About JanetA

I am a nomad and adventurer. I used to travel for work now I travel for curiosity and fun. I started this blog when my husband of 21 years, Jim died of cancer on his 60th birthday. I started it because I wanted to have an easy way for my friends and family to follow me as I started a new adventure living in a small B class RV. I have a delightful little Roadtrek that I live in full time. It continues to be quite an adventure.

My Ongoing Friendship With Birdy Boy

Birdy Boy at his Best

If you have read my blog since the spring of 2021 you may recall the unique friendship I developed with a male song sparrow in the spring. Unique friendships are to be treasured.

Here is a link to the posts from last year. The Magic of Friendship and The Continuuing Saga of the Little Brown Bird.

Upon my arrival on Whidbey Island in June of 2022, Birdy Boy was there to greet me. At first, he was distant and curious. He would hop all around me and keep his distance. By the end of the second day, there he was, sitting on my legs, arms, and shoulders singing away. This year he has only progressed to my head once.

Since breeding season is over he has shown up with a female song sparrow. She is quiet (they don’t sing) and sits a distance away. I wonder if she is trying to figure out about this odd friendship Birdy Boy and I have developed.

You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

Our close friendship continued until this month. When mating season is over things change. Until yesterday the feeders were quiet. Many of the small birds were gone or infrequently visiting the yard. Last year when this happened I grieved for the loss of my birdy friend. I thought he had migrated. After five days he and many of the other small birds reappeared. They had gone to the bushes to molt. All these little birds lose all or most of their feathers one to two times per year.

I believe that Birdy Boy is once again preparing to molt. He is looking a bit disheveled. His feathers are out of sorts. He has a small bald spot on the top of his head. He spends more time in the shrubs. The little birds go there to molt. It creates a safe place for the birds while they are in a more vulnerable state.

Some days he does not show up. At times he comes but keeps his distance. The closeness of spring is gone. This happened last August as well. With the end of the spring and early summer, his habits change.

I reminded myself that this would happen again this year. Even knowing this I miss his presence. He is a central part of my Whidbey Island Experience. I think often about what brings me joy. This little song sparrow brings me joy right to the core of my heart.

Yesterday he appeared early in the day. I was excited to see him. He came to the deck and stood on the chair back and sang away. During the day when I would be outside, he returned. One time he came to my knee and settled in. I love when he quiets down and just hangs out with me. There is no singing, no chitting, we just sit there like long-time friends enjoying the silence and the view out over Puget Sound. After about twenty minutes he flew off into the bushes and that was it for the day. I was pleased he stayed as long as he did. He brings me comfort.

Friendships come in all sizes, shapes and species. I value this friendship as I do all of my friendships. I continue to learn a lot from this little bird. In the quiet of the moments with him, my heart opens up. It is OK to be patient and soft and quiet. It is also OK to be joyous and sing my song and it is fun to share that song with others. Friendships require trust and commitment. I am glad to have shared this with this sweet little brown bird.

Today I am thankful for friendships, trust, quiet, and my friendship with Birdy Boy.

Those Magic Moments

My husband, Jim and I always looked for interesting and different adventures when we went off exploring. One year we climbed an old-growth Douglas Fir and camped two hundred and fifty feet off the ground. (Did you know that there are no mosquitos after one reaches twenty-five feet above the ground?) We rode horseback to camp in the high Rockies of Colorado and attempt to fish. Another horseback riding adventure took us into Canyon del Muerto (a branch of the Canyon de Chelly complex in eastern Arizona) to camp on Native land and explore the cliff-dwelling ruins and hike. Oh my, so many magic moments.

I have continued to explore the unique and unusual in my travels. It keeps me alive and fascinated by life. It often brings the wonder of a little girl to the surface.

Last night at 10 pm, I went kayaking with a small group thanks to Whidbey Island Kayaking. We were on an adventure to see the bioluminescence.

Bioluminescence occurs when a chemical reaction in an organism emits light. Humans typically see bioluminescence that’s triggered by a disturbance, like waves or a boat moving through the water. Organisms can also emit light responding to an attack or to attract a mate. Although bioluminescence is found in many marine animals, one of the most common causes is from plankton being disturbed at the water’s surface. This was what we kayaked to see.

What I discovered last night is that often this bioluminescent light is subtle. As it became darker the light in the water became stronger. When I would swirl my hands in the water, sparkles of light bounced off my hand. It was like seeing the night sky in the water.

