A Salty Dog Along the Pacific Coast/Mom Almost 102

On Christmas day I went to see my mom in the retirement home. There are two routes “over the hill” from our coastal town: over the mountain (Mt. Tamalpais), or along the ocean. It was a rainy/cloudy day. so I went along the coast. I played Procul Harum’s rock opeera A Salty Dog, pretending I was at sea.

We sailed for parts unknown to man, where ships come home to die,

No lofty peak, nor fortress bold, could match our captain’s eye.

Upon the seventh seasick day we made our port of call,

A sand so white, and sea so blue, no mortal place at all

My mom will be 102 in February. She is a Christian Scientist and has never had a doctor. She is the only lady in the home who is not on meds. Her muscles have failed her so she’s in a wheelchair, but she’s eternally optimistic. I have never heard her complain, or say she’s depressed. Sometimes she says to me, “Lloyd, I’ve never felt better in my life.” I was the first born, and the most trouble. From what I hear, she had her hands full. Mischief, and my life-defiance of authority. Now that it’s all in the past, we have a wonderful relationship. I tell her all about what I’m doing, and she’s amused. She often talks about stunts I pulled. I played the ukulele for her and sang: Over the Rainbow, Ja-da, Five Foot Two, Ain’t She Sweet, Darktown Strutters’ Ball.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

2 Responses to A Salty Dog Along the Pacific Coast/Mom Almost 102

  1. She is so beautiful, Lloyd. It's wonderful that you can still enjoy each other, that she is optimistic and med-free. How I wish that playing my ukulele would please my mom.

  2. Lloyd, it's great that your mom is still around and has had a long, healthy life. Not many guys your age can visit their mothers…

    BTW, I bought six copies of the new book to give as gifts to friends and family. Everyone was impressed (and I recommended those without your other books buy those, as well.)

    Thanks for your good work.


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