Nothing in Fern Canyon

In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.

I turn off the Redwood Highway onto Davison Road and follow it through a meadow, cars parked on either side. Their passengers visually scout the grassy open meadow in search of Roosevelt elk. I don’t see any as I drive by, but I’m not looking for them. I moved here, to the California Redwood Coast, a year and a half ago from Colorado where throughout the years I saw plenty of elk loitering along the residential and business streets in mountain towns as if they intended to establish an elegant squatter’s settlement. It’s nice to see elk again, but my mind is set on reaching Fern Canyon.

I make a slight left onto a dirt road, and suddenly I’m in the deep old-growth forest. Burroughs QuoteImmediately, the path turns narrow and steep, rocky, pockmarked, with a dappled sunlight that makes it difficult to tell whether the splotches of light amid the shadows of these tall trees are merely patches of sun or are holes that could devour my tires and send me and my SUV plunging into a hellish Wonderland, shaking hands with the White Rabbit as we tumble past each other.

The speed limit is 15 mph, and my SUV does it confidently, ready to take on more of a challenge. Me, the driver, not so much. Nine more miles of Continue reading


Letting Dementia Be

Do you know a caregiver who needs help? (All caregivers need help.)
Show them Letting Dementia Be, written by moi, in the May 2016
issue of the Humboldt County Senior News and scroll
to page 7, or read it right here:


Photo by John Nyberg

Advice from a former caregiver:
Letting Dementia Be
by Karenna Wright

When my husband Alan was diagnosed with dementia, life threw me into the deep end of the caregiver swimming pool and instructed me to sink or swim. Sometimes I sank, but most of the time I flailed about powerless, trying to get a grip on whatever horror presented itself throughout the day.

At first, I reached out to prevent Alan from drowning, but he went under often, heading slowly but steadily toward the bottom.

There was no way I or anyone else could rescue him from this dreadful fate. Dementia would drown him, take his life, and there was nothing I could do about it. But neither could I be the silent bystander. However, I could be my husband’s witness. I could let his dementia be. I could simply let it exist and accept it for what it was. I could enjoy the time we had left.

I vowed I wouldn’t force him out of his dementia by Continue reading