Where I live now – the Creek and the Pool

Eastern Pennsylvania is pretty, particularly in summer, lots of trees, hills, green.  But – the landscape as a whole does not resonate with me.  I have to find something in the landscape that does resonate with me.
I found something.  I love the little creek in my hometown. I love the play of the light, how it sparkles in the sun.  I love the musical sounds, the water.   The part of the creek I like is narrow and not deep.  Oddly enough, it makes me think of Thumbelina, from the Hans Christian Anderson story, a person the size of a thumb.  For her the creek would be a river.  I looked at the creek and I thought the “rapids” might be too much for her, but perhaps not if she was in a little leaf boat!
The Creek, August 2009

The Creek, August 2009










I also like the local swimming pool, the best community pool I’ve ever been to, ever.   Swimming (when it’s not raining) in the summer weather of heat and humidity – great fun!  Don’t let the clown trash container fool you.  Look at that lap lane – this is a wonderful pool!

Hometown Pool, August 2009

Hometown Pool, August 2009

Leaving My California

I’ve lived in California since 1989.  I’ve lived in Palo Alto, a town on the peninsula south of San Francisco (Silicon Valley) for fifteen years.  I came here because I took a job at my former company’s corporate headquarters.   Now I’m leaving. 
Leaving is the right thing to do, for my family and my work.  But still.
I know that a place, a land, cannot love you, but I think that one of my greatest loves has been my California.  I love the place.  I love the look of coastal California.  I love the rocky cliffs next to the seashore, the seasons of dry and wet, the mountains in the distance.  My world is Northern California, the area around San Francisco, but I also love the California central coast and the southern coastal area.  I love the San Francisco Bay.  My town, Palo Alto, is one of the towns ringing the bay.
I love the weather.  Coastal California is one of only five Mediterranean climates in the world.  I love how the climate where I live is moderate, temperate, rarely hot or cold.  The air is dry, not humid or muggy.  I love how it cools down at night in summer, due to the blessed cold Pacific Ocean.  I love the Pacific Ocean.   I love how, when it’s not raining, the sky is overcast in the morning, and then the sky is blue.  I love how it rains only in the winter, and the rain just comes down, no thunderstorms.  I love how even in the winter there are days of sunshine.  I love how it doesn’t snow or freeze where I live, at my elevation, ever.   I love the look of the light.  I love how, even in the winter, something is always blooming.
I love something that’s hard to describe, a casual acceptance.   Sometimes that can translate to indifference, but it still works for me.  You make friends here, good friends – it just takes longer than you would think.   I’ve felt free here.  That freedom will go with me, wherever I live.
I love being in the hi-tech business in Silicon Valley, but that’s not why I moved here.  I moved for California. 
I love Point Reyes National Seashore – my favorite place in the world.  I’ve been there so much I know it in a way I’ll never know another outdoor space. I love Seacliff State Beach, the Palo Alto Art Center, various art galleries, museums and events, my coffeehouse, the Palo Alto Baylands Park, the swaths of blue Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) plants blooming.  I love the work of various California artists.
I love where I live, a smaller, older apartment complex built around an inner courtyard.  The apartments are big, with a lot of light but not a lot of soundproofing, so the apartment managers try to hire quiet tenants.  It’s hard to describe why I like it so much.  Something about the place just worked for me.  In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve felt, oddly enough, like I was living in a resort, even though it’s not a fancy place.
I love the apartment pool, which is very California.  I love the blue of it, the water, the tile around the edges, the comfortable chairs.  There have been many times I was the only person in the pool, swimming a few laps, and then padding slowly back and forth.   When I was by myself it was “my pool”.  When a family member visited it was “our pool”.  It was magical.
I think that you can move forward, as they say, without denying what you had and where you’ve been.  There are good places everywhere.  I’m looking forward to swimming in my hometown community pool, to autumn in the northeast US, to being there for my family, to going to the Jersey seashore, to new work.  I think that my life will be good.  But in my heart I will never leave my California.
My California - Pool at Dusk

My California - Pool at Dusk

Night Swimming

I live in the land of perfect weather, here in coastal California – a town on the peninsula south of San Francisco, to be exact!  It almost never freezes.  It’s mild in winter, warm in summer but with cool nights.  Did I also say it wasn’t humid?  The weather is perfect.

Once in awhile the weather changes and it’s hot.  Hot as in high 90s (F) and warm even at night.  That’s when I run my portable air conditioner in my bedroom, and that’s when we all complain about the heat.

But – there is night swimming!

Yes, the first photo, below,  looks a bit mysterious, even spooky.  There used to be lights in our pool, but there aren’t lights anymore. But – there is light all around, so it’s fine.  I’m not the only person who enjoys that rare wonderful night swim.

California Pool at Night

California Pool at Night

For those of you who thought the first photo was spooky, how about twilight swimming?
California Pool at Twilight

California Pool at Twilight

All for now,

mszv – amarez

Two Pools

I love swimming pools.  I love the ocean and lakes too, but I’ve done most of my swimming in pools.  Outdoor pools are the best.

The town where I grew up, northeastern US, has the best public swimming pool in the area.  It was wonderful when I was growing up, and it’s still wonderful.  It’s hot here in the summer.  When it’s not raining, it’s great swimming weather!

Hometown Pool - August 2008

Hometown Pool - August 2008




My hometown pool,  summer, 2008.  The hand is that of a family member, doing laps in the lap lane.  I’m the person taking the picture (waterproof camera).  What a great day.






Pool where I live - SF Bay Area

Pool where I live - SF Bay Area, south of San Francisco

This is the pool where I live.  It’s a shared pool – everyone in the small complex can use it.  It’s a wonderful pool, though it’s not heated, and the humidity is low around here, and our nights are cool.  This means that my pool swimming is limited to summer and early fall.  It the pool  was heated our pool season could go from spring to fall.
Sometimes, when I go for a dip, I’m the only one at the pool.  So then it’s my very own private pool!
I love summer.
amarez – mszv