Our House


Our home went on the market today.  Our realtor asked us to write a narrative that potential buyers could read.  Here it is:

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” ― John Muir, The Mountains of California

You don’t have to climb a mountain, however, because right here in San Anselmo you can experience the wonder in nature that Muir felt.

If the house could speak, it might say that it is just another tree in the grove. Three redwood trees are near the street, a large spruce is in the back, and an oak and a bay laurel thrive in the side yard.

The house is not as high as the redwoods, but the redwood paneling in some parts of the house contributes to the feeling of both peace and privacy.

We purchased this home back in 1981 and it has been our sanctuary for over 30 years.

The house had only 3 bedrooms when we purchased it, large enough for a small family. In 1988, with a four-year old son, we found we were expecting boy/girl twins. A three- bedroom house did not feel quite big enough, so we began looking for a larger house. We looked all over Marin, but just could not find anything we liked even half as well. The school district is simply the best; it is walking distance to Brookside and Drake, and an easy bus ride to White Hill.   It isn’t on a steep hillside far from everything. It isn’t in the middle of a suburban tract. It isn’t in a flood zone and it is walking distance to the downtowns of both Fairfax and San Anselmo with shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.   Hiking trails are nearby. The house is private and peaceful. The neighbors are great and have organized annual block parties for years.

The more we looked, the more we liked the house we already had. So instead of moving, we hired an architect and added two bedrooms and a bathroom in 1991. We are so glad we did!

We raised three children in this house. We held large parties on the deck, with the kids exploring the yard, and the adults just hanging out. A block from Drake High, the kids could bring friends home with them for lunch. When they were teenagers, they could play loud music without the noise carrying throughout the house.

The kids are all grown now and out on their own. The house is just too big for us now, but we will miss it when we leave.

If the house were a tree, it would enjoy the antics of the squirrels, the songs of the birds, and the winter rains. The other trees provide shade in the summer and the night brings stars that shine their blessings down. The house will love the joy and laughter of your family as you bring new life to a house that has known love.Our

Letter to the Editor of the Marin Independent Journal

Time to Move Away From Our Racist Past

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your editorial saying that the Dixie school district should change its name. I agree that it is long past time to do so. It is important to acknowledge our real histories, even if they are embarrassing. Only then can we move forward toward healing and reconciliation. The name “Dixie” was not an accident, and it was chosen for a specific and racist purpose. Also, while I don’t know the actual details of the history of racial segregation in the Terra Linda and Marinwood neighborhoods that comprise the Dixie School District, those are exactly the kind of suburbs that routinely had written covenants that prevented anyone who was not “Caucasian” from purchasing a home there. I do know that the Sleepy Hollow subdivision near San Anselmo had such covenants in its deeds well into the late 1970’s. Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen documents how widespread this practice was in the north and west after WWII. Racial segregation in housing was not an accident, but was instead quite deliberately planned. How can African American children feel truly welcome in a school district named with a racist intent? If we want to welcome all, then it is time to say we are sorry for our past and to change the name. To do so would be a symbolic and significant gesture toward racial reconciliation. It is time. Black lives do matter.

Transformation, Naturally

Did your lungs burn with that very first breath?

Was your skin tender as old scales

Were rubbed away

On the rocky shore?

You crawled from the sea

On new legs

Searching for food

For something new.

Was your body worn and tired?

Your vision blurred,

Your hopes vague?

Transformation is never easy.

A new butterfly

Has damp and fragile wings

Before it learns to fly.



Cry Me a River


It has been a day for tears

For weeping

A day unimagined

For most of my life

Has actually come

And I am reminded

That hope can surprise us

That from hard work and pain

Beauty can arise

And love sometimes can win

So I cry for joy.

And I sob for all who have been lost

Before this day

For the struggle has been long

And I cry for those who will still die

Along the way

For the journey is not done.

There is always a backlash

As we know all too well

Black churches are still burning

Even as a song of grace

Flows up from the grief

For those lost in Charleston

Cry me a river

Spirit of life

Hold us and heal us

Make our hearts larger

As joy and pain overflow.

Help us to rise

And stand once again

And always

On the side of love.



Sometimes the mountain is hidden

Clouds surround the dream

The foggy breath of the disenchanted

Obscures the majesty

Then in a flash of sunlight

The snowy peak is revealed

Climb with me to the summit

And, oh, what sights we’ll see.

Blood in the Water

It is hard to see the sunlight

Beneath such a murky sea

Blood in the water

And blood on our hands

We have suffered the shark too long.

4 little girls in Birmingham

9 prayerful souls this week

Our hearts can’t break again

Ride the waves, drain the swamps

Speak the truth, call the racists out.

Follow the light

Swim to the shore

Find some air to breathe.

The River

Water for the river

Is born inside the earth

Oozing up in a muddy spring

Or falling from the sky

In drops the size of pearls.

In the cold clear nights

It frosts the blades of grass

And gathers in the dew.

The river can’t flow uphill

So don’t even try

But please beware

You can get trapped

In stagnant ponds

Providing food

Only for mosquitos.

You can be frozen

In an icy glacier

Cold and lonely.

Does your river rage

Over the banks and levees

That would hold it back?

Does it wander lost

In a flooded plain

No hope in sight?

Keep your river flowing clear

Sparkling like a mountain stream

The current strong enough

To smooth the stones

That fall across your path

Let children play

Along your shore

That they too might learn

The river’s ways.


I have never been retiring

Shy sometimes
Lazy even
Fearful before courage comes

But never retiring
Even in that brief year
When I was technically retired.

The prophet Jeremiah
Spent much of his life
At the bottom of a well
I have been much luckier.

Speak now
Silence does not equal

Old House

An old house knows

What time can do

And how to survive

The storms, the rain, the wind

Timbers creak

The roof is patched

Termites have nibbled where they would

Ah, but in basement

Memories are stored

Wisdom is in the attic

And courage waits

Behind a closet door


The banshees scream

In rage and despair

Talons ready to rend

Your soul

Wings open in the night

Turning dreams to fear

Walk boldly

Love the banshees

It is not their fault

But keep your distance

There are other hills

To climb


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