SNOW AND THE OLD OAK TREE
The tree was one hundred and fifty  years old, she was grandiose, and she was solid Oak. This grand beauty was quite tall, over three hundred feet into the royal blue skyline of the southern county forest.
Also, she was very sturdy and quite lovely to look up at. She was located in lovely Laguna Woods Village, in the Orange County California’s creek bed. Laguna Woods Village, has several majestic and beautiful grand oaks sprawled in its 2,000 acres of property limits.
The magnificent cities of Laguna Woods, and Laguna Hills, are located just over the hill from one of the biggest tourist attractions in the State. Laguna Beach, was set right on the gorgeous white sand pebbles beaches at the site of the Crystal blue and wavy Pacific Ocean.
In the winter time, she gets some snow, albeit, it does not last long in the southern California heat. She gets lots of rain in the winter, and contrary to the song; “It never rains in southern California,” it in reality it actually rains a lot.
This particular winter, in the merry old month of December, my favorite month of the year, I, Charles Warner Kennedy O’Brien, commonly known as “Charlie,” went skiing right next to our marvelous Old Oak tree.
Accompanying me was my good personal friend Arnold ‘Arnie’ Schwarzenegger, the ex-governor of the great state of California and also an ‘A’ listed actor. Do you remember the ‘Terminator’ movie?
Or, his great one-liner, “I’ll be back.” I love that saying that, smile, and even after all of these years, I still use it every once in a while. Arnie is one of the best action movie hero’s that I have even seen. However, just like old me, he is not as young as he used to be.
Then all of a sudden and out of the blue, Arnie yelled back at me and said, “Watch out for that beautiful big grand oak tree.” Thank you, Arnie, however, you were just about 30 seconds to late, as I went Topsy Turby, just like a little tea pot.
I said to myself, or screamed out loud, whatever; ‘Wham Bam,’ thank you ma’am.” I had gone head long into a snow-covered old oak tree, which I like to call Ms. Beauty.
If you will recall, Sonny Bono [of the Sonny and Cher fame] did exactly the same thing a few years earlier, and sadly, very tragically it had cost him his life. At the time he had gone from singing and acting into being one of best Assemblymen in the state of California.
Sonny was skiing up in the San Bernardino mountains, just above his lovely home, and/or estate, located in Palm Springs. He loved to ski, a lot, even though he was a southern California kid.
It was said the famous actress and singer, Cher, spoke at his funeral, and said, “Son, as I always called him, was the best friend that I ever had in the crazy old mixed- up world. And I am going to miss him, so, so very much.”
Needless to say, the ‘Paramedics’ air- lifted me to the roof of the wonderful ‘Mission Hospital,’ located in Mission Viejo, California. The ER room doctor told me that if they had not been to expert at getting me there, as well as so fast, that I would have been a goner, for sure.
I lay in my very quaint little room at the Mission Hospital, and I decided that I do not think that I would be skiing again, any time soon. Perhaps. Arnie had had a very bad accident, skiing up in the mountains above Sacramento, a few years back.
However, he told me you need to get ‘back in the saddle’ as soon as you can. I looked at him, and then, I looked down at my full-body cast, then looked to the numerous IV lines running into my veins, and, then replied to my good compadre, Arnie, and spoke these words, “I am not quite sure if I will ever be able to get on my ski’s, ever again.”
Arnie, being the great and funny guy that he is, replied, “Charlie, old man, you just have to ‘cowboy up,’ that is what I had to do when I Crashed into the big snow covered, rock, back in the day.”
Now, I must digress for a moment, if you will kindly allow me to do so? I must relay to you a very, very sad material fact. Just a few months before I had my losing ‘battle’ with a big snow, covered old oak tree, I was playing tennis with my lovely as well as, very athletic wife.
Then, just as I went up to slam-dunk, and return her excellent serve, I tripped over a piece of woman’s jewelry that was stuck in a crack in the tennis court. Unfortunately, I fell backwards instead of forward.
If I had fallen forward, I could have broken my fall, however, I went backwards and had nothing to brace my body with except my big head. I got six staples in my skull, and as a result of that accident, (even though it was not my fault) I now have a permanent ‘skull’ concussion.
What that translates too, is I now have debilitating insomnia, migraine headaches, worsening diabetes, constant anxiety, and many, many more physical injuries and health issues.
Now back to the present, it took me nine long months to recover, and now I am still not fully recovered. I still need to walk with a cane, it has a silver Rabbit on the head of it, I love pet house rabbits, we have one named Nikki Lynn “Busy” Dickinson, and she is as cute as a little button.
Everyone who meets little, but mighty, ‘Busy’, says how adorable and sweet she is. And while that is all true, except for one little thing, if you mess around with her, she will bite your face off.
My lovely, and extremely talented, wife, and I, just dearly love our little pet house rabbit, and she is potty trained to a kitty litter box, and she eats veggies and pellets, just like a horse. We do not know what we would do without, we truly do not.
I wrote a little poem just for her, and herewith is a copy just for you:
BUSY THE RABBIT
There was, once upon was a time, a little pet rabbit
Who soon became a needed habit?
