BOOK 12 JOURNEY OUT OF THE HOLE Little Ralph’s Emergence of Self-Esteem

Chapter 1
PUSHING THROUGH THE INSURMOUNTABLE

Which Way to Go?
It’s time to move on to cooler climates, and we’re heading West, but do we go over The
Rocky Mountains in Freedom, our Holiday Rambler RV, or select a less challenging route? In
the past, we’d had many breakdowns and repairs, so my husband, Van, and I questioned the
advisability of putting our RV through the ups and downs of mountain traveling.
We considered going north through Wyoming and then head West along I-90, a route
we’d taken before, and the prospect of the cooler, less steep mountains of Montana and Idaho
seemed desirable, as we contemplated a visit with our friend, Bonnie, near the peninsula in
Washington state. But when I re-examined the map, I realized that the northern route would take
us out of our way.

On the other hand, crossing the desert, west of The Rockies, didn’t seem appealing
during this record heat wave of 2001. So, as usual, I prayed and asked God to guide us, letting it
be His will, and not our seeking comfort and safety zone.
“Go over the seemingly insurmountable Rocky Mountains and trust me to guide and
protect you,” came the answer.
“Well, of course, why didn’t I think of that,” I replied.

Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs
I thought my inner child, Joanie, came up with the idea of stopping at Beau Jo’s in Idaho
Springs (only 18-miles into the mountains) for their famous Mountain Pies, otherwise known as
pizza. But once inside, I realized that we had been guided, as the first step in our new journey,
and that this experience was to be the theme of my new book, “Journey Out of the Hole.”
We had not been to this Original Beau Jo’s before, so the enchanting mountain
atmosphere occupied our attention, as we studied the old-time pictures of the stalwart gold
miners and looked at the antique equipment on display in the bar, on our way to the dining room.
And when we passed the replica of the Phoenix Mine, and looked down into the deep hole, I
didn’t realize that there was going to be a stream of ideas coming forth, while we ordered and
awaited our mountain pie.

Mountain Pies
In fact, our inner kids, Joanie and Little Ralph, were enthralled with selecting our crust
and other choices, including the size. We opted for individual ones, because we could each have
what we wanted. Usually, Van likes to share, but I began to get the picture of the meaningfulness
of this restaurant, as Little Ralph happily ordered white crust for his hamburger/sausage
combination with the traditional pizza sauce. This was a major, major breakthrough in the
emergence of Van’s inner child and I could hardly wait to see how the rest of the trip unfolded,
as I ordered my individualized Highland Mary: chicken, olives, mozzarella and parmesan cheese,
Ranch dressing, with a touch of basil on whole wheat crust. The edge of the crust is so thick that
they serve honey to add to the leftovers for dessert.

The Phoenix Mine
We weren’t in any hurry and the lengthy wait for our meal gave us time to chat and look
at the pictures and assortment of equipment in this room. My seat faced the Phoenix Mine shaft
and as I studied the wooden frame, the beginning of “Journey Out of the Hole” became clear.
I jumped from my seat, grabbed my camera and headed to the mine to capture the
significance of the scene. Looking down into the rock-lined hole, I spotted the body (stuffed, of
course) of a miner sprawled out beside a large bucket of gold coins, simulating the wealth of
gold.

Little Ralph’s Hole
Suddenly, I realized that God had guided us here so we could see this experiential aide
for Little Ralph’s “hole” (An experiential aide is like a visual aide, only you are a participant,
rather than simply viewing the lesson). Van’s first encounter with his inner child came, after he’d expressed a desire to meet him, and during a meditation, the reluctant waif peered out from the bottom of a hole. It took many visits before Van was able to urge his child-self to come out of the hole and begin a relationship (see:
http://www.JourneyOutOfTheHole.homestead.com/ComeOutOfTheHole.html).

When I returned to the table, I explained the experiential aide to Little Ralph, who
seemed to understand its meaningfulness for his recovery process. And, later, while we looked at
picture on the wall of some men down in a deep hole (mine shaft), I said, “Little Ralph, look at
this hole. You need to realize that your hole wasn’t a negative thing, but it could just have well
have been a mine shaft, and in reality, you are wealthy, especially if you own the mine. And,
since it was your hole, you certainly owned it, right?”
His eyes were big and knowing, as he nodded, and I had a feeling that another major shift
in his recovery process had lifted him to a new level, much like the levels shown on the maps of
the mines (hanging on the wall).

The Freeland Mine
While looking at the many pictures, my eyes almost popped out of my head when I
discovered a map titled “The Freeland Mine.” This is my paternal family name and I couldn’t
believe my eyes that a Freeland had once owned a mine here in Idaho Springs. My imagination
ran rampant, and when I’d asked the host if he knew about the mine, he didn’t, but he said,
“Maybe you have a fortune waiting.”
I thought, “I must tell Dad about this,” and then I realized that he had died. Yet, I knew
that he knew, because in the hereafter there is no separation, and communication is simply a
matter of thought. So this map was an exciting discovery for Joanie, and she decided that she
could tell her brother, Gary, about it, when she visits him in The Sierras, and I took a picture of
the map to show him.

Up, Up, and Up
Before leaving the parking lot in Idaho Springs, I took a picture of Little Ralph standing
in front of Freedom, with a high, narrow waterfall coming down the mountain and a large
waterwheel in the background, on the other side of the highway.
And from there the ascent began, as we continued upward through the glorious scenery of
pines and other evergreens contrasted by towering mountain peaks frosted with white snow, and
the bluest of skies. Up, up, up, and then down, down down, over one mountain ridge after
another until we reached the Eisenhower Tunnel, and then more of the same all the way to Vail,
one of the great ski resorts of The Rockies. And then on to Copper Mountain, another Ski
Resort.
Van, or I should say, Little Ralph, loves driving the motor home and much of the time he
had a smile on his face, as he negotiated the steep upward grades and shifted into low gears for
the descent.
I thought that these ups and downs rather symbolized Little Ralph’s tendency to go in and
out of the hole.
He talked about traveling these mountain roads in the winter to go skiing, and said, “I’m
glad to give that up,” meaning the winter traveling on treacherous roads.
“Did you miss skiing when you went into the Navy?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he replied, adding, “I still do.” When we returned to Colorado, he had talked
about resuming his skiing, but he never did, and now he probably would be far too out of shape,
but who knows, with his new zest for life, anything would be possible.
I realized that I’d never heard him mention where he went for Basic Training, only that
his Frogman training, had been on Coronado, in San Diego, so I asked, “Where did you go for
Basic Training?”

“That was in San Diego” he replied, then added, “But, after taking a battery of aptitude
and other tests, they said I would be sent to school, and I had a choice of training to become a
tower controller, or a quartermaster (navigation and communications). I put my first choice for
tower controller, which would have taken me to Norman, Oklahoma. But the school was full, so
I went to Bainbridge, Md. and trained as a quartermaster for four months.”
“Did you get out and sightsee, such as Washington DC?”
“I was invited to Uncle Channings for Thanksgiving, when he lived in Arlington, Va.,”
he replied, adding, “but I didn’t get around much, because the base was so far out in the
country.”
“Did you see your mom during that time?”
“No, she lived in San Diego the entire time I was in the Navy, so I got to see her when I
was in Basic Training and also during Frogman Training, which was three months. And I also
spent my leaves there.”

This conversation had filled in a few more pages of Van’s History, which we had been
working on while at his Aunt Betsy’s, and I noted that I must add them, later.”
Canyons, Rivers and Valleys
A surprising amount of the trip through The Rockies is flat, as we traveled across the
valley between mountains. We stopped for a lunch break at the town of Eagle, where the Rest
Stop is beside the Eagle River, which flows through the valley which is green and lush from
pastures and farmlands.
The Colorado River flows through another valley, and then winds through Glenwood
Canyon, along with the train track and the highway, which sometimes is double-deck, because of
the narrow canyon created by the towering granite or red rock walls, for which the mountains are
named. It must have been a nightmare blasting through those rocks to build a highway. In fact,
we remembered traveling through here, before the two-lane freeway, and it was a nightmare, too.
But now the high rock walls, green trees, blue skies and rippling river create an enjoyable scenic
drive, although I thought, “Now we’re down in the hole, if one were up above looking down, and
it is lovely.”

Glenwood Springs
I love Glenwood Springs, and Joanie had wanted to take this route so she could swim in
the world’s largest outdoor mineral pool, but with the temperature over 90, it didn’t seem
feasible, so we drove on, past the Hotel Colorado, another place with memories of staying
where President Theodore Roosevelt and many other notorieties had vacationed. In fact, the gift
shop features teddy bears, which were named after the famous president who liked bear hunting.
When someone gave him a stuffed bear, a reporter dubbed it a “teddy bear.”
But, we frequented that hotel when Van had a good income as a computer programmer-
analyst. Now, depending on Social Security retirement to support our traveling lifestyle, we
settled for the night at the Wal-Mart parking lot and then went inside to cool off in the
air-conditioned store while we shopped and got our pictures developed.
Once it cooled off, we returned to Freedom and opened the windows and door, hoping to
catch a cool breeze, rather than fire up the generator for the AC. Fortunately, the sun set behind
the high mountain quite early, which helped to cool the evening. But, I noticed that we were in
another canyon with very little view, and I decided that I wouldn’t be happy living in the
limitation of a canyon. In fact, I wondered why Little Ralph would want to hide out in a hole.
I assumed that his hole-consciousness evolved from his feelings of low self-esteem, and I
was glad that he was finally beginning to feel good about himself again. I also understood why
God had guided us to take the route over The Rockies, because it had been a seemingly
insurmountable challenge, but we had had an enjoyable trip, with no breakdowns or repairs.
I knew this was because Little Ralph had gotten over the need to subconsciously create
them so that his mother would give him money for repairs, which perpetuated his money and
mother love concept. In other words that’s how she showed love, by giving him money. Now
that he understood this money-love concept in their relationship, and had replaced it, he no
longer needed the RV breakdowns and we could enjoy our travels. Thank You, God.
His healing process had also allowed us to have the generator working so we could have
the comfort of AC, which we’d done without during the last summer’s 90-degree heat. Indeed,
we were emerging from the hole (that had also enshrouded me), and the next phase of our
journey would be another major step out of the hole.

Chapter 2
A MOST UNUSUAL CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM

A Fabulous Place to Celebrate
The next morning, July 4th, we headed toward Aspen and could see the high-steeped
Maroon Bells peaks, with only a touch of snow along the top, towering above a green valley with
Roaring Forks Creek flowing along the highway.
The railroad track between us and the river reminded me that, in the past, Van had told me about riding the train up to Aspen for skiing. And sometimes, when the fishing was good, the
engineer and conductor would stop the train and fish for an hour or so. Everyone knew what to
expect, so they would go for a walk, read, or simply enjoy the beauty of the valley, with its green
pastures and grazing cows and horses, and the surrounding mountains. The jigsaw scene would
certainly not be hard to endure, unless, of course, you were in a hurry to get to Aspen.
Although Aspen must be a fabulous place to celebrate this holiday, we were not going there this trip, but turned at Carbondale and took Highway 133 southwest through more incredible scenery: following a canyon, along another rippling stream.

Redstone Parade
At a small mountain town, Redstone, a hundred cars were parked along the highway and we soon saw the reason. The town, in this narrow canyon, was to our left, across the creek, and on the bridge stood a half-dozen horses and riders and a float getting ready for their part in the July 4th parade that was slowly passing through the tree-lined streets.
We would have stopped and watched, but there was no place to park, so we moved on, happy that God had provided us with the first of our unusual Indedpendence Day celebrations.
The First Spectacular of the Day
Because of the heat, no fireworks were allowed in the mountains, but we were given far more spectacular sights to see this July Fourth.
We’d remembered that McClure Pass went over the mountains, but we’d forgotten that this highway was steeper and higher than any we had already crossed this trip. However, once we began the upward trek that wound up one hillside then another and another, I remembered that it
was the one I didn’t want to take again, at least not in Freedom. But, here we were, so nothing to
do but enjoy the spectacular view, as we looked out over the scene: the valley below from which
we’d just come, with its homes and pastures nestled amongst green fields, winding stream and
towering mountains; one that we were ascending forever upward.
With no reason for anxiety, as Freedom faithfully and securely moved us forward, and Little Ralph had a gleeful smile, while Van handled the driving, I allowed myself to relax and enjoy the view.

This may seem to be a given, but my anxiety syndrome usually becomes triggered in these precarious situations. However, I felt relieved, because I knew that God had guided us into these so-called insurmountable obstacles, He would also take us safely through. So, one might say this was another form of celebrating Freedom with a spectacular view; only not fireworks.
Freedom jauntily passed a pickup pulling a horse-trailer, which had stopped at the side of the road, while the driver looked helplessly around. Van knew that, even if he wanted to help, there was no place to park Freedom, and there was nothing he could do, so we forged upward and onward.
At one point, he noticed a few cars following, but wisely said, “I’m not going to pull off to let them by.”
“Right,” I replied, wanting to cheer his decision, “otherwise you’ll lose all of Freedom’s
momentum, and we’ll be sytmied, as has happened in the past.”

I could tell that Little Ralph-Van was going through his own growing-up process, as we
ventured upward to the summit. Here he found a safe place to pull aside and allow the other
travelers to speed on their way. We were parked by one of many, many aspen groves, with their
white bark and spinning green leaves. From here it seemed we could see forever, as we looked
ahead to the tops of the lower mountains and the valleys in the distance.
The steep downward trend had more challenges, but Van shifted into low-gear and slowly allowed Freedom to make the descent at its own speed and in its own time. I actually dread the snail’s pace down hill more than upward, because everyone else is zooming along while we crawl. And, although Van pulls off for them to pass, whenever possible, we get some devastating glares, as the drivers race forward, not understanding the mechanism of our Holiday Rambler, or maybe I should say not understanding Van’s inner mechanisms of the engineer’s mind that compulsively must creep up and down the hills.

Ignorance is Bliss
As we neared the bottom, I said, “As far as I’m concerned, this is the last mountain we’re going to travel, other than to visit my brother in The Sierra’s, and that’s not nearly as bad as this.
But, thankfully, we’re down and don’t have to deal with any more roads through The Rockies.”
I had to laugh, later, when I remembered what I’d said. Something like “Never say never.” But “ignorance is bliss,” and we blissfully drove along another stream that eventually became Paonia Reservoir, where boaters and water skiers were enjoying their holiday.
Then we passed Somerset and Bowie, populated mostly by coal miners and their families, obvious by the small towns and large mines.

A Matter of Communications
At the turnoff to nearby Paonia, Van pulled off into a service station to allow passing, but he didn’t realize there really wasn’t room for us at the crowded respite for other travelers, so he
squeezed by the cars pulling in and out of the parking area, as I said, for Little Ralph’s benefit,
“You know, there’s a difference between thoughtfulness and codependence. Pulling off here was
codependent, because you jeopardized our own safety, and others too, for that matter.”
He didn’t say anything, because he had all he could do to negotiate the traffic and get back onto the highway. Then he said, “I pulled off to let three cars pass, and now I have four behind us. There’s something wrong with this picture.”
“My point exactly,” I said, figuring his lesson had been learned and it was best to leave it at that, as we were approaching the next town, Hotchkiss, where we would be turning south onto
Highway 92.
“When you find a place to stop,” I’d said long before Paonia, “pull off so we can rest and
have lunch.” I’d pictured a place in the mountains with trees and a stream; or at least a pleasant
view.
But Van had driven past one good spot, and explained, “There weren’t any trees.”
“I know, but there was a river and a nice view, so we could use our air-conditioning.”
Nevertheless, it was long gone, so we continued until we were no longer in the mountains or woods. But we were hungry and needed to stop.
I’d moved to the recliner chair, so couldn’t see what happened next, until too late. Van had made the turnoff onto Highway 92 and was driving through the small town of Hotchkiss, when he said, “Should we keep going?”
I didn’t realize what he was talking about, and said, “Yes,” just as I noticed a huge pull-off area by a stream and trees with a lovely view. “Why didn’t you stop?” I asked.
“You said “No,” he justified.
“But it was a perfect place to park. You know, it’s okay for you to stop, even if I don’t give the okay. It’s not only allright, but advisable for you to make a decision.”
Van was silent, as I grumbled, “I must be the bitch of the century, if you can’t make a
decision without fear of repercussions.” I knew that the pattern had originated in his childhood and been projected onto me, but I was truly upset, and most of all I was hungry and I needed to get off the road awhile.
“We’ll find another place in a mile or so,” he reassured me, now concerned because he knew that when I need to eat, I get grumpy, so he was highly motivated.
However, we had now entered a flatland composed of desert in some areas and farms on
others, with small communities here and there; but no place to pull off, By now he was getting
desperate, so suggested, “How about in front of that wooden fence?”
It was a narrow spot by the mailbox and I said, “No.” I was still holding out for some sort of view, without cars whizzing by next to us. In fact, when we drove through a small town, I saw a library and park, with parking behind, if you could see it, and Van didn’t. By the time I could get the words out of my mouth, we were long gone past it.
Finally, we were approaching a Recreational Reservoir, so Van pulled into the Entrance to the State Park and asked the price of admission.
“$4.00.”
For some reason that wasn’t okay with Van, so he went through a five-minute question and answer to find out where we could park free for an hour while we eat our lunch.
The attendant suggested the possibility of a narrow pull-off that we’d already passed, and which Van rejected because of the ruts; and also someone was parked there and there wasn’t
enough room for us.
I was mulling in my mind her answer when he’d asked if there was any place up ahead. She’d said, It’s been a long time since I went over those mountains and I don’t remember if there’s any place to pull off the road.” Remember those words, as they will come up later on.
In the meantime, we drove on and finally found a perfect place overlooking a nice view with a stream down below, although it was dry. Who cares? The important thing is to get something to eat and rest awhile.

Wrong! Really Wrong!
We noticed that we had begun an upward climb, but we could see a mesa up ahead that came to an end, so we figured that we would drive around it through a valley. Wrong! Really Wrong!
I think of all our travels, this was our worst mistake. And when we tried to figure at what point we should have done something differently, the answer probably would be “At the State Park.”
First of all, if Van didn’t think to ask more questions, then I should have urged him. But this seemed to be Little Ralph’s learning experience, so it obviously had to go the way it went. Besides, he was so focused on saving money that in retrospect I can see that he was into an obsessive-compulsive pattern involving money, for some reason. I really don’t know what triggered it; maybe his having been wrong about his decisions, so he reverted to a childhood money-love syndrome relating to his mother; possibly a defense mechanism to make himself feel better.
Spectacular, No Fireworks
In any event, after lunch we started up yet another hill, that soon became a mountain; in fact, a mountain that never seemed to end. The reason being that the end of the mesa dropped off shear cliffs into Black Canyon with the Gunnison River and Blue Mesa Lake at the bottom.
I must admit, this is the most spectacular scenery we’ve ever seen, but from a narrow, winding road thousands of feet straight up, or down, who’s looking?
Okay, I did enjoy the scenery for awhile: colorful jagged, rugged rock formations that must have been the devil’s playground rising from the blue-black waters of the lake on both sides. However, the road on our side snaked along the side of the mountain; not straight from Point A to Point B, but like the Coast Highway in Northern California, winding in and out of the coves. In other words, we would travel high above the lake, then inland for several miles, swoop around the hairpin curve, through the aspen groves and pines, and back the other side where we could look over to the road we’d left earlier.
Sometimes we could see the picturesque palisades above the narrow road along the
mountain on the other side of another canyon, and we hoped we weren’t going there; maybe the road would go inland through a canyon and take us off the side of this mesa. But it never did. Well, almost never.
I’d started out enjoying the spectacular scenery, looking across the lake of Black Canyon to the mountain on the other side, and sometimes we could even see between mountains to a valley where Highway 50 wound on solid flat ground; the highway that we should have taken, if we had asked the right questions and learned that we would be better off going back to Highway 133 and then south and east on Highway 50. But, we didn’t, so here we were, and there was nothing we could do but hopefully live through it.
I say that, because Little Ralph was so paralyzed that Van crept along the middle of the road at about 5-miles-per-hour, causing Joanie to fear for her life that a car or motorcycle would zoom around a curve and smash into us, or that we would roll off the side of the cliff and eventually crash at the bottom. It was terrible!
At one point, when seeing the dark clouds and thunder heads appear, Joanie began to cry and shouted something to Van, or Little Ralph, or whoever was driving in the middle of the road. It seemed to snap him out of his paralysis and he drove more sanely, but it was still a long, long way to the end.
I know that Joanie had reverted to her childhood when the adult, for instance mother, had no longer been responsible or able to function in a normal way, and it was up to Joanie to take care of her and the baby brother. But she was only a child herself and didn’t know what to do. And when her mother went crazy, it was all Joanie’s fault. Now, this situation had triggered the same feelings and she was frightened, because Van seemed to have lost it.

Let Freedom Ring
We were really in serious trouble and finally, I moved to the couch and began reading my
spiritual magazines. Words of a spiritual practitioner affirmed, “I am blessed. I am thankful. I accept this life and release my concerns. Spirit provides.”
And the monthly prayer in “Unity Magazine” read: “Life is a journey we do not make alone, for there is One who is with us and within us to share every step of the journey and prepare the path before us. As we take time to contemplate where we are going on our life’s journeys, we know that we have an ever present companion — God.”
The monthly prayer read: Dear God, Your steadfast love is my support and my reassurance. Gently enfolded in Your divine embrace, I am protected, strengthened, and healed.”
Yes, I know that God is with us, guiding us and protecting us, and I trust Him to bring us
safely off this mountain. In fact, I remembered that the Power, in my “Transformation’s Twelve
Powers Process,” for July is Strength, and I had suspected that I might have reason to call upon this Power, as we traveled The Rockies. But, I hadn’t realized that we would be traveling the length, rather than across them. At least that’s how it seemed to us, as we traversed the never-ending Highway 92.
I recalled that I had suggested to Van, when looking at the map, that we could cross from this highway to Highway 50 at Cimmaron, but we never found such a place, because the lines on the map did not account for us being thousands of feet high with a lake between the two highways.
So, I kept reading, and one of the magazines quoted author Dr. Rollo May:
“Freedom means openness, a readiness to grow. It means being flexible, ready to change for the sake of greater human values. Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves. That consciousness of self and freedom go
together is shown in the fact that the less self-awareness a person has, the more he is un-free. As
a person gains more consciousness of self, his range of choice and his freedom proportionately
increase. Freedom is cumulative: one choice made with an element of freedom makes greater
freedom possible for the next choice. Each exercise of freedom enlarges the circle of one’s self.”
Now, I understood why we had been guided to take this trepulous route over the high places, and why it had to last forever; or until we got the message that inner freedom comes from our faith and trust in God to see us through the high places, as well as the low places.

The Low Places
Once we finally reached the bottom of the mountain and crossed the dam of the Cueracanti Reservoir, we began to relax and laugh, as we recalled our fears and the obvious lessons involved. And Van–Little Ralph realized that in the future he must ask more questions, and be willing to turn back when the way does not seem appropriate for us.
One thing for sure, we were done with adventuring through high mountain roads, and we were happy to drive safely along the Cueracanti Reservoir to Elk Creek Park, where we had stayed another time, and gladly pay our $5.00 for the night, a 1/2-price fee resulting from our Golden Age Pass for National Forests.
Our site overlooked the tranquil reservoir and mesas above us, and despite no trees we were happy in our lowland spot. Furthermore, the cloud layer had cooled off the temps to a comfortable 80-degrees and I fixed the next version of our July Fouth meals: a burrito, salad and tortilla chips.
Later, when we took a walk around the park, midst many RVers who had been enjoying the water sports, or simply relaxing, I said to Van, “I’ll bet none of thesr RVers came over Highway 92.”
He chuckled, as he replied, “Probably not, and I hope you enjoyed the trip, because we won’t be going that way again.”
I laughed and said, “Oh, heck, I was thinking we could go back the other way and see the
view from that direction,” adding, “besides, we would be on the inside of the road, and it wouldn’t be quite so scarey.”
He laughed and laughed, and so did I.
But I knew that more was going on with Little Ralph on that mountain and it wasn’t funny, because he was literally paralyzed. He was nearly unable to move forward, much like he’d been going through in the years after his downsize job-layoff from his computer programmer-analyst job in Corporate America. And he did comment, after we’d gotten off the mountain, that he’d been having this reaction to heights, but it was much better since using OPC-3, a product that we sell, as distributors in a networking product brokerage company.

Chapter 3
A MOUNTAIN OF ANOTHER KIND

Defense Mechanisms on a Roll
I’d been looking forward to our four nights and five days at Blue Mesa Ranch Resort, a
coupon treat given to us by our son-in-law, Steve. It’s an RV resort that you buy into, and part of
the agreement is to listen to their sales pitch. We’d been to another one and decided never to go
again, but we figured it was worth the time to enjoy the free stay and activities.
But, when we drove through the gates of this 5-Star Resort, everything changed, and it’s
this that we must examine more deeply, because God had guided us to this mountain too.
Everything seemed okay when the gate attendant instructed us to park and go into the
office to register, but from there something happened and by the time we left the office, I knew
we were again at the top of another mountain, and I wondered how long we would wind along its
contour, before finally coming down.
As I observed Van turning into his efficient businesslike-self, which I hadn’t seen in
years, I began to understand that he had become overwhelmed by all the information being
presented to us and resorted to his defense mechanism. Also, I understood that his non-social
syndrome had been triggered, as he listened to all the social functions that we faced, which
brought forth his Diversionary Tactic: checking e-mail, which he discovered couldn’t be done
from here; calling Dottie about business and finding that he could hardly hear due to the weak
signal; and successfully mailing a letter that wouldn’t go out until the next morning.

The Snowball Stops
I realize that all these were reasonable, but I’ve lived with Van enough years to recognize
the signs that something is not right with him, or more likely Little Ralph was suffering. So, I
brought the matter to his attention, and like a rolling snowball gathering momentum and hitting a
solid barrier, he got it, and changed his approach. Thank goodness, because in the past it would
have been impossible to have any fun, so we might as well have left; but with his recognition
and change of the passive-aggressive behavior, we could stay and look forward to the possibility
of having a good time.

The First Social Event
And the first challenge came when we went to the first activity: a BBQ in the Assembly
Hall. Actually, we’d met a couple, Barbara and Everett from Moab, Utah, who were checking in
after us, and we’d asked if we could ride with them to the marina the next day, to which they
agreed.
We met them walking to the BBQ, so walked along together and then sat at the same
table for a pleasant mealtime, as we ate a delicious steak dinner for only $5.50 each. However,
they left to go to Gunnison — eleven-miles east — and we stayed to watch the RV Travelogue of a
an RV piggy-back trip into Mexico. It’s a good thing we watched, because we’ll never take such
a trip. For one thing it’s expensive, but it also involves driving above Copper Canyon, which is
four times bigger than the Grand Canyon. It looked fascinating, but that’s the closest we’ll get to
it.
Van managed to eat and visit, which is extremely difficult for him, and the social aspect
of the evening went extremely well, indicating that he was actually making an effort in this
regard.
Again, God had taken us through another mountain; and there were more to come during
the next five days.

All of the Above?
In fact, I was having my own reaction to the high altitude, which causes me to feel spinny
and have uncomfortable head pressures that affect my disposition. I haven’t figured out if it’s the
heat, the altitude, something I eat, stress, or all of the above. I only know that I’m anxious to get
out of the high altitudes in order to eliminate that problem, and to find cooler weather to solve
that part of the problem. Keeping the stress down and my diet somewhat stabilized should take
care of the rest of the antagonisms. It’s still terribly uncomfortable and the high altitudes and
barometric changes seem to be the main culprits.

The Weaning Process
Preparation for the next day occupied Van’s attention, which in the past would have been
another triggering for his Survival Mechanisms, but after our talk, he seemed to be okay, and by
the time we left the next morning, he had handled important matters, such as water, while we
corroborated on food and comfort items.
I noticed that we both felt uneasy being away from the comfort and convenience of
having our home with us wherever we go. Yet, I knew that this weaning process was part of our
inner child recovery.
When we were checking in, the day before, I’d asked the receptionist if there was a
shuttle to take us to the marina, and she said “No.”
I asked “How do we get there?”
She said, “Well, these people behind you are checking in, maybe you can ride with
them.”
I tried to convince Van to ask them, when we were outside, but he refused. I’ve taken on
his non-social persona, so we both have become people shy. But I felt prompted to ask them,
anyway, and they agreed.
Barbara and Everett, and only a few spaces from our site, are special folks, and gracious
neighbors, so we truly appreciated their generosity in giving us transportation both ways, and
also the next day to the Black Canyon Boat Tour.

Lolling on the Water
Once at the marina, they and their aging golden pug dog, Brewster, happily headed to the
east lake and we went to big lake to the west, because we tend to enjoy covering a lot of
distance, rather than relaxing in one place. So we went for the long-haul to the other end of
Colorado’s largest lake (20-miles altogether). Van had asked the assistant where would be a
good place to spend the time on our pontoon boat, and had been told about several coves in that
direction, but our objective was to reach the dam.
Van and I aren’t used to this sort of relaxing pastime and it was an adjustment, but one
we didn’t mind making, as Little Ralph indolently steered the low-maintenance boat and I
enjoyed the comfort of the canvas canopy and cool breeze, while lounging against the cushioned
back bench and watching the boaters and scenery. Most folks were fishing or lolling quietly one
place, but some speedboats would leave a forceful wake and cause everyone to rock and roll as
the waves thrashed across the lake.
Because I soon felt the discomfort of needing a potty, we decided to travel at full speed,
which isn’t all that fast, but got us to the marina at the west end of the lake in time to return by
the 2:00 departure requested by Barbara and Everett. We felt that would be enough time for us
too, but we didn’t know it would take us two-hours each way, plus the 1/2 hour while I walked
up the hill to the restroom in the hot noon sun, which I offset buying an ice cream bar. Had we
more time, we would have explored the arm of the lake that extends under the highway and to
the south, which would have used our allotted time, until 5:30.
However, as usual, God’s time is the best time, and He was surely guiding Barbara and
Everett, as well as us, because we had no more than gotten home, before the cloud covering and
eventually the thunder began. We were happy to be home, even if it was still extremely hot,
contrasted to the cool lake breeze. Fortunately, our AC works fine on the electrical hook-up and
we relaxed and ate lunch.

Meals and Entertainment
As mentioned, the first night we met with Barbara and Everett for a delicious BBQ steak
dinner, which was so good that Van and I decided to repeat on another night. But we skipped the
pizza dinner, because we had recently eaten Beau Jo’s incomparable mountain pie and we knew
it wouldn’t be as good. Even though it’s cooked on the spot, when I looked at the leftovers, on
our way to the movie night, I knew I’d made a good decision; at least for us.
I felt good that we were becoming proficient in our decision-making, although I
questioned the wisdom of attending the movie, “Gordy,” about a pig who makes it big time. The
kids attending the movie seemed to be enjoying it, but our adults were uneasy. However, Joanie
and Little Ralph insisted on staying for the entire movie; maybe it was the popcorn that kept us
there, but we did stay; and after all, it was free.
On the other hand, our adults enjoyed the Travelogue about piggy-back RVing in
Mexico, where the RV’s are loaded onto a train flatbed for parts of the trip. We agreed that it’s
the only way we would take that trip, but the scenery was excellent and worth the time to watch
someone else’s journey.
It may seem perfectly normal for RVers, or most other people, to be doing these
activities, but it has not been part of our agenda, because of Van’s non-social status. And,
accordingly, I had succumbed to his position, rather than lifting him up to mine. Yet, this time he
was enjoying them, which made the participation much more enjoyable for me. And it seemed as
if we had reached another new level in our relationship.

Communications and Logistics
We were discovering that communications and logistics for this program left a lot to be
desired. For instance, we had been told about the 237 steps down into the canyon (and back up)
and the 3/4-mile walk along the canyon floor to the tour boat dock. And we had been told that
the tour left at 10:00 a.m., but Barbara and Everett were not clear that the departure time was
from the dock, an extra hour from the parking lot; and it would take about 1/2-hour to drive the
fifteen-miles to the parking area.
So when they said to meet them at 9:30, I was feeling uneasy, because I suspected that
we would need an extra hour, but they didn’t feel it necessary to ask questions and clarify.
However, I did, and I urged Van to ask the gate attendant when we were returning from the
movie.
Sure enough, the departure time was from the dock, and we were told to bring water and
snacks, which indicated to me that there probably wasn’t a tour boat with food and toilets.
On our way home, we knocked on their door, but no one answered. They had already
gone to bed early, after the big day on the lake, and they didn’t respond, even though Brewster
barked loudly.
In the past, I would fret over this situation, but Van agreed to return to their trailer the
next morning in time to leave earlier, which he did; and we did.
When we bumped down the sparsely graveled road to the parking lot, and curved on
down the steep hill, we again wondered why they didn’t offer a shuttle, because an RV wouldn’t
make it beyond the first lot for trailers, and it was a very long, steep road down to the next
parking lot.
At this time, we again thanked Barbara and Everett for the ride, as we made our way to
the last, and nearly full, parking lot, and we continued thanking them as we walked down the
237 steps, and several more times as we climbed up those Stairs from Hell.
Needless to say, only younger folks enjoy the privilege of taking this tour, and on the
return, we wondered if we would make it, and certain that this would be our last such venture. It
wasn’t only the climb, but the heat and the altitude shift of at least 1,000 ft. Of course, we did
okay going down and walking the 3/4-miles, but going up was a different matter, and we were
thankful that Barbara and Everett reassured us to take our time and rest, which we gladly did.
Actually, so did they, as they are not all that much younger than us, and they both smoke, which
makes it harder. Barbara was convinced that they should put in a tram, or at least a lift.
I really worried about Van, because of his emphysema, which limits his breathing, but we
both took our time and rested. Even so, near the top, where there was no shade or benches, I
began to feel nauseous and wondered if I were going to have a heart attack. But, I made it to
some shade and stopped awhile, noticing that we were nearly to the top, which gave me a second
wind to reach the parking lot where Everett had turned on the AC.
Isn’t it wonderful the angels that God brings into our lives just when we need them? I’d
had the Tour Guide take a picture of the four of us, and offered to send it to them, but they didn’t
seem interested, nor did they have a computer to see the pictures. Although they talked about
their family, I was beginning to wonder, maybe they really were angels and would disappear
when we left. After all, they did arrive when we did, and would be leaving the same day that we
leave.

Magnificent!
Of course, the steep steps should be the least memorable part of this trip, because the
scenery far exceeds anything else. Remember, now we are at the bottom of the same Black
Canyon that we drove along part of the top of on Highway 92, so we are looking up at the
magnificent rock walls and formations from the roaring Gunnison River, which has been
dammed in several places, forming the lakes that I had looked down upon.
I grew up in country with rock formations, so they always fascinate me, especially these
massive ones. For instance, one enormous wall, gives the impression of a giant stone plate, is
named Moses Page One, because of the Ten Commandments having been written on stone
plates; but surely not this big.
Another rock formation, Curecanti Needle, was the logo for the Denver & Rio Grande
Railroad, which once ran through this canyon, before the dams flooded over it. And a beautiful
waterfall, cascading over the rocks, is named after Chief Ouray’s wife, Chapita, who often
accompanied him to Washington D.C. on Indian Affairs, and she was highly regarded by
everyone, most of all the chief, who treated her as an equal, unheard of in those days, especially
within the Indian tribes.
The interpreter gave an informative explanation of the canyon’s origins, and also the
interesting history of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Rudyard Kipling rode the train and the
writer described the journey with colorful words of beauty, and also sheer terror, riding along the
narrow track, above the roaring Gunnison River. In fact, many people fell to their death along
this route.
Questions were invited, and an inquisitive youngster asked why there were so many logs
in the water The guide explained, “There is no place else for it to go,” and we could see that
when the trees that grew on part of the steep mountain were hit by lightning or perhaps became
uprooted from rain, they would roll all the way to the bottom.
Another boy answered several of the questions asked by the guide, and we were
impressed with his knowledge of nature, such as lichen being a fungus growing symbiotically in
combination with algae. I didn’t know that, but I do now.
On the return trip, the speaker was turned off, and the speed increased, but we were able
to enjoy the intense, yet calm energies of the canyon and river, as we watched for elusive
wildlife. Although the guide told of seeing a bear on the previous day’s trip, we were privileged
to see a golden eagle in flight high above the jagged rocks; a John Denver moment.
For many years, I’d wanted to take the canyon ride from Laughlin to Lake Havasu,
Arizona, through similar scenery, but we’d never made it. Now, I cherished this free tour, truly a
gift from God, and I hated to see the trip end, as we sped across the soothing waters. But we had
turned around, before seeing Morrow Dam, the first of three, and for which the backed up waters
are named Morrow Lake, though it’s all formed from the Gunnison River.
The inquisitive youngster had asked how the pontoon boat got there, and was told that
it’s hoisted in and out of the water each season by a giant crane at the dam, where it is stored
off-season. Now, that’s important information, added to the fact that any boat on this river must
be hand carried down — and up — the steep path we used, or another trail that comes down the
mountain near Highway 92.
Indeed, as we’d been climbing an internal mountain of another kind, we were definitely
in a hole of another kind, but again, it was not a negative experience. In fact, to me the most
fascinating story was about the hermit who lived in the canyon for over forty-years, by his own
choice when he arrived in his late forties. Other than the railroad crew, who stopped to visit,
often bringing him sugar and flour, along with newspapers, he saw no one. He finally died of
pneumonia, at the age of 87, in a Gunnison hospital, where the railroad crew took him when they
discovered that he was ill. The location where he lived is called Hermits Rest.

One Way Out: UP!
Listening to his story reminded me of Little Ralph in his hole, when Van first found him,
and I wondered if, perhaps, he wasn’t really a lonely waif, but simply there because it’s where he
chose to be, much like the hermit of the Black Canyon.
Yet, as much as I enjoyed this boat tour, I wouldn’t want to live here forever; I would
feel trapped and isolated. So, with the train long ago ended, and the tracks buried under the
backwaters of the dam, there was only one way out; and that was up, as described earlier.
And the same is true for anyone emerging from their personal hole, whether it be an inner
child or ego arising to new levels of self-esteem and confidence. For instance, now that we had
begun to feel more at ease, we were coming from choice about our stay at the “Five Star Blue
Mesa Ranch RV Resort.”
In fact, we were beginning to notice some flaws in the overall picture, which added to
our choices about our lifestyle. For instance, we actually prefer the freedom of selecting where
we stay, rather than being married to one organization, such as this one; an opinion shared by
Barbara and Everett, as we discussed the upcoming presentation, which allows the company to
be reimbursed for their free coupon gifts, such as we were enjoying.
It was fun for a few days, but, as mentioned, we wondered why they didn’t offer shuttle
service, and when we arrived for the second RV Travelogue, listed in our program, we were told,
“There isn’t one.” And when the program was mentioned, we were told, “Oh, that’s an old one.”
Is this a “Five-Star” attitude? Maybe they need to come out of their hole.
Matters got worse when I was enjoying the AC, while writing on the computer, with the
TV on low, for the news and weather update. Suddenly everything went off, except my
computer, thanks to the battery feature kicking in.
Van had gone for a shower, looking forward to more luxury than our small one, so I
turned everything off and opened the windows, happy that the afternoon breeze had come up. I
began wondering if we were going over another mountain; this one about our being so dependent
on each other. I mean, Van couldn’t even go to a shower, without something going wrong and
me coming to a standstill. True, I could still use my computer, but the heat affects my thinking,
so I simply stopped.
When Van returned, he checked the electricity connection and our fuses. Nothing was
wrong. Then he saw several neighbors outside and asked them if they had electricity. Theirs was
off too. OOPS!
This meant something was wrong with the electricity, so on our way to the second BBQ,
we saw a truck from the local electrical company and told the driver the problem. “We’ll get it
fixed,” he assured us, adding, “I’m meeting the maintenance man now.”
After our BBQ, we returned early, since there was no Travelogue, and stopped by
Barbara and Everett’s to arrange for a ride to Pappy’s, for our free dinner at the marina, the next
night. They weren’t watching The Rockies baseball, as planned, and informed us there power
was off too. So Van agreed to return to the gate attendant to ask about the electricity, and I opted
to return home. On the way, I passed a member of the staff driving by in a car and he informed
us that they had discovered the problem and the power would soon be on.
When Van returned, he said the man told him it was the transformer, and wouldn’t take
long, so rather than disconnect the electricity and turn on our inverter to use our own power to
watch TV, we relaxed and chatted awhile, with a refreshing breeze coming through the open
door and windows.
Again, this may sound perfectly normal, but for us it was different, allowing us time to be
in the moment with each other. Van seemed comfortable, unlike his former reaction to this kind
of intimacy, but I felt uneasy, indicating that again I had succumbed to his patterns. Amazing,
considering the years that I’d bemoaned the lack of such moments in our lives. Now, I felt like
going to sleep, but I also thought I should keep him company, because he had to stay up another
hour, before taking his evening shot of Prime.
About this time the power came on and the situation was resolved by our watching TV
for another hour. But I’d begun to notice that Van had been changing a lot during this 5-day
interlude. He seemed happier, freer, more relaxed, and more taking charge of such things as the
power shortage, and his relationship with me was improving immensely. Could it be the Prime,
or simply the relaxed environment, or was Little Ralph truly coming out of his hole?
When I asked Van if he thought Little Ralph’s hole was comparable to the hermit living
in the canyon, he said, “Could be.”
This made me wonder if we were simply on two different paths, and that expecting him
to come out of his hole was a fruitless effort.

The Sales Pitch
In any event, it looked like we were coming down from this internal mountain, but we
still had one more curve, and that was the Sunday morning presentation by the sales force, a
challenge we dreaded, having gone through a similar one in Arizona. Also, I’d been watching
one in progress the day we arrived, with 5-6 tables, each occupied by a couple and sales rep. One
lady seemed quieter, but the rest were the usual high-powered type, so I figured that it would be
about like coming around the last curve on the mountain; we’d simply have to endure, until it
was over. And then we would have our last evening’s treat: dinner at Pappy’s.
I must admit, Western Horizons has an outstanding plan, and if we were to buy one, it
makes sense, though nearly $6,000.00, but offering free parking. However, we’re not into the
regimentation of 14 days in, and 7 days out, plus other requirements, such as reservations.
Yes, the security and other conveniences are tempting, especially when the presenter told
us that Wal-Mart will be charging about $600.00 a year for RVers to stay on their parking lots,
and if they aren’t members, they will be towed away at the RVers expense, or we would be
rudely awakened by a loud knock on our door in the middle of the night.
Apparently this policy is happening as the result of a couple who was murdered at one in
Tucson and their family is suing Wal-Mart, because the store didn’t have security.
Also, he mentioned that some RVers dump their sewage on the Wal-Mart parking lot in
the middle of the night, raising the insurance and forcing them to compensate with the RVers
being charged. It’s such a shame that a few spoil life for the rest. Yet, for us the freedom of our
lifestyle is what works, so when the pressure was put on for us to sign-up, we said “No.” Of
course, they were done with us, but at least we were able to leave; much like reaching the
bottom of the mountain and the joy of crossing the dam and taking Highway 50.

The Question
But, I still had to ask myself several serious questions: Would I really enjoy the lifestyle
of staying in these membership parks, if we had the money? Or, am I ready to settle down, either
in a permanent park, such as Bonnie’s in Washington, or Trailer Rancho, where we’d stayed a
month in Southern California? Or, would I enjoy the retirement manor in Laguna Niguel that
Cousin John is offering? Perhaps continuing to travel from place to place, like we’re doing, is
the best lifestyle for us?

The Answer
I would know much more about my answer by the time this trip is over, because we
would have the opportunity to try all of the above, plus much more.
At least we had one more night here, and we still had the free dinner at Pappy’s, before
moving on.

They Signed Up!
When Barbara and Everett stopped to pick us up for the drive to Pappy’s, at Elk Creek
Marina, I could hardly wait to hear their report of the sales presentation, so we could
commiserate over the virtues of the freedom we agreed that we enjoyed. However, I couldn’t
believe my ears when they said they had signed up for the program. All we could do was
congratulate them and wish them happy traveling, as we discussed the attributes of the
membership program, while eating a delicious meal at Pappy’s.
In fact, I enjoyed the best fried jumbo gulf shrimp I’d ever eaten anyplace, while Van and
Barbara ate a huge pink Rocky Mountain trout they said was delicious, and Everett savored a
huge chicken fried steak.
After we said our good-byes, I contemplated the travel and parking options Barbara and
Everett had before them, compared to those we would be facing, such as Wal-Mart parking lots
and Flying J truck stops. And we would also be staying at National Parks for 1/2 price with our
Golden Age Passports. However, we were especially looking forward to visiting family and
friends in California, Oregon and Washington, which would take us until we would return to
southern California for winter at our favorite RV park. Sounds good to me, and we’ll take you
along with us.

Happy Memories
The last morning Van and I busied ourselves with preparations to leave Blue Mesa
Ranch: I spent several hours on the computer, then vacuumed, before Van unplugged the
electricity. He shook the rugs, among his other departure duties, and soon we were on our way,
past Blue Mesa Lake where we had parked overnight, and then spent a day on the pontoon boat,
and past Pine Creek Trail, where we had descended and ascended the 237 steps for the boat tour
of Black Canyon, and then onward and upward, west along Highway 50, as we talked about the
many happy memories of our four days and five nights at the five-star RV resort.

Still in The Rockies
As always we also looked forward to the next part of our travels, while enjoy the present
moment. Now, we were reminded that we weren’t out of the mountains, yet. In fact, we wound
our way up and down through another canyon, following another alpine stream, over more hills
and valleys, including the ones that I had spotted from Highway 92, which I could now see from
a more comfortable viewpoint. At times, as we traveled the 40-miles to Montrose, we could see
the towering, jagged rock walls of Black Canyon, and at Cimarron we took the one-mile side trip
to Morrow Dam, which forms the lake where the boat tour had turned around.
This time I played it smart and asked the ranger at the Visitor’s Center if the road was
okay for a large RV and if there was a place to turn around. She said, “Yes,” but when the
narrow road, following another canyon and creek, narrowed to a single lane, I wondered if we’d
made another mistake. As long as a vehicle didn’t come along, we were okay, and fortunately it
didn’t, but we were holding our breath, as we viewed more high jagged rock formations and
walls; truly a beautiful drive.
Soon we reached the reason for our side trip; not the dam, which we could see the top of,
but one of the engines and several cars of the original narrow-gauge Denver & Rio Grande RR
perched on a high trestle over the roaring creek below. I took several pictures of Little Ralph
standing by it, and he took one of me dwarfed in front of the high rocky canyon walls.
On the return trip, we were enthralled by the hillsides glistening in the intense sun, as if
reflecting from silver or gold; but we assumed it was only mica, an aluminum silicate mineral
used in insulation. Imagine how exciting it would be if that were really gold or silver, as it once
was when these mountains were alive with miners.
But, for us now, the wealth was in the form of the spectacular scenery, including distant
snow-capped mountains beyond verdant green valleys. We were still in The Rockies, and we had
to climb four steep miles to the Cerros Summit, which Little Ralph reminded me had to be
crossed by the trains, with four engines to pull them.

Back to Civilization
At the Visitor’s Center I’d asked the ranger for the source of Rudyard Kipling’s quote
about taking the narrow gauge railroad through the Black Canyon, but she couldn’t find that
information and suggested we go to the Railroad Museum in Montrose, which I’d planned to do.
However, once on the western slope of the mountain, my cellular phone signal returned, beeping
to let me know that I had a message. It was from my cousin, Marilyn, in Oregon, to let me know
that my Aunt Betty, mother’s sister, was dying. Since the signal quickly died, as we rounded
more curves and hills between us and the signal dish, I waited for a more stable time to call her.
About here we passed the turn-off to Black Canyon Lookout Point, which we’d once
taken, and promised, “Never again in an RV.” It was from the south rim, opposite Highway 92,
along the north rim, and the road was just as bad, only much shorter. The spectacular view
overlooked the lake where we’d taken the boat tour, only closer to the dam, and across to the
north rim. But the day we went the fog had set in and we could hardly see the view, until finally
the fog lifted somewhat. Nevertheless, we saw enough that we certainly didn’t feel the least
inclined to return.
I’d also had a missed call from Dottie, so when the signal returned, once we’d reached
the flatland, I called her. We were chatting about the business and the possibility that they’d
found their new home, and other family news when Van reached the outskirts of Montrose and
continued driving.
But, he became confused and I could tell that Little Ralph wanted my attention, because
his energies shifted and he kept interrupting me. Also, his driving became erratic and he almost
ran into a car that had stopped to make a turn. So, my conversation was interspersed with
responses and comments to him, however, I didn’t want to hang up in the middle of the
important news that Dottie was trying to pass along, including a report of the terrible storm that
had hit the previous day and the fact that their electricity had gone out a few minutes before I
called. Yet, she was able to use one of her phones, but nothing else, so she was momentarily at a
standstill, and willing to talk a few minutes.
The traffic had become hectic and Van reached a fork-in-the-road and took the wrong
one, so had to go around the block in order to get on the right road to Wal-Mart, where we
planned to stay for the night.
Finally, he made it to Wal-Mart, but the parking lot was quite filled, and, as usual, he
wanted me to give him directions where to park. I said, “Just park anyplace, until I can finish my
phone call,” but he kept going and headed for a large spot next to another RV. However, the
driver waved him out of the way, because he was saving the place for his buddy, driving another
one.
Next thing I knew, Little Ralph had gotten himself into a bind that he couldn’t get out of,
and I said, “Just stay parked here, until I get off the phone.”
“I’m trying to get away from this car trouble,” he said.
“What car trouble?”
“Next to us.”
I looked out the window and he was tight beside a car that had a terrible scratch along its
side, and Little Ralph was mumbling something else, so I got off the phone and guided him to
back up and stay put in an open place.
Once settled, he explained that the second RV had tried to push its way through that
narrow space on its way to the saved spot, but he had scraped the car, without knowing it. An
employee had seen it happen and went to tell him and they had returned to the car. Then the
employee went inside and found the driver, probably announcing her license plate and car
model.
By this time, she came out and was devastated by the large gash in her late model car. So,
for the next hour or so, the police came and a report was taken, while we watched all the activity
and ate our sandwich, which I’d prepared while waiting for the ranger to return from lunch at the
Visitor’s Center.
I’d gotten so upset with Little Ralph that I was literally shaken, and he was so devastated
over everything that he too, was unhinged; a rude awakening from our peaceful interlude in the
mountains.
Yet, I realized that this was another episode in Little Ralph’s internal mountain journey.
The lesson being that in the event of another such incident when I’m on the phone and he’s
confused, the best thing for him to do is park and wait for me to get off the phone.