As we started to kayak back to the marina, one of the guides told us to kayak closer to shore. There was a gray whale coming toward the marina. What???? There has been an adolescent gray whale that has been staying near the ferry. He comes over to the marina at Langley to feed on ghost shrimp. We did not see it but heard his sound as he blew. This sound encounter with this gray whale upped the magic factor of this trip. How could this experience be any better? Yes, a whale made this evening truly magical. It was too dark to see it but we could hear its blow and it was close. It was soooooo…..cool.

This evening reminded me that we are not alone out there in the world. We are part of one larger system. The whale blow, the bioluminescence, and a quiet night on the water reminded me immediately of the wonder of nature and the magic I experience when I discover that for a brief moment I am in the center of this universe.

This is an experience I will remember for a long time. I love magic. I love being in the center of magic.

I am thankful for taking this moment out of my life to breathe and experience the magic.

A Farewell to the Original South Whidbey Island Recycling Center

I love places that encourage me to bring my camera and photograph them. Last year, 2021, when I arrived on Whidbey Island, my neighbor Tom, introduced me to the South Whidbey Island Recycling Center. This place was not only a place to recycle, it was an open-air art studio.

What a fantastic place. This was not an ordinary recycling center. A lot of thought, joy, and laughter went into decorating this place. Teddy Bears resided on the roofs, teapots lined other roofs, and an elephant on another roof. The area where I dumped cans and bottles was supported by a row of toy trucks. I could write about this place in detail yet I would rather you sit back and take a look.

This year with great anticipation I prepared to go to the “Recycling Center” or “The Dump”. I had friends visiting and I had built up their anticipation about a trip to the dump. As I turned into the site my mouth dropped open in surprise. It looked like any other recycling center. There was nothing to explore. Everything that had made this center so special was gone. There was nothing to get excited about, I just dropped off the recycles and left. My friends, Sandy and Pat never got to experience the pure joy of this place.

The original owners have retired. When the current recyclers, the Island County government, took possession, most of the items that made this place unique were scrapped. No longer can I spend hours wandering around looking at all the items and discovering lost treasures. No longer can I look for Elvis or Maryland or JFK. Now I just go and recycle and leave. People don’t stand around and chat. It is all just business. Sigh.

I am glad that I got to see this place before it became just another stop on a Saturday. Finding unique and special places is part of the fun of travel. My hopes are still high that this recycling center may be a creative place again. When I spoke with one of the people who worked there, they said that they are going to try to bring it back in some form. Unfortunately, when the government steps in there are more restrictions and rules set in place.

Today I am thankful to have discovered this center in its former form. Today I am thankful for small town and rural living. Today I am thankful for “The Dump”.

Assumptions

Assumptions are a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

I have been thinking about assumptions. As human beings, we make assumptions about each other, about the stock market, the weather, and just about everything.

Having others make assumptions about me is uncomfortable. How much is true? How much is not true? Why does this bother me? I think it bothers me because it limits me. It makes me realize that even the closest friends make assumptions that make me uncomfortable. Sometimes I am uncomfortable because they are true. Sometimes I am uncomfortable because they are not.

Here are some of the assumptions people have made regarding me over the past few years.

  • I am not vegan or vegetarian. I do love farmers markets for all their fresh and organic produce. I may not get as excited about them as someone who has just become vegan yet it doesn’t mean I don’t like them. They are a go-to place when they are in season.
  • I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I have never been allied with either party. I like to think that I will vote for whoever will do the best job for me and everyone else. Ask me what I believe, don’t categorize me.
  • I don’t like casinos. I don’t judge the people that like this entertainment. Some of them are my people, in fact, a good friend of mine goes to them often. I don’t like the noise, the smell of smoke, and all the audible stimulation. I like camping in their parking lots. I do like their buffets. A year ago a group of us who were camping in the parking lot, went into the casino for dinner. Everyone was required to wear masks. Now I don’t want to go in because Covid is still a part of our lives and fewer people wear masks.
  • Yes, I might make a good Univeral Unitarian. Do I want to be one? No. And maybe I wouldn’t make a good one.
  • I am not brave. If you only knew how often I have heard this since I bought my RV. There are times when my fear overwhelms me. I have been known to delay departures because I get so nervous about taking that first really giant step forward and I get sick. I am working through life just like the rest of us.
  • I am not a Buddhist. I believe in many of the tenets of Buddhism. I have practiced yoga for many years. I am not a Buddhist.
  • I do not listen to NPR, a lot. Except maybe on Saturdays and even then, not frequently. I am not a news person. The news stresses me out. I finally decided I needed to keep up so I get the New York Times headlines in my inbox every day. I can read what I am interested in and let the rest go.

