An Indoor Girl

Look, I’ve hiked the Cinque Terra, ridden a donkey up the cliffs of Crete, and waterskied down the Colorado River. I trekked through the Mayan jungle and climbed Tikal. I hiked the pine forest above Rio Caliente, scaled Nevada Falls, and climbed rickety ladders to peer into ancient painted caves in … [Read more...]

The Summer of Love

1965 thru 1968 • The Haight, San Francisco ~ I worked for Dad in his store on Haight Street during the summers, saving my money for French fries, milk shakes, school clothes, and college. In the early '60s the Haight was a middle-class white neighborhood with a smaller community of black families. … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #7: A California Classic

On my last marker birthday I muddled over penning my obituary, my epitaph, or my own real estate ad. Writing my own obituary was too weird. My epitaph was a no-brainer…  Catherine Clemens Sevenau 1948 – TBD “How Did I Get Here?”  And since I’ve been in real estate in Sonoma … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #5: In Search of Funny

At a book talk at our library, a young woman asked me about humor, and how do you learn to be funny. I responded, “I don’t think you can learn to be funny. Either you are, or you aren’t.” Humor is often closely related to pain, and arises as a reaction to suffering—like a coping mechanism—and … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #4: Keeper of the Lines

Why bother? I mean, really. They’re dead. Who cares about the past, and what difference does it make? But you know, there are occasions we do something for its own sake, simply because it’s interesting, or satisfying, or it feels worthwhile. For a number of years I’ve researched my genealogy, … [Read more...]

Money, ’tis better to have it than not

Money isn’t my issue this time around, not that it’s always been abundant. I’ve saved it, spent it, lost it, found it, stolen it (I was seven), borrowed, gambled, lent, collected, stashed, donated, and shared it. I’ve frittered it away and hoarded it close. I’ve been foolish and wise, thoughtless … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #3: Shopping Queen

Many of us have too much stuff, and with the holidays upon us, more creeps into our space. My dilemma is shopping locally, versus not shopping at all. I have young grandchildren, and as much as I like to buy them presents, I refrain and give them money (so they can buy their own stuff), take them on … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #2: My impending demise

Posted on November 10, 2016, by Catherine Sevenau ~ “Oma, there’s dead people under those rocks, you know.” I glance over to see what Satchel is talking about. My four-year-old grandson is commenting from his car seat about the small cemetery to our left on East Napa Street. “I know, … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #1: How did I get here?

Posted on October 14, 2016, by Catherine Sevenau ~ In 1943, my father exchanged his iceman’s uniform for a suit and tie. Union Ice Company was having financial difficulties, and Dad had enough sense to get out of the cold. Offered a management position with Sprouse Reitz, he had the option of … [Read more...]

Elegy to My Father

Carl John Clemens 1905 – 1986 Born on a Minnesota farm, you milked cows, picked corn, and shocked wheat. You hated farming; that’s why you left Minnesota, that, and your mother always telling you what to do. She cried when you left home; you were only sixteen. You had nine siblings, all with … [Read more...]


“We’ve been brought here for a very short time, against our will, and we don’t know why.” I love that line. What is the point of our birth and life and death? Why are we here? What is our true purpose? These thoughts keep some of us up at night; others have never examined the questions. Some … [Read more...]

Positively Haight Street, 1968

Audio: Positively Haight Street (click arrow to listen) 1968 was the year Eldridge Cleaver published Soul on Ice. He and his wife Kathleen, who had the most immense head of hair I'd ever laid eyes on, banked at my teller window. It was the year of the Yippies, Black Panthers, and the SDS, … [Read more...]

Bless This Mess

I’m hard-wired for formal prayer. I find myself reciting the Our Father when an earthquake hits, and oftentimes at night as I go to sleep. "How weird,” I think, stopping in the middle, but then a Hail Mary (a woman about whom I hold equally wobbly beliefs), arises to take its place. I surrender, … [Read more...]

My Friend Kim Heddy

Kim joined our office as an agent in 1994. As it turned out we had a lot in common: we both loved real estate, ice cream, and dark chocolate. In 2002 she became a partner in my real estate practice: she took over showing property to my clients, which meant I no longer got lost wandering around town … [Read more...]

Unleashing the Flying Monkeys

Writing a memoir is one thing, having other read it is another; it's akin to being a nude model for the first time in front of an art class. But standing naked in front of strangers (or worse yet, in front of family, friends, and everyone in town) has nothing to do with me or what I look like, it’s … [Read more...]

"I enjoy candlelit dinners, a walk on a moonlit beach, and spending time in the woods enjoying the beautiful nature around us." Oh please. Who writes this cheese? I've perused dating sites and laugh at the liars on there. Give me someone who has honed at least some self-reflection, won't … [Read more...]