norm and Leesa, and (3) we could have easily lost the game we were down 14-8 to Gordie and Shannon.  And then, (4), even if we squeak out W’s in all those games, we still needed Leesa and Norm to beat the team that beat us.  We were the long shot that left the ball with the silver slipper.

Dan and Hannah Decide to Play Tournament Pickleball Part 2 of 3

Click here for part 1 to set the stage for today’s blog.

Driving north on the Maine Turnpike on a rainy March Friday afternoon, I wonder what lies ahead for the first pickleball tournament Hannah and I will have ever played.  The uncertainty leaves me unsettled.  Will it be bangers galore; will people even hit the ball to me; and as team, how will Hannah and I react to tournament pressure?

PBT court with norm

Two of the courts at the Jordan Small Middle School gym

Arriving at the gym of the Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond, Maine, Hannah and I see four courts lined in the basketball gym; players are already warming up.  Leesa, the tournament organizer, has brought together nine mixed doubles teams in a round robin format, which means Hannah and I will get lots of play.

Hannah and I draw the spunky young couple (nearly 50 years our junior) Carly and Brandon for our first game to fifteen, win by two.  Being a first game, we four are all just getting our sea legs – hitting some winners and then knocking shots wildly out-of-bounds.  The lead goes back and forth, but soon Hannah and I find ourselves down 13-11.  Clearly, this is a game we could have won.  Through no fault of our own, we win the final four points in a game that could have gone either way.  I turn the self-absorption meter down just a little!

PBT D Norm and Janet

Norm, Janet, and the dude with a Fitbit

Still feeling the self-imposed pressure to play respectably, I come to the court with Hannah for our second game matched up v. Norm and Leesa.  Where we regularly play in Saco, Norm is at the top of the food chain.  He’s tough with all the shots.  She’s athletic.  Game on.

Feeling more comfortable with the gym’s indoor lighting, the closeness of the curtain dividing the courts, and remembering that everyone is thinking about themselves anyway, Hannah and I take a 5-3 lead, which surprises me no end.  Going on a run of six points after they tie the score at six, we are soon up 12-6.   It dawns on me that we could actually win against the best player in the gym.  I had figured this was going to be a designated L for us.  In a huge upset in my mind, we run out the game at 15-10.   Two wins.  I relax just a little more.

PBT Leesa and H with grid

Leesa with Hannah

Taking on the upbeat pair of Allen and Erin, we have a relaxing, easy going, and fun game where they hit the ball to me on a regular basis; we come away with a W.

Game four proves that we are not quite the hot shots that we are starting to think we are.  Carolee and Tim are formidable as the reality of competitive mixed doubles emerges.  Our opponents’ power, solid play, and tactics takes us down convincingly 15-6.  We are burnt toast left on the side of the plate.  With strong teams ahead, I can see us comfortably settling into the middle of the pack.  That turns down the pressure.

Next, we match up v. our pickleball friends from Saco, Mick and Janet.  Just good folks, they play a spirited game, hit some shots that leave us agape with their artistry, but we prevail.  With our fourth win, we are the surprise of the tournament (at least in my delusional mind).

Part 3 describes the final three games which concludes this three-part series on Saturday.

Dan and Hannah Wonder About Tournament Pickleball Part 1 of 3

Having recently returned from California where outdoor pickleball reigns, now as our snows melt, Hannah and I play regularly at the indoor XL Sports World in Saco, Maine.  A few days ago, our friend Janet asks if we would like to play in a social mixed doubles pickleball tournament.   The word social intrigues me.  That it’s round robin means lots of play.  It’s the tournament part that is the sticking point.

PBT Janet and Hannah

Hannah and Janet

We exchange phone numbers, but I’m still not sure.  Usually, my go-to response is, Tournaments are not my thing.  That often is enough to end the conversation.  But this time I hesitate rather than flat out decline.

My reasons not to play tournaments are five.

Numero uno!  Players sandbag (i.e. players who are rated higher play at a lower level).  For example, a 4.0 rated team plays at 3.5 level and crushes everyone.  Since this is a social tournament so that is not an issue as this will be an informal gathering of friends.  That’s one vote for playing.

Numero dos!  My goodness, there is so much down time between matches at a weekend tournament.  Who wants to blow a whole Saturday sitting around?   Since this Friday night will be round robin of nearly constant play, downtime will not be of concern.  That’s two votes for giving it a shot.

Tres!  It’s a tournament.  The point is to win.  I get that.  What I don’t like is the usual strategy in tournaments, which is to direct all the shots at the weaker player.  Many is the time when Hannah and I play together in recreation games, 80-90% of the shots are aimed at her; again and again, she is their punching bag.  It puts a ton of pressure on her and I play the role of the potted plant.

