Saturday, September 15, 2018

Anglophile

One of the places where I have always wanted to visit is England.  My grandmother on my father's side came from there in the 1920s via Australia and Hawaii.  My family remains connected with some of her family there.  There are so many places that I would like to visit, and further, I'm blessed with a number of friends living there now.

So, when I did some research on the cost of flights there, and the prices were quite reasonable, I decided, "no time like the present."

Okay, so the present might be a few months out, but I do have my tickets.  In late April of 2019, I will be flying to England for two weeks.  I have no set plans except to spend a few days of the time in London, and visit with family in Yorkshire.  Other than that, I'm going to be driving, exploring, and I'm up for visiting any friends there who will put up with me.

So, friends in England, I will be on your soil from April 27 thru May 11 of 2019.  Please reach out to me via email or text or Messenger if you'd like to get together.

Happy Weekend from Silicon Valley

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Aussie Rules

I grew to love Australian Football in the early to mid 1980s.  When DeDe and I returned from Germany in August of 1982, I got my first taste of ESPN.  Back then, late into the night, they showed sports I'd never seen.  Most only were of passing interest, but this fast paced, weird hybrid of Rugby and basketball and Soccer, with its oval field and uniquely aggressive play mesmerized me.

I especially liked the officials in long white lab coats, standing at the four post goals, pointing out what type of goal was scored.

Somewhere in the mid to late 80s, they stopped showing Aussie Rules.

So, when I turned on the TV this morning, I was pleased to find that there is a very competitive match between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood.

I'm remembering back to restless nights in a small military motel room, learning this unique sport.  Some things in the sport have changed, they always do, but it's fun to watch something that so conjures up those crazy days, the early 80s.

Happy Weekend from Silicon Valley, mate.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

DeDe's Seasons

DeDe Sorensen was born on this day in 1961, and left the physical plane in 2014, a little too soon for my liking.  She will always be a light in my life.  I stopped being sad about losing her somewhere between July 5, 2014 and now, and now celebrate the 33 years we had together.

When we were dating, the winter of 1980-81, I wrote her a little poem titled "A Warm Winter's Thought."  She treasured it, and told me that was the moment I truly won her heart.

Today, I celebrate an amazing 52 year life, basking in the memory of DeDe Sorensen with a new offering in the spirit of that first poem.



DeDe’s Seasons

©2018 Craig J. Sorensen

We found each other
In the Winter

Bound to each other
The end of Spring

We said our good-byes
At Summers dawn

But Autumn remained
Your time to sing

World pivots and turns
Seasons march on

As hands unclasped your
Spirit’s ascent

I always feel you
Inside my heart

The years we counted
Were heaven sent

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Renewal

Yesterday, I posted a selfie in honor of my friend, Shane Cox, and the last day of his treatment with Lemtrada for his MS.  There was a brief story in that selfie.

More on that below.

Shane has battled, and I mean that in the most literal sense, with MS since being diagnosed over nine years ago.  He has had countless ups and downs, but in each challenge there is determination.

Those who know him personally, or from his site, Hammer the Wall know this spirit.

The treatment he is taking is risky, but holds the possibility of a renewal.  There could be no other treatment for a man like Shane.

All or nothing.

For the selfie, I chose to stand across the street from where I live.  Until recently there was an old mobile home in the area behind me.  It wasn't in very good shape.  They tried to sell it for a time, but they couldn't.  Ultimately, they had to haul it away.  But they left behind a single rose bush.  Usually, they pull everything out when the old building is removed.  I found the remaining plant a pleasant surprise.

As I thought of Shane's journey, I thought of this piece of land, laid bare.  The single, defiant rose bush, is a conduit between the rocky past and a hopeful future.

This is where I hope Lemtrada will take Shane.  For renewal, something has to make room for it.  His immune system has been stripped away.  It is my deep hope that what returns will be something worthy of that amazing fighting spirit.

Not long after Shane's diagnosis, his defiance against the condition began with him buying a Ducati motorcycle.  We spent a fabulous day driving up to pick it up in State College, PA, telling stupid jokes that we share to this day.  On the way back, perhaps I should have been worried, driving the open highway at some pretty high speeds, a man freshly diagnosed with MS getting to know his new bike as I drove his car.  I wasn't worried.

Over the years, he has continued to take new journeys and amazing challenges.  This year, he completed the Boston Marathon in terrible weather conditions.  He continually finds new ways to keep strong, and new ways to raise a middle finger to MS.

