Getting REAL with Diane McDaniel

I was introduced to Diane McDaniel at the Women’s March in Los Angeles and was fascinated by her podcast about how people face transformative experiences in their lives. I was flattered when she called a few days later, asking if I would be willing to share my experience. She sent me a list of questions

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Leaving Our Comfort Zone

We spent the past week in Tucson, Arizona, visiting our son Paul. The weather was a comfortable 80 degrees every day and the city is easy to navigate with its wide boulevards. There were handicapped accessible sites like the paved path in Sabino Canyon. We took the tram to the top of the canyon and

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Afternoons at the Cinema

I remember spending long afternoons watching movies at the El Rey theater in Salinas, California when I was growing up. My sisters and I would get dropped off and we would sit through two feature films, often staying through to the beginning of the third film. Then we would stumble out of the theater into

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But Where Are You Really From?

  “Where are you from?” is a question I was (and still am) asked constantly. And after I go through the litany – California, Los Angeles, Salinas, Castroville, Tulare – there is always the familiar refrain, “But where are you really from?” And so I explain. My parents immigrated from China, in the 1940’s. “Where

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Someday Is Here

“Don’t go to the grocery store and get a haircut on the same day,” said Bob, one of my husband’s law firm partners, when he retired many years ago. “You want to stretch out your activities to fill your days.” One of my biggest worries when I retired was how I was going to fill

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Being Present for 1 Minute, 55 Seconds

I was in Nashville for the solar eclipse on August 21 and it was everything I had hoped it would be – there aren’t enough superlatives to describe the spectacular display. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of crowds and visibility so I left my husband at home with the caregiver. Even long-time

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The Allure of the Open Road

I have always loved long road trips and the tingle of excitement at the thought of the open road. When my husband and I graduated from UCSB, we threw all our belongings into his Datsun pickup and drove from Santa Barbara to Chicago to begin our stints as VISTA volunteers. I remember the exhilaration and

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Hanging Up the Tools of the Trade

June 30 was my last day at LAUSD and I turned in all my devices – laptop, docking station, portable hard drives, iPhone and badge. It was a bittersweet feeling – happiness at no longer being tethered to the District 24/7 but sadness at leaving longstanding relationships with colleagues and staff. All month, there were

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The Presence of His Absence

  Our normal routine was interrupted two weeks ago by my husband’s sudden hospitalization. Our caregiver couldn’t get him to walk after they had lunch at the mall on Monday. He couldn’t reach me on my cell phone so he called 911 and they whisked him to the emergency room. It was an hour later

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A New Chapter

  At the end of June, I will be retiring from the school district and I feel a mixture of sadness and elation. Sadness at leaving deeply formed relationships and wistful about the knowledge and expertise I’ve acquired over my tenure at the district. But mostly it’s elation at the prospect of a new life

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