A Major Change of Scene
Fortunately, we seemed to be out of the external and internal mountains, but now we
were on the edge of the desert, though surrounded by mountains, including the beautiful
snow-capped San Juan’s, which we could see from our windows, while looking at the mesa of
the desert from the side windows.
All this is important, because of the weather factor. We were in a monsoon condition,
which had caused the major storm in Denver the previous day. In fact, we’d been watching the
news when it started, with the reports of the famous Cherry Creek Art Festival being destroyed
by the horrendous winds and rain. The reporter had to call her story in from a phone, because it
was too intense to be out in the storm, and she said that she could hear the pottery and artwork
crashing onto the street, as the vendors livelihood was being destroyed.
It was truly a monumental storm, the worst since 1987, and they feared another would
come in the next day, which was now. Denver seemed to be spared this second storm, but we
were surrounded by dark clouds and lightning, as thunder rolled overhead. We went inside,
during the first rainstorm, but we watched the rest of evening, as jagged lightning raced
downward across the sky, above the mountains and desert. And thank God, it didn’t come to this
area. Again, God was guiding and protecting us.
We went to bed, thankful to be complete with The Rocky Mountain part of our journey
behind us. Now, we were ready to begin the journey through the Utah and Nevada deserts.

Chapter 4
THE HIGHS AND LOWS

Not More Mountains!
I might as well accept the fact that this trip is going to be about highs and lows; not only
the external but internal; why else would I be guided to title the book, “Journey Out of The Hole”? And then be given an itinerary to cross The Rocky Mountains and The Sierras; not to mention two deserts. I’m sure this trip, as all of our trips, is to learn to trust God on a deeper level, as our inner kids are healing those deeply buried wounds.
I know that the title refers to Little Ralph coming out of the hole, but whatever Van goes through also affects me, so we are in this together; and Joanie is also experiencing issues to heal
on a deeper level.
So the joys and sorrows must be balanced with faith, as we depend totally upon God for our sustenance, guidance and protection. And it’s when I don’t feel His presence and support that I panic; or when I don’t follow it. Van too, though not on as committed a spiritual path, is recognizing the value of keeping attuned to his Inner Guidance.

The Call
Despite the fact that we were in a valley, we found ourselves facing the first of many mountains on the next phase of our westward journey. For instance, I had been asked to be
available for a court phone testimonial in a lawsuit involving my cousin. His lawyer had called and taken the information and prepared me for the call. It was essential that the cellular phone had a strong signal, so we remained in Montrose and waited.
An hour early, the lawyer called and said that they had been delayed and it might be the next day before my testimonial could be taken. I explained that we would need to remain here, in that event, because there would be no signal across the Utah desert. The lawyer said that he would see if the phone call could go ahead as planned.
Van and I talked about the option of waiting another day, and concluded that our travels are always a matter of God’s timing, so either way would be okay.
The Outer Storm
Yet, when the call came on schedule, we were relieved and ready to move forward; at least externally, as we began traveling through the valley toward Grand Junction. However, storms were brewing, within and without; the direction of neither being clearly discernible.
For instance, when the fluffy clouds over the San Juan Mountains, to the south, thickened and eventually became darker, we didn’t worry, because we were heading north. But we kept our eyes on the heavy, dark clouds to the west that seemed to be moving northward with us. Looking ahead, we could see light fluffy clouds and blue skies toward Grand Junction, so we were optimistic about the timing and direction of our journey. That is, until we neared Delta, where rain and lightning appeared in the distance and became a downpour when we reached the town, with lightning bolts piercing the sky.
All this time, we kept focused on the clearer skies to the north, but we were also aware of the menacing black clouds and lightning hovering over the mountains and canyons to the west, hoping to get ahead of them. Yet, the further we drove, the closer they came, and finally we were driving through heavy rain, which became so intense at the outskirts of Grand Junction that we pulled off at a City Market to let the storm pass. Wrong! The storm did not pass, and the clear skies soon darkened.

The Inner Storm
As the outer storm worsened, my inner storm was following its course. I was feeling anxiety about the phone call, because the other lawyer had asked me two questions that I hadn’t anticipated and I was not certain if my answers would cause problems. As my inner storm brewed, I’d become irritable with Van and acted out my anxiety on him, without being able to clearly define the problem, and therefore I was not able to release it.
Van attempted to be pleasant and offset my attacks, but to no avail, and everything he did
became cause for more irritation and anger from me. For instance, we stopped at the library to
check my e-mail, but he didn’t know how to make the connection from their computer, and they had no phone outlet for our laptop. This put Van into discomfort, as he had to ask for help, while
learning to operate the computer, a world that he had been part of creating. So, he too was going
through an internal storm.
I was relieved that I had only one message that required my response, because I was in no
state of mind to cope with any further input or stress. I was inundated with the unknown status of
the internal and external storms, and I was in overload; a dangerous condition, as Van well knows. For instance, when he was trying to park at City Market, during the heavy storm, again asking me for directions, I shouted at him to find a place and park, because I couldn’t deal with anything else. He’s seen me in that state of overload before, and quietly found a parking place, and then offered to take me to Burger King for something to eat; a wise move, since I require food for nurturing when I’m beyond my max.

Into the Storm
Fortunately, when we returned to Freedom, the rain had subsided, and we began driving through town toward I-70. Suddenly another downpour forced Van to pull over and stop, but it lessened, so I urged him to go on, hoping to push through the storm, once we headed west, toward fairly clear skies. But it was still raining and the menacing dark clouds, which were hovering over the Colorado Canyon, to our left, were a constant threat, especially as the jagged lightning bolted toward the ground.
Still, we expected to out-distance the storm into clear skies, as we headed west. Wrong Again! This storm was here to stay, and it was getting worse, as the clear skies began to fade. And then the freeway headed south and we were going right into the darkness and lightning,
accompanied by rolling thunder and strong winds.
Van had all he could do to keep Freedom on the road, as the semi-trucks zoomed by, spraying us with even more water. This added more fuel to my anger, because Van had not taken
care of getting our wiper repaired, so if he uses them, the left one sticks and he has to get out and
loosen it. Therefore, he didn’t turn them on, instead peered through the window, its view obliterated by heavy rain.

Now What?
In the midst of all this, we were again climbing higher, through a rugged treeless terrain of hills and canyons. Finally, Van spotted a road to a dinosaur excavation site, drove to their vacated parking lot and stopped. Thank God! But now what?
We had made a decision to travel through the desert at night, to avoid the intense heat of day, so now it was pitch black. But one thing for sure, we did not have to worry about the heat. In fact, were pleasantly cool. I began to question our criteria for this part of the trip: perhaps keeping cool wasn’t the priority.
Our hopes of passing through this storm were gone, except for the fact that we could still see clear skies to the west; only we were heading southwest, into the storm. So we were faced with whether to turn back, although we were about thirty-miles into the trip; or pushing onward. Of course, we could stay parked, but it felt so isolated that my already heightened fears couldn’t cope with anything more, so again, I urged Van to move forward, during a lull in the storm. I still held out for the fact that we would soon turn north, toward the clear skies, so he moved back into the freeway and inched his way, while truckers and speeding cars, continued to splash water in their wake.

Another Mistake?
We were in totally desolate country; only bleak hills and canyons that we still climbed over or around, with black clouds, lightning and thunder taunting our decision to move through the storm. Furthermore, the clear skies had disappeared behind more dark clouds and lightning. Oh no! We’d made another mistake, and the worst part was that neither of us had felt any guidance or support from God, so we seemed to be on our own.
This realization, added to my anxiety about the phone call, heightened my feelings of guilt, but I wasn’t aware of the triggering factor or the original cause, while my internal storm paralleled the external one. This was not a fun trip!
And it got so much worse that Van pulled off onto one of the few places wide enough for our RV. I looked out the window and laughed as I read the sign: “You are now leaving Colorful Colorado.” Good Heavens, we were literally stopped at the state line. Would our fate be that we
would never leave Colorado?
By this time I was feeling somewhat subdued, because the heaviest part of the lightning had passed by, and now it was only heavy rain; an improvement at that. But, of course, it was dark and the wipers didn’t work, unless Van slowed way down, which he sometimes did, mostly at my insistence, if no one was behind him.
After awhile, he felt ready to move on, perhaps more internally than externally, and we crossed the border into Utah, without much change; still climbing upward and around the hills and canyons, notorious in this part of Utah.
Suddenly, coming up over a hill and beginning the downward curve, despite the obstructed view, we could see the red tail lights of several trucks parked on the right side of the road. But something else was happening!
Somehow, I could see triangular orange warning reflectors posted on the left side of the road, and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, while Van negotiated the hazardous situation, I detected the white T-shirts of several men standing around an overturned car.
I said a prayer, as we passed by, and Van said, “I think that’s the car with the racing stripes that whizzed past us about five-minutes ago, while we were parked.”
We spent several miles trying to understand the sequence of events that allowed three trucks to be parked, and the drivers already out of their trucks and beside the overturned car. Finally, we remembered seeing blinking red lights in the distance, from a higher part of the highway, and we concluded that the trucks had already been there, and maybe the triangles too. So, perhaps the driver of the sports car, driving too fast , had been distracted, while coming around the turn, and simply drove off the highway and overturned.
We felt sad about the mishap, and worried about the long distance we’d already driven from Grand Junction, taking so long for an ambulance, if needed.

Memory and Memories
I mentioned to Van that I’d been in a similar accident, as a teenager, when the car I was riding in went off a curve and overturned. But our youthful companions had turned it over, and we went on our way, so we hoped the same was true for these people.
Yet, as Van and I talked about my accident, I began to wonder if we had actually turned over, or simply on our side. In any event, the six of us had survived, although one girl was in shock for several days, and of course, no one told our parents, so she didn’t get any medical attention. What a memory, but it was fading, over the years. This sent me into a momentary regret about the passing of time and the aging factor, but I don’t allow myself to dwell on this, so we continued being in the present moment.
By now, the highway had finally headed west, and away from the storm, but we could still see lightning bolts to the northwest, as light rain continued falling. And then, further west, it stopped. Not only did it stop, but the combination of fading sunlight and clouds provided a glorious sunset of colors from purple, lavender and pink to deep shades of red and maroon, with golden highlights.

Higher and Higher
But our journey was barely under way, because we’d opted to drive through the night, until we reached Nephi, where we would stop at Flying J for the rest of night.
Another instance of my fading memory came to haunt me when we began climbing another mountain. Of course, it was so dark that we couldn’t see anything, but I said to Van, “I don’t remember any more high mountains on this highway. In fact, I thought it was a pleasant trip last time we came this way. ”
“Oh, yes, there were mountains,” he said, adding, “remember, we came north, from Moab, where Barbara and Everett live, to I-70, and enjoyed this scenic daytime drive.”
“I don’t remember, but I guess that’s why there are so many View Points, not that we could see anything tonight.” In fact, the trucks filled most of them, as the drivers were sleeping. And at one of them, Van stopped and took his Prime, in order to keep on the required schedule for his anti-aging formula.
I thought, “Maybe that’s why his memory is improving. Not only that, but he’s been driving for about ten-hours, and he’s still going. And his disposition has improved immensely. I’m thinking Van is really in his Prime.”
We had actually been on the road 12-hours, by the time we finally reached Nephi, without further incidence; only the never-ending mountains and then the downward trek that finally took us to the valley, and eventually to our destination for the night.
Fork-in-the-Road
Nephi became a fork-in-the-road for us, on many levels. It started when Van took time to study the Road Atlas, and then I stopped writing long enough for us to communicate; a unique
concept.
When Van pointed out that Highway 50, which I had selected, had more mountain passes, I started having second thoughts. Even though we hadn’t taken that route, I really felt done with the adventure of “exploring places never seen before,” as extolled by Willie Nelson’s song, and opted for the safer and saner I-80. And then I double-checked the Flying J Truck Stop, discovering that it was not in Ely, on Highway 50, but on I-80 at Wells.
The significance of this change of plans, to me, is that our inner kids took some responsibility: Little Ralph studied the map to familiarize himself with the route, and Joanie
double-checked her Flying J List and discovered that she’d been mistaken.
Okay, so now we had a new itinerary, which meant we would have to go through Provo and Salt Lake City, on I-15, a route that had left us with some bitter memories from another trip. But, rather than avoid it, this would be a good time to “come out of the hole” and create some new memories of this part of the trip. Joanie had already become committed to the new plans, because she likes to stop at Peppermill in Wendover, NV., just over the state line, for a buffet, so this meant we could have some fun and nurturing.
While writing this chapter, at Nephi, I also had a realization about my internal journey. The reason I had become so upset over the phone call reverted to my childhood when I was supposed to “take care of ” my mommy, while Daddy was away at CCC Camp, and Mommy “went crazy,” which I assumed was all my fault, not understanding that it was the beginning of her schizophrenia, and certainly not my fault for not taking good care of her. I refer to this syndrome as my Responsibility Factor, and it gets triggered when I find myself in a situation when something important is all up to me, or I think it is.
As I write, I haven’t heard whether or not my cousin’s situation was favorably resolved, but in any event, I know that it was not all up to me. He has his own consciousness and part in the outcome, and I was simply doing my part to help.

Re-Conditioning
The problem with going through Salt Lake City is that our last trip had been unpleasant, in fact all of them had been difficult, so I’d hoped to avoid the city. But, we decided this would be an opportunity to change the pattern, since Joanie and Little Ralph had made so much improvement.
Driving through Provo reminded me of the terrible weather conditions that had started our last escapade. Again, the wipers weren’t working properly and we could barely see through the heavy snow-rain. And the closer we got to Salt Lake City, the heavier the traffic congestion, because the freeways were being reconstructed. And once we finally got through town, and were driving along the lake, Freedom began to cough and choke, so we were creeping along at about 5-mph, with trucks swishing by.
All this time, I had been snarling and growling at Van, because he hadn’t take proper care of our RV (in my opinion). Poor Little Ralph took the beating, because it was part of his childhood conditioning, so he expected it. And, of course, because he expected it, that’s what he projected, and therefore someone had to fulfill his expectations. If it hadn’t been me, it would have been someone else. But, I was fully capable of the job, because his actions and behavior triggered my reactions, based on my childhood conditioning. It’s a vicious circle, and we all get caught up in the repercussions of our conditioning.
In our case, Salt Lake City had become a triggering device, because it’s always congested and hectic, which is surprising considering that it’s the Mormon’s Mecca, so the spiritual energies should be more intense than others. But, especially for me, it’s usually a negative experience.
However, this time we were determined to change that pattern. Not that we could do
anything about the traffic and congestion, but we could adjust our attitude, in addition to the inner work we’d already done.

Re-Conditioning
I’d heard that the highway construction through Salt Lake City had been completed, and we were disappointed to discover that it was now congesting traffic through Provo, and we realized that all the ado was in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics, which were only seven-months away. We could actually feel the high energies in the air, as Provo would be a big part of the winter activities.
Despite the fact the freeways were now complete through Salt Lake City, the traffic congestion was just as intense, and negotiating the interchanges is difficult, because they have no
advance signs to make the changes. In fact, the sign for I-215 indicated the left lane, but by the
time Van got over there, another sign showed that we must be in the right lane that he had just left, a stressful situation.
As navigator, I tried to guide him through the many interchanges, as we wended our way to I-80 West. Yet, I’d noticed, about the time we went through Provo, that my head pressures had begun again, making it difficult for me to think clearly. And, this is when I finally understood clearly, without doubt, that it’s definitely the energies of the Rocky Mountains that affect me.
I knew, because I’d recently left the Denver area where energies bothered me the entire time, and then, while we were in Nephi, my head and body felt fine. But when we returned to these mountains, which tower above Provo all the way through Salt Lake City, my head pressures and other body reactions returned. Now, after reconstructing the pattern, I knew, without doubt that it’s the Rocky Mountains, because once we were out along the Salt Lake, the head pressures went away. I’ll admit the stress of the traffic congestion could be a factor, but I didn’t have that issue the entire time in the Denver area, so I’m convinced it’s the energies. And I also had the input from my mother and granddaughter, who have reported the same head and body reactions.
Furthermore, the same thing happens when we park above the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad,
California. So, I’ll simply have to accept that fact about myself and my body, and adjust my life
accordingly, which may mean that I cannot live in the Denver area. Looking back at The Rockies, I felt sadness, as we headed west, and I wondered if I’d ever see them again. It’s for sure I would need to seriously consider this factor, as I plan the rest of my life.
But, for the Present Moment, it’s enough to know that overall, our passage through Salt Lake City to Wendover, NV., went pleasantly and without mishap. And, as we passed Delle, where Van had finally pulled off to allow Freedom to rest, because the “check engine” light had been flashing, we were thankful, knowing that we had changed the conditioning that had caused Van to subconsciously create mechanical breakdowns. Now, he understood that it was his love-association with his mother, based on her showing love by giving him money when needed for motorhome repairs. Fortunately, he recognized and changed that pattern, proven by the fact that he no longer needed to create Freedom’s breakdowns to be reassured of her love.

Angels in Wendover
Wendover always holds a magical charm for Joanie, ever since our first stop many years ago. It’s the buffet at the Peppermill Casino, a pleasantly gaudy place, featuring mirrors, fake blossoming cherry trees, blinking lights, and a terrific buffet, catering to the many truckers, andother travelers, who stop there. And that first time she won a small jackpot on a special slot machine that is no longer there; so she doesn’t gamble. But she loves the buffet, and so does Little Ralph, and he always comes out to play when we stop there.
However, the time we stopped when Freedom was complaining, we had a different experience. Since I’ve written about it before, I’ll bottom-line by saying that an angel at the service station discovered that it was the fuel filter and he replaced it for $69.00, ending a problem that had been plaguing us for years: no oomph for Freedom. Needless to say, Wendover holds a special place in our hearts.
And this trip was no exception, only it was an angel named Jack Wolf, who touched our hearts by driving us to the casino from the Truck Driver’s Lounge, and then told us about the laundry room and helping us to get our laundry transported back and forth. He was a pleasant and helpful angel who did far more than duty required of his job: driving a shuttle between the casinos and parking lot. Thank You, God, for Jack Wolf. He told us that he had retired from the military and driven an old RV for a few years, but then he decided that one mountain park looked about like another, so he sold the RV and rented an apartment. I really like Jack Wolf and I told him to look for his name in my book. He’ll probably never see it, but it’s here, along with our gratitude.
But Jack wasn’t the only angel in the Trucker’s Lounge. It was full of them, because I have concluded that all truck drivers, no matter what, are angels. I reached this decision after our trip over I-70 when I began to really admire them for driving through all kinds of weather and all kinds of travel conditions. And I wanted to say “Thank You” to all of them for what they do. Like a sign along one of the highways says, “If you got it, a trucker brought it.” That’s right, so next time you see a trucker thank him.
I did. His name was Steven, a pleasant fortyish family man, sitting in the lounge, while we waited for our clothes to get done. I asked him “Which direction did you come from?”
“I came from Sacramento today,” he replied
“How was the weather across the desert?” I asked
“Oh, it was okay,” he replied, adding, “But I was in Oregon the other day and it was
pouring rain with thunder and lightning.”
“I’m from Oregon,” I said, adding, “we’re on our way there now, after we visit my brother. He’s a forest lookout in Lassen National Forest.” Then I said, “You know I really want to thank you for the job you do, driving all over the country in all kinds of weather. I just don’t know how you do it.”
“Oh, it pays the bills,” he replied.
I guess that, for most of them, it’s just a job; one they are somehow able to fulfill. I know one thing, I don’t blame them for whatever it takes to survive the loneliness and frustrations of doing their job.
The amazing part of this story is that the movie, “Michael,” came on the TV, and it’s about a very human angel, played by John Travolta. We watched together and laughed at his antics, and I felt a special kinship with this angel in the Truckers’ Lounge.
And I want to say “Thank You” to all truck drivers. They need a tribute in their honor equal to the War Memorial, in my opinion, because no one ever acknowledges them for what they go through to make our lives better.
Oh, yes, there were other drivers coming and going, throughout the evening, going to the
showers, getting coffee, and one young man who spent the evening talking to someone special.
This unusually handsome and gentle driver wore a baseball cap over his waist-length dark hair, and he smiled softly, at times, as he breached the lonely miles via the phone. At one point, while on hold, he commented about the movie, which he mostly blocked out, while living his own love story.
Unlike one brusque fellow who tried to call home, only to be told his wife wasn’t there. But when he said, “Tell her her husband called,” he seemed to get through, and his main communication was a business related message. Well, it takes all kinds, and I got an entirely new
appreciation of these overworked and underpaid angels of the highway.
When we finally returned to the truckers parking lot, a full block of asphalt, most of it was filled with groaning generators, but this time I felt thankful, instead of irritated, and I didn’t mind having to use my earplugs to soften the noise, as I went to sleep.
As I drifted off, I remembered what the handsome trucker on the phone had said. Apparently he was on hold when I commented to Van about the weather, which he was watching on The Weather Channel, because the driver said, “It was raining so hard that I couldn’t see the car in front of me.”
I asked, “Where?”
He replied, “Salt Lake City; about two hours ago.”
I’d been aghast, as I realized that we had been spared another ordeal in Salt Lake City, with our wipers still not working properly. Obviously, we were doing something right, and for sure God was guiding us with His perfect timing. Thank You, God.
Another Turn of Events
Our plan had been to cross the Nevada desert in the cool of the night, so Van awoke about five in the morning and began driving across the desert. Of course, this isn’t very early to be covering such a long distance, but he prefers driving in daylight, so he made it to the Flying J in Wells, only about fifty-miles. Then he stopped to fuel Freedom and eat his breakfast, which he did in record time, while I updated my chapter and then took a shower.
With our mind at ease about the weather conditions, relieved from the anxiety over the
thunderheads and dark clouds we’d seen the night before, we ventured onward across the desert,
and I figured that it had always been a good place to leave any negative energies, so I left mine
there too.
Unfortunately, we saw evidence that others were going through their own negativeexperiences. For instance, a semi-truck, going west, had gone off the road and completely overturned. I said a prayer for the driver, as we passed, and noticed that his load of boxes was being transferred to two smaller trucks. Of course, no matter what, the load must be delivered on schedule. We wondered what had happened to the driver, but there was no ambulance around, so we hoped all was okay, as we tried to figure out why the driver had gone off the road when there seemed to be no bad weather conditions. Perhaps it had happened much earlier and there had been stormy conditions such as we’d gone through the night before. Just one more reason to say
“God Bless Truck Drivers.”
Not much further down the road, Van wondered why a train was in such a peculiar position, when he finally realized that it too had overturned, only it had not been recently, because the demolition crew was busily turning the cars into scrap metal. Once he figured out what he was seeing, he brought it to my attention in time for me to see some of the piled scrap metal and more overturned cars.
It’s interesting that I had been commenting earlier that you never hear of any accidents
involving trains, yet they have to forge through inclimate weather, too, but at least they are on a track. In any event, it seemed to me that the railroad crews should also be remembered in our
prayers.

The Easy Way
As I momentarily thought about all the things that could happen, while traveling, I said to
myself, “I let go and let God.”
This reminded me that in my Belief System, July is the month for Strength and Courage, and also Inner and Outer Freedom, as well as Responsibility. It’s for sure, this trip had covered them all, and I remembered an article, “The Easy Way” by Lowell Fillmore, son of Unity’s founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, that I’d read while on Highway 92.
Mr. Fillmore said that there are three ways that lead into life’s expression: One is easy and two are difficult. The one through the lowlands and valleys is when we have doubts, fears, uncertainty and negative feelings of inferiority. The way over the mountains and hills of egotism,
foolish pride, love of personal power, arrogance, haughtiness and self-sufficiency is the difficult
road of the ego taking control. The level way is the easy way; it is the sane efficient way of those
who realize that they are children of God inheriting all life, love, peace, power, wisdom and plenty from their loving Father, God. In other words, Lowell is talking about balance and order, rather than the extremes of highs or lows.
I’m not sure if he would consider the desert to be a lowland, or not, even though the Nevada desert is quite high, but for us it was a place to follow the words of Isaiah 40: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain; and the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed,” which Mr. Fillmore says is “the straightforward highway of joy.”

Chapter 5
A SAFE, QUIET PLACE

The Rest Stop
This chapter title evolves from my affirmative prayer when looking for a place to stop or stay: “Thank You, God for a safe, quiet, comfortable, clean place to stay.” The prayer originated when we traveled in a car and stayed at motels; since we now take our home with us, I’ve shortened the prayer.
In retrospect, this part of our westward trip is about a place to stay, more than anything else, because fortunately the trip across the desert, through Reno, and to The Sierras was not especially noteworthy: a desert is a desert. So the unending road construction and the spectacular sunset were the highlights, other than a four-hour break at a Rest Area, east of Winnemucca.
I’d wanted to update my story and complete chapter 4, before moving on, and God provided the first of our three stops: a safe, quiet, and cool oasis in the desert, under a tree where I fixed lunch and accomplished my writing, while Van relaxed and rested, once he’d written some checks. Life does go on, even while traveling, so we must to what we can where we can.
Winnemucca to Reno
I get a kick out of the name Winnemucca, which served only as a fuel stop this trip, but it has some interesting memories from other trips. For instance, I came through the town at night on a train, in my twenties, on my way to Unity Village for spiritual training. The train had stopped and I looked out the window to see “Winnemucca” on the station, and I wondered “Where is Winnemucca?”
My brother, Gary, had an opportunity to find out, many years ago, when a madam hired him to write her book, as he too is a writer. He lived and ate at the house, socializing with the girls and gathering material for the book, which never got published, because Madam, who was French, was deported. He still has the unpublished story, which I jokingly offered to put on my website. Okay, for those who can’t resist asking, the answer is that Gary did not touch the merchandise; he’s a highly disciplined catholic.
I added that information to spice up the uneventful portion of our desert travels. Now, if you can get your imagination back into this story, I’ll continue with another memory. During our last trip, the one with the weather and wiper problems, through Salt Lake City, I’d been so angry with Van that I threatened a divorce, and suggested that he think about it, and we’d decide at Winnemucca, a fork-in-the-road, whether we’d stop in Reno and end our marriage, or go on to Oregon, as planned.
So, having had time to cool off, by the time we reached Winnemucca, we discussed the
situation and decided to keep going, as planned, making some agreements that we felt would help our relationship. But that’s another story, which I’ve already written in “Ups and Downs of Traveling.”
This trip we continued on to Reno, but not for a divorce. All we wanted here was a safe, quiet place to stay overnight. I might add that nowadays another criteria for us, on our Social Security Retirement funds, is that it be free, or low-cost, so that we can afford this traveling lifestyle. Usually, we stay at a Wal-Mart, Flying J Truck Stop, or a casino. Obviously, in Reno the choice would be a casino.
By now it had become dark, and Van had been up since 5:00 a.m., driving most of that time, and we had been stressed over the last 30-miles of traveling through a long, steep, winding canyon, at night, and hampered by road construction. So when we suddenly hit the bright lights and added traffic of Reno, we were frazzled.
Actually, we probably should have stopped at Winnemucca, but we wanted to get off the
desert and end-cycle on this part of the trip. However, we had been getting travel-weary and had
considered stopping at a casino, advertised on billboards along the highway, at Lovelock. So we
took the business loop and quickly decided that there was no room at the Inn (Ramada), where the small casino-motel was located.
It was here that we drove into the sunset, which was offset by more single-lane construction, and Van was the lead vehicle, followed by a dozen others, frustrated at the slow pace.

Reno’s Nugget
As we entered town, the truck stops and a motel-casino truck and RV parking area were
jammed, as we wended our way from I-80 to the Nugget Casino, a towering building, by the freeway, and easy to find (thanks to a Welcome RVers sign).
However, once into their ample, yet partially full RV parking lot, we realized that we were indeed, by the freeway, with it’s noise and exhaust fumes. And a train track went along the other side of this so-called respite. “Okay, God,” I said, “what about the quiet? And what about comfortable” (it was stifling hot). But, I was thankful to have this place, so opened the windows for some night air, put in my earplugs and went to sleep.
But I awoke in the morning to overwhelming acceleration of exhaust fumes, because of the morning commute traffic. I quickly closed all windows, turned on the fan and went back to sleep. Fortunately, Van awoke fairly early and we were able to leave our “answer to prayer,” the Nugget, and move on, hopefully to quieter and more comfortable surroundings.

Getting on With Business
But first we needed to handle some business: checking my email. In the past, we would avoid doing things, because we didn’t know where or how, or it was too complicated. Mostly it was Little Ralph’s influence, and Joanie went along with it. But now, I had a website, which could bring forth email messages, or even filling book orders, in time. So, we needed to develop the policy of tending to these business matters, despite the inconvenience.
To change the “I don’t know how or where” pattern, I looked in our list of Kinko’s, and I called one. The pleasant manager gave me directions to her store, and I remembered to ask an important question: “Is there a place to park a 35 ft. RV?” You see, we were learning to ask the right questions.
She replied, “Well, we’re downtown.”
“Oh, oh, that won’t work,” I responded, and asked, “How about the other Kinko’s store?”
“It’s in a mall,” she replied, “and there’s more parking available.”
She again gave me excellent directions, which we easily followed, bringing us to the store, right next to Highway 395, which we would take to resume our travels; now northward.
I took time to respond to some important messages, and send several others, but hadn’t done any work on my website, so didn’t need to publish this time.
I want to take time to acknowledge Kinko’s for their excellent service, especially the free access for laptops, to check email and other on-line activities. It’s made the difference for us to be able to continue this lifestyle and still take care of business. We were especially pleased with this S. Virginia Street store, because no loud music or freezing AC, which we’d encountered in some.
Hallelujah Junction
Van too, changed some old patterns by asking directions to get onto Highway 395, and easily found the access. Well, actually, he made the wrong turn, but instead of beating himself up, he made the adjustment that took us to the on-ramp, and we were on our way, as he began singing, as he usually does when getting “On the Road Again.”
The terrain had changed, and now, we were driving along the foothills of The Sierras, by a pleasant green valley, most of the time. There was an exception, which I’ll mention later. But first we stopped for gas.
Learning to ask the right questions, Van had asked the inspector at the California border
crossing, if Hallelujah Junction would be a good place to buy gas, rather than exiting and finding the station inaccessible.
Not only did he refuel, but he asked the clerk if we could park in their oversized lot long enough to have lunch. And the clerk, replied, “You can stay for a week, if you want to.” That was good information, but we were ready to move on, once we’d eaten.

A Small Tornado
Our enjoyment of the pleasant mountains, trees and valley became alerted by a sign warning that we could encounter gusty winds. At least we had been warned, and Van negotiated the several strong gusts quite nicely. However, when a small twirling dust tornado appeared along the highway, he grabbed the wheel tightly just in time. Suddenly the tornado crossed in front of us and he had to drive through, and maintain control. Much to his surprise, the clear turbulence, after the dust, rocked us more than the dust tornado. It was a scary sensation, and the nearest I want to experience a bigger tornado.
Now, we were conditioned, and the fear of another bad encounter remained with us, off-setting our enjoyment of the scenery. And, in fact, several more windy gusts rocked us, but nothing like the dust tornado.
Signs of Other Near-disasters
We passed through the peaceful town of Susanville, nestled at the foot of The Sierras, and the cross-roads of Highway 395 and Highway 44, and began one more steep mountain road. Soon we saw large ugly brown patches in the midst of the green forest, and I remembered that Gary had written about a terrible fire that had terrified the town. In fact, they had to evacuate everyone, including the hospital.
Later, we learned from one of the forestry firefighters that they really weren’t able to do much, because the fire was at the door of the hospital, and if the wind hadn’t changed, the hospital, and the entire town would have been wiped out.
Whew! A reminder that we never know just how close we are to a disaster. And it’s probably just as well, or our anxieties would be worse than they are already, in this day and age of instant news; and thus pre-conditioning to disaster.
We passed several more large burnt patches, on our way to Bogard Forest Station, and were thankful for this sunny, fire-free day, as we pulled into the road along the caretaker home, where Gary had spent the winter, and his day’s off during the summer when he’s otherwise on the lookout.
Here I Am, Lord!
I’d thought about titling this chapter “I am Here, Lord,” based on Samuel’s response when called upon by God. However, when I looked up the passage in my bible, the words were reversed, which altered what I wanted to say; that I am here, at the place I’d been guided.
Nevertheless, the bible story seemed appropriate for this chapter and I read it, before starting my writing day. You may recall that Hannah, Samuel’s mother, who had remained childless, had promised that if God would give her a son, she would dedicate her son to the service of the Lord, living and working with the priest, Eli. So, when a baby, he was delivered to the priest, and there he lived, and eventually became a prophet. In other words, Samuel had been displaced, but learned to bloom where he had been planted; and that’s what we are doing, as God guides.

Bogard Forest Station
Now, God had guided us to the Bogard Forest Station, and Gary had said that we might be able to use the RV hook-ups left from a by-gone day. However, as we pulled in front of his home, seeing his two campers, I momentarily thought maybe he was there, but then I remembered that he was driving his VW bus, which wasn’t there, so he was indeed, on the lookout.
At the time I’d written to Gary and mailed the letter from Montrose, CO., I’d thought he would have plenty of time to get the letter, but having traveled that distance, I began to wonder about my judgment, because it was a long way, and even by airplane, the letter would have to find it’s way from one mountain town to another. Perhaps he hadn’t gotten my letter in time, and therefore arrangements had not been made for us to stay at the hook-ups.
We looked at his driveway and concluded that we could park there, if necessary, though we wouldn’t have electricity, nor access to his house. Yet, we would be in this beautiful, quiet, safe setting in the forest.
We’d noticed a ranger fueling a truck, and he now walked toward us, so we met him and I explained that I am Gary’s sister, and I mentioned his letter about the hook-ups, and also that my letter may not have reached him.
The ranger, Speedy, said he would contact his boss, and also Gary (by radio), to see what
could be arranged, asking that we park in the nearby parking area, in the meantime. Once moved, we got out and stood in the shade of the tall pine trees. And soon Speedy returned, all smiles, and said that another ranger, Randy, would show us where to hook up. Apparently he had gotten permission from his boss.
We walked across the grounds to the office and Randy showed us the RV hook-ups, with an explanation, as we arrived at the eight sites. “They don’t use these anymore, and I haven’t seen anyone here since I’ve been here, so help yourself, and make yourselves at home.”
We chatted awhile, as he explained that he’s Gary’s boss, and we laughed about Gary’s
contradiction of liking isolation and yet loving to socialize. I suppose it’s because he’s alone so much that when there’s someone around, he enjoys the companionship and communication. I
recalled that we had once driven up to the lookout when we had a car, and about the last words we said were “Hello.” Gary took it from there, and was still talking, through the window, as we pulled out of the driveway, five hours later.
As we chatted with Randy, I said, “I’ll easily remember your name, because my son’s name is Randy.”
“Oh, that’s right, Gary said he has a nephew named Randy.” We watched the chipmunks
skitter about, and talked about Gary’s family of chipmunks at the lookout, and at the house. “There are a lot of them here, because we feed them,” Randy explained.
“Just let us know if there’s anything you need,” he said, as he returned to his office, and Van went to drive Freedom to the site.
I looked around at the peaceful woods and quiet surroundings, and felt safe and secure. My anxiety about lightning strikes immediately subsided, as I noted that we were surrounded by
firefighters, fire engines and other firefighting equipment.
I guided Van into the parking space, and then, while he hooked up to the electricity, I plopped onto the couch and sighed, “Thank You, God, I am here.”

A Sad Story
A sad sidelight came to our attention when Van had asked Randy, “Why is the flag at half-mast?”
He looked down, as he replied, “Because four of our fighters were killed in Washington yesterday.” He then added, “They were young — 18 to 20 — just out of high school, except their
leader, who was 31.”
We too were distraught over the sad news, as Randy continued, “They got caught in a bad
situation, much like the Colorado incident, where they couldn’t get out fast enough, ahead of the
fire.”
Later, Gary explained “The fire was traveling too fast, and they couldn’t outrun it in time to get to the river, although one of the others from the team did survive by getting to the river. The four who died had put on their survival tent that should have saved them in fires up to 400 degrees, but this fire was over 600 degrees and they were literally cremated.”

An Acknowledgment
I know that people whose lives and homes are saved by firefighters appreciate them, and let them know with banners and sometimes celebrations in their honor. But overall, like the truck drivers and railroad workers that I’ve mentioned earlier, the firefighters and forest firefighters, as well as the lookouts, such as Gary, and the others, are taken for granted and seldom acknowledged for their unrelenting efforts at keeping the forests safe.
For instance, Gary has been a forest lookout for nearly fifty-years, and no one says much about the long, lonely hours he spends in one room on top of a mountain, such as Harvey Mountain, where he is now. And, he has been on other mountains in California, Oregon and Washington.
So, let’s give a hip hip hooray for the firefighters and forestry workers, and whenever you see one, tell them “Thank you, we appreciate what you do.”

The following letter from Gary speaks for itself:

June 9, 01
Hi Van & Sis,
A G’Day to you both from atop this high citadel. Your letter & news letters well-received & loaded with all kinds of stuff. Good to note you’re keeping busy & apparently enjoying all of it. Very sorry to read that you both got the “wog”, Aussie for “bug”. I pray you’re fitter by the time this reaches you. Thankfully, I’ve kept healthy thru the winter, though at times I thought I’d die from exertion from shoveling so much snow. We had some nippy days at Bogard, and at -l2o I was in no mood to go outside and frolic in the snow. One thing I’ll never repeat, and that is to head for town in an un-heated V.W. at -2o. Only five miles out my toes began to go numb & the ol veedub would only reach 40 mph. I stopped & uturned back to Casa Bogard.
If you’ve viewed any NBC news TV, particularly the Today Show, you’d have noted the horrific fire we had last week. We made the T.S. twice & Reno TV several times. The Devil Fire topped at around 4,525 acres & burned right up to the fringes of Susanville. Incredulous ~s it may seem the blaze was ignited by a stray bullet from a guy’s rifle who was out potshotting. Had he been using lead rounds instead of jacketed ones the fire wouldn’t have started.
You talk about panic & hysteria. Susanville had it. Winds were howling at 4050 mph up here & thirty plus near S’ville. The 61 yr old man & his wife tried to extinguish the fire(a token effort I hear) but were burned in the attempt & had to flee for their lives. Took me about 20 minutes to view the smoke column which rose from the right side of Antelope Mtn. In minutes we realized we were in serious trouble. I’ve captured both audio & video coverage of the monster fire. The speed at which this fire raced was locomotive, as though it were consuming grass & not the timber it incinerated. Within hours it was zeroingin on the NW side of the city. Evacuation became mandatory. Orders for crews numbering in the dozens as well as scores of engines, and a halfdozen air tankers plus a dozen & a half ‘copters & well over a thousand firefighters blurted from my F.S. radio. I’ve never heard the numbers rise so rapidly. Engines would come from’ as far as San Diego. Our Hotshot crew, still in training, got a crash course before Jaime(their leader) would allow his mostly neophyte crew to attack so fierce a blaze. This was some of the toughest firefighting imaginable with impossibly steep canyon walls above Chenney Creek & the Susan River. No mistakes would be allowed. If you get a chance to come here, you’ll see where the fire burned right up to the front lawns of a huge new home perched on a knoll above the river. A bevy of engines & multiple airdrops by ‘copters saved that big home. The same could be said of many other homes & bldgs on the outskirts of downtown. Smoke was so thick that day became like night. Fire agencies took over the comm. college, the high school and fairgrounds to be used as a copter base, engine staging area, a shelter for the evacuated. Normal living stopped. The city was in a state of siege. Thru the several days of intense smoke I never breathed any of it due to the steady push of southwest winds.
I’ve been up here on lookout. since May 21. Even before that date we were averaging a fire, if not two, per day. It is so terribly dry that fire officials say the conditions are akin to those of early
August.
Bushes off my staircase that normally bloom second week in June are calling that old newsy the blooms come & gone days ago. I’ve had a 78 temp with many days topping out at 70-72,
unheard of this early in May. Only this week has it acted more like June should, then with absurdly cold mornings at 300 and never above 58. The really bad thing is the daily blast of winds. I feared what would happen if I got a fire close by, say within a few miles max. I soon found out. It broke around 3:30 on May 30. At exactly 4 mile distance. Panic hit me instantly. The flag was pointing southwest! Good grief! The smoke is coming right at me! But, look, the wind is only a few miles an hour, if that. Is this a blessing or what? ‘Just keep it ‘ I prayed. And, it did just that. A couple of times it surged to, maybe ten mph. My heart thumped even harder.
They pulled all the levers on my “Mosquito Fire”. Airtankers & helicopters, four each, plus a
dozen times four, many engines and some halfdozen handcrews. The fire is remotely located to my northeast & NW of Eagle Lake which had its own fire several days previous to mine. Mine, so close, made spectacular viewing and I captured it on video as well. Tell ya, we’re in for a very long, adventurous fire season. Feels like I’ve been here for months already. Reality says I’ve been working for pay for only five days.
My little 2-acre fire paled before the gargantuan Devil Fire. It had all the potential to become
California’s second largest blaze & effectively put me out of a lookout job. Thank God it didn’t!
If you folks do come this way, there are several options-to a place to stay. Certainly, you can
stay at my place. If you prefer your RV, I believe you could hook-up in the RV section. I’ll have to get permission for this, but don’t foresee any problem, though I could be wrong. We have plenty of empty spaces. Also, I know of a few places you could camp “free”, but would need to be self- contained, those spots close to Bogard. If you really want a quiet spot, nothing beats the old Harvey Valley Fire Station across from me 7 mi. It still has the concrete slabs of the various bldgs that occupied them years ago. The road in is easy access. If that interests you, I’d be glad to drive out there & check it over.
At nearly 9:00 P.M. I can still type, but not for long.
As per, my days off are Wed. & Thurs. It’s goin’ to be an upbeat summer. Stay tuned & I’ll keep you updated.
Take care & Lord bless!

The Golden Mantle and Other Critters
Gary returned to his lookout, and we settled into our safe, quiet place, accompanied by skittering chipmunks, squirrels and golden mantles, along with the scolding bluejays and crows; all of whom seemed to own the forest.
The Dictionary didn’t define golden mantle, but it’s Gary’s name for them, so I’ll go his name for a golden, larger than chipmunk squirrel-like critter, which darts across the floor of the forest, or jumps onto a stump or table. Gary said that one, at the lookout, gnawed away on his screen, sounding like a chain saw, until Gary removed the door. What a world he lives in! His only complaint, “When I tenderly talk to the critter in the morning, it never changes its chisel-like expression; no emotions whatsoever.
The Lassen Hotshots and other firefighters and rangers are a sidelight to main attractions at the Ranger Station. Every day I put out a peanut, and watched the critters sit on a stump and nibble away, leaving only the shell. It was fight between whether the four-legged or feathered critters got there first, and I tried to place the peanut for the non-feathered ones, after I saw a bluejay swoop down and grab the morsel.
Life is sweet when the only confrontations are between the critters, and not the battles being waged amongst the two-legged variety. For instance, the mystery of the missing intern, Chandral, and her affair with the senator seemed to be the latest consuming news; along with more wars in the Middle East, and of course California’s ongoing Energy Crisis. I was glad that we only had one station, Fox, and only one late news broadcast, which we watched for the Weather Report. Of course, it doesn’t take much to figure out that it’s comfortable, during theday, and very cold at night; like 30’s, much to our surprise. Further confirmation of the changing weather patterns, but okay with us, in our pursuit of relief from the heat. In fact, Gary said it is often as high as 96-degrees here.
One balmy day we enjoyed a BBQ outside, and the critters watched from a distance, and then examined our portable electric grill, once we’d gone inside. I feared we’d have crispy critters, but fortunately the grill had cooled, allowing them to crawl under and over the new intrusion on their territory.

We Were Not Idle
Of course, we did not remain idle, during our forest sojourn. In fact, I’d looked forward to the time, with electrical hookup, to update my website and writing, and for Van to scan pictures, which we did every day. And then, in the late afternoon, we took a walk, along the abandoned dirt road, through the woods.
There was always lots to explore, such as a picnic table and garbage container (filled with beer cans), in the middle of nowhere, and tons of empty bullet cartridges; target practise, no doubt. And their were lots of abandoned projects and stored items, such as rotting wooden fence railings, replaced by steel fence posts and barbed wire, and several vehicles, such as tractors and truck boxes, which are used for storage. In fact, Gary said that someone had stolen his compressor from its locked storage container. A reminder that all is not totally safe, even here.
One day I asked a ranger if we could check our e-mail, but he said it’s on a microwave dish, and very slow. Since it was almost closing, I chose to wait and use Gary’s phone hookup, which was the same, only we would have more time. Little did I know that Gary would be working at the Fair, on his first day off, so we had all day. We needed it, because something had caused most of my files to indicate “has changes not yet published,” and Van needed to figure it out.

More Gary Stories
Gary came home, while we were on a walk, across the highway, by the Rest Area, so we spotted him unloading his classic VW van, which was loaded with short logs that he had cut down and chunked for firewood. Of course, none of them fit into his wood stove, so he tried to get the forestry department to do it, but the hadn’t, as yet. Nevertheless, he needed the wood, and added it to his stack, in hopes someone else would cut it, but knowing that it might be him.
Again, he talked about the long, cold winter, with the snow beside his house covering the
windows. And he shivered, as he talked about the intense cold, when he was out shoveling snow
with the antiquated snowplow, because they wouldn’t let him use the Bobcat. What a drudgery. But, he finally got saw warm insulated boots and his feet were no longer cold; and the insulated
bodysuit kept him warm, until he could get the plowing done. Then, toward the end of the winter
season, they told him he didn’t need to do it; in fact, he was taking away work from the Cal-Trans crew. Oh Well!
While we stood outside, in the cooling night air, Gary told one story after another, highlighted by forest fires: the most recent in progress, now, in Southern Oregon. In fact, the Hot Shots had departed, in the early morning, several days earlier, and we hadn’t even heard them; nor did we know they had gone. It’s that quiet and we had slept that sound, as we do every night, while in this peaceful setting.
Gary happily said that Randy, the ranger who had showed us our RV site, had visited him one day, and of all things, his lady barber and her boyfriend, from thirty-miles away, had driven up for a Sunday drive. Of course, these visits make his day, while perched on his isolated lookout. It’s not an easy access, nor on the way to anyplace, along the dirt road that becomes nearly a trail, at the last mile, which we actually drove in our prized Volvo. I worried, because Van is a city boy, and these roads were not his idea of fun. But, we survived, and so did our car, which is now the family vehicle for Dottie and Steve.
Midst his stories, we were surprised when Gary told us that he got word that he would be
working at the Fair, representing the Forestry Department, on Wednesday, but I managed to make arrangements for him to leave us his key, before he left, so Van could shower and we could check the email, and see what’s going on with the website.
Our days at this mountain respite were coming to a close and I looked forward to a day with my brother, which finally came on Thursday.

Chapter 6
MY BROTHER GARY’S WORLD

“Hello!”

Later, as we were finishing dinner, Van said, “Gary’s here.”
I couldn’t believe it, because once he’s on the lookout, he’s on duty, and with this heavy
fire season, he wouldn’t dare leave. Yet, here he was. And before he came inside, or we’d said,
“Hello,” he started talking, something about having received a message and the radio not having
clear reception, so he thought he’d better drive down and see what was happening.
Apparently he could understand the ranger enough to know that we were here, but he
hadn’t made arrangements for us to park in the sites, as he wasn’t sure when we would arrive.
“How did you do this?” he asked, still standing outside, and before I could reply,
surveying our RV comfortably in place, he went on, “It’s a miracle.”
He explained that he had gotten my letter on Thursday, which in itself was a miracle,
because, as he said, “It takes nine-days for a letter to get here from San Diego.”
He added that, as I know, he usually saves his letters, savoring them awhile, before
reading them, but this time he had a feeling that he should read it, so he did. But he wasn’t sure
what I’d meant by “being here in a few days,” so he asked the secretary for a woman’s input,
and they concluded it could mean anything from the next few days to several weeks. Since he
didn’t have time to make arrangements for us, he asked her to talk to their boss, Tom, about
using the RV facilities. Apparently she did, because it was all handled, and as far as we could
tell, there would be no charge. At least Speedy had said, “It’s taken care of,” after earlier
explaining that the paperwork alone would be complicated.
Don’t forget, we’re talking about the government here. The same one that put up these
eight RV sites, as accommodations for the firefighters. But, as Gary explained, “One of the gals
decided the RV’s weren’t good enough for them, and they requested better quarters, and got
them.” As I’d said to Randy, “A good illustration of our tax dollars at work.”
I’d managed to get my shoes on, and Van and I stepped outside, as Gary continued
talking about one thing and another, mostly relating to here or the lookout; all extremely
interesting.
And he finally offered to show us his house, which he’d spent the winter remodeling.
Walking across the compound to Gary’s house, he pointed to the snowplow, which he’d used to
keep the driveways cleared, and talked about the difficulties working in the cold, with the snow
packed to his knees. “One day,” he said, “I got part way to the snowplow, and my legs could
hardly move from trudging through the snow. I hardly had enough energy to keep going.”
At the house, he pointed to the windows, and said that the snow would cover them,
because of the drifts. “Sometimes I would have to shovel my way out of the house,” he said.
And, when he opened the blinds, he pointed to the birdfeeder, where he fed his only companions,
birds and squirrels, and he said, “The snow was piled up 2 ft. on top of the feeder, at times.”
Obviously, between the inside projects and his outside jobs, Gary had been extremely
busy and didn’t have time to be lonely, although, as a natural loner, he’s seldom lonely, whether
in the Outback or on the lookout.
I couldn’t believe how much work he’d done: the house was filled with cupboards and
drawers, with an extra-long counter; all of which Gary had removed the paint, sanded, and
refinished; a painstaking and thorough effort. Not only that, but he’d also redone the wood
floors. And he was still working on projects, on his days off, so the furniture was upended, and
the place was definitely a “work in progress.” But it was a comfortable, homey place, and we
were delighted that Gary had such a home, after years of wandering about in his RV, or going to
the Outback in Australia, to hunt for gold.
Interestingly, when Gary turned on the TV to show us the good reception from his
satellite dish, a documentary on Australia appeared. Needless to say, he could hardly tear himself
away, but he needed to be back at the lookout before dark. Yet, he continued talking, and we
finally got back to his car, as the last vestiges of light were visible.
But, fortunately, there was no lightning, and he explained that it’s usually in the
afternoon, and not at night here. And he also said that he had reported a number of fires the day
before, and hadn’t slept in 17-hours, because of the fires. Furthermore, he informed us, there was
more lightning expected the next day, so he needed to get a good night’s sleep.
Once Gary left, the place was quiet, because the day staff had gone home and the Hotshot
Firefighters, who stay at the station, had gone to bed in the barracks. Although it was quiet, the
lights in the main compound were like daylight, so I closed the curtains on that side to give a
more peaceful view into the darkened woods, illumined by moonlight. Our first night ended,
while we watched our one snowy TV channel and then went to bed for a quiet deep night’s
sleep.
I thanked God for our safe, quiet, comfortable place to stay, and we looked forward to
another week in these woods, especially since I had no head or body pressures, even though we
were at 5500 ft., about the same altitude as Denver.

