Friday January 7th

[San Francisco Symphony at Davies Hall. Two drawings of musicians: Base Viola and Violinist.] base viola player san francisco symphony

Thursday February 20th

"Went to Ano Nuevo to see the Elephant Seals. We had no tickets but got in the 1:30 tour as alternates."

"Caroline was so excited and kept imitating the Elephant Seals...on the way back we went down to the beach, collected fossil shells, found abalone shells and beautiful shaped stones. Caroline made a beeline for the water... [I] threw off the backpack (finding out later the new thermos was broken in the process) and gave chase. Caught her just a few feet from the roaring surf (The big storm was just over 2 days past)."

elephant seal bull alone
Along the way I heard Katharine yell and looked up to see a bull Elephant Seal lying across my path only 20 feet away from me.

"I might have walked right into it had Katharine not warned me. But then walked around it to get a better look at his head whereupon Katharine let out a scream thinking I was about to be killed (she saw it was about to rear up and trumpet [but] it had only moved it's head a foot or so find a better resting spot."

"We found 2 abalone shells whole - quite pretty reflecting silver red and blue. Katharine insisted on taking one up to the headquarters: perhaps they might want to keep it on display, but, as expected, they had little interest "Let nature take it's course" [they said]. When we reached the end of Ano Nuevo beach at the creek, we discovered the road up was washed out in the storm so we inched our way on the tiny remaining ledge above the swollen rushing current."

"We stopped on the way back [home] in Half Moon Bay and bought some clam chowder, a nice warm end[ing] to an interesting and fulfilling day."

elephant seal family with a Bull a mother and her new-born pup
This bull and female were part of a large group of about 20 or so. The bull lies quite still like a log: the pups squawk and chirp and squeal without end. This one was nursing quite contentedly.

"On the other side one quite fat pup was looking for a free meal beyond his normal 28 day nursing period. One pup, when suprised, rolled down the slope of sand about 40 feet, landing directly in front of a bull, who paid no attention, but the human onlookers laughed at his rather ludicrous appearance as he (she?) rolled out of control down the slope."

elephant seal pup alone

"Sometimes the pups are separated from their mothers and are unable to rejoin them although only a few feet away, subsequently starving to death. The small bodies of the pups are seen here or there among the dunes. Those that survive have a remarkable rate of growth, at times up to 1/2 pound per hour. The mothers do not eat or drink for the entire time they are hauled up on the land. Thus the milk is produced out of their existing reserves - the weight loss of the seals is considerable especially for the males, some of which lose 1/3 of their body weight, for example, from 6000 lbs. down to 4000 lbs."

"Considering their massive bulk, the bulls are able to move rather rapidly for short distances. It is in fact quite dangerous to approach within 20 - 30 ft. Even those that appear asleep are able to cover that distance in about 2 and 1/2 seconds. Unless one relishes being crushed by a soft bulldozer, it is better to keep ones distance."

March 1st - [Plant Notes]

"Juniper pfitzeriana producing pollen
Apples beginning to to break
Purple plums leafed out last week
Cercis in bloom
Roses budding
New foliage on Photinia fraseri
Olive fruit drops
Peonies in bloom (early
Magnolia soulangeana ending bloom
Eriobotrya deflexa starts bloom"

March 1st At the beach in Santa Cruz w/Rachel + Joel [at Castle Beach]

Joel running on beachplaying with driftwood sticksbuilding the beach fort

"Rachel + J build a fort or house - I don't know which - with drift wood [which is] piled high over the entire beach.
There are plenty of building materials to choose from, mostly 6' long 6" through are chosen and piled 4 square - it is a veritable cornucopia of shapes, some cut, others whole from chips to entire trees 5' thick. There will be plenty of fires tonight."

"Rachel falls in the water trying to climb a log ... The fort progresses. Joel comes to look at the sketches and gives me a kiss on the cheek. He is making pieces of wood float in the fort. "Let's see if it floats dad ... ya wanna see if it floats? Chips and boards become ships and what not."

