Evolution of a suburbanite

It’s that time of year.   Damp and cold…and beautiful.

I’ve never been a fan of winter, or rain, or cold, or wind.    But somehow up here in the Sierra Nevada Foothills it’s much less of an annoyance and burden and so much more the wonderful fabric of life in the foothills.

The ground is still wet from the rain a couple of days ago and the wind is blowing the final dead oak leaves and pine needles from the trees.  The air is bitingly crisp in the mornings only warming  up in the late afternoon, just in time for the sun to go down to repeat that daily cycle.

Once an opponent and vocal critic of cold, wet, and winter  in suburbia I’ve turned into a lover of winter here at the Golden K.  It’s interesting. but not surprising, how a major life change (like packing up 25 years of suburbia and moving to the mountains) can alter  one’s perspective.   Over the past two years I’ve learned to appreciate all the seasons as I sit back in awe of  Mother Nature and all the artistry she so willingly and boldly displays.

I’ve come to know that life is too short to waste six months waiting for Summer to return as I once did as a suburbanite.

So I embrace this season as I will the next, and the next after that.  At a point in life one becomes retrospective more often than when younger.  Perhaps now is one of those times for me.   I want to appreciate all the days, all the hours, and all the minutes.  Many will be far from perfect, some will be sad, and some will be glorious.  One thing that can be said for all of those minutes is they will pass by in just 60 seconds and then the next will come and go, and so on and so on.   If I sit through all those hundreds of thousands of minutes just waiting for the one’s I perceive as ideal I will wish my life away, not to mention missing so many wonderful things.

The Golden K has helped me to evolve personally and to appreciate even the smallest things that life has to offer.  Like 120 foot pines swaying in the wind.  Or seeing the joy and excitement in my oldest Golden Retriever’s eyes when I start up the tractor.  Or a family of turkeys walking nearby.  And other things like my dogs going out to do their business first thing in the morning and watching them with their noses pointed high and low to smell where all the nocturnal critters were the previous night.  Hearing my neighbors horses whinny, looking out to the night sky and full moon with my bride of 35 years in the freezing cold.  Waiting for the return of the black tail deer.

It’s times like these that I recall what Jonathan Larson pointed out so insightfully in the lyrics of a song from Rent, the iconic musical from the nineties:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life
So yeah – at this moment in time this is my romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.
A moment at the Golden K
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The Golden K Shines

The Golden K is named in honor of our two Golden Retrievers Kali and Kloe.  But today the Golden K stood alone in it’s own “goldeness”.   On this beautiful fall the day changing of seasons was strikingly evident.  The Pines and Cedars willingly gave way to the majestic Oaks who stole the day with their version of the Mother Lode. Gold in them thar’ hills?   You bet!

So today, as a spectator, I sit back and enjoy the golden beauty around me.  And this is one of the of the oh so many reasons I have  a romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.

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Leaves

The hot summer days only left us a few weeks ago.   Winter rain and snow is on the way soon.  Today, sandwiched between those two extremes of hot and cold, we sat in awe.  In awe of Mother Nature who, with occasional whisks of her breath, sent colored leaves falling from the majestic and plentiful oak trees around the Golden K.

And how easy it is, on a day like today, to have a romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.

 

Falling

Fall could be my favorite season if it wasn’t that Winter came right after. I’ve never been much of a fan of rain and cold which forces me to put on shoes and long pants.  Although I must say that last winter, our first at The Golden K, was magical with all the snow we received that transformed the red clay and mud into a winter wonderland.   So this Fall, as I walk around and enjoy this fabulous Indian Summer Northern California is getting,  I am truly enjoying Mother Nature’s display of the the Fall season.

So yes I’m learning to enjoy Fall.  The still and cooler air is a welcome change from  the hot dry summer air.  I smell the occasional waft of a wood fire in the early evenings when we are still outside.   The occasional sighting of a fawn venturing down from the hill with it’s mother doe onto our property puts a smile on my face. As I look about I have the satisfaction that my sweat during the Spring and Summer made the GK safe while maintaining it’s beauty.

But above all I have my romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.