Interesting, aren’t they? These are only a sample of what I have heard from people over the past few years. If I am present when a friend or acquaintance states an assumption about me I will attempt to talk about the assumption with that person.

Rather than assuming something about me, ask me. I am pretty upfront about myself. Ask me why I don’t want to go to a casino for dinner. Ask me about my faith and beliefs. Tell me why you think I would make a good UU. I may learn something about myself.

Why has this subject come to my awareness, now? It has been there for quite some time. It frustrates me. It would be so much better for each of us to learn about each other by asking the questions that would open us up and take our friendship to the next level if that is where we want it to go. Assumptions can limit where we might go and what we might do as people in this world. Assumptions make people feel safe and set boundaries.

What assumptions do I make of others? Hmm, that is a good question. When something comes into my awareness it is time to look at myself. The lesson will ride in the forefront of my consciousness for a while. It has already been there for some time. It is time for me to take a look at myself and change what needs changing. Is this an easy task? No, absolutely not. The key is not to be too hard on myself and recognize, like everyone else, that I am human. Growth is what it is all about. Awareness can help me change and grow. And maybe I won’t be so quick to assume things of others.

Because strangers, acquaintances, and friends make assumptions does not make them less valued in my life. Heck, we all do it without thinking. I value all who enter my life, whether for a few minutes a few years, or forever. People enter my life to teach me lessons in self-growth. And here I am at almost seventy still growing.

Today I am thankful for a tough and delicate topic for me to address. Today I am thankful I have a platform to discuss this. Today I am thankful for those who have helped me to bring this subject forward. Today I am thankful.

On the Move North for the Summer

I have been traveling. Woody the cat and I departed company at the end of May. Mandy, his owner, and friend, and Rocky the dog returned home. And, just like that my time in Salinas came to an end. 

It was a good month with a lot of kitty time, kayaking “The Slough” and riding my bike. Salinas and Monterey County is such an interesting area. It is the home of Monterey and Carmel, where the views are amazing and wealth abounds. It is also the home of many hard workers. They work planting tending and harvesting the crops of many things that we eat every day. Artichokes-check, cabbage-check, Strawberries-check, Garlic-check, check and check. The soil in this Salinas valley is so rich and something is always growing here. 

As a Tour Manager, I remember taking tour groups through this area. We would stop at “The Farm” to learn more about this culturally rich area and the hard-working men and women and children that still harvest the food we eat. One group was even offered to get off the bus and help the workers harvest celery. The driver and I refused as it had been raining and these were seniors. The driver didn’t want to get his bus super muddy and I needed to protect my tour group. 

Salinas is Steinbeck Country. It is the home of John Steinbeck and his family. Have you read The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men or Cannery Row, and many of his other books? Steinbeck wrote often of these hard-working people and the perils of the working man. Salinas has a museum, library, and more dedicated to John Steinbeck. You can even have a meal in his childhood home. 

My trip north was a good trip. I found State Recreation sites and State Parks to camp in. All of them are on my list for a return visit. One was on the Salinas River in northern California and the other was on the Willamette River in Oregon. I may be kayaking on the Willamette on a return visit.

The most memorable part of the trip north was visiting with friends. Mary and I were able to catch up, in-person in southern Oregon where she lives. She is getting ready to raft a few rivers. That is her June activity. I had the opportunity to swamp for her on the North Fork of the Flathead River several years ago. It was work and it was fun. We are planning a trip in the fall into the southwest, not involving rivers and rafting.

On June first I met up with Pat another Roadtreking friend. We had made plans to meet at Scenic Beach State Park near Seabeck, Washington about nine months ago. Why? Great Blue Herons and Eagles feeding on Midshipmen Fish that come in the spring to breed among the oyster beds, and an opportunity to see nature happening close up. I also had the opportunity to photograph all the action.

