Mountain Munga

We baptized Munga “of the Mountains” this past weekend.

Munga and her traveling bud, Char, at the Mighty Stanislaus River.

Munga and her traveling bud, Char, at the Mighty Stanislaus River.

It makes me very happy to share my special new home with my mother. I want, and plan, to share it with all my family (and my sister will be there soon enough), but I know my mother really needs a retreat, and now she has one: an even more special one than my house here in Oakland (even though it’s also a retreat, in the sense that it’s far away from her own). 

Munga works too hard, and she takes care of too many people besides herself. She is good at many, many things, but one thing she’s very, very bad at is being good to herself.

But I can be good to her. I’ve been observing her my entire life, studying her compassion and emulating her caregiver instincts, and I’ve learned a few tricks. I’ve learned how to be like Munga, but also how not to be like her. I’ve learned how to do for others, but also how to do for myself. How to take vacations. How to fit in projects and purchases and parties for me, and for Trent – even for Sam. In this most recent chapter of my life, I am actively perfecting my skill at saying “no.”

I’m only half Munga, after all, which is exactly what a full Munga needs some times. Someone who knows how to be like her just enough, so they can be like her for her, in ways she would never think of for herself.

Taking Munga winetasting in Murphys.

Taking Munga winetasting in Murphys.

So, I took her to the woods and sequestered her, to give her a dose of the things she deserves. We cooked for her every day and forced her to drink. We took her to the river, we took her winetasting. By the last day she slept until nearly sunrise? One of these days I will get her to leave her laptop in Michigan, but this was just the first of many such “mandatory relaxation trips” to 2381.

Ladies (+ Trent) relaxing on the deck.

Ladies (+ Trent) relaxing on the deck.

She was a willing and well-behaved subject; I’m counting on her to show up for more, and to smile this beautifully through it all:

Beautiful Munga, in our mountain house, where I hope she will always look so happy. Thank you to Char for this wonderful picture!

Beautiful Munga, in our mountain house, where I hope she will always look so happy. Thank you to Char for this wonderful picture!

Don’t make me disable your wireless access remotely so your email stops working and you can’t work…

Can I do that?


Nah… Just kidding.



See all our pics of Munga and Char in the mountains here.

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5 thoughts on “Mountain Munga

  1. Carla Daniels says:

    I know you have perfected your saying no skill already. This post is so sweet. Glad Munga got some R&R. 😊🍻

  2. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Thank you, Lisa! Yes, I did get lots of R&R. It was a milestone step for me. Didn’t take my computer to the mountain retreat. Honest! Next year I might even let go of the cell phone, too. Well, maybe. The best part was just being able to do nothing in such a beautiful setting. I can’t believe how fast I shifted into the “lethargy zone”. I was fed and watered and allowed to do whatever I wanted all day, which was nothing. It is kind of mesmerizing to be able to sit and stare at a beautiful setting and not think about anything for a while.

    I am so glad that my daughter has developed balance in her life. Yes, I could learn a few things from HER. She has certainly learned how to take care of people very well, and she certainly took good care of me. I am very thankful for the opportunity to spend time in a beautiful place with Lisa and Trent and our friends. I owe that smile to the excellent treatment I received. And thank you for sharing that wonderful place with all of us. You forget just how beautiful life can be until you get a chance to really experience it like this.

    All I can say is thank you and I can’t wait to go back! Love you all!

  3. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Grandma says she has been trying to get me to shift into relax mode for years, without success. Congratulations on achieving the nearly impossible! Thank you!

  4. lisatemp says:

    I’m already planning the next Mungatrip. Everyone knows planning is MY weakness.

  5. […] Weekend with Munga and Char. […]

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