A Sad Story
A sad sidelight came to our attention when Van had asked Randy, “Why is the flag at
half-mast?”
He looked down, as he replied, “Because four of our fighters were killed in Washington
yesterday.” He then added, “They were young — 18 to 20 — just out of high school, except their
leader, who was 31.”
We too were distraught over the sad news, as Randy continued, “They got caught in a bad
situation, much like the Colorado incident, where they couldn’t get out fast enough, ahead of the
fire.”
Later, Gary explained “The fire was traveling too fast, and they couldn’t outrun it in time
to get to the river, although one of the others from the team did survive by getting to the river.
The four who died had put on their survival tent that should have saved them in fires up to 400
degrees, but this fire was over 600 degrees and they were literally cremated.”
An Acknowledgment
I know that people whose lives and homes are saved by firefighters appreciate them, and
let them know with banners and sometimes celebrations in their honor. But overall, like the
truck drivers and railroad workers that I’ve mentioned earlier, the firefighters and forest
firefighters, as well as the lookouts, such as Gary, and the others, are taken for granted and
seldom acknowledged for their unrelenting efforts at keeping the forests safe.
For instance, Gary has been a forest lookout for nearly fifty-years, and no one says much
about the long, lonely hours he spends in one room on top of a mountain, such as Harvey
Mountain, where he is now. And, he has been on other mountains in California, Oregon and
Washington.
So, let’s give a hip hip hooray for the firefighters and forestry workers, and whenever you
see one, tell them “Thank you, we appreciate what you do.

More Gary Stories
Finally, Gary came home, while we were on a walk, across the highway, by the Rest
Area, so we spotted him unloading his classic VW van, which was loaded with short logs that he
had cut down and chunked for firewood. Of course, none of them fit into his wood stove, so he
tried to get the forestry department to do it, but the hadn’t, as yet. Nevertheless, he needed the
wood, and added it to his stack, in hopes someone else would cut it, but knowing that it might be
him.
Again, he talked about the long, cold winter, with the snow beside his house covering the
windows. And he shivered, as he talked about the intense cold, when he was out shoveling snow
with the antiquated snowplow, because they wouldn’t let him use the Bobcat. What a drudgery.
But, he finally got saw warm insulated boots and his feet were no longer cold; and the insulated
bodysuit kept him warm, until he could get the plowing done. Then, toward the end of the winter
season, they told him he didn’t need to do it; in fact, he was taking away work from the
Cal-Trans crew. Oh Well!
While we stood outside, in the cooling night air, Gary told one story after another,
highlighted by forest fires: the most recent in progress, now, in Southern Oregon. In fact, the Hot
Shots had departed, in the early morning, several days earlier, and we hadn’t even heard them;
nor did we know they had gone. It’s that quiet and we had slept that sound, as we do every night,
while in this peaceful setting.
Gary happily said that Randy, the ranger who had showed us our RV site, had visited him
one day, and of all things, his lady barber and her boyfriend, from thirty-miles away, had driven
up for a Sunday drive. Of course, these visits make his day, while perched on his isolated
lookout. It’s not an easy access, nor on the way to anyplace, along the dirt road that becomes
nearly a trail, at the last mile, which we actually drove in our prized Volvo. I worried, because
Van is a city boy, and these roads were not his idea of fun. But, we survived, and so did our car,
which is now the family vehicle for Dottie and Steve.
Midst his stories, we were surprised when Gary told us that he got word that he would be
working at the Fair, representing the Forestry Department, on Wednesday, but I managed to
make arrangements for him to leave us his key, before he left, so Van could shower and we
could check the email, and see what’s going on with the website.

Woody’s at Westwood
Gary was to pick us up at 9:00 a.m. for the 23-mile drive to Westwood for breakfast. But
it was a sunny, warm morning, so we walked to his house. He was watering his lawn, and
otherwise catching up on his day-off activities, and he’d also cleaned out the VW for us.
Eventually, we got under way for our morning drive. I sat in the front seat, and listened to
his stories, while Van silently sat in the back. Mostly, Gary was pointing out local sights of
interests and telling stories that went with them, such as where accidents had occurred: his or
others. Or explaining that the convicts who were doing work along the way, also fight fires, and
enjoy the opportunity to get out, and also earn time for early release. And we both lamented the
ugly brown pine trees that had been intentionally burned as a preventative measure.
Finally, we arrived in Westwood, which had once been a major lumber town. Now, Gary
said that investors were considering the possibility of building a nearby ski resort, which would
bring life to this quiet mountain town.
Gary pulled up in front of Woody’s Restaurant, which he liked because of local color,
such as faded front doors that didn’t match: a faded blue and faded pinkish. The large inside
seemed like a former market, but we enjoyed the spacious, relaxed atmosphere and spent several
hours eating and chatting, as Gary answered Van’s question: “How did you get started as a Forest
lookout?”
To my surprise, it was Dad Freeland, our paternal grandfather, who was also my adopted
father, who had instigated the job. I vaguely remembered something about it, but I still wondered
how Dad Freeland knew about this job, or even how the communication was made; he was not
much involved in his son, or his grandsons. But, Gary said that’s the story that his dad told him.
Gary, only 17, had just graduated from high school, and drove up the Columbia River to
the Forestry Station, where he was told that the lookout was across the river, in Washington, and
suggested that Gary drive down the road and look across the river, where he could see it. Of
course, most young boys would run away, but Gary has always been a loner, and he took the job.
We laughed, as he described his first trek into the mountain lookout, hauling his weights and kit
for his model airplane, among other things, such as food, on his back. Of course, coming out was
the real challenge, carrying his delicate model airplane down the slopes to his car.
The stories went on, long after we had finished eating, as he recalled various lookouts
and told us stories about them, all of which are recorded in a 300+ page book he once wrote,
that’s never been published. And that’s only his early years in Oregon and Washington, not
California, and not when he was married and took his family.
Gary generously paid for our breakfast, which we appreciated, as he doesn’t earn all that
much, as a lookout, and he must conserve to survive, so this was a welcome offer, which we
accepted.

Paul Bunyan and His Blue Ox
Gary drove us by the old lumber mill, once the center of industry in these mountains, and
also the company homes, all built in a row and in various stages of disrepair, though still
inhabited.
Westwood is really a pleasant town settled in the valley between mountains, and I
wondered what the proposed ski resort would do to the town. But, one thing remained stalwart,
and that’s the enormous hand-carved statues of Paul Bunyon, both carved out of one giant tree. It
just proves that lives come and go, but the trees can live on forever, unless someone saws them
down, such as this wonderful old tree.
For instance, while we were taking pictures and enjoying the sunshine, Gary was telling a
story, which turned out to relate to the large house on the corner. Seems his dentist had lived and
had his offices there. Gary emphasized that the man, in his thirties, had been a fitness nut and
very conscious about his health. But, one day Gary went for his appointment and there was a sign
on the door indicating that the office was closed.
Gary, being a writer, can’t resist the human interest, so he asked at the post office what
happened to the dentist. The clerk didn’t know, but she asked someone else. Turns out the man
had a heart attack and died. Gary’s point being that you never know what’s going to happen,
even when you think you’re taking good care of yourself. And, he was also concerned because
no one seemed very interested in what had happened to the young man, a resident and neighbor
in this small town.

The General Store
The General Store is just that, including a butcher shop where you can order your meat
cut however you want, and he raved about the delicious bacon cut thick from a slab. And they
had fresh fruit and vegetables too, including a special on corn-on-the-cob. Gary wanted some
grapes and corn, so he bought some and divided with us. Again, I was touched by his generosity,
which added to our healing and bonding.
I noticed that the store was a member of Western Family, which allowed them to keep
their stock supplied and their prices down, which is an advantage they didn’t have in the old
days, when Mr. Young started the store. So, as usual, despite the objections to progress, there are
many features to be appreciated.
Get the Ice Cream in the Freezer!
For the return trip, I suggested that Van ride up front with Gary, so he listened to Gary’s
stories, while I enjoyed the scenery. And, Gary even took us on a bumpy side trip toward Silver
Lake, with stories, but the wash-board road was too hard on the VW, so we returned to the
highway and his home, where I made sure he got the ice cream in the freezer, before he got
side-tracked; a holdover from my early childhood and his infancy when I was told, “Take care of
your brother, Joanie.”

A Lightning Strike!
Gary had been eyeing the darkening skies, and as a lookout, he always keeps his two-way
radio speaker on, and when he heard a whistle, he knew an alert was about to be broadcast. Sure
enough, it was Frank, his substitute, reporting a lightning strike, much to Gary’s excitement.
How he loves being part of the excitement of the storm, but he still had a few hours till he
returned, so he listened to the reports and enjoyed the storm vicariously, while we stood outside
and chatted. I was happy that the storm had not settled in this area.
Soon the afternoon was ending and I knew he had things to do, so we returned home.
Later we said “Goodbye” when he stopped by on his way to the lookout, filled with excited
anticipation for the storm.

More of Gary’s World
And that is my brother Gary’s world; at least this part. But he has another world; one that
takes him around the world, to Australia, and I’m trying to get him to prepare copies of some of
his stories about gold-mining in the Outback, and then I’ll create a webpage for him, so stay
tuned. In fact, I have one story that he wrote for my “Rainbow Connection” publication, so I’ll
soon unearth it and begin his webpage, but the real thrill will come when he publishes his books.
For instance, “Call me Robert” is about the father-son relationship with his son who died of a
form of cancer at the age of 19, a tragedy for Gary. But, they had some great bonding, during
their time together on the lookouts, and on a trip to Australia. It’s a book that needs to be
published, as it’s too long for a webpage.
In fact, during our visit, Gary had recalled some of the trauma and sadness of losing his
only son, at such a young age. But, I was happy to see that Gary had healed many of those painful
wounds, and his life was moving on.

Chapter 7
A TIME OUT

“For General Information”
While at Gary’s, Van had dropped on me “For General Information our Amex card is full
and we are out of money.” He’d known for over a week. Thanks a lot! Guess he figures there’s
never a good time to tell me such information. He’s right! Why are we still in this kind of
situation?
He says he has some reserve money, which we can use. But my first reaction was to scrap
all plans for Oregon and Washington and go to his mom’s in northern California. To me, that’s
the logical, sensible thing to do. It’s closer, so we’ll use less gas, and she’ll pay our parking fee
for the month. But, obviously, there’s more involved. Seems like our Money Issues are up again.
Why?
Of course, that didn’t take much to figure out: this pattern evolves around Gary’s birth,
no money, Mom going crazy, and that entire scenario that still seems to haunt me, despite the
years of therapy and recovery. Nevertheless, it wiped me out.
Why Did What Happened Happen?
Fortunately, just before he’d dropped that bomb, we’d gotten the email and Van was
re-publishing the on-line stuff that he had already done. I don’t understand what had happened to
cause the published material to have to be done again, nor did Van. And I’m not sure whether
Van is in another Obsessive-Compulsive Money Disorder syndrome.
I know that I am. And I was so upset that I went home, looked over our Spending Plan,
which we’d put off for several weeks, ate lunch and read Marcus Bach’s, “The World of
Serendipity.” Wouldn’t you know, the chapter I’m is titled, “Why did What Happened Happen?”
Marcus, quoting the Princes of Serendip, gives three answers: 1. It happened either for
your growth or for your guidance. 2. It happened because you drew what happened to yourself by
conscious or unconscious forces. 3. It happened not for your benefit, but for the benefit of
someone else– and that someone else, of course, may have been you.
Despite an entire chapter on the subject, I didn’t feel any better, other than knowing that
it must be a God-thing that’s going on.

An Unsettling Condition
I wasn’t in a good mood when Van finally returned home, after doing more computer
on-line stuff, including updating his bank records, which are now on-line.
I’d tried to call Dottie, but no one answered, and I had a feeling they were moving, and
this added to my feeling of flux, an uncomfortable and unsettling condition, and definitely an
abrupt end to my peaceful enjoyment of our “Safe, Quiet Place.” After all, the Abandonment
Syndrome is a major part of my recurring childhood pattern, and their moving only added fuel to
my already burning fire.
And when Gary arrived from working at the Susanville Fair, for his key, he announced
that a weather condition, known as a trough, was coming through and there would be lightning
the next afternoon, and also on Saturday; and not only in this area, but further north, in Oregon,
where we would be traveling. So, perhaps, God was telling us not to go north, but rather to head
to Van’s mother’s in Northern California.
All this caused me to reflect on whether or not I really wanted to go to Oregon and
Washington. Visits there, with my family, were not always satisfying; in fact they were often
painful, as they are all into their own things. Like everyone else, wherever we go, and they really
don’t seem to have much time to spend with us, so why go? Would it not be better to simply
follow the ABC’s: (A)Avoid it, rather than (B) Block it out or put myself in a position of having
to be (C) Charitable?
I don’t know, the thing is, the visit includes seeing my son, and delivering my old
computer to him, and also seeing my daughter and granddaughter, who don’t want to be
mentioned in my writings, so that’s all I can say about that. But, there are some relationship problems involved.
In any event, we were still facing the Money Issues, and I questioned whether I should step out on faith, knowing that God is the Source of our Supply, or just give up the northward trip.
The Spending Plan, once sorted out, reflected that indeed, only two weeks into the month, and we only had around $200.00 to last the rest of the month, about three weeks, untilour Social Security check arrived.
On the surface, it made sense to go to Van’s mom’s, but it didn’t feel right, at this time.
We’d planned to spend a month there in the fall, when it’s cooler, and I really wanted to see my
family, for better or worse.
Then I thought about the possibility that it might be meaningful for my family members
to see us, so maybe I should just push on through. It’s for sure that Marquam wanted my old
computer that motivated this northward trip. But, it could be shipped much cheaper than paying
the gas and other expenses of driving Freedom across two more states. The question is: is that
the point?

Considering the Situation
I studied the Road Atlas and discovered that the distance from here to Bend, Oregon, was
the same as from here to Santa Clara, where Van’s mom lives, so that equals out to where either
way would be acceptable. But, of course, from Bend to Portland, and on to Olympia, Wa. was a
lot further, yet we would have family places to stay, so only the gas would be the biggest
expense. Maybe we could make it, after all, especially knowing that God is the Source of our
Supply, and He provides for our every need. My main concern was to follow God’s guidance,
otherwise, it wouldn’t work out, no matter what we did. Obviously working through this Money
Issue was the first priority, and then it probably wouldn’t matter which way we went, God would
provide.
I didn’t discuss the subject with Van that night, nor the next day, because I was still upset
and trying to sort things out, but mostly listening for God’s guidance, which I hadn’t been
getting; and that’s the hardest part for me. Obviously, this meant there were issues that I needed
to push through.
Part of my anger and upset, with Van, evolves from his unwillingness (or inability) to
properly support us in the last ten-years. I’d certainly never expected to be in such a desperate
financial situation, and I resented his obsessive-compulsive Money Disorder, and the
embarrassing and upsetting position that I now found myself.

Fight or Flight

This situation always throws me into my usual reaction of fight or flight; or both. And
again, I had been planning my departure. In truth, Cousin John’s manor in Laguna Hills was my
escape, but, added to everything else that had been happening the past several days, an e-mail
message from John announced that he had lost his lawsuit on all counts, so the possibility of
staying there was gone. He did say that he was going to appeal, but I didn’t hold out much hope
for that happening in the immediate future; if ever. So, I felt trapped. Even if I didn’t retreat to
the manor by myself, it had been an alternative plan for Van and I to settle down and take care of my website.

In a Void
But, another e-mail message, from Snow, who was going to set up my search-engine
connection, said that she had not received the information from me which she needed to move
forward with the project. Van reminded me that I had sent her that information a long time ago,
so here was another thing that I thought was handled, that wasn’t.

The most upsetting part of the sudden turn of events was the not knowing. So, I found
myself in a void.

Matters Got Worse
After we returned to Gary’s house that evening, matters only got worse. First, I talked
with Dottie and learned that, indeed, they were moving. In fact, the last load (my storage stuff),
was being loaded. She explained that there was a garage where my stuff would be stored, and I
dreaded the thought of my possessions being outdoors, although she didn’t say they were
outdoors. As usual, she was in a hurry, and the only other information she mentioned came from
her answer to my question: there is a yard for Rascal, the family dog. The phone kept cutting off,so, I gave up on that conversation, and waited to read the message, which she let me know shehad taken time from her busyness to write.
But, I did learn that they had rented a Blazer and would be leaving on Saturday for their
business convention in Greensboro, North Carolina, taking along Airica, Josh. Arianna and Jason would stay at their house with Micayla and the animals, which works fine, since he doesn’t have a job. Also, Airica had sent an email that Josh had quit his job, and they would both begin new ones when they returned. In fact, she would be working as a receptionist for Metro College, where she would begin attending in August.

The Pattern is in Place
As I’m writing, I can see that the factors (from childhood) are in place for my inner child
to be triggered: moving (doesn’t matter who; it’s uprooting), no money (memories of my parents
being broke, during the Depression) and Gary (his birth caused mom’s breakdown and their
marriage to dissolve our family). It doesn’t matter to the subconscious (including the inner
child), if these things make sense or not, because they all fit into the pattern; then becomes now. So, no wonder I was feeling so angry and upset.

Again, I must write out another pattern that seems to remain intact, despite years of
therapy and recovery. It’s the feeling that I am not wanted and don’t belong. In fact, in recent
years the feelings are even more intense, especially since Dottie is so busy with their business
and makes it evident that she really doesn’t have time for us in her life. Or, at least that’s how I
feel, although she makes sure I get it that she has gone out of her way to take time for me, or
include me. It just seems that, on my part, the projection goes before me and sets up the
outcome. So, it’s up to me to make the inner changes, if I want outer results, such as acceptance.

And, although I think I’ve dealt with these issues, it’s a fact that the recovery process is cyclic
and spherical, so we will meet up with the issues again, on deeper levels, until we make the final breakthrough. Obviously, I am pushing through, again, and I must trust that God is guiding me through the recovery process.

Of course, understanding all this didn’t change the fact that we were in our financial lack
situation, and I didn’t feel any better, after writing this and realizing that everything had piled up,
causing my subconscious reaction.

In fact, the childhood scene had even flashed before my eyes: Mom crying into the dishtowel in the kitchen; the baby, Gary, crying in his basket by the window; and Little Joanie crying in her highchair, desperately wanting reassurance that everything was okay. But, it wasn’t
then, and as far as she’s concerned, it isn’t now, either.

Now, because of the weather pattern, Gary had strongly suggested that we wait until
Sunday, before leaving, as we would otherwise be going right into the storm, including thunder,
lightning and rain.

Okay, God, what is going on here? Please give me some input and guidance. Walking
back from Gary’s, we stopped by the Ranger’s Office and told them that we would be staying
until Sunday, adding that the decision was based upon Gary’s suggestion, so they wouldn’t think
we were indefinitely freeloading.

Options
I awoke going over the various options: Van’s mom’s, or push on through to Oregon and
Washington. Also, perhaps it would be a wise option to stop at our friend, Kathy’s, in Red Bluff,
for a few days, before deciding what to do; this could be a fork-in-the-road to head in either
direction. I’d e-mailed her that we were nearby, and she’d said that she would be working, but
we were welcome. We had originally decided to by-pass Kathy, until our return trip, and drive
through the mountains all the way to Mount Shasta. But, with the bad weather conditions, it
seemed wise to go to Kathy’s for a few days. Besides, I always enjoy visiting her, and had felt
bad about missing her this trip. Now, maybe God is telling us something, after all.
Van had insisted that we wait out the thunder and lightning storm, even though we had
nice weather here, but Gary had said that the trough extended north into Oregon, which was
confirmed by a TV weather report, so we stayed put.

What Does That Tell Me?
I used the time to write an e-mail to Snow with the blurb and words for the Search
Engine connection that she was going to handle. Apparently I had forgotten to include it in my
June 23rd e-mail to her. What does that tell me? Also I wrote an e-mail response to my
granddaughter’s e-mail of two years ago that caused me such hurt and pain. Now, I got migraine
and eye problems from dealing with these issues. What does that tell me? Furthermore, Gary had left and I couldn’t send e-mail from the Ranger’s Office. Again: What does that tell me?
Some kind of message here, someplace.

Surrounded by Beauty
Sunday morning we got up early and got ready to leave our mountain Paradise. Van filled
the water and I took pictures. The weather was clear and we began a beautiful and pleasant drive to McCloud, near Mt. Shasta. We stopped to look at the Dinner Train that Gary had mentioned, and walk up the street of this quiet, pretty town, with Mt. Shasta towering in the background.

As we reached the town of Mount Shasta, my phone signal returned and I noticed that I
had Voice Messages. One from my Cousin Marilyn telling me that our Aunt Betty, the youngest
member of our parent’s generation, had died on Friday, July 13th, and they’d already had the
Memorial Service the following Friday. Several messages from my son announced that he had
attended the Memorial Service, and he wondered why I wasn’t there. Of course, since he has no
phone, and mine had no service, it was difficult to communicate.

Since I am sensitive to energies of those near to me, I began to suspect all this turn of
events had something to do with my unsettled condition during the past week. It’s for sure that I
was going into overload from too much of too much. One thing for sure, there was nothing I
could do about Aunt Betty now, so I allowed the surrounding beauty to be my personal Memorial
Service, and we drove on through more trees and mountain beauty into Oregon.

An Explanation
The title of this chapter is based on several matters that have been going on. Of course,
the preceding information is simply a build-up to the reason I found myself in a Time-out from
my writing and website projects. It had all begun when I’d become short-circuited by the
announcement from Homestead, our sitebuilder, that they would be charging for the website,
after July 31st, and we must decide whether to sign up for Homestead Personal or Homestead
Professional. Although I’d set aside money from my legacy for website expenses, I’d gone into
confusion and overload. I wasn’t ready to take this next step. So, my only writing had been
keeping my Travel Journal, where I could express my experiences and feelings, without having
to worry if I was doing it right for public viewing.

The second Time-out had been imposed by my daughter; the one who doesn’t want me to
write about her, so the part of our time in Oregon with her is eliminated from this story, although
it was a pleasant time. And the time with my granddaughter didn’t happen, so I don’t need to
mention that.

The third motivation for the title came from my Daily Reading. For some reason my July
booklet never appeared, and I missed its daily encouragement and inspiration, which offers a
Time-out in my daily living. But, when our mail finally caught up with us, I hungrily read the
inspiring messages, beginning with one about harmonious relationships, which suggests a
Time-out as one solution, in which we pray and ask God, “What should I say? How should I
Respond?”

It’s for sure I’d been asking these questions, as we approached my daughter’s town, and
I’d been trying to call her all day to see if she wanted to see us, or if we were still in the two-year
Time-out. I finally reached her the next day and we spent several days together. Enough said
about that.

Ask Someone Who Knows
In the meantime, when at Awl-Mart I decided to ask the Customer Service Manager
about the story I’d been told by the salesman at Blue Mesa Ranch RV Park, that Awl-Mart plans
to charge $900.00 a year for RV’s to park. The Customer Service Manager said he didn’t know
anything about it and he doubts that it’s true. Although he may not have the best information, I
suspected that a rumor was being circulated, based on a lie for the benefit of those who started it.

Anyway, that was one problem removed from the heap that had piled on me. I did make a mentalnote to e-mail the CEO of Awl-mart, once we got our phone hook-up and time to make the communication.

Being in The Present Moment
We were thankful that we’d listened to Gary and remained the two extra days, before
heading to Oregon, because my daughter said they’d had terrible thunder and lightning storms
several days before we arrived. Also, Van had talked with his mom and learned that the
temperatures were in the high 90’s, even over 100, during this time. So, apparently our Guidance
was alive and well, but I was still in my Time-out.
At least I could be in the Present Moment and enjoy the trip along the way, such as the
pretty drive across the mesas, with the view of the Cascade snow-covered mtns, such as
Jefferson, Three Sisters and even Mount Hood, in the distance, before we headed down into
Deschutes River Canyon, across the familiar river and through Warm Springs Agency, where I
first lived with Mom and Dad Freeland. Now, I viewed Macey’s Store and the dilapidated post
office that had been See’s Store, and we passed the cattle-guard and saw the house where I had
lived, which now needed paint, and a flood of childhood memories crossed my consciousness, as
we headed back up to the next mesa, where I could see the hills above my beloved Kah-Nee-ta,
the family owned resort where I had spent many happy summers, and one unhappy winter, in my
life, which I’ve already written about in “Pilgrimage to Kah-Nee-Ta.”
Soon we were in the woods near Bear Springs, and I shivered at the burned remains of a
fairly recent forest fire, as we drove through woods and mountains of Beautiful Oregon, my
home state.
We stopped at Snow Bunny parking lot and I made egg salad sandwiches from eggs that
my daughter had boiled and sent with us, along with other delicious food. I marveled at the
privileges of this lifestyle, where we could stop and eat lunch, while overlooking such beauty.
Soon we passed Government Camp, and drove down the long steep hill, and through the
mountain towns of ZigZag, Brightwood and Sandy.

Food, Music, Death and Life
At Sandy, we exited the highway and took a country road to the Warren Homestead to
visit Marilyn and her mom, Charlotte. We also had an opportunity to say a quick “Hi” to John,
who owns the acreage and generously allows his family to live there in a mobile home; and he
assures us that the welcome mat is always out for us to park. We stayed for several days of
visiting and good food, and an afternoon of beautiful piano music, offered by Aunt Charlotte
(I’ve written in other accounts of our travels about this peaceful setting). This was my first time
back, since my mom’s death, and Marilyn showed me the spot where they held the Memorial
Service and buried my mom’s ashes. At the time of her death, I had chosen not to attend,
because we had just arrived in Denver, after having visited Mom throughout the summer.
Now, I viewed the plot, marked by plastic flowers, because the live ones had died, and I
knew that she was not there, but that her spirit lives on, and I can contact her wherever I am. But,
I felt a sense of loss, realizing that first Uncle Russ had died (in October) and then Mom (in
March) and now, within weeks, their youngest sister, Betty, had made her transition.
It seemed a fitting time and place to give life to innerfreedom.net by signing up for the
Homestead Personal program, and Van took time to handle the on-line transaction, while we had
access to a phone. And just as Charlotte had played the piano accompaniment for the Memorial
Services, she now played some inspiring background music for this major transition of life.
However, I was still not able to cope with the process.

Time With Marquam
My son, Marquam, had planned on playing in a horseshoe tournament over the weekend,
but between the rain and our arrival, he decided to cancel and spend the time with us. Of course,
he was anxious to receive my old computer that we had driven all the way to Oregon to deliver,
so I appreciated his decision. Also, I was happy to spend time with him and to see his new
apartment.
After the delicious meals that had been prepared for us, it was my turn to share some of
the leftover food from his sister, with Marquam. And Van helped, as Marquam happily set up his
new computer. However, he doesn’t have a phone to hook-up for e-mail, so we still won’t be
hearing from him, but he’ll enjoy the other features, such as games.
So, despite the dreary, but typical Oregon weather, we enjoyed our short stay, and
between showers, we even managed to tour this huge apartment complex, with its five
swimming pools, two tennis courts and Marquam’s favorite: a well-equipped work-out room.
We appreciated that Marquam had arranged for us to park in the parking lot, by the noisy,
hectic freeway, but we were glad to leave the noise on Monday, when Marquam returned to
work and we continued on our way. Unfortunately, when Van stopped at the entrance, I jumped
up to take a picture of the sign, and when he pulled out into the street, I fell back onto the arm of
the recliner and twisted my back, causing pain that remained with me for another week, and
adding to my need for “Time Out.”

Shopping Time
I’d been anxiously awaiting our food stock-up at Costco and Trader Joe’s, but now I
winced in pain, while I grabbed a few items, because we could not spend much money, until our
automatic SS check deposit, which would be in five days. Now, I suffered physical pain, in
addition to the emotional anguish. However, not to be thwarted, I unearthed my $50.00 birthday
money from my stash, and carefully dispersed it for the most needed items, still feeling anger
and resentment over our financial situation.

Our Last Oregon Time Out
On the way out of town, before stopping at Flying J, I explained to Van why I’m feeling
bad: about Homestead, family, and past history. I don’t even feel like writing or doing website
anymore. I’m sure I’ll move out of the feelings, but that’s how I’m feeling now. I’m not often
this depressed, but it’s all piled up. I concluded that I don’t have to put myself through this sort
of thing. For instance, I could make choices not to visit the family members who were causing
me pain. It’s sad that there’s so much family problems, but life goes on, and I am no longer
willing to get embroiled in the turmoil.
At Flying J, Van fueled and dumped, but I put my freedom of choice into action and
decided not to subject myself to the stressful noise at this extremely hectic Travel Plaza. So, I
bought hamburgers at Burger King and took them with us, as I prayed for guidance as to where
to stop for the night.
Van drove to an exit ramp and pulled off, so that he could turn on the fridge and put a
deodorant pill in potty. In the meantime, it was getting dark, but I noticed, in the distance, some
RV’s parked in a large parking lot and I wondered if it could be a place to park for the night.
Often, when I mention something to Van, he ignores it and keeps going, probably because it’s
something new and he doesn’t know how to get there, or otherwise handle the situation. But this
time he agreed to drive over there and check it out. Sure enough, it was a new Wal-Mart that had
been built since our last trip.
We ate our hamburgers, and then went inside to buy a few special food items. Although
it’s not a Supercenter, certain staples are available at all Wal-Marts for reduced prices, and I was
happy to complete my shopping, until our payday. In keeping with my policy to ask someone
who knows, I asked the Greeter when the place opened, and he proudly responded that it was in
January 01. We settled down for the night, in a sense of awe, as I said, “Thank You, God, for this
great place to park.” And it was quiet too.
It was comforting to know that God was still on the job, even though I was taking my
“Time Out.” In fact, I suspected that God even includes them in His Divine Plan. It’s for sure
that I needed time to regroup from the recent emotional and financial stresses.
As we awoke to the last day of July, I reminded myself that in my “Transformation’s
Twelve Powers,” course, we were completing the Power of Strength, and I was thankful for
these God-Energies that had been sustaining me through the inner and outer journey, including
the Insurmountable Rockies and the Never-Ending Highway, and finally through the emotional
roller-coaster in Oregon.
I affirmed, “I’ve enjoyed them: I am strong and of good courage. I can do all things in
Christ Who strengthens me. The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.” And I felt more than ready to
begin a new phase of the Journey, and a new chapter.
However, this seems like a good time to mention that God truly is the Source of our
Supply, though He often provides through expected and unexpected channels. In our case, at this
time, the channel appeared as Van’s mom, with her announcement that she would be a
beneficiary of President George W. Bush’s Tax Refund, and she would be sending us a check so
that we could share in her good fortune. Thank You, God and thank you, Betty!
I’m sure that the issues discussed in this chapter will continue to evolve and unfold, as
we move into the next chapter, and throughout this book. After all, it is titled, “Journey Out of
the Hole,” and I can hardly wait to see what happens as we journey onward to Washington,
which is just across The Columbia River. Is it like “Crossing The River Jordan,” which is
symbolic of finally leaving The Wilderness and moving beyond our personal blocks and
limitations into The Promised Land? If so, I am ready.
On the other hand, then is this telling me that I have been cycling through The
Wilderness on another level? I should know, because I have written an entire course on The
Journey to Inner Freedom: From Bondage to Freedom, based on the Exodus of Moses and the
Israelites from Egypt to The Promised Land. And I know that the Journey is cyclic and spherical,
but I must admit that I hadn’t recognized what phase I was processing through this time; nor that
these days the cycle is Van’s, and it takes me along with him. Let me hasten to reassure you that
I’ve been through every mile and every level of the Journey, especially when writing it. In fact, it
got so intense that I’ve had to take “Time Out” from working on it for the last year or so. Maybe
God is telling me that it’s time to finish the course. Let’s see what the next chapter unfolds.

Chapter 8
REAWAKENING TO THE LIGHT OF SPIRIT

I am Renewed and Refreshed
I knew that, during my Time Out, I hadn’t been able to focus on my meditations, and I’d
barely been able to say my prayers, so times were really tough, but I hadn’t forgotten that the
most important part of my life is my awareness of God, and I was so happy when I finally got my
Daily Reading, which reminded me of these truths.
But that wasn’t until later, after we arrived at Bonnie’s. In the meantime, I suggested to
Van that we take the Scenic Road, along the Washington side of the Columbia River, to the
coast, adding, “If we don’t like it, we can turn back, hopefully there’ll be a place for that
maneuver.” Yet, we both had been traumatized by Highway 92, The Never-Ending Highway, and
I voiced our concern, as I said, “I hope it’s not another mistake that looks okay on the map, but is
a nightmare. I’m not up to any more nightmares.”
Every so often I like to write certain parts of our travels in the present tense, to take the
reader along with us. The following is such a word-picture. Enjoy!

The Scenic Route
Once we cross the Columbia River, Washington’s energies feel more peaceful, as we
drive through green forests and pastures, or drive across rivers and streams on picturesque
bridges. I can’t remember traveling this route, but I know that Van and I came this way, after
viewing Mt. St. Helens, on our return from visiting Bonnie when she lived in Republic, near the
Canadian border in Eastern Washington. And I drove this route when returning from the Seattle
World’s Fair, many years ago. But nothing seems familiar; not even the town of Kelso, where we
exit I-5 onto State Highway 4, somewhat with fear and trepidation, fearing that we might be
taking another Highway From Hell, like the one in Colorado, or some of the coast highways in
California and Oregon.
Nevertheless, as Kelso gives way to Longview, we enjoy a four-lane highway while
seeing this quaint picturesque town. And, as we pass Wal-Mart, on the outskirts of town, we
remind ourselves that we can return here, if the roads are too treacherous. But, even after they
narrow, we are enjoying the wide meadows of the Columbia Basin, with farmlands and trees, as
we look across the distant obscured river to the Oregon forests. Suddenly, the Mighty
Columbia’s course fills the valley and its glossy waters reflect the sun and clouds, as we drive
along the bottom of steep rock walls intermittent with trees and canyons.
At times, we aren’t able to tell whether we are seeing islands, in the vast river, or the
Oregon shore; or maybe extensions of this one. And whenever the landscape allows, there are
farms and pastures, or lovely large homes perched along the hillsides, taking advantage of the
awesome view.
For awhile, we are among the residents, as Van parks Freedom, at a turnout, and I fix
Philly sandwiches from leftover beef provided by my daughter. Cars, RV’s, logtrucks and other
vehicles zoom past, and I assume, judging by the traffic (even semi’s) and speed, that we need
not worry about the highway becoming narrow and treacherous, so I relax and enjoying my
delicious sandwich and the tranquil scene of expansive water, sandy shorelines of tree-covered
islands and fishing boats interspersed with speedboats.

There’s a Ship Passing By
Suddenly, as I’m looking in another direction, Van says, “There’s a huge ship passing
by.”
I grab my camera, expecting to see a ship in the distance, but this huge oil tanker is
practically in our window and it’s so big that it obliterates the rest of the view, and the noise is
nearly deafening, so that I laugh when Van says, “Now you know how Tom Hanks felt in
Castaway, when his raft came up beside a huge ship.”
I sure did, and I am thrilled that I manage to capture the ship on film, as a reminder of
this spot in our travels. I’m equally surprised when we resume driving and the river becomes
even larger, filling the entire valley between the Oregon and Washington mountains. Not even a
camcorder could capture the magnificence of this scene; it would take Cinemascope to do justice
to this panoramic scene.
But, eventually we leave the Mighty Columbia’s course, as it heads toward it’s destiny
into the Pacific Ocean; a sight that Van and I have seen on a previous trip, from the Oregon
shore, at the mouth of The Columbia.

A Matter of Choice
Now, we head northward, over mountains and through forests, but thankfully, the
highway remains safe. However, we are delayed several times when we come to roadwork which
forces us into one-way traffic.
We discuss whether or not to take the side trip to Long Beach, and see the Washington
coast, but the map shows a narrow red line, which could mean cliff-hanging, so we decide not to
take the chance. Yet, we know that the next turnoff is the extension of the main thoroughfare,
Highway 101, from Oregon, across the Astoria Bridge.
I don’t know why we don’t take time for this side trip, because it’s something I really
want to do, except that we are counting the days till payday and not wanting to spend any money
on RV parks. Instead, we are aiming toward another Wal-Mart; this one in Aberdeen,
Washington.
On the other hand, we catch a glimpse of the backbay and tidelands from the ocean, as
we’re heading toward South Bend, so I needn’t feel totally disappointed at not seeing the coast.
And we stop at Boondockers Restaurant in South Bend, The Oyster Capital of the World, on the
Willapa Bay, for famous Willapa Bay oysters. This is not our favorite food, but we feel that we
must give it a try and we share an order of fried oysters and oyster stew.
Actually, if you are going to eat oysters, this is the place. The dining room overlooks the
bay, and sometimes you can see seals, otters, ducks or other sea creatures. We didn’t see any, but the oysters were tasty and we enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime treat in this picturesque town and
restaurant, which is next to a park with a War Memorial, and also statues that pay tribute to the
men and women of the oyster industry. I’ll bet they sure deserve that acknowledgment.
We’re glad we took this trip, which is a long way out of our way, and next time we will
go to Long Beach, and also Westport, where Cousin John’s son, John Jr. lives. But, we really
aren’t acquainted, and we want to wait until Cousin John is in the area. At this time, he is
elsewhere in his RV travels, but he may be out here in September.

Inaccessible Aberdeen
From this direction, Aberdeen seems hidden and inaccessible. It is reached by winding
down a forested mountain, into a valley forest around Grays Harbor, which allows this town to
be a port. The two parts of the town are connected by a long high bridge, and from there we can
see Wal-Mart, nestled along the harbor.
We select an out-of-the-way spot that includes about four parking spaces, which we later
discover are by a Walking Park along the harbor, which adjoins Wal-Mart.
We’re noticing glares from people going on their walk, and when one lady parks in front
of Freedom, blocking us from leaving, I step out and ask how long she will be. She snarls, “I’m
walking my dog!” Then adds, “You are taking up the parking for the park!” And she points
toward a sign that is behind Freedom.
I reply, “This looks like Wal-Mart parking to me,” and I point to the nursery and piles of
fertilizer and potting soil, and the Wal-Mart truck parked at the loading dock.
She continues to snarl, and I reply, “You certainly aren’t a friendly person and I wouldn’t
want to return here, if you’re an example.”
I step back into the RV and slam the door as she continues snarling.
Later, we walk along the path, and then go inside Wal-Mart, where we notice that
everyone is grumpy and unfriendly. I guess the dark damp weather affects their disposition. In
any event, we’re glad to leave and make a decision not to return.
Several other noteworthy events happened while we were parked in Aberdeen. First, a
long train came by and crossed a narrow arm of the bay. Later, I noticed the bridge moving and
we realized that it’s on a pedestal that rotates, allowing the bridge to swing into place, and then
move back along the side of the dock.
Later, I notice another bridge pointing straight into the air, apparently a drawbridge over
the same arm of the bay has opened to allow a fishing boat to pass by. Obviously Aberdeen is a
combination of fishing and logging town, nestled around the bays and amongst the trees. And, I
remembered that several years ago, while we were spending the summer in Oregon, they had a
big earthquake that was felt in Olympia and damaged the capitol building.

The Rest Stop and Casino
So much for Aberdeen, we are moving on through more greenery, including valleys,
pastures, and trees, but thankfully no more mountains. Although we stop at a Rest Stop to fix
lunch and study our map, deciding to take a shortcut to Shelton and stay at an Indian Casino
we’d seen advertised on a signboard. This Rest Stop offers free cups of coffee and an
Information Center, so we ask about the route and learn that it’s okay.
Sure enough, we save about twenty-miles as we travel over rolling tree covered hills and
valleys. Soon we arrive at a small casino with room to park overnight, overlooking a tranquil
green pasture with pink-blossomed clover and cattle grazing in the next pasture, with evergreen
trees all around. What a scene!
We wander inside and check out their buffet: prime rib tonight, but we’ve had enough
beef, so we walk through the busy casino and out the other door into the main parking lot, which
is nearly empty.
Several hours later, we take the same walk and the parking area is filled. It’s amazing to
us how many people are into gambling. Furthermore, the casino is open until 4:00 a.m. and there
are cars still parked, as I look outside about 3:00 a.m. However, when we get up, in the late
morning, the place is vacant, except for cars arriving for the day. It saddens me that people are
addicted to this devastating pastime, but there’s nothing I can do, except to not indulge, and to be
thankful for the place to park.
End of the Present Moment Scenic Drive. Now we return to the Inner Journey

Shelton And Beyond
The drive to Shelton is short, maybe 10-miles, through thick trees, and it has three exits:
one is Highway 3 to Bremerton, another goes to the City Center, and the third goes to an
AM-PM, Wal-mart, Fred Meyers and a strip mall, and beyond.
We were curious about the beyond, so we headed east along the two-lane road that
wound amongst trees and some homes and businesses, and then suddenly went down a steep hill.
I’d wanted to get a view of the bay, but it was mostly hidden beyond the trees. However, we
drove down the hill and a few miles further, intersecting with Highway 3. Since we didn’t want
to go to Bremerton, we turned around and returned into town, which was congested and hidden
amongst the trees. Added to the hectic traffic congestion, we just wanted to get out of town and
find our way to Highway 101 and back to Wal-Mart.
I felt irritable from my sore back and frustration over Van’s mood change to his inner
child, so we weren’t having a good time, but we managed to stop for a snack at Burger King.
Some long-white-haired maniac was raving about the newspaper he was reading, and the
attendant wasn’t paying any attention to him, but one customer moved, and I finished my
sandwich and waited by the door, because the frame of mind I was in, I didn’t feel like dealing
with a madman, especially one that was being ignored by the people in charge. It was triggering
my inner child’s memories of having a mother ranting and going crazy.
In fact, Van’s mood shifts had begun my reactions, and I was into my fight or flight mode
again. We really have had too much over-exposure to each other, and the truth is that we need a
break. I’d hoped that I could have an extended stay at Cousin John’s manor in Laguna Hills, but
since he’d lost his court battle and therefore the place no longer belonged to him. In fact, I was
feeling trapped with no place to turn, which wasn’t helping my mood at all, added to the pain of
my sore back, which was Van’s fault for starting up too fast and causing me to fall back onto the
arm of the chair, which threw my back out of place. And then when I’d brushed my teeth and
spit this morning, it wrenched the upper part of my back. Now, I was angry and in pain; not a
good combination.
Finally, Van finished eating and then we searched Fred Meyer’s for Rice Dream (ice
cream substitute) for Van, but they didn’t have any, as it’s a mini-version called The Market
Place, with a limited selection.
So, we drove across the street and parked at Wal-Mart. I was looking forward to a
pleasant evening of TV, but the reception wasn’t good, so I gave up and went to bed and
listened, while Van watched the James Garner movie on a snowy screen.

A Major Responsibility Factor
I tried to figure out what Van was doing that caused me such aggravation, concluding
that it was his reverting to his childlike behavior: unable to make decisions, depending on me to
handle everything and becoming fearful and unwilling to do anything new or different. This
triggered my inner child’s memory of my mom, who was supposed to be taking care of me, no
longer functioning in that capacity, and my dad telling me to take care of my mother, causing a
major Responsibility Factor syndrome.
In other words, I don’t like for the person who is supposed to be taking care of things to
abdicate responsibility and leave it up to me, especially when I don’t know what to do. And Van
had been doing this off and on for nearly ten-years, which set me into stress-out the first time it
happened, and continued to cause overload when he no longer was able to handle his financial
obligations nor did he seem to care what happened to us. Therefore, it was up to me to bail us
out, which I finally did by suggesting we move out of my beloved home overlooking the ocean in
Leucadia, California, and buying the Holiday Rambler RV with the money I’d received from part
of my dad’s estate. This relieved some of the problem, but we were still not able to live within
the Social Security Retirement income that Van, in his Silas Marner consciousness, was content
to live on.
If it weren’t for his mom bailing us out whenever we had expensive RV repairs, we
couldn’t afford this lifestyle. And anything less would be below poverty level. So, periodically
these issues pile up and cause me to feel angry and frustrated. I wanted a husband, not a child,
for a mate, and I’d hoped that he would return to his adult-self. But hope was fading, as time
went on, and I again felt hopeless and helpless, feeling that I must come up with some way to
provide for myself and make a new life, freeing him to live whatever lifestyle he chooses.
That’s why I’d hoped my website would be the solution to my problem, but it had been
over a year and I wasn’t able to make it happen, nor did it seem that God was allowing it to
happen. So, what is the answer?
Even more upsetting is the fact that I am totally dependent on Van to take care of much
of the computer and website activities, as I simply don’t understand it. And, despite the fact that
he says he doesn’t mind doing it, our relationship worsens whenever I need him to do any of the
projects for me. So, for the last month, while traveling, I didn’t do much computer activity, and
all he needed to do was check the email whenever we were somewhere with a phone hook-up.
Added to everything else, no one seems to understand what is going on, because he is
able to make a good appearance on the surface.

Let’s Do It Right
With all of the above surfacing, I suggested that we go over our monthly Spending Plan
on time, instead of waiting until the middle of the month, like July, when I did it by myself and
he never did get to it. Granted, he handles the checks and banking, but there’s something in his
makeup, as we learned through Debtor’s Anonymous, that is a money disorder, even worse than
alcohol and drug addictions or mood disorders; it’s called underearning, and is also associated
with compulsive gambling, which he finally stopped. Not only does Van have the condition, but
other members of his family have this obsessive-compulsive disorder too, and I’ve learned a lot
about it in recent years. Enough to know that I’m nuts to put up with it, just like anyone who
stays married to an addict. And whenever I think it’s getting better, I discover that we aren’t
really making any progress at all.
Like this day when I finally concluded that doing without parking expenses or extra
spending, we’re still $900.00 short of enough money to live our meager lifestyle. And this sort of
realization really makes me crazy. But, this time, I said nothing. However, I began making plans
for a change in my life, one way or another.
When we’d finished, we headed south on Highway 101, through West Olympia and
exited at Tumwater. Our intention was to stock up at Costco, which we easily found, but the
parking lot was so full, and it was so hectic and congested, that we couldn’t find room for
Freedom, so I said “Just leave and we’ll go to Bonnie’s. Maybe she’ll bring us over, later, in her
Blazer.”
Although Van had studied the directions Bonnie gave us, and checked them out with the
map, he was totally helpless at following them; a simple task I had thought him capable of. But,
he became so confused that I finally had to take over and get us there.
Because we hadn’t done our shopping, we arrived at Bonnie’s considerably earlier than
expected, and she was still enjoying a leisurely morning in her bathrobe, with her six cats. She
chatted from the door, inside the chicken-wire fenced enclosure, and, after visiting awhile, she
got ready and showed us where we would be parking for the month.
I rode with her and Van maneuvered Freedom back out the gravel road, down the paved
road a few feet, and onto another gravel road, into a meadow, and with Bonnie and I directing
him, he jockeyed into a one-RV site with electrical and water hook-up.

Purple Power
I was excited about the purple thistles in the field, because we were now in the month of
August, and the Power is Power, with the color being purple: Purple Power, so now I have a
visual aide for the month, as I had the green trees, the color for Strength, for the month of July.
Once Freedom was in place, Bonnie rearranged her Blazer to put up the back seat, and
we piled in and headed back to the Tumwater Costco. It was still crowded, but Bonnie found
room for her Blazer, and we parked. By now, we were starving, so we treated Bonnie to our
favorite treat for Costco shopping day: Bonnie and I had the chicken bake and Van had a Polish
Sausage; and when we were ready to go, we got the very berry sundae.
I don’t know what’s going on, but the things I especially wanted at Costco weren’t
carried in this store, such as the Foster Farms roasted chicken or their turkey slices for
sandwiches, so we went to Bonnie’s nearby favorite store, Mega Foods, and completed the
shopping.
By the time we got home, we were all exhausted, so Bonnie left us, in our solitude, and
went home. But Van was hungry, so I served him the roasted chicken from Mega Foods, along
with some other food, and then I finally got to look at my mail, which we’d had forwarded.
The Transformation Course reminds us that Power focuses on God-Power and Inner
power, but it also covers Communications; written and verbal. But, much to my surprise, after a
month, I’d only received three personal letters from Freedomers, and a card from my daughter.
Dal, in Colorado Springs, announced that he was moving on, but he didn’t know where.
Ernest Plemmons, our Prayer Ministry Director, wrote a charming, love-full letter, and Paul
Folsom asked to be put on a Pen-Pal List; a good idea for me to start one on the website, when I
could bring myself to working on it again. Soon, hopefully.
The card from my daughter definitely related to communications, as she said, “I’m at my
wits end trying to figure out how to have a relationship with you.” This, after she’d called a
time-out nearly two years ago and refused to communicate in any way, and had sent back a
gift I’d sent her from Disneyworld in Florida. However, this is not an unusual communication
from her, yet it hurt, and I haven’t figured out how to react or respond to them. I simply have to
remind myself that it’s a factor of her mental illness, but it’s still not easy to cope with,
especially when I had a similar message from her daughter. Both had expressed a desire for a
more reciprocal relationship and my willingness to hear their side.
That’s all I ever hear, is their side, so I don’t know what their problem is. It’s for sure
they don’t listen to my feelings. I simply get a barrage of accusations relating to how they feel,
which is their reactions, and they are not based on reality, but a figment of their imagination, as
to what they think I’m thinking or judging, which isn’t the truth of the matter.
The truth is that I’m doing the best I can in relating with people who have a bi-polar
disorder, and are constantly changing, or who are suffering from thinking or personality
disorders.
This card, though written before our successful visit, was the last nail in the coffin for
me. I’d been dealing with so many family emotional issues that I simply wanted to find a hole
and crawl in, retreating from everyone, and that had a lot to do with my “Time Out” chapter,
which I originally thought about titling, “Find a Hole and Crawl In.”

A Day of Rest
In fact, I’d been so beaten up by everyone, including Van, that I hadn’t even been able to
write. So, I decided to rest and give myself a chance to regroup, before making any decisions
about anything important.
But, I was having serious questions about “God’s Divine Plan for me,” at this point.
I slept in till after noon, and finally got up and fixed three seafood sandwiches and some
chips to take to Bonnie’s. Van worked on paying the bills. We went to Bonnie’s around 1:00.
She was working on her bills too. We helped her move the queen mattress and replace with a
twin-size, high-density foam, which gave her a bedroom, instead of a bed, in her upper level,
where she now has more room for storage.
We stopped, at some point in the process, and ate the sandwiches. Later we went to the
PO. It was around 7:00, so we came home and I fixed us some chicken and baked potatoes, and
ice cream. We visited awhile, and then Bonnie went home and we watched “Diagnosis Murder.”
I’m still tired and frustrated, but it felt good to take a day off from my frustrations.

Trashing and Thrashing
Sunshine for the first time here, but it soon clouded over. I saw a squirrel in the tree, and
a pheasant, and bluejay. I updated my Journals, which took till 1:00 p.m., because I hadn’t been
writing them during my time-0ut. I’d thought that I would write on my chapters, but I didn’t
feel like writing anymore. I don’t want to stress myself or my eyes, as it took several weeks to
recover from the last time I overdid and strained my eyes. Also, I’m still feeling irritable, so I
read my “People” magazines.