Now I am on Whidbey Island, arriving just less than a week ago, to house sit for another summer in the same lovely home I was in last year. Ooooh, more amazing sunsets. It has to become summer first. People who live here tell me they are still waiting for spring and summer to arrive. It has been raining, a bit. 

And…guess who was here to greet me? Birdy Boy? If you have followed my blog from last year you will remember the posts about my relationship with a sweet little Song Sparrow. He is still here and is back to sitting on my arms and legs and singing up a storm. It is so fun that he remembers me. I have been enjoying the low tides this week while waiting for spring and summer to arrive.

Summer is off to a good start.

Roadtreking & Friends

I have owned my Roadtrek since 2013. It has been an adventure like no other. My Roadtrek and I have been a friend magnet.

It all started with a blog. I know, you think it was this blog. No, it was another. After I wrote my first post on my blog, I was contacted by Mike the owner of the former Roadtrek Lifestyles blog. He asked me to become a guest reporter for that blog. Little did I know what this exposure would do for my life.

People from all over the United States and Canada followed my travel adventures via the Roadtrek Lifestyle blog. It took about a year before I started posting to meet the first fellow Roadtrekers at San Simeon State Park on the Big Sur Coast of California. Appropriately enough we met at the “Dump Station”. That is where we empty our black and gray water tanks. Although they knew me and Miss Elsie the Cat I did not know them until that moment in time.

Then it started to happen more often.

Linda & Pancho & Mary Z
  • I pulled the front-end bumper off my rig in Crescent City, Oregon. No, I don’t want to go into details. I had to go to Medford Oregon for repairs. When I mentioned it on my Facebook page, Mary Z responded that she lived in Medford. She opened her home to me for a week while the rig was in the shop. Mary and I have been friends since that week. We meet about once a year, minus the Covid years. I have been on grand adventures with her with more to come. She owns a Roadtrek.
  • Through Mary, I met Linda, who lives in Boise, Idaho. She is married with a grown son. When she is in need of Linda time, she travels solo in her Roadtrek. The three of us were hiking in the desert when I fell and broke my ankle. Ah, yes the adventure continues. Linda and I have been friends ever since that desert meetup. I stayed with her in Bosie. I have spent a summer in her mountain cabin, staying remote during Covid 2020. It is a great place in the mountains with nearby lakes. I have pet sat for her and she pet sat for Elsie the Cat.
  • I am currently house and cat sitting for Mandy. Guess what? She owns a Roadtrek. We met at a rally and camped together with Ann (she owns an RT too) after the rally was complete.
Sunset Over Puget Sound
  • Sandy and Jim used to own a Roadtrek. Today they own a high clearance B class RV. They own a home on Whidbey Island, Washington. I house-sat for them last year and am returning in about nine days for a second round of house sitting this summer. They are a lovely couple and have a prime spot looking west over Puget Sound. It is fun to turn a virtual friendship into a real one.
  • I met Pat and George and their two Basenjis at a parking lot on the Oregon Coast. We had lunch and have shared stories and time together.
  • In the winters I head to the desert. For two seasons I have met Jim and Rhonda and Cricket at the Fountain of Youth Spa and RV resort. Yep, they own an RT.
  • Mary B and I met in southern New Mexico. She was traveling with Frank the Cat and Roxie the Dog. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mary had to sell her RT and move to Apache Junction outside of Phoenix. Frank has passed on to kitty heaven. Mary’s two new kitties, Boo and Buddy, and Roxie the dog remain good friends.
Phoebe the Cat
  • Campskunk & Sharon are so well known in the Roadtreking community. They live full-time in their rig along with Miss Phoebe the Cat. They spend their winters in Florida, start to head west at the end of winter, and finally reach the Oregon coast in July. Campskunk has helped me with my rig. He knows a lot about the workings of these machines. Thanks to him, my latest adventure was fixing leaks in my side windows. Thanks, Campskunk for the suggestion of Captain Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure the leaks are gone.
  • Pat, Mary, Linda, Dorothy, Jim and Cindy, Helen & David & Percy, Lela, Cory, MaryEllen & Sue and so many more. These are not just passing acquaintances. Most of these relationships have turned into friendships. We plan meet-ups. I house and pet sit for some. Others took care of Elsie the Cat when I ventured further afield, Alaska comes to mind.

