||[Dec. 27th, 2018|10:30 pm]
Judy Anderson (yduJ)
I went to California to visit my parents and parade the children around. My aunt has a vacation home on Clear Lake (I learned to waterski on Clear Lake, though it turns out that was on the other side of the lake), and we all congregated there. It was me and the kids (Ken and Valerie stayed home), my parents, my aunt, and three of her kids, but none of their spawn or partners -- they turned out to all be widowed or divorced, and their spawn are grownups with lives.
It's kind of amusing to meet people you knew when you were a teenager 40 years later. They're all kind of republican-leaning, but not as strident as my sister. I set them straight a couple times when they made comments I objected to, and they didn't fuss, we had a real discussion about it. One was about "lactation support", which I know a lot about, another was some casual racism thing but they weren't wedded to their opinion. We also had some more fun discussions; one morning we had pancakes and I extolled the virtues of real Maple Syrup and how it is made and why Grade B (now called Grade A Dark Amber) is the better syrup despite the worse grade.
Jocelyn's pottery was well-received. They gave us chocolate, which is now all consumed.
I inquired about whether they had any canoes or kayaks. Turned out they did, one very old and dirty kayak that hadn't been used in years, and one inflatable. They were all "you can't want to use these boats" but Jocelyn and I were game, so we inflated the inflatable, and hosed off the old dirty one, and off we went. They seemed to think the old dirty kayak would be "too tippy", but really, it was fine, you just need to keep your weight low when getting in, like all kayaks. I think they're all too used to powerboats where you just jump in any old which way. We paddled for about 45 minutes, going around a small nearby island and returning.
The dock is great -- it's up on pylons about 12 feet off the water, and there's a deck that raises and lowers by electric motors to get down to the water. They keep their powerboat up in a sling above the water. The things you can do when your lake doesn't freeze! (Really, it's the thawing process that's bad for the dock. Just freezing is fine.) Apparently there's "one tide a year" and in the spring the water will be much higher, almost up to the fixed dock. Clear Lake (a misnomer -- it's pretty algae-choked) is pretty large, and the waves can get high in the wind, so a lower dock would be trashed. They told me they once had a floating dock, but it got trashed by the waves.
I couldn't get a good picture of the actual dock because I was standing on it, and the angle from the house wasn't good -- this is the neighbor's dock but it's the same idea:
We went out of Terminal B from SMF this time. It has a really random bit of art, here is "spidey-rabbit". I don't think the spiderman effect was intentional, just an artifact of the plates that make up the sculpture.
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