Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 2: State Holidays

Since we live in downtown Sac, the majority of the surrounding buildings are State Offices, meaning that our neighborhood tends to be rather quiet after 5pm during the week and pretty much all weekend.  In the morning, however, there's a significant amount of commuter traffic by car, foot, bus, etc.  The only exception is when there's a State holiday observed, which is indicated by a remarkable lack of traffic and an unusually tranquil morning.

I had forgotten about today's holiday, Cesar Chavez Day, until I headed off to the gym this morning and was met with quiet, empty streets.  At CPCA, we observe most of the State holidays, but not this one, which in some ways is rather surprising given that we support community health centers, which started as a grass-roots movement to address social injustice and provide affordable, quality health care to everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status.  The City of Sacramento even has a public park right across from City Hall named after Cesar Chavez.

So let's take a moment to honor this man's efforts on behalf of migrants, workers, and his community:

"César Chávez Day is observed in the United States on March 31 each year. It celebrates the birthday of César Estrada Chávez and it serves as a tribute to his commitment to social justice and respect for human dignity.

César Chávez was born on March 31 in 1927. He was a migrant farm worker from the age of 10. He became active with the Community Service Organization, which helped fight racial and economic discrimination against Chicano residents.

Dr Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in the early 1960s. He focused attention on the plight of migrant farm workers and gained support to have his organization be the first successful farm workers’ union in the United States. He used principles of non-violence, with strikes and boycotts. 

Dr Chávez remained president of United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO) until his death on April 23, 1993."


365 Days of Sacramento - Day 1: Lemon Trees

Mr. E and I have been in Sacramento now for almost 10 years, yet all of our family and most of our friends live elsewhere, and many of them have never visited our new home City.  So I'm embarking on a project to help give them a view of Sacto, as I live it.

My goal is to post a new entry every day for a year, primarily based on what I see or experience each day, although if I'm traveling out of town, I'll have to rely on my stock of memories and impressions to create a new post.

We s often take for granted the daily pieces and images of our lives, yet those same items can be a source of great inspiration and beauty if we only take the time to be present and mindful and observant and appreciative.

And so begins the 365 Days of Sacramento.  Enjoy!

Day 1:  Lemon Trees
Mr. E didn't have time to empty our small compost bin before he left for his work trip to Stuttgart and Prague last week, so on my way back from getting my hair cut, I stopped by the Fremont Community Garden to drop off our compost in the big FCG bin.

(A bit of history:  We used to have a plot at the FCG, and Mr. E was instrumental in getting the Garden constructed and underway when it was a new development.  Over the past couple of years, however, the effort to keep up with the plot became more challenging, especially if we were traveling, so Mr. E decided to give up the plot last year since we have so many other options for fresh local produce.  But we still know the gate code and make use of the compost area!).

As I approached the compost bin, I smelled something incredibly sweet and appealing, almost like honey.  I looked around and realized it was coming from the blooms of the nearby lemon trees that are in a row of various citrus trees along the Garden fence.  The warm scent surrounded and embraced me and made me smile in the golden light of late afternoon.

Even after nearly 10 years, I'm still awed by seeing so many fresh citrus trees scattered everywhere throughout this City, not just in an enclosed garden area.