April 17, 2011

A New Revolution

The sweet peas in my front yard are going crazy this year. More than a few passers-by have mentioned how remarkable and memorable they are. Their fragrance fills the whole cul-de-sac. This year's sweet peas are something of a tribute to my late wife Sue, who started this patch of sweet peas six years ago. While it was me who worked the ground in February and planted these seeds from last year's pods, my flower-loving neighbor Linda says this year's magnificent crop of sweet peas is like Sue's last hurrah -- a sort of final farewell and a reminder of the fragrance and color and beauty she added to our lives. I met Sue when I was still just a boy, and she is part of who I am and she always will be; and whenever I see sweet peas I will be reminded of her. When I was a much younger man -- well, o.k. -- just a boy, the Beatles sang Revolution. Back then the Beatles were fresh and new and edgy. Their music was a revolution of sorts, and it affected the world, and in its way the Beatles' music changed the world. But that was 1968, and the world has made quite a few revolutions since then. Like Sue, the Beatles are gone now. John Lennon, who authored "Revolution," is dead. But like Sue, the Beatles' music also affected me, and it is part of who I am. I still like to listen to Beatles' music sometimes on the oldies' stations. Listening to the Beatles reminds me of good times gone by. The world continues to have revolutions, and to make revolutions. I met another very nice lady, Cheri Sarmento, and we were married April 12, 2011. Robert Heinlein said that "(t)he supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive." The world -- at least the one I inhabit -- is full of ironies. Cheri also loves flowers, and managed to mix a few of the sweet peas in our front yard into her bridal bouquet. We then honeymooned in Yosemite National Park, where almost exactly a year ago I took a trip with Sue's cousin, Bruce, to mourn and reflect on Sue's passing. Yosemite happens to be one of Cheri's favorite places, and it continues to be one of mine. Last April I blogged that the granite walls of Yosemite were weeping. This year they were literally gushing -- gushing with an abundant spring run-off and new life and joy. Cheri and I climbed from the Valley floor to the top of Yosemite Falls, which hike I will blog about next. We stood on the point which is just left of and above the upper falls in the picture above, looking down at the top of upper Yosemite Falls. It was no small feat to get up there, as there was a lot of snow on the trail above the lower Yosemite Falls and the entire top of the Valley Rim was heavily snow-covered. The Ahwahnee Hotel was our honeymoon destination. The Ahwahnee is an incomparable lodge in one of the incomparable places in the world. Kings and Queens and Presidents and many famous heads-of-state have stayed in the Ahwahnee. Perhaps revolutions have been hatched there. One definition for "revolution" given by merriam-webster.com is "a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something: a change of paradigm." I like to think of this type of paradigm shift as inspiration. If it is inspiration you seek, you can find it there. We did.

In the great dining hall of the great Ahwahnee lodge there is one table called the honeymoon table. It is at the base of the highest window at the far end of the dining hall. It looks out to the west, with a fantastic view of Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls. It was there that Cheri and I toasted a new revolution. Salud!


  1. I am sure I am not the first to wish you both an enduring friendship, loveship and companionship in this 'revolution' of your lives, George and Cheri. Be well!

  2. Thanks, Sandy. I have appreciated your encouraging and insightful comments on my blogs. Also, I have been following your adventures (tu novela de aventuras) in Columbia on your retiredforgood blog, and I wish you well, as well.

  3. I'm so happy for you and Cheri senior Gorge....
    have a good one see you at work

  4. I am extremely happy for you both, and hope that the long void in our relationship will heal with my apology and best wishes for you both. Roslyn