The Best is Yet to Be
I understand that God will only help me as much as I’m willing and able to help myself.
In other words, if I choose to stay in this situation, then He will allow it to remain as it is. I am
no longer convinced that simply accepting things as they are is the answer; that is complacency,
and I see too much of it. Something has to change, and it isn’t going to be Van. He is totally
happy with his limited lifestyle: sleep in, get up and go through his morning routine, until 1:00 or
2:00 p.m., eating lunch, doing whatever projects for several hours, then eat and go to bed.
I can’t live that way. It may sound idyllic, for some people, but not for me. I still feel that
the best is yet to be, in my life, and it has to do with my website and my spiritual life. Yet, I
don’t see any doors opening; not even a crack. So, I guess, for now, I’ll make the most of the
present situation, as God guides, and try to survive.
I know that I can’t do anything, of myself, it is the Father within Who doeth the works.
I’m sure that part of my present mood is because I haven’t had my “Daily Reading” during the
month of July, nor was I doing my Daily Prosperity Program, so my spiritual input was drying
up. I miss it. I’ve got to turn things around for myself, because depending on Van for anything is
a moot question, with his constant mood shifts. Makes me wonder if we’re dealing with a mood
disorder. Duh!

God’s Overall Plan for Good
But what about “Reawakening to the Light of Spirit”? I had thought this would be an
upbeat, light chapter, and it doesn’t seem to be going in that direction. I must admit, though, that
the time in our Purple Power Meadow was helping me to regain my awareness of God as the
Source of my good. And the limited stress factor helped, such as not working on my website.
Just letting God guide my time here, I’m assuming it’s all part of His Divine Plan and His
Timing. I know that this is all part of His Overall Plan for Good, so I listen, I hear, I understand,
I follow, I remember, while living in the Present Moment.

Illusive Iyanla
And, as always, God is guiding. For instance, I’d been trying to contact a writer whose
article I’d read several years ago in my Daily Reading. Because we had so much in common, I’d
written to her, but she never responded, and God seemed to make her elusive to me. I couldn’t
seem to find her. And then one day I noticed that she would be speaking at Mile High Church in
Lakewood, Co. In the promotional article, I discovered that she was not an obscure writer, but
she had made frequent appearances on Oprah, although I never saw her.
I was disappointed that we would be gone, before she arrived, so, I asked Dottie and
Steve to go and find out how to contact her.
They did, but I never followed through, because the timing didn’t seem right. Also, I now
felt intimidated by her notoriety: “Why would she be interested in me?” which I’ve noticed had
become part of my thinking in recent years, especially since living with Van. In the past, I had
hobnobbed with many important people, and in fact, I’d felt complete self-confidence in their
company, knowing that, one day I’d be doing my own public appearances.
Actually, I’d done many seminars and workshops and I was an excellent facilitator. And I
had also been Assistant to the Minister in several churches and had been platform assistant, even
giving several sermons. But, after Van had become a victim of corporate downsize and had been
laid-off, my life had become about survival, which had brought us to this full-time RVing
lifestyle.
Originally, I’d thought I would continue doing seminars and lectures, as we traveled the
country, but instead, I became more reclusive and non-social, becoming more like Van. Until
now, I’d concluded this was all part of God’s Plan and Timing, but I was beginning to wonder.
Perhaps I had simply become ensnarled in codependency, taking on someone else’s
characteristics and trying to accommodate his lifestyle, rather than my own.
In any event, the time has come to find myself and get on with my own life, which I
intend to do. And contacting Iyanla is part of the process.
Imagine my surprise when I opened a TV Guide and found her full-page picture
announcing that she would be debuting her own weekday TV show; a self-help format. Needless
to say, despite our fuzzy picture, I watched, and observed that this was obviously not her first
show, but simply the debut of her syndicated program, which was now becoming available in
this area. Furthermore, a phone number and website was given, along with a request for people
to appear on her show.
Oh my gosh! The time had finally come, and I knew that I would soon be making the
necessary contact with her.

The Question Is…
Later, after I went to bed, I thrashed over my options for changing the situation I’m in,
but I haven’t come up with any solutions. I just don’t feel that Van is interested in helping with
the computer or website projects; he does it, but resents it, so today I told him I wouldn’t be
asking him for much help anymore, and he said, “Okay.” And it’s for sure that he isn’t interested
in moving forward, although he says that he supports anything I do.
I feel that the truth is that he really wants to keep me to himself in this limited lifestyle. I
know that’s true, because he has admitted it in the past. The fact is that Van’s passive-aggressive
personality is quite covert, and his hidden agenda is far more complicated than anyone realizes.
In fact, I once saw a movie, “The Butterfly” about a man who kept a woman captive, in his
basement, so that he could possess her. Van’s subconscious neediness, in the past, has been at
this level, but thank God, he is healing and recovering.
The question is: “How much longer can I wait?”

Marriage Sabbatical
God answered my question, and I knew, without doubt, that God was definitely handling
my Time-out, when I was guided to watch Oprah’s evening show; the one where married women
talk about having taken a sabbatical from their marriage and/or family. Actually, I’d seen it
several times before, and maybe Van had too, but this timing was impeccable, because it served
as an opportunity for me to briefly mention to Van that I’m desperately in need of such a
time-out.
In fact, I’d contacted my friend, Joyce, in southern California, about the possibility of
staying there awhile, since her roommate had moved into her own mobile home. Furthermore,
Joyce was putting her home on the market to sell, and would be moving in with Bobbie, so the
timing should work out perfectly.
I figured, if this didn’t work out, the next best solution, for my Time-Out, would be for
me to take the train to northern California, while Van drive’s down in Freedom. Somehow, we
need a break from each other; not just for me, but for Van too. We had become too dependent on
each other, and further progress “Out of the Hole” could only come with drastic change.
Priorities
On the other hand, God’s Experiential Aides were coming in various forms. For instance,
I was Guided to watch another “Touched by an Angel” TV show, about an extremely ambitious
woman senator whose self-absorption with her career had taken her over the edge. Her husband
and son were feeling the consequences of her politics, and the angels had to intervene to show
her the error of her ways.
I asked myself if I were askew about my priorities, but the Guidance that had brought me
to this time and place assured me that everything is in Divine Order and Timing, so I continued to
listen and to follow, and to trust. And I gave thanks that the TV programs God wanted me to
watch were coming in clear, even though the main channels were fuzzy or garbled.

Chapter 9
TIME WITH BONNIE

A Country BBQ
One evening Bonnie invited us over for an old-fashioned barbecue on a rack over a
fire-circle. I’d made a huge potato salad out of the eggs that Bonnie had boiled for me, and
added hot dogs and buns. Bonnie contributed the condiments and hamburgers and a stir-fry from
her home-grown snowpeas added to other veggies. Her neighbor, on the other side, joined us,
along with the young son of another neighbor, who arrived later, after work.
We were joined by a friendly neighbor dog, Casey, who discovered the chicken carcass
that Bonnie had left nearby to distract the bees. Someone managed to get the bones away from
the dog, because they can choke on them, so he sauntered off.
But Bonnie’s cats, inside their fenced enclosure, still wanted to party, especially when
she rattled a bag of BBQ chips and they all came running for their treats. She also gave them a
bonus of turkey hot-dog bites.
It was a pleasant and relaxing evening, until the mosquitoes arrived, and then Van and I
retired to our enchanted meadow. However, in the meantime, we had happily congratulated
Bonnie on obtaining a part-time counseling job and an interview for another one which would
utilize her chaplaincy training. It made me happy that Bonnie’s life was on the upswing.

Bonnie’s Story
I’d known her since she was twenty-five and still a microbiology student at Stanford. By
now, she had endured ten-years in her career field, only to discover that she can’t tolerate the
stress and pressure of the prejudice and politics against women. So, she went back to college,
Gonzaga University in Spokane, and trained for a new career, only to find no job openings.
In the meantime, she’d been battling the symptoms that had been mis-diagnosed and
medicated as bi-polar, only to eventually discover it was a sleep-disorder, which was actually
adversely affected by the medications. In addition, the long, cold winters in northern
Washington, by the Canadian border, added to her depression, so she finally bought an old
fifth-wheeler and had it delivered to this milder climate, where she, and her six cats, are starting
over, as she approaches her 51st birthday.
We had traipsed across the country to various locations to visit Bonnie, and we were
happy to be sharing in her joy in this new, less remote, location, despite the ruckus caused by her
neighbor.

A Psychotic Episode
Bonnie had spent the day shopping and visiting her brother, but she came over around
6:00 and told us about her 26-year-old neighbor having a psychotic episode, during the night, and
trashing his trailer inside. The police were called, but he’d left. In the morning, his family
arrived and cleaned up the place, but he hadn’t returned. Bonnie had talked with them and tried
to be helpful, because she’s a chaplain, and also she understands mental illness. So much for the
peace and quiet of rural Washington.
One day, when we drove Freedom to Bonnie’s, to avail ourselves of her sewer, since out
isolated space didn’t have one, I picked up shards of glass that had flown all the way to her
trailer, and we were shocked when we saw that her neighbor had broken every window in his
trailer. His mom had hung some heavy curtains over them, because the replacement would cost
several thousand dollars. Such a tragedy for everyone concerned, and a reminder of the
devastation of mental illness.
Throughout the next week, Bonnie gave us reports on her neighbor’s coming and going,
as we were quite concerned for his well-being, as well as Bonnie’s safety. But he seemed to have
mellowed out, although he wouldn’t talk with anyone. But life went on.

From Serene to Intense
The next Sunday, Bonnie drove us along quiet country roads to the nearby town of Yelm,
where she goes to her doctor, and also takes the cats to their vet. It was a hot day, but cool for us,
driving through the trees and viewing the serene snow-covered Mt. Rainier, in the distance, when
coming out into the open fields and pastures.
After a delicious Mexican buffet brunch at Puerto Vallarta Restaurant, we attempted to
drive further, but the traffic had backed up, so Bonnie managed to by-pass it and continued on
backroads, so we could enjoy the mountain and the country. She finally returned back to the
main road where we saw the terrible accident that had caused the traffic jam. But, returning
home, we wondered why there was so much more traffic. Later, Bonnie learned that a major
accident on the freeway had forced those in-the-know to take the alternate route, only to discover
that it too had become blocked. Fortunately, our way had been open and we had enjoyed a
pleasant Sunday in the country.
However, after I went to bed, a car with teenagers parked by the gate that goes through
the field and to the Thurston Trail. They were howling and carrying on, which scared me. You
never know whether they’re into drugs or what they will do. I was already feeling stressed from
the heat of the day, and this made it even worse.
This intrusion on our seemingly safe space, triggered my fight or flight pattern, and I was
ready to leave here. Actually, despite the peaceful surroundings, I really didn’t like being this
isolated. And I began working up my case for leaving, such as the phone signal not working, and
I couldn’t even call Bonnie, if we needed help. And then there was the limited TV viewing.
I really wanted to be able to stay here as planned, for this month, and it was only the
middle of the month. In fact, we’d only been here it’s ten-days, but my flight pattern was
activated. In truth, I felt very vulnerable, especially with this invasion of our solitude.
Fortunately, Van was still up, so he waited until they left, which helped to some extent; at
least he was being protective.
Once they had gone, I could relax and sleep, but the intruders only drove as far as the
apartments in Bonnie’s compound.
The next day I told her what happened, and she said that I should call her, if anything else
happened, and she would call the sheriff. I questioned whether or not the phone would work, or
if she would be on her computer, so I couldn’t get through to her anyway, but I felt somewhat
safer. Fortunately, there were no further incidents.

The Wild Blackberry Patch
We’d been watching the thick wild blackberries, along the road to Bonnie’s, in
anticipation of their ripening, but she shaded area wasn’t bringing very fast results, despite the
sunny days.
And then one day we noticed a mother and her two kids picking berries around the corner
from us, where the road takes a bend toward the last home, which is out of sight, further up the
road. So, Van and I checked it out the next day, and were delighted to find myriad bushes, but
the berries were still quite tart.
Finally, after several more days of hot sunshine, Bonnie joined us, with an improvised
pail (from a plastic water jug), and we arrived at the blackberry patch in great anticipation. After
easily removing one ripened berry, I tasted its sweet nectar and sighed with delight. Perfect!
Like three little kids, we happily picked and ate, until our bucket and our stomachs were
filled. And we looked forward to the treat that Bonnie had promised: a sugarless blackberry pie.
However, Bonnie was busy for a few days, but, in the meantime, I ate blackberries in my
cereal and with my oatmeal breakfast bar, and I savored every delicious bite. Talk about living in
The Promised Land. And they are organic, without any chemicals. What a delight!

Getting There
The highlight of our time with Bonnie was a trip to Mt. St. Helens, which you can take
with us, as I share it in the present tense, once we complete our preparations: packing a picnic
lunch and stopping at the store for some last minute treats, such as chips and artisan bread for
our subway-type sandwiches. We thought about buying a dessert, but decided to get ice cream
cones on the way home.
Bonnie drives her red and white blazer along the I-5 freeway to the 505 turnoff; about 1/2
hour drive, and I entertain with memories of our travels; mostly the tow-truck trips and the
expensive repairs to Freedom.
We pass the many Outlet Stores by Centralia, and the Wal-Mart and KMart side-by-side
in Chehalis, and the time quickly passes, as we wend our way through the usual freeway traffic,
and soon we are at the 505 turnoff.
Unfortunately, we are delayed, because of road construction, but eventually a dump truck
passes, and then the guide car, with a string of followers, and finally we’re driving through more
fields and trees, typical Washington scenery, as I mention to Bonnie that we were surprised to
see similar scenes in Mississippi, Alabama, and even Florida and parts of Texas. The difference,
of course, being the humidity in The South, which is not a problem here.
At the small town, Toledo, we notice “Betty’s Diner,” and decide that’s where we will
stop for ice cream, on our return. This is a pleasant town, and we realize that many people
commute from here to nearby Centralia and Chehalis. Although the sun is shining this day, the
majority of the time it’s overcast and rainy, which accounts for the trees and greenery of the
Pacific Northwest.

Hoffstadt Visitor’s Center
We merge into 504, the main highway from 505, and in another 1/2-hour we make our
first stop: the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor’s Center (1,400 ft.), where we get our first good view of
the Mt. St. Helen’s Volcanic devastation. Although the dwarfed mountain and the mudbed still
look like a scene on the moon, the surrounding trees, greenery, and flowers are in profuse
evidence.
First, we go inside the Visitor’s Center where we are greeted by a towering replica of the
mountain and it’s volcanic blow-out. Then we study the pictures and newspaper accounts of that
devastating day when 51 people died and 200 homes were destroyed, besides all the trees,
greenery and wildlife. In fact, all life instantaneously stopped. Most of us remember Harry
Truman, who made the decision to remain in his mountain home, but did you know about his 16
cats that didn’t have that choice, and were also obliterated. And there was young fisherman, and
the logger who went to work that day to earn extra money for surgery for his wife, who had
cancer. And there are forty-some other stories, which can be read at www.mtsthelens-
awesome.com.
Probably the most memorable picture, of thousands, is the little girl with a woeful look
that can only come from such a tragedy, sitting in the Rescue Center, on that day, wishing that
her life could return to normal. I wonder if it ever did.
According to the few newspaper reports that I took time to read, a multitude of lives
never did return to normal, and, of course, many lives were ended that day, along with life as
they knew if for their survivors and loved ones.
But, our time is limited this day, and we have a picnic, besides many more miles to
travel, so we move to the large picture window and study the somber sight: a totally mountain
that looks like the tombstone that it is, in reality. And the river of dried mud that still fills the
valley below. But, within it’s frame is the Toutle River, which had stopped in its tracks that
fateful day, sealed by the mudslide, and causing a tidal-wave, of sorts, downstream; flooding
many of the destroyed homes.
Helicopters are coming and going, taking people for a closer look at the holocaust sight,
but for us, the next priority is our picnic, which we enjoy at an outdoor table overlooking the
entire scene.
My potato salad and Bonnie’s veggie salad add to the mighty sub sandwich, each creates
from the lunchmeat, cheese, tomatoes and crunchy bread. Along with the olives and other
goodies, we are soon filled. But we top it off with soft oatmeal-raisin cookies from Costco, as we
watch the families swarming in front of us, taking pictures to remember this outing. We also take
our pictures, and then pile in the car and head upward to the highway we can see across the
valley and along the side of a tree-covered mountain, which had been seeded with new growth
about twenty-years ago and now looked green.

Resurrection and New Life
Once around that mountain, we have a much closer view of the remains of St. Helens,
and we can see the myriad tree trunks, still lying like piles of match sticks on the hillsides. But
now there is a new growth of trees, and lovely purple lupine and other flowers of gold, yellow,
white, and even orange.
Bonnie takes the turnoff to Johnston Ridge and stops at a viewpoint. This view is
awesome, because we are directly across from the crater, with its internal dome, and the somber
grayness is overwhelming.
In fact, Bonnie tells us that when she came here in 1988, eight years after the volcanic
eruption, there were no sounds; just silence, and she rejoices, now, at the sights and sounds of
life, as a little chipmunk, skitters about. And we can hear the sounds of birds chirping and
grasshoppers flitting. reminds us that, indeed, life goes on, which is apparent in the new life all
around us, adding a spiritual message of resurrection to the stark scene.

A Magnifying Glass
When we arrive at Johnston Ridge, we are surprised that the large parking lot has many
cars on this summer weekday. And we are also surprised that we must pay a fee to avail
ourselves of the facility, which includes an observatory. While studying the sign and discussing
the situation, a lady passer-by assured us that it would be okay to walk up the path and see the
mountain.
Thank goodness that angel in disguise spoke, because this view is like a magnifying glass
compared to the others. We are looking directly at the gray tomb-like base of the mountain,
which is all that’s left, of course, and straight into the gigantic crater and dome. Because of the
close proximity, the surrounding trees and greenery are not noticeable, so the barren moon
appearance is much more predominant.
As we position ourselves to take pictures, we notice a wisp of vapor coming from a vent,
in the mountain, and it soon becomes much thicker, and then gradually fades away. I’m
wondering if there’s a possibility of another eruption, and feeling quite vulnerable as I’m
thinking about the recent volcanic eruption, still in progress, at Mt. Aetna, in Italy, and the
desperation to channel the lava away from the towns and homes.
I simply don’t understand how those people could have stayed in the area, in those final
days before Mt. St. Helens erupted; or how the tourists could flock to the other erupting
volcanoes. Obviously they were much braver, or more foolhardy than I would ever be.
Bonnie said that Harry Truman, for instance, like many of the victims, was in denial. He
really didn’t believe that the volcano would erupt. I guess it’s all part of a person’s destiny; those
51 people, and all the animals, were destined to die and become entombed under an avalanche of
mud. It’s for sure they didn’t know what hit them.
As I’m absorbing the magnanimity of this phenomenon of nature, I’m reminded that the
month of August is the Transformation lesson of Power, and I thank God for this awesome
experiential aide.
Finally, it is time to leave and return home the way we came, and for those who might be
remembering our plan to stop at Betty’s for ice cream cones, yes that became the final treat of
this memorable day at Mt. St. Helens.

Bonnie’s Cats
I would be remiss in my account of our time with Bonnie, if I didn’t introduce her six
cats, each with a very distinct personality.
Clinton is the most colorful, both as a longhair tortoise-hair, and also in his similarity to
his namesake, because he likes to roam and capture his prey. He’s also totally independent,
being the only one who gets to come and go out of the enclosed fence; and he especially enjoys
his nights out. He has the personality to become president, much like our recent one, in that he is
a talker; not loud, but when he has something to say, he rambles on and on, in a soft, but
insistent meow.
Sadie, my favorite, is also a tortoise-hair, but shorthaired and totally opposite of Clinton,
although she is more loving and affectionate than the others. She is a stay-at-home, and prefers
to spend her time on the computer table by the window, although at night she’s the only cat that
sleeps on the sofa; the rest sleep with Bonnie, as her bed-warmers and vice versa.
Claire, the mother of the other three black and white cats is the controller, and she keeps
them all in their respective places. One of her favorite locations is the stairs to the bedroom (in
the fifth-wheeler), where she growls and swats at anyone who dares to pass by. However, her
high and mightiness got taken down a peg when Bonnie had her fur trimmed in order to get rid
of the mats of hair. For a few days, Claire hid in shame, but she soon snapped out of her
reclusiveness and assumed her position of authority.
Rachel, a swirl of mostly black, but highlights of white, likes high places, and therefore,
would make a good Hilary-type-mate for Clinton, if he ever gets elected to office; any office.
Rachel likes to hang-out on top of the high book-shelves in the living area, or on the storage
boxes in the bedroom. She is less social with strangers than the others, and skitters quickly by, if
we are in her path.
Spats, the only other male cat, has four white leg spats (leggings), for which he is named.
And he reminds me of Sylvester, the cat, with his black tuxedo and white shirt appearance.
Gracie is actually the official Black Cat, although she has a few white hairs, and she is
the quietest, least visible of the six. And, she has the questionable honor of being Clinton’s
favorite, although Rachel would be a more appropriate first mate.
Of course, all the cats are spayed, so there will be no hanky-panky going on, which
probably crimps Clinton’s style. Maybe that’s why he takes out his hostility as a hunter, recently
being seen with a rabbit in his clutches, not to mention snakes, mice, or other unfortunate
victims.
In any event, one day, when Bonnie let him roam, while she went shopping, she took too
long, and Clinton was ready to go inside. He waited patiently awhile, but eventually he decided
to create his own reality, so he jumped up onto the top of a small trailer that Bonnie uses for
storage, and looked wistfully at the bedroom window, knowing that somehow he could get inside
through it. In his soft, but persistent meow, he notified his roommates of his plight, and they all
appeared at the window and meowed in sympathy, but unable to help.
A neighbor reported this cute scenario to Bonnie, and I felt it worthy of passing along,
because I had seen Clinton go through the same antics another day, when I visited Bonnie. He
had been quietly insistent that she must open the window for him, but failed to get his point
across, so eventually came in via the door. However, when she was away, he was forced to
remain outside, until her return. Then he quietly scolded her tardiness, as he darted inside and
immediately went to bed; not even insisting on his nighttime roaming.

Chaplain Bonnie’s Website
As a result of hearing Bonnie’s story about being mis-diagnosed and mistreated, when in
reality she has a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. I felt guided to create Chaplain Bonnie’s
Webpage, and wrote a brief Introduction. When she read it, she immediately dictates more
information. She will give me more details, links and references that I can add to it.
To reach her webpage: http://www.InnerFreedom.homestead.com/ChaplainBonnieIndex
The more she explained about the condition and her experiences, the clearer I became
that it’s time for her to be on Oprah and reach out to more people. It’s the kind of thing that
Oprah loves. In fact, she could start with being on Iyanla’s new show, as it would probably be
easier to get on. I’ve also been encouraging Bonnie that it’s time for her to write her book, as it
will reach and touch many lives.
In fact, I am convinced, without doubt, that Van’s Cousin, Natalie, suffers from
narcolepsy and she too is mistreated. I really feel that I have been Divinely Guided to spend this
time here so that I can get Bonnie’s information to Natalie and others. I already e-mailed the
website address to her, and this feels exciting, adding more purpose to my Inner Freedom
Website.

FOOI (pronounced Phooey)
Bonnie’s sense of humor prevailed during her chaplaincy internship at Oregon State
Hospital, in Salem, where she endured intense psychological groups. The purpose being to
recognize and heal one’s own issues, before attempting to counsel others.
As they wrestled with their Family of Origin issues, she dubbed the acronym FOOI,
pronounced phooey! And while we were visiting her, she experienced another confirmation of
the name, as a result of an encounter with her brother.
The story is not mine to tell, but I do feel that more healing resulted, because the
confrontation allowed communications to be made and released much buried energies associated
with the formerly unresolved issues.
Van and I felt good that we were here to support her through this family crisis, although
I’m sure she would have survived just fine without us. Nevertheless, we provided a safe space
for her to verbalize her feelings, which is part of recovery: talk to yourself, someone else, and
God.

Fall Schedule
The month of August was coming to its end and Bonnie began to gear-up for her busy
schedule, such as registering for college classes to become qualified for counseling and teaching
in the local area. She would be taking two evening of back-to-back classes, in addition to
working part-time. Also, she has projects around home, such as adding a covered porch to her
fifth-wheeler, and also remodeling the inside.
Had she not learned of her narcolepsy condition, and been properly treated, she would
not have been able to handle all this activity and pressure. But, now she easily takes it in her
stride, as she fills out forms, buys textbooks and attends meetings.

Chapter 10
THE VOID: DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING

Explanation
I awoke from an involved dream, but, as usual, I didn’t remember the important lessons
that were being taught. So, I had to assume that I was learning them on the unconscious level.
However, I sat in my chair and listened, as an explanation was being given on the conscious
level. And I wrote down some of the notes.
Again, my attention was being directed to my incompleted “Journey to Inner Freedom”
course, which I mentioned in an earlier chapter. I understood that we had, again, crossed The
River Jordan, this time symbolized by crossing The Columbia River, and we had again fought
the Battles of the Promised Land, between Long Beach and Shelton, or even to Bonnie’s.
But, once we arrived here, in our meadow, we entered The Void phase of Transition and
Transformation, symbolized by the period of time between The Battles and The Final Battles in
the bible version of this Exodus from Bondage to Freedom. In truth, this same process takes
place during our “Journey Out of The Hole.”
In my course, I call this “The Assignment of the Land.” It’s when the Israelites finally get
to settle down. But they are not yet in The Promised Land; there are still more battles to be
fought. However, for this period of time, The Void, they must do something; whatever there is to
do: till the land, plant crops, mend fences, cook, sew, or otherwise do whatever is at hand.

In The Enchanted Meadow
While in The Enchanted Meadow, I had not been allowed to make any big forward
movement, such as working on the website, or making any on-line contacts. But, I was guided to
write my Daily Journal, which served as the basis for several chapters, while also helping to heal
my shattered nerves. And we were to spend “Time with Bonnie,” which became Chapter 9,
including our trip to Mt. St. Helens.
In addition, we picked blackberries, went for several walks, received and responded to
e-mail and snail mail, which we had forwarded from our postal box.
But, other than that, nothing was happening; at least not on the surface. Yet, no doubt lots
was going on in the spiritual realm; and in the inner realm, as far as healing and recovering, and
Journeying Out of the Hole.
For instance, Joanie and Little Ralph had calmed down and quit battling, especially since
they weren’t hassling over the website and computer activities, nor were they bickering over
finances, because there were no extra unexpected expenditures. Therefore, money could be spent
on food, and gas for Bonnie to chauffeur us.

Rick and Snow Report: Heaven on Wheels
However, things were happening for others. For instance, one day when Bonnie was
away, I took time to read Rick and Snow’s updated Journal and learned that the temperature had
gotten so hot for them, in Minnesota, that they headed north to the lakes and stayed at one free
for eleven days. Then they contacted Rick’s family and learned that they were needed in
Connecticut, so they were heading in that direction and hoping to arrive by September 1st.
However, they had been through several storms, in addition to the heat, and their “Dreamer,”
RV, had vapor locked several times. Otherwise, they were still in Heaven on Wheels.
I was glad that we’d decided to stay in Washington this summer, because I simply wasn’t
up to any stress, such as heat, tornadoes, or other weather factors. So far, for us the weather had
been mild, and was predicted to remain comfortable. However, over the mountains, in Eastern
Washington, the heat and fires were causing discomfort.
I also understood why I hadn’t heard any e-mail from our fellow travelers: they were not
near a Kinko’s or other e-mail connection. But, I wondered if they had made the search engine
connections for my website, yet. Whether or not they had, didn’t matter, because this was The
Void, and nothing would be happening, until God’s Divine Time.

Joyce Says “Okay”
On the other hand, one door definitely opened when Joyce e-mailed that I could stay
there, although it would be like camping out, as she’s painting and getting her place ready to sell.
I felt a heavy weight lift from me, and no longer felt trapped, with no options. I’d even decided
to get a job in order to pay my rent, but she said that she wouldn’t want to charge, under those
conditions.
This meant that I could focus on the website, and maybe, with Joyce’s supportive
energies, the website finances would begin to pay off. So, now, it was simply a matter of when
we would begin heading South, and I wondered if Van wanted to stay here the entire month, or
perhaps we would leave sooner. So, a communication between us would be necessary to
determine the next steps.

Life’s Cycles
In the meantime, lessons were being learned, such as the Blackberry Lesson: when we
first arrived, they were small hard green balls. The end of the first overcast week, some were
black, but they were still tart. But, finally, after the warm sunshine, when their cycle had been
completed, they were sweet and tasty, ready for harvest.
This reminded me that life is in cycles too, and transformation process is cyclic and
spherical. In fact, we had processed through these phases, such as The Void, many times; and
now we were cycling through again, as we were learning new lessons on new levels.

This Cycle’s For You
And this morning, while in my meditation time, I was being told that this cycle was for
Van, or rather, Little Ralph, but his processes always have repercussions for me, too, especially
when his mood swings affect me.
One way of knowing that this Void was part of his process, came when he called his
mom, the day before her birthday, thinking he was fulfilling her wishes by not sending a birthday
card, but she let him know in no uncertain terms that she expected a card. Needless to say, he got
one on its way quite soon. He didn’t comment on the effect on Little Ralph, of this big mistake,
but I knew something was going on, although I didn’t say anything, at the time.
Since I’d decided not to ask him to do any website or computer work, he too was in The
Void of seemingly nothing to do. However, he used the time to read, for which he never had
time, and for getting his finances current. Otherwise, he did nothing unusual with his extra time,
although he was much more mellow, without the pressure of doing my projects, even though he
said that he enjoys doing them. I’m still not convinced.

Divinely Balanced
When I first got the guidance about this chapter relating to The Void, I questioned if
perhaps we were in The Promised Land in this enchanted meadow, but I immediately understood
the difference. We had limited phone and TV reception, transportation and e-mail; no dump,
outdoor lights, nor security service, and no access to restaurants or shopping, other than Bonnie’s
generosity in taking us. Furthermore, we had too much iron in the water, which caused an
intense odor and had stained our new toilet.
On the other hand, when at Van’s mom’s, which I call “The Promised Land,” or “having
it all.” We have a full amount of all of the above, including that she pays for the site and lets us
use her car. In addition, we can walk to the nearby stores and restaurants. All in all, that is
definitely Living in The Promised Land, and leaves no doubt about our present whereabouts: The
Void.
In wending our way through The Void, I appreciate the words of my Daily Reading: “I
am divinely balanced, for God steadies me whenever I stumble, leads me in taking my next step,
and guides me safely and surely through life.” And another reading: “The love of God expressed
throughout all creation enriches me.”

The Love-Connection
I must admit that something was going right, while in The Void, because Van received a
check from his mother; the result of her sharing 1/2 of her IRS refund with him. And this, too,
indicated that it was Van’s cycle through “The Void,” for Little Ralph’s healing and recovery,
because his love-connection with his mom manifests as her providing him with money. Yet, he
never understands that all this is going on, until I bring it to his attention.

I Bring it to His Attention
After I finished writing the above, I sat down and began talking with Van about all of the
above, starting with the fact that we are in The Void vs. The Promised Land. I also let him know
that Joyce had okayed my staying with her while he visits his mother, and I explained why I feel
that we both need time-out from each other, for the reasons that I have discussed earlier.
Toward the end of the conversation, I reflected on the Battles that had been going on
after we crossed The River, and I asked if he had any idea what had brought about his mood
swing.
At first we concluded it was fear of the unknown, as we were apprehensive about taking
a route that could be another Highway From Hell, like Highway 92. As we talked about the
reality of the fear we both felt at that time, I asked if he could trace the origins of his fear,
perhaps to his childhood. Of course, this is always fruitless, because he seldom comes up with
any insights; instead, I have to make suggestions, and he says “Could be.”
Because of his recent encounter with his mother’s reaction to him not sending her a
birthday card, and knowing from personal experience that her wrath can be devastating, I
suggested that his childhood fear could relate to his endeavors to relate with her. But his recent
mood swing had come before that happened, so we ruled it out as the cause of these Battles.
Finally, I traced his change back to his haircut, which happened the day we began our
northward journey, before crossing The River, and I reminded him that his personality always
changes when he gets his haircut; maybe taking him back to his Navy Frogman energies. He
agreed that it was a possibility, but nothing really grabbed his memory-bank.
Now, I was hot on the trail of this unresolved mystery, as I said, “Maybe I’m making an
assumption. Perhaps something happened before your haircut.” I reflected on our activities and
remembered that we had been at Kinko’s, handling my e-mail and updating the publishing of my
website; the last work that has been done on it, as a matter of fact. Hmmm. Very interesting.
Neither of us have returned to the website work since then, and come to think of it, that’s the day
Snow’s e-mail said that she would connect the website to a search engine, now that she had the
necessary information from me. Could it be that our fears have to do with the success of the
website? It’s for sure our lives will change; and certainly it will take us out of our comfort zone.
But, there is more to the activities at Kinko’s. To save time, so that we could get on the
road, I had left Van at the computer, while I walked across the street to another store. I had also
arranged to meet him at Trader Joe’s, after his haircut. However, there had been a Waiting List,
so he left his name and helped me with the shopping at Trader Joe’s and we returned to Freedom
with the groceries. Then I stayed home, while he got his haircut.
As I thought about it, I realized that he was in a different mood when we met at Trader
Joe’s, so the question became “What happened at Kinko’s?”
Van didn’t have any “Ah ha’s,” but based on his earlier comments about his uneasiness
when I’m gone, and his dependence on me, I suspect that his fear factor reverts to his
Abandonment Syndrome, first by his father, and then his mother, leaving him deserted,
unnurtured and unprotected; fending for himself at a very tender age. A task that he assumed and
fulfilled, but nevertheless, according to John Bradshaw, author of books about healing the
wounded inner child, this early Responsibility Factor causes a child to feel victimized and he
becomes damaged and angry. In other words, the child has been cheated out of the normal
nurturing, protection and innocence of childhood. I am very aware of this syndrome, because I
suffer from it myself, and I’ve done a lot of healing work in this issue. But, nevertheless, it’s still
part of me, as it is still part of Van.
When we were talking, and trying to identify the pattern and its causes, such as mood
shifts, Van had said, “I don’t know why my moods change. In fact, I’m not even aware that they
do. It’s like not knowing how to read, and then knowing how to read. I’m not aware of the
process that made it happen. I just know that now I can read.”
This seemed to be a meaningful explanation, as far as he was concerned, but I didn’t
really understand his point. Nevertheless, the conversation reached a place where I realized that
it wasn’t going any further. I didn’t feel satisfied, because, in my opinion, nothing had been
clarified. However, I’ve noticed that, after one of these sessions, Van seems to reach a new level,
so I assume that some kind of healing is taking place on some level; probably Little Ralph has
gotten his “Ah ha.”

Teamwork: The Final Battle?
One of the topics of our conversation revolved around “How long do we want to remain
in The Void?” Had we fulfilled our purpose for coming here? Originally, the reason for coming
to Western Washington was to find a cool place to spend the hot summer month, and visiting
Bonnie seemed like a good option. Also, we wanted to stay put in order to catch up on our
finances. And I thought that I would be able to have a marathon opportunity for writing and
working on my website. But, with the personal issues taking my time and energy, in addition to
my decision not to ask Van’s help, the website had come to a standstill. Also, I hadn’t yet
recovered from the trauma of having to sign-up for the Homestead Personal Program. It had all
been too overwhelming and I really didn’t know what to do about the new status. Furthermore,
not having the local phone hook-up had been another setback.
Nevertheless, there was still a lot that we could be doing, if we worked together, which
Van had again offered to do. Of course, this meant dealing with his intimacy issues, which could
put us into the Final Battles.
So, perhaps, now that we had gotten through this conversation, we could leave The Void
without actually moving on. It’s all a matter of God’s Timing, anyway, so we decided that we
would wait until our monthly package of products arrived, once Dottie sent them, and then see
where to go from there.
The fact is that it’s still comfortable weather here, and it’s hot elsewhere. Our rent is paid
and would involved hassling for a refund that might not be given, and finances are still an issue.
So, the best thing is to stay with our plan and do what we can do while here; still in The Void, in
other words.
It’s just as well, because coming out of The Void only means that we will have to deal
with the Final Battles, before reaching The Promised Land, and that means facing and defeating
the Last Roots, those childhood issues that have become patterns that are still keeping us in
bondage, on some levels; much like dandelion roots buried under the sidewalk. Hopefully, the
discussion with Van moved us through those battles, because fear is definitely The Big One.
On the other hand, if we begin working on the website again, we might have another
opportunity to move to another new level right here in the Enchanted Meadow.
And, if my Last Roots were keeping me from moving forward with the website, I might
need to face and conquer them again, before moving forward. If so, my Daily Reading gives me
the answer: “The renewing spirit of God within me frees me from the pain of the past.” And “I
am divinely empowered.”

My Awareness of God
Thankfully, my awareness of God had begun to return, and I felt refreshed and refueled
and ready to move forward, while remaining in the Present Moment.
As usual, God guided me to an experiential aide, again on one of the few TV channels
that we can see clearly, and “Touched by an Angel” is one of the prime time programs. This
time, Monica lost her standing as an angel and became human, experiencing fear, hunger, thirst,
tiredness and pain. Believe me, I could relate with her suffering, because losing one’s awareness
of God allows one to suffer this same sense of loss.
Of course, God had given Monica this taste of reality so she could learn deeper lessons,
and the story reminded me that I had been having my reality check too, reminding me that I may
be human, but I am also a spiritual being, and as such, I am unlimited and free. Remembering
that love is the main component of a spiritual being, we are armed with our weapon in fighting
the Final Battles.

A Prominent Characteristic
The next morning began differently, after Van got up, because, among the other things
we’d discussed, I had mentioned my concern about his morning ritual, explaining that it’s a
symptom of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and one of his characteristics that I simply can’t
live with. I had added this to my explanation for a need for time-out, with the assertion that I am
no longer willing to live with his inner child dominating our lives.
He admitted that it is a predominant characteristic now, and asked if I had any
suggestions. I said that he needs to change the routine each day. So, this morning he was making
an effort to do things differently.
I asked if he noticed any reactions or feelings from making the change, and he said he
wasn’t aware of any. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

Pen Pal Webpage
These communications shifted the energies and once again I felt ready and able to work
on the website, as God-guided. I had recently received letters from Paul Folsom requesting
pen-pals. However, I had not intentions of getting myself into the stress of a pen-pal program,
but I agreed to create a Pen-Pal Referral Page, listing others who have such a ministry, including
Joy Perry, who had been doing this for over twenty-years. I had been in contact with her during
my original ministry and we had reconnected, as a result of my website Inner Freedom Ministry.
The ideas for the webpage flowed, and I even asked Van to scan a graphic from the
“Rainbow Connection,” which he gladly did. My Guidance said to keep it simple, as we resumed
our website teamwork activites, so neither of us would become pressured or stressed.

“From Revolution to a Peaceful Solution”
The energies were again flowing, and I felt encouraged to create Jerry Pitre’s Webpage
for his book, “From Revolution to a Peaceful Solution,” which I had originally suggested “From
Activist to Pacifist,” since he had been Lieutenant in charge of the Treasury for the Black
Panthers, and one of the few surviving Soledad Seven. I felt that he had something to say in a
way that only he could say it, and that his words would touch many lives and make a great
contribution in today’s world.
It had taken several years for Jerry to agree to this project and I was delighted when the
first words came forth. But when I tried to find where we had filed them, after they were
scanned, Van and I had forgotten. This is why I like to stay put and continue the continuity of my
projects.
But, I knew God was guiding me, because He showed me where to find it. So, the
beginning of a “Peaceful Solution” fell into place.

The Files Unlocked
I had been trying to get access to my files for “Inner Freedom Support Connection,” but
for some reason they had been locked. However, the time must have been right, because Van
managed to open them and re-file the contents, so that I could have access and transfer them to
the website. This would be a major project, but my head seemed to clear and thankfully, I now
knew what to do, and I was excited. In fact, I couldn’t sleep that night, and stayed up to work on
the new “Inner Freedom Connection” newsletter.
Indeed, our earlier conversation had cleared the energies and we had moved to a new
level. Now, it felt good to move forward with the website, while staying put, as planned.
Although we were taking action, we were not out of The Void.

Chapter 11
GLIMPSING THE PROMISED LAND

What is Our Objective?
The day began bright with promise: Bonnie would drive us west to Aberdeen, and then
North to see several Rain Forest Sites, and then we would loop back along the Straits of Juan de
Fuca to Port Angeles, returning south to Olympia that night. A marathon trip, but doable, if we
got an early start and kept on purpose.
The question being: what is our objective? Mostly, I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean
along the Washington coast and the Straits of Juan de Fuca north of the Olympic Peninsula.
Hopefully, we would see glimpses of the water in the Puget Sound bays and inlets. In addition,
we wanted to see at least one of the “don’t miss,” Rain Forests that we’d heard about, Bonnie
had aspirations of seeing them all, after hearing their descriptive beauty from a neighbor.
Little did we know that this trip would expose us to the Battles, as well as glimpsing The
Promised Land. Of course, I should have known. After all, in the original Exodus from Egypt to
Canaan (bondage to freedom), even before the Israelites left The Wilderness, Moses sent spies to
survey the area and bring back a report. The optimistic said “It is a land of milk and honey,” but
the pessimists cautioned, “There are giants to be fought and conquered.”
I understand, in retrospect, that this trip represented the glimpse of The Promised Land,
as experienced and reported by the spies.
And, this makes sense, because in truth all we could hope to accomplish in our whirlwind
trek would be a reconnaissance of the land, much like the spies. And, indeed, we too glimpsed
the idyllic Mecca, which prompted the title for this chapter.

A Few of Our Favorite Places
Actually, The Promised Land State Park offered camping and RV parking, but Bonnie’s
Blazer zoomed right past the gates of Paradise, surprisingly located just a few miles north of our
favorite named town: Humpstulips, which only consists of a post office, as far as we could see.
But, we felt the name worthy of mention, along with another favorite: Dosewallup? And Van
scolded when I mispronounced Pysht, thinking it had another vowel, before putting on my
glasses. One must remember that the Indians originally settled this area, and they now live on
Indian Reservations, but they named many of the towns; therefore they are not pronounced as we
would say them.
Speaking of favorite places, we stopped in Aberdeen, which brought back memories of
the lady and her dog who snarled at me for parking in the Wal-Mart parking lot, or I should say,
the Walking Park.

Maybe It’s my Attitude
But this time it was the Visitor Information Center that confirmed my opinion of the
people in this town, because the receptionist quickly handed us a brochure about the Rain Forest,
and then spent lengthy time with someone who had asked about the local used books stores.
We were left to fend for ourselves through the many brochures, after she informed us that
they were out of the state maps and also the State Tour Books. Okay, how about a place to eat,
about an hour’s drive from here? She suggested Quinault Lodge, which Bonnie thought sounded
too expensive; but my ears perked up. I was in the mood for something other than Wendy’s
99-cent menu. We’ll get back to this later. But, I must admit that the receptionist, after giving
others a free Nature Valley crunchy granola bar, actually handed us each one of the “The Energy
Bar Nature Intended.” Again, I must admit that it was the best I’ve ever eaten; so overall we can
give a + to her services. And again, I must admit that maybe it’s my attitude.
Actually, I’ll leave it for you to decide, as I describe our next Visitor Information Center
experience, but remember, we’re still fighting those Final Battles. So, which one is this? Here’s
what happened:
We wanted to ask the receptionist about the Rain Forests, but Bonnie mentioned that we
didn’t have much time because we wanted to make the loop back to Port Angeles and Olympia
that night. The receptionist looked at us like we were crazy and scolded, “Well, you’ve spent all
your time in the worst part of the trip and you’ll never make it.”
Her tone of voice and attitude had already set me off, when Bonnie starts siding with her,
as she says, “Well, she wanted to do it this way,” as if it were all my fault, when in reality we
planned the trip together, and Bonnie is the one who wanted to include more than one Rain
Forest. Also, she had suggested that we get an early start, so we agreed to be up and ready at 9:00
a.m., but she didn’t arrive until 10:00. And she wanted to eat around noon, which I’ll expand on
later.
So, I was really hurt, but I didn’t say anything at first, until I asked the distance, if we
returned, versus going around the loop. It was probably 100 miles, so I figured, “Okay, we’ll go
back the way we came.” But Bonnie is still carrying on about me being the one who wanted to
make the loop.
I felt humiliated as I snarled, “Bonnie, you’re making me sound like the bitch of the
century,” and I stomped outside where Van waited. Now, if I can only put into words what I was
feeling and why, I’ll be on the other side of this trauma.
I’m feeling flushed and dizzy, so this must be “The Big One, Elizabeth,” which is a
description of the Last Root in the Final Battles.
Here’s what I’m hearing inside my head: It goes back to my early childhood with my
natural parents, when I was unjustly accused of being the cause of my mom “Going crazy.”
I think I’m going to throw-up. It’s for sure my head aches and I’m dizzy. Whew! This is
The Big One.
It isn’t like this is the first time I’ve heard about this pattern based on that particular
childhood issue. It’s haunted me all my life, and in recent years, since doing my inner child
recovery work, it’s become more and more clear, as I’ve cycled through the healing process.
That’s because this Transformation Journey is cyclic and spherical, like a vortex, and each time
we experience the memory and pain, on a deeper emotional level, we move to a new level of
recovery.
In other words, we cycle through all phases of the Exodus Process many times and even
simultaneously. For instance, parts of us still may be at the Beginning stage of Preparation, or
Identification, while others are going through The Plagues, or stopped at the apparent Dead End
of the Red Sea, or wandering through The Wilderness Maze. Yet, other levels of our self can be
Crossing the River Jordan or Fighting the Battles, while some level can be stymied at The Void.
Happily, on some levels we can be enjoying the “milk and honey,” otherwise known as “Having
it All,” Living in The Promised Land.
These are all titles of the Road Signs along the “The Journey of Inner Freedom,” which
I’ve described in my course by that name. And, since I’m cycling through again, I am guided to
share these experiences with you, with the suggestion that if you’re going through this
Transformation Process (Exodus from Bondage to Freedom), then see a description and order the
course: www.InnerFreedom.net, under Books.

Back to The Future: Flashback
Okay, I think my head is cleared enough to move on; actually, we’re going to take a
flashback, because I skipped ahead of the trip’s sequence in order to share this Final Battle and
other information. Actually, this sequence is correct for The Journey, because I will now
describe my Promised Land experience, which came before “The Final Battle” at the Visitor’s
Information Center.

A Point of View
When it came time for lunch, the only places visible along the highway in Quinault, were
a Japanese Restaurant and a closed Pizza Parlor. So, we asked at the Grocery Store, and in
response to Bonnie’s question, we learned that The Quinault Lodge is “good, and expensive.”
Okay, by whose standards? It’s all a matter of point of view: a clerk in a small town
grocery, or three people who have enjoyed lunch at The Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, such as the
time Bonnie treated me for a $200.00+ birthday lunch. And, in fact, Bonnie has traveled through
Europe on several occasions and once owned two homes (at the same time) in Eastern
Washington. And Van and I lived many years in a three-level home overlooking the Pacific
Ocean in Leucadia and enjoyed lunches, and a Fourth of July BBQ, at Hotel Del Coronado on
Coronado Island, across the bridge from San Diego.

That Was Then; This is Now
Of course, time and circumstances had altered our financial positions, if not our attitudes.
Our present lifestyles required discretion in our choices, but I reminded Bonnie and Van, who
have resorted to more-less is better attitudes, that often we’d paid less at Hotel Del for lunch
than at Denny’s, and there is no comparison of ambiance, service and quality of food.
Our grocery store informant had added, “If you don’t want to eat there, you can go to the
burger joint across the street. This appealed to my cohorts, so we headed back to the Southshore
turn-off that went around Quinault Lake, which took us to the small resort town of Quinault. Van
and Bonnie’s attentions were riveted to a hand printed sign: “BBQ Buffet.” Van’s imagination
conjured up BBQ pork ribs, while Bonnie and I visualized a country spread, although I was still
holding out for the inside touch-of-class, including the ambiance and service.
As a compromise, we went into the elegant, though remote, resort lodge and asked
questions, learning that the $6.00 BBQ only served hamburgers and hot dogs with potato and
pasta salads. The hostess didn’t think anything else was offered, but hope springs eternal, so Van
and Bonnie insisted that we walk down the sloping hillside to the BBQ tent.
I didn’t mind, because I could enjoy the picturesque scene overlooking the tree-lined
lake: a badminton game in progress on the lush green lawn, a lovely gazebo at the lake’s edge,
and profuse blue hydrangea bushes, with the semi-circle rustic lodge as a backdrop.
As we traipsed along the walkway toward the BBQ tent, at the bottom of the hill, I
reminded myself that I could live with this lifestyle again, very easily. And I silently rejoiced
when my partners concluded that they didn’t want to pay $6.00 for a hamburger or hot dog.
Thank goodness they hadn’t completely lost their taste and good judgment.

A Matter of Priorities
The cost of the lunch is a matter of priorities, as well as choice. For instance, earlier, at
yet another Visitor Information Center, Bonnie had offered to buy me a stuffed replica of Smoky
the Bear. I declined the offer, because the $10.00, would cover the cost of her meal, and that’s
my way of prioritizing. Actually, I would have enjoyed the stuffed Smoky, and in fact, we added
her meal to our debit card anyway. So, I wondered about my prosperity consciousness, but it
seemed perfectly fine to me, as I savored my delicious Monte Cristo; a treat I only indulge in
special places, such as this.
And, in fact, I wasn’t disappointed, but my priorities came into question, after waiting
45-minutes for our meal, and I learned the delay was due to the time it took to prepare the Monte
Cristos. Yet, when the food finally appeared, it was Bonnie’s fish and chips that had delayed the
delivery. In truth, as the waitress explained, they were much busier than expected and working
short-handed. So, I refused to feel guilty about my selection; not even paying $10.00 each. The
sandwiches were delicious, especially with the addition of marionberry jam and sour cream
garnishments.

“Out of The Hole”
I must add that this is a breakthrough for me, because, like Van and Bonnie, I tend
toward the deprivation syndrome of not allowing myself these luxuries; probably because of the
childhood repercussions from The Great Depression of not-having and not-spending. Yet, I’ve
endeavored to overcome that lack-consciousness pattern by healing the original cause; and
today’s splurging not only enhanced my prosperity consciousness, but also Bonnie’s.
In fact, I secretly smiled, as she began to recall her former prosperous lifestyle, and
before the trip was over, she actually began to set some future goals, based on a projection of
increased finances, which is certainly within the realm of reason. The truth is that she had
already been on several interviews for a very desirable position in her new career, chaplaincy,
but she had been so conditioned in recent years that she hadn’t allowed herself to hope that she
might be hired.
This is a typical example of conditioning, which I discuss at length in my Money
Makeovers course, with steps for changing the resultant negative patterns into positive ones.
Unfortunately, Bonnie’s mind has been closed to any such verbal input from me, especially since
her chaplaincy training incorporated a psychology program. In any event, I’ve learned that
counseling or advising my friends is hazardous to my health and well-being. But, an experience
needs no words, and Bonnie’s experience this day also helped her, as well as having an impact
on our “Journey Out of The Hole.”

