Archive | August 2015

Our House

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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

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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.