Wednesday, June 27, 2012


When Chongo was young, he had a problem remembering his shoes. It’s one of the pitfalls of living in California, I guess – the weather only occasionally being cold enough to make a kid consider his feet.

One day we missed a movie when barefoot boy was discovered and we had to go back home. Occasional we’d stop at Target to buy a pair of flip flops. I finally made him pay for them from his own allowance.

“How can you forget your shoes?” I would ask. But I knew the answer. When you are battling mythical beasts with only a sword or flying through space avoiding asteroids by a hairsbreath, shoes seem insignificant.

At one point I grew tired of reminding him to put his shoes on for school, and put a yellow post it on the door to remind him. There were days I saw him walk up to it and read it with surprise, “oh, right! Shoes.”

Eventually we outgrew the sticky note, the frustrating trips with our shoeless boy. The teenager doesn’t need reminders; ratty converse sneakers hang daily at the end of his long legs. But I miss that boy who had no room in his brain to remember his shoes. And I have to ask: What did he have to forget in order to remember his shoes?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Distracted driving

Just this week I narrowly missed an accident when I failed to yield at the stop sign.

I was distracted.  By the Kangaroo paws. They were in such riotous bloom -- deep red and velvety with a touch of yellow, glowing in the late afternoon sun. I couldn't take my eyes off of them.

A couple days later I had to hit the brakes too hard to avoid hitting the car in front of me.

Again, I was distracted. This young couple were walking up the sidewalk. They were holding hands and laughing. They just looked so happy I couldn't take my eyes off of them.

Then it was the moon. So fat and luminous floating just above the rooftops. I had to force myself to look away to keep my car on the road.

Who needs cell phones for distraction when we're surrounded by so much love and beauty?