San Diego…again

Had a blast! Last week I was in San Diego, one of my favorite places on Earth. Sunday was my birthday, and I had originally planned a trip to Tokyo for a hike up Mt. Fuji. That didn’t work out, so I consoled myself by hitting the beach.

Carrying my board in after wearing myself out in the waves.

The big thing for me was a surf lesson on Monday. Although the pics may indicate otherwise, I never was able to actually get up on the board. Still, I had a great workout and tons of fun. Thanks to Pacific Surf. Had a great time and my instructor, Devin, was super patient.

If you look really closely, you might notice a difference in the shapes of our bodies. There’s a reason surfers are ripped. It took about thirty minutes for me to be wiped out. We went back to shore for a few minutes, then I was back at it, but not for long. Surfing is just a lot of hard work. Still, if I lived in SD, I’d be shredded, too.

As soon as I got back to Silverthorne, I went to the local rec center and filled out a form to have the aquatics director help me with swim conditioning for surfing. Also, someone told me about the Colorado River Surfing Association. I had no idea such a thing existed, but I’m a member now. This spring, I’ll be in condition and ready to hit the waves, either here or wherever the surf’s up.

I also got to experience some great food while I was there. If you’re in the neighborhood, check out these places.

Casa Guadalajara – I enjoyed the Steak Ranchero.
South Beach Bar and Grill – Fish Tacos! They have several different kinds, so I had a mix.
Hob Nob Hill – It’s a restaurant and bakery, so come prepared for wonderful sights and smells. They also have “almost” bottomless mimosas.
Walking On Water Café – Evidently, WOW Café doesn’t have a website, but you can find it on google. It’s a tiny spot, located on the pier. I walked out to the end and stopped in on the way back. The fish and chips were a little doughy, but not bad, with three massive filets and a mound of fries. If you’re in the mood for a stroll on the pier, you might as well drop in.
Dukes La Jolla – This was probably my favorite stop. It’s right on a cliff at the water’s edge, with a view of the sea. Duke’s Roasted Fish was excellent, and since it was my birthday, I got a free Hula Pie. Yes, it is as massive as it looks. At least five inches tall and I’d guess a pint of ice cream. Get this! whether it’s your birthday or not!

–VS–

Today, I met a man named Peter, from Sudan. He is one of the most marvelous people. He went to university here, got his master’s degree and worked until he had saved enough money to buy a semi truck. Now, he owns his own company, and that is exceptional, but not why I’m writing this.

He did these things, to support a school in Sudan. He also saves some of the money so that he can start another company later, which will support the school, so that he can continue his study and get his PhD.

You never know who you’ll meet when you wake up in the morning.

Enjoy the Life you’re living.

More on Not Dying…

The previous post shares a story of how I escaped death. It’s a powerful and moving story, and I wish that I could tell you that it was a life-changing moment for me, but it wasnt.

The truth is, after my recovery, life went on pretty much as usual. I had to sleep with the lights on for a long time, and I still have symptoms of PTSD sometimes; but there was never a moment of epiphany when I just knew that I had to follow my dream.

The opposite actually happened. As a husband and father, I threw myself into building what was supposed to be a perfect life.

I did that for a lot of years. It wasnt until I was fifty-eight that I came to a point of realization. At that time, I honestly, deeply wanted to die, often wondering why I hadnt died way back then.

I changed my life because I had no choice, and it’s still changing. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been, as an adult, but I’m also growing.

Right now, my purpose is twofold.
First, I want to be the best human that I can be. Finding new ways to help others and be a blessing is a driving force.
Second, I want to be the version of myself that I can be. That means learning to do things I’ve never done and seeing things I’ve never seen. I want to be amazed by this planet and everything on it. I’m traveling and learning. That’s my mission.

So, what does that mean for the people in my life? It means that I’ll see some of them more and others less, but I hope that they’ll appreciate my life more than if I’d stayed static.

Today is the ONLY Day

What are you waiting for?

When it comes to living the life we want, we say things like,”I’ll do that when…” or “Someday, I want to…” or “There’s always tomorrow…” Well, you know what? Tomorrow isnt always there.

In 1985, I was working on a construction site. We had dug a massive hole to put a manhole in. I and another young man were down in the hole when one of the sides caved in, burying us both.

After some minutes, I came to, being lifted up by the arms, out of the Texas dirt. The men there asked me where my partner was. I pointed to a spot, as they hoisted me up and out of the hole.

That could have been my last day, but I came out with minor injuries. I cannot say the same for the other man. He’d been crushed and suffocated by the weight.

As we made our separate ways to work that morning, I’m sure that neither of us thought about how it might change; suddenly, permanently.

My point is obvious: Dont wait to be happy. Dont procrastinate the things you’re dreaming of. Find a way to do them now. Today is the only day we have. Let’s not waste it.

Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Soooo Ready

Two weeks from today, I’ll be on the beach in San Diego! Cant even express how ready I am for this trip. My first surf lesson will be behind me and I’ll be working on my tan.

