Friday, September 06, 2013

Old Friends and Driveway Camping

Imagine if you could pick your next door neighbor and that person could be a best girlfriend from 35 years ago.  What a treat driveway camping is - because that's exactly what you get to do.  Melinda and I were great friends while I was going to Law school back in the 70s.  When I graduated she had moved to Tahoe and I thought that was great - so I lived with her for a season.

Now she is living just south of Reno.  She has a wonderful husband, Laird, who we've also spent a lot of time with over the years.  They live on 8 acres and have quite a menagerie of animals ... horses, llama, alpaca, donkey, ducks, dogs, and chickens!  The last time I visited her was in the winter.  It's much prettier now!

Although several days were so smokey that you couldn't even see those mountains across the way.  They weren't in danger from the fires, but the smoke from the huge Yosemite area fires was blowing right up this valley.

As neighbors for 4 days, we were able to spend quality time just sipping coffee and chatting, getting caught up on all the goings on of our lives.

Melinda has a business called EQuus Insight, and it's been on my list to help her put together a Facebook page.  I helped her put together a website ( last time I was here, but her business has grown and I, for one wanted to see more stories about the Equine Assisted Therapy she does - I figured a Facebook page was the way to go.
While we were there, Jim also helped Laird buy a new computer and get it all set up.  We had several group sessions around the computer, and the smartphone ... SO much fun for us.

Also, as it happens, our good friend Alex (from Melrose, Florida) was nearby while we were visiting.  She had just attended Burning Man and was in Reno for a couple days to recoup.  Luckily, I was able to convince her to come visit - since she is the only other person I know who keeps donkeys - I knew Alex and Melinda would hit it off.  It was SO much fun.  She did get to meet the entire herd, but I only got a picture with the 'house horse' - actually a huge, sweet, dog named Strider.  Strider is an Anatolian Shephard - in the Irish wolfhound family but even bigger.

One day we made a special trip to Sierra Hot Springs, a place I used to frequent when I lived there in 1980.  I remember being alone out in the middle of this immense valley at a couple of holes dug in the ground for the hot springs soak.  This time, apparently, it was a popular retreat for others who just finished their sojourn to Burning Man.  We called them the After Burners!

There were a couple of pools, one indoor and one outdoor.  Clothing was clearly optional and I felt like I was back in my hippy days!  What a beautiful afternoon we had.

I'll even have a video to post soon.  We used Melinda as a 'student' and put her on a video with the green screen.  She asked a question about Facebook, so we could answer.  It was great fun.  I'll post a link here when it's done.

THANKS Melinda and Laird for your wonderful hospitality.  WE WILL RETURN!

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