Memories Are Made of This
Memories of the Lodge at Lake Quinault bring a smile to my face, even now, as I’m
writing, but there were more memorable sights on that Southshore Drive. You see, this was the
first of the Rain Forest areas, and we had been told, at the Quinault Visitor’s Information Center
that we could take a loop around the lake, and we had been given an enlarged area map that
highlighted specific scenic sites, such as the oldest spruce tree, which we saw from a distance.
But, it didn’t mention Bonnie’s favorite sight: “Wild Ass Ranch” painted in huge letters
on the side of a barn, describing a picturesque farm with fenced green pastures containing two
small burros (otherwise known as asses), and two teenage boys cutting the grass on a riding
mower, while another played with his golden retriever. Some people might think this family was
actually living in their own Promised Land, whether or not the boys might think so, at least in
this stage of their lives.
Bonnie, for instance, became enamored with the summer cottages around the lake, and
the neat little farm homes, such as the brightly painted red with white trim gingerbread house by
the side of the road, at one farm.

We Are Talking Rain Forests
On the other hand, having lived most of my life in Oregon’s rain, I could not get excited
thinking about the amount of rainfall necessary to create all this greenery, and especially living
in it day-in and day-out forever. It’s one reason I had happily moved away from Oregon, and I
also delighted that we happened to select one of the few days without rain for our trip.
But, let’s face it, we are talking Rain Forests, and that means over 150 inches a year. And
the rain feeds waterfalls, called cascades, which overflow profusely, as promised in the
brochures.
Fortunately, Bonnie parked by a waterfall and we got out and saturated ourselves in the
sheer pristine beauty of the forest, mossy trees and surging cascades, while taking pictures to
capture the memory and share with others.

Enough is Enough
However, our lengthy lunch had set our schedule behind, so while Bonnie took pictures, I
asked Van how he would feel about foregoing the loop and returning to the highway. He agreed
that he’d pretty much had his fill of Rain Forests. In fact, having traveled across The Rockies and
The Sierras, and the southern part of Washington’s forests, in recent months, we both felt that
enough is enough.
I laughed, recalling that when we had talked with the grocery clerk about how many Rain
Forests to see, she said, “Well, after all, when you’ve seen one old tree with moss, you’ve seen
them all.”
I didn’t realize that she was referring to a famous quote by Ronald Reagan, but Bonnie
spent much of the trip explaining that when Governor of California, he had been intent on
cutting down the state’s cherished and treasured Sequoia’s, until the citizens objected with a
mighty roar, mostly in the form of speeches and petitions.
And now, heading further north, as we passed miles and miles and miles of clear-cut
(where all the trees had been logged) Bonnie went on to explain that when president, Reagan had
allowed the loggers free rein for this rape of the land. Now, twenty-years later, we could see the
signs confirming the date of cutting and replanting: all during Reagan’s reign. Well, at least
many of the raped areas had been replanted and the trees were finally covering some of the
carnage. This may be a political issue, but driving through this area reminds one how we are all
affected by the exploitation. Again, this is a matter of priorities, according to your point of view:
anyone making a living from the logging industry, versus a passer-by or environmentalist.
In any event, the Rain Forests survived unscathed, because they are part of the protected
Olympic National Forest.
Although we had intended on touring a coastal Rain Forest, our time was running out, so
we decided to end cycle on the Rain Forest experience.

Continued From Flashback
Actually, our Final Battles encounter took place at this point in our travels, and keeping
in mind that I wanted to see the ocean, Bonnie had asked where would be a good place, since
we’d already passed a number of campgrounds that obscured the ocean view from the highway,
except at several locations where one would need to look quickly, without blinking.
Unfortunately, I missed the best one, according to Bonnie, because I had been watching a white
van that was turning around in front of us, while she focused in the direction of the beaches.
I’d taken a lunch break in my writing, and as I returned to this part, the words wouldn’t
flow smoothly, which is a red flag that something relating to the subject is going on with me. As
I stopped to listen, another childhood scenario surfaced: the person who is supposed to be
parenting (Mom) isn’t taking care of me, and I’m told “Take care of your mommy, Joanie.” I
take the command seriously, but with my limited childhood abilities, I apparently fail, because
my mom “goes crazy,” and I’m told “It’s all your fault.”
In other words I’m being blamed for something that wasn’t my job in the first place, and
I certainly couldn’t have been expected to take care of my mother, any more than I should have
noticed the one aperture through which the ocean could be seen, rather than watching the white
van crossing the highway in front of us.
So, for my subconscious self, it was a setup, even before we arrived at the Visitor’s
Information Center, and the exchange between Bonnie and the receptionist simply fell into
place, in my mind as more of the childhood scenario: I was being blamed for something that
wasn’t my fault. In fact, it was crazy-making as a child; and again at the Visitors Center, and I
had reverted into a silent rage, as Bonnie returned to the car and headed to Ruby Beach, as
suggested.

Shifting the Energies
Joanie, my inner child, felt so hurt and angry, and so disappointed that something so
important to me — the beach — had been damaged, and I couldn’t speak. Nevertheless, soon we
were there, parked and out of the car. The view, from a bluff and framed through the trees, was
spectacular: the ocean splashing against the jagged rocks and the waves breaking upon the shore,
with huge fallen trees beaten into driftwood upon the gritty dark sand and rocky shore.
We took some pictures, but despite the long downhill pathway, I felt the urge to walk on
the beach, and Little Ralph had already started slowly walking downward. Though I joined him,
Joanie still felt so hurt and angry, that she felt devoid of any life: totally dead, as I wandered
down the winding dirt path.
Bonnie had finished taking pictures and followed down the trail, apparently ignoring the
intense emotional situation between us. Instead, she reached the bottom, took some pictures, and
then stood on the beach and enjoyed it’s rejuvenating energies, as she later explained.
I took pictures of a porthole rock, and then sat on a log, but I didn’t feel revitalized at all.
In fact, when I’d walked toward Van, and he walked away, I became even more hurt and angry,
feeling the added pain of rejection, which accompanies the pattern that had been triggered and
set into motion, as I snarled a comment about his rejection, and quickly walked away.
Talk about the Final Battles, they were definitely being enacted, as Van understood the
message and attempted to join me. But, my subconscious felt the need to recreate the original
abandonment scenario, even if it meant that I must force the issue, so I walked toward a man
with a net catching some small fish, which he tossed on the beach, and his wife picked them up
and put them in a bucket.
As I’ve written in my course, I felt urged by my God-guidance to shift the pattern, so I
walked over and talked with the wife. I asked what kind of fish, although I suspected they were
smelt. The woman confirmed that they were smelt, much to my surprise, because I remembered
them being fresh-water fish. However, chatting with her seemed to shift the energies into
normalcy, as the waves splashed ashore, and the husband sought and caught more fish and tossed them in her direction.
Other families and children strolled, sat, or frolicked on the beach, though the coarse
sand and cloudy skies belied a sunbathing opportunity.
All too soon we needed to move on, because we were apparently continuing with the trip
as planned, and we had a lot of distance to cover.
The pattern wanted to perpetuate itself by remaining hurt and angry, and caught up in the
crazy-making, but the beach stop had shifted the energies and Bonnie resumed her discussion
about Reagan and the trees, and I managed to respond appropriately.
In the past, this episode would have remained crazy-making, but, as I write, the pieces of
the puzzle are fitting more clearly into place and sanity is being restored on all levels.

Memories and Dreams
When we paid for lunch, Bonnie had left the tip and promised to buy ice cream cones at
Forks, a small crossroads logging town, but we weren’t in the mood, and there wasn’t a Dairy
Queen, so she offered to buy them later in the trip. Food is healing and nurturing to Joanie, so the
stop for ice cream at Fairholme General Store at Lake Crescent created a new anchor (a
subconscious memory implant to replace an old pattern) with majestic mountain peaks
enshrouded in colorful clouds, rising above a picturesque lake that went on for miles. This scene,
combined with an ice cream drumstick, became an indelible memory that formed the basis of my
new anchor.
And the peaceful energies of this place touched Bonnie’s soul, with memories of
Interlocken, in the Swiss Alps, and a new dream, as she vowed to return, sometime in the future,
and allow time to camp and canoe. I could feel the energies shifting, as her healing process
continued, while looking at the campfire in the trees along the lake, and dreaming of sitting by
her own lakeside campfire.

Our Outer Trip and Inner Journey
Bonnie’s dream became somewhat squelched when she overheard the proprietress tell
another customer about having to rescue a boater, earlier in the day, from the effects of strong
winds. Yet, as we drove along the beauteous lake, another suggestion from the last Visitor’s
Center, she concluded that she would paddle her canoe close to shore, as a safeguard against
sudden wind or perhaps lightning. It seemed like a healthy part of her healing process, as it went
through the transition from bondage to freedom.
And, despite my hurt and anger, and also rejection, from the Visitor’s Center, they had
made positive contributions in our outer trip and inner journey. And, although we had only
fleeting glimpses of The Promised Land, such as the aptly named campground, the Lodge at
Lake Quinault, the Rain Forests, ocean and lakes, we definitely had promises of more to come,
just as the scouts brought good reports to Moses and the Israelites.

The Best is Yet to Come
I often say that I not only believe, but I know that the best contributions and rewards of
my life are yet to come. That doesn’t mean to put down my experiences of the past, any more
than to discredit the joys and beauties of this trip, so far. But, why limit?
Like Bonnie said, when I mentioned her past travels, jobs, homes and accomplishments,
“My life isn’t over yet.” And neither is mine; nor is this trip or chapter.
In fact, soon after we left Lake Crescent, we got our first glimpse of the Strait of Juan de
Fuca, which I had longed to see for many years. Actually, I had intended taking the highway
along the Straits, but I had acceded to the Crescent Lake route on the grounds that it was the
main highway and therefore quicker. So, I was thrilled to see the sun sparkling off the water, and
the distant mountains of Canada, as we approached Port Angeles. Once in town, Bonnie drove us
to the dock where we arrived in time to see the ferry loading for Canada.
I remembered a ferry trip I’d taken with my first husband, from Seattle to Victoria, and
the lure of adventure to foreign shores beckoned.
However, my biggest problem was a deja-vous between a street going to the San
Francisco harbor, and a memory of Mackinaw City where the ferry’s embark for Mackinack
Island. Actually, it took some moments to bring myself to simply enjoying the Present Moment
in Port Angeles, seeing the vehicles lined up for the ferry, and all the other activity of the wharf,
with the water in the background. I loved it, but all too soon we’d circled back to the southbound
highway out of town.
And, as planned, having enjoyed the luxury of the Lodge at Lake Quinault, we now
pulled into Wendy’s and feasted on our choices from the 99-cent menu; appreciating every
morsel, because enough time had elapsed that we were travel weary and hungry, and Wendy’s
was appropriate for this time. As the sun was setting, even Wendy’s offered us a bonus treat: a
breathtaking view of the last ray’s reflecting on the distant water of the Straits, over the tops of
the buildings and trees.
Misperception: Altitude and Attitude
By the time we’d eaten and resumed travel, the sun had set, but there was still enough
light to see the water of the bay that accompanied us over a hundred-miles; most of the way to
Shelton. Except at one point where we thought we had climbed into the mountains, because we
could see the eastern peaks of the nearby Olympic National Forest, and the trees again took over
the scenery.
As we guessed to be anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 feet in altitude, we came around a hill
and again saw the bay close by, with the lights from the opposite shore clearly twinkling in the
distance. So much for that misperception of altitude; possibly also an indication of an often
misperception of attitude. A possibility that I attempt to clarify when reacting to incidences, such
as Bonnie and the receptionist. Was it them; or me? Or all of the above?
Again, getting only glimpses, this time through the trees of the darkened waters of the
Puget Sound bays and inlets, I recalled the earlier glimpse of the Promised Land Campground,
and knew that someday I would return to this area for an extended trip. Van had already
indicated a disinterest in driving the RV here, so I would make sure I had plenty of money to stay
at the elegant lodges and motels. Whether or not we stayed at the Promised Land Campground, I
would definitely be living in my Promised Land consciousness.
A Golden Glow of Light
The next morning, as promised, the rains came. But, I had been awakened earlier with
ideas swirling through my mind for the immediate future, and when I opened my eyes, a golden
glow seemed to reflect through the trees above my window. Something strange was going on,
because the sky was cloudy and there were rain sprinkles on the glass. so I arose on my bed in
order to look to the east, out the kitchen window, and I gasped at the glorious golden glow of the
sunrise through thick clouds; a sight I seldom see, because I’m not usually awake at this hour.
It seemed to be a spiritual experience, as the ideas continued flowing through my mind,
as if a premonition of things to come, and I felt exhilarated as I got up and headed to the
computer to write about my glimpses into Living The Promised Land.
And the Rains Came
We had planned our Monday trip, because the weather had been predicted to start raining
on Tuesday and would last for several days. Actually, in the Pacific Northwest it could rain
steadily for nine months, although there is usually a respite in October. And, I’ve known some
autumns, such as the three when I was pregnant, that are hot all the way into November. Yet, we
had every reason to believe that the predicted rain would come; and it did, within 1/2-hour from
when I began writing, and it rained all day, while I wrote about my glimpses. But, I knew that the
best was yet to come, when I would be Living in The Promised Land. But that’s another day and
another chapter: when I conclude “Journey Out of The Hole.”

Chapter 12
SUMPTUOUS DESPAIR OR SUMPTUOUS DESIRE

The Mything Link
Nowadays we have a new TV show titled The Weakest Link, and programs, such as
Survivors, Brothers and others, that show contestants creating their own story before our very
eyes. And the viewers are riveted to the drama and mystery.
But we do not need to remain viewers, we can become the story, without being on TV.
For instance, in her book, “Passion for the Possible,” author Jean Huston (The Mythic Life), says
that we are each the Mything Link; not Missing Link. And we are each living our own myth, as
she explains that myths are great stories that have been told so often that they have become part
of the structure of human consciousness, and therefore they express the deep coding of human
consciousness.
She explains that these myths, having been told and retold countless times, reveal pieces
of the puzzle of our own life. And I have found that in retelling, or rewriting, my own myth, I
find more pieces of my own life puzzle.
In addition, it is my hope that by telling my own story, others may read them and strike a
chord that fills in a piece of their unique puzzle. At least, that is my desire, my dream, my
passion; or as I once wrote, it’s my Magnificent Obsession.
Jean explains that myth tells of breathing new life into the death of a soul and its
resurrection. And that’s why I named my website Inner Freedom, and I write about the Journey
to Inner Freedom: that my stories, written over and over in different ways, and sometimes the
same way, may “Reach out and touch lives”: the motto of my ministry.
A Poet is Born
In her article that appeared in “Unity Magazine,” the story is shared about a woman who
received a greeting card that quoted a poem by Emily Dickinson. It didn’t really speak to me, but
the words “sumptuous despair,” inspired this lady to move out of her “piddling desperation into
sumptuous celebration.”
The story goes on to tell of the woman remembering that she had once written poetry, as
a teenager, and she now began to express herself and her feelings in poetic terms. She shared her
poems with a daughter, and then a friend, and eventually she began a poetry-writing circle,
which she duplicated in a church, and then other churches, and in time she was asked to create
poetry-writing circles for inner-city women.
One thing lead to another and she became a social activist trying to help families. Her
mythic life became harrowing, adventurous and fulfilling, as she moved into the greater story,
turning a key that unlocked doors of her soul.
When I first read the poem, I thought it said, sumptuous desire, and the words resonated
within my soul, because it confirmed the path of my own myth that is creating Inner Freedom
Website. And it often becomes “harrowing and adventurous,” and very often it is frustrating, but
it is also fulfilling my sumptuous desire, which is my purpose and my passion.
However, at times, especially when things arent’ going the way I want, or as fast as I
desire, I wallow in “sumptuous despair,” and nothing seems right. At these times, I usually
blame Van, because he isn’t doing the things he’s said he would do, such as scanning, linking, or
otherwise helping with his computer wizardry and technical advise. And then I accuse him of not
really wanting to do it, and we sink into another session when I’m ready for fight or flight; or
both. And of course, now I had a place to escape, thanks to Joyce’s offer for me to stay with her
awhile.
I concluded the most recent session by again informing Van that I simply wouldn’t ask
him to help me, since he obviously didn’t want to anyway. And, as usual, he said, “Okay,” and
went about reading his magazine, while I tried to move forward.
And, again, I came to a dead end, when I needed his help, and again I asked, and he
helped. There must be a pattern here. But, I was pleased that I didn’t drag the episode on forever,
denying myself the help I needed, and denying him the opportunity to contribute to our odd
partnership.
God’s Timing
The next morning, during my meditation, I asked God to help us move beyond this
impasse. I wondered why we couldn’t just get along, however, I suspected that we were still
going through our Final Battles and that God would fight the battles, as He had promised.
In the past, when trying to move beyond these painful scenarios, I understood that it’s
because of our projections — Van’s and mine.
Obviously, based on his childhood experiences, Van projects the energies that attract my
behavior, and I very willingly fulfill the prophecy. And we have discussed this fact, but it still
continues. However, it is getting too stressful, and I’ve reached the place where I can no longer
tolerate the recurring hassles.
So, again I asked God to remove the negative energies that cause the conflict, and I
acknowledged that I certainly hadn’t been able to handle it by myself, nor had Van. So I called
upon the grace of God to take us through these Final Battles, knowing that it might not be the
last episode, because the journey is cyclic and spherical.
During my meditation, I felt guided to read a monthly newsletter from “Inner Journey,”
but I couldn’t find it. However, during the search I noticed the title, “The Mythic Journey,” listed
on the cover of the “Unity Magazine,” and I understood that I was actually being guided to this
one, as I’d already read the “Inner Journey” newsletter.
Even as I read, my conscious mind was rebelling, but suddenly my understanding
revealed the meaning of the words for me, at this time: change my attitude from sumptuous
despair to sumptuous desire, accepting and knowing that I am on purpose for God’s Divine Plan,
and therefore I am living my Magnificent Obsession; so accept it and give thanks. A lesson I’ve
learned many times, but that’s the definition of a myth, and I am writing mine.
Jean Huston says, “Myth is like a force field charging the incidents of our personal
history with meaning and significance. It sustains, and shapes our emotional attitudes, provides
us with life purposes, and energizes our every day acts. It gives life meaning and momentum.”
Her words remind me that my purpose is to understand and follow God’s guidance, and
to live in The Present Moment, blooming where God plants me. So, obviously, this is where I am
supposed to be, and I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing. Even the battles with Van are
part of God’s Divine Plan for us to learn and to grow, and to pass along these lessons to anyone
who is interested and ready to move forward on their “Journey to Inner Freedom.”
But Does it Ever End?
According to Jean, myths are meant to be relived and retold, and “we are regrown to
greatness,” as we live the myth of “My Story,” and name the character, Me.
Since this is the beginning of a new chapter, I’m sure there will be more to the saga
(myth). For instance, I read this much to Van, and then we talked about his projections onto me,
based on his relationship with his mother.
As we talked, I had a flash of understanding relating to his Final Battle. It goes back to
his fear, while driving Highway 92, overlaid with his lifetime experiences of dealing with his
mom, and other inconsistent women, including myself. In other words, what’s okay one time
may cause serious repercussions the next, which would cause him to question his judgment.
For instance, based on his mom’s previous communication about not wanting her
birthday recognized, he thought he was pleasing her, only to find out that she expected him to
send her a birthday card. It’s this kind of lifetime inconsistencies that evolved into Van’s fear of
making any decisions, because it’s a no-win situation.
Van readily agreed that this explained the “Big One, Elizabeth,” of his Final Battle; one
that had returned to haunt him in recent weeks, which means that it’s up for him to take it to the
next level.
Risky Business
So, I asked, “What do you think you would need to do to change this pattern?”
He replied with his usual non-committal response, “Good question.”
I suggested that this entire conversation reflected one word: risk-taking. So, I asked,
“What if you were willing to take a risk? Maybe assume a so-what attitude, without being
obnoxious about it. Like when you’re at your mom’s this time, be willing to take a risk and say
how you really feel, without fear of how she will react.”
I added that remembering that it’s not all up to him, but God will fight the battles, so he
can rely on the grace of God. Also, assuming “It doesn’t really matter how it turns out,” places
him into non-resistance, in addition to acceptance, which are steps on the spiritual path.
He seemed to like that idea, although it seemed frightening. Yet, after all, he had been a
Navy Frogman (now called Seals) and he took many chances. However, this was far worse for
his inner child. In the military, he knew exactly where he stood, and he also thought he had his
mom figured out. Until the birthday card incident, Van had developed a way of handling their
relationship that seemed to work. But now, he didn’t feel he could trust his own judgment, which
threw him into confusion.
That’s why I suggested that he could practice this new paradigm shift by talking about
what he’d thought and how he felt when deciding that she didn’t want a birthday card. Whew!
I’m probably making a wise decision by not being there for this visit. And I could definitely see
why I was given the title for this book, “Journey Out of The Hole.”
Money Matters
Another Final Battle issue had been surfacing it’s ugly head in the past several days and
resolving it would definitely take us out of the money-hole. Again, Van’s fear projects itself into
our finances, as I’ve written in another book. But this is our myth, so repetition is acceptable; at
least until we finally get it handled.
And I must admit, I too have childhood issues about money, which relate to my natural
mom and dad’s poverty during The Great Depression. And I’ve also written about this in other
books. But, here it is to deal with again.
Van now understood that his money-love concept with his mom relates to her showing
love by giving him money for his various past projects. And, in recent years it had manifested
with her giving him money for the RV repairs. So, the more breakdowns and repairs, the more he
knew she loved him. We had a lot of them in our first years of travel, until he understood the
impact of this money-love issue, and found another way to experience his mother’s love. Now,
she still sends money to show her love, but we don’t have to indulge in sumptuous despair, such
as the RV breaking down, in order to enjoy it. We can actually use the money for sumptuous
desire, if we so choose.
I had recently been guided to watch the new talk show, Iyanla, and also Oprah. I don’t
usually watch daytime TV, but wouldn’t you know, this particular day they were both about
money issues, so I knew they were surfacing again, as part of the Final Battles.
Oprah’s guest the author of “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth,” talked about how
to economize and save/invest money to become wealthy.

1. Put coins in container and then into savings.
2. Save money from coupon savings and add to container.
3. Pay off credit cards.
4. Obtained Mutual Funds or other investment
5. No cable TV
6. Don’t use ATM’s.

Some of this is contrary to my money beliefs, but it seems to work; for them, at least.
But, for us, keeping a Spending Plan and writing down our expenditures, plus building our
consciousness with reading an ongoing Daily Prosperity Program seems the most helpful. Also,
identifying and changing the root causes of our money patterns allows them to be faced,
recognized and changed, as Van has done with his money-love relationship with his mom.
What’s This?
Periodically, in our travels, we come against a glitch in our mail service. Often, it’s
God’s Timing Factor, but we don’t find out until later. Perhaps this time it’s part of The Void, or
maybe the Final Battles.
Again, combined with the cellular phone and TV dilemma, we’re faced with not getting
our health products. But, this time it’s because Dottie never sent them. Somehow, during our
three weeks, she was not able to get the matter handled. Partly because someone she gave a
bottle of OPC-3 to (from our order) didn’t get it replaced. But, I think there’s more going on, as
often does in our relationship. Usually it’s dealing with the processes we are going through, such
as the Final Battles; and it could be hers, as well as mine. Only time will tell. Bottom-line, we
didn’t get our products and now it was too late to send them to us at Bonnie’s; and we didn’t
know where to have them sent.
Part of the problem was that Van didn’t get the address change, from Dottie’s old one to
the new one, where we have our products delivered for her to forward. Personally, I suspect that
she resents doing it, which is part of her “having to take care of Mom” syndrome; another story
that I’ve already written and won’t get into now.
I had to vigorously affirm: “I am not a victim; I am victorious,” over this one, because
when I run out of my health products, my health begins to deteriorate quickly. They are my
Fountain of Youth. Yes, I know that “God is my health, I can’t be sick, to quote a favorite poem.
But, I also believe that He works through the products and that’s why He guided us to them.
On the other hand, it’s up, at this time, to remind me to keep my trust in God, which is
definitely what I have to do, while I figure out where to have her send the products, and
otherwise get the problem solved. For instance, having Van handle the address change, because
it’s possible that, with the wrong address, the one package got returned to headquarters. I hate
these mix-up and delays.
For instance, Dottie e-mailed us an Address Change card from the company, and it took
forever to send, and to receive. That’s because she’d filed it with a bunch of other material,
possibly the entire Career Manual, so we would need to delete and save in order to free-up all
that extra material.
Oh yes, another dilemma revolves around Dottie and I trying to communicate; either I
have a bad signal, or even when I don’t, we seem to get cut off for one reason or another. And
during the most recent conversation, she had taken a sip of coffee and swallowed wrong, so
choked throughout the conversation. What is this telling us?
In any event, the saga will continue to unfold, so stay tuned.
The Enchanted Meadow
As we approached the last days of our stay in the Enchanted Meadow, I felt more
comfortable and at ease without the usual safety factors of lights, a security guard and other
people.
We especially enjoyed the quiet and peace of this beautiful private RV site. And I daily
gave thanks to God for guiding us here to process through The Void. Because, even without good
TV reception or clear cellular phone signal, or our own local phone hook-up, we had gotten a lot
accomplished. I’d kept doing what needed to be done, as God guided, such as writing several
more chapters and creating some webpages, plus handling my e-mail and correspondence. Van
had scanned some more pictures and also Bobby Lusk’s book, “Nowhere to Run; No Place to
Hide.” In addition, we had fought and won another round of the Final Battles, with God’s Grace,
of course.
Keeping focused on these projects had been less stressful, and also allowed us time to
visit with Bonnie and take several wonderful trips. And we had time to pick blackberries and go
for walks.
But, most of all, we were being in The Present Moment, and enjoying the gifts of nature
that came our way, such as the deer: a doe and her little fawn that came to graze in the meadow;
and I laughed at their wariness of having this strange obstacle in their space. And somehow the
doe seemed to know when we were looking, because she would be watching us. Once, when the
fawn was wagging its white flag tail, she made it lie down and become invisible, so to speak.
Several mornings we got to watch the pheasant family going for a stroll “to the grocery
store” as Van said. And one morning I saw a tree squirrel flitting through the branches, as I
watched from my bed. And there were the bluejays and other birds, some singing their sweet
songs. And, of course, we could see the sunsets, the cloud changes, and the stars and moon at
night.
The sights and sounds of our Enchanted Meadow changed from summer to autumn: the
purple thistles became flying seeds (like dandelions), sometimes simulating a snow storm; the
profusion of green leaves began to turn yellow and fall from the branches, while other shrubs
and trees either dried up or became shades of yellow, red and golden, or even brown and rust.
And the sunshine and rain allowed the wild blackberries to continue ripening, so the prolific
bushes were heavy with the black ones ripening and dropping to the ground, while the others
changed from small hard green to brilliant red, and then black. And they smelled sweet and
tempting, as we would pick and eat, while trying to save enough for cereal; we never did get a
pie baked.
Our Next Options
The promise of more autumn colors abounded, but it was time for us to move on, and we
discussed our next options. Because the furnace had stopped working, Van had made an
appointment for Sept. 6th at Camping World in Wilsonville, Oregon, near my son, so we would
see him one more time.
However, the call of the road was beckoning us toward the Oregon beaches, and to places
we had seen before and wanted to see again. So the plans were made as we looked forward to the familiar sights and sounds and tastes of our sumptuous desire, such as fried razor clams and clam chowder at our favorite places. And we could see the waves rolling into sandy beaches in the state where I had been born and lived, and felt comfortable.
Somehow, I had a feeling that the return trip through Oregon would be different, because
we were in a different space, after having rested in The Void, and winning the Final Battles, at
least at this level. So, now we were ready to Live in the Promised Land and enjoy the bounties it
had to offer.
Baby Boomer’s Birthday
I’d felt very sad not being able to be with Dottie on her Big 50, especially when I’d heard
that her sister would be there, so wrote several communications on the subject, to which Dottie
finally wrote a dissertation about why her birthdays are no big deal, and she’ll be glad when it’s
over.
Someplace along the line she mentioned that they would be in San Diego for a family
Thanksgiving with Arlene, and when I realized that we would too, everything finally fit into
place and I felt okay.
And then, at the last minute, it turned out that her sister wouldn’t be going to Colorado,
so I suggested that maybe she could join us for the family gathering, which became a possibility.
In the meantime, Bonnie’s birthday turned out to be a busy day. She had a meeting for
her part-time job in the morning and started back to college, with two back-to-back classes
starting at 3:00 p.m.
With all this activity, she didn’t have much time to celebrate her birthday, so we decided
that she could collect her bet that I’d made about her brother calling her. Since he hadn’t called,
I owed her a chicken bake and very berry sundae at Costco. This worked out great, because her
meeting was nearby, and we would simply unhook our RV and meet here there, on our way out
of town (the freeway entrance being only a few blocks from Costco.
It seems that Bonnie, too, had resisted turning 50, and she hadn’t celebrated her Big 50
on her last birthday. In fact, she decided to stop having birthdays at age 49, so this low-key
birthday lunch went over just fine. Besides, in my mind the special lunch at Quinault Lodge,
while on our marathon trip, would suffice for her official birthday celebration. So, I felt at peace
with her birthday, once we’d eaten our sumptuous Costco feast, and I’d given her a funny card.
But, I still wasn’t completely satisfied with Dottie’s and I sat down at my computer and
wrote her a letter expressing my feelings and love for her, plus a brief (4-pages) recall of her
history, especially the parts that we shared, and I e-mailed it to her.
That evening she called, after receiving the e-mail, and told me how much she
appreciated what I’d written. Now, I was satisfied, because I felt that she heard what I was
saying, especially about the part that I was there too, and even if her birthday didn’t mean much
to her, her birth meant a lot to me.
Furthermore, when Van and I arrived at Wal-Mart in Longview, where we stayed before
crossing the Columbia River, we selected two birthday cards: a special one for daughter in which
I enclosed a money gift, and a funny one about reticence to acknowledge one’s birthday.
Okay, so all the pieces to the puzzle were in place, and the birthday girls had been
properly acknowledge. I could let it go and get on with my life.

Chapter 13
SO, THIS IS THE PROMISED LAND!

A County Park
In preparation for writing this chapter, I felt Guided to reread Road Sign #11, “Living in
The Promised Land,” from my course, “Journey to Inner Freedom.” It had been so many years
since I first wrote it, and even since I’d last revised, that I’d forgotten the wellspring of
information it contains. So much that I felt inspired to complete the course, but I wondered when
I would have the time; certainly not then.
We were parked at Hudson-Parcher County Park in Rainier, Oregon, after crossing the
Columbia River at Longview, and we would be moving on to the Oregon Coast later in the day,
with reservations for Bud’s RV Park in Seaside that evening. In other words, we were living our
having it all consciousness of The Promised Land by staying in RV parks. This agreement came
as a result of our decision to take a vacation from economy for a few days, as we approached the
Labor Day Weekend at the coast; one of the busiest times.
However, we were trusting God to Guide and provide us places to stay. I was delighted
that we spent so much time in Longview, because now we could cross the bridge and stay at a
favorite park where we had stayed once before. Located under the tall trees, with sun filtering
through the branches, this full hook-up park definitely offered the opportunity for “Living in The
Promised Land” with its clean, quiet, safe facilities that provide playground facilities for the
kids, along with baseball fields and ample room for sports and recreation.
In addition, across the road there are trails that wander through the woods, along
bounteous blackberry bushes. On our walk, we encountered Mr. and Mrs. Pheasant on a stroll, as
they leisurely meandered ahead of us for a short distance, and then sauntered into the
underbrush. This couple enjoyed an unlimited supply of berries, grains, and other edibles, and
they obviously felt no fear of the passersby, such as ourselves.
We passed a creek and several ponds, along the trail, and eventually came upon the high
school football field where the team was practicing in preparation for school opening within a
week. Indeed, the seasons were passing, and the autumn colors were replacing the greenery. For
instance, stately cattails, with their brown crowns, gently waved in the ponds and marshes. And
the prickly heads of the teasel weeds waited for someone’s creative eye to pluck them for a dried
flower arrangement, or perhaps spray them with festive colors for a holiday wreath, as a friend
once did. However, she pricked her finger on their spiny bracts (stalk) and required medication,
so be careful with this one. Another russet colored weed also adds to any dried floral
arrangement, and is a favorite for my November russet color association for Renunciation or
Elimination in my Transformation course. Another bush had profuse small white balls, but I
don’t know their name, nor whether they would stay intact, if picked.
Strolling back through the park, we crossed the bridge over a creek, and much to our
surprise, it was still black, caused by excessive minerals in the water. We had thought the black
water was due to the heavy rains that year, and Van wondered if, perhaps, the water was actually
clear and the bottom of the creek and the rocks were stained from earlier episodes. At least the
caterpillar infestation had ended, as we recalled that they had covered the bridge railings and all
the bushes and plants when we were here before. I hoped that they turned into lovely butterflies,
but even so, they were destroying all the plants. Thank goodness they had left and not returned.
The first time we were here, in June, we barely made it back to our RV, before the rains
came. But this time we enjoyed comfortable sunshine until sunset, which we couldn’t see behind
the trees. In any event, the group of children played noisily in the warm evening, and we never
quite knew where they came from, or where they went; perhaps a summer program here for a
day of activities.
The next day, around noon, a bugle sounded reveille and we soon found out that they had
been camping overnight, and the activities continued; certainly a fun time for all concerned.
What is The Code?
However, I’d become enmeshed in rereading “Living in The Promised Land,” which
reminded me of the term Initiation, which either comes as a test to see if you’ve learned the
preceding lessons before beginning the next level, such as Jesus in The Wilderness. Or, it can be
a rite of passage for a club or organization.
When in this discussion, I always think of Eddie Murphy’s portrayal of The Golden
Child,” in which he had to cross a narrow precipice to obtain the prize, before he could regain
his kingdom. (Joyanna, look this up) and in the story, “The Sword in the Stone,” Sir Lancelot
must remove the prized sword from the stone to prove his right to his position and title.
The point being that once we enter The Promised Land, life does not suddenly work the
way we want. We must prove that we have earned the right to this exalted lifestyle. And so, we
will find ourselves facing the Initiation Process, and our choices will prove if we are ready to
have it all in The Promised Land.
In this Road Sign the interesting reality is revealed: we were Living in The Promised
Land all along. But, we needed to learn the code, and that is the purpose of taking the course,
“Journey to Inner Freedom.” Certainly my telling you the code, at this point, would not be
helpful. It’s like handing you a college diploma without you having gone through the classes.
Okay, I’ll tell you: It’s simply a matter of living in the Present Moment. There, you have
it. Now, does your life suddenly work better?
No! So sign up for and go through the Journey to Inner Freedom.
The Columbia’s Destiny
In the meantime, we are moving on with our Journey through the forests along the
Columbia River. This is one of the scenic wonders of the world, so let me give you a word
picture, as I glimpse (through the thick trees and shrubbery) the other side of the scene I
described while going along the Washington side of the Columbia River. Now, we are in the
woods that we saw then, and I can clearly see this fork, and the island in the middle of the
sprawling river.
Once past the island, the river spreads out, sometimes on our side of the lush valley, and
other times it’s in the distance along the highway where we had traveled on our northern
journey. As the miles speed by, and we near Astoria, we are in thick forest and unable to see
beyond our narrow canopied world.
Soon we pass Tongue Point Naval Station, and we catch more glimpses of the river, now
up close and personal, with the picturesque tall and long Astoria Bridge in the distance. Now, we
are very close to the mouth of The Columbia and, as if to assert its mightiness, it becomes a
roaring sea pushing toward its destiny: merging with the Pacific Ocean.
I never cease to be impressed and inspired by this phenomenon, and I’m breathless, as
Van drives through the narrow streets of Astoria, the historical city, founded in 1811 by John
Jacob Astor, as a fur-trading post. Old-world homes perch on the hillside, above downtown,
where we drive along the wharf and industrial area on the right; and from there spreads the
Mighty Columbia on the last lap of its journey, before merging and becoming one with the
Pacific Ocean.
Somehow, it reminds me of our Journey into Oneness, as we go through the ego’s last
hold-out, before merging into our God-Self. Perhaps this is why I feel such intensity when
viewing this impactful force of nature. Also, experiencing this power, during the month of
August, serves as a powerful Experiential Aide for power.
Although we do not cross the expansive Astoria Bridge, we cross the backwaters, over
another bridge, and again we can see the last vestiges of The Mighty Columbia, as it races
toward its merging.
If Only
If only it could be that easy, and that inevitable for us to merge into Oneness. In truth, it
is; the ego’s resistance makes it seem harder than the Columbia, which flows so forcefully
toward its destiny.
An example of our ego’s resistance became evident as we settled into Bud’s RV park.
We had given ourselves permission to enjoy the luxury of full-hookup and cable TV, but some
inner hold-out, probably part of the Initiation Process, created the screen being blurry and the
sound garbled, even worse than at Bonnie’s without cable.
“Is it okay for us to have clear TV?” I asked Van.
“Yeah,” he replied, adding, “I’ll go jiggle the wires.”
He did, but it didn’t, so he came inside. But the situation seemed intolerable, especially
since I had selected a place with cable TV so we could enjoy the fruits of having it all. By now
we were eating the bountiful Hoagie sandwich I’d created, but Van offered to go change the
hook-up, which he thought might help.
“Finish your dinner,” I urged.
But when he finished, it was sprinkling and he didn’t want to go outside. Do I detect
some resistance to having it all? So we watched one of the least garbled channels, a movie,
“Barbarosa,” with Willie Nelson. Well, okay, we hadn’t seen it, so it’ll do. But, do I want to live
life out of “It will do”?
NO!
Finally, the sprinkles stopped and Van went outside. By now I’d gotten busy on the
computer, but I glanced at the TV screen, and voila, I could actually see the picture. Hooray! A
victory!
Van came inside and surfed the channels, lighting on one of my favorites, “Evening at
the Pops.” Nathan Lane was presenting excerpts from Danny Kaye’s repertoire, and in one skit
Nathan became his inner child, as he put it, with a joyful rendition of “The Emperor’s New
Clothes.”
What a tribute to the last vestiges (if only) of our last hold-out, before merging into
Oneness, because the inner child can be extremely resistant to growing up and taking
responsibility for its part in allowing us to complete our Inner Journey.
Memories Are Made of This
Friday morning found us at the beginning of the Labor Day Weekend, as we arrived in
Seaside and parked at the Visitor’s Center (no RV’s allowed on the business streets). But this is
cool, because we can see all the tourist-oriented shops, as we walk to the Esplanade, taking the
same route that brought Lewis and Clark, and also The Oregon Trail, to their conclusions.
I stop to buy a postcard of Astoria, showing the bridge and tower, and am drawn to buy
an entire collection of a lighthouse series for my son, Marquam. He collects lighthouses and I’ve
decided to enter these on his webpage, as I’m thinking perhaps lighthouses would be a good
theme. He also likes eagles, so I must ask him if he would like me to add a collection of eagles
and lighthouses that he can share with others.
Seaside nowadays reminds me of Marquam, because we brought him here, in Freedom,
several years ago, and celebrated his early, before his November birthday. We walked along this
same street, stopped at the Merry-Go-Round and took a picture, while trying to talk Van into
finding the perfect hat for his personality. So far, it hasn’t happened, and I tried again, but no
sale. He doesn’t do hats, even though there are times he would like one to shade the sun, or
protect from the rain.
The streets and sidewalks are alive with early sightseers: peddling the go-carts, riding the
trolley, walking, running, jogging, or ambling; not to mention driving. In fact, we are surprised at
the impatience and discourtesy of some drivers, as they honk at slower tourists. You’d think they
could relax and smell the roses, but some folks are always rude and impatient, even on vacation.
We amble past the indoor bumper-car arena, and the Karmelcorn stand, as the aroma of
hot dogs and other fast foods waft through the air. Everyone must eat or drink; it’s a rule. So the
vendors are flourishing, but this is their last vestige, too, because after Labor Day Weekend the
resort town dies.
Resisting the lure of arts and crafts, seashells, T-shirts, and the other souvenirs, once I
buy my postcards, we continue on to the end of the Esplanade, where we stop to admire the
familiar ocean and beach scene. After all, this is where we came to the beach, during much of
my lifetime when living in Oregon, and it’s where we brought Marquam for his birthday lunch.
Today, once inside Shilo Inn’s restaurant, we again ordered our favorite: fried razor
clams, and savored every delicious morsel, while watching the panorama outside the window:
more of the foot traffic, along with an abundance of the family dogs on their leashes, plus
bicyclers and skaters; all enjoying the view from the promenade.
And today, along with the usual sand and surf, we were entertained by a girl’s volleyball
team, guy’s playing touch football, and in the distance (by the surf), a group of cheerleaders
practicing their routines; sometimes flipping into the air, or simply balancing on shoulders.
Usually Van is quiet while eating, but today we chatted amicably about the passers-by
and activities, or our plans for the day. Spotting a German Shepherd on the promenade,
reminded me of the golden German Shepherd (police dog) we’d seen at Bud’s RV park, and I
remembered that I wanted to mention her in my chapter.
I’d never seen a golden police dog, so I asked about her lineage, and learned that Cindy,
affectionately called Big Bear by her owner, is 12-years-old, and part German Shepherd, chow
and husky, and probably some golden retriever. I asked if I could pet Cindy, and was told that
she’s as gentle as a lamb, enjoying all the hugs and pettings she can get. And she loves riding in
the RV, sitting on the sofa and looking out the window; or when the owner fills the gas tank
(located in the front) she watches him from the driver’s seat. And when another RVer walked by
with her small white Spitz mixture, the two dogs got acquainted quite amicably, once the smaller
dog got over its fear.
But, soon Cindy’s owners were ready to hit the road for points south, similar to our
itinerary, as far as California, then they would head on to the Yuma, Arizona area where they
would winter on the BLM land, paying $150.00 for five-months; not a bad deal.
As I related the story to Van, we began discussing our plans. I’d received another Bonus
Deal from Riverside Casino in Laughlin, and the enticement always gets my attention, so we
considered the idea for an early winter possibility.
But for now, we finished our meal, between chatting with the waitress, who is about
ready to return to Salt Lake City in time for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
“I’m on a working vacation,” she said, looking out the window at the blue skies, and
sunshine reflecting from the ocean waves, in the distance, across the sand.
Soon we joined the entourage, walked leisurely along the promenade to the Aquarium,
looked at the display of a mammoth whale carcass, and then took the side streets back to
Freedom.
The Scenic Route: A Tunnel, Bays, and Cheese
The Oregon Beach Highways are done right, so you can see the ocean and the weathered
beach homes, even when driving through the wooded areas. And when there’s nothing much to
see, the highway takes the shortest distance to the next scenic spot. Thus it is when we leave
Seaside and head south.
Ordinarily, we would take the side road (the original highway) to Cannon Beach, view
the famous Haystack Rock, pictured in many Oregon Coast scenes, and stop for Mo’s Clam
Chowder in Tolovana Park, with its easy access to the beach. But this time we’d just eaten, and
we wanted to cover more distance so we could arrive at Lincoln City in time to get a free parking
space, before the full holiday crowd arrived. However, if you’re visiting this area for the first
time, don’t miss this short scenic side trip, which loops back to the highway; and for goodness
sakes, don’t miss Mo’s clam chowder, which we will have further down the road in Lincoln City.
Archcape is noteworthy, not only for its grocery-post office and picturesque beach, but
because my former in-laws (paternal grandparents of my kids) once lived here, and many
vacations were spent walking along the creek to the beach and store, or post-office. And my kids
have many fond childhood memories of staying with their grandparents: digging clams and
eating clam chowder, along with other delicious meals cooked by Stella McLaughlin (click here
for Marquam’s memories).
But today we whiz right by and go through the tunnel that brings us to the other side of
the cape, and then through the woods. Now, here is an interesting phenomenon that proves the
fallibility of one’s perceptions, or maybe it’s a matter of fading memory. In any event, in my
mind, once through the tunnel, we come out to a high point overlooking the ocean, shore, and
the valley and hills below. Since that didn’t happen this trip, I assumed that the highway had
been changed. However, after driving along a straight stretch, we suddenly come to the exact
spot that I had envisioned. Okay, I was wrong. What can I say?
Van pulled off to let the cars go by, as he does on narrow roads, and I took a picture.
Then on we went to the part that I dread: a repeat, only briefly, thank goodness, of Colorado’s
Highway 92; more like Big Sur, as it winds precariously along the side of the mountain, looking
straight down to the ocean below.
The Good News is that this time he didn’t grip the steering wheel, or turn white with fear.
I said, “Memories of Highway 92. This must be part of our Initiation.”
He laughed, and I rejoiced, because I could tell that he had made some more progress in
his recovery process, as now his energies were different; more stabilized and strong. Hooray! He
learned the lesson that released him from fear, and he passed the test that allows him to remain
in The Promised Land.
We may not be entering “The Land of Milk and Honey,” but it’s definitely the Land of
Cheese and Ice Cream, as we are nearing the Tillamook Cheese Plant. But, first, we drop into the
valley and drive along Nehalem Bay for many miles. I’m convinced that the river flowing into
this bay is where the movie with Henry Fonda was filmed. I forgot the name and most of the
details, but it was about logging, and one memorable scene shows a raft floating down the river
with a hand tied on a stick, so that it’s giving a finger to the viewers.
This subtitle should be named about my fading memory, because I also vaguely
remember that my adopted parents (grandparents) sometimes visited friends, Glenn and Leeann,
who lived here on a houseboat. He used to call me Sweet Pea, and sometimes Duz, because
that’s the kind of soap I used for washing dishes. Isn’t the mind an amazing thing? I do
remember that Glenn was balding and had a mustache, and Leeann was pretty and made
fabulous cakes. My favorite was a sheetcake for Grandmother Casey (Mom Freeland’s mother,
who lived to be 100), which was decorated with myriad colored pansies. I can see it now, and
almost taste it. It feels good to mention these friends, as we pass through Nehalem; and it
stretches my memory muscles.
I wish I could describe the beauty of this valley, as we drive along Nehalem Bay, with its
fishing boats, and related businesses; also farms and pastures with grazing cattle. And, of course,
there are logging related buildings, such as lumber mills. But, despite the similarities, the
energies here are much different from Washington. I’ll leave that, along with the scenery, to your
imaginations.
When we pass the small town of Wheeler, home of the famous Rhinehart Clinic, I’m
excited to see that a small church with stained glass windows is still for sale, two-years after I
first noticed the place and dreamed of living there, overlooking this fabulous view. But, it
seemed too remote: not only location, but possibilities; and I’m still not sure if I could tolerate
the long periods of rain, wind and overcast. Yet, it still speaks to me, and is something that I
must keep on the back burner, because I’ve always dreamed of living in a place where I could
have my workshops and seminars. The energies here seem good, and the possibility of living in a
church for my Inner Freedom Ministry are tantalizing. Perhaps this is the ultimate location of my
Promised Land.
I made a mental note to pursue the possibilities, as we drove onward from this bay,
through more forests, and eventually to Tillamook Bay, which reminded us of Klamath Lake in
southern Oregon.
If you enjoy trees and water, this is the scenic route to take. And if you like cheese and
ice cream, then stop, as we did, at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. There’s lots of room to park,
and you can take a free self-guided tour through part of the plant. But, to my disappointment,
they only give a small sample cube of cheese, and the bricks cost more than at Costco, where I
had recently purchased a new supply.
Will This be a Future Flashback?
I don’t know why I create disappointment when I stop here, but it happened again. This
time, it was the ice cream cone. We drooled over the possibility of mountain huckleberry ripple,
so placed our order and paid in advance, then handed the ticket to the server; a tall teenager who
yawned, as he dipped our scoops.
I began to wonder about my consciousness, when Van’s dripped with oozing
huckleberries, but mine looked like vanilla, with only a smattering of purple, and no berries. My
inner child took a few licks and complained bitterly, so Van gave me a few bites from his
huckleberries.
However, as I returned to my paltry cone, my inner child continued to complain, and I
had to laugh when I noticed a real child, who could pass for a replica of my younger self,
standing by her mom and looking at me with total confusion and questioning, such as “Why
would a grandmother sound like a child?”
As we walked away, I knew the little girl would not be able to formulate the situation to
even discuss it with her mom, and I hoped it wouldn’t scar her for life with flashbacks when she
becomes an adult. I say that, because she reminds me of a little girl I once saw in a movie with
flashbacks. But I’m sure my inner child would not have that much impact on her. However,
Joanie was certainly making sure that she had no unfulfilled expectations, as she continued to
lick the offered huckleberries from Little Ralph’s cone; and when he had all he wanted, we
switched cones, much to Joanie’s delight. This saved her the need to add some blackberry syrup
(leftover from Bonnie’s pancake fest) to her barren dessert.
“It Was a Straight Line”
In any event, we traveled onward, through the Tillamook Valley, past the grazing black
and white cows that provide the milk that eventually becomes cheese, and soon we approached
Beaver, a pleasant little mountain town with a turnoff to Portland.
The thing is, we once took this route, a straight black line on the map, when on our first
trip in Freedom. It starts out as quite a nice paved highway; then it narrows, winds and twists
through the mountains. And, about thirty-miles into the trip, a sign appears: pavement ends. Of
course, by this time we were too far into it to turn around and go back, so we continued. This
gave Van his first opportunity to drive on a gravel road in his precious RV. I could literally feel
Freedom’s tires gingerly crunching over the gravel, as Van drove about 10 MPH, hoping to
protect it from damaging punctures.
Believe me, like Highway 92, the “Never-Ending-Highway,” we thought this one would
never end, but about 17-miles later, we finally returned to pavement and continued through the
mountains and eventually to Portland.
This time, I said, “Please don’t take the left turn-off,” and we happily drove through
town.
Now, I Listen When God Speaks
I probably hadn’t asked God’s advice about that road, and if I did, I must not have
listened, unless it was another Experiential Aide. In any event, this time I listened when God put
the words “Pacific City” into my head, and I also followed. Well, almost; at least after we turned
around and went back.
You see, it was getting late, as we neared Lincoln City, and I’d begun wondering whether
or not there would be any places left to park at the Chinook Winds Casino. Besides the fact that
it’s quite crowded, even on a good day, and we had gotten crunched by another RV, leaving a
bad scratch on Freedom, so I’d been open to other options, though I had none of my own. So,
when we passed the turn-off to Pacific City, I decided that I’d better let Van know about the
Guidance I’d received earlier.
He, too, has learned to listen and follow, so we were ready for the adventure of new
possibilities, yet we were apprehensive about these coastal loops, having once taken one from
Tillamook to Oceanside, holding our breath over the obviously repaired roads that looked as if
they could collapse at any time. Fortunately, they didn’t, and the loop provided some really great
coastal scenery.
Go For It!
Now, we pulled into Cape Kiwanda RV park and asked if they had any vacancy.
“Yes, it’s $16.00 for dry-parking, no electricity, and you can’t use your generator because
it would burn the grass.”
We asked about any place else, and then walked toward the nearby County Park, but
somehow we got confused and stopped at another RV park, Tomichi Village, which she hadn’t
mentioned. The owner explained that they are feuding with the state park, as he confirmed that
they had vacancies, while his wife was signing in one customer, as we spoke.
Even though $20.00 a night, with full hookups, including cable TV, we decided to “go
for it.” After all, God had guided us here, and we figured there was a good reason.
I soon found out, while waiting to sign-in, when I overheard one of the locals, who had
just returned from Lincoln City, announce that the traffic was backed-up and the town was
packed. Okay, thank You, God. I got the message. We’ll stay put.
This time the cable TV came in clearly, but we soon left to explore the beach, passing the
many cute rabbits hopping around on the lawns. Van had asked the owner about them, and
learned that they had originally started with a few, and as rabbits will do, they kept multiplying,
until they are now a nuisance. Nevertheless, the cute black and white critters added a friendly
touch to the place.
In addition, our neighbors too were friendly, as we learned when we met the husband on
our way to the beach. We learned that they had just returned from Alaska and were on their way
south, returning to Florida where they would spend the winter.
Sights and Challenges
To our surprise, another Haystack Rock, this one a monolith with an oblong porthole,
loomed not far from shore. And the picturesque scene was enhanced by the projection of a sandy
colored cape: Cape Kiwanda, to be exact.
The weather had clouded over, as the sun set over the ocean, but while we walked along
the beach, we could see people climbing up the steep slope of the sandy dune that formed the
back part of the projection. By the time we got closer, they had reached the top, and some were
sliding or rolling down the bank. Others walked out to the end, and then back down a path.
We decided not to attempt this adventure, but we had fun watching, and marveled at the
ease with which they seemed to maneuver the steep, sandy slope. In fact, to our amazement, a
very young child, maybe three at most, toddled up the side, as the father watched from below,
holding onto the leash of his small dog and the hand of an even younger son. We’d taken our
attention to some other activity, and when we returned to study the progress of the young lad, we
were shocked to see that the father, younger son and dog had all made their way to join him.
Parenting: Then and Now
I never seem to marvel at modern parenting, and this was a typical example, along with
the myriad activities of parents with kids. I must admit that today’s child-parents seem to have
more fun with their kids. Indeed, it’s a different world, and I often feel that I no longer fit in, if I
ever did. It’s for sure that I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drummer, but nowadays
I’m not sure there’s even a drummer to lead the foray of Generation X and beyond. After all,
they were raised by a generation who refused to grow-up, so what role models do they have?
Oh well, I mustn’t dwell on such matters. I’m sure it defines my age more than I really
feel it. And, according to my kids, the fault lies with our generation, not theirs, and certainly not
their kids, who are the prized results of their perfect effort to show us that we didn’t do it right,
nor did we know what we were talking about; and we still don’t, therefore we are not allowed to
inflict our opinions on their child-raising.
Wow! I don’t know where that came from, but it’s true. At least, in my opinion it’s true.
Glorious!
But, I want to move along with our evening’s walk, because by the time we finished
watching the entertainment, we turned around, toward the ocean and couldn’t believe our eyes.
The sky had become a glorious golden orange, as the sun burst through the clouds and reflected
over the waves and across the wet sand.
People along the bank were standing still, mesmerized by the beauty of the moment, and
we too stopped to drink in God’s glory, as we silently thanked Him for guiding us to this time
and place to begin the Labor Day Weekend holiday. Forget the free casino; we’re in The
Promised Land.
In fact, we were so thrilled with it all that we signed up for another night, and settled in
for the evening to relax and watch a movie about a priest, rabbi and the girl they loved;
entertaining and not too deep.
Is This the Place?
The next day drizzled and sometimes rained, until afternoon, making it perfect for
writing my chapter, with the overhead heater keeping us snuggy. And when I came to writing the
part about the church-house, in Wheeler, I stopped and called (my cellular phone had a full
signal, even though at the beach) the Wheeler Chamber of Commerce and got the number of a
Real Estate office for Wheeler.
“Why is the building still for sale, after two-years?” I asked.
Don, the Realtor, replied, “Because Greta, the owner, originally took it off the market,
about that time. But she recently died, and now it’s being sold as part of the estate.”
As we talked, I learned that it’s a two-bedroom, one bathroom home, with the sanctuary
converted to a living room and kitchen, but can be easily reconverted. I could just imagine my
Inner Freedom Ministry website originated there, and I quickly asked the price. It had been
reduced to $187,500, and with my inheritance, if I could borrow against it, I could easily afford a
cash offer. So, okay, God, it’s in your corner, as always. If this is where you want me to be
planted and bloom, it will happen.
I’d learned from Don that there is a long driveway where we can park Freedom, so I
talked the idea over with Van, and we decided to return there and look at the place, and then take
the route to Portland direct from Tillamook; a good highway, according to Don.
I seldom retrace our route, preferring to move forward, but this time I would make an
exception, like turning around to go to Pacific City, because when God speaks, I follow; and he
had clearly impressed these places upon my mind and heart. And, it’s for sure Pacific City had
been a blessing, fulfilling God’s promise.
Home of The Dory Fleet
By the time I’d finished writing, Van was up and ready to go for a walk, so we headed to
the beach in time to see a dory (special flat-bottomed boat used for fishing) struggling from the
sand into the breakers. This is the home of the Dory Fleet, and we were thrilled to watch the
scenario.
The two men waded in the water, pushing the boat, and once it caught the wave (into
deep enough water), they started the motor and jumped inside. Because of the rough water, it
was a difficult effort, and I wondered why they would be willing to get soaking wet, but Van
brought to my attention they were wearing rubber waders. However, I’m sure the water went
over them.
We weren’t close enough to take a good picture, but another boat was taking off, so we
walked closer and I got a picture. But, this boat never made it, for some reason, and they
eventually gave it up.
We were disappointed for them, and disgusted, because several of the surfers were
actually in front of the dory, blocking their way, which delayed the departure, and forced them to
give up the effort. The fishermen had asked the surfers to move, but they refused. So much for
good sportsmanship.
Sand, Rock, Sea and Sky
The beach was much more active on the second day of the weekend, and the side of the
dune was a mass of climbers and runners, as we strolled in that direction. We laughed as one
fellow, with his dog, leaped down the hillside, and then rolled to the bottom, looking like a
sand-craft that a family friend used to make. After completing the painting, she would roll it in
sand, adding a special touch.
Later, we watched three teenage girls rolling and somersaulting down the hill, laughing in
abandoned glee. Then they ran to the ocean and dove into the waves to remove the sand. What
fun they were having!
Today there were two parasails visible in the distance, originating on the other side of the
hill, so we couldn’t see what they were actually doing, but the red and yellow parachutes added
colorful festivity to this scene.
And the aroma of sizzling hamburgers being BBQ’d at one group made me want to join
them, but I resisted. Instead, I suggested that we walk to Fat Freddie’s, however the diner was
too far, so we ambled along the exposed rocks, at the bottom of the cape, where the low tide had
left many kinds of sea life visible to the beachwalkers. For instance, several starfish clung to the
walls of a crevasse, as the tide rushed in and rolled out, much to the delight of the watchers. And
several daring ones stood at the point where the rocks ended, and they shrilled with delight when
the waves splashed up against them.
While we examined some sea anemone, with their colorful tentacles open, we turned
quickly when a piercing screech revealed a teenage gal who had stepped onto one of the
anemone. She explained to her friends that it had spewed water on her foot, while closing into its
protective covering. She will have another story to tell about her beach experience, and I have
another one to write.
But there are so many more: everywhere we turn, the sights and sounds of this special
beach are being played out. For instance, one part of the cape consists of hard orange-colored
rock, which had been gauged (by earlier visitors) to form steps for the rock climbers; some of
whom were working their way up or down the face of the rock.
Going to The Dogs
Of course, the dogs know that the family vacation is actually for them, as they frolic on
the beach; some on a leash, others running free in the sand, or cavorting on the dunes, or chasing
sticks and balls into the water.
But the cutest sight came when we encountered our neighbors, Dick and Kay, walking
along the beach with their little fluffy-tailed gold and white pet: Angel, a King Charles Cavalier
Spaniel, head high and tail waving in the breeze, as it accompanied it’s owners. Suddenly, across
the sand, a miniature version raced toward its counterpart and the two began a marathon
playtime that kept the onlookers laughing and snapping pictures. I’m sure these two will dream
about each, other and their romp on the beach, when having those little woofs and jerks that dogs
have when they sleep.
A Surprise Treasure
We had been enjoying the sunshine, the beach, and all the activities, but it was getting
late and we were hungry, so we walked away from the main entrance and headed further south
along the beach, until we saw a makeshift path up the small sandy hill to the houses, and we
started our climb. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that all that fun wasn’t as easy as
it looked. Nevertheless, we worked our way up the hillside, along the path, and to the road. All
this so I could return a different way than we’d come.
But, as Van said, We found another reason,” unknown to us, as we crossed the road in
front of a cherry stand. We just couldn’t resist, so we bought a small box of lamberts, similar to
bings, and happily carried home our prize, ending another enjoyable day in The Promised Land
of abundance.
The End of an Era
Sunday morning three RV’s left, and then Dick announced that they were moving on, and
I called the Realtor and arranged to meet in Wheeler, at the church-house, at 12:30, so we left
too.
We had truly enjoyed this time and place where we had been divinely guided, and we
thanked God, as we headed back northward toward Wheeler. Could it be that my destiny finally
would be fulfilled with www.Inner Freedom.net originating from a church-house overlooking the
bay in Wheeler, Oregon?
If so, the story would continue as part of this Promised Land chapter. But it seems that, as
such, the beginning of a new era in our lives should also begin a new chapter, no matter what the
outcome. In fact, it should begin a new book, and maybe it will.

