Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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The adult-centered life

The note was waiting for us on the floor of our entryway when we returned home. It capped the end of an action-packed, fun-filled few days moving our younger son into his freshman dorm at the University of Oregon. While we were gone, our older son headed south for his senior year at UC Santa Barbara.

Written in our older son’s familiar scrawl, the note stated the obvious in three simple words: “You’re all alone!” This young man, who has always possessed a wicked sense of humor, knows he is loved and missed. So it wasn’t entirely clear whether he was trying to make us laugh or cry. Could have gone either way, but as luck would have it, we laughed – a lot.

Walking around the house just then, it still looked like boys lived here. A water pistol sat in the saucer of an orchid on our coffee table. Funny, I hadn’t noticed it before. The contents of a soccer bag, including a team roster dated Fall 2007, were dumped on the laundry-room floor. The boys’ bathroom was in its usual disarray.

In the kitchen, a large glob of batter had somehow landed on the towel rack and dried like concrete. Days before and in a hurry, I had made the boys’ favorite cupcakes – Ghirardelli chocolate with lemon cream-cheese frosting. Half the batch headed north to a dorm in Eugene, and the other half headed south to a house in Goleta. A little mothering to send the boys on their way.

It took a good week to tidy things up. Now the house stays neat, which feels pretty nice, actually. The dishwasher doesn’t need to be run twice a day, and the gas tanks in our cars don’t mysteriously deplete. The scissors and tape are always where I left them. But the large kitchen table looks out of place now; I need to remove a leaf.

A few days ago, we ran into some friends at the grocery store. They, too, had just sent their last child off to college. While my husband and I were choosing a bottle of wine to go with the Chinese takeout we had just ordered, they were buying two ready-made salads. We marveled at our light loads, that we only had to feed ourselves. Smiles all around.

And so begins our adult-centered life. The first weekend without the boys, we enjoyed the sort of activities previously passed over in favor of watching our sons play sports. We heard Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger speak one evening, and the next day we were treated to a day of sailing on San Francisco Bay with two other couples.

What, I wondered, should I bring on the boat? Grilled asparagus or baked Brie? Lovely, grown-up options, but before I could think it through, I was making cupcakes. Cupcakes, for six adults. How silly is that? Moving from a kid-centered life to an adult-centered one is going to take some time.

The “You’re all alone!” note from our son, I have decided, is a gem worth framing. It’ll be hanging proudly on the wall when the boys come home for Thanksgiving.

Kerri Havnen Gordon writes The Living Experiment monthly for the Town Crier. E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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