Park and Ride

The fava beans, I just assured Jane, should not be uprooted, such is their benefit to the soil. The green parts of the plants are taller than I am. Their roots go equally deep. And while they are breaking up the local clay soil, they are also sucking nitrogen from the air and imparting it to my garden. All of which has resulted in an amazing harvest, part of it eaten, part residing in our freezer. All this in the heart of the city. I'm thinking about these things, clear evidence of agronomic Read more [...]

All Downhill

Taking big pleasure from little things…that seems to be the key to quadriplegia life. I do wish I could remember this. Unfortunately, I rarely do. Take yesterday. For some merrily inexplicable reason, I set off for the nether purlieus of suburban San Mateo County and simply drove there. No complications. No doubts. Well, no serious doubts. The less serious doubts are there all the time. Why quibble? More to the point, why not enjoy? After all, the rift valley of the San Andreas fault is a Read more [...]

Short drive

What is so rare as a day in June? A globally-warmed day in this particular June, everyone in habitually foggy San Francisco out on the streets and looking amazed. That's the thing about living in a cool and windy city…when things change one appreciates the difference. Does this include me? Yes, meteorologically. And can I transfer this awareness to the task of looking forward to the drive to Palo Alto? I don't have to drive. Jane has volunteered to do this. What the hell, I say. Why not? After Read more [...]


I stumble out of my morning routine dazed and a bit lost. It takes a good two hours most days, and it's unrelenting, the exercise followed by stretching that I and Dennis, my daily helper, undertake. Oh, I don't doubt that it's good in all the predictable musculoskeletal and broadly physiological ways. It's just that it's boring, takes tremendous effort, and leaves me with the feeling that I have just expended substantial energy to essentially tread water…to slow down the general process of things Read more [...]

Sunday Jet Lag

Strange how I fight my way through post-trip, jet lag reality. I don't seem able to return from such an experience the way I used to. Writing this, while pushing 70 years of age, my complaint seems a bit silly. But that's me. Do not go gently. Do not go at all, if possible. And that's the thing. It isn't possible. But ever since my injury, I have reacted to every diminution of function in approximately the same way. Desperation. Denial. Anger. Depression. It's Sunday. Jane leaves to preach. Read more [...]

Fool on the Hill

Thing about travel…there’s the baggage you check with British Airways. And there's the other kind. Of course, the other kind is much more interesting. Not to mention weightless, not subject to any limit and quite immune to Her Majesty’s Customs. Strictly in the Nothing To Declare channel. Still, I can declare that the closer I got to home the more this psychological baggage manifested. Until this morning around 7 AM I attempted to drag my jet-light body out of bed…and found it didn't work. Read more [...]