Chapter 14
BEGINNING A NEW ERA

Get me to the Church on Time
I had inadvertently miscalculated the timing for the return trip, as we revisited Beaver
and Tillamook, at the half-way point, and I fretted over getting to our appointment with the
Realtor on time, but Van honestly did his best to make it happen.
In the past, he has held back when it came to efforts to obtain a place to settle down and
build my ministry, so I was apprehensive, as I asked him to please support this one; at least not
to project negative energies.
As I write these words, it’s confusing, because Van has actually supported my ministry
financially, as well as emotionally; and his expertise has certainly made it possible for the
website ministry to happen. So, the above statement seems contradictory, yet, in the past, when I had felt guided to buy a mountain resort in Colorado, he was adamant in his refusal to
participate, or even live there. So, I gave it up, but not only because of Van’s position. If I had
wanted it enough and if it was God’s Plan, I’m sure it would have happened. But the truth is that
the 10,000 ft. altitude really bothered me. And when the wind blew the snow through the crack
under the French doors, forming a miniature snowbank inside the room, I concluded that it
wasn’t for me.
However, to this day, I don’t understand why the idea to see the place came to me so
strongly. First, to buy and read the ads in the newspaper, something I seldom do, and then for the family to go on an outing to southern Colorado to see the place. And I fell in love with the
energies of the mountain lodge, aspen trees and pond, when I stepped out of the car.
It seemed so right, and so workable to have a type of retreat where people could renew
and refuel in the peaceful surroundings, and I could facilitate my workshops and give a Sunday
lesson. I’d planned to invite various friends and family members to participate in the project,
such as Helena would manage the restaurant with her wonderful natural cooking. And Dal would
be in charge of maintenance. Another friend would be hostess with the mostess.
As the ideas flowed, I got even more excited, while walking through the woods with the
big dogs who lived there with the owners. My heart overflowed with joy, as I sang, “How Great
Thou Art,” and my voice echoed through the trees.
I even asked Bonnie to come visit us over Easter, and she took the bus all the way from
Washington to give an estimate for the carpentry and other remodeling expenses; and to consider
the possibility of becoming part of the program. But once she saw the mess the place was in, and what it would take to restore the 16 rental rooms, she said, “No way!”
I might have been more disappointed, but this was the trip where the wind howled and
blew sideways, creating the inside snowbank, so I agreed, and gave up on that location for my
dream. But, I never gave up on the idea, which had now become an Internet Writing Ministry,
and all the same people could participate, without leaving their own lifestyles.
While we’re backtracking, on our way to the church-home, and I’m trying to release the
anxiety by letting go and letting God, I might as well flashback even further, to my various
endeavors to create my original “Rainbow Center.” First in Saratoga (northern California), where
we lived for a number of years, and then “Rainbow by the Sea,” where we overlooked the
Pacific Ocean in southern California. Here is where my monthly publication, “The Rainbow
Connection,” began, as a result of being Guided to correspond with prison inmates and wanting
to share their inspiring letters, poems, artwork and articles. Interestingly enough, this all took
place in our homes, so the church-home in Wheeler would simply continue the precedent, only
now it would all be presented over the Internet; and it would reach far more people.
To tell the truth, even in my first marriage, I attempted various home projects, such as a
Metaphysical Bookstore, and a Natural Foods Service where customers could order their
products and pick them up at our home.
I must admit that I come by it honestly, because Mom Freeland always seemed to indulge
in various home projects, such as sewing elegant Chinese outfits for her customers, in our
basement apartment. She was a pianist, and always entertained guests with her impromptu piano
concerts (once an organist for silent movies, she created her own system for teaching organ).
Then there was Laurelhouse, a dinner house restaurant, in a home where we lived upstairs.
Probably the biggest and best business-home venture was Kah-Nee-Ta Hot Springs, in
Central Oregon, where we lived in the lodge and mother managed the rentals, swimming and hot
baths.
But, I digress. However, this brief history helps me to understand why I feel compelled to
continue the family tradition. As I’m writing, I’m thinking that such a background is simply part
of my inheritance, and it’s only natural that I feel drawn to such a destiny. And when I add this to
my writing legacy, from my natural mother’s side of the family, I’ve explained a good part of
what makes me who I am, and why this place would fulfill my destiny.
This is It!
When I walked inside the sliding glass doors to the sanctuary-living area, looked at the
high-ceilings and polished wood floors, turned around and soaked in the peaceful bay scene with
its fishing boats and meadow, I thought, “This is it”!
I could see myself sitting on the little platform area, with my laptop computer at my desk,
looking out at the scene, and writing, or creating my website. Ah, yes, pure heaven-on-earth.
And, the front stained glass windows didn’t interfere with the view at all, because it could be
seen through the large sliding glass doors; somewhat out of context with the rest of the quaint
1932 architecture, but functional.
Did I mention the bell tower, with a rope hanging in the makeshift bedroom, to a bell that
really works. As a neighbor later told us, “Often, when a fisherman caught a big fish, Greda
would ring the bell.” I thought about when Dottie and Steve lived with us and we were partners
in the first multi-level marketing business. Whenever we signed up someone for the business, we
would ring a loud cowbell. But, this wouldn’t happen here, because we were no longer together
with them. However, we could sure ring in the New Year with abandon.
Touring The Church-House
Once I’d taken in the overall ascetic features of the building, which were the most
important to me, I began to focus on the more functional aspects, such as the kitchen. Let me
explain: you walk up some outside steps to the balcony, and then enter through the sliding doors
to the sanctuary, with the little platform on the left and a portable gas fireplace on the right front.
Straight ahead, toward the back, is a free-standing divider where the modern, stainless- steel sink is located, so that you can look out the front windows to the bay scene. Since I’m not that much into dishes, I like that, already! However, there is also a dishwasher. Thank goodness. I don’t intend spending much time in the kitchen.
Although I also like the modern wood cabinets, lots of them, with glass doors, and the
view out the kitchen window, of the greenery, such as a small redwood tree and lots of shrubs.
Included with the place is the modern electric range, and a refrigerator-freezer; also the
washer-dryer, which is located in the basement. All this is important, because we don’t have any
appliances or furniture. For us, living in a home again would mean starting over. But, in this
case, the appliances are already there. And, of course, the bathroom fixtures are all in place,
which completes the main level. As far as I’m concerned, this would be the main living area.
However, the basement was originally intended to be the living quarters, complete with
two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living room; and also views of the bay from the high
windows. My first thought about the basement, “This could be a rental.” Later, it crossed my
mind that Van’s mom could live here quite comfortably, if she were willing. But, with her, that’s
an unknown, because one never knows how she will respond.
The Same Results
On the other hand, she must soon make a decision about her immediate future, as she
must move in a few months. This could be the perfect solution for all concerned, as Van could
help her, such as drive her car to take her places, and we could use the car too. Otherwise, we
would need to buy one, as part of our new beginning.
But when it comes to Van telling his mom about this possibility, he freezes up. He’s back
on Highway 92, gripped in fear. And we’ve been talking about this lately, by asking “What do
you fear?”
When I paused in my writing to again ask, He replied, “Oh, I don’t know, it’s
embarrassing.”
“What’s embarrassing??
“I don’t know.”
“Well, who said that it’s embarrassing, was it you, Little Ralph, or maybe your Higher
Self?’
“Little Ralph, I guess.”
“Then you need to ask him to tell you what’s between him and telling your mom that
we’ve found a place to live along the Oregon Coast, and there’s a downstairs apartment for her.”
Silence.
“Van, she needs the information, so she can make her decision about what she’s going to
do. And, this time you aren’t asking her for money, you’ll tell her that I plan to borrow the
money against my share of the Trust Fund.”
He nodded, and then said “That’s right.”
“Okay, so it’s time to take another step out of the hole by taking a risk and telling your
mom about the place.”
“Well, I’m not ready yet” Little Ralph meekly responds.”
“In the first place, it’s not up to Little Ralph, it’s up to Adult Ralph, and that part of
yourself needs to take responsibility with this. In fact, your mom looks to you to handle these
things, now, and it’s time.”
I could tell I’d taken this a bridge too far, so I returned to my writing. With Van, you
have to let him digest the information and then act on it when he is ready. Otherwise, it’s too
overwhelming and he goes into overload.
But, as I kept writing, more input was coming through me to pass along to him, so I said,
“I know this is uncomfortable for you, but it sometimes takes strong emotions in order to
complete the healing process. Remember the movie last night on “Touched by An Angel,” when
the character had been locked into the past when she was in a bus wreck and her son died, along with other family members, and her husband had been in a coma ever since?”
He nodded, so I continued, “Well, she had to go back to the memory and face the pain
and trauma of the crash, and then she was able to move forward with her life. And you’ve got to
find out from Little Ralph what’s causing his fear and what happened that is holding him back.
Just like the character in the movie did. And once she re-experienced the trauma, she was
healed, and then she was able to release her son, whom she still saw as being in her life. And she was able to let go of her husband and let the tubes be turned off so that he could die; thus letting them all move on with their lives.”
Again, no comment from Van, but I knew that he was hearing and understanding what I
was saying, so I added. “It’s interesting how God guides us to watch the movies that apply to our
lives. For instance, the part that spoke to me was when the angels appeared to the family
members and they were able to hear and understand what was being said, even though they had
been so against certain things prior to the appearance. In other words, I need to remind myself
that God is taking care of it, and it’s not all up to me. I only have to do my part, which I am
being guided to do.”
Van liked that part, because the heat was off him, and I was revealing my own short-
comings, so to speak, and he commented, “Turn it over to God.”
“Right. Like the RV park where we stayed.”
He smiled.
“So, you’ve got to make the changes, and do your part, and then let God do His part.
What’s the saying, ‘If you keep doing the same thing —–?'”
“You’ll get the same results.”
“Yeah. It’s time to do something different, if you want different results.”
We’d been parked at the Indian Casino, on our way back to the Portland area, when this
conversation took place, and it was getting time to move on, if we hoped to get ahead of the
Monday traffic returning from the beach. But, I wanted to complete this part of my chapter, so I
returned to my writing.
Go Along With This
I recalled that I had been apprehensive about Van’s receptivity to this place, especially
when I reflected on his behavior with the mountain resort and several other possibilities. But,
this time, I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to let him thwart this deal. If necessary, this
would be the parting of the ways for us, although I would prefer that he could adjust himself to
this lifestyle, and we could continue to work together to create the Inner Freedom website
ministry. And I knew that we would enjoy the walks along the beach and exploring our new
environment. This would fulfill the other part of my dream: working together with a spiritual
partner. Although he has been a reluctant teammate, because of his intimacy issues, he
nevertheless had done what needed to be done to make it all happen. And, I do enjoy Van’s
company, so my preference would be for him to go along with this.
After all, his ritual takes up most of his day, anyway, so it might as well be one place as
another. In any event, I think he unconsciously suspected my intentions, so he went through the
house and asked the questions that men ask, which are so important.
It all felt good, so remembering what Dick, our recent neighbor had said, I made a
ridiculous offer, and explained to the Realtor that I would have a small inheritance, which is tied
up in a Trust Fund, so we would start low, and see what happens.
I’d already learned that Gerda, a widow, had no children, and she had disinherited her
nephew, so the only heirs live in Germany. Hopefully, they were anxious to take the offer and get
their money out of the estate.
I hadn’t handled any business matters in a long time, but keeping in mind that God is
handling this transaction, we met Don at the real estate office, around the bay in Manzanita, to
fill out the documents for the offer, and then sign a pile of papers.
Throughout the time, I felt relaxed and confident, because I knew that God was guiding
us. I did, however, wonder why Van suggested the place be in my name, but if that’s what he
wanted, I’d go for it. He later explained that if the money was from my Trust Fund then it should
be mine.
I asked, “Then I suppose whatever money you inherit from your money will be yours.”
“Sounds good,” he replied. In some ways, this was a good sign, because, at least he was
taking some positive, decisive action on his own behalf. And, this was only the first offer, so the
matter of the title could be changed, once the deal was accepted.
“To The Beach”
Once the papers were signed and we left the office, I felt somewhat shaky over the
magnanimity of what I’d done, so I appreciated Van’s idea to walk the three or four blocks
through Manzanita, a quiet little beach town, toward the ocean. Thinking that this would be one
of our nearest communities, I noticed several interesting restaurants and ice cream parlors, and I
wondered how many would be open year-round.
Suddenly Van laughed and said, “To the beach” and pointed to a sign (on the front of a
house), in the form a long arm with a finger pointing toward the ocean. He was remembering
that when he worked as a computer programmer at Sperry-Univac, in Santa Clara, every time
someone asked “Where are you going this weekend,” he would reply “To the beach.”
Because he is learning to “turn it over to God,” I knew this sign was speaking to Van, as
a sign (from God). While soaking in the sea air and watching the waves roll onto the beach, I felt
revitalized, and I also knew that God was extending His hand to Little Ralph for that final climb
out of the hole.
Buy a Boat!
Soon we were returning, for the third time, back through Wheeler, and past the Salmon
Feed, and then by the church-house ( my new home, in my own mind), and I took several quick
pictures, as I prayed, “Dear God, Please let it happen,” and then amended, “Thank You, God,
that it is done”!
We continued on through the busy beach town, Rockaway, and then drove along
Tillamook Bay, a tranquil, scenic lake, and Van said, “I guess I’ll want to buy a boat.”
I almost cried, “Thank You, God,” because I knew that Van had accepted the idea of
living there, and he was actually looking forward to our new life.
I asked, “What kind of a boat do you want to buy?”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe a fiberglass one with a cabin; about 17 ft.”
Oh my gosh, it’s a miracle, I thought, realizing that Van had taken a giant step out of the
hole, and I said aloud, “Sounds good.” Then I asked “Would you want a dory?”
“No, I don’t think so,” he replied.
Van had found something that he could get excited about, and I said, “Looks like we are
beginning a new era in our lives. We’ve had our California Era, and our Travel Era, and now
we’ll begin our Oregon Coast Era.”
“Yep, looks like it,” he said, as he glanced at the expansive Tillamook Bay, and
visualized himself riding over the glistening water. Maybe, in time, he would even get used to
the rain.
A New Reality
When he asked me how I would feel about the rain and clouds, I said, “I think the view
will compensate, no matter what the weather.” And I felt confident that I was ready to enter into
my New Promised Land; remembering that it is a level of consciousness and I simply would be
moving into a new reality (or level).
I reminded myself that life is not about waiting, but being, as we returned to Portland and
spent several days with my son, changing his webpage into his creation while he selected new
colors and added more pictures to make it his own reality and not mine. I was very proud of him
for this, as he was assertive and yet not controlling, and neither was I, while his interests and
personality unfolded. He was very clear what he wanted, and didn’t the world to see. He did not
want his privacy invaded, and yet he was excited about selecting what he was willing to reveal.
So the waiting/being went quickly, while I waited for the response from Arlene (my
stepmother) about the availability of money from the Trust Fund.
Trust Factor
When she called, the news came as a shock, because I felt so certain that this was God’s
Guidance, and the doors would open for everything to flow smoothly. Instead, she said that her
accountant explained that it wasn’t possible, because it is a locked Trust Fund; she can’t even
have access to it. He also explained that the second Trust Fund, the one that she lives on, would
not be accessible for this purpose, because there is no way to know how much money would be
available, because she needs it for her lifetime expenses. I had no intentions of invading her
Trust Fund; only the money that would be my legacy from my dad.
I understood what she was saying, but I had felt so sure that I would be able to borrow
money against the locked funds, because that is a known amount. But, apparently it’s not
possible, so I had to accept the answer and look to another Trust Fund; my trust in God as the
Source of my Supply, and simply know that if it is His will, it will happen. If not, I will look for
the lesson involved, and move on with my life.
If nothing else, I could imagine myself living in “Rainbow-by-the-Sea,” the name I
dubbed the church-home. It had been the name of my ministry in Leucadia, and it seemed right
for here. I reminded myself that I didn’t have to actually live there in order to have the
experience. After all, I am one with all that is, so I can attune to it in my mind and heart, and it
will be a reality. So, perhaps the lesson here is to release and let go; not owning, but being.
“Unless the lord builds the house…”
“… those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127). This is a favorite bible passage, and
one that I always remind myself, especially now, as I contemplate the new Rainbow-by-the-Sea.
I’ve learned from past experience that trying to force something to happen, if it isn’t meant to
work, can be a disaster, at best. So, I’ve learned to let go and let God, and to trust in the ultimate
good results.
Despite the inclination to feel intense disappointment, I kept my trust in God, as we
continued through the day with Marquam.
Lost
Once we’d finished his webpage, we returned to his apartment and he prepared a
delicious meal: deer steaks, homegrown corn-on-the-cob and three kinds of green beans; green,
yellow, and purple, which turn green when cooked. And for our last evening together, we
watched the new Reality TV shows, “Lost” and “Amazing Race,”
In both programs, the contestants must find their way from where they begin, through the
various check-points and back home. Since they were flown to their destination blindfolded, the
first challenge in “Lost” was determining where they were, which turned out to be Mongolia, and
they were to set out in pairs on foot, with $10.00 and somehow make their way from the obscure
desert to the capital where they would board a plane for the United States.
The Amazing Race was similar, but they knew their destination, South Africa, and they
had to get themselves there, overcome obstacles such as crossing a canyon by a pulley-rope and
then bungy-jumping to the bottom, in order to reach the first check-point.
We had been avoiding the Reality TV craze, but these were tolerable, although the stress
factor triggered my ADD (attention deficit disorder), yet, as the producers planned, I’d gotten
involved, so looked forward to the next show.
This is my New Reality?
Is this to be my new reality? Or does God truly have a Divine Plan for good. I felt like I
was in my own Reality Program, as I wondered what obstacles, check-points, clues and rewards
awaited me. Maybe it was simply being happy living life in the Present Moment and enjoying
what we are doing.
In any event, Marquam laden us with fresh vegetables from his friend’s garden, and we
headed into the sunset, so to speak. Actually, we took care of basics, such as haircuts, lube,
dump and shopping, and then drove to Camping World to have our furnace repaired. Mundane,
but necessary.
This Works!
While Van handled the furnace repairs, I reconnected, on the cellular phone, with a local
friend whom I wouldn’t have time to visit in person. We had lost touch in recent years, and it felt
good to know that we were still connected; in fact, she invited us to get together when they are in
Palm Springs, during the winter months, in their RV.
I’d retreated to the back bedroom to avoid the activities in the front of Freedom, and I
was surprised to see the repairman leave so soon. By the time I hung up, Van had returned and
announced that all the repairman had to do was press the reset button, and he didn’t even charge
us for his expertise, as he showed Van how to do it himself next time. However, Van had bought
some new parts to repair the refrigerator door, so we didn’t get away without some expense;
nevertheless, I said a silent “Thank You, God,” as we drove down the highway.
Be Flexible
Van had finally made an appointment to get the windshield wiper repaired, but it
wouldn’t be until Monday, so we planned to spend the time at Wal-Mart parking lots. However,
when we stopped at a Rest Stop for lunch, I called my daughter in Bend and she was expecting
us to arrive any minute, and she had her life arranged accordingly.
I’ve learned to be flexible and go with the flow, so I said we’d see her in four or five
hours, as we had to travel over The Cascade Mountains to get there. On the map, it’s another of
those straight red lines that neglects to mention it’s up, over and down the other side of a
mountain range. Nevertheless, it’s the route the locals use, and we would eventually have to go
over it to reach Bend. The other route being up the steep, steep grade over Mt. Hood, which was
longer and out of our way; okay for going downhill in our RV, but not good for going up.
Since it was a clear day and not raining, we felt it would be safe to make the trip without
functioning wipers, and we also decided to get them repaired in Bend, since it’s an RV area,
including the factory for manufacturing Beaver, the Cadillac of RV’s, which had recently been
bought by Monaco, who now owns Holiday Rambler and Safari, among other coach
manufacturers.
While Van finished eating, I called Don, the Realtor, to see if he’d heard a response to
our offer to buy the church-house, and he hadn’t, so I asked if he knew someone that might help
us finance the place, and he gave me the name of a Mortgage Officer in Beaverton. I learned
from Todd that a no-lock, Pre-Approved loan could be possible, and he asked for some
information and said he’d work up the numbers and call me back.
I explained that we were going over the mountains and I’d have no phone signal, so I
would call him back the next day.
Holy Ground
I still felt certain God intended for Rainbow-By-The-Sea to become a reality, and I was
willing to pursue whatever direction might take me there, since He is the Source of our Supply;
not my Trust Fund, nor Van’s mom, nor anything else that I might think would be the answer, so
I kept trusting and following my Guidance. I even considered the possibility of leasing to buy
(with a balloon payment when the Trust Fund became available), if the sellers were agreeable.
With God, all things are possible.
In the meantime, we trekked over yet another mountain range; beautiful scenery,
including several lakes and the usually snow-capped Cascade Mountains, which were quite
barren now, as autumn arrived. But the changing season brought colorful leaves, already
beginning to turn yellow, gold and orange.
While at my daughter’s, I read my Daily Reading, and delighted with the following:
“Wherever I am, I stand on holy ground, for I am in the presence of God.”
Oh, yes, these glorious mountains, even more thrilling (in some ways) than The Rockies,
and the green forests, with their changing colors, really give one a sense of the presence of God.
I read on: “So, if I am making a transition, such as a new job or home, I know that each
step I am on is holy ground. I am right where I am meant to be, whether I am completing my
work in the current place, moving my feet on the path of change, or already standing
triumphantly on a new plateau. I am on holy ground, for wherever I am, God is there.”
Of course, I’d read and even written these words in the past, and I appreciated the
confirmation of their truth at this time, especially as my daughter and I were reconstructing our
relationship, after years of discord and detachment.
In My Right Place
One of my first projects was to make appointments for counseling (for me) with her
therapist, because we would have many issues to resolve, and we needed help. In addition, I
planned to talk about the deteriorating relationship between Van and I, in an effort to stabilize
and move forward together. Ah, yes, I am in my right place, at the right time, doing the right
thing. Whether or not I would be able to write about the transition with my daughter would
depend on her, and if she felt willing to change her position about not being mentioned in my
writing, so this remains to be seen; and it will be discussed in the counseling sessions. However,
I would be reporting the progress relating to Van and me.
Needless to say, I felt confused when we were sitting around the campfire at our favorite
campsite, Indian Ford National Campground, and she was tending the corn roasting on the grill,
over the open fire, a first for us. But she is an expert cook, and it turned out delicious, as we
removed the husks and tasted the tender morsels which served as a main course, along with the
beef-mushroom-barley-vegetable soup that I had made and frozen earlier on our trip, and the
potato salad that we created together for the campout.
All-in-all, we were having a good time, and I admired how well she took care of herself.
For instance, since she had planned to sleep in her car, and learned that the temperature would
be dropping to 40-degrees, she decided to return home for the night, after a warm, restful day in
the woods, so she could have the comforts of her home.
Treasures in the Woods
While she rested, Little Ralph and I took a walk along the little creek, but we were
surprised to learn that the water had been diverted, at the waterwheel, and very little flowed
through this branch of the creek. Yet, walking along the path, under the trees, smelling the scent
of pine, and enjoying the wildflowers, still blooming this late in the season, made it all okay.
While at our Enchanted Meadow in Washington, the purple thistles had been the monthly
color, but now I searched for yellow, the monthly color for Wisdom. However, at first, I kept
seeing little purple daisy-like flowers and even a few purple thistles. But, the more I focused on
yellow for Wisdom, I suddenly noticed that the leaves, across the dry creek and beyond the
aspen, were turning yellow, and then I spotted more yellow leaves along the path; and eventually
we came across some yellow flowers that had begun to go to seed, but enough remained to cause excitement over the treasure.
Another treasure came in the form of a song-like sound from the trees, and when I looked
up into a pine tree, expecting to see a bird, I spotted a tree squirrel perched above us. And then
he scolded, with his unusual sound, and scooted up the tree.
Of course, this campsite is renowned for its unusual and myriad birds, so we watched for
the different ones, especially noticing the unusual brown underwings of one that took flight.
Among the many treasures of this camping trip, we enjoyed sharing our bonfire with
Dena and Bob, neighbors in a Beaver Monterey, who were on their way from the beach
(Florence) to Utah for trail-biking in their quad (Polaris), a four-wheeled motorcycle.
The gals yakked about cooking, recipes, and girl-stuff, while the guys quietly enjoyed the
campfire and, no doubt, the fact that they weren’t having to return to work on Monday, as they
looked forward to the next fun in their retirement.
The End of Life as we Knew It
When I began this chapter, I expected that God would open the doors for us to finance
the new Rainbow By The Sea and indeed, we would begin a new era. But life seldom goes as we
expect, and we were not able to arrange the financing, based on my portion of the Trust Fund, so
again I faced the need to let go and let God.
However, I was right that this would be the beginning of a new era, because life as we
knew it came to an abrupt end on September 11th, 2001 when terrorists hi-jacked commercial
airplanes and crashed into The World Trade Center, and also the Pentagon, killing over 6,000
people. President Bush declared this an act of war, and the rest is history, but I will endeavor to
write an account of my experience and perception in the next chapter.

Chapter 15
PART I
TRANSITION AND REASSURANCE

Priorities
In the aftermath of the terrorists attack on our country, I wasn’t able to write this chapter,
or do much of anything, but watch TV. It’s as if I were paralyzed, and so was everyone else; but
life has begun to move on, and I feel that I must do my part to resume normalcy, and that is to
write, so here is my God-guided account, because a week later I am still in a state of “I don’t
know,” and unable to find words to express myself.
Tuesday morning we got up early and arrived at the Bend RV Repair. I had turned on my
computer and Van was watching the repairman take apart the wiper mechanism.
The Big Explosion
Van opened the door and said, “You might want to come out here and listen to the news
on this radio.”
To my horror the announcer was talking about terrorists having crashed commercial
airplanes into The World Trade Center and The Pentagon. I quickly turned on our TV and saw
those terrible images that we’ll never forget: the smoking buildings suddenly crashing thousands
of tons of cement, steel and glass, in addition to human bodies, to the ground.
Dan Rather attempted to convey the overwhelming event of our country being attacked
by our own airplanes, which had been hi-jacked and flown into the towers of The World Trade
Center, and also The Pentagon. Within minutes, President Bush declared an Act of War,
comparable to the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, an event that I remember, having
been traumatized by that life-changing event when only nine-years old. Now, it was happening
again and whatever seemed important had suddenly become minimized by this tragic news, and
the sight of the crumbling towers containing thousands of human lives, now instantly terminated.
How Remote is Bend, Oregon?
Up until I turned on my TV, finally getting the windshield wiper repaired had been the
greatest trauma. Now, I trembled and my head pounded from the images and words that were
coming over the network, as Dan Rather did his best to keep us informed.
My anxiety increased a thousand-fold, as I stared at the TV set while the drama unfolded.
Although New York seemed remote from Bend, Oregon, I knew that the impact of this terrorist
attack would have a profound effect on everyone.
The Holy War
Our windshield wiper got repaired, and we were glued to the TV, while visiting my
daughter for the next week.
By the time we left Oregon, there was talk about the upcoming Holy War, and I
remembered that our friend and Jewish scholar, Bob Davey, told us about the prophesy which
says there will be an awful Holy War, which will eventually be followed by the 100-years peace.
So, it’s all unfolding according to God’s Divine Plan, although I find it difficult to understand
why 6,000 innocent people must die in one instant. What’s “holy” about that?
While driving south, I read an article by Philip White, in my “Unity Magazine,” and God
seemed to be using it to answer my question. The author was talking about the value of the
fireplace, but what got my attention was his reference to a “flaming hearth around which all of
us might one day stand together in relationship, amazed at a oneness that transcends our
differences.” It may take a stretch of the imagination, but in light of the aftermath of The World
Trade Center incident, which was a magnified “flaming hearth” we are seeing a “oneness that
transcends our differences” as the nation is bonding and binding together, both spiritually and
emotionally.
It’s a terrible price that the victims and their loved ones have paid for us to finally return
to the things of value, but I’m sure when those who died learn the reason for their deaths, they
will rejoice, because they are not victims, but victorious heroes of this Holy War. And perhaps,
someday, the survivors will understand the significance of something that is far more than a
senseless act of terrorism, but it is the transition process that is bringing us back to God and
country.
Grown Into the Job
As I write, we have moved on to Red Bluff, California, where we will see what the
weekend brings, as a result of President Bush’s message to the nation, and the world. I must say,
watching him, it’s obvious that the man seems to have grown into the job, almost overnight.
Everyone seems secure with him and his decisions, and with the leaders of this country, even
though they will lead us to and through war. I noticed that the First Lady, Laura, also has a new
look of strength and determination about her.
Another indication of the impact, on my personal life, of the terrorists attack is that,
although I have faith in God, I am apprehensive about traveling into the big cities of California at
this time. And I am reconsidering my plans to stay with Joyce, who lives across from Camp
Pendleton. So we will stay in Red Bluff awhile, and move forward as God guides, trusting that
He will continue to guide and protect us
The Sweet Adeline’s
Patrioticism flourished when we attended the Sweet Adeline’s big performance at the Red
Bluff Community Center. The show ended when the shop quartet group sang “An American
Medley” with “America, The Beautiful” which lead into a rousing conclusion as the audience
joined in and sang “God Bless America.”
Connectedness
My “Unity Magazine,” again seemed written for the moment, when the next morning I
read an article about the human being’s need for connectedness; for belonging. It speaks of
research done on the effects of health when traditionally cohesive groups are disrupted, such as
the Japanese, with a fundamentally close-knit family heritage, when some members come to this
country. Those who continue to bond with their families remain healthy, and others, who isolate
from family, tend to deteriorate. The Japanese innate beliefs state that the well-being of the
individual depends on the cooperation of others and the goodwill of the group.
Perhaps this is some of the good that is coming from the devastation of The World Trade
Center: people coming together and supporting each other. For instance, last night we saw
entertainers in Los Angeles, New York and London joined together in a common goal of raising
money for the United Fund in order to help relieve some of the financial loss. With candles
burning in the background, each performer contributed of their time and talent, without any
name of title identification, and it was obvious that they were deeply touched by the cause of this
event, and their ability to participate. People donated over $150-million dollars to help restore
lives, and the country.
Remember the Dead; Honor the Living
On Sunday a Memorial Service in Yankee Stadium, over 50,000 people, remembered the
dead and honored the living, who were devastated by the September 11th attack in New York
and Washington DC.
Personally, I felt anxiety for that many people gathered in one place, especially the
notorieties, such as President Bill Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and
many, many religious leaders of all nationalities; and equally important were the thousands of
grieving New Yorkers and TV viewers. Such a perfect time for the terrorists to strike again,
leaving another crippling blow to our psyche and nation.
But, thanks to the vigilance of our security, and the grace of God, the tributes, hosted by
Oprah Winfrey, went off without a hitch. An amazing feat, considering it was arranged within
48-hours, with such memorable words spoken by the clergy, and sung by Placido Domingo (Ave
Maria) Bette Midler (“Wind Beneath my Wings”) and Marc Antony (God Bless America). And
who could forget the vibrancy of James Earl Jones, or the poignancy of the chaplain for the fire
department, and others whose words of tribute and healing added to the Memorial Service.
I held my breath and prayed when the Sikh and Islam spiritual leaders spoke, but the only
uprising came from the followers (in the audience) who got carried away with their enthusiastic
response to the messages spoken in their own language.
At one point, a split-screen showed President and Mrs. Bush (and their dogs) returning to
The White House from Camp David, giving further reassurance that the nation is in capable
hands.
I finally breathed a sigh of relief when the program ended, not because I didn’t enjoy it,
but simply that such an event happened and healed, as people waved flags, applauded and
prayed. And I felt much better too, as the words and music became part of my being and added
to my personal healing.
Life Goes On
As the week continued, our president requested that life return to normal; not for those
who lost loved ones, jobs, income (such as stock markets), or disruptions (such as being called to
duty), but for the rest of the world. And, of course, the news, talk shows and other TV programs
still relate to that fateful day with their patriotic, spiritual, or healing theme; and we wouldn’t
want it any other way.
Although I still found it difficult to resume the creative flow, I used the time to catch up
on my e-mail by checking the on-line referrals that I had not had time nor opportunity to pursue.
Now, thanks to Kathy’s generosity, I could use her phone line all day, while she was away at
work, and gradually I got back to my website activities.
Life has Changed
Indeed, the nation and individuals are in a period of transition and life will never be the
same. For instance, some TV programs have changed their format, others delayed their season
premier, and some mourned their losses, such as Frasier, whose producer and his wife were
killed on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Oprah postponed Dr. Phil’s “Reality Series,” and turned her show into an ongoing
healing therapy, as Dr. Phil counseled people through their anxieties, fears, and grief related to
the Attack on America. He emphasized that we must get back to doing what we do, whether it be
a job, cooking, writing, or flying on commercial airlines. Otherwise, the terrorists have
accomplished their objective: instilling terror and immobilizing our country. So, each of us can
do our part by resuming our lives.
I wondered how I could continue writing about my seemingly insignificant emotional and
marital problems as Van and I “Journey Out of the Hole.” And our travels and daily lives seemed
unimportant in the scheme of things, but Dr. Phil spoke of America’s need to get “Out of the
Hole,” and I knew that whatever I was writing was my contribution, because it helps me to heal
and get on with my life, and I may be only one, but I am one.
As someone said at the Memorial Service in Yankee Stadium, in an effort to
individualize and personalize the magnanimity of people killed: “Six-thousand people did not
die that day; one individual died six-thousand times.”
For me, getting back to creative writing took awhile, so I updated my Journal and wrote
letters and e-mail, until the creative juices began to flow with this chapter.
Thinking Women Think
And I stopped watching the horrific details and ongoing hashing-over of the attack, and
focused on the healing aspects, such as Oprah.
One impactful show proclaimed “Thinking Women Think” and brought together four
dynamic women: former Secretary of State, Margaret Albright, poet and author Maya Anjou,
journalist Peggy Noonan and Rev. Marianne Williamson, who wrote “The Soul of America.”
Peggy and Marianne spoke of their awareness three years ago that such an attack was inevitable,
and their efforts to get the government to do something about it. However, the women were told
that the government could only do what the people asked them to do; it’s a matter of priorities.
Well, now the women, and the people of this country are asking them to protect and
defend us; and it is being done. It is a matter of the highest priority!
An E-mail Message
Of course, e-mail got into the act too, as forwarded messages began to arrive, such as the
one to make Friday, September 14 “Flag Day,” as well as a “Day of Mourning.” The crusade
helped to create the transition into a praying, patriotic, flag-waving, strong, determined and
united nation. Certainly a demonstration of something good that brought us from apathy to
awareness, and showed the true grit of America. Click here to read the message.

PART II
TRANSFORMATION, QUANTUM LEAP, PARADIGM SHIFT

Transformation: A marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better.
Quantum Leap: An abrupt change or step, especially in method, information, or knowledge
Paradigm Shift: An example that serves as pattern or model

America Changes
In an instant a complacent, indifferent, arrogant America made a quantum leap and
became active, involved, patriotic and even prayerful. We processed our grief from denial,
shock, guilt and anger, to the finality of acceptance, as we watched the twin towers of the World
Trade Center become enflamed and then crumble into a giant heap of rubble. Life, as we knew it
had ended; we entered a new reality.
And as the skyline of New York changed, America made a paradigm shift: terrorists
brought home the reality of war on our own soil, and fear that anything could happen at anytime,
bringing instant death or irreconciable loss and pain; and it could be terrible, life-changing.
This is America today, and its change is reflected in the lives of its people; individuals
making their personal adjustment to the new reality.
Meeting the Heroes and Survivors
With the help of TV, we are going through the grieving and healing process together, as
victims, survivors and heroes sacrifice their private grief to share with us their story. And with
the sharing comes acceptance, as we see the faces and hear the voices of of those individuals.
On Oprah we heard from Mayor Giulano about his narrow escape while trapped in a
nearby building, and we met the two men who carried Tina in her wheelchair down the stairs to
safety and freedom. And we met the CEO of their company who flew the 28 employees (all
survivors) from New York to Chicago to support this act of heroism.
We smiled, to relieve the tension, as the story evolved of another employee who thwarted
several would-be jumpers, realizing that they were in shock, and thus speaking in a language that
got their attention, as he shepherded them to the stairs, while grabbing a woman who was
returning for her purse. “You can replace a purse, you can’t replace your life,” he roared.
This reality was confirmed by the three wives of the heroes on the plane who took action
and caused it to crash into a field in Pennsylvania, rather than its targeted destination in
Washington DC.
Montel, and the other Talk Shows, also interviewed the heroes and survivors, as each had
a story to shock and inspire, as they moved through the events of that day. For instance, there
was Brian and Stanley, who each insist that the other was the lifesaver, as their story of survival
unfolded.
And, ultimately we met the reluctant heroes, firefighters who insisted they were “just
doing their job,” as they rescued Josephine and together crumbled into a protected place in the
stairwell and awaited their own rescue. Now proclaiming that she saved their lives, because if
she hadn’t stopped to rest, they would have been in another part of the building that wasn’t
protected.
On and on the stories unfold, as we are transfixed by the TV in an effort to attempt to get
on with our lives. And then we read more in “People Magazine” and others, as we begin to
appreciate the unsung heroes: journalists and photographers who captured the moments so we
could relive them and try to comprehend the mayhem.
Meaning to Life
And thankfully, as we search for meaning to life, the TV churches, such as Robert
Schuller, give us something to hold onto as we “Build Faith With Affirmations:”

1. I will never be defeated, because I never give up.
2. I will be what God wants me to be.
3. Help is where and when I need it.
4. God is touch: an Iron Pillar of Strength.
5. I can turn the worst of times into the best of times.
6. I can never fall away from God’s love for me.
7. If I am totally committed, I will eventually win the war.

He added that the way to win the war is having faith in God, and the power of America
comes when we get back to church, Jesus, the cross and the bible.
Helping us to know what we can do to help in these times, he reminded us “I am
powerful in the hand of God.”
This particular Sunday service concluded with Grady Nichols playing a saxaphone solo
of “America, the Beautiful,” joined by the choir and congregation, as a giant flag lifted from the
floor to its resting place from the ceiling.
For further healing, Rev. Schuller urged us to read his book, “Turning Hurts Into Halos
and Scars Into Stars.”
Moving Forward
Somehow, the nation and the world made it to Monday, October 1st: a new day, a new
week, a new month and I rejoiced when I read the monthly affirmation in my Daily Reading:
“The guiding light of God shines before me. I move forward with confidence.” And then I read:
“God is everywhere present –within me and within every circumstance.” The rest of the
message, which had been written many months ago, as usual gave the reassurance needed for
these days:
“I have heard that change is constant, and yet I know that God is the only true constant in
life. God is my evern-reliable and ever-present source of comfort in the midst of any upheaval.
“When I feel overwhelmed by a change, I may retreat within to be more conscious of
God’s presence, and yet I know that God’s presence is also within that very circumstance. God is
everywhere present.
Wherever I am, God is there, and in God’s presence, I have nothing to fear. Whenever I
start to feel stressed, I quiet my mind in prayer, remembering that everything is of God. Instantly,
I am comforted. Truly, God is “my very present help.”
The bible verse concluded:
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change” (Psalm 46:1-2).
An Angel Whom She Knows
Speaking of Paradigm Shift, Oprah’s Tuesday show with Dr. Phil, attempted to support
Tammy, an expectant mother whose husband, John, was killed at the WTC. Here’s a life that
revolved around 20 calls a day from her husband, and looking forward to the birth of their first
child in two months; in time for Christmas. He goes to work one morning and suddenly he’s no
longer there: no more phone calls, no more anything; only a funeral and intolerable grief.
Fortunately she has a loving and supportive family and friends; and she has his baby to
look forward to raising. What a classic Paradigm Shift: life suddenly changing from one reality
to another.
Dr. Phil explained the stages of grief: shock, denial, guilt, anger and acceptance, and then
he gave some Life Strategies, such as: “Create an new normal.” For instance she must now
change her reality from her husband’s physical presence, including 20 phone calls a day, to their
spiritual relationship. Oprah reminded her that she now has an angel whom she knows.
“Live in the now, the present moment,” Dr. Phil urged, and focus on short term living
rather than long term goals. I’ve had to learn all of his suggestions for myself just to get through
life’s ongoing challenges, and I rejoiced that over ten-million people watching Oprah have the
advantage of Dr. Phil’s expertise.
While addressing Tammy’s family and friends, and those of all other survivors, Dr. Phil
said, “Meet her where she is.” In other words don’t try to anticipate what’s she’s going through
or needs, but ask and then do it. If she feels like crying, cry with her; if she feels like laughing,
laugh with her. If she feels like shopping, go with her, if not, stay with her. And if she wants to
be alone, that’s okay too, only not for too long at a time.
Should-haves
Tammy and John’s moms were on Oprah too, along with several other family members
and friends, including his childhood friend who talked about their relationship. He did fine, until
he shared that he no longer lives in the same town, but he had spent Monday night with John
watching football on TV, and how thankful he is that he took time to be together that last night.
In this case, the friend did take the time, but so many lost in grief feel guilt over what
they didn’t do. However, it’s important to remember that no matter how much you do, there will
always be something else that you feel you should have done; that’s part of the grieving process.
John’s friend has fulfilled a bible admonition by staying with Tammy during this time,
and somehow I have a feeling he will remain to support her in raising John’s child. As
inconsolable as she is right now, this story may have a happy ending. In any event, sometime
around Christmas, after the birth of her baby, Oprah will give us an update, and maybe Tammy
will be back with her baby. It’s for sure life goes on in the aftermath of September 11th.
This introspection brought me to open my Daily Reading: “In quiet moments, I look
within my soul and find that God is there.” The rest of the words reminded us that when I am
alone with God, I am at one with the source of all knowledge, and divine wisdom is mine. And
that God and love and truth reside within me. So, I must remember that I am not dependent on
my loved one for my needs to be fulfilled, but God is the Source of my good. So, however this
turns out, I will survive, with God’s presence and guidance.

