Some years are simply better than others, considering how what we reach for we sometimes get. And sometimes, we don’t. 2012 for me was a pretty peripatetic year, involving oodles of travel experiences of the deepest, warmest and most novel sorts. I was able to stay close to my family and experience our challenges and our life changes in these days when we seem so ineffably “Bi Coastal”. I was also enabled to create yet more brand new memories with many of my oldest, dearest friends from surprising destinations, perhaps especially Santa Cruz, California but also in Owensboro, Kentucky, my childhood home.
As always, my dearest impacts involve the heart of whom no one qualifies remotely as much as my daughter, Alena. We hooked up twice – once for a glorious visit to San Diego and secondly for the wedding of Flora Mae, whom Alena Flora Snedeker was named after. Here she poses with her Mom, Alice, at the pre-Wedding rehearsal dinner hard by the Coast of Santa Cruz.
But the San Diego trip in Spring was memorable in its own right:
We had all the time we wanted at the Huntington Garden………just wow.
Such diversity within one massive and very perfect Garden.
It was simply one unbelievably gorgeous vista after another………..
And all this warm California sun and fun followed a perfectly-timed visit to Portland, where my visits almost always include Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden – at its worst a ridiculous profuse celebration of gigantic blooms.
I returned home to Louisville refreshed and willing to take on a new project – a book about my ex Baseball Coach and Kentucky legend, Jack Hicks. The pace of my life was changing into a speedier, more interesting version. Since that time I have carred on until today, after consulting with Jack who opined that “If you don’t have anything better to do, I’ll be glad to talk with you about all that.” 😉
I am also pleased to mention that substantial progress has been made – at a slower clip than I had imagined. But I thoroughly enjoy the process – totally. Jack is a wonderful man and well-deserving of his story getting out.
Thus, I have made innumerable trips down from Louisville to Owensboro, making the hour and a half drive seamlessly – nothing but 4 lane roads and open country to dream and think on. At the same time, I found my destination – Owensboro, Kentucky -providing something most incredible: Their new Smothers Park on the riverside downtown. It is one of the best landscaping efforts of recent years absolutely anywhere. I am such a fan.
Mixed with a gorgeous Kentucky Spring, it was all one could ask out of Nature and Society.
Meanwhile, Flora’s Father, Steve – my best friend for 50 years – started himself up a band in a restless retirement, which may have been one of the best things he ever did. We talk constantly and a sanitized version of our conversations evokes funny stuff as well as deeper musings about what we “have left” and how we each embrace where we are with open arms, still restless and both believing we have something to offer, still.
The wedding would be next – late August I sped off yet again, this time to Santa Cruz, California (where I provide far more detail here: http://www.stevesnedeker.com/6384/a-california-wedding-strictly-personal.html )
This was an event for the ages, especially if by some chance the earlier trip was not. It was not only delightful to see Santa Cruz again, in all its Coastal Splendor
One must not ignore the Redwoods of Santa Cruz, either:
The wedding reunited me with an entire crew of friends with whom I played softball for years and also with whom it became popular to have children, all very nearly at the same time. Later relocation to Reno for us became a challenge to keep up with old dear friends, which made this reunion a deep classic – and penetrated the heart with memories, love and unconditional acceptance, warts and all. It was an amazingly well-designed yet spontaneous event. The dance after the Wedding was sooooooo called-for, just to shake loose the energy implicit in the smallest tectonics.
This says it all!
Seeing Woody Bookout and Linda, here behind the lovely Alice, was a personal total highlight. Lord, Woody and I go back a ways in simple intensity and baseball love. He’s still a literal hero of mine.
Once again I came back home refreshed, unready, actually, for a surprise set of tickets sent by my brother Mike, inviting us all to head up to Portland for Christmas. Needless to say, we took them up on that offer.
It was a ball.
Here’s one perspective on Multnomah Falls!
And here is the 180 degree view from there!
Our sister, Diane, came up later amid my illness which had me sleeping through Christmas Day and the next. But her son Aaron and lovely wife Alex were there, providing an amazing group of immediate family for an entire week. More Snedekers than the law provides for, actually!
I was able to squire my brother Tom around the Portland Chinese Garden for a morning. He was suitably impressed.
Our return home was “through the park” in a set of unscheduled detours, but it made finally arriving absolutely the height of heights.
Oh – one thing did occur which marks a new realm of possibility, not that I will take and run with it. But Darragh actually took a good picture of me, lol. This is I with the bride, Flora Mae. I’d never seen one before.