Canyon News
Inauguration, Celebration, Saying Good Bye
By Joann Deutch
Jan 26, 2013 - 8:10:49 PM

LAUREL CANYON—Inauguration Day turned out to be a beautiful day. While Washington D.C. was a crisp 38 degrees, here it was more like 75. The two weeks of winter had everyone locked inside, and the long weekend and toasty weather invited everyone outside. What a treat. Where did spring come from? Rosemary is in bloom and the bees are busy. Wild cucumber plants spread their talons looking for a lift toward the sky. It seemed to have happened overnight. All of this with the snow capped Yoat, [ Mt. Baldy] in the distance. It seems magical.


Our neighborhood has been in a tumult, maybe that’s why the delicate arrival of spring means more this year. An older neighbor just died. She’s gone around the bend in a gentle fashion. She walked the streets singing greetings to everyone, which invariably included a chorus of “You’re so heavenly.” My dog got the same special treatment. We all fretted about her welfare. I was thinking what a compliment it was to the neighborhood that she felt safe here.

Sunset overlooking Laurel Canyon.


The alternative for her family would have been to lock her up in an institution. She still knew who all her neighbors were and greeted us by name and thanked us for our support. She was never cranky. She never complained. She always had a smile on her face. Her fashion designed showgirl make-up always impeccably applied. But among ourselves we worried she didn’t eat enough, and maybe was not capable of taking care of herself. After she passed away within a matter of two days a neighbor offered to host a memorial. A candle light ceremony in her driveway was beyond touching, followed by a reception. Almost everyone in the neighborhood attended.


People around here always say, and mean it, that they want to die in their homes. No one talks about the practicalities of down-sizing. We love our life in the hills. Neighbors talk to one another; you can always run next door for eggs or a cup of milk. We shove Box Tops for Education in neighbor’s mailboxes who still have elementary school aged kids; we accept mail deliveries; and pick up newspapers for one another.   


Our neighbor’s backyard had a catbird view of the Rayleigh scattering light tangerine/pink sunrises and reflected lavender sunsets.


R.I.P. We’re thinking of you.

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