Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Right in the middle of the stinkin' valley

On Monday I was feeling rather tense. Honestly, I was in a hateful mood. I hated my representatives in Sacramento and wrote them.* I hated the idiots in Thugville for rioting after a stupid basketball game. I hated the city of Los Angeles for wanting to spend way too much money on the parade to honor the Lakers and wrote the mayor. I hated Iran but didn't know who to write. About the time I was ready to hate the whole world my beloved walked into my office, sat down and said let's go somewhere. Quickly I Googled, "What to do in San Fernando Valley" and came up with a few gardens to visit. We chose The Japanese Garden at the Tillman Water Reclamation plant in Van Nuys.

Skip this part if you don't care what happens to your poop.
Don't know what goes on at a water reclamation plant? Neither did I but check the link to find out. It's quite interesting. Let me give the highlights. You flush your toilet or run your garbage disposal and all this stuff goes to the sewer. Eventually it makes to 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA. There it goes into a series of holding tanks where it is screened and sifted and aerated and then some stuff heads off to another plant, the sludge, and the water is cleaned so it can be used to water golf courses and landscaping. This water is not for drinking though they say it would be safe but some of the water is used in the Japanese Garden.

All of this is done in large open tanks and yes, it smells like crap, because that is what most of it is. They have life preservers hanging on the fence around the open tanks but honestly, would you want to live after falling in? Lets move away from here and go to the garden.

We parked in the lot, payed our senior price of $2, and walked to the entry of the garden. It's a small door, traditional to a Japanese garden, made so you can't see what's in there just yet. When you walk through the whole expanse opens to this wonder garden of lakes, streams, water falls all beautifully and skillfully landscaped. Huge Koi swim in the water and there is an occasional water fowl. I can't describe everything because ever path we took had a different water feature or exquisite grouping of plants. The more than six acres was peaceful and, even though a group of pre-school children followed us into the garden, we found some quiet places to sit and watch the water; sometimes moving, other times calm. Ok, this was what I needed and when I left I felt calm and relaxed.

* If you want, you can e-mail your representatives in Sacrament and tell them they better get busy and do their jobs while we still have a state to do it in. Don't know who they are?

Find your CA state rep.