That is Shane.  I'm honored to be his friend, and I anxiously await what will surely grow on the new, clear site that Lemtrada has made.

Happy Saturday from Silicon Valley

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Renovations

When I went back to Pennsylvania last year, I drove by the house that all of my kids grew into their adult years in.  It had been a great house for us, chock full of memories.  In the summer of 2012, DeDe and I had signed it over to a couple that had a young family, and they were so excited about having their first house.  They left a bottle of champagne on the mantle while the Sorensen crew finished our final stages of moving out.  We had such hope that this new family would love the house as much as we did, and that their kids would grow up and fill the house with more memories.

When I returned in 2017, what I found was far from what we had left behind.  The new family had recently abandoned the place.  Some windows had been broken and boarded up.  The yard showed the signs of being suddenly abandoned.  An old vehicle sat strangely canted on the driveway.  There were notices taped to the door: repossession by the bank, shut offs by utilities.  Of course, none of this changes the memories that the Sorensen family built there, but seeing the place in this state was a strange punch in the gut.

Yesterday, my son Daniel decided to do a Google search, and found a Zillow listing for the place.  Turns out that someone bought it, and did a classic "flip", just like they show on TV.  The house looks great, with a nice yard and the inside dressed up well, with bright but cool neutral colors.  Some timely additions and improvements make the house sparkle again.  There is a pending offer, so maybe this house will begin a new life after being abandoned so suddenly.

 I suppose this is one of those cases where life is like a house.  Things change, they always will, and sometimes they don't go as planned.  But we trudge on through life, and turn the corner to face the next challenge.

Coming to the Bay Area in 2012 was a restart for me and for my family.  I had to learn a lot of new things for the new job I took.  Some of these things were about my inner self, as much as for my work.  Sadly, I lost DeDe to cancer in 2014.  But life goes on, and I continue to learn new things about myself.  My creative side is flourishing now.  I'm writing a novel that draws on the experiences that surrounded that move in 2012, and inspiration abounds.

Today, there is as sale pending on that old but updated house, and I hope that the buyers will find in this place a great new beginning like we did in 1995.  Life is continual cycles, beginnings and endings, breaking down and building up.

Happy Saturday from Silicon Valley.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Flying Over Fire

I spent the last week in Oregon with my brothers.  Along the coast, the weather was quite cool, not getting much above 60, and that was where we spent most of our time.  Hiking, cooking, relaxing, talking.  Inland the weather was quite warm, but as is characteristic in the area, the nights cool off beautifully almost the instant that the sun is beneath the horizon.  Each day was special and carried with it, some great memories.

I decided to fly up and back, even though I love to drive, and relatively speaking, the drive between the Bay area and the Portland area is not far.  During the flight up, as I often do, I took some photos out the window of the plane, playing with the shapes below.  It was early in the day, and the light was pleasant.  There were some pictures I liked from this flight, and may post process them at some point.

Of all the photos I took on the trip, the one I included here is far from the best.  I took it during my flight back.  I was positioned in a seat right on top of the wing, so angling to take the photos, especially as I have to angle my head so that the reading portion of my bifocals is on the viewfinder, was difficult.

The subject, too, is difficult.  This picture is from above the fires that are right now inflicting serious damage on northern California.  As our plane approached the fires, turbulence from the rising heat shook us.  I've seen photos from on the ground of the Carr fire in the Redding area, posted by a friend who lives in the area, and they give some idea of the power that feeds this plume of smoke.

We each go through our lives, day to day, and most of the days are unremarkable.  Day to day aggravations can find undue weight.  I had some work issues that invaded on my vacation time, and I found focusing unduly on the attendant frustrations.

But in an instant, things can change in big way.  My heart goes out to those who wake up this morning, facing hard challenges.

Today, I am keeping perspective.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

San Jose Airport Musings

San Jose, CA Airport, 5:06 AM.

I hadn't planned to start my next writing project until I return from the vacation that I am starting now.  I was working on backstory materials, and the outline, but one thing I've learned over the years is that inspiration won't be denied.

As such, I've written the first two chapters of my new novel.   As always, the characters, once they set out on their journey, surprise me with their actions as the book unfolds.

I have a fabulous vacation to look forward to this week, enjoying the Oregon Coast with my brothers.  I might get some more writing done, but if I don't, I know my characters will be waiting when I'm done.  Who knows, I might work on it now.

Or I might watch some cartoons...

Happy Saturday from Silicon Valley.