if yesterday was october

we rode on out to see your cousins down along the river road, into the delta and god was it beautiful, America. dazzling on an autumn afternoon. we paid respects to your mom along the way. the sun would leave the cemetery sky red hot on its descent in the west. i never knew your father was an artist until you showed me his studio deep in the lot, behind the garage. there was a portrait of a beautiful woman on the easel, maybe the beloved in the beloved years? 94 now he lives with sophia the cavalier.

back to wood floors. they are pulling up the carpets now. the orange tree what with its lime hybrid. beginning to bear fruit. we shared baked beans and fried chicken and i listened to his story of coming to this country, up from Mexico, a teenager hoping on some work and a couple hundred dollars to take home. an older man convinced him to hop the freight train and go north to Indio. from there they decided on Sacramento. the man taught him if you dress up a little you can get work easy. he doesn’t know what became of his friend, who got drunk one night and disappeared. that was three quarters of a century ago. old sacramento was a community of migrants.

i wonder about the spirit and where it travels when somebody is no longer around? your dad is a good man. what a life. he’s been through it. and he still gets up and out into the orchard for it. working for more at ninety-four20181103_1542374094984673028438353.jpg.

cycle

cycling adventure 2017

We are 16 hours from liftoff, the start of the ride at the Barn in West Sacramento, and i am rushing around getting some last minute things in place, doing my laundry, securing cat-sitters, packing my bags, getting the bike ready, doing therapy, and, well, i just had to sit down for a minute, take a deep breath and thank god and the supporters who helped us get here. This is my second NCAC. NorCalAidsCycle 2015/2017. A 300-mile, 4-day bicycling adventure through Woodland to Placer County then up to Lake of the Pines and back to Auburn, down to Roseville and back up again, then down through Granite Bay to Beals Point on Lake Folsom and back home to William Land Park. 
The forecast is just great, sunny weather through the weekend and in the mid seventies. Unlike two years ago I know many people in this years ride, some from the 2015 ride, others from Kaiser (including my doctor who is riding with his sister this year), and I belong this year to ‘Team Ladybugs’ which is comprised of 4 riders and 3 crew members all of whom i work with at the GHC in Sacramento where I am a volunteer counselor. Feels good to belong and I am excited to get on my trusted ride, the same one I used in 2015 and have owned since 2011, sleek black steel with carbon forks, Motobecane’s Cafe Noir. Two wheels and twenty seven gears of delightful freedom.
quentin and k. selfie @ rainbow bridge
All contributions to this cause are going directly to the healthcare providers who locally have a direct impact on the community, offering essential and immediate services at low to no cost and sliding scale, to the people who need them. Anywhere from hiv testing to counseling to advocacy to affordable medical care, respite, crisis intervention and basic needs for indigent peoples who lack them. California is remarkable for offering services that other states in this great country do not provide.
keyko and k. william pond rec
I can’t wait for the camping tech-holiday and break from work. I’ve been working 12+ hour days all this year if you include my job, my new volunteer job, and all the hours i put into writing/blogging, and I am pretty darn beat up and frazzled! Thank god i love what i do, or else i would surely be miserable. I haven’t had to train for the ride as hard this year, thanks to the marathon training i did all of last year.
Anyways, the beauty of life is in the journey, day by day. I wish you could all be riding beside me but for sure you will be in my heart. And may we all be grateful for our health and longevity, and keep the memory of those friends and family we lost to HIV/AIDS alive today.  We will be having a candlelight vigil on saturday night up at the Gold County Fairgrounds in Auburn where we are camping. I will at that time light a candle for them, too.
love and gratitude,
KatYa   ‘just another ladybug’