Chapter 16
OUR LIVES HAVE CHANGED TOO

Grief and Recovery
As time passed, our president requested that life return to normal, although I still found it
difficult to resume the creative flow. So I used the time to catch up on my e-mail by checking the
on-line referrals that I had not had time nor opportunity to pursue. Now, thanks to Kathy’s
generosity, I could use her phone line all day, while she was away at work, and gradually I got
back to my website activities.
I’d become absorbed with watching TV, as part of my own healing process, especially
the shows with human interest, such as how people are coping, as I mentioned in Chapter 15.
Getting back to creative writing took awhile, but once the creative juices began to flow, I wrote
about that dreadful day, and life after September 11th. At first, I intermingled the national events
and my personal activities, which I originally combined in one long chapter.
But, in time I realized that it would be better to separate the two, and I added Chapter 15
to my new webpage, “America,” created as a memorial to the victims and survivors, and to
process through my own grief and recovery. So this chapter took place over several weeks, and
some is repeated for continuity or clarity.
“I’ll Take a Cab”
My anxiety had increased a thousand-fold, as I stared at the TV set while the drama of
the Attack on America unfolded. Although New York seemed remote from Bend, Oregon, it
suddenly occurred to me that with all planes having been grounded, my new therapist (Crystal)
may not have arrived on her commute from Los Angeles.
Though New York may seem remote, I was feeling the impact, as I called the clinic, now
concerned that my long-awaited and much needed appointment to relieve anxieties about my
relationship with Van would not happen.
The receptionist confirmed that Crystal had come in the day before and she would be at
the office for my appointment.
Again, Van stuck his head in the door and announced more bad news, “They won’t be
finished repairing the wipers in time for me to take you to the therapist.”
“Okay, I’ll take a cab,” I replied in a resolute decision that I would not miss this
appointment, which was a last-ditch effort to repair my relationships. The first hour would relate
to my daughter, and the second to Van. And, hopefully, there would be time for him to talk with
Crystal too.
I knew that he hoped he would have a viable excuse for missing his appointment, as
I gave Van instructions to the office, and departed in the cab, leaving him to fend for himself
with the windshield wiper and finding his way to meet me. He had managed to show me the
broken part and explain that they were trying to find a replacement, so he had no idea how long
it would take.
“I’m Here for Me!”
I arrived early at the office, and was told that Crystal too was mesmerized by the TV and
would be late, as the receptionist explained, “Her daughter once worked at The World Trade
Center and she’s terribly upset, so maybe you can support her.”
“Right!” Now it’s up to me to take care of my therapist; just like it was up to me to take
care of my mommy when I was two-years-old. Wrong! I’m here for me, and she’ll have to take
care of herself. I wish I had figured that out when I was a kid, maybe I wouldn’t feel guilt that it
was my fault my mom went crazy because I didn’t take good care of her. But then, I wouldn’t
have all this adventure trying to get recovery, and I wouldn’t have all this wonderful material for
my books. Right! Actually, I would love to have the opportunity to find something else to write
about.
Once Crystal arrived, I got right into the issues that I wanted to discuss: the first session
relating to my daughter, and the second hour about my relationship with Van. Whew! That’s a
lot, added to the demolition of the World Trade Center towers and damage to the Pentagon; not
to mention repairing the windshield wipers, where I’d left Van. I’d covered all bases while I had
the opportunity in this marathon counseling session, and I dragged Van along too.
“Nothing Wrong With Me”
I was not only struggling for my own sanity and recovery, but I had hopes of trying to
salvage my marriage too. Either I had to find a new way of dealing with the situation, or Van
needed to change, or we would soon be taking separate paths. That’s where I was at with the
relationship. Maybe not all that important in comparison to the day’s events, but nevertheless
vital for my well-being.
When it was all over, and I asked Van about their short session, as usual, he came from
the position that nothing was wrong with him, and he didn’t even know why he was there, other
than her suggestion for some medications for the obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifested
as his ritualistic behavior. He said that he felt he could live with the condition, and he didn’t see
any need for medication, but thanked her for the information; and that was pretty much that.
I guess it came as a shock to him, much like the explosion of the World Trade Centers,
when I later informed him that as far as I was concerned, our marriage was on the threshold of
dissolving, and I thought there might be something she could do to help. He made no response
whatsoever, and went about his usual morning ritual. Oh no, there’s no problem here.
Do Opposites Really Attract?
As a matter of fact, when I discussed with Crystal about my need to get away for a
change, to sort things out in our relationship, she asked if I could manage by myself. A good
question, and I answered that I was aware that I would probably need to get a job in order to
support myself, until the website began to prosper.
She brought to my attention that he would be likely to discard me and go on with his life,
as he had done with his past business projects. I told her about another time, when we lived in
California. I had left and gone to Colorado for a month’s visit, and then called and told him I
wouldn’t be returning. Didn’t bother him a bit; he went right on with his life, played tennis,
shopped for groceries and fixed his meals just fine. In fact, he wasn’t particularly happy that I
was returning, after another month, in an effort to bring closure on our relationship one way or
another. We decided to stay together; and the rest is history.
I’d mentioned that part of my reason for considering a parting of the ways is because of
my pattern to look at the condition of my partner and think, “The best thing I can do for him is to
get out of his life; then maybe he’ll be happy and pull his life together.” That’s why I left my
first husband, who was much like Van has become, and the truth is that the divorce actually
opened the way for him to have a better life without me, because eventually he found the perfect
wife, one much like his Saint Mother. Now, my former husband sits around and watches TV all
day, and she lets him. The thing is that she goes about her life and doesn’t let it bother her.
On the other hand, it’s not okay with me for Van to become an old man, especially since
he’s younger than I am. I’m working hard to pull myself out of the hole of old-age, poverty and
the other pitfalls we seem to have fallen into, and I refuse to let him continue to drag us down.
Crystal said that it’s not my fault that Van is the way he is, and that he’d be that way
anyway, because it’s the nature of the condition. And, in all reality, my first husband probably
had tendencies toward the same condition. Makes me wonder about my consciousness attracting
these men. Maybe, with my family’s history of mental illness, it’s a matter of like attracts like,
although Crystal said that Van and I are examples of opposites attracting.
The question is whether or not I can continue to live with the differences. And that’s the
question I am asking myself, and hoping to answer by taking my time-out when I go to southern
California during Van’s visit with his mother.
That’s All About That
The only comment I can make about my session regarding my daughter, and our visit
with her, is that she ok’d me writing about her cooking: AND THAT’S ALL! So, suffice to say
that she’s a fabulous cook and we ate royally, especially the blackberry pie she made from the
berries we picked in Washington. In fact, she sent the pie and other food along with us when we
left. So, that’s all about that, other than we had a good time together and it was a safe place to
survive the Attack on America.
The bottom-line on the windshield wiper is that it got repaired without the new part, and
there was no charge. So, the furnace and windshield wiper were repaired at no cost. Thank You,
God.
The Sweet Adeline’s
We finally moved forward to Red Bluff for our visit with Kathy and Mahlon, and arrived
in time for the spaghetti dinner and show for $12.00 each; money well spent on a good dinner
and enjoyable evening of entertainment, including Kathy’s group, The Sweet Adelines, and The
Loose Strings Fiddlers.
It was fun watching Kathy’s excitement as she prepared for the event: buying and
applying special professional makeup, and greeting her daughter, Tammy, who drove home from
college (about an hour away) and her friends, Rich and Sherri, who drove about twice that
distance. So we were part of this joyful family event, completed by her husband, Mahlon, and his
daughter and son-in-law. And we sat amongst the mostly senior members of the community (and
of course, family) who turned out to support this event and hear favorite songs from by-gone
years. And the highlight, “American Medley” with “America, The Beautiful” lead into a rousing
conclusion as the audience joined in and sang “God Bless America.”
Life Goes On
The greatest contribution to my personal healing process came with an offer from Kathy:
“stay for the next week, while we’re here, and then another two weeks while we are back east on
vacation.” She even included the use of her car, while they were away.
I felt the idea a Godsend, and even if Van wasn’t interested, I decided to stay by myself,
although the thought of being alone was frightening, it would be a positive challenge for my
faith; and Lance, the sheep dog, would be here. He and I already had bonded and took walks
together, and now I would be his companion too, feeding him and the three cats.
Van had said that he would sleep on it, so he awoke the next morning and said, “So,
we’ll stay here for the next three weeks.”
I replied, “You can go on to your mother’s, if you want, but I’ll stay here. I’d prefer that
you stay too, as it will give the national and world conditions time to settle down, before we
head into the big cities and heavily populated areas. However, it’s your choice.”
He affirmed, “I think it would be good to stay here,” as he began his morning ritual.
Four-legged and Feathered Creatures
I felt the need to take a walk, before the temperatures got into the 90’s again, so Lance
and I walked across the road and up the unpaved lane toward several homes that bordered a large
field already turned brownish from the summer heat, mostly over 100 degrees.
Lance trotted along, lifting his leg every few feet to water bushes, posts or weeds; and
again he braced himself against a fence when he went poop. I’d already reported this procedure
to Mahlon, thinking it indicated a sore hip, only to learn that he always does that.
Strange, but then sheep dogs are creatures of habit and have their own routines; perhaps
an explanation of why Van has his own rituals, which is conducive of his engineer turned
computer-programmer nature. And this is only one of the lessons in acceptance and
understanding I’d been learning in recent weeks.
While Lance was preoccupied, I was looking at some horses grazing in the field, and
spotted a deer, and she saw me, so we looked at each other, until she loped off across the field to
a safe distance and paused. In the meantime, I thought a dog was heading our direction in the
field, but it too stopped to survey us; probably more concerned about Lance than me, but he was
still oblivious to all this activity, just as he had ignored a sheep the previous day, causing me to
ask, “What kind of a sheep dog are you?” He didn’t respond.
Now, I realized that the creature in the field was not a dog, but a fox, as it suddenly began
to leap through the dried weeds, in the opposite direction. And overhead about six buzzards
circled, while some movement in a nearby bush got my attention and I saw a bluejay flittering
through the branches. What an enchanted walk we were having; or at least I was, while Lance
continued to sniff and lift his leg.
I had begun these recent morning walks at the suggestion of another article I’d read in the
“Unity Magazine.” In fact, I’d read several lately, about the benefit of entering The Silence for
meditation, and this one suggested that taking a walk could serve the purpose.
The first morning we had walked in the opposite direction to a dead end, and then turned
back, only to encounter a woman walking a little brown dog attached to a leash. It was the same
one I’d noticed earlier following us, from a distance. The woman had three of her own dogs,
who had barked a greeting when we passed, but moved aside when I spoke quietly to them. Now,
all dogs were in the street, and the lady asked if I knew where the little brown dog lived.
I didn’t, so she said she would search for the owner. In the meantime, on our return
home, Lance and I had walked up the unpaved lane and asked a lady trimming her trees if she
knew anyone with a little brown dog. She didn’t, but said she would keep an eye open for the
owner.
The next day Van reported seeing the little brown dog, while on his walk, still at the
home with the other three dogs. It seemed happy, and another dog didn’t even bother to get up
and bark, but lay quietly in the yard.
All this “ado about nothing,” simply relates that we had entered into a peaceful time, in
the midst of much outer stress, while Mahlon’s TV continuously reported about “The War on
Terrorists.” But right here, in this part of the world, my anxieties were subsiding while we
remained in The Present Moment awaiting our next Guidance.
What Matters
Amongst the recent plethora of words and information, I heard a brief announcement that
a large number of people in Houston, Texas, who were planning divorce, reunited, figuring that
their differences were insignificant in light of the recent events.
Somehow, in the aftermath of September 11th, the differences between Van and I no
longer seemed so important. Perhaps it’s a result of the recent events, or it could be the
opportunity for us to spread out. For instance, I’ve been doing my writing in the guest bedroom
at Kathy’s, while he goes through his morning ritual in Freedom. And since our schedules don’t
coincide, we took our walks at different times, allowing each to think our own thoughts and be
in our own space.
As usual, Van finished his morning routine around 1:00, then took his walk, had a
shower and was ready for lunch. Sometimes he had time to do paperwork or other projects
before time to watch Oprah and then the news.
By this time, Kathy arrived home and we had dinner together, usually prepared by
Mahlon, who is retired. Then Van and I would return to Freedom to watch TV, and our time
together seemed more precious.
Because I’m focusing on writing, I hadn’t asked Van for any help with the computer
projects. However, one day I had a problem and he willingly helped solve it. His energies no
longer had the negative impact, and I began to think maybe there’s hope for us to return to the
adult loving couple we once were, rather than hassling like brat kids.
After all, we still have very much in common, and we enjoy each other’s company. You
can’t have spent over twenty-years together, and then go through an event like this, without
something happening. And, as Dr. Phil says, “Don’t make any life-changing decisions right
now.”
So, perhaps thanks to Osama Bin Laden, but definitely thanks to God, the tragic events of
September 11th have brought about some good, at least in our lives.
Re Sessions With Crystal
I don’t quite have the words to explain it all just now, and I asked Van if he is aware of
the change.
He said, “Yes,” but I don’t know what happened. I’m not aware of anything other than
what the counselor said.”
“What did Crystal say?” I asked.
“She explained about the medication,” he replied, as if that explained everything.
But it didn’t, so I pursued the matter, until I finally concluded that what helped him was
knowing that his condition has an explanation, and it’s not just something is wrong with him.
And there is medication, if he feels he needs it. In other words, it removed his feeling of
hopelessness.
I’ve learned that Van usually can’t put into words what is going on with him, so I decided
to accept the fact that he recognized a change had taken place and he was happy with it. It’s for
sure I was happy to have my adult husband back.
As for myself, I knew that the sessions with Crystal had been helpful to me, simply
because I could talk with someone who knew what I was talking about and understood the
problems, not only with Van, but with my daughter, and who confirmed that I was doing the
right things by taking care of myself and being a good role model.
The results of the blood work done by the doctor were exactly as I expected, everything
is fine. Therefore, as Crystal had suspected, and the doctor confirmed, my head pressures and
eye problems were symptoms of anxiety, and they had improved, as Van’s attitude changed.
Moving Forward
So, now we would continue our lives from here. Somehow, the nation and the world
made it to Monday, October 1st: a new day, a new week, a new month, and a new Power in my
Transformation course: Zeal, and the color Orange. The additional subjects for this month seem
timely: Enthusiasm, Expansion and Moving Forward. I rejoiced when I read the monthly
affirmation in my Daily Reading: “The guiding light of God shines before me. I move forward
with confidence.” And then I read: “God is everywhere present –within me and within every
circumstance.”
Our Ongoing Saga
Life is going on for me too, and I will continue to keep you updated with our ongoing
saga, as it unfolds. For instance, with no fears about flying, our friends, Kathy and Mahlon left
early on a Wednesday morning, after having given us instructions on plant and animal care, plus
how to use the appliances and car.
We were on our own with their big house and yard to spread out in, so I got up early,
went inside and sat in the overstuffed chair in the usually unused living room (most activities,
including the big screen TV, are in the family room-kitchen area).
Just being by myself felt luxurious as I adjusted to the sights and sounds of someone
else’s home without them in it; no ongoing TV news and financial reports or radio talk shows.
Quiet! So I spent some time meditating and listening within; just being.
But the neighbors parrot began squawking and the neighbor began hammering, so I began
to prowl around the house, familiarizing myself with their bedroom where I would be sleeping,
and deciding to take a shower in their bathroom with a massage shower, rather than the guest
bathroom. I wondered if Van would give himself permission to use the massage shower, and bet
that he wouldn’t.
I figured I wouldn’t see Van until afternoon, so after a leisurely breakfast, I strolled past
the utility bathroom on my way to the laundry area and became startled to hear water running
and see a light under the door. To my amazement, it was Van.
When he came out, I asked why he was up so early, and he replied that he wanted to get
an early shower, before noon, as the water heater is off from then until evening, due to the
energy crisis.
Amazing! Not much has motivated Van to get up early in recent months, so already he
was going through his own paradigm shift, life without me, while I expanded into my new
reality.
When I asked if we were to water the yard and garden today, he said, not until the next
day, totally in charge and handling the situation. I love it!
He returned to Freedom, despite the 100+ degree temps, to continue his morning routine,
so I savored my massage shower and got onto the computer. Later, despite my invitation for him
to use the luxury shower, he opted for the familiar guest bathroom, leaving no doubt of the vast
difference between our preferences in lifestyle.
Indeed, this would be an interesting two weeks, judging by the first several hours.
God is There
What if Van decided he didn’t need me; in fact that he would prefer to be alone? As the
therapist, Crystal, asked, “Could I manage?”
I’d received an e-mail from a friend who announced that she was leaving her husband,
and many of her reasons were similar to my complaints about Van, causing me to ask myself
why I’ve stayed with him when he is unable or unwilling to financially support us, among other
things.
This introspection brought me to open my Daily Reading: “In quiet moments, I look
within my soul and find that God is there.” The rest of the words reminded me that when I am
alone with God, I am at one with the source of all knowledge, and divine wisdom is mine. And
that God and love and truth reside within me. So, my answer is that I am not dependent on Van
for my needs to be fulfilled, but God is the Source of my good. So, however this turns out, I will
survive, just like the survivors who didn’t have a choice; they have to learn to make it on their
own, with God’s presence and guidance.
So, What is the Problem?
The first week progressed quite nicely, as Van continued his life in Freedom, on his own
time schedule, coming into the house around noon; sometimes to help me with any computer
problems, but mostly to handle his own projects, such as taking a shower or doing his
paperwork, watering, or watching football on the weekend.
I continued with my writing, but my head pressures were distracting, making it difficult
for creativity, especially when the heat reached over 100. Since I definitely wasn’t feeling
stressed or anxious, I again began to wonder what was causing my distress. Thinking perhaps it
was Kathy’s electric outlet deodorizers, I removed them, and the problem lessened; when the
heat cooled into the eighties, the discomfort decreased more. However, the most relief came
when I took several days off the computer to handle homemaking chores, such as laundry and
cooking, and we drover Kathy’s car into town. Perhaps, as I had suspected, the head problems
had to do with using my eyes for computer activities. This gave me great concern, because
writing is my greatest joy; in fact, it’s my Magnificent Obsession, so what would I do without it?
However, during this same period of time, we again ran out of our OPC-3, which I felt
was the sustainer of my life. Now, As I returned to writing and my head seemed okay, I began to
wonder if the very thing I thought was sustaining my health was actually part of the problem.
On the other hand, as the weather changed, becoming extremely windy, the head
pressures resumed, confirming my original conclusion that barometric changes affect my body,
among other things. And when the gardeners fired up their lawnmowers, the discomfort
worsened. All these symptoms, added to my ongoing aches and pains, added to the diagnosis of
fibromyalgia. Oh well, that’s reassuring since there is no known cause and no known cure.
Another of those conditions that one must learn to live with, getting whatever relief can come
with our company’s products, such as Glucosatrin and Oxygen-Plus, in addition to Tylenol.
In any event, life isn’t about my aches and pains. In fact, in the midst of all this, we
learned on Sunday that the attacks had begun on Afghanistan, so now we were actively at war,
and God only knows what the repercussions will be. However, knowing how sensitive my body
is to the world energies (I even pick up the stress during pre-Christmas and other momentous
times), I wondered if this had been the cause of my recent body discomfort.
The fact is that once the attacks began (even though I didn’t know about it until later),
my head pressures lessened, so I returned to my website activities, such as entering my updated
chapters. It’s for sure that there’s nothing I could be doing about the war, but pray; and I was
doing plenty of that, along with everyone else.
Something Had Changed
In the meantime, Van gradually found time to assist me with some of the projects that
had stressed my eyes, and that gave welcome relief. Finally, one day he had gotten up earlier and
gotten through his routine before noon, and offered to do more scanning, so I thankfully started
with the most urgent pictures and we got them in place and published. When we finished, he
offered to do more, so I selected another set and we completed them.
I’d left to fix dinner, before Van finished, so that night, when he was returning to
Freedom, I thanked him for all his help and said, “Tomorrow morning I’ll put them in place.”
“I already did it,” he replied, much to my amazement.
“Wow! Thank you,” I exclaimed, in genuine surprise.
“You’re welcome,” he said, as he headed out the door.
Something had changed between us. Perhaps Van’s attitude, or mine, or maybe just being
apart. But in retrospect, as I rested in the king-size bed, thinking about the day’s
accomplishment, I gave thanks for the enjoyable day working with Van, and I prayed that there
had been a turning point in our relationship. Perhaps the part-time separation was the answer. Or
maybe it’s the times when people are changing attitudes and behavior.
“My Faith Sustains Me”
In any event, the next morning my “Daily Reading,” gave me an answer: “With faith in
God and faith in my loved ones, I feel at peace about allowing them to learn from and grow
through their own experiences. I still do what I can to be of help, but I let my faith sustain me
and guide me in what is most helpful. God is the one who knows and reveals what is the highest
and best for them. I release them into God’s care, the surest and safest place they can be.”
What a great message for the present world conditions to the loved ones of the people
who are involved in the current military action. And it certainly applied to my relationship with
Van, confirming that this mini-separation was good for us both. In fact, I wondered if it would
suffice, or if my planned trip to Joyce’s would be necessary to complete the relationship healing
process. I awaited God’s answer while remaining in the present moment.
And, as I meditated on the idea that my faith sustains me, I reminded myself that my
body health is sustained by God, not OPC-3 or Tylenol, and I continued my health affirmations
“God is my health, I can’t be sick.”

Chapter 17
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

A Reminder
God guides me through my writing and daily living, so it’s always an adventure to find
out what I’m going to say and do. And, of course, life never gets boring, as I approach each new
day with anticipation. So when my Daily Reading spoke of “exploring uncharted territories,”
like Magellan and Columbus, I knew I must include this idea in my writing.
It says, “I am on a journey of discovery during which I learn in greater and greater depth
about myself and my world. Each day is a new opportunity to continue building my relationship
with God and to open new doors of spiritual discovery.”
I like that, because it serves as a reminder of what my life is about: “I am learning more
of what I am capable of achieving and I am experiencing more of the glory of God. I am not only
willing, I am also eager to discover more of God in my life.”
I must remember this when I become frustrated and impatient about my writing and
website not seeming to get out into the world. God’s time is the best time, and God’s way is the
best way, so I do what’s before me, as I’m guided. I also remember to stay in the Present
Moment, even as I look forward to what God has planned next.
An Introduction
The following words serve as an Introduction to a recent adventure in which God guided
me to an August 1983 issue of my publication “The Rainbow Connection.” The monthly
subjects were based on my “Transformation Course,” and August is about Power, which includes
Communication, the power of the word. Therefore, the issue expresses thanks, appreciation and
gratitude, and I paused to read an article that expressed these feelings to Van.
As I read the article, my Inner Guidance said that I was to have Van scan and place it in
his “Journey Out of The Hole” website. So we finally got it done, which also gave Van an
opportunity to read the loving words about how our relationship was back then, before we
changed.
When discussing this with Van, I questioned what had happened through the years, but he
doesn’t indulge in reflective exercises, so I speculated, “That’s before you got well.” By that I
meant that he was so codependent, trying to please and take care of everyone. And now he is
learning to say “No,” and otherwise take care of himself.
Nevertheless, I wonder what was so wrong with living a life that merits such praise; after
all, saints are made of this sort of stuff, and they are honored; not condemned. Perhaps it would
have been best to have let Van remain his wonderful codependent self; and I would have been
glad to, but after his downsize job-layoff, he went into a downward spiral that took me with him.
The only way out was through the layers of accumulated buried debris (stored resentment,
resistance and rebellion) that brought about his apparent breakdown, which nearly immobilized
this once active and productive man. It wasn’t a physical paralysis, so no one could see his pain,
suffering and discomfort; no one but me. And he wouldn’t go to a doctor or get therapy, so it was
up to me, for my own survival, as well as his, to find the cause and cure it; with God’s help.
It’s said that relationships are no accident and that God brings into our lives the exact
person and circumstances to fulfill His Divine Plan for us. It’s also said that marriage partners
are student and teacher for each other, which is certainly the case for Van and I. In my pursuit of
inner healing from the childhood traumas, I had many adventures, such as the self-awareness
seminars in the 70’s, and Healing the Inner Child in the 80’s, and the Twelve-Steps for
Codependency in the 90’s. And just as I’d gotten myself out of the hole, Van fell in; or maybe he
was there all along. In any event, it was up to me to grab him by the hand and pull him out; or
sometimes to push or drag him by the seat of his pants, as God continued to guide the recovery
process, using the tools that had brought me out of the hole.
It took years for us to discover and understand what had happened to cause Van’s
emotional breakdown, which meant delving into his childhood and family of origin issues. And
this was not easy, considering that he didn’t know, nor was he able to communicate, so the
“Journey of Discovery” indeed became a mighty adventure into the uncharted territories of the
unknown.
I felt totally alone and abandoned, because now my helpmate and provider was no longer
available, and it was up to me, just like my early childhood when I thought it was up to me to
take care of my mentally ill mother, until she was placed in a mental hospital, and somehow, in
my child’s mind, I knew it was all my fault. My years of recovery finally brought me to realize
that it wasn’t my fault, nor was it up to me to take care of my mother. But, now, it really was up
to me, only this time I knew that I had God’s help; and the Journey began.
I’ve written volumes*, as we processed through the uncharted territories of Van’s inner
child, which also took me through my codependency issues. Thank God for Coda (Codependents
Anonymous). Bottom-line, these issues and characteristics are in layers, and the healing process
is cyclic and spherical, as we process through the recovery.
“Journey Out of The Hole” is simply another trip in the ongoing “Journey of Discovery.”
Does it ever end? Probably not in this lifetime. It’s just a matter of when we decide to pull the
cord and stop the train, so we can get off. Our options are to keep breathing and putting one foot
in front of the other.

The following article from “The Rainbow Connection” is followed by more insights into
our Journey.
COMMUNICATIONS ABOUT “MY LOVE”
By Joyanna

This was written for my “Rainbow Connection” publication in August 1983
Seldom do we mention much about My Love, whose name is Van (my husband). God
may be the Foundation of our lives, but Van is the foundation or support of the “Rainbow
Connection” and what we are endeavoring to accomplish here.
The following was written by me to a Freedomer, “You asked me about my relationship
with My Love. It is exactly as I want it to be — in all ways. We have a very special and deep love
for each other. We truly are One. I guess there just aren’t words to describe or express it, so I
won’t try. I am just eternally grateful that I have him for my mate and My Love; and the feeling
is mutual. Isn’t that wonderful’ There is nothing that anyone else could offer me that I would
find more enticing than what he and I share in our relationship. I think he and I have both
learned and earned (in other relationships) in order to have what we have; sometimes the price
has been pretty darned high along the way too. Whew! I wouldn’t want to have to go through it
all again in order to have what we have together, but it would be worth it. We have the promise
of the universe that we will remain together in this lifetime — and always! Sounds good to me!”
Apparently the recipient of the Communications wasn’t as pleased as I am with this
relationship. Several of his return comments caused the reaction from me, as would any that was
an infringement against My Love. I said, “Now you have gone too far when you speak against
My Love.” I went on to bring to his attention exactly what he does for all of us, including him.
I’m going to overcome My Love’s objections and share with you something about him
and what he does for me and my family.
Since we were first together he has allowed space for one or another or several members
of my family to live with us when and as they needed that space and support.
In the beginning we were living, in Santa Clara, in a studio apartment with a folding door
through it. My son, Marquam called and wanted to come to California, so we said he could stay
at our studio apartment at the beach. He was seventeen at the time and not used to living alone,
so he stayed there three days and then called and said it wasn’t working for him, so he moved in
with us. He finally got adjusted, got a job and went on his own.
We were alone, briefly, when Dorothy called and announced that she was separating
from her first husband and could she come with us. It so happened that very day I had looked at a
three bedroom house that a Realtor friend had listed for rent. We took it and all moved in.
Various family members and friends have lived with us at different times ever since
we’ve been together. Van supported them financially and otherwise as best he could, while
encouraging them to make their contribution as they could, too.
When we moved to San Diego, it was necessary to rent a four bedroom house that would
accommodate and give the needed privacy for five generations of females: Mom Freeland,
Dorothy, Arianna and me. We found a wonderful three-level home overlooking the Pacific
Ocean, and it worked until each one could get on with life.
Van is the silent support and stability for the entire family and the “Rainbow
Connection” — and thus, for each of you who enjoy the publication and ministry of “Rainbow By
The Sea.”
My Love totally supports me in all that I do. The time and thought that I spend with my
ministry is always okay with him. In addition to that, he gives me the moral and emotional
support that builds my self-confidence, which was badly damaged when we met.
As a computer programmer, Van earns the money to support us. From that he tithes
1/10th to “Rainbow By The Sea,” which supports the “Rainbow Connection.”
Until recently Van was working three jobs plus the ongoing availability to anyone of our
family or friends who needed consultation time regarding finances or anything else. Since he
began Master Minding for balance and guidance in his three ‘playtimes,’ as he calls his
workdays, things have finally happened to where his part-time job could support him as a
full-time job and he could resign from the former full-time job. The payoff is that he can now
work at home and we can be together all the time and let our supportive energies work together
in our individual ‘playtimes.’ We are both thrilled over this wonderful ‘gift from the universe as
a result of our consciousness reaching the level of ‘Having it All.’
The stress and pressures of three jobs and so many other demands has affected My
Love’s health in recent months. I am so happy that the relief in these areas will now allow him
rest and relaxation time while still getting the job done. It is as if a ton of elephants has lifted
from our shoulders.
I am so thankful that My Love and I have given ourselves permission to ‘Have it All” in
The Promised Land. I am thankful to My Love for being My Love.

‘I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE; I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.’
From “INVICTUS’ by William Ernest Henley)

WRITTEN TO VAN BY A CO-WORKER WHEN HE RETIRED

Dear Van,
You are such a special person and have been such a special friend that words are
inadequate in describing how I feel today. Van, you have been a generous and kind coworker.
I have been so fortunate to have worked with you and to have been taught so tenderly and
thoroughly by you. My appreciation is boundless! The bonus has been the loving — the giving
and the receiving. I realize the value of your friendship which I have shared and it has been so
rewarding. I feel great pride in being a part of that relationship, but also I feel threatened with an
impending loss of it.
I am so grateful to have felt the joys and shared the burdens with you. I am definitely a
better person for having had you touch my soul.
You have my best wishes and good luck as you walk down this new path.

Stay Tuned
Something about reading this article at this time has moved me into another paradigm
shift, but I’m not sure what it is.
Yesterday, I again watched Oprah and Dr. Phil. This time they interviewed and counseled
people who were making changes as a result of September 11th: one lady reunited with her sister
after ten-years absence, and both sisters were on the show discussing their feelings about the
separation and reunion. Another lady’s cousin died and she needed to make adjustments in her
other relationships.
The show also featured several video stories of women who made some life changes: one
woman decided to quite putting up with her cheating husband and kicked him out; another young
wife and mother was dissatisfied with her boring marriage and wanted a divorce, decided to
change her attitude and remain with her loving husband and kids.
Someone, probably Dr. Phil, spoke about staying together through the good and bad
times being part of the commitment and journey, so to speak. I’m still fluctuating on a daily, if
not hourly, basis about our relationship.
I want it to work out together. I have to be honest with myself: I’m certainly not in the
time of my life to make life-altering changes, and I’m not really willing to go through the
struggle. So, am I selling myself out, or am I accepting life on life’s terms? Stay tuned.
The Question Is?
The question is: are we still the same people who met, fell in love and married? Is Van
still the person I wrote about in August 1983? Are those same good characteristics still part of
us? And what happened to us during these twenty-years to bring us to this time and place when
we are as strangers. In other words, is this the real Ralph and Joann; the result of years of therapy
and recovery, which I’ve shared with Van?
“Big”
The other night we watched the Tom Hanks movie, “Big,” on TV, about a preteen boy
who wished to be big, and a carnival fortune-telling machine granted his wish. Little Ralph
thoroughly enjoyed the movie, as the boy became a man overnight. As the story unfolded, he got
a prestigious job, a fabulous apartment and a girl-friend.
His job promotions, for a toy company, came as the result of his childlike ability to have
fun, such as encouraging the owner of the company to play “Chopsticks” on a large floor piano.
Or showing his girlfriend the joys of bouncing on a trampoline in wild abandonment.
But the time came when it all became too much and he wanted to return to the fun,
freedom and innocence of his childhood. Of course, in a fantasy you can do whatever you want,
so he did.
As I watched him gleefully laughing, while he watched the movie, I could see Little
Ralph relaxed and happy, and he looked young again, like the handsome man I first knew. The
movie had helped, but he had been enjoying the week we had already spent here, and the
freedom of doing what he wanted and when, while staying in the RV, and only relating with me
when he felt ready to. But come on now, is this real life?
Maybe it could be. Perhaps we should continue this lifestyle, staying in Laughlin or other
places, where we have fun, and simply enjoying life like we’re supposed to when retired. It’s for
sure that many other people do exactly that, so why not us? I’d already relaxed, while here, and
no longer attempted to accomplish any more than the minimal amount that Van felt like doing,
rather than being angry because he didn’t do more of the vast amount of scanning that I felt
needed to be done. And I’d even sat in the lawn chair enjoying the afternoon sun, while he
puttered with the watering chores he had agreed to do. I guess I could give up my push to fulfill
my dreams for the website and simply put in time, like Van does.
But would I lose my zest for life, my excitement about getting up in the morning to
another day of inner and outer adventure?
Probably!
During one of the commercials, I brought to Van’s attention the many metaphors of real
life in the movie, such as the ability to release that inner child, which he is doing. But, I also
reminded him that he is an adult, and the full recovery, of the wounded child into the wonder
child, comes with the merging of the two when they function in unison with the ability to have
fun, and yet fulfill the responsibilities of adulthood.
More Adventure
After watching “Big,” we turned to “The Amazing Race,” a Reality TV that we got
hooked on while with my son in Oregon. This is the kind of challenge that Van can really set his
teeth into, as he goes through the Detours and Road Blocks, along with the contestants.
Today they were in the sand dunes and vastness of the African desert, getting lost and
riding camels, until they finally reached their oasis and stopped for twelve hours. Of course, as
usual, they were minus one couple, who came in last, but next week the race will continue.
I could relate to the contestants wandering through the desert maze of buildings used in
Star Wars, as Van and I wander through our own “uncharted territories” trying to find our way to
the safe haven of our oasis.
But is the race about the oasis, or the adventure? Perhaps we can agree with the
argumentative couple who got eliminated, when they said, “We’ll miss the traveling.” However,
with all their squabbling, they will, no doubt, continue with their own journey, just as Van and I
are doing. In other words, it’s not about arriving at a destination, but enjoying the trip along the
way. And this is what I must remember as we resume our own travels.
Shaky Ground and Distorted Vision
I wrote the above words while still at Red Bluff; and then I didn’t write for several
weeks, nor did we watch “Amazing Race,” because we were traveling; and then we arrived at
Santa Clara and visited with Van’s mom the next Wednesday.
But the main reason I didn’t write was because I had a series of migraines and distorted
vision. The first one came the night Kathy and Mahlon returned. I’d changed their sheets, done
the laundry, straightened the house and moved our things back to Freedom, and we were sitting
at her table, while Van and I ate our last meal, before our next day’s departure. Suddenly my
vision distorted, as we were talking with Kathy. I didn’t say anything, and eventually it cleared
up, but I felt dizzy even after we returned to Freedom.
The next morning we completed our preparations, said “Goodbye” and drove north to
Redding, where we spent the rest of the day getting new tires and having them shifted. About the
time we started heading south, with plans to stay at Red Bluff Wal-Mart, I felt a full-blown
migraine attack coming on. It was so bad by the time we reached the parking lot that I alerted
Van to the possibility of a hospital run, which was not far away. Then I took my various
supplements that usually help, but I got nauseous and vomited. Eventually the pain subsided and
I managed to sleep through the night.
However, the next morning we went inside Wal-Mart to buy some little flag decals for
Freedom, and I felt the migraine coming on again, so I spent the entire trip lying down. Even
while Van dumped at the Truck Stop and had Freedom washed at the Truck Wash, I was flat on
my back. As Van drove south along I-5, I took several supplements, and by the time we reached
Split Pea Andersons at Santa Nella, I felt good enough to go inside for a bowl of their delicious
soup. Somehow I made it to Gilroy, where we stayed at Wal-Mart, but I knew I was on shaky
ground, and I don’t mean because of earthquakes.
Perhaps I was in another Void, because I definitely felt like doing nothing and my body
was going through its own version of an earthquake, or maybe it was more like a tornado or
hurricane.
Nevertheless, the next afternoon we made it to Van’s mom’s mobile home park and
settled in. I felt good enough to visit her that night, but I wasn’t up to it again until Sunday
evening. By then I’d also felt like walking to the nearby Acapulco Mexican Restaurant and
eating brunch, which perked up Joanie. I think she had been feeling like hopelessness, and the
good food nurtured her shattered nerves.
Under Personal Attack
I don’t know what set off the migraine attack, nor do I know what finally ended it. But
for the sake of retrospect, and possibly for others who go through them, I’m going to speculate
on what caused this attack.
For one thing, I know that my body reacts to weather change, and we did have a drastic
change: from 90+ down to the 70’s the Sunday when it started. But, also we were changing from
me staying in the house to returning to Freedom, and the over-exposure between Van and me. In
addition, we would now be heading south to stay a month at Van’s mom’s. Would I remain, or
would I take a train to Oceanside and stay with Joyce? Feeling so lousy, I knew I couldn’t do it.
But, the question is: Do I want to? If not, that might account for the migraine attack.
Louise Hay, in her booklet, “Heal Your Body,” lists the emotional cause of Migraine
Headaches: “Dislike against being driven and resisting the flow of life.” It’s for sure I’d been
feeling both, ever since the Attack on America, the war, and the anthrax scare. Not only do I
carry the feelings for myself, but I am what is termed a sensitive, which means that I also take on
the emotions of others. For instance, at Christmas, Halloween or July 4th, I feel the mass hysteria
of the season, and it’s very uncomfortable, so it’s very possible that I’d been carrying the fear
and other feelings of a nation under attack; a heavy burden.
In addition, I do not respond favorably to Van’s mom. Talk about being driven, this
woman is so controlling and opinionated that it becomes an immediate no-win situation. For
instance, we had taken time to return to the mobile home park in Redding, to take pictures for
her benefit. And we even took time to have them developed so we could show them to her the
first night we arrived. I was so excited about this wonderful place for her that I could hardly wait
to see her enthusiasm. But I should have known, because she never responds favorable to
anything we suggest or bring to her, such as a gift.
By now she had decided not to move up there, because she feared that she wouldn’t be
able to get around to the doctor or shopping. We tried to explain that there are shuttles, etc., but
she wouldn’t even consider it. In fact, she barely looked at the pictures. So much for that good
idea; equally disheartening was my gift of a freshly picked zucchini from Kathy’s garden, which
Betty also refused to accept, as she doesn’t like them. But then she doesn’t like so many things;
that’s why we don’t usually bring her anything. At least, she did keep the tomatoes that I brought
her. Hooray!
However, there are some wins for staying here, such as being able to use her car from
Friday to Tuesday, so we were able to get our shopping done at Costco and Trader Joe’s. And the
rest of the time we could walk to Walgreens, the grocery store or restaurants.
In a Quandary
Nevertheless, I was still in a quandary, as to whether or not to go to Oceanside and visit
with Joyce for several weeks. The possibility of taking the train and having to transfer in LA,
with my baggage and computer, didn’t seem very appealing, especially with my migraine
conditions. But I learned that Cousin John would be passing through here on his way to Southern
California, so hope returned, until I found out that he’d had a heart attack and wouldn’t be here
for another month, after we head south.
Finally, I felt like working on the computer for the first time in a week, and I began
editing “Pilgrimage to Colorado,” a story I’d written about Van’s reunion with his dad and his
Aunt Betsy, after a twenty-year absence. Van had scanned it in the computer, but it needed a lot
of revision, which was about all I felt like doing for awhile, so that project got me back to
writing. Thank goodness that my eyes and vision were okay.
As the days passed, I concluded that I really didn’t want to make the trip alone to
Oceanside, and besides that, Van had been easier to get along with, after our two-week
separation, and especially while being around his mother.
But, as I told Joyce, “It really helps knowing that I have the option, and I might still
decide to take the train.”
In the meantime, Betty was still in a quandary about her plans. Now, she had only four
months left to decide where to move and get it done. Apparently, at this point, at least, she’d
decided to sell her mobile home and rent an apartment close to where she is living. Van’s job,
while here, would be to go with her to various apartment complexes and find out the monthly
rent, and also to see if he could smell any Indian food, as Betty can’t stand that odor. However,
she’s looking in the wrong place, because this is Silicone Valley, and there are many Indians,
Iranians, Arabs and Asians. I might add, however, that since the WTC and the anthrax scare,
many of them are leaving the area, so she might find some good rental opportunities, if she can
stand the cooking odors.
Personally, I have to laugh, because she lives a block from the Indian Cuisine and we can
smell the food every day, so we wonder why it doesn’t bother her; or maybe it does and that’s
why she doesn’t want to smell it any longer.
In any event, the saga will continue according to God’s Divine Plan, and as I said at the
beginning of the chapter, I’ll look forward to see what happens next. In retrospect, I can see that
the migraine attacks gave me an opportunity to remain in the Present Moment and not be
concerned about getting things done, because I didn’t feel like doing anything, so I didn’t; and
my discovery could well be the realization that it’s okay not to do anything. A unique concept!
The Prayer of Faith
It occurs to me that it would be good to include “The Prayer of Faith,” which I repeated
over and over during my ordeal of pain and lethargy, as it is all that sustained me while I
contemplated a quick run to the ER:

God is my help in every need;
God does my every hunger feed;
God walks beside me, guides my way
Through every moment of the day.

I now am wise, I now am true.
Patient, kind, and loving, too.
All things I am, can do, and be,
Through Christ, the Truth that is in me.

God is my health, I can’t be sick;
God is my strength, unfailing, quick;
God is my all, I know no fear,
Since God and love and Truth are here.
-Hannah More Kohaus.

Chapter 18
“… A FUTURE AND A HOPE”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to
give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I
will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart. I will be
found by you, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the
nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back
to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

The above bible verse came to my attention while watching Robert Schuller one Sunday
morning. As usual, he was speaking of possibility thinking, and he gave examples of people who
had overcome tremendous odds to fulfill their life’s purpose. For instance, he told of a famous
crippled violinist whose string broke in the middle of his concert, but rather than take the time to
replace his leg-braces and leave to find a new string and replace it, he continued playing and
improvising, with masterful expertise, and concluded his piece to a standing ovation. The point
being to make beautiful music even with a broken string.
Speaking to the children who lost a parent during the WTC attack, Schuller spoke of the
now adult daughter of the commander of the Apollo Commandship that exploded in mid-air,
mentioning that she had recently been a guest who spoke to his congregation about the pain she
had endured, but how her faith had helped her to survive and move forward with life, and she
now attempts to support others who have suffered loss and trauma. In fact, she has written a
letter to the children, which Schuller quoted. More information on this can be attained through
www.hourofpower.com.
I knew that I was being guided to a new chapter, but I had no idea what it would be
about. However, as usual, I followed my Guidance and began typing the bible verse. I was told
that it would be added to my “America” webpage, and also my Prayer Ministry.
Then I was guided to “Let There be Light,” by Elizabeth Sand Turner, which gives
interpretation of the Old Testament. She explains that the Book of Jeremiah is complicated and
not in chronological or topical order, as its author, attempts to collect the sermons of the
“Prophet of Doom,” as Jeremiah was sometimes called, because many of his sermons speak of
the hardships to be faced by the Jews for their transgressions. Yet, it took strong words to get
their attention, much as it took something intense to get our attention in these times.
I can relate to Jeremiah 1:6, when told that he was to be a prophet to all nations, and he
replied, “Behold, I know not how to speak; for I am a child,” much like Moses’s reactions to
God’s calling. I too feel inadequate to fulfill the ministry that I have been called, yet I trust that
God is guiding me, during my preparation period, and that He will continue to guide me
throughout the fulfillment.

