Thursday, August 28, 2008


OK - on my computer it says it is 100 F in Petaluma right now, (it also says it's raining, but there's not a cloud in the sky), however I went (foolishly) for a walk downtown today and the thermometer there said it was 105 F. I spent most of the afternoon looking for stores that had A/C or, at least. a giant fan. On my way home I found a small park with a California Live Oak that may be the biggest I’ve ever seen - it’s diameter must have been at least 50’. (I went back to that tree later that week with the family in tow. My brother Jay walked it off and determined that the canopy was more likely about 90' in diameter! Truly awesome.) I sat in its shade for fifteen minutes communing with the ancient life and dreading my resumed walk home.

At two more blocks I stopped at the grocery store for an ice cold drink. I also stood for several minutes in the cool oasis of the produce department. Up one block, turn right, walk one block. I’m on the sunny side of the street but I can’t cross because there’s a cop writing parking tickets - and though I have walked one block it’s one of those streets that is two blocks long - so to cross, I’d have to jaywalk, and I wonder if there is still a bench warrant for me from a car registration problem that is 16 years old. (I got two tickets for the same expired registration on an old MGB-GT that I had - I got the car registered and sent in proof with the most recent ticket - then I moved to Seattle and three months later an arrest warrant was sent to me for the first ticket. They have an expiration date, don’t they?)

Any way, I walked a few more feet to stop in the shade of a very scraggly tree and have a sip from my drink. I was foundering. A woman walked out of her office onto the sidewalk and I could see the heat hit her like a blast from a blow torch. She went to her car and as she was unlocking the door, she looked at me and said, “Oh my. Would you like a ride somewhere?” I guess I looked close to as bad as I felt. I told her I only had four or five blocks to go, but that I was beginning to question whether I would make it or not, and that yes, if it wasn’t too much trouble, I would love a ride.

She was like an angel sent from heaven (via Georgia). Does this mean I need to rethink my position on god?

There you have it - Day 5 in Petaluma.