May 22nd 1986

Carrie at the Harbor Cafe in Santa Cruz May 22nd 1986
Carrie at the Harbor Cafe in Santa Cruz

May 23rd 1986

"The Wiggley-iggeley-squiggely Girl"
[first mention of working title for unpublished children's picture book - "The Iggly-Squiggly-Wiggily Worm"]

May 29th 1986

"Saw a Western Tanager in the plum tree above the pond"
[Must have been Joe Bahris's little pond behind the house when we lived at Grace Freeman's in San Leandro by the Marina]

April 2nd - [Plant Notes]

"Aesculus carnea in bloom
End of primulas
Pine candles up - male cones producing pollen
Saw Corallorhiza at Chabot [park] (ridge above parking lot under Bay-Oak woods)"

After April 2nd 1986 - before April 13th

Carrie with ribbons in her hair
Caroline with ribbons in her hair. Place and exact date unknown. Just sometime between April 2nd and the 13th. Very unusual for me not to date a drawing or make a brief note of the occassion

Sunday April 13th 1986

Stan Morris gives the talk on Sunday. He uses two notable Bible verses:
Leviticus 26:3-5 "If you keep walking in my statutes I shall give you rain at the proper time and you will eat bread to satisfaction"
Jeremiah 8:9 "...wise ones caught in their own cunning...what wisdom do they have?"

May 1st 1986

"At what time or point in our lives does the full realization of our limits or shall we say, the limits of our capabilities fall upon us, that knowledge that we have accomplished what we are going to accomplish? Sobering it is to see no distant goals to be attained by training and struggle, dreams and hopes to be grasped but rather the hard reality of what is what exists at the present as the sum and total of our existence."

"Then do I say, 'miserable man that I am?'. How natural to deny our failures and to proclaim our future successes, deny our frailty and project ourselves as certain, bold, of great integrity and character."

"Human nature! Irrepressible, undeniable, irrascible, but how uncertain our immediate future, how beyond our control, insensitive to our vain desires of the moment."

"Our world changes so quickly, so quickly we cannot comprehend the total effect on our life with any effectiveness. The net closes as the gleaming irridescent squirming fish thrash and twist in vain against the enclosing trap. Little fish in so great a sea without understanding of the enormous nature of the waters we live in ... bound to be caught and destroyed. But struggling nonetheless against the inevitable."

"How small and insignificant our meager acomplishments measured against the vastness of creation. How dare we be so insolent as to make such great airs and assumptions."

May 2nd 1986

"tonkle tonkers, miss dingleberry, tooters" [Katharines pet names for Sarah]

May 11th 1986

"pooters face, pumpkin tooters, little booger" [Katharines pet names for Sarah]

May 13th 1986

"tinkies, pestamongous" [Katharines pet names for Sarah]

Friday May 23rd 1986 A Lament

"I've never written to 'Dear Diary' but it seems that is the case tonight. It is 10:30 Friday night. The house is quiet except for the ticking of the clock."

"How can I categorize my life without Rachel, without Joel? I don't know if they are in Tracy, in fact, where they are at all. I don't know what they are doing. They may be dead, they may be alive, I have no idea. I am certainly not the man I was only a few short years ago - so much has changed, really changed. So many things have ceased to exist in my life ... Maud, running... I don't know, every thing seems to swirl and merge and change. I have left the old world behind but have not yet entered the new. I no longer understand. My youthful optimism deserted me yesterday. After 37 years I have finally accepted that one has to grow up. It is painful, it is difficult. There is sorrow in the acknowledgement that one is really a failure, that the high ideas were really only Pipe Dreams, that one is really quite helpless to effect one's desires in life."

"The measure of one's life has been taken and the cup shows with dreadful clearness the shortcomings that we seek most heartily to deny. To quote Paul, "miserable man that I am...", doing the things that I do not wish, fighting the imperfect flesh, erring constantly, becoming more and more aware of my own mortality, [of] how weak the flesh really is."

"Major errors from the past follow me like the Albatross of the Ancient Mariner - how unable I am to escape the consequences of my own folly. How vehemently I wish to be free of imperfection and filled with truth and moral fortitude, the ability to see the long term consequences of my decisions."

"I have become like Peter Pan, caught 'in between', not really growing up or fitting in anywhere. How much I envy those who found their niche in life early on and pursued it while I bounce from one thing to another, never a success, failing often, unrequited, unrewarded, lost, uncertain except for the precious truth, for the lack of which I should certainly be unfortunate indeed!!"