While it’s hot here in Colorado, the air is changing and I know that it will be cold here soon. Mentally, I’m prepared for that. Emotionally, though, I’m just not.

What if we skip winter and head right on into spring. We skipped spring, after all, or maybe we just postponed it and skipped summer. Either way, I’m not ready to bundle up.

Knowing that fall is knocking on the door, with winter right behind, I’m looking forward to some beach time, and San Diego is the place to get it. i

So, I’ve scheduled some touristy things, but left most of my time open to whatever may happen.

Surf lesson? Check.
Whale watching tour? Check.
Night sky viewing in the desert? Check.

The rest is unknown. I’ll probably visit Racine and Laramie, the little tobacco shop that I went to last time, and definitely do South Beach Bar and Grill, in Ocean Beach. Up the street is Jungle Java. They’re all places that I want to return to.

In the meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying the final days of summer up here in the high country.

Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Opening to Change

Life is about change. We’re safe and warm in a cozy little womb, then -BANG- out into the big world we come, and from then on it never stops until we do.

Sometimes, we need things to change, but it can be hard to open up and let things happen. Life is predictable and we’re comfortable where we are.

That’s me, right now. I realize, though, that the world is spinning and I’m not really moving with it. So, it’s time to get things rolling. (I used to use the word Geronimo at times like this, but I don’t know how the chief would feel about that.)

We’re moving into fall now, up here on the mountain. It’s the time when I get introspective, and sometimes morose. Bleh.

Mornings are dark and cool, but not cold. I can still greet the day without a shirt. On the other hand, though, I sometimes need a jacket in the evening. When the sun goes down, a wind comes up and brings a chill.

I’ve begun working to befriend a little fox. We’ve gotten to the place where it will accept food from me, but still keeps distance. Photos might be upcoming.

It began as a simple gaze, watching one another sit. Not long ago, though, the fox got curious and walked a circle around me a few times. Then I brought some food.

I don’t bring food every time, but often. Don’t want the thing to become dependent. A little treat, now and then, to keep it interested. Now we’re getting closer. It’s a fun experiment.

–==||==–

I’m a couple of weeks away from another trip to San Diego. Man, I love that place. Part of the change that I refer to in the title, is that it will be a hub for me soon.

No plan, yet. No idea how it’s going to happen, but it is. Very soon, I will spend a large portion of my time there.

Paonia is Hub 2. I’ve been visiting there a lot, over the past few months, and am beginning to develop some relationships there.

You may ask, Why? What are you’re working toward? In a word, Independence. I have a good measure of it now, but I’m still tied to a calendar. The freedom to move on whenever I like is still out of reach, but it’s coming.

On this trip to San Diego, I’ll learn to surf, do a whale watching tour, visit the Salton Sea and Joshua Tree. As always, my motto for San Diego is – Every day at the beach!

Living the Dream!

Truth is, my life is good. When I ask someone, How’s life? or How are you doing?, a lot of times they answer, sarcastically, Oh, just livin’ the dream! You know what? I am.

I wake up in a beautiful place every morning, eat well, meet good people, and I get to travel a bit. How many people around this world would trade places with me?

Also, I’m making a difference. People tell me that they’re beginning to meditate, or keeping a gratitude book. Lives are improving, and I’m a part of that.

Honestly. My complaints are few and small, while my blessings are many and great, and I am grateful.

Every day, I am grateful.

I used to feel like George Bailey, from It’s A Wonderful Life. Trapped in a life that was out of control. Feeling used up and useless. How things can change, yeh?

Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Some Gratitude

There is a friend who reads my stuff, often before I share it with others. She’s an engineer and mom, with everything that goes along with that. (Note: Her husband is a great guy and they share domestic things pretty well.)

Recently, she said to me, “I want you to know that you’ve influenced me to start a gratitude journal with my seven year old son. Yesterday he was grateful for learning from his mistakes.”

How cool is that? What a lift! What kind of difference will that make, if he continues through his life? She couldn’t have told me anything nicer. I’m grateful.

>> I finished writing my first booklet, The Vagabond Rules. (They’re at the top of this page.) It should be available by the first of September. In the meanwhile, I’ll put up a page where you can read it. <<

Man, I love my life. I am so blessed by the people I know, and all the marvelous ways that God’s universe continues to respond.

To be honest, though, I’m ready for the change that’s coming. Dont know what it is, but it will be good.

The days are already getting shorter and before long I’ll be waking up in the dark again. The prospect of that is a little depressing. I love seeing the stars and the moonlit mountains, but I need sunlight.

Speaking of that, I’m planning another trip to San Diego, for my birthday. Originally, I’d planned to fly to Tokyo and summit Fuji, but that isn’t going to happen this year. It’s been over a year since I went to Cali, so I’ll make it a consolation trip.

Thanks for all the support. Every one of you is amazing. Know that. Own it.