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  • Finally an assignment urged me out of the space that’s been cluttered haven of competence since we remodeled our home 18 years ago, my space of angles and light, where there are two doors for easy access and easy out - and a closet to hide the evidence. Where there is a stack of windows and another overhead, two ways to let in the light. There are two sides to every story.

    And so into the living room I emerge, to the sculpted iron writing desk, shaded from nature’s sun, but still able to relish her because of a wall of windows. Protected from the blaze of heat and heated ways of people, I am graced with uncomplicated serenity like the ease of my Apple laptop computer.

    I watch the airplanes land and take-off, but they seldom puncture the peace of this place with rock concert equivalent noise. Let others be busily going and coming; today I am seeing to write.

    I move my eyes from left-to-right, as a well-schooled early reader should. San Diego Red bougainvillea spills over the graceless greige slumpstone wall that assures we do not view our neighbors and that they return this favor. The zoo-like grid of wrought iron fence that abuts it is where we meet to chat.

    My eyes sweep up to the shock of bronze flax in a huge square, salmon-colored pot. This is the punk hair-do of our yard. The yard then spills over an edge that is adorned with yellow and orange gazanias that open, we’re told, in bright daylight. From my vantage their appearance is green scruff; it is their roots that hold the hillside that is their advantage. They walk on the edge of our privacy.

    In the center of our horizon-hugging yard is a rusted iron sculpture that has become a favorite among the small birds that have arrived, as if timed by an alarm, at 6:30 each morning to take a dip in our pool. The tiptop is laden with white and I cannot wonder why. A vibrant red-orange day lily plant sidles up to the 3 ft. sculpture and sometimes grazes it in the breeze.

    I see the curved end of our pool with its deep blue pond-effect colors of ‘Lake Tahoe’ pebble texture. I see the sand-colored sidewalk that allows me to walk the loop of the pool. There is a high wall on the backside of the pool, capped with wide red bricks that are smooth seating to watch the Disneyland fireworks each evening. If you come to our home, we will make you sit there to enjoy the show. It seems to celebrate the end of each day as much as the sunsets that occur on the other side of our yard. Lights bookend our view.

    Last, but not least, in the 180 degree vista is the raised-bed garden of ‘the best man alive’. He faithfully bends nature to his will, making miracles in the same manner as with me. The big green clusters are ‘trees’ of tomatoes and basil, along with the ravaged remains of beans and peas. Vibrant bursts of marigolds smile along the front of the beds. A robust lemon tree is sentry to a display of hybrid day lily varieties paying homage to a Frank Lloyd Wright angel.

    The ocean breezes riff across branches and leaves so that one can never look at our vista as a painting, but as something natural and fully alive, something always on the move. Green lawn kisses the shy blue sky that’s stripped of white – yeah, to live in California.
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