A Good Death

Today I said goodbye to my first Hospice patient. She would have been 100 in December. They work hard to match up volunteers with patients, and they did a fantastic job with us. We bonded quickly and talked about everything, from how short Tom Cruise is to how worried her five-year-old self was that her father would have to leave the family to go fight in WWI. She talked about "the tremendous progress of the female" over the century of her life (she was especially sympathetic with all the hardship the pioneer women endured), and she often told me that I don't need a man and, in fact, better keep 'em away from my hard-earned assets!

She was also extremely encouraging of, well, just me. My life, my path, my business, my motherhood. She thought I was truly amazing, and melted my heart to tears a number of times with her loving praise. A lot of people love me and encourage me on, but there was something about her words and her expression and conviction that went right to my heart and made me believe that just maybe she was right. She really saw that I had different opportunities than she had, and was proud of me for working toward what I want and feel called to.

She was also feisty and funny and raw, even as she struggled with the challenges of very old age. The last time I saw her she looked at me and said, "My advice to you kid is- die young!"

I thanked her today for initiating me into this work and for her endless encouragement. In her courageous spirit, I will be beginning to speak publicly (something that I absolutely hate doing and have avoided for many years) around issues of death and dying in and around our community in the next few months, along with my friends in the Full Circle Living & Dying Collective.

I am so grateful for my youth, health, passion, and supportive community.

Onward 'till the end!

(Stay tuned! I'll be hosting Nevada County's first Death Cafe next month and it'll be a rockin' good time. If you're interested but not local, check their website to see if this ever-expanding movement is headed to your town soon!)

Yuba Days

From Sasha

I am happy to report that I spent most of this past weekend at one of the loveliest places on earth, the South Fork of the Yuba River. This lil' piece of Heaven is just 20 minutes from my house, and naturally it is the first place our friends want to go to when they come up to visit. One of my dearest friends, Tomi, came up Friday evening, and we hiked in and camped out along the banks of the Yuba, eating really good food and talking nonstop between taking naps on hot rocks in the sun. Hard life, eh?

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Sasha n' Tomi

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Obviously the end of summer: we each brought 4 tubes of sunscreen that only had one squeeze left in them!

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Tomi and Yuba

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Martha Stewart is going to have a heart attack when she sees that we used a LEG to display our gourmet creation-- oh well! It is too divine and was invented on the spot while we ate breakfast. Ingredients: one baguette slice, goat cheese, sliced fig, and one piece of Dagoba Xocolatl Chocolate (the one with spicy chili nibs). It tastes like a gourmet chocolate cheesecake... trust us.

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Roots and Rocks

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Tomi's new tattoo! She is from Ely, Nevada, which is on the Highway 50 (also known as "The World's Loneliest Highway" because the towns are so far and few between)-- and that's what is represented in this amazing work of art. Check out the Nevada wildflowers in the foreground!

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Tomi had to go back to work and school (she is becoming a Nurse Midwife!) on Sunday morning, so I headed out with Chris to spend another fabulous day at the Yuba, knowing the water is probably going to be too cold to go swimming in very very shortly.

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Reflections- you can look at these all day long.

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The World's Best Swimming Hole

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A dreadlocked teen drew this in the white part of the rock with a piece of charcoal, and when he left we had a photo op!

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Sunset

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We heart Planet Earth!