Summer idyll

In spite of all the strange and disparate tasks that are part of this trip, I am taking–perhaps an unconscionable amount of–vacation time:  visiting with friends, sight-seeing in low key, reading for pleasure.

Yesterday I had lunch with Carole and then we took a grand walk around central South Berkeley, on the prowl for interesting houses, trees, exterior decoration. We saw miniature Chinese lions guarding a 30’s era bungalow, cork trees manicured into perfect crowns by a synagogue while their sisters had gone wild and dense up the block, a strangely windowless rambling structure that has the owner locked in conflict with City Hall over code violations, corn and squash and lettuces in a front lawn. There seems to have been a lavender wood paint sale earlier this season as a range of houses had doors or brackets painted purple, whether or not the rest of paint on the house argued with the hue.

Today I visited the afternoon away with an old friend who has always been animal-friendly and whose house currently contains a small fleet of dogs in various sizes, most of whom seem to want for nothing more than a belly rub and lapsit the the visitor. As we chatted, it occurred to me that Connie brought my family both the grade school and the camp that have become parts of our son’s character as surely as growing up in Berkeley has. I’m glad I had the chance to thank her!

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