drought tweets picnic basket birthday swim with goggles

Birthday season has arrived. (If your name is Mitra.) The March and April birthdays of Melika, Darius and Nazy were celebrated during the traditional Spring Fling — Mitra, in contrast, gets a full month to herself. Naturally, there was a lot of planning involved.


When you think of your children, sometimes you are taken by how their preferences mirror yours — or, perhaps vice versa. Notice the hat preferences below:

Mitra 11 Years old

Mitra big hat 1987

Nazy, Big Hat Years later

big hat 2

End Aside

“A picnic?” I asked. "A birthday picnic?"

“In Mission Park. I’m going to use my picnic basket.” Nazy said.

“We’re going to use —
The Picnic Basket?”

“Yes, the one..”

“… that you bought in Zurich 14 years ago! The one we used on ‘the’ nice day picnic at Lake Zurich.”

The nice day?”

“It was ‘
The Picnic Basket’. We brought a bottle of wine and some cheese. It was a beautiful..”

and unusually pretty … ,” Nazy thought.

“ ….. day,” I continued. “It wasn’t even cloudy. We’re going to use that picnic basket?”

“It’s a celebration, Dan. Melika and the baby will be coming too. We have Prosecco, a Baskin and Robbins birthday cake — with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mitra’s favorites.”

The picnic was great and the weather cooperative. (Here in Santa Barbara, we don’t have to worry about weather — it’s always nice.)

And, it’s
always dry. Lake Cachuma, one of the city’s major water sources, is at 14% of capacity. However:

“Luckily, Nazy!” I explained after consulting the web, “There is no drought. Donald Trump says its all a myth.”

“I don’t believe you. ‘Myth’ is a word too complicated for Donald Trump.”

“You’re right. He actually said that there is ‘no drought in California’. He said would build ‘a great dam’.”

“Did he say that Mexico would pay for it?”

“Not yet, but he said he'd personally make our water ‘great again’ because he is rich.”

“Great again?”

“He tweeted: ‘
Lying water! Dishonest drought. Crooked dry! Low energy chemistry! Bad! Sad’!.

“That’s what they teach at Trump ‘university’.”

But, we wanted a great picnic and celebration. And somehow we succeeded without Donald.

mitra mel tiger and birthday cake May 2016

Later, Tiger wanted to show off his swimming talents, so Mitra joined us at swim class. It was a series of firsts for Tiger. It began when Wendy, the instructor noticed…

“… his long hair may get in his eyes, so he’ll need to wear a swim hat.”

That will never fly,” I thought. “Good luck,” I said. With a combination of mis-direction and jokes, Wendy somehow got Tiger to accept the hat. Then she got him to wear a set of swim goggles.

“Be careful,” Wendy said. “When he realizes he can see underwater, he may think he can breath there too.”

Tiger with goggles and hat

Tiger has gotten very confident in the pool. “Perhaps a bit too confident,” I thought as he pushed me away.

“Get back, Dan!” Tiger said as he swam toward the wall.

Undaunted by last week’s disappointing trip to Antelope(less) Valley, Nazy and I decided on another excursion. This time, Nazy had found a ‘great’ garden store in Los Olivos. We drove up the Chumach Highway, past Lake Cachuma. (The ‘lake’ looks like a narrow river. I’m sure, however, that it’s an optical illusion since Donald says there is ‘no drought’.)

The garden shop was full of interesting ‘stuff’. Nazy, making an executive decision, took possession of the Big Chair.

I always wanted one of those,” I thought.

Later, Nazy grabbed a handful of lollypops. The store manager stopped her:

“There is a limit of one per customer.” He said.

“But I want one of every color. My grandson likes to

“If everyone takes a handful, we’ll run out.”

“I can only buy one?”

“Oh! You want to
buy them? I thought you were just taking them.”

“I want to buy… eh… so they are free?”

“The first one is free.”
nazy in the big chair

Wow! I can get a free one,” I thought.

And, finally, it’s less than a week to Tiger’s second birthday and less than a month to the birth of Tiger’s first sibling. Time is flying. Tiger wants ‘cars’ for his birthday. It’s not clear that he gets similarly excited when he thinks about a new brother or sister.

For last week's letter, click here.

See how Mitra hasn't changed

Dan and Mitra (at two)

Dan and two year old Mitra

Stefan and Mitra (now)
mitra and stefan, mission March 2016

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