Take a Letter, Maria

Address it to my friend Doug.

Dear Doug,

I don’t have a Maria in my life so I have to write my own letters. This letter is for you, and you no doubt get the musical reference, corny as it is.

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately and would have called except I don’t know your number. Or if you have a phone. This blog is the only way I know to get in touch with you. When I write a blog post, I’ll inevitably get a blog comment that starts , “Yay Chicken posted again”, before launching into an entertaining and relevant story about one time or another from a seemingly endless well of stories. I love seeing that line and I love those stories.

I’ve been trying to think, for the last week, of something interesting to post, something epic, in order to solicit Doug comments, but my words are sluggish. I blame Thanksgiving and leftover stuffing.  I finally decided to just write you a letter to see how you are doing. Why not? How are you? Did the weather clear up finally? Did you get your windows fixed? Is your car safe to make the drive to Yosemite? Are you there yet? Do you have access to the internet? Are you okay?

I know that’s a lot of questions. It should keep you busy for awhile. I look forward to your imminent response. Take care of you, Doug. Can’t wait to hear what Yosemite is like. It was Yosemite, wasn’t it?



  11 comments for “Take a Letter, Maria

  1. jenny_o
    December 11, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Chickie, I’m not Doug (obviously) but I can tell you that he is scheduled to move right around now, so you might not get a reply right away. I only know that because of a comment he left on my Monday post. I hope everything is going smoothly for them.

    You know the posts you did from time to time about various articles of clothing? Those were some of my favourites! (just in case you’re looking for inspiration :))

    I keep saying “I have to blog about xxx” and then I don’t have the time or else the energy to do it. That’s what I like about doing the poetry challenge. It’s really just a way to prod myself into writing every week. I’m awful at self-starting but I’m better when people are expecting something from me, ha ha


    • December 12, 2019 at 2:40 am

      HI Jenny, I did see his reply on your Monday post but I wasn’t sure of the timing. Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe it’s time to write about the fashion failings of accessories. I think you are a self starter because you’ve been posting, without fail, for what, a couple years now? That’s impressive.


      • jenny_o
        December 13, 2019 at 4:27 am

        The fashion failings of accessories is something I would love to read about, because it’s certainly one entire area where I have massive failings, and I’d like to blame it on anything but me 🙂


  2. Doug in Oakland
    December 11, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Yay! Chicken posted again!
    First order of business: I’m OK, we’re moving as I type this, laboring against a tomorrow morning deadline that we will almost certainly not make, the consequences of which I’m not sure about.
    So I can’t even express how much reading your blog post improved my state of mind, and Briana’s also. Thank you so much for thinking about us.
    Second, your questions:
    I’m OK, the weather in the mountains has calmed down, but it’s raining here, the windows are fixed, the car should be good to make it there (it made it there and back twice in September when Zsuzs’ dog Timber died) but we don’t have any snow chains and the road to Sugar Pine still had snow on it as of yesterday.
    Beth may put us up in a hotel room tonight, and I’ve already found a couple that are OK with cats, but actually getting our stuff out of here before the sheriffs show up is another question entirely.
    Having been aware of this as a probable outcome here, I prepared for it as much as I can in the physical state I’m in, and almost all of my belongings have already been moved to the storage and the things I intend to take with me are in various zipper bags in a pile next to the window.
    I’ve taken the concept of “traveling light” and applied it to regular life, and doing so has served me well since about 2011.
    I’m actually looking forward to living at Zsuzs’ house; it’s a situation I can imagine working for all three of us and both cats, and Zsuzs seems enthusiastic about having us there, so who knows?
    I already miss Oakland from staying here in Rohnert Park since May, but perhaps 35 years is long enough to live in one city.
    Right now I’m being saved by the B’s: Briana, Beth, Bekka, and Brenda, so I should probably go see if I can make myself useful somehow.
    Again, thank you so much for the unexpected smile on my face right now.


    • December 12, 2019 at 2:37 am

      Yay, Doug Answered Again! I imagine you are on the road now, maybe? I’m glad you are doing okay with all the upheaval and I’m really glad you got the windows covered and that you are in good hands with the Bs. And I’m glad you’re looking forward to your new digs. You’ll probably always miss Oakland but at least you’re not dreading the move. Hopefully, you’ll find a great trail to practice your speed walking! There’s this guy on linked in-I think he’s a writer sort of…I’m not really sure actually-he might have been an investment banker once… but he writes a lot about how he got rid of all his stuff and he may couch surf. He seems to like life better that way. I also watched a show about civilization and it talked about how we doomed ourselves to bad health and back breaking work the minute we stopped foraging and started to settle down and farm the land. Think about it-instead of foraging a wide variety of foods and taking in a wide variety of vitamins, we started to eat the same few foods, which made us more vulnerable to deficiencies, and we had started to acquire stuff. I never thought of it that way. Anyways, Joanne says you need chains where you are. Is that true? Can we help? You can email me at chickensconsigliere@gmail.com
      Take care of you and the B’s. Safe travels Doug.


      • Doug in Oakland
        December 12, 2019 at 6:26 am

        Daniel Quinn wrote about how we evolved to live in tribes that offered mutual support for all members and how the “agricultural revolution” changed what had up to then been a couple hundred thousand years of successfully living in the manner of all of the other species in the animal kingdom, and how the twin concepts of money and work were by-products of the food surpluses generated by agriculture’s displacement of the hunter-gatherer mode of living, which was not nearly as labor-intensive as agriculture.
        Without agriculture there probably never would have been electric guitars, but also Kardashians, so suffice it to say that things would have been different.
        Briana, the cat, and I are staying at a Motel 6 tonight, and hope to hit the road for Sugar Pine tomorrow.
        Read that we got out of the house, got the majority of our belongings into storage, and have the car loaded with the things we’ll need when we get to Zsuzs’ house.
        It took all night and we’re dead tired and recuperating here today and tonight in the hopes that we will be good to go tomorrow.
        I have this laptop and a wifi hotspot with me, and Zsuzs has good wifi at her house (or did when we visited her in 2016) so I should be around, barring unforeseen calamity, so I’ll keep you posted as to our progress, and again, thank you for your interest and concern.

        PS: We’ll probably pick up some snow chains on our way through the East Bay, even though the weather has calmed down by Yosemite, as we may need them later even if we don’t need them tomorrow.


      • December 12, 2019 at 11:49 pm

        “Without agriculture there probably never would have been electric guitars but also Kardashians”
        …and that right there is why I love you so much. Classic Doug. I’m guessing you’re back on the road again by now. I’ll check back tonight or tomorrow for the next installment. It would probably be overly dramatic to say Godspeed but I. AM. Overly. Dramatic. Plus how many times in life do you get to say that, really. Not nearly enough. What is the cat’s name? Is it one of the Bs?


      • Doug in Oakland
        December 13, 2019 at 6:06 am

        His name is Littlebeast, so sort of yes? We were delayed one more day, but as Briana has to be in Richmond at 11:00 AM, I feel we’re likely to actually be on the road in the morning.


      • December 13, 2019 at 12:38 pm

        Okay safe travels! LIttleBeast, love it. So does that make you BigBeast?


  3. Joanne Noragon
    December 12, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Please make sure he has $$$ for chains. Even snow studs aren’t so good out there.


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