Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bad Neighborhood

How much do you tell your kids?

I've always wanted them to feel safe here in my neighborhood, when they visit me, but the truth is that this is not a safe neighborhood. Some of the things they like here -- including visiting the corner store -- are problematic.

It turns out that the nice family running that store was busted last year for passing off counterfeit $50 bills as change.

Across the street, the Chinese family that runs a never-ending garage sale, has some sort of scam going on that the police are aware of. When neighbors complain, they slash their tires.

Two blocks away, yesterday in mid afternoon, a man shot another man over some sort of dispute. The proprietor says it was a case of outsiders encountering each other in our neighborhood.

Muggings, shootings, break-ins, burglaries of cars, stolen cars, gun violence -- all of these are common crimes here now.

As our society devolves into a Third World nation of haves and have-nots, my children are among those caught in-between. We are neither rich nor poor.

It is scary here.

I am no longer at all happy in this place, living alone, trying to help my kids stay safe. This is a very lonely place to be. I do not like the America I see emerging as I approach my final years. I do not like this place at all. I do not like being all alone, with no partner to talk to or hold. I never expected my old age to be so lonely. Now that two of the friends I would have talked this through with are gone, I feel even more alone. No Raul. No Michael. No one to answer my phone calls. No one at all.


Monday, December 09, 2013

This is our (new) family tradition

Aidan, Dylan and Julia with James and Leif singing Karaoke on Thanksgiving night.

This is our Family.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Cold Outside, Warm In

Watching my childhood team, the Detroit Lions, on TV play in heavy snow in Philadelphia, is a reminder of what winter is like in the Midwest. The snow is up to six inches thick and the players fumbled eight times in the first half.

As a kid I played football in the snow, and hockey. It's cold but you get used to it.

Out here, walking several blocks to visit friends last night, I shivered, as the temperature dipped into the 40's, which is extremely cold for us. We don't have the right clothes for cold snaps.

As I sipped hot tea and my friends build a fire in the fireplace, it was nice to be inside in a warm place, having an animated conversation for a couple hours.

It's 11 am and 42 degrees in San Francisco. My heater works and I've located a sweater.