The Golden K in early Fall

Sixteen

As I sit here under the pines and oaks in relative peace with my Golden Kali by my side it’s easy to block out the world, the water, the wind, and the hardships imposed by both natural and human means.   It would be easy, given the beauty and harmony at the Golden K.  But it would be wrong.

Wrong because the Golden K is not an island, as is no man.  The Golden K is a blessing not to be taken for granted.   And the Golden K is part of the earth’s fabric, the political landscape’s fabric, and indeed the fabric of life.   So as I sit here with the canine love of my life I also remember.  I remember 16 years ago.  I remember 16 days ago.  And I remember 16 hours ago.   I think of all the first responders who didn’t make their way out of the rubble.   I think of the families and elderly who may have seen their lives literraly washed away.  I think of the domestic animals who had to be left behind or those wild ones who had no time or means to find safety.

Many have been saying that the worst brings out the best in “us”.  It has been wonderful, under these circumstances, to see unity and the collective human spirit rise above the elements that divided us just weeks ago slightly north of Irma.  The 24 hour news cycle has been about humanity instead of political profanity.  About saving lives instead of tearing them apart with hate.  About life boats instead of walls.   Talk about a kick in the teeth and wake up from mother nature.  Is it coincidence that after the beating mother nature has given us over the past few weeks that the memory of 911 presents itself?

I philosophize here on the deck of the Golden K while so many are “practicalizing”  on the porch of a flooded home or at ground zero in NYC with only the memories of someone dear who was lost.   What else is there to do?   Pack a bag and head into the “eye of the storm”?

What do we do?  What can we do?  When can we do it?

Prayers to all the 16’s.  16 years, 16 days, and 16 hours ago.

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The Golden K is Back!

As many followers of The Golden K know from blogs of their own writing is not a science and neither is the organization of ones thoughts.  The lines between my other blog site called Golden Kali and this one, called The Golden K, often blur.  Golden Kali is about my two Golden Retrievers who live with my wife and I at the Golden K located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of Northern California.  The Golden K is about my romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.  Part of that romance is my two dogs, my wife and I living our dream in the mountains.

Because of the blur, a couple of months ago I decided to merge the two blog sites.  I thought by doing so I would be able to post more often, be more concise, entertaining, and able to leverage the combined beauty of my Golden Kali and her baby sister Kloe with the beauty of the Golden K.  I was wrong.  I ended up posting less and struggling with capturing the two main themes of my life within a single blog.

So, The Golden K is back with a promise to posts one to two times a week.  If you began following Golden Kali during the failed merge I hope you will also continue to check in there to see what she and her sister Kloe are up to, which often times is shenanigans.

You can find us all here:

You can also follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/thegoldenkali/

Warm regards from the Golden K.

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Merging The K’s

Some followers of The Golden K blog may know that I have another blog called Golden Kali.  The Golden Kali blog began the day after Kali, a rescue from Taiwan and joined our pack.  The Golden K blog started shortly after relocating to the mountains a year ago.

The lines between the two blog sites have blurred because we wouldn’t have The Golden K without our Golden Kali and her sister Kloe.  The tag line for the Golden Kali blog used to be “Kali’s new life in America”.  When we moved to the mountains the tag line changed to, “Kali’s new life in the mountains.  The tag line (I’m a big fan of tag lines) for The Golden K is, “A romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet”.

I can’t think of Kali and Kloe without thinking about how lucky they are, we all are, to be living on five acres of paradise in the mountains.  And I can’t think of the Golden K without thinking about Kali and Kloe and how the Golden K would not be so Golden without them and it certainly would not be called the Golden K.  Maybe the Iron Ranch, or Silver Spurs, but not the Golden K.

So I now succumb to the obvious and will merge the two blogs because they are really the same.  I hope followers of The Golden K will get to know Kali and Kloe, the inspiration for the Golden K. And, I hope regular followers of Golden Kali will enjoy an occasional post about The Golden K located in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country town called Tuolumne.  And

I hope followers of The Golden K will continue to read about my romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet at the Golden Kali blog here:  https://goldenkali.com

Golden Kali on the right and “little” sister Kloe on the left.

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