Day 221

Pasadena, CA

Dan goes to work this morning. After breakfast Joan takes me and the kids up into the hills for a hike. I’m impressed by how easy it is for us to escape the city and be by ourselves on a trail twisting up the mountainside by a shady creek. The girls are having a spat, they play and constantly bicker. Joan lets it go, so I do too. Whenever the girls want anything from me I try to withhold it until they can agree. It’s nearly impossible for them, and sometimes they just give up. I walk with Forest, who gets along amazingly well for his size and just needs help over the bigger rocks. We find an orange salamander. He sits willingly in my hand, looking at me with bulging yellow eyes. Brooke is fascinated by him but won’t touch him. When Jenny takes him, another fight ensues and I’m happy to see the salamander escape with his life.

Back at home, Dan returns and takes some family photos. He shows me many pictures from all over the world, especially Nepal. He tells stories about them with a wisp of nostalgia.

I’ve gotten Brooke’s cold. My throat is sore, especially at night. The family’s diet suits me, but at bed time I suffer strong sugar cravings and snack insanely on chocolate, nuts, and fruit – whatever I can scrape up.

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