As He said to Jeremiah, “Say not, I am a child; for to whomsoever I shall send thee thou
shalt go, and whatsoever I shall command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid because of them …
then Jehovah put forth his hand, and touched my mouth … Behold, I have put my words in thy
mouth: see, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to
break down and to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:7-10).
Jeremiah’s mission was not only to destroy evil, but to establish Truth, symbolic of the
need for denials and affirmations, as we focus on the one presence and power, God. As such,
Jeremiah preached nonresistance, and that’s the lesson we must learn; over and over again, until
we get it right. Otherwise, we are not in harmony with God, and therefore our disobedience,
intentional or not, produces disastrous results, because we are not working with the Universal
Laws. Like the Law of Gravity, whether we are aware of it or not, if we jump from a building,
we probably will not survive. Nonresistance too, is a Universal Law, and one that we must learn
over and over, until we get it right.
In situations similar to today’s religious battles, Jeremiah warned that we should build up
our spiritual defenses in consciousness when we are meeting a destructive condition, and that we
must learn to trust God and know that He will deliver us. But, we usually feel that we must rush
out and do something on our own, and then we take credit for whatever happens, yet we are
unwilling to take blame when it fails. However, when we let the Lord fight the battle, we are
practicing nonresistance, and we can take neither credit nor blame.
The same is true in our financial conditions. It seems almost impossible to take a passive
or nonresistant approach toward lack, but when we do, and we trust God, as our unfailing Source
and Substance, He does provide. Perhaps not in the time or way that we expect, but God does
provide according to His time and His way.
Oh, if only I can remember this truth when I become impatient and discouraged when
things aren’t happening fast enough, or the way I think I want, such as now. Yet, I have learned
that, in such times, I must do what is before me to do, while trusting God’s time and way.
For instance, while here in Santa Clara, as Van assists his mom in finding a new place to
live, I’ve been guided to catch up on revising my “Pilgrimages” series, including mine to Oregon
and Van’s to Colorado, which happened around ten years ago, but never got completed. And, as
always, God’s time is the best time, because now is when we need to be reminded of the lessons
we were learning, during those pilgrimages that related to our childhood and our relationship
with our parents. You can click “Pilgrimage to Kah-nee-ta,” for mine, or “Pilgrimage to
Colorado” for Van’s. They are pleasant, nostalgic, and sometimes upsetting stories, as we each
heal part of our past, while living in The Present Moment, and preparing for the future.
This is not intended to be a thesis on the trials and tribulations of Jeremiah, however it is
true that each of the bible stories reflect what is going on in our lives and times, so it seems like
a good idea to follow through on this story, as I’m guided to write.
During Jeremiah’s time of persecution, which involves the historical downfall of
Jerusalem to Babylon, he cried out to God, “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable,
which refuseth to be healed?” I can relate to that.
God replied, “I am with thee to save thee, and to deliver thee” (Jeremiah 15:18, 20).
The secondary lesson here is that Jeremiah did not complain to the people, nor did he
keep it to himself and continue suffering; he “cast his burden directly upon the Lord,” in other
words, he went to someone who could do something about it, and God promised to be his
strength, as long as he remembered to separate the essential from the nonessential, remembering
what is important: God and the things of God.
As a result, Jeremiah wrote to the captive Jews in Babylon: “Thus sayeth Jehovah, build
ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. Take ye wives, and
beget sons and daughters, and seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried
away captive, and pray unto Jehovah for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace
(Jeremiah 29: 5-7).
Doesn’t part of the above words sound familiar? It’s what President Bush told us to do,
after the Attack on America: “Go on with doing the normal things in your life.” And because our
country doesn’t encourage the religious verbiage, he didn’t use bible verses, but he gave us good
advice. And since it wouldn’t be appropriate to say that God would protect and deliver us, he
reassured us that the government was doing its job of taking care of us. Yet, President Bush is a
religious man, and I’m sure that he is being God guided through these times, for only God can
give us the victory.
Even though the terrorists feel that theirs is the righteous cause, they have taken the law
into their own hands and their own interpretation, therefore, they will ultimately fail; and only
God will prevail.
Yet, this is a wake-up call to us, as individuals, and as a nation, that we must learn from
the example of those who went before us. As God said to them (and thus to us) “My people have
committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out
cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). In other words, he’s saying
that depending on our mortal selves, including weapons and violence, is the cause of our
troubles, and unless we put our faith in God, our lives won’t hold water, so to speak.
The king at that time, Zedekiah, succumbed to bad advise, and revolted against Babylon,
despite Jeremiah’s opposition, so he was imprisoned, and later thrown into a well to starve to
death. But he was rescued and kept a prisoner in the palace, until Jerusalem finally fell.
During this time Jeremiah wrote his messages of love, hope and compassion, in the Book
of Hope (Jeremiah 30-33).
Here is also where we find much of the prophecy that is responsible for the battles
between Israel and Palestine: “For lo, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will turn again the
captivity of my people Israel and Judah … and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave
their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3).
Further relevant prophecy says: “Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a
new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah …” (Jeremiah 31:31).
It’s said that the prophet, Jeremiah, was killed by his own people, because he chastised
them for worshipping the Egyptian gods. Jeremiah’s life might seem hopeless, because it seemed
that he failed to accomplish his heart’s desire, however, he serves as a role-model for remaining
steadfast and not surrendering one’s integrity despite adverse circumstances.
“I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places
where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I
sent you into exile.”
Unfulfilled Expectations
I can also relate to this part of Jeremiah’s prophecy, because lately I’ve been feeling
aware of the losses in my life. And when I slip into this thinking, it’s easy to fall into the victim
role. But then I affirm: “I am not a victim, I am victorious.”
For instance, I had been looking forward to visiting with Carol, a friend who lives in
Santa Maria, and who would be in San Jose to visit her family. However, when the weekend
came and went and I didn’t hear from her, I felt disappointed, and this was the last straw in a
series of upsetting events, so I was hanging on the precipice of my victim feelings.
Carol had said that she would help with my website, and I had been anticipating that she
could answer some questions about several projects that would take the website further. For
instance, she had created her own website, without the help of a sitebuilder, which I felt gives
her unlimited freedom. Since our sitebuilder had now started charging a monthly fee, and it
increases according to the amount of bytes used, I’d lost interest in adding all of my books and
pictures. So, I thought Carol might be willing to set one up, or show Van how to do it, where I
could include my books and pictures as a link to Inner Freedom.net. Otherwise, this obstacle had
become a stumbling block for my moving forward and the website was at a standstill, although I
still entered chapters and shorter books.
Actually, the weekend had been loaded with disappointments, which are the result of
unfulfilled expectations and thwarted intentions, not to mention undelivered communications.
I’d gotten ready to attend church on Sunday and Van had driven me there, but when I got inside
the small sanctuary, I was overcome with smoke from their abundant candles. So, I turned
around and left, explaining to the hostess the reason. She’d offered to blow them out, but that
only makes the smoke worse, and I didn’t want to control everyone else’s enjoyment.
In addition, I’d hoped to make contact with a person whom I’d met there a year ago, and
thought would be a friend, but she never responded to my email, and I looked forward to a
completion. I’d asked if she were there and was told that she wasn’t, so there went another
unfulfilled expectation, in addition to the ongoing undelivered communication.
However, not to be thwarted, I decided to go to another nearby church, but when we got
to its previous location, we discovered that the building had been demolished and was under
construction. In the meantime, the church had been moved and we couldn’t find it.
I was feeling depressed anyway, especially since Van was in one of his strange modes, so
I said, “Forget it, we’ll go to a movie.” The problem is that we don’t care for the recent ones that
have flooded the market and I feared the worst, but we did find a good comedy, “Bandit,” with
Bruce Willis and Bobby Lee Thornton.
We’d arranged to meet with friends for an early dinner, which we did, but Van had to
visit his mother at 7:00, so it was a short visit, leaving out many computer subjects that I’d
wanted to discuss. So, now I had another setup for disappointment. I couldn’t cope with any
more upsets, so I went home and went to bed, leaving Van to spend the evening watching TV
with his mother.
I rehashed all the losses and disappointments in my life, such as the church-home by the
sea, which had seemed so real and hopeful, only to be thwarted. And I questioned: “Is it possible
that God really does have a Divine Plan for me, as He has revealed it, or is it all a figment of my
imagination? A fantasy, or worse yet, a delusional aspect of the insanity that plagues my
family?”
The next morning I looked up the above bible verse and began to feel somewhat better,
especially when reminded that the seeming losses ultimately would be restored. The verse
reminded me of another bible promise: “I will restore to you the years the locust has eaten …
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God” (Joel 2:25).
Okay, so maybe God really does have a Divine Plan for me. It’s just up to me to be
patient and trusting, and go about my daily routine.
So I finished editing and revising my “Pilgrimage” series, including mine to Kah-nee-ta
and Van’s to Colorado. And then we got a bowl of clam chowder at the Fish Market, did errands
and looked at several apartments for Betty.
By this time it was late, but I wanted to update the publishing for my websites, and we
went to Kinko’s. I discovered that every webpage, including all that we had previously
published, indicated that they hadn’t been published and needed updating. Now, this was
upsetting. What had happened, and what could we do about it? Now, I really felt victimized, and
so helpless, because I didn’t know what to do about it, and Van was still being weird. At least it
seemed like it to me, because his only solution was to start re-publishing, which would take
hours, and we only had an hour, before we had to return home so he could visit his mother.
After a half-hour, when he’d only done six, of the volumnous pages, I said, “Let’s
compose a letter to the sitebuilder and ask them what’s going on; after all this is the second time
this has happened.”
We compiled the letter and sent it, and I suggested that he close down the computer so
we could leave. In the meantime, I went to the restroom, and when I returned, he was busy
publishing again. Now, we were out of time, and no way to stop the process, until it finished the
current page. I became very upset, and by the time it had finished, and we finally got home and I
fixed dinner, I certainly didn’t feel like going to Betty’s, so I stayed home.
When Van got home, I felt it was time to talk, because he’d reverted to his Little Ralph
mode, when around me. Oh, not with his mother, of course. He wouldn’t dare. She wouldn’t put
up with it for one minute. But I get the brunt of his weirdness, and she gets the good guy.
I got into a two-hour session with him on the subject. He really seems to think that he
doesn’t know what to do about these things, or what causes his attitude, or what happened to
bring all this on. It’s for sure that he wasn’t like this when we were first together. I tried to get
him to figure out what happened, but he says that he doesn’t know.
I just wonder why it is that he can be perfectly fine with his mother, so is it that he
doesn’t care, or isn’t interested, or what?
I asked him what kind of person he thinks it would take to get along with him. I mean,
other women, such as Betty, found men who loved them and got along with them, so there must
be some kind of person who could love and appreciate him and treat him much better than I do,
so what would that look like?
I suggested that the problem might be my inherited family insanity, but he seems to think
that I’m okay. I said that I’m not convinced that it’s not a combination of my ADD, and various
childhood issues. But, I can only do as good as I can do. God knows, I’ve done an awful lot of
trying to get better, and so has Van. Maybe I should keep trying to accept us as we are. But, I
certainly don’t know how I could respond when he gets into his weird attitudes.
Mostly, I was also upset with Van because of his indifferent attitude about the fact that
every webpage on the three websites needs to be published again, without my having added
anything to them.
I said to him, “Maybe you are actually a saint, and you are simply practicing
nonresistance, which most people are trying to accomplish. But it’s difficult for me to see the
difference between nonresistance and denial or lethargy.”
He said, “I’m not a saint. It’s simply that I don’t know what to do, so I don’t do anything.
Maybe I’m still in The Void.”
I stopped dead in my tracks, as I quickly reflected on the past years, since his downsize
job layoff, and I realized that he really had been in a void all this time. Yes, he was doing what
was before him to do, but he’d never moved on, out of his personal Wilderness, into The
Promised Land Consciousness; he’d never found a zest for life about anything, other than
traveling in the RV.
As I’m writing, I’m reflecting on the words by Jeremiah to the captive Jews in Babylon:
“build houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. Get married, have
kids, and live peacefully where I have placed you, and pray,” to paraphrase Jeremiah 29: 5-7.
This is exactly what we are to do, while in The Void, bottom-line, go about doing the
normal things in your life, as President Bush advised us. And it’s what Van has been doing all
these years, while in his captive condition of The Wilderness. Of course, he’s been praying all
this time, as the verse suggests, and as such, he lives a form of nonresistance, so it’s not really
denial and lethargy, but putting one foot in front of the other, doing what is before him to do.
Well, the Good News is that God promises that He will restore our fortunes, and
otherwise “bring us out of exile,” and “I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal”
(Jeremiah 30: 17), so there is a “future and a hope.” It’s a matter of God’s Divine Plan, and
according to His Divine Timing.
However, at the time, I was so frustrated and upset with Van that I was literally shaking
all over, plus my head was throbbing, and I couldn’t sleep, so I worked on the computer until
3:00 a.m.
Once I got to bed, I talked to God: “God! I wish that Van would wake up and take more
interest in what’s going on. I mean, if he had a job, he’d know what to do, and he’d do it. Or, if it
was for his mother, he’d sure get it handled. So why is he this way for me? Is it my
consciousness that attracts this ongoing treatment?
“If so, I need to change it one way or another. Maybe I really do need to leave. If not,
then what do I need to do? If it’s a matter of the result of my life’s experiences, and there really
is no hope, then what? In any event, what is the answer?”
As I talked with God about the abusive or otherwise unusual people that I attract into my
life, and feeling that I’m not okay for doing that, it occurred to me that it’s my calling, or my
mission, or my thing I do, and it’s a positive, not a negative, because I have a gift that I give to
them by my friendship and relationship. Okay, so is that an ego thing, or is that a God thing?
On the other hand, they all make a contribution to my life, too, so that’s what friendship
and acceptance is all about. As it’s said, “In a relationship, each is a student and teacher for the
other.” So, it boils down to relationships being a matter of acceptance and nonresistance, and I
suspect that I’m getting another lesson on a deeper level. I can fight it, or accept it.
Nonresistance
I slept in the next morning, and by the time I got up, Van was up, so I began talking more
about our previous night’s conversation.
By way of explanation, relating to his having a feeling for the fact that it’s best not to get
involved, he used an example of when he came home from Betty’s last night, there were two
police cars in front of one of the mobile homes. He surveyed the situation and figured that it was
best for him to come on home, rather than to investigate, passing on by the parked vehicles.
I talked about his frogman training having a lot to do with how he approaches life; like
knowing that he’s prepared to deal with it. I said that I would probably have gone into fear and
anxiety and gone around the other way. I don’t know if either way is right, but simply how we
approach life, based on our individual life experiences. And actually, each is a matter of
nonresistance, only applied differently.
In Sync
When concluding the conversation, I was guided to read from the Unity bulletin, which
I’d kept. It is titled “Clear Communications,” and based on The Third Agreement, “Don’t Make
Assumptions,” from the book “The Four Agreements.”
It bottom-lines: “I make no assumptions. I have the courage to ask questions. I release all
judgment, fear and defensiveness. I say yes and I say no with clarity and love.”

At the bottom of the page, it asks two questions:
“I feel the greatest joy whenever I –”
Van said, “I enjoy life by being in the moment.”
The second question: “I am the most inspired whenever I –”
Van responded: “find alternative ways for looking at things.”
Those were very insightful, I thought, so I filled in my responses: “Whenever I feel that
I’m living in the presence of God,” and “Whenever I’m feeling and following His guidance.”

I might add that I feel joy when Van and I are in sync and getting along.
A Confirmation
When we’d finished talking, I realized that the month would end the next day, so I
decided to update Renunciation, the power for November, so I would have it ready for Carol,
since she’s coloring the monthly mandalas and reading the text; a fact that I find her interest in
this course to be very supportive and encouraging, especially since she gives me feedback on the
benefits she gets from the material and mandala.
I’d no more than started, when the cellular phone rang. It was Carol. Apparently she
wasn’t even in town over the weekend, but she would be here for the week, and she wanted to
get together the next day. My energies shifted and I was elated; it was as if a huge weight had
lifted. Her call served as a confirmation that I am not a victim, but I am victorious. Hooray!
When I returned to “Renunciation,” I was reminded of the subjects, such as Releasing,
Elimination, Letting Go, and The Wilderness; and also Non-resistance. And I noticed that I’d
written about my annual November syndrome, which is activated around the time of my
brother’s birthday, because that’s when my mom’s mental illness caused her to be placed in a
mental institution, my brother placed in an orphanage, and I was adopted by my paternal
grandparents.
Since I began my inner child recovery and other healing programs, I’ve become aware
that I relive that trauma, and I cycle through a new level of healing, which is never a comfortable
process. Now, I shuddered and prayed that it not be necessary this year. Perhaps we could do
something different, which I try to do every year; but it’s a difficult month, and quite often
Thanksgiving is spent with my brother, as it will be this year, when we gather at our stepmother,
Arlene’s. In fact, I’m excited, as I write, because Dottie and her family are planning to join us
too, which is a rare event, now that they have moved to Colorado.
Brought to my Knees
As usual, I’m being guided as to what to write for this chapter, and I was surprised,
during my morning meditation, when I questioned why I had fallen forward to my knees, in the
parking lot while shopping, after the Kinko’s episode.
The answer came that it was to bring me to my knees, in order to remind me that only
God is my strength and my salvation; not Van, nor Carol, nor anyone else whom I might look to
for acceptance, support, acknowledgment or inspiration. Since my upper legs were still painful
whenever I moved, the lesson had an impact, and I would remember to “Look to God only.”
A New Covenant
Another reminder of God’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience came to me
during my morning meditation: “For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me
together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
For awhile I wondered why these words had been given to me at this time, but several
days later, while browsing through Jeremiah, I read “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah… I will put my
law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be
my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know
the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I
will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
As I’m writing, I’m realizing that these words are the basic beliefs of those who are
fighting in Israel and Palestine, and I’m wondering why they don’t realize that there is a new
covenant, so they don’t need to fight over who lives in what land. In any event, I’m waiting for
the day when “they shall all know me,” meaning God, in their inward being.
Returning to these bible verses reminds me that there is a lot more going on than we
realize, and fortunately God knows what He’s doing. It’s simply a matter of us getting ourselves
in alignment, so the Truth will be revealed to and through us.
Trick or Treat!
Halloween is not my favorite holiday, in fact I don’t like it, for some reason buried only
in my subconscious. And this year, with the terrorists adding their part, it’s even worse, and I
dreaded it in this mobile park. I wondered how I’d survived last year, and I remembered that we
were in Laughlin and had just moved into the Riverside RV Park where we enjoyed a package
deal for prime rib dinner, movies and other fun stuff.
This had been a positive pattern change, and this year turned out to be good too. Van had
returned to Kinko’s to publish all the webpages again, and as planned, Carol arrived for our
girl’s night out. We had a short visit, then we went to Black Angus for BBQ ribs, steak and
chicken, using a coupon that I had.
I got a lot of answers to questions about her future plans, such as she’s not retiring and
will remain in Santa Maria. As such, she’s ready to become a Market America Distributor, so we
arranged to sign her up during our visit, while on our way to southern California, and promised
that we would return to train and work with her, after Thanksgiving. This put some pieces into
our life’s puzzle, at least for the next month.
Carol also answered some important computer questions, including the fact that even
when creating her own website, she pays a monthly fee to a local server, and when she moves,
she would have to transfer to another server. So, she’s going to buy a website through Market
America and Van will be able to help her get it activated, which will give him something to do,
using the information that he has attained and retained through the years.
Once she has her website functioning, as she says, like in a regular mall, Market America
will be her anchor store, and she will include Inner Freedom Ministry as one of her additional
shops, along with her own arts and crafts business.
This information also let me know that if I’m going to enter and sell books on my
website, I’ll have to stay with Homestead and plan on paying for more bytes, in time; important
information. Of course, it might be worthwhile, with Carol becoming involved, for us to transfer
to a Market America website. In any event, Van will now need to avail himself of more
information so he can train and work with Carol, and then he’ll know for our own benefit too.
I also asked Carol about the Photo Shop program that she uses for her pictures and for
painting the mandalas. She told me that there is a free trial program which we can download and
learn to use, and then we can buy the program for ourselves. This is important, especially since I
want to buy a digital camera very soon. In other words, it looks as if we are moving more deeply
into the technology of the 21st Century. And, if Carol were to be part of our journey, then there
was a strong possibility that we might settle near her, probably near Pismo Beach, which has
always been a high priority location for us. So, this is a door that seems to be opening, and
maybe I can find a suitable place, similar to the church-house in Oregon. I can always add
stained glass, if that’s what it takes, as long as I have the view of the ocean.
After dinner, Carol returned me home so she could join her grandson, whom she was
baby-sitting for the week, and participate in his Halloween events.
In the meantime, Van and I went to his mother’s and learned that she had decided to have
her mobile home moved to Redding, rather than pay a high rent for an apartment in this area.
She refused to consider the place we selected in Anderson, because she felt it was too isolated
from doctors and shopping. The fact is that she’s scared of getting stranded, and in her mind it is
in the middle of no place, even though a shuttle is available, and it’s only 8-miles from Redding.
And, if all else failed, we could stay nearby and Van would drive her wherever she needs to go.
Or, maybe she could find a place in Pismo Beach. Stay tuned; it’s not over yet.
The evening concluded with Betty serving fruit and cookies, as our treats, while we
watched “The Amazing Race.” And no other kids came to her door; only Joanie and Little
Ralph.
Fortunes Restored
The next Sunday, after starting this chapter, I overslept and missed Robert Schuller, and
I’d already decided not to go to church, so I asked what God wanted me to do for my spiritual
time.
I was guided to reread Millennium Message, inspired writing that came to a friend prior
to that time. The result, and much more are recorded in the next chapter, and it is the beginning
of the fulfillment of my “future and hope,” and I feel that the years the locust have eaten are
beginning to be restored.

Chapter 19
A METAPHOR

MILLENNIUM MESSAGE
Through Bob Davey
12-25-99

Pittsburgh
This is now
The Land of Suffering

We must all come
To this Land sometime
It is not good to stay here long
How to leave it —–
Through Mindfulness

Mindfulness:
is the awareness
that you are above
That your suffering
is your task at hand
but —-
You take care of your task
by coming down to it.

Just as you leave your kingdom (home)
to go to work
Which is going down
to a lower level —-
Upon your return from work
we go up
to our kingdom

When Jesus
went to Jerusalem
He literally went Up.
He had to climb Up
As Jerusalem sets
Up on the Mountain

Likewise
We need to climb Up
from our suffering
To a Higher Level

By Being Aware
of our Higher Purpose —-
This is how
We can have Peace —-
in the midst
of our Suffering

We can walk
through
The Valley of Death

What is our purpose?
but to remain in balance.
To cancel out
fear and anger
to walk in peace
to walk in awareness
that we are servants of God.

You cannot enter into
Your Kingdom —- through fear

You must enter into
Your Kingdom
Through Love
(or compassion)

Love has no Anger
Love has no Fear
Love is Patient
Love is Kind
Love does not Brag
Love is not Arrogant
Love does not act
Unbecomingly

Love does not seek
its own
Love does not take
into account
a wrong suffered —-

Love does not Rejoice
in unrighteousness —-
But rejoices with Truth

When we are angry
We bring Anger
When we Fear
We bring Fear
When we Hate
We bring Hate
When we Love
We bring Love

Love bears all things
Love believes
all things —-
Love hopes
in all things
Love endures
all things

Abide in Hope
Abide in Faith
Abide in Love

Who do you need to Love?
What do you need to Love?

These questions will follow you
wherever you go.

You cannot escape
They will seek you out
They will appear in many
shapes and forms

As Satan appeared
To Adam and Eve

Satan diverted Love
by channeling Desire
for the Self
from Desire for God
and thus
suffering entered
into their lives.

We must walk in Mindfulness

While walking
in this manner —-
Suffering
cannot touch us.

Love dissolves Fear
Love dissolves Anger

Through Love —- we can
enter
into the Kingdom

And Once —-
into the Kingdom
We are in
the first level of Light

The Kingdom is near to us
It is here for us now

We can walk in this Light
Now

Mother Teresa walked
in the midst
of danger and sickness
But —-
Danger and Sickness
did not touch her
Her own eventual sickness
did not touch her
Her own eventual sickness
was just a deterioration
of the shell.

The shell is only for a time

If we take care of it
it will last
its appropriate time

But we —-
should not worship the shell
And —-
we should not cling to it.

It’s life is temporary
True Life is forever

True life Abides in the Soul
Not in Material Fortune
Not in Good Health

True Life moves
through the Kingdom
in the form of —-
Love
on into the heavens.

We come to this earth
As arrows
of Gods’ Love

To strike the Hearts
of those —- we meet.

Whose Path we cross
Whether

Rich or Poor
Short or Tall
Sane or Insane
Mean or Kind
Healthy or Sickly
Skinny or Fat
Pretty or Ugly
All shapes
All forms

These are ours to Love

This is your purpose in Life
To Love those
You meet

This is your Labor
This is your Garden

When we Love
We bring Light
When we bring Light
we heal

When we Love
We bring the Kingdom
When we bring the Kingdom
We bring Peace

(Even in the midst of our Suffering)

Adam and Eve
were brought into the Garden
to tend it.

We are in the Garden

Are we tending it?
Are we good gardeners?
Are we becoming?
Are we evolving?
Are we learning? —-
in this life

Where are the Answers

The Bible is a Book of Metaphors

Sometimes —-
We miss the metaphor
By being too literal

And by literal
We miss the Answer
to the Question

Look for the Metaphor
and find the Answer

Sometimes we get Angry
or Upset with those
who teach the Way

What we are really struggling with
is the Methodology

Carelessly —-
We often reject
the entire Book of Metaphors
Because we do not like
The Presentation

Do we see
This Foolishness
of ourselves?

Throwing out the Teaching
Because we did not care for
—-The Presentation—-

Sorrowfully —-
This is molded into us
at a very early stage
During our first years
in school.

And this becomes our Pattern
To throw out the teaching
Because
We did not like The Teacher

Somewhere
Along the Way
We find a Teacher we really like
And
we actually learn something

In Adult life
We may even flee the Teaching
To seek another Teaching
Thinking at last —-
I found it.

Yes
You may have found it.
But in truth
You technically
Did not find it
Because you always had it.

It is in your body
It is in the earth
It is in the heaven

And
It is in the Bible
in the shape of
Metaphors

If you break down
All the teachings
of all religions —-
All faiths
of all nations
of all tribes
of any Great Holy Man

The metaphors are
all the same

When you reject one
you are actually
Rejecting Nothing

Because —-
What you thought you rejected
You embraced
in another Form

Embrace a Tree —-
You found God

Embrace a Human Being
You Found God

Embrace an Animal
You Found God

OR
WHATEVER YOU EMBRACE

You will find God
Because He is the Creator
of All things

If —-
You look for the Metaphor

What Nation were you born into?

What State were you born into?
What City were you born into?

What Couple
brought you into your Shell?

This is your Metaphor

Do not throw the Tool Away
Because you did not Like
the way you were taught
to use it.

The Fault
is not in the Tool
The Fault is in the Teacher

Once you realize this
The Fault
becomes a Task

The Task
is not to do
the same

Take the Tool

Teach the Metaphor

Teach it with Love
Teach it
with Compassion

And Love
who you teach

And you have Found
the Kingdom

All tools are the Same
But all Craftsmen
Are Not

Walk in the Light
of the
Great Teacher

And you will Bring
Him Back to Life

This was the Metaphor of Jesus

Don’t Argue if He existed
Don’t Argue if He is the Son of God
Don’t Argue
if HE came back from the Dead

That is not the Metaphor

The Point is:
When we embrace the Tool
When we embrace the Teaching

We bring
The Teacher Back
to Life

We sustain
The Existence
We Give the Teacher Life

And the Teacher
Becomes
Immortal

Because we choose
To Finish His Work

And we become
That Master Craftsman
Just Like Him

It is all Here
Within Us

No Need
To Go Outside
Your Door

No Need
To Go to
the Woods

No Need
To Go To
the Ocean

It is all Within
Us
If we Care
To Give A Look

Love
Will open our Eyes
And Let Us See

let US Embrace
One Another
Let our Bodies Touch
IN ORDER TO LET

ENERGY FLOW INTO
OUR HEARTS

LET US HOLD ONE ANOTHER
FOR AWHILE
And Feel the Warmth
of Each Other

And May Our Love
Flow into One Another

And may Love
Always Guard US
To Keep us Open
To Receive.

“This is Your Purpose in Life”
Reading this message brought me into a new place of awareness and understanding, and I
knew that God had been bringing me to this place for quite awhile; maybe all my life. But lately,
events in my life were tightening the noose, so to speak, as I had been becoming increasingly
aware of the losses in my life, not only our material items, but also the relationships who had
disappeared, and I was beginning to feel more like Job, of the bible, more every day. Yet, trying
to keep my faith and trust on a firm foundation, even when more losses occurred, such as not
being able to acquire the church-house that I felt was God-guided, and I so dearly desired.
Or when more friendships ended for one reason or another. Such as Adam and Michael
Martin hadn’t written to me since we left them in March. I’d released them to live their lives, but
they had been so much part of mine, and it left a large void.
And then I was guided to Jeremiah, with the results I wrote in Chapter 18. So when I read
the Millennium Message, something spoke deeply to my heart, and something shifted on a
deeper level, as I entered it onto my Prayer Ministry webpage. And then I read it aloud to Van,
and he too was touched.
I began to feel the urgings to write a new chapter, but first I transferred the Message to
my files. Then I felt guided to send it to several people who might hear its message on a deeper
level. And then I realized that this is a chapter in itself.
And while I was looking at my e-mail, I began reading a message from someone I didn’t
know. Van had checked my email while republishing the websites, after learning that this was
needed as a result of the time change, and apparently it would be happening twice a year. An
upsetting situation, but apparently one we would have to learn to live with.
Suddenly I let out a shriek, as I realized that the email message was from Adam Martin.
He’d used a friend’s computer, so I didn’t recognize the name. But his message was one of love,
as he told me that he is doing fine, and planning to get married next April. And he gave me a
phone number to call him in the evening.
I was so excited, because I knew that Adam’s message was telling me that, indeed, like
Job, all that had been taken from me would now be restored.
I couldn’t talk, as I experienced a spiritual flush throughout my body. Something
wonderful was happening. Thank You, God. There was no doubt in my mind that the
Millennium Message and Jeremiah were giving me a “Future and a Hope.”
I could hardly wait to see what would happen next.

Chapter 20
A TIME TO BREAK DOWN; AND A TIME FOR BUILDING
(Ecclesiastes 3: 3)

Seasons and Matters
The title of this chapter follows “For everything there is a season and a time for every
matter under heaven.” Then the verse proceeds to list the “seasons and matters”: birth and death;
planting and harvesting; killing and healing; breaking down and building up; weeping and
laughing; mourning and dancing; casting away and gathering up; embracing and refraining;
seeking and losing; keeping and casting away; rending and sewing; keeping silent and speaking;
loving and hating; fighting and being peaceful.
Surely these words are comfort during these times following September 11, 2001 when
many are burying their dead and trying to move forward with life. And we are all dealing with
the loss of life as we knew it, while we daily face the threat of terrorist attacks. Even the most
remote areas feel the impact, as they fear the winds will carry the anthrax spores, or that a dam
will be blown up and they will be flooded, to mention only a few of the possible terrors.
As I’m writing, we are still in Santa Clara, only a short distance from San Francisco, and
we prepared for the possibility of the great bridges in that city being destroyed. People were
finding alternative ways into The City, or staying away, causing untold financial hardships and
inconvenience. And then we were told the report was not based on credible information, so now
the controversy, accusations and cross accusations begin. And life goes on.
Upheaval
While staying here, in Santa Clara, I’ve felt the urge to write about the changes that
we’ve been observing, as this mobile home community is experiencing a “time for breaking
down.” For instance, as I write, my head is throbbing from the banging noises on a mobile unit
that is being torn apart and prepared for transporting elsewhere.
The occupants have already moved on with their lives; and our neighbor, a pleasant
young man whom we met during our last visit, is beginning to tear apart his life in preparation
for moving. He told me that he has found another place to live in nearby San Jose, and he’ll pay
$1200.00 a month rent, more than double what he’s been paying. He works for the phone
company, and will have a roommate, so he’s doing okay. Fortunately, they liked the first place
they looked at, and they were accepted, once their credit and references were checked and
approved.
If only it were that easy for Betty. But her situation is much different, being in her
mid-eighties and not able to get around easily. Whenever I accompany Van to visit his mother,
we are given a report on her progress, or lack of it, as she tries to find another place to live that
will offer her the comfort, convenience, and familiarity that she has had here for 30-years. She
has changed her mind, almost daily, as she contemplates her options; or lack of them, due to the
high cost of local apartments, or the unknown factor of moving her mobile home to a distant
town.
In the meantime, on the days when we have her car, we have looked at various
apartments and retirement places for Betty, which we report to her .
On the other hand, the residential handyman and his wife (who is mentally ill) are
contemplating the option of returning to their homeless lifestyle, which he explained to me: free
meals on Tuesday at the VFW, to mention only one advantage. His wife likes to read and watch
TV, so he fires up his generator to give her five-hours of electricity. They would have a small
travel trailer to live in, by a self-storage facility. They were both looking forward to returning to
that carefree existence. I guess it’s all a matter of preference. We later heard that the local
charities were trying to work out something else for them.
Every week a few more people are leaving, and this peaceful complex is in a constant
state of upheaval, causing the energies to be unsettling; a condition that my sensitive system has
taken upon itself, causing me to feel their pain and discomfort.
A Mini-Trip to a Foreign Country
When we don’t have access to the car, we sometimes walk up El Camino to KMart or a
restaurant. During these expeditions, we’ve noticed several unsettling changes. For instance, in
past visits here we’ve enjoyed the ethnic opportunities available in this diverse area of Silicone
Valley, where Asians, Eastern Indians, Iranians, Arabs and others enjoy the American lifestyle
offered by the computer industry, yet maintaining their own cultural preferences.
One of my favorite ventures is a meal at Shilpa Indian Cuisine, where we enjoyed a spicy
Christmas buffet last year. We were the only white people, and we really didn’t know what we
were eating, but it was a fun adventure, and a very different way to spend Christmas; one I’ll
never forget.
And I felt like I’d taken a mini trip to a foreign country when we have gone to the Asian
Market across El Camino and saw vegetables, fruits and other items that we’ve never seen
before.
So, you can imagine my disappointment when we noticed that both business had been
shut down. I felt such a sense of loss, and allowed myself a time of grieving, because we would
never again be able to savor those delightful adventures in those places.
“Never a Door Closes …”
However, whenever facing change, I always say, “Never a door closes, but another
opens,” and while on our walk to KMart, we decided to expand our horizons and walk another
block to the oriental Palace BBQ Buffet for lunch. Unfortunately, we’d arrived too late, as they
had closed at 3:00.
We had passed an interesting business, so, on our return trip we ventured inside. Please
keep in mind that most of these small businesses are foreign, and most of the signs are in their
language and unreadable for us.
Much to our delight, we found ourselves in another Asian Market, much bigger and nicer
than the other one. We gasped as we passed cartloads of huge bok choy, a basis of oriental
cooking. If we did have a place to store something this big, it would take us weeks to eat that
much stir-fry, even if we wanted to. Again, we passed aisles of unfamiliar foods that we couldn’t
read the names. We were definitely on another mini-trip to a foreign country, as we sauntered
through the meat cases and produce racks, plus aisles of staples, such as rice, and canned goods
that were unfamiliar.
I was excited with our adventure, because the loss had been replaced with something
better, and we could move forward.
And several days later, a coupon arrived from Sneha Fine South and North Indian Dining,
advertising “The largest and best variety Indian Buffet in the Bay Area.” And they featured
“Expert chefs from South and North India.”
Allright, the lost had been restored. It was already happening.
Happy to Oblige
One day when we had the car, Betty had asked us to look at some “home rentals” she’d
seen advertised on a flyer. Of course, we’re always happy to oblige, because both our inner kids
like to please in order to get her approval, which is not always easy, as she’s so opinionated and
set in her ways.
But, it was a sunny warm day and we were ready for another adventure. Actually, it
started when we walked to her mobile unit and past three others that were in the process of being
demolished. The skirtings, steps, balconies and awnings had all been ripped off and were piled in
the driveways. This explained the banging noise I’d heard earlier, and I felt a deep sense of
sadness, as I experienced the trauma of transition and upheaval.
I should have known then that I was in trouble, but we forged ahead, stopping at the
supermarket on our way, thus saving the need to carry heavy packages when walking. So far so
good, although I’d been concerned that I was feeling some symptoms of a migraine attack and
had taken a pill in hope to offset its worsening. I was aware that the sunlight and store lights
were causing my head and eyes to feel queasy, but I affirmed “God is my health, I can’t be sick”
and we kept going.
Driving along a side street, we paralleled what appeared to be a mobile home park that
covered several blocks. Much to our surprise, it was the “rental homes,” and I had a good feeling
that this could be the answer to Betty’s needs, as it filled all of her criteria: similar setting, close
to her familiar area, and a nearly identical mobile unit in her price range in a safe neighborhood.
The only problem being that it was available now, and she didn’t want to move for two more
months.
Nevertheless, I got so excited that I insisted Van go back and get Betty while I had my
haircut, and then we could show it to her together. Wrong!
He said “No”! Van is so attuned to his mother’s mode operandi that he knew better than
to spring something on her suddenly. And, the truth is that he’s the same way, or he would be, if
it weren’t for being around me all these years and learning to be more flexible and spontaneous.
Now we were at gridlock: I feared that the one perfect place would be rented before he
talked to her that night and got her back on Friday (the day after her bingo), but he wouldn’t
budge. I experienced all the components of an upset: unfulfilled expectations, thwarted
intentions, and undelivered communications. And our sunny day became stormy, as I fluctuated
between angry verbal outbursts or sullen silence, as we continued with our errands and ate at
Sweet Tomato, a salad buffet.
The day that had been intended as a fun outing was ruined, and I felt it was all Van’s
fault due to his stubborn obstinence, but mostly because of his assuming that he knew what was
best for his mother. I felt panic that she might lose this perfect solution to her needs, because he
thought he knew what was best for her, and I reminded him of his assumption that she didn’t
want a birthday card, when she really did and she didn’t hesitate to let him know. But in this
case, it might be too late.
Van reminded me, “If it’s the right place for her, it’ll still be there.”
I threatened not to have anything further to do with the game he and his mom play.
The Game Intensifies
However, I went with him for the evening visit, because I wanted to see what she said
when he reported about the mobile unit. And, as much as I tried to keep my mouth shut and let
him do the talking, I couldn’t resist embellishing about all the perfect features, adding that I’d
wanted him to come get her to look at it right away; no doubt Joanie’s bid for approval and
acceptance, which is nearly impossible with Betty.
She silently listened, without any change of expression, other than to ask a few questions.
But when we said that it only could be held for three-weeks, she said, “But I don’t want to move
until January.”
As she added the brochure to her pile, I said to Van, “See, you were right!”
Now, I was really done with the game these two play, and I silently promised myself to
really stay out of it. In fact, I resorted to my usual recourse of plotting my departure, as we
watched TV the rest of the evening, between the snacks offered by Betty at precisely 9:00 p.m. I
was also aware that my migraine symptoms were again threatening to take over, so I kept my
eyes closed much of the time, hoping to make it through the evening without a full bloom attack.
When we returned home, I lashed out at Van, accusing him of indulging in a deadly game
of threesome, in which he allowed, in fact encouraged, his women (me and his first wife, at
least) to become in an embroiled standoff with his mom. His part being to say or do nothing to
support them or alleviate the tension. In fact, it became clear to me that he actually sets up this
negative interaction in order to satisfy his ego with the knowledge that the two women in his life
are “fighting over him,” so to speak. Yuk! This is worse than I thought.
Of course, his recourse is always to do or say nothing, which is even more maddening.
But with this new insight, I’d had enough, and I threatened him with an ultimatum of changing
his projection that sets up this scenario, or face the consequences. Of course, in my mind, the
solution was to leave, and I continued planning my escape.
A Crisis
All this was going through my head, once I’d gone to bed, and the spinning sensation
from all the stress had taken over and I felt nauseous. Now, I wasn’t sure if I was going into a
migraine, or a stroke.
In my anger and disgust, I remembered that Dottie had recently told me that Airica and
Josh had moved into their own place, so their basement bedroom would be available, and I
planned to ask her if I could stay there. And since the kids would not be making the trip to
California, I could ride back to Colorado with them, after Thanksgiving.
In fact, with the airplane price war, I could fly to San Diego immediately and stay with
Arlene, and I might even fly to Denver, rather than go through the marathon 24-hour trip with
Dottie and Steve. “Thank You, God, the time is right, and You’ve opened a new door.”
But this decision didn’t make me feel any better. And I knew I was really in trouble when
I spent several hours vomiting off-and-on. Nevertheless, I continued planning my new life, free
of Van and his mom and their games. At least hers was obvious, but his was covert, under the
guise of a desire to please and support. Bullshit! All he wants is to appease his inner child and
his ego’s need to be in control and have everyone trapped in his web. I was so glad to be done
with it, and I felt exhilarated with the new sense of freedom, despite my frequent trips to the
bathroom.
I continued affirming “God is my help in every need” and “God is my health, I can’t be
sick,” but at some point, during the night, I decided that God works through home remedies too,
and I took a Pepto-Bismo tablet, and finally fell asleep.
Becalmed
When I awoke the next morning, still resolute to make the necessary phone calls that
would fulfill my emancipation, I felt somewhat becalmed as I began my meditation.
My Inner Guidance asked me, “How did you see your life playing out?”
At the moment, I didn’t really have an answer, other than, “As You guide me, according
to Your Divine Plan.”
Suddenly I realized that we were in the November cycle, the month in which my mother
had had her nervous breakdown, after my brother’s birth. I’d started this month knowing that its
energies cause subconscious reactions, but I hadn’t understood that the recent happenings had
anything to do with the cycle.
Now it came to my attention: “Here we go again”!
So, it wasn’t all Van’s fault, nor his mother. It was simply the pattern playing itself out.
Like an open book, the scenario had unfolded: the upheaval and demolition of the four
mobile units around us; the closure of the restaurant and market; Van’s mom’s dilemma about
moving; Thanksgiving with my brother; Airica and Josh moving out. With all these patterns and
changes, my subconscious and my inner child had recreated the original trauma, and had
projected and were attempting to recreate the same devastating results: dissolution of the home
and family.
It was all crystal clear. I’d cycled through another level of the original syndrome. Now, in
the Light of this revelation, I could continue to play out the pattern, and become its victim, or I
could change it. As appealing as my emancipation seemed, it probably wouldn’t bring the results
that I wanted.
In truth, the answer to my Inner Guidance question would be, “I visualize Van and I as
teammates, partners, freed of the past and reacting to the past, so that we can live together
compatibly in the Presence of God (in the Present Moment), fulfilling His Divine Plan for us. I
assume this would be through the Inner Freedom website, but however God guides.”
It’s Called Denial
On the other hand, there is still the question of Van’s part, so I asked him what
information or insights he had about what had happened and been said the day before.
He’d gotten nothing, so I asked, “In other words, there is no pattern here. Your first wife
and mom got along fine, right?”
“I don’t know, I guess so. As much as you and Mom get along okay.”
“You’re saying that they never complained about anything to do with your mom.”
He nodded his head, so I said, “Then I guess I’m to assume that it’s all me that’s out of
whack, and everything is fine with you, and with her?”
“Well, no, there’s two of us,” he replied.
“Right, that’s how I think it should be: us, part of a team of one. But it seems like, in this
relationship, there’s you and there’s me; not as a team, or partnership, but as two separate
entities living together. It’s what’s called an intimacy issue. So does it remain this way, or does it
change?”
“I guess it would be good if it changes.”
Breakthrough
The conversation continued, becoming more intense, and at some point, referring to Dr.
Phil’s “Get Real” program, I asked Van what he wanted or needed from his mom and never got.
At first he didn’t respond, but eventually he got it that she doesn’t really fill his needs or wants,
but that he’s simply made the best of it.
I remembered what a therapist had once said to me, and I repeated to Van, “Your mom
never has filled your needs, and she never will. And your father never met your needs either, so
you simply have to accept it.”
He didn’t break down and cry, like the participants in Dr. Phil’s program, but he made a
breakthrough, and his energies shifted and became lighter. We had reached the other side.
I explained that I wasn’t being critical of his mother, but simply accepting how she is. I
added that it’s important for him to come out of denial and recognize that his needs weren’t met
any more that if she were an alcoholic. And once he reaches that point, then he can move on to
the level of acceptance and that he loves her as she is.
The biggest breakthrough came when he admitted that her lifestyle and behavior is not
normal, and he finally admitted that he has been protecting and siding with her.
This took us into deeper communications, further than we had ever gone before, which
caused him to feel uncomfortable, and I asked if he would prefer that I never bring up these
issues, and we simply live on a superficial level, so that he can remain happy and comfortable.
Validation
He said that he gets value and good information from me when we have these sessions,
and he appreciates them. This communication was reassuring and I thanked him.
I reminded him that my needs and wants were never met either, and I explained that it’s
healthy for me to let him know what my needs are and that he’s not meeting them. He agreed
that I should continue to express my feelings and my needs, and that he would try to improve.
In the heat of the discussion, I said, “I’m sorry that I don’t fill your needs as good as your
mother does.”
He said, “You fill my needs more than she does.”
I asked, “Such as?”
He replied, “You are creative and intelligent, and you have a good sense of humor.”
Wow! That’s more compliments than he’d given me in years, and his words were
validating and healing for me.
I could tell that Van was in a better space, after our conversation, and we both felt
validated for being able to go to a deeper level and remain intact in our relationship.
Clarification
I’d begun the conversation by reading the first part of this chapter to Van, but he
sometimes hears something different than what I’ve said, so to make sure that he was clear that
my intentions about flying to San Diego, and then Denver, were part of my fight or flight
syndrome, I asked “What did you hear from what I wrote?”
He replied, “Well, you want to go to Denver.”
Exactly what I had thought, he missed the part about that not being what I really want,
but only a loophole solution so that I feel I have options. I explained it all again, and then I
asked, “So what do you want to do?”
“You said that we’re going to San Diego for Thanksgiving.”
“But, what do you want to do?”
Blank look.
Obviously this was a unique concept to him, so I said, “Maybe you feel that you would
like to stay here with your mother, until things are more settled for her.”
“Well, yes, that would be good.”
At last! An honest communication about an honest feeling. Now we had a starting place.
The Battle of Jericho
God has guided me, while in Santa Clara, to resume working on “Journey to Inner
Freedom,” my course based on the Exodus from Egypt to The Promised Land (bondage to
freedom).
It’s a difficult course, as I’ve lived every step of the Journey, as do we all. This bible
story of Moses and the Israelites is the wayshower for our Transition Process, and I needed to
live it in order to write it, as Jesus lived through His Transition Process as a Wayshower for us.
For this reason, it’s taken me over ten years to write the course, because each time I find myself
in The Wilderness Maze, or fighting the battles, as I’m living through the Journey. And I always
include my current inner adventures in my Travel Series, such as now, as I’m being Guided
through the next level of the process.
In recent days I’ve been Guided to additional material, scattered throughout my files, to
enter for The Wilderness; and also the Battle of Jericho. It was difficult, because there would be
a word here, a sentence there, and a paragraph elsewhere from previous versions of my writings;
each revision improving and adding something important.
So, imagine my surprise this Sunday morning, while watching Robert Schuller’s son
deliver his sermon on Hour of Power, from the Crystal Cathedral, when he talked about Moses
and the Israelites in The Wilderness. He referred to the time when Moses sent spies into The
Promised Land and eight returned to report giants and the insurmountable high walls of Jericho.
The sermon was about fact overcoming fear, and in faith they eventually fought and won
the Battle of Jericho. The strategy of this battle was very familiar to me, because I had spent
several hours the night before trying to include the last words, sentences and paragraphs into the
revision. It was a process that I could not intellectually or consciously accomplish, but as I kept
myself out of the way, it finally got completed, “as the people shouted” Hooray!
The battle strategy is very complex, but when we follow the detailed instructions, the
walls of limitation, symbolized by Jericho, tumble.
When Van returned from his mom’s, his energies were different. Something had changed
since our own recent battles; instead of combative, we were peaceful and pleasant. I wasn’t sure
if it was him or me; or both, but I knew that, with God fighting the battle, we had won. Thank
You, God.
I mentioned the energy shift to Van, but he wasn’t aware of the difference. However, I
said, “Let’s stop all this wrangling and get along, okay?
Of course, he never thinks anything is wrong anyway, so he agreed, and I added, “I think
it’s time to end our ‘Journey Out of The Hole.'”
He nodded, but I knew that it would end in God’s good time, and that no doubt depends
on when we have completed our inner journey; and that could be a lifetime venture. So, we
move onward, as God guides. Or as we make new decisions.
Although there are more battles in the course, in addition to “Crossing the River Jordan,”
and “Assignment of the Land,” before actually “Living in The Promised Land,” the Good News
is that I’ve already written most of the “Road Signs,” as I call the lessons, so this phase of
cycling through the Exodus is not as intense, but it is time consuming; and there are decisions to
be made.
For instance, at one time I had felt Guided to add the chapters about my visit with the
Freedomers, while on our outer travels, because there is valuable information referring to The
Exodus. But, as we transferred the material into booklet format, it seemed too much: overkill. So
I began removing the “Moving On” chapters, and this felt painful, because they had become so
much part of the journey. However, God is telling me that they are not part of the course, and I
can offer them as a separate series for those who are interested. Isn’t it appropriate that this
releasing process is taking place during this chapter about breaking down and building up?
Act Now!
Again, the words I used for a previous chapter, after hearing Robert Schuller speak them,
were repeated by his son, as if God were emphasizing their significance: “For I know the plans
that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The service had begun with one of my favorite verses: “For this is the day which the Lord
has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” And the message included the antidote for fear: 1.
Fear not. 2. Act Now. 3. Calm Down. 4. Trust God.
Bottom-line, God is telling me “Now is the time to take the risk and move forward,” and
I am feeling excited about the possibilities that are before me. So, God, I am ready. Show me!
Healthcare Smorgasbord
God had been guiding me to take care of my health concerns by going to the Good Hand
Medical Center around the corner. However, I had my considerations, such as: Do they speak
English? Do they take Medicare? Is it safe? As we approached the last week, I decided to stop at
the clinic, while on our walk to the Real Ice Cream shop.
The receptionist assured me that the health care workers speak English and they do
accept Medicare, as she handed me a brochure listing their services, including acupuncture,
chiropractic, therapeutic massage, family medical care and much more. Basically it’s a pain
management clinic with a long list of complaints that they treat; a list that included six of my
symptoms. I felt certain that God had guided me here, so I made an appointment for Monday.
Wouldn’t you know, after three weeks without rain, the predicted downpour arrived right
on schedule, as I walked to the clinic, under my big umbrella. Van had offered to drive me, since
we had Betty’s car, but I wanted to experience doing this on my own, as part of my moving
forward process.
Of course, I was the only white person and I couldn’t understand a word that was being
spoken by the other patients who were waiting, however the receptionist not only spoke English,
but their multi-lingual speaking staff spoke Spanish, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean.
Indeed, I had found an International Healthcare Smorgasbord.
She explained that I would start with the medical doctor, and the other treatments would
be added, as diagnosed. That sounded good to me and I filled out the forms and waited, while
observing several patients using a foot vibrator machine, or sipping the ginseng tea with cactus
sugar. I preferred to keep my stomach empty, because I would be having a massage, so I’d
decided not to indulge, nor did I succumb to sampling the cookies that sat in a tin next to me.
Instead, I enjoyed looking at a picture of Michelangelo’s painting of the Cistine Chapel, and the
imitation magnolia plant, and yellow forsythia decor.
Quite soon I was greeted by an oriental lady who took me into an examining room and
began asking questions and writing down my answers. I thought she was the doctor, as I hadn’t
noticed the “Volunteer” label on her gown, and I was delighted that I didn’t have to fill out the
forms myself.
When she had me stand on the scales, she muttered “162,” and I said, “Oh good, “I’ve
lost weight.”
She said, “Oh no, that’s your height!” We both laughed, and she took my blood pressure
and listened to my heart beat. “Everything is good,” she announced.
Soon a young woman breezed into the room and I realized that she, Parto Karimi, was the
medical doctor. She spoke perfect English and I liked her immediately, especially when she
looked at the supplements I had brought (at the receptionist’s suggestion), and she was favorably
impressed, since she is familiar with natural products. In fact, she later confided that she had
studied energy healing, and I smiled when she commented, “It feels right, about my starting
with the therapeutic massage for my first treatment.
When she asked the volunteer to write down the name of the OPC-3 product, I
contemplated giving her a spiel about our business, but I decided to focus on taking care of
myself this time.
As promised, by the time Parto had completed the examination, she announced that my
problem was not neurological, in response to my concern that the headaches could be a brain
tumor. Instead, she gave me samples of several medications, and also several prescriptions, for
future use in case of migraine attacks. She also took time to look at the report of my blood work
taken in Bend, Oregon, and concluded that it did not show that I had Fibromyalgia. However, she
agreed that with my symptoms when not taking Glucosatrin, it’s possible that I’ve managed to
minimize its extent.
I really liked Parto, especially since she had taken extra time with me, saying they
weren’t so busy today and she liked talking with me. She and the volunteer had both been
surprised at my age, saying I looked twenty-years younger, which made my day. In fact, just
being around someone so alive and positive had been a healing experience. I felt she was a
person I would enjoy knowing as a friend. It occurred to me that I needed to change my attitude
about foreigners. It’s just a matter of getting to know them, but for me, the language barrier is a
deterrent to communications.
As much as I enjoyed my time with Parto, I looked forward to my massage to loosen up
the tight muscles from the computer time. This took place in a large room divided by sliding
curtains hanging from the ceiling, like in a hospital room, making about four cubicles, each with
a massage table and someone getting a treatment.
The first attendant only spoke enough English to ask “Pain?” And I pointed to my
shoulder. She pointed to me to lie on my back on a giant heating pad covered with towels, and
then hooked up an electrical gadget for sending vibrations into my shoulders, and disappeared.
Later, a petite gal came in, removed the gadget and pad and motioned for me turn over. Amazing
how much can be communicated without words. She poured some cold liquid on my back and
spread it with some implement, and finally began the hand massage.
I was feeling disappointed that she didn’t apply much pressure, and I didn’t know how to
convey what I needed, so I remembered that God is the healer, and began making affirmations,
“God is my health.” Soon she stopped and another heavy-duty vibration machine continued the
deeper massage. When it was over, I discovered that the first gal had completed the treatment,
when she said, “Finished.”
I didn’t feel that the tightness had been released, and I was glad that Dr. Parto had
arranged for me to come back on Wednesday for acupuncture and Friday for a chiropractic
treatment to complete my Healthcare Smorgasbord.
I’m a Pin Cushion
When we had health insurance I’d had many helpful acupuncture treatments, and I was
looking forward to this one. However, I panicked when the same attendant (from the previous
session) began preparing me for a massage and the masseuse arrived, so I insisted on talking
with the receptionist to make sure I would be having acupuncture. And when the therapist,
Dr.Yu Joosam, began applying the needles in my hands, legs and feet, I again insisted that it was
my head that needed releasing. He explained that he was balancing and toning the energies in my
entire body, while focusing on the specified areas, adding that he included extra points that
would alleviate difficulties in case of a chest cold.
Suddenly I realized the importance of this acupuncture treatment, because of the
bombardment of negative energies in recent months. It was time for an overhaul, and I breathed
an ongoing “Thank You, God,” throughout the process: inserting the sometimes painful needles,
and then relaxing and resting while they did their healing work.
The greatest news from the therapist came with his explanation that I did not have carpal
tunnel syndrome, but the thumb pain related to the shoulder and neck. Ah yes, the meridian
points! When I told Joosam that I’d pictured needles in my head, he said that he’d discovered
that didn’t work as well as using the points in the legs and feet. What a relief!
Dr. Yu also taught me an eye exercise to avoid future distress; a technic I had learned but
never applied: three times roll eyes up, then down, then sideways, and around one way and then
the other. He also explained that the effectiveness of the process would be enhanced when I put
my face in warm water while doing the exercises.
I hate routine and exercise, and I tend to get nauseous when rolling my eyes, but he
insisted it would be okay after a few times. I knew it would be worth the effort, so I would really
have to discipline myself to perform even these simple tasks; nevertheless, I made a mental note
to take time each day.
The grand finale of the treatment came when Yu, Joosam gave my shoulders and neck a