A week ago Sandy and Pat from Cool, CA came to Salinas for a visit. We usually meet in the desert but this year we kept missing each other. It has been over two years since I have seen them. They own a Roadtrek. When they arrived they took over the driveway in their home on wheels. They came in and out of the house as needed. It was fun to cook with them in Mandy’s great kitchen. When I was busy they took off hiking. When I was not busy we headed for Elkhorn Slough for some kayaking time. We were completely amazed at the plethora of wildlife on the Slough. Pat had to wait patiently while Sandy and I stopped to take frequent photos. It was so much fun to have them come and visit for five days. It was good to catch up and expand and grow our strong friendship. I am so honored to know them.

If I haven’t mentioned all of you who I have met through Roadtreking and RVing, you know who you are, and please know you have enriched my life in so many ways.

I no longer blog for Mike. His direction has changed and so has mine. It has been several years since I last posted on his RV blog. The Roadtrek Lifestyle blog, my blog, and a few other events have drawn me into a strong and wonderful community of fellow travelers and friends. I never cease to feel blessed to know such wonderful and kind people.

Today I am thankful for my Roadtreking friends who have loved and supported me, no matter what.

Today I am thankful for my cute little Roadtrek and the lifestyle it has introduced me to. Today I am thankful for friends.

The Return of Woody the Cat

Hi everyone. Woody the Cat is back.

A few days ago guess who appeared at my doorstep? Janet! Yes, she walked through the front door, I wonder where she came from. Do any of you know? It is hard to understand people. They come, they go, and then they return again. Mandy, my top person does that frequently. And…she takes Rocky (he’s a dog) with her. Then just like that, she is back again.

Sometimes I get to stay at my house when Mandy disappears. I can sleep on my comfy bed, look out the window, watch the birds, and sleep as much as possible. Oh, I also love to eat. Other times, with much difficulty, Scott and Meghan, Mandy’s family, take me to their house. Once I am there I am fine but trying to catch me and put me in a small case and drive me there, well let me just say it does not bring out my finer side.

When Janet shows up I get to stay home. Ooh, I like that. It has taken me a few days to get used to her being here again. After a few days, I have adjusted. After Mandy left I went in and out of Janet’s room. I sometimes slept on Mandy’s, Rocky’s, and my bed. Then I would slip into Janet’s room for part of the night. Today I decided to just move into her room and stay. The other day I forgot to get up. I slept in until sometime in the afternoon.

I love people. I love people who pet me and feed me and well, just love me. Janet does that very well. She comes in when I am sleeping and picks me up, throws me over her shoulder, and walks me around the house. I like that. I just can’t seem to get enough of snuggling and loving.

I have Janet trained. When she goes into the kitchen I follow her and meow with the sweetest meow I know. She gives me treats. I really really like treats. She sometimes says she is not going to be fooled by me but that sweet meow works every time.

I am excited to have Janet here. She brightens up my life. It is good to have the unexpected happen. When the unexpected comes to visit it shakes up everyone’s life. It is good to have my life shaken up a bit from time to time. It is good for most beings to have their lives shaken up once in a while.

Well, it is time for a nap. Did you know that kitties need at least sixteen hours of sleep a day? Our beauty rest is important. That is why I look so good all the time. That is why I have the finest tail of any kitty I know.

Continue to expect the unexpected. It makes life exciting.

Lessons of Nature

I left San Diego at the end of April. I am thankful for slow and easy journeys in my Roadtrek. As I moved north I had time to stop and explore. I love the coast of California. Actually, the whole west coast is pretty magnificent. It has got to do with water and rugged nature. Much of the Pacific Coast in the United States is a cold and rough ocean.

Carpenteria State Beach

I arrived at Carpenteria State Beach, near Santa Barbara, for a four-night stay. I have learned to speak up if I don’t find a campsite to my liking. I was originally in a parking site between two rigs. There was no picnic table and I felt like I was in a parking lot. When I spoke to the ranger, he gave me three sites to look at. I found the perfect site. Although the park was busy my site was quiet. I remained there for four nights.

There are moments in time that are special in my life. One of them occurred while camping at Carpenteria. This is spring and the Snowy Plovers were sitting on eggs or managing their young. They are protected, so the area where they are nesting was closed off to the public.

I spent a morning sitting outside the roped-off area watching the babies and adult Plovers. I have seen signs for the Snowy Plovers before, yet this is the first time I have actually had the opportunity to see the adults and babies.

