Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Visiting my parents

After two days of hard travel, Older Daughter and I are down in Southern California visiting my parents.

We took Hwy. 80 from Reno over the mountains, skirted around Sacramento, then headed south on Hwy. 5. It's a long drive through a mostly empty area. California is the nation's most populated state by far, so I'm always amazed at just how much emptiness is here. Lots and lots of agriculture, though of course it's completely dependent on irrigation, which is a very political subject.

At one point we passed a long traffic jam in the northbound lanes due to road construction, something we (thankfully) didn't have to deal with.

This is an interesting little "vista point" where some decent views are possible, including the California Aquifer which passes right by. However we bypassed it this time and just blasted through.

Temperatures were easily 100F as we drove, and we felt very sorry for the range cattle that had no shade. Areas that did have shade had animals just crammed underneath.

In fact, as we crossed the low coastal range, the temperature hit 108F. Whee.

Finally we hit the coast. Here's Pismo Beach...

...forever associated in my mind with Bugs Bunny.

It was nice to see the ocean again.

After a couple more hours on the road, we finally fetched up to my parent's home. I'm grateful their area has far lower temperatures than the inland locations. We'll be experiencing 60s and 70s over the next week.

My mom (at 92) is confined to a wheelchair due to a stroke, and my dad (who turns 89 in less than two weeks) is her primary caretaker. Our job for the next few days is to be as helpful as possible: errands, shopping, cooking, some yard work. I have three brothers, and I'm profoundly grateful they're so much closer and are able to help my parents far more often than I can. One brother is only an hour's drive away, and the other two live in the Bay Area.

Our timing on this visit is no accident ... because we'll get to see Younger Daughter too! She flew into Virginia this week for a few days of technical training, and on Saturday she's flying west. We'll pick her up from the airport Saturday morning and will have only a single day of visiting with her. Older Daughter and I leave on Sunday (I'm dealing with job commitments myself), and Younger Daughter will stay on a couple days longer with my parents. So we're having something of a small family reunion, in itself is a gift to my folks.

So if I'm silent on the blog for the next few days, dear readers, please forgive me.


  1. I've never been to Pismo Beach, but the metro where Bugs “shoulda made a left toin at Alba-koi-kee” - lived there for 38 years.

    Take some time off. You've earned it.

  2. How wonderful that you get to spend time with your family. Enjoy it in peace.

  3. Are you nuts, forgive you for time off, get real. Shut down for as long as possible, your fans can then do research on your previous articles for which there is a plenty. Family always first, please take as long as needed and enjoy this moment, parents, daughter great memories.

  4. Enjoy time with your parents and don't worry about the blog!

  5. Had time this morning to catch up on what is happening with your homestead.
    When I found out you are visiting with your parents. Such a blessing to be with them along with your daughter. Then to discover your youngest will be there also. Awesome, is the best way to describe a family get together. Enjoy yourselves, your readers are patient people and understand family comes first.