On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All closed up

Our community has a bike path that runs about three-fourths of a mile from Route 12 to Sebastiani Winery. It is a popular dog walking, bike riding and strolling path and crosses historic property with views into the hills and mountains. With the exception of the beginning point, none of it is in trafficked areas but runs through open fields and along gardens and homes hidden behind six foot wooden fences.

The bike path is cared for by the City and by volunteers. Steve and I signed up for one city block and this will be the third year that we've maintained our section. This morning we were out on the path and filled four enormous black debris bags with grass clippings and weeds. We aren't finished, not even close, but it looks so much better.

It hurts me to mow over wildflowers but our duties are to clear clean swaths from one end of the block to the next. So today I picked a few California poppies and brought them home. I put them in water to save them for this evening when I would have more time to draw. A strange thing happens whenever I do this. Even though there are no roots, the poppies (and other flowering plants) close up at night just as they would have done if left in the ground. So, they must still be alive, right? It was hard enough to yank them up, harder yet to think they were still so full of life hours later that they would respond to light and dark as completely as they had the evening before when they were still firmly rooted. It gives me chills.


  1. It is a good thing you are doing. We need many such places to walk in nature. I will be in California this weekend myself, Martinez. I drop in on your blog almost daily to see what you have done. I also see we have something else in common. "As Time Goes By" I just absolutely enjoy the series. Our PBS station is currently running through them (for the second time in a row) on Saturday nights. I enjoy many of the British programs and many of there comedies are a quiet humor.

  2. Good habit not to skip days of sketching. Thanks for modeling such good behavior. Now if I can just pick up my pen...


  3. Hi Alan -- Hope your trip goes well. I have family members in Martinez so I know that town well. - Barbara

  4. So Mark -- Did you? - Barbara


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