Her name was Kikiki Lynn ‘Busy,’ yes that it was
And she possessed a very sharp wit;
She loved to be petted and rubbed
And she would do flopsie, mopsie to be nudged
She was as cute as a little button
But she could be a handful, and a little glutton;
Yes, her name is Busy, and she thinks that she is Princess
And her playfulness is a witness
She loves her special little food treats
And she knocks people over to get to her eats;
Well like I said, her name is Busy and she is rabbit Royalty
And she knows what the word No means, that is loyalty
She has two good friends to play with
Boots, and Chula, share their cat nip and toys, and give;
She really loves her moms and her Pops
They treat her real good, and why she gets what she wants
She likes to chew on wirers, TV cords, and things
So, they try to keep that kind of stuff, out of her range;
Busy likes to visit Peggy, Boots, Chula, often,
Peggy really loves cats and rabbits, ‘because they look like cotton
Cotton tails, with little nails, and very sharp teeth
Teeth with which she can constantly eat!!
I have to hold on to doorways, and furniture, to keep from falling down, and re-injuring my old self. I was a fright to see coming at someone on the sidewalk, still in some of my casts, arms and legs, and navigating my way in my custom walking/sitting, chair.
The very kind nurse (Alexis, at the outstanding ‘Saddleback’ Hospital, in Laguna Hills, designed a special walker that I could push, sit upon, steady myself with, and it also had a very large carrying basket.
I did not know that anyone could walk as slow as I did, I thought that it would be impossible. I said to myself, “Charlie, your football, basketball, tennis, and snow skiing days, are all over, way, way over.”
I think that I can still play chess, write my poems, sonnets, and short stories, on my computer, at least I hope to do that sometime soon. I had all of these things that I wanted to do, roaming around in my little fractured skull.
Yet, I could not do any of them quite yet, however, my intense physical therapy was helping me to do more every week. My physical therapist, Cynthia, was absolutely wonderful. She would sing cut little songs, while she was trying to teach me to walk once again, and I must admit that I was being a big cry-baby about ‘my pain and suffering.’
One day Arnie, and I walked, that is to say, he walked and I slip along in my clumsy walking/sitting chair, into my all-time favorite Restaurant, the “Laguna Café.”
It is located in ‘Laguna Woods Village,’ not far from the grand old oak tree and the little bubbling creek. The owners are; Richard, Tammy, and ‘Monja,’ they are all great friends of mine. Richard is a five (5) Star Chef, Tammy is Rich’s terrific wife, she has a smile that will light-up your life, for real; and Monja, whom is extremely hard working, kind, as well as highly intelligent.
I told Arnie, right before we got there, that he was going to love these people and their staff, just like I do. The Café’ has marvelous food, great as well as friendly service, both served up with sincere and heart-warming Smiles!
After my good pal, Arnie, and I had ordered and started to eat, the Café’ wonderful and quite delicious food, he had the Big Boy Burger, fries and an extra-large Pepsi, because he was an extra-large man, and I had a breakfast which they serve, all day, T-Bone steak, hashbrowns, well done, just like me, sourdough toast, and a large milk, because I was a large man too.
(Arnie, was a Foodie, just like myself)
When all of a sudden, in-walks two of the best public servants in all of Orange County. First there was OCSD Don Barnes, Sheriff and Chief Coroner, for Orange County, and, second, was OCDA Todd Spitzer, District Attorney also for all of Orange County, California.
They are both good friends of mine, and I so admire and respect them both, beyond words can describe. They had driven down from their offices located in Santa Ana, not far away, and just down the 57 Freeway.
They both asked me, what was the best thing on the menu to eat? I immediately replied, “It’s all good, my Law Enforcement friends, trust me on that.” I heard them order, and Don got the Huevos Rancheros, and coffee, and Todd wanted the hot Pastrami sandwich.
I just love hot Pastrami sandwiches with French fries, and a kosher dell pickle on the side. I use to eat them at the famous ‘Cantors’ Deli downtown Los Angeles back in the day.
Ms. Joan Irvine Smith, part owner of the very large and quite successful, ‘Irvine Ranch Company,’ whom is a terrific horsewoman, forward-thinking developer and also an extremely generous Philanthropist, lives, part time in Laguna Beach, California, very close by her, and she loves the people and the great food at the Café’ just like I do.
I have known Ms. Joan (as I like to call her) for eons of time. I worked as an ‘Assistant Vice President and Assistant Manager’, at the ‘Bank of America’ branch in Laguna Beach, and she was my best, and most famous, customer.
Even though she was a billionaire, she was very nice, exceptionally easy to talk too, as well as a very down-to-earth person. You would know that she could buy a whole country, if she wished too.
The moral of this little story, if you want to call it that, is that you can never be too careful when you go skiing, and/or snowboarding, that is a proven fact.
in the lovely, yet very dangerous southern California mountains. You just never know when you will run smack dab into a snow-covered rock, and, even worse, a snow-covered tree!