Here are some facts about these sweet little birds.

  • Snowy Plovers are pale brown shorebirds, that forage for invertebrates on ocean beaches and in desolate salt flats and alkaline lakes. Snowy Plovers make nearly invisible nests on beaches, where they are easily disturbed by humans, dogs, and beach vehicles.
Adult Snowy Plover
  • They are endangered. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 31,000, of which an estimated 24,000 breed in the U.S. Presently, fewer than 2,000 breeding plovers remain in the Pacific coast population.
  • Their camouflage is perfect for their environment. If I took my eyes off the young ones it took a bit to find them again.
  • Young Snowy Plovers leave the nest within 3 hours of hatching and are able to forage unassisted almost immediately (though the parents still brood them periodically to keep them warm). If a predator approaches, the parent gives a signal and the chicks flatten themselves against the ground.
  • Snowy Plovers often raise 2 broods of chicks a year. Females occasionally desert their mates when the chicks hatch to begin a new nest with a different male.
  • The oldest recorded Snowy Plover was 15 years and 9 months old when it was spotted in Oregon and identified by its band.

It was an honor to see these little birds and photograph them. Their curiosity was infectious. They made me laugh and feel joy. They remind me of the fragility and strength of life in all forms. It is important to support all life that is left in this world, even these little shorebirds. Every time another species disappears, I feel that a little of you and me disappears as well.

I am so grateful to be given these opportunities in nature. Nature gives me the opportunity to grow and strengthen, to experience joy and delight.

Today I am thankful for the Snowy Plovers. Today I am thankful for nature. Today I am Thankful.

Where I Have Been-Where I am Going

After my last post, I received questions from a few people asking where I am. I am not being a very good blogger because I have not let people know of my continued journey since I left the desert.

By April the desert is warming up. It in fact is getting pretty hot. As much as I love the desert, I am not a lover of extreme heat. I was there later than usual this year. I arrived late so left late. I got to visit good friends, do a little kayaking, and get my desert fix once more.

Mary, Shay & Rocky

I left the desert at the end of March and climbed into the mountains to visit a good friend, Mary from Idylwild, CA. The temperatures cooled off and signs of earlier spring began to show themselves. The daffodils were blooming and a few tulips were popping out as well. I spent a lovely week with Mary and her two dogs, whom I have pet sat for. Shay and Rocky were glad to see me. It was fun to be out walking with them and catching up on Mary’s life. I even had a bed companion, it is fun that Mary is willing to share Shay the dog.

Since then I have been in San Diego. I am camped on Mission Bay. It has been spectacular weather. The days have been sunny and cool and just perfect. I had my follow-up dental visit. I am on course for good healing from surgery. I get a two-month reprieve before I have to return for a dental cleaning. It won’t be in San Diego as I am going to be heading north.

It is not unusual for friends and strangers to ask me what is next. I don’t know, is frequently my answer. I have never been a good planner. It would drive Jim, my husband, nuts. He had a job that required us to plan vacation time. I did not. I know he found it hard to pin me down and it would be a point of frustration. I would breathe and sit down and within a few days, we would have a plan.

I still have a hard time making decisions. I mean, what if something better comes up? Plans do not have to be set in stone and they can change. I remind myself of this when I am struggling to see what is next. It does cause me some anxiety. It helps to breathe through anxiety. The world is not going to fall apart because I don’t have a plan.

On Sunday, April twenty fourth I am leaving San Diego for the summer. First I am going to Santa Barbara, CA for a week. I will be camping on the beach for a few days. Dan Neeley, who works on my rig is just outside of Santa Barbara, to the east. He is all things Roadtrek. Many of us on the west coast head to him for annual maintenance and help with any other issues. After four days on the beach, I will be going to an Airbnb for a few nights just in case my RV has to spend a night at the hospital.

Upon leaving Santa Barbara, I return to Salinas and Woody the Cat. He and I will be hanging out for most of May. I am getting a second cat fix. I am looking forward to seeing Mandy and Woody again. It also means I get back out on the Elkhorn Slough in my Kayak. That is a very good thing.

I will continue to head to the Northwest, visiting friends and seeing magical things along the way. I have been asked to house sit for the same owners on Whidbey Island, Washington. I am looking forward to another summer in the Northwest. Hopefully, I will see my little Birdy Boy. I will be back in the land of the magical sunsets over Puget Sound.