PBT pb logo

Quatro!  The reverse is true.  I hate, in an effort to win, playing entirely at the weaker player.  I like rec play when I can hit most of my shots at the better player to work on my game and be challenged by their superior play to mine.  My partner and I probably lose more than we should, but how else am I going to get better?  And what fun is it picking on the weaker player?  It’s not exactly a tactic to build community.

Cinco de Mayo!  Then there are the bangers.  Unable or unwilling to play the soft game of drop shots and dinking that top players use all the time, bangers smash the pickleball time and time again from the baseline.  It’s boring.  Boom, bam, thank you ma’am; the point is over in a flash.  I get that banging can be a successful strategy; for me, it lacks the nuances of the soft game which is why I love to play pickleball.

PBT court with players

Two of the four courts at the Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond, Maine

But this tournament seems different.  It’s billed as social; there’s lots of play (round robin means we’ll be playing eight games).  We are to bring hors d-oeuvres to share.  Janet’s cool, and Hannah and I are sufficiently intrigued to see how we like a mixed pickleball tournament.

Part II describes how we deal with tournament play, which will be posted on Wednesday.

Dan and Hannah Want to Introduce You to 4Ocean

4Ocean image

Hannah and I were blown away by this less than three minute video about the amazing amount of plastics in the ocean and what can be done about it.  Our daughter-in-law Laurel was moved to action to buy the bracelets when she saw the video as did my Arizona State college roommate Rich and his wife Mary.

Click on this link

https://4ocean.com/

Thank you, Mary.

4Ocean image

PS  From Time Magazine (April 1, 2019) – 88 pounds of plastic found in the belly of a dead whale that washed up in the Philippines on March 16!

 

Dan Meets Up with an Old High School Buddy in California

Sh flhs cutters

As a 1966 graduate of Fair Lawn High School (New Jersey), I appreciate that my classmate Roz makes things happen; last year it was a California mini-reunion for five of us grads.  She lives in T.O. (i.e. Thousand Oaks), an hour down the road from our rented house in Carpinteria.  This year she has the idea that she and our fellow classmate Dave from San Diego will get together with me.  They’ll ride the Amtrak Surfliner to Santa Barbara for lunch, then we’ll all walkabout town.  Great plan, but…

Roz comes down with a nasty flu and can’t make it on this mid-February Wednesday.

sh-map-e1553024948195.png

Giving Dave the chance to reschedule (he does have a five hour train ride to Santa Barbara each way), I am pumped when he says, I’m comin’!   I smile it has commitment and am riding high for a day with my Cutter bro 3000 miles from our Garden State high school!

In high school, Dave and I had our Venn diagram overlap on a regular basis as we ran with many of the same friends.  Of late, we text, especially of our mutual love of all things Roger Federer and your Super Bowl Champs New England Patriots.  When we last met at our 45th high school reunion, he was the one who found a place for me at his reunion table when I really had no place to go.

SH 1 surfliner

Amtrak arriving in Carpinteria

So, what does one do on a rainy/showery day in the Santa Barbara area when pickleball and hiking are not an option?  Let me show you in pictures.

Shiffy (as he was none at FLHS) arrives at noon on the Amtrak Surfliner as the morning showers pause.  From the train station to the Carpinteria State Park, we walk with umbrellas in hand a mere 200 yards to the beach.

Sh 1A D and D at beach

Wanting to chill over lunch, we get Italian take-out at Guicho’s on Linden Avenue in downtown Carpinteria.  Over meatball subs and grilled chicken salads back at the house that Hannah and I are renting, we talk of our high school lives; I do wish he had played on the high school tennis team with me, as he is a left-handed serving machine.

Sh 1B Dave outside of Guicho's

SH 1C Dave at Calle Ocho with subs and salad

With showers here and there, I drive Dave to the trailhead of Romero Canyon to show him what debris flows from the past year look like up close and personal.  Stunned myself to see that the road which was impassable on January 21, repaired by January 28, was again closed this February 13 afternoon due to last weekend’s Montecito canyon debris flow.

R2 truck in boulders

January 21, 2019

R2 creek crossing 2

January 28, 2019

Sh 2 DS at washout

February 13, 2019

Backtracking down the mountain, I weave around the fallen rocks in the road from the unstable cliff sides.

Sh 2C fallen rocks at Romero

To conclude his four hour, stay in the Mediterranean of the Pacific, we catch another break in the showers to walk the bluff at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sh 4 D and D at UCSB

Bluff trail at University of California, Santa Barbara

 

Sh 4B Dave at bluff

 

Sh 4C Dan at bluffs

Recently retired, Dave’s low maintenance, up for anything, laughs easily, and doesn’t take himself too seriously.  We end with bro hugs, appreciative of our rainy day on the Pacific coast.  Already we have plans to meet up with Roz next year when Hannah and I return to Carpinteria, our home away from home.

