In homage to the late Fred Rogers, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and there is not a rain cloud in sight.  The temperature reads in the high 50s, but thanks to the lack of wind, it feels more like 70.

Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was an extraordinary television program for children that aired on public television 1968 -2001.  He spoke not only to children in his ever-calming voice, but to parents and people of all ages as well.  Without being preachy, he shared lessons about how to cope with challenges in life, such as anger, envy, pride, and sadness.  I am sure that I was not the only parent with young children who had a crush on Mr. Rogers, though I see in his biography that he was closer in age to my father than to myself. One could not be a Mr. Rogers fan without learning life lessons, and perhaps coming away a better person.

My own neighborhood in San Francisco is not shabby either.  I live on a 3-block cul-de-sac where neighbors are friends, and we all watch out for one another.  Although I am a 50-year resident, I am not the longest-term homeowner on the block.  Houses turn over infrequently. High on the tallest peak in San Francisco, with views of the San Francisco Bay and San Bruno Mountain, the street itself is flat, and children can play outside in relative safety from speeding cars.

Changes do happen over the years, of course.  It is a constant delight to see young families move in, renewing the sense of community for another generation.  A handful of homes have been in the same family for multiple generations.  A generous family hosted a neighborhood holiday block party in early December, giving us all the opportunity to mingle with old friends and new.

Recovering from the holidays, I headed down to Golden Gate Park to refresh myself with a brisk walk.  The park is in winter mode.  Each season, the plants and wildlife change in appearance.  It is a never changing delight.  I stopped in the Japanese Tea Garden to have a freshly brewed cup of Genmaicha tea (and a couple of cookies).  Then, out for a walk in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, where the thriving flora is representative of countries throughout the world.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  I hope your holidays were as nice as mine.

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