Sunset over Puget Sound

And there is my summer. A lot of this came together in a few days. It seems that one moment I had no idea what I was doing after my dental appointments were complete and then it took shape and then I had a plan. That plan goes into action tomorrow when I leave San Diego for the next several months. I will meet up with wonderful friends along the way and I am sure I will meet new ones as well.

It Is Always An Adventure

Easter, Breathing, The Power of Prayer

I am not a religious person. I go to church once in a great while when it calls to me. I have faith but usually not religion. Does that make sense?

St Pauls cathedral

Right after Jim died I attended Easter services at St Paul Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego. It was an event. The music resounded through this church. The procession in was awe inspiring. It was a welcoming and holy place. The message I recieved there was of value to me and personal. It was something I could hold dear when I was grieving so intently.

I have attended First Presbyterian Church in Granville, Ohio to hear my niece’s husband preach. He is good.

Because I am an infrequent attendee of any church , these moments sitting in a holy place brings extra value into my life. Churches are quiet and holy and supports my spiritualness.

This morning I was listening to NPR Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. I wanted to share with you, readers, some of what he said at the end of the program.

“This is a weekend that includes Passover, Easter Sunday, and the continuation of Ramadan. Holidays about rescue, renewal, and reflection. Stories about the parting of seas, for a people to escape slavery; a great soul rising; and fasting and long nights of prayer to remind ourselves of the preciousness of life.

Sarah Sager, a Cantor in Beachwood, Ohio, told us this confluence of holy days, “represents the right of every human being to be free. For three-thousand years we have been observing this holiday with the same vision. We will continue to do so until the dream is realized. Somehow, it shouldn’t be so hard and rare.”

Imam Makram Nu’man El-Amin in Minneapolis told us, “I choose not to see this as a coincidence, but a sign that all these faiths overlap. We bring multitudes around the globe together in acts of prayers this weekend for the common good of all peoples. This is especially important in a time of conflicts and social justice concerns.”

This description helps me to more fully understand the meaning of this time. Easter is celebrated around the world. It is celebrated in many different ways. Imagine the power of all those prayers It truly is a holy and powerful time. It is about people of faith and those of us who flounder. It is about all of us.

Continuuing with Weekend Edtition Scott Simon ended with this poem.

And Sister Margaret Guider of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, sent us a poem that reads in part:

“The convergence of these sacred days
should serve as a collective reminder, 
that the prophetic heritage
of our respective faith traditions, whether adhered to or not
in the ways of our ancestors, continues to permeate the air
which the human family breathes, 
of freedom, love and peace,
the life-giving breath of the Holy One. 

Yet, many of us, throughout the year, 
breathe through our mouths, 
while holding our noses. 

In doing so, we defend ourselves from the suffocating air of 
bondage, hatred and violence 
that surrounds us. 

However, in doing so, 
we also close ourselves off 
from any opportunity of
smelling the scents of 
justice, hope and compassion 
that also arouse conscience, 
giving rise to courage, and resiliency. 
Perhaps these holy days
will provide us with an opportunity to open ourselves to be moved
Christians, East and West, 
Muslims, Shia and Sunni, 
and Jews, Orthodox and Reformed, 
to breathe in 
the scents of the sacred – of freedom, love and peace,
that we are called to breathe out –
Not only on special days,
But every day.”

Breath and Breathing have been a large focus of my life in the past two years. If I examine it, breathing has been an important part of my life since I was born. I have practiced yoga for over thirty years. Breath is so much a part of the practice. It is a very important part of yoga. Conscious breathing is a part of my life for some moments of every day. When I heard this poem read this morning I thought, “ah another reminder of breath and breathing and its many facets of importance in my life. We all breathe together, every moment of our existence on this earth. Breathing reminds me of the sacred and the power of all those prayers to transform and change.

Sunday I am going to church. I am attending my friends’ church. I was invited and I decided to go. I love the music and who knows. maybe I will once again receive a message for myself to carry me forward in growth and breath for another year.

I have already received one message from Weekend Edition this morning. Going to church on Easter Sunday is one more way of reminding me of the sacred and holiness in myself and all human-kind.

Remember to celebrate this holy day however you choose and truly remember to breathe in as well as out. This is a day where we are all one people.

Happy Easter!