Dan and Hannah Offer You Mindfulness 101

Mind U of SB

Hannah and I have been Unity folks for a good while.  Though we have no Unity community here in New England, we do regularly attend the Unity of Santa Barbara when we are in California.  As such, we meditate and give mindfulness our best shot.

If you ever wondered why isn’t there a humorous, brief (less than three minutes) animation that explains mindfulness, wonder no more.   (It’s a hoot even if you are not into mindfulness.)

 

Thank you, Larry.

Dan and Hannah One Morning on the Rain Slick 101 in Los Angeles

In the blink of an eye, I thought, that car is going to hit us.  We were each going 60 miles an hour in the pre-dawn very dark on a rain-swept eight lane highway north of Los Angeles.  Let me back up.

LAX hannah squeegeeing

Hannah wrapping up our squeegeeing one rainy morning to get us ready for some good play with Sal and Andres at the Santa Barbara courts

Though we hiked, beach-walked, or pickleballed without fail each day of our two months in Carpinteria, it’s been a rainy winter after years of drought in the Santa Barbara area.  The night before we are to leave for home in Maine, Hannah and I finish packing and slide into bed with an outdoor symphony of heavy rain, thunder, and lightning.  Earlier that night, my high school friend Roz sent me this picture.

LAX lightning over SB

Looking at Santa Barbara from the harbor

Lightning strikes briefly knock out power at LAX (the Los Angeles airport).  Other strikes spark small fires and set palm trees ablaze across the region.

Sleeping inconsistently, I wake time and again to the staccato of rain against the bedroom windows.  Knowing the rain will be our travel companion for the 80 mile pre-dawn drive to LAX, we catch a break as it rains only lightly as we load up our rented Toyota Corolla for the airport at 4A.

LAX map carp to lax

Once on The 101 approaching Ventura, the dark hides the Pacific Ocean to our right and the steep coastal mountains to our left.  Raining cats and dogs, mice and chickens, the few drivers that are with us slow down to adjust to the slick road.  Soon more commuters join us as we pass through Oxnard, Camarillo, up the Conejo Grade into Thousand Oaks.

For thirty minutes, the wipers whip the rain away; later I ask Hannah to turn on the defroster to defog the windshield on the now eight lane 101.

In the distance, I see brake lights go on, then off.  Instinctively, I take my foot off the gas.  In the second of four lanes, I then touch the brake lightly as up to my left, I see the flashing blue emergency lights of a California Highway Patrol car.  Suddenly, and I mean suddenly, we are right on top of the accident, two lanes to my left.

And then, out of nowhere, a car at 60 mph veers at me to avoid the trooper and the disabled car.  I have no time to think.  I just see the flash of white to my left, steer right, having enough time to think, he’s going to hit us.  He’s going to hit us.

And then he doesn’t.  As I swerve out of his way, fortunately there is no car to my right.  We dodge being a 15-second highlight on the morning news on KCAL-TV.

With adrenalin coursing through me from head to toe, I resist going down the rabbit hole of what might have happened.  It’s past.  I have the rain slick 101 still to deal with and an 8A flight from Los Angeles to Boston.LAX lax image

Settling down, within thirty minutes, we drop off our Corolla at Enterprise and take the shuttle to LAX itself.

I do know we dodged a bullet, and I’m so damn grateful.

Dan with Hannah Tour Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California

RR map

Carpinteria is 20 miles north of Ventura

It feels a little odd for two Obama Democrats to go into the belly of the beast (Reagan Presidential Library), but it’s the first of four days of predicted rain in southern California.  And, let’s be honest, we’ve nothing better to do.

RR 1 H at entrance

Driving south from Carpinteria on the California coast, we take The 101, then route 23 through Thousand Oaks to the hilltop museum honoring our 40th president.  The winding road to the museum and Air Force One is lined with celebratory presidential banners beginning with George Washington and on through Lincoln and Obama, and concluding with the current president.

RR 1A RR statue

With admission $26 for seniors, the Reagan Presidential Library buzzes with we spry elderly and school kids.  Meandering through the exhibits, we travel through time to Reagan’s childhood, his movie career, his entry into politics, and his presidential years (1981-1989).  The tour begins with a four-minute film on Reagan’s upbringing and then an ingenious hologram of him giving a speech revealing his humble, humorous nature.  

RR 3 D at podium

Jimmy Carter was just so happy for me that day in 1981

Throughout the tour, there are docents aplenty to answer our questions and provide additional information.  His second wife Nancy is prominently displayed throughout as it truly seems that she and her guy were quite a team.

Hannah asks about his first wife, Jane Wyman.  One of the volunteer docents (350 in all, working four hour shifts) tells us there is only one picture of her since she divorced him.  We were told that Jane Wyman was not happy with his stardom eclipsing hers or his move into politics.  Really?  What would Jane say?  Who knows?

