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Home Sweet Home

Updated: Feb 29

By Annie Bowler, Vol 12 March 1, 2024

It’s been wonderful to be home but that crazy, windy February day that felled too many giant oaks across our region was awful. It breaks my heart whenever we lose our precious oaks!

But finally, the wind died, and the rains came. And when the rains passed, the sun sparkled, and the creeks roared. The whole of it reminded me of how resilient our precious earth can be. Aren’t we lucky?

Since our return, we tried hard to catch up with family and friends but especially with our grandkids, who are growing up way too quickly. We’ve attended basketball and indoor soccer games and watched the movie Wonka on the big screen, which is a rare treat for our gang. One highlight was the night we hosted four of our grandkids and their friends for a wonderful evening at our house.

Inspired by our visit to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Rome, we’ve been talking with our grandkids about da Vinci’s amazing inventions. John is teaching art in JT’s class weekly. With all this discussion of art, John is inspiring all the kids to refine their drawing skills:) (photos of John drawing with kids with da Vinci book open, etc.)

Life can be very be hard and sadly, suicide has taken both friends and family members within the last year. Suicide is an epidemic in America today. The CDC released its latest figures last November that showed the suicide rate is at its highest in 80 years and almost 50,000 died of suicide in 2022. More than half were deaths by firearms. All this information breaks my heart, but there is good news.

WellSpace Health Suicide Prevention Lifeline serves most of California and is a free and confidential service that is available 24/7. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available; call, text, or chat to 988. Anyone can call the Lifeline, whether they are thinking about suicide or not, and get emotional support. There is no minimum age, and you can receive support at any time, even on holidays. As long as you have a phone, you can call the number and talk to someone.

On a lighter note, we had a fun night at a Colter Wall concert recently at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. It’s a gem of a venue that made me feel like I was back in Italy. It was extra fun because our son Jake and his longtime friend, Sebastian, who are both Wall fans, joined John and I for the evening. We should have worn cowboy attire, however! Country music isn’t normally my jam, but I truly enjoyed hearing this talented musician and his band play. There were amazing guitarists, harmonica like I never heard before, and Colter’s deep baritone was simply gorgeous! Wall is only 28; I’m going to keep an eye on this guy!

A few reasons why I love cross country skiing:

  • It’s darn beautiful out there and it’s oh so quiet, a rarity in our busy, noisy world.

  • Cross Country skiing is one of the best forms of exercise. I’m not going to lie; cross country skiing was quite hard for me at the beginning of this season because I hadn’t regained all my pre-surgery fitness. Thus, this season has been especially gratifying as I’ve challenged myself to ski a bit further, a bit faster, each time I’ve skied. I’m getting my old self back.

  • Every day is different out there on the trail, depending on the weather, the snow conditions and my forementioned fitness level. It keeps you honest…. !

  • Cross Country skiers are friendly, helpful people. I dropped my phone while out skiing recently. When others found out, a search party formed quickly, and my phone was found within minutes. Phew!

As everyone knows, we had almost record-breaking snow levels in 2023. This photo is of John shoveling snow in front of our cabin in February of 2023. Thankfully, this year’s rain and snow levels are in the normal range which is a good thing for all of us!

 Here’s to more fine weather!

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1 Comment

Mar 06

i loved seeing everything connected to the "italian adventures" post.

Wow, I really need to meet you.

The location and the stone house is up my alley.

However it has been some full 55 years since i was in Rome!😄 I thank you for this story of your adventure.😍

nancy paterson

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