Understand that friends come and go.

If you asked him, he would agree. A week after High School graduation and he was ready to move on. Just skip over all the sentimental bull crap that all of us parents need to work through. Catharsis. All of our lamenting about what to watch out for, how to stay out of trouble and keep focused. You know the moments where you remember your parents telling you the same thing. But we still give the advice. As if it was new.

“I’ll be fine and just cause you think I’ll make the same mistakes as you, doesn’t mean I will.”

No truer words have been said by an eighteen year old.

No truer panic has been felt by every parent hearing those words.

I will continue to sit and wait until the time is up with an ashtray full of butts. Plus, several solitary hikes later to calm my nerves. I have heard other parents talk about this process, even took in some advice. I tried to find a survival kit but it seems they do not sell them in stores. Instead, I remembered this song.

The eldest sets his sails for college this week. So, I will queue it to be heard at least once before he embarks on the 4-year long journey of discovering oneself.

I smiled as the College Admissions Clerk laughed and offered me this bit of her knowledge and experience: “their attitude and antics, I think is God’s way of making it easier for us parents to help them move out.”

Baz Luhrman’s Sunscreen advice is much easier to digest.

 

Memorable Vacations

Those moments where things do not go as planned while on vacation. Yes, those. Yet, they turn out to be ahhh-mazing and the most memorable of the trip.

This happened for me at Yosemite National Park years back. Some call those a happy accident. Sometimes you just cannot plan these things. And that is what makes them so special.

We were coming back from a star gazing event on the Valley Floor that we seemed to miss or could not find. We were bummed and everyone was feeling hungry and grumpy. No campfire smores or shooting stars. Sad face.

Remembering back, the moment was not heart racing, like jumping out of an airplane type of excitement. It was more subtle and took me by surprise. While we waited for the shuttle bus to arrive, we all had a chance to get quiet and gaze up at El Capitan. Realistically, I think we were all slightly annoyed. But then something changed while sitting there.

What appears to be a phenomenal wall of granite during the day has an enchanting transformation as the sun sets. The colors from the dimming fiery orange ball in the sky blazed. Until slowly it faded and a reddish-purplish glow cast like a thin veil covering the textured surface.

Minute-by-minute the brilliant rock giant grew slightly darker. Fading and its rough edges smoothing out, like a shadow against the deep purple heaven. The forest trees appeared to draw themselves closer as if they had come to take El Capitan and store it away until tomorrow.

I began to struggle to make out its shape. I held on for as long as I could, I was absorbed and felt like a friend was departing after a sweet and memorable visit. A rush of emotions filled up on chest and I did not want to leave, my mind rebelled. My gaze fixated on the place where it was as I boarded the bus.

I would like to think it was serendipity that placed us in the path to witness the the beauty I saw. Something  that can never be experienced in our pictures. The moment was ours and it plays over and over in my mind’s eye when I travel back to that bus bench. The moment I sat among and shared space with the rock gods of the Yosemite Valley. I must go back.

What is your favorite memorable moment from a vacation?

Energy Upgrade California, NOW

It is no mystery; California is shoe melting hot during the hottest days of summer. Air conditioning and a well insulated home is not a desire but more a necessity. Yet, now more than ever, Californians need to watch our water and energy usage. With the heat ahead, it is a great time to take a thorough check of some basic changes we can make inside our homes.

Our state bear has come down from the flag to talk to us about managing our water and energy use. See him in action.

Some easy steps include:

  • Using low-flow showerheads
  • Playing fun family games at night by candlelight
  • Using advanced smart strips to stop standby power
  • Installing smart thermostats and home energy monitors
  • Replacing inefficient light bulbs with energy saving bulbs
Additionally, Energy Upgrade California’s Website has many details and tools to help out. From financing options to searching for approved contractors, it is a great resource and place to start. Help California stay golden. Overall, the goal is to better manage energy and water, which will not only help California meet energy and emission goals, but also save consumers money while making their homes more comfortable.
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Even simple changes in the way we manage energy can have a big impact – especially if we take them together. Learn more about energy management, upcoming events, contests and more:
Disclosure: Frufrugal partnered with Energy Upgrade California for this post. All opinions are my own.
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