Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ducks on a Bucket List

Just about every 20 years, ducks land in our swimming pool and spend the day. We don't know for sure why they do that, but here's my thinking: Maybe ducks have a Bucket List, too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Isn't it funny how in large families, older siblings tend to adopt or form a bond with one of the younger ones? Well, that's how it is for my and my oldest brother. Though we were born fifteen years apart, we are the closest. He's the one that nicknamed me Lil Olde Baby Sis, and I am proud that he did.

This is us....................
After the death of our mother, I, as the Baby Sis, was feeling nostalgic and wanted to see my mom's only surviving siblings, four sisters who still lived in Oklahoma. I had only met them once when I was a baby because, well, I am black. My mother is a Native American who married a black man, and her sisters were all passing for white. Even their husbands didn't know their true heritage. But the coast was clear for my visit, because they'd outlived each of their husbands.

This is a picture of my mom and some of her sisters. Mama is the cute on standing on the far left.

My Big Brother agreed to accompany me on this journey, and before we knew it other brothers and sisters were on board. It had become The Sibling Sojourn, Number 80 on my Bucket List.

We visited one 92-year old aunt in an nursing home, and two others in failing health, ages 75 and 80, and one was as spry as a spring roll, though she was 85. The all lived within a few blocks of each other. Ahhh, don't you miss the old days when families lived in the same neighborhood their whole life?

The highlight of our trip was visiting the Negro cemetery where some of our father's ancestors were purportedly buried. I should not have been surprised by the unkempt nature of the graveyard, but I was. Some of the graves were marked with a mere stick, others with just a rock, no name visible anymore. Oklahoma is still the south.

We spent the better part of a week with the aunts, and it was a good thing because that was the last time any of us saw them alive. I am glad that I took the time to go on The Sibling Sojourn.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


One must stay grounded to one's roots, and so even though my Bucket List has me venturing all over the world, I can still find a thrill in my own hometown.

When I heard that Sweet Honey in the Rock (an all-woman, all African-American, all a cappella group) was coming to town, my sister Denise and I beat a path to the door of Disney Hall. Neither of us had ever been.
Disney Hall is one of the gems of our city. It's a masterpeice by architect Frank Gehry (as pictured below), in collaboration with master acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota. I know...I had to look it up, too. An acoustician is really a scientist of sound, and let me tell you, Yas (as I refer to him because I feel like we're friends now) makes this Hall state of the art; plus, the walls and ceiling are finished with Douglas fir and oak. That's gotta help! What ambience it has, and good champagne, too.

In the beginning, some of the neighbors in surrounding high-rise condos complained that the glare from the reflective exterior caused their air-conditioning bills to skyrocket. Can't have that; this is a recession! No worries, though. The powers that be sanded the offending mirror-like panels, and all was right again in the world.

Thank you Lillian Disney for this magnificent gift to Los Angeles. We love it!
Cross Number 90 off the Bucket List.