That Season

The Solstice approaches and the days continue to shorten. Holidays pile on and make their demands. We too make changes and take in new opportunities. 

In addition to all my other activities and Jojoba Hills (reminder those are Spanish “j”s pronounced like “h”s)  I have joined the hiking group. I went on my first hike with them on 12/12 and survived. It was supposed to be a 7 mile hike, but through some missed turns it was more like 8 or 9 miles depending on whose pedometer one chooses to believe. Mine said ten!  Here’s the gang gathered at the picnic table that marked the missed turn and our lunch stop:

After lunch we decided to continue on for a bit and we started getting to view like this which justified the increasing tiredness in my legs:

We had some excitement when we came across a buck lying in the brush. He got up and starting running in circles. It became clear he was injured and soon we were able to see that he had injured one eye and kept turning toward that side. We felt almost as threatened as him and backed off quickly. As always it is hard to see animals injured in the wild and know that there is nothing to be done. 

In the mean time, since I have nothing to occupy my time I have taken up wood carving. Billy Outlaw, yes that is his name and he is our immediate neighbor, is a fine carver and teacher. My first project is a bear and I am working from another carver’s finished product, as you can see I have a ways to go:

I am still making myself visible at every event and gathering in the Park as I pursue the Board seat. I am having fun doing it and last night Carol and I went to a Park Dinner Dance and were up and dancing a lot with Valley Winds Big Band playing. 

We also have made another addition to our site with wonderful screens on the awning so we can block the hot sun in its season and the wind in its current season.   

You can see it reducing the sun glare 🙂 The screens can be all the way down or up or one position in between about 6 feet off the ground. Next we have to have the site remodeled a bit for better traffic flow. 

Please Find me on

Some Excitement

Top news is we have a high wind warning. Santa Ana Winds at 35 to 40 gusts to 50 and maybe a rare one to 80mph! I have stowed the chairs in the shed and battened down everything else. The coach can be ready to roll in 15 minutes and the Jeep is good to go.  The alert includes fire warnings as you might imagine. I was just outside and it is mild and breezy at the moment.

We are in Jojoba Hills Election season. Tueday and Wednesday we had 3 forums of candidates – that’s me – for the Board. Each afternoon I got to move among 3 tables of members and address them with my credentials and goals and answer their questions for 25 minutes. Some one referred to it as speed dating. With some guidance from a friend I prepared handouts:

P3  Paul’s Plans for Progress 

The card has three bullet points  which helped to guide the discussions and questions i was asked.  I have Park emergency numbers on the back of the card.

A day later: High wind warning are still on and there are fires visible from our park. 

I am posting this on as well as FaceBook and Google+. The mail demon does not seem to like my posts any more and is returning them.  If you want to keep reading, please go to any of those sites and choose to follow me or get notices.


Staying Put

It looks like we will be staying put in Jojoba Hills through January. There is nothing wrong with us or the coach. We haven’t made any travel plans and we both have committed to working for the good of the community. Carol is running for Vice Chair of Hilltoppers, our social organization. So far she has no competition. She also is instrumental in getting our internal emergency support system running. I am running for Board of Directors of the corporation. There are four of us running for 3 open seats. The election is February 1, for both organizations. We are both working at the committees we chose to become involved with. I admit I enjoy organizational work and find it interesting and challenging, more so than carving wooden figures which I have also started to do. 

Yechiel likes to call me daily during one of his drives. He has found it is difficult to find a moment when I am not engaged in some activity the precludes a lengthy conversation. The most common afternoon activity is Bridge, it is possible to get a game almost any day in the card room.  Even early in the morning – early being a relative term – I can be found with the tech crew having coffee and reviewing the complaints about TV, Internet or Phone that have been called in since our previous meeting. We choose up teams and go off to see if we can solve the problem, usually with good success.

Thursdays I organize breakfast with ROMEO  at a local restaurant. We carpool about 30 minutes away and have a fine time repeating the same jokes and stories we have told every week. Oh, ROMEO stands for Retired (Really) Old Men Eating Out.   

All in all it makes for a busy day without golf or Pickle Ball. I know this seems rather placid compared to our usual running around the world and country, but we do enjoy it. Also the local politics are interesting. The late Alan Bernstein Jr taught me many years ago that organizing groups of people to achieve good ends is a sport that can be rewarding in itself. Until then I just did it because I thought I supposed to.