Soccer, Soccer & More Soccer

I've been a soccer mom for over ten years, I played soccer in high school, and I coached city league for four years.

We've had some tough competition here in San Diego, and things haven't gone our way like they normally do.

We won our league last year, losing just one game. We've won countless tournaments, and walking away with the trophy at the end of the weekend was something we have gotten used to.

Even though, we've lost a game or two this weekend, we still sang in the car, met up for drinks in the bar, encouraged the kids to do better next time, and essentially had a blast.

I love sports for girls. Teams do build character and lifetime friendships.

Love and blessings to all.

What A Difference A Year Makes 

This time last year, I was on my way to a soccer tournament in Portland, Oregon with my brave daughter. My husband had died three days before, but my daughter insisted on going.

I remember, sitting on the train on our way to the airport, watching my daughter's pale face in the morning light.  I felt like I wanted to disappear, but I didn't have that option. 

I suppose I will have these residual memories for a while. 

Today, we are on the same train, on our way to another soccer tournament, but this time in San Diego. However, this year we are laughing and talking, and it's all good. 

What a difference a year makes.

Love and blessings to all. 

The Many Forms of Love

Over the last days, I’ve been thinking about what I want to write about moving forward. 

Yesterday, after one year of grieving, I put my husband to rest, and it is very much time for me to move on. I believe to dwell on anything is unhealthy, and this sad chapter is especially so. 

I know I want to write about building my company, Ocean SF with my team, and the work our nonprofit The Trident Project will do, but I woke this morning, thinking I would like to write about love.

Love comes in many forms, and over this past year, no one has been the recipient of more love then myself, and my family. 

Thank you to my dear friends Debra, Rosalee, Gina, Christina, Denise, Susan, Melissa, Tonya, Maureen, Kim and Sue for supporting me through this difficult year. 

Thank you to my husband’s best friends Dan, Chris, and Jeff for being there for the girls every step of the way.  

And to Austin Clark and the Clark family, and the families of my daughter’s friends, particularly the Melohn and the Hoover families who have helped in so many ways and taken such good care of my children. 

Thank you to my Ocean SF team, Andrew, Mike, Craig, and Seth for helping to lay the foundation for our company over the last year and a half. And to Tom Dryjax who shared his passion for the sea with me, and taught me to sail, and introduced me to Andrew. 

Thank you to my Auntie Pat and Auntie Deb for sharing their wisdom and always being a phone call away.

Thank you to my community, neighbors and friends of many years who are always there for me Julie, Kim and Sandy. And especially, Tina, David, and, Toes and Eden, the dogs I walk twice a week. 

Thank you to my friend Jeff Withoft who held my hand through everything, but has now flown off to foreign lands to find his own treasure like the protagonist in the Alchemist.

Thank you to anyone I might have missed, and to all of the people who read my words and comment and message me. I am so appreciative of your prayers, good wishes, and support.

Love and blessings to all. 

Separating the Future from the Past

Speedboat Beach, Lake Tahoe

I now have a day to separate my future from my past. I wanted the one last thing that I did for my husband to be beautiful and it was.  We spread his ashes yesterday at dawn on a beautiful summer day in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

We spent the day as we had planned at the beach with our friends and then, last night, some of our closest friends joined us for dinner at our home in Truckee.

Three families that we have raised our children with, and skied with ,over the years were here for dinner, as were my husband’s best friends, or the original Bushwood golf foursome. My close friend Debra, as well as my kids and their friends.

It was a beautiful evening in every way. We have closure now and some sense of peace, or as much as is possible, although, I’ve come to realize there are things you never really get over, you just learn to live with them gracefully, and not allow them to influence your happiness.

I feel that I have done everything that I could to honor the vows I took when we married, I ensured his life was honored, and his wishes were respected.

Now, that is behind me, I want to write another book, I’ve also been asked to teach again next year at UC Berkeley. I enjoy my work on The Trident Project and Ocean SF and that keeps me very busy.

Someday, our boat Solana will be in the water, and I’ve been invited to sail around the world,  after my youngest heads to college, in 2019.

I’ve worked hard to lay this foundation, and be a role model for my children.  Hard work generally pays off, and with that being said, I now step into my future.

Love and blessings to all.

Best Friends Jeff, Chris and Dan
Lake Tahoe

One Last Thing

North Shore Lake Tahoe
No one loved Tahoe more than my husband. In the beginning, he bought the house for me because I was an avid skier.  I then taught my husband and both my children to ski, but honestly, from the very beginning, he took to it like a duck to water.

In the years when I was a ski instructor he would ski past me on the mountain and show off his turns, sometimes, he would stop and give my students pointers. 

As these were private lessons, he would tell the students how lucky they were to get 2 for 1 instruction. I didn’t love having my lesson interrupted, but I was always very proud of him as he did over time, become a beautiful skier. But mostly, I admired him for taking up such a difficult sport so late in life and working hard to excel at it.

