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!


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.

Vagabond Rules

Don’t Worry. Be Grateful. Be a Blessing.

These are the rules that I try to live by. My experience is that, if I do, things generally go pretty well for me.

When you get down to it, we’re all vagabonds, aren’t we? We arrive with nothing, wander the planet for a few years, then move on out.

We leave as we came, and the best we can hope for is to be happy while we’re here. That’s what these rules are about.

In the next few weeks, I’ll write about each one, and how I approach it. Overall, I’m happier than I’ve been in my adult life. Maybe I can help someone else be happy, too.

In the meanwhile, Enjoy the Life you’re living.


Just When You’re Thinking “SPRING!”…

When people tell you how beautiful the Rockies are in springtime, dont be fooled. They’ll conjure up images of flower filled meadows and bright, sunny skies.

Yeah. They lie.

That photo up top was May 8th. Notice that the trees were basically free of snow.
The shot below was at 5:30 this morning, and it’s still snowing. I’d guess that we’ve received upwards of eighteen inches of the white stuff, this time around.

Yesterday, I heard that we were about to get dumped on, so I headed up from Denver in the morning. As I drove, the snow began and intensified on the way.

I hung out in Silverthorne until about ten o’clock, then headed up. The place I chose to sleep is a beautiful spot that overlooks a pond. Usually, it’s a nice location to park for the night.

By the time I arrived, last night around 10:30, the snow was already above Grace’s running boards. As a test, I made a brisk pass through, to be sure we could make it out. Then, I circled back around to follow my own tracks.

Pulling off the road and into the troughs that I’d made before, my left front tire caught the side. This pulled me out of the track and into deeper snow on a slope.

We stopped and I tried reverse, which moved us deeper still. Working carefully, I was able to get us into a different position, moving sideways, but not forward.

My initial response was, Oh, great! I’ll have to wait till morning and try for a tow from the snow plow. That was not an acceptable situation, if I could dig myself out, so I stepped out to get to work.

The spot that I’m talking about borders a steep, tree covered ravine. Beautiful to look at, but deadly to slip into in any conditions. Surveying our situation, I saw that Grace had come to rest about five inches from the edge. Thank God for stopping us.

A shovel is among the things that I’ve been saying I need to get, but haven’t. Tonight, that will change. In the moment, though, I had to think about what I had that might help.

Using a big stock pot, I was able to move large amounts of snow. To get down to ground level, I dug snow with my hands. Then I tried to move us out. Still no go.

I needed to get down deeper, underneath the tread of each tire. For this, I had the perfect tool. A hefty crowbar, about eighteen inches long. The forked hook was able to dig further into the stony ground and carve short trenches for the tires to move into.

This time, rocking from drive to neutral, we were able to move ahead. Suddenly, as though something pushed us from behind, we were up and back on the original track. Gratitude!

It took a while to sleep, after so much physical activity, but when I did, it was a sound sleep. My alarm woke me at 5:20. Snow had almost erased my path (along with evidence of my struggle), and the snow plow had made a berm that we had to get over. We jumped the berm and rolled down the road, with snow still falling.

All in all, it was a positive experience.
I didn’t die.
Grace performed like a champ.
At sixty-one years old, I can still dig myself out of a hole.
Yes – I am amazing (and so are you, if you’ll give yourself the chance).

Accepting What Is

Sometimes, things dont go as planned. When this happens, it’s easy to freak out. Last night, I could have had an Olympic sized meltdown over the situation, but what would it accomplish?

Most of the time, we get upset about things before we even know the whole story. Taking time to breathe and think can save an awful lot of negativity.

Now, at almost 2:00 in the afternoon and still snowing, some people are disgusted – It’s supposed to be Spring!

Yet, here we are, slogging around in the slush and the muck and the snow, and we have a choice. We can be disappointed, or we can accept it and move on.

This is what I have to work with. How can I make it positive?
Last night, stranded on the edge of a precipice, imagining possible disaster, I was able to get the positive result that I was after.

Before that could happen, though, I had to accept my situation and make a decision. Would I stay put and hope for help in the morning? or find whatever tools I could, and try to change things?

I’ll leave you with this thought: Chances are, you are much more capable than you think you are. Given the opportunity, you are amazing.

Thanks for following. Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Feeling Good…

Today, I woke early – about 4:45. It was a slow waking from a dream that bled into my awareness as the RAS allowed morning to creep in. The design of my book cover came to me during that time.

Also, a marvelous excitement for embracing the future washed over me in the dark. Possibilities materialized from the mist of my subconscious. This was prompted by a mind-mapping session last evening.

As I sat at dinner, munching a Lamb Gyro and the incredible fries at Silverheels in Frisco, I broke myself down into marketable bits. If the imperative is to provide for the present and the future, and to travel at the same time, I have to know what I’m offering. Yeh?

Climbing out my door at about 5:30, the difference between waking up in the dark and stepping out into morning gray is pronounced. Although I enjoy stars overhead, and sometimes blue moonlight on snow in winter, it’s another feeling to see the beautiful mountain scene around me.

A positive energy flows into me as I relax into a new day. Gratitude defines me in that moment.

At the top of this page are three Vagabond Rules – Don’t worry. Be Grateful. Be a Blessing. These are the precepts that I live by.

Enjoy the Life you’re living.