“I’m leavin’ L.A. mama, you know that smog has got me down. Goin’ up to the canyon, where there ain’t nobody else around!”-Taj Mahal
Well, after 4 years, we have graduated with our Master’s degrees and are headed back to northern California. Our experiences at Cal State L.A. have been truly great and we would not trade our education there for any other. The program has been monumental in our professional development and the comradely we feel with our cohort is truly unparalleled. We will miss our mentor, friends, and the lobster, desert, and avocados…but the northern countryside beckons, and we are so happy to be headed back to cold weather, constant rain, and the freezing ocean!
To the Southern Sea and Land
From the depths of my soul I thank thee,
Desert landscape and southern sea,
For each experience you presented me.
For guiding my hand through this phase,
Educating me about your ways.
Teaching me to make the most of my days..
From the chia’s seed to tough sandstone,
From fresh lambs quarter to strong toyon,
In your embrace I never felt alone.
But now in tune with this natural flow,
Back to the north we must go,
To the land where the redwoods grow.
But do hear my thanks, praise and prayer,
For the solid connection we now share,
And until next we meet, please take care.
Now in the North
Rounding the last bend in the old country road before coming to the family orchard, we had to stop and let a hen and chick (wild turkey) cross the road, a squirrel ran up an apple tree, a large jackrabbit sat in the corner of a neighbor’s vineyard, lush green patches of lambs quarter beckoned from another orchard and I could see that a few loquats still clung to the branches while the first wave of plums were now but a week’s time from sweet maturity. It was good to be home!
My Mom asked me to gather up some mint and boysenberries (now also ripe) which I did before meeting her in the kitchen. She had a bottle of rum, some ice, simple syrup, club soda, some limes and a smile. In a flash she made a batch of the best boysenberry mojitos I have ever tasted! We sat back, relaxed and listened to red shafted flickers and red shoulder hawks in the not-too-distant black walnut trees (also nearly ripe).
Fresh Picked Mint
Boysenberries on the Vine
Mixing Things Up
Squeeze of Fresh Lime
Mashing the Berries
The next morning we awoke to a rooster’s crow and enjoyed smoked salmon and goat cheese scrambles made from the wild king salmon my Dad caught a few days before.
Hunter with His First Ocean Run King Salmon of the Season
Smoked Salmon Scramble
I will keep you posted as our northern adventures unfold.
Keep the old ways alive!