Poem for Connie
• cay horner
• 9-11-2016 at 2:01 PM
To: Peter Chou
Dear Peter,

So delighted to receive your very personal reminiscences of Connie.
I LOVE the first three lines— they express her frugality and her generosity!
I'm adding my own to them. I notified Siefken Krieger, the former docent
of the Explorer hiking group, and asked him to pass the bad news along to
whoever is interested. So many people remember her fondly— and her
knowledge of wildflowers! She touched many lives. Kent and I believe
she wants her ashes strewn at Fall Creek Redwoods near Santa Cruz.
He said he'd let me know when that is so I can attend. If it falls
handy, Dick and I would like to take you with us.

With Connie on the Trail

We met on an Explorer group hike with MROSD,
soon formed our own independent group of two;
I dubbed it The Osteoporosis Hiking Society!
We had little in common but our disabilities and love of nature.
I had recently lost my husband, she was long divorced,
but we always found much to talk about.
On our weekly forays we vowed to hike every inch
of every trail from Half Moon Bay to Monterey.
She lived in Mountain View, I on the flanks of Mt. Hamilton,
but we met in the middle and drove to distant destinations.
I did the driving while she navigated,
her experience with AAA made her a wizard with maps.
When we encountered novices on the trail she spent hours
recommending parks, giving descriptions and directions,
even copies of her own meticulously annotated trail maps.
She loved sharing what she loved the most—
and we almost met our goal.
As our strength waned we bought matching flame-painted walkers
and continued smokin' down the road on paved trails!
Younger energetic hikers stopped to congratulate us;
we heard "You're an inspiration" and "You go, girls" a lot!
When my femur snapped in the autumn of 2015 and I had to give up walking,
she courageously mustered the incentive to go alone
to see her favorite wildflowers bloom, especially the trillium.
But the osteoporosis squeezed her lungs and stomach and ribs
till she could no longer breathe nor eat.
We spoke on the phone, nostalgically recalling our expeditions
from Pinnacles to Pt. Lobos, seashore to redwood forest,
even my stomping grounds, Alum Rock Park.
I like to think of her wearing her old Winnie-the-Pooh hat,
ducking behind a bush for bladder relief,
eating a jar of strained green beans while sitting on a rock or log,
but always,
cresting the next hill on the trail.
You go, girl!

Cay Horner 9/11/2016