Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Taking care of Grandpa

By Grace Acosta

 

I had always assumed that I would take care of my mother in her old age, but at 80, she’s still going strong – in some ways, stronger than I.

My dog, Parker, however, just turned 14 and is fading fast. But in my mind, he’s no less a member of the family than actual blood relations, and merits the same degree of care I would give any human. Perhaps that’s an anthropomorphic point of view, but that’s just how it is. So while he’s never been neglected, in his current decrepit state, Parker’s getting more attention than normal.

The important thing is that he’s made it this far. However, along the way he’s lost some hearing and developed a cataract, arthritis and several visible tumors. He doesn’t walk well and staggers around with little control over his stiff hind legs. My new nickname for him is “Grandpa,” as in “Come back in the house, Grandpa, time for bed,” or “Ready for your meds, Grandpa?” or even “I think Grandpa needs Life Alert – he’s fallen and can’t get up.”

Grandpa has become something of a stubborn old buzzard. After years of his cooperation, allowing us to walk with him in safety, he’s suddenly decided that he can cross busy intersections in whatever fashion he chooses. As I navigate him through proper crosswalks, he’ll veer toward the actual corner he wants to reach, even if that means heading toward it at a diagonal. He strains against the leash; I attempt to hold him back without making him topple over completely. He’s like a senior in a wheelchair, waving a cane at his ultimate destination, yelling, “Dagnabbit! I’m going over there! For heaven’s sake, point me in the right direction!”

At home, Grandpa is prone to ignore me when I call, partly because of legitimate hearing loss, partly because it’s a nuisance for him to respond. He refuses his vitamins (even enveloped in a thick wad of cheese) and water – in a bowl, that is. Twice daily, he hobbles painfully out to the yard, stands by the garden hose, and stares at me to signal that he’s thirsty and would appreciate the water released at this time, thank you very much.

It all sounds so adorable, this eager-to-please puppy turned recalcitrant geezer. Some realities, however, have been less so – like when a sudden muscle spasm in his neck caused him so much pain that he actually ran away from home and couldn’t be located for several minutes. Or his new habit of sequestering himself in the farthest corner of the house to escape what he used to live for and thrive on – being in the midst of our family.

There are days when I get tired of looking after him and worry about getting him outside because it’s become difficult for him to lift himself up and walk. There have been times when I got there too late to assist and had to clean up the mess he left behind. But I’m mostly OK with it all. I chuckle over his certitudes and self-assertions because they’re harmless enough. I exercise patience and compassion. I respect his frailty: I know I’m vulnerable, too.

Most importantly, I’m grateful for health and vigor, for irreplaceable memories of a bygone day and for those small, dwindling moments that still remain – more precious now because I know we’re at the end. Taking care of Parker has afforded me these valuable, important lessons.

All that from a lumpy, limping, fussy old hound. Who would have thought?

 

Grace Acosta is a Los Altos resident and longtime contributor to the Town Crier. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . n

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