My Very Groovy Time Machine

Hollywood Bowl
Dead and Company Concert

Places can be like time machines.

First stop, L.A. No big deal, we’ve been there before and did the cheesy tours.  But this time we were going to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Mayer and the Grateful Dead. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we traveled back in time to Woodstock. People in very colorful, psycodelic shirts, long flowing hair and groovy glasses walked about in a mild, happy trance.  Once in the stadium plumes of “loud smells” as my son calls it, fired off. The bowl glowed in vibrant colors, and then, John Mayer walked on stage.  I never knew he was so talented, and diverse a musician. And then, the crowd greeted the rest of the band whose many, many songs they grew up with. The couple in front of me euphorically lip syncing and snapping selfies while beach balls kept bouncing our way.   The whole package was a step back in time.

Next stop, Yosemite. The ride up the mountain area was a step back in time as well. As we approached the final stretch we were greeted with a prairie setting of long blond grass swaying, a train rolling through and an innocent group of baby goats. We were delighted when spotting whimsical, squirrel like prairie dogs darting about.  Being from Florida, I will admit, I felt uncomfortable making our way up to elevations of 6,000 to 7,000 feet on single laned roads. We got to our home base- a quaint town called Mariposa. Being of Spanish background, I know that means butterfly. This little town was established in 1850 and is dotted with small shops, restaurants and churches on hilly roads. We wanted to take advantage of the rest of the day and I was surprised that Yosemite was yet 45 minutes away, but as we went on I can see why. Again one laned roads along curvy mountain sides. The drive was well worth it.  A step back in time, and no one can spoil it! Not even the hands that have spoiled so many natural settings because of progression and greed.

Entrance to Yosemite
Entrance to Yosemite
Rainbows at Yosemite
Bridal Veil Fall

Our final night, we ate at the Gold coin back in Mariposa. A final treat, great live music from a one man band with a great selection of old cover songs. I savored the moment as a parent and traveler, or should I say “time traveler?”


Post note:

This trip was a graduation trip with my son.  ( I believe if the finances are there, every parent should take their son/daughter on a trip at this age.  They are young adults, but when they graduate college or go on to what they choose, there’s no guarantee they will have the luxury of time or even desire to travel with you, as their life truly begins.) I wanted this trip to be memorable, and I believe it was. And as I shared a few pieces ago I wrote a poem in honor of my son, who has come into his own, writing and producing music. I envisioned different things for my kids but as the saying goes, ” You make plans and God laughs at you.”

“FLIGHT” by natalie giasullo

I knew a boy who grew up to be a man

Of quiet strength and peace, he had an angel in his hand.

He had a gift of a smile that made the stars cry,

And the spirit of a dove, he discovered he could fly.

He didn’t have to listen and get approval any longer,

Disappointments and losses would make the man stronger.

It’s my turn, you’ve had yours, I’m gonna fly to the Sun.

But I’m smarter than Icarus, I’m gonna LIVE to have fun!

You can’t melt my wings, I’m in control of my flight.

I’m not afraid to fail a few times, cause I’ll get it right.

Winter comes quickly, ask any old soul…

They wonder where their youth went, lost sight of the goal.

Lost track of the time, lost time of the track-

Everyone knows they’ll never get it back.


I’m gonna pack my guitar, and play Life a song.

I’m gonna enjoy my springtime, and Life will play along.

And when Winter comes, I’ll stare him square in the eye

And I’ll just strum my guitar,

and continue to F-L-Y!

Just me and my angel and my new life ahead

I’ll never wonder “what if” of the life that I led.

I left behind kindness, a smile and a song

I didn’t waste my gifts, I passed them along…

Case at yosemite

What Love Leaves Behind

Image result for pictures of love

Everyone goes through the temporary moment of grieving a loss. It’s incredibly painful, trying to fall asleep as tears stream down the sides of your face. It’s dark and solemn and yet, strangely beautiful. Love is something that cannot be proven by science, but it’s there.  It’s proven by what it leaves behind.

I had a loved one die while holding my hand. That’s my memory anyway. It was probably the hardest day in my life. She was very sick and was in the hospital yet again.  I was with her just getting through another day. Oddly enough, each evening as we tried to fall asleep, we’d recall times of long ago, and laugh a little. One night I recalled how my parents would give us an elixir for stomach aches from a local Cuban pharmacy.  Amazing how it really stopped the aching right away.  Maybe it’s because it had a slight bit of opioids? My parents started going to commercial pharmacies after that. But it’s laughable now, or it was on one of those nights we were talking before falling asleep. But one night, she had trouble breathing.  I’d call the nurses, and one propped pillows on her lap for her to lean forward on. Suddenly the machines started beeping and she was rushed down the corridor to a better equipped room.  I looked into her eyes, she was scared, I was terrified.  Her last words to me were to call her husband. I did and came right back to her.  I held her hand, I was told I could stay then it all happened so quickly…she was intubated.  I heard her gasp, her eyes wide and full of fear. I held her hand as long as I could. That was the last interaction I had with my sister.

“Time heals all wounds,” but leaves scars behind. Thankfully the pain is temporary. Under the scars there are warm memories of summers with our kids growing up before our eyes and home based happy hours. My adult kids and my adult nephews now, look back and I see the warmth generated when we revisit those days.

Before starting treatment, she spent quite a bit of time putting photo albums together for her kids. Today, I have hundreds of photos in my phone, as we all do.  But to me there’s nothing like a hard copy photo to frame, display and remind us of a loved one and a memorable day. They are also a trace of legacy and background…roots.  I have a small collection of family black and white photos. I just love these because they spark wonder. Each frame is an invitation to meet family members I never met, if only through stories.

I am a person that loves to create. Believe it or not, I am already planning what it is that I am creating as gifts for Christmas this year.  I’m not sure what I will be creating just yet, but I do know it’s going to involve photos.  After a loss, after time passes, photos are all that we are left with. They serve as reminders. I will admit as I have in past writings, that nostalgia can hurt. But they only hurt me.  My kids love seeing photos of themselves when they were children. When people come over, they wander through the photos, smile and find interest in them. They ask questions and lead to some great conversation. They honor the people not with us anymore. They end up being what love leaves behind.