My families in California

Bay Area

My time in Palo Alto found me staring into the fields of Sunken Diamond, perhaps the closest thing I have to a man-made spiritual center of my universe. While it’s surrounded by the every growing machine of greed in Silicon Valley, on the field, it’s baseball. And when I say baseball, I say it with the reverence of the opening lines of Bull Durham.

I believe in the church of baseball.
Outside the Australia Room at Strava HQ.
SF-Dodgers at AT&T with the Danimal’s 40th crew.

The real Northern California

The next weekend, I had the chance to see Dad’s side of the family in Northern California, including Uncle Cy and my cousin Diane (the original owner of the kidney I carry around with me). My visits are always the same: I stare at the incredible trees and river and wonder how my life can contain more of this. I follow my Uncle Cy on some hike where keeping up with him (now in his mid-80s) is a challenge. I get to spend time with Diane.

Uncle Cy has always chosen the path less traveled

Southern California

A quick hop to LAX gave me a few days with Vic, Elaine, and little Bryan. It’s amazing how kid-unfriendly I am in general and yet my friend’s kids have an effect on me that I’d prefer to deny. A friendship that will celebrate it’s third decade in just about a year is not something to overlook — each of us goes through a universe of change, and I don’t underestimate how lucky I am to have Vic, or any of my friends, still a part of my life.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
So damn cute your heart just dies
I was a little star struck that the coach was a former MLB pro

I’m okay

Part of this trip was getting to see my friends, but an equal part of them was getting to see me, after the events of 2017 (I’ll blog on this in a couple months). That I’m okay, that I might be a little different, and changed, but that I’m in general, “okay,” and the same BJR they’ve known for decades (both the good and the bad parts).


While I don’t think California will ever by my home again, I am at home with each of these people who have been at my bed side after my first diagnosis, pre- and post-transplant, who put me back together after two divorces, who have celebrated and mourned each event in my life, and who have saved my life again and again and again.



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