This is one of those places that never seem to change — a little oasis of peace right in the center of the city of Menlo Park, a bedroom community for Silicon Valley tycoons. Every year, the shops have seasonal “themed” parties — Fall, Christmas.
The day she took these pictures was her birthday. She was with her son and daughter-in-law and Lucia.
Oh, what fun. It is summer, self’s favorite time of year. It is hot as all get out, self is wearing a muumuu, she even wore it to go to a dentists appointment, and her dentist complimented her and asked where she got it.
This is wildfire season in California, and as a matter of fact there was a fire quite near her, just off Edgewood Road. But that was handled in three days. There’s another, bigger fire in Yosemite which is hopefully on its way to containment. There is a drought, so everyone’s been asked to limit watering to two days a week. Other than that, it’s been a good summer. Self has raised three new rose bushes and a bougainvillea in her backyard. And she’s been reading, a lot. In the past month: four Dr. Ruth Galloway mysteries, two Gone novels, Book One of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Final Architecture trilogy, and Where the Crawdads Sing (she’s still not sure if she’ll see the movie).
The guest host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is solaner, and the prompt is SUMMER VIBES:
Show us your favorite activity (yes, chilling is also accepted as an activity in this context) in summer. In my gallery below, I have some of them as inspiration: biking, mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, diving, sailing, surfing, kite-surfing, beach sailing, chilling, bbq-ing, beach partying, traveling, sightseeing, reading, dreaming, loving, dancing, and I’m sure, you’re finding lots more like i.e. Midsommar in the Scandinavian countries or the White Nights
Here are three little glimpses of self’s Summer of 2022:
Her backyard — Roses are blooming!
Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, which has such beautiful gardens! The bougainvillea is gigantic.
Café Wisteria — She celebrated her birthday (Bastille Day) there last Saturday, seated in the courtyard. That’s the best thing about having a birthday in July: you can celebrate outside!
QED, self thinks. After all, self has often thought that most of her pictures function better as a sequence. Each photo like a still of a silent film.
But when she finally sat down this afternoon to select her three-picture sequence, she ended up choosing three pictures she took of a site (the Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda) that don’t seem to tell much of a story. Shrug. Self will keep posting. Even when she’s in Seattle, attending the AWP annual conference for the first time in something like six years.
Below are pictures she took last summer, when she indulged in two Cal Shakes performances: Romeo and Juliet, on her birthday, with son and The Man and Jessika and Pepe and a small group of son’s high school classmates (Self still finds it hard to believe that Margarita Donnelly, who ended up publishing self’s first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, was a graduate of that same school, Sacred Heart in Atherton, CA. Back when it used to be an all-girls school!)
She saw another Cal Shakes production in August, this time with just one other person, Jessika Remolona (who’s expecting a baby this June! Woot Woot!): Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. Jessika and self brought enough bottles of wine to carry us through almost three hours (They let you take the wine inside the theater. You can actually drink during the performance. Which makes self feel like she is in the Golden Globes or something)
Self loves Shakespeare. She loves Shakespeare outside.
After she saw her first Cal Shakes play (Romeo and Juliet with Adam Scott playing Romeo. Adam Scott) she could never watch Shakespeare in any other guise than outdoors. In the summer. With a bottle of wine.