RR 2C electoral map v carter 1980

This is what a landslide looks like

That said, the self-guided museum tour is a nostalgic journey from the late 1950s through Reagan’s tenure as president in the 1980s.  It is certainly spun with a flattering Republican weave of the times.  If you were white, upper middle class, and rich, these were pretty good times.

A film clip of his speech at the Berlin Wall in 1987 where he said, Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall is stirring and heartfelt.  I leave with the impression that he was one helluva nice guy whose calling card was the personal touch.  The museum curators succeeded.

RR 4 Air Force One

Once through the museum (there might have been a presidential library, but I never saw it), we walk down a corridor to a football field size, three story floor-to-ceiling windowed area to the actual Air Force One that was actually used by seven presidents.

Hannah says, I wouldn’t have missed this experience.  Spending a fascinating three hours in the company of a legendary figure, I recommend this hilltop testament to Ronald Reagan.

 

Additional images from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

RR 3E RR with Tip O'Neil

Republican President Ronald Reagan with Tip O’Neil, the Democrat House Majority Leader,  to his right, contrasts with today’s polarizing partisanship.

 

 

RR 2 Jack Reagan

No sugar coating about his dad

 

RR 3B generosity to carter

A magnanimous gesture from one president to his predecessor

 

RR 3C share birthday with H

Who knew he shared a birthday with Hannah!  Well, she did.

 

RR 4A H at Air Force One

Entering Air Force One

 

RR 4C inside AFO

Within the presidential plane

 

RR 6 Berlin Wall

Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Dan and Hannah Return to San Ysidro Canyon after a Weekend of Debris Flows

SY2 map of carp

In winter, California is not Florida with its 70s and 80s.  Our days in the Golden State are often sunny, with low humidity, and 60s, which, it turns out, is ideal for pickleballing and hiking.  Since winter is the rainy season here on the Central Coast, there is, of late, the ever-present danger of life-threatening debris flows when rain falls.

SY2 map 2

Ever since the Thomas Fire of December 2017 denuded the local mountainsides, mandatory evacuations occur when the forecast is for rains of at least an inch an hour.  Why, one morning at 430A, our iPhones blasted us awake with warnings of the possibility of dangerous debris flows due to heavy rain.  Where we are in Carpinteria, three hundred yards from the Pacific, there is no danger;  even so, everyone is on high alert after the January 2018 deaths of twenty-three from mud and debris flows in nearby Montecito.

SY mudslide dump into Carp ocean

After heavy rains and mud flows, Santa Barbara County dumps the mud and stones from the inland catch basins at the beach in Carpinteria.  This mud, over time, replenishes the beaches.

On the first Saturday of February, The 101, the major coast highway from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and north, was closed in Montecito for most of the day due to mudflows across the highway.

SY2 At SBC

Dan, Hannah, Nancy Rose, Duncan, Patty, and Kent at the Summerland Beach Cafe

With our Arizona State Sun Devil friends and fellow hikers, Patty and Kent, in town from Oregon, we decide to hike Montecito’s San Ysidro Canyon to see what the heavy rains did to the trail since Hannah and I hiked it four weeks ago.  Click here for that blog.

SY2 1AAA reconstituted creek

The scoured San Ysidro Creek that was V-shaped and tree-lined before the January 2018 mudslides

First, to celebrate Hannah’s mid-week b-day, we breakfast at the Summerland Beach Café.  (You get a free breakfast at the SBC if it is your birthday!  Hannah loves when free and breakfast are in the same sentence!)

SY2 debris flow with H, P, and K

On the trail with Patty and Kent with the stony and cobbly evidence of the force of last weekend’s rain

Driving just minutes away in Montecito, we have  two miles of trail to stunning waterfalls.  Very soon, we see evidence of mountainside cobbles spread across the trail from this past weekend’s rain.

After a mile of fire road hiking, we veer off along the one-person-at-a-time creek trail.  With Hannah and Patty in the lead, Kent and I watch these two buds loving life and regaling in their forty-year friendship.

SY2 1C P and H at pink ribbon

Hannah and Patty at the pink caution tape

Stepping carefully by where Hannah fell two years ago, we come to a pink police caution tape across the trail.  Wondering why, for the trail that is still quite passable, we soon arrive at a roaring side creek within 200 yards of the falls; the speed and volume of the side creek flow make it clear that we are not fording this torrent today.

Looking beyond, we finally put two and two together about the pink caution tape – the trail ahead has fallen away.  There is, in fact, no safe passage to the falls.  In the distance, we do make out the pounding waterfalls through the trees.  But it will be another year before we can return to the base of the falls for picture taking to satisfy the yearning, nay the demand of my 82 Instagram followers.

SY2 2 at side creek

The white water side creek in our way to the falls

 

SY2 2A trail out with creek in front

The damaged trail beyond the side creek

 

SY2 2C falls zoom

Zooming in on the distant San Ysidro Falls