Thanks for staying for a few minutes! Perhaps I can offer you a virtual cup of coffee.
To continue my introduction: from that isolated ranch where I saw little of anyone, let alone a vibrant intellectual world, I somehow wandered into Stanford University seeking a PhD in Physical Chemistry. There I found the Jerry Garcia Band at the Keystone Club, and the vertical world of Yosemite a simple three hours and twenty minutes away.
One could (with much scraping and scrimping) buy a house that needed a lot of work. Redwood and cedar trees could be planted. A young cat could come to the door and make himself at home. And a couple could do the same.
The cat stayed for 19 years before taking his final nap in the back yard. Others (also a dog) eventually found their rest in that yard, which became a California native garden. The laughter of a family filled the remodeled house.
The family grew up with the promise of Palo Alto: classical concerts at Stanford, hot dog plays at the Community Center; chickens at the pre-school, a choice of croissants or bagels for breakfast. But the arrow of time takes its trajectory without our input, and the native garden became a memorial to the memory of the woman who designed it.
Today I live in the Santa Cruz area with two adorable cats, a couple of very friendly housemates, and my two wonderful children when they come visit.
In college I enjoyed literature and social science as much as (if not more than) science, and in fact majored in foreign languages (primarily German) for awhile. As I read the gems of nineteenth-century English literature, I imagined some great synthesis of all their wonderful allusions.