Our days on the mountain were among our happiest.  We loved our cozy cabin, skiing all day, and having so many friends around us.

Now, we are here to spread his ashes. We drove up yesterday afternoon, and our cabin is full of friends as it usually is when we are here. In keeping with tradition, we stayed up late last night playing cards, with the doors and windows open, because it’s summer now.  

We had music playing and everyone was laughing. Our lovely evening was surprisingly normal considering we are here for such a sad errand. However, anyone who knew my husband knows that this is exactly the way he would want it to be.  He loved hosting and having everyone around, and he was on most nights, very much the life of the party. 

My goal was to make this one last thing that I do for him beautiful, and I think it might be so, it’s certainly starting to look that way. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Happiness Is A Choice

San Francisco Bay Bridge
I believe that happiness is a choice and you have to choose it and fight for it.

It’s been a rocky time for me, yet, I can still see all of the love and joy around me. In fact, in many ways I can see it more clearly. 

When your heart is broken even the most insignificant things become important and valuable. 

Over the last few days, I have looked at my friends and loved ones with so much tenderness and compassion. I am blessed to have my treasures, Paris and Siena, plus so many other close and loving people in my life. 

During these difficult days, I’ve been very aware of my surroundings, my crisp white sheets, the redwoods near my house, the setting sun on the water at the Marina.

Yesterday, I was in San Francisco with my daughter for a college event. It’s a stunning city in every respect, even sitting in traffic was beautiful.  

I woke up this morning determined to remain strong and positive no matter what comes my way. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Rolling With The Punches

Tom Dryja and Me

I’ve had one challenge after another this week, so when I showed up on Friday at the Berkeley Marina with two bottles of champagne to celebrate the “splash” of our Santa Cruz 27, I did so with some apprehension.

I bought Solana in March, and after some maintenance, the boat was set to go into the water yesterday morning.

As luck would have it, there was a delay, and I was able to have breakfast with Andrew, and Tom Dryja.

Tom, an instructor at The Olympic Circle Sailing Club, taught me to sail two years ago, along with Bruce Reeves. These are days that I now remember fondly.

After breakfast, Tom and I waited in my truck, while they started up the giant crane used to pick up the boat, and I confessed that I was feeling anxious.

My friend Andrew walked over to my side window, and told me he was feeling nervous.

After he left, Tom asked, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

“That they drop the boat,” I replied.

Then, Tom said, “If they do, we’ll deal with it.”

I squinted into the sun, and said, “OK.”

And of course that’s exactly what happened.

Our boat dropped onto the concrete and severely damaged our keel.

As Tom said, it was something we could deal with, and we did.

We decided to open the champagne anyway, and we sat together and counted our blessings. No one was hurt, our keel can be repaired, all is well.

Essentially, we rolled with the punches.

Thursday Was Not Better & Friday Was Worse

It’s been an emotional week. It wasn’t what I would have expected, but I am dealing with one thing at a time.

I shed a lot of tears on Thursday, the bulk of which were shed on the shuttle to Range Rover to pick up my truck that was being serviced.

Luckily, I have close friends, and I had Gina on the phone and Deb on hold, as I recounted the events of recent days while crying. However, I had to hang up, dry my tears, and answer the door for the shuttle driver.

Then, I burst into tears, when the driver asked about my husband’s Porsche parked in the drive way.  

The poor man tried to change the subject and asked how I broke my arm, and I started to cry again.

Let’s be clear, it’s fine to cry, so I did. 

Then there was Friday…

Gathering My Courage

Photos by Nick Firestone
It’s been a tough week and it’s only Wednesday, but it’s alright, I’ve been here before, and know exactly what to do. 

It’s 7:00 pm and I’ll be turning in early, I’ve had a nutrient packed dinner and a walk with my dog. Taking care of myself is priority one.

What weighs heavily on me now, is the ash spreading ceremony that I’ve been planning in Tahoe on the anniversary of my husband’s death next week.  Having 25 people to Tahoe is no small thing. 

However, at the same time, it’s been very busy with Ocean SF, and ensuring I complete key deliverables as I lay the foundation for my future. We are always living simultaneously in the present, future, and the past.

Today, I worked writing and editing the copy for our marketing materials, then I had them printed for Andrew to proof, so I made a few visits to our printers, then met with Andrew for lunch at The Station in Berkeley, our favorite place at the moment. I ordered a salad and a side of sweet potato fries.  

Andrew’s been working on documents for our stock allocations. Luckily he’s an expert at this having grown up around Venture Capitalists. 

I think it’s important to remember, when we try to do new things, that it’s possible to grow into any role. 

I’m more comfortable than I thought I would be at this stage. Over the winter, my business coach Brigette would tell me, over and over, to step into my power, and I think I finally have. 

Next week, I’ll put this all aside, and return once again to the life I had as a wife and mother, a life that I am now putting to rest.  

I’m praying it will be calm and beautiful.

Love and blessings to all.