Sunday, June 21, 2009

father's day #15

Fifteen years ago and some change, we started a family, a home-based business of sorts, complete with its own budget, mission statement, goals and objectives. Going into it, we knew that this company would never turn a profit, not as it stands. But that didn't make it any less worthwhile, didn't discourage us from making investments that, for the most part, won't start to yield dividends for a while still. No matter. It's not like we're flipping real estate or day trading. We're in this for the long haul, betting on futures we are only now just beginning to see the outlines of — just there, beyond the horizon.

We kicked off Father's Day celebrations at Peet's Coffee with pastries and frappuccinos,

then took the long way out to Highway 1, past a riot of bougainvillea lining the road like bull fighter capes, tempting the eye away from double yellow lines that somehow manage to keep order among four lanes of potential chaos.

It's easy to forget, living in a hot and dry valley — where canyons and traffic and the day-t0-day concerns of running four lives, and all that this implies, stand between you and the edge of the continent — it's easy to forget that the ocean is there, constant and faithful and tireless. Also, vast and beautiful and somewhat terrifying. You take the ocean on its terms, never the other way around.

It was windy but warm, and like the pelicans in the above photo, we spent some time perched on Nana Rock, the place where we scattered some of his mom's ashes, almost a year ago.

Then, in keeping with company by-laws, took a handful of Silly Photos to add to our collection of 16 years:

The wind chased us off the beach and back over the canyons, resting only long enough to catch its breath as we snapped this photo of a cactus clinging to the sandy side of a hill just off the PCH,

and these on a turnout on Kanan Road, overlooking Malibu:

Back through a tunnel with K.T. Tunstall on the stereo, the girls holding their breath and a wish

as gravity and gratitude pulled us down into the valley, back towards the home that he makes possible.

Tomorrow we'll get back to the business of running this family, balancing, negotiating, mediating. With little to go on, we'll no doubt be flying by the seat of our pants. But then, that's how we've always done it, and this side of the Pacific Ocean, we're still afloat. When we turn the control of their lives over to them and turn them loose on the world, it's probable that they'll find a way to do it better. In fact, you hope that they do. Because that's your benchmark, that's how you'll know that this whole endeavor was a success.

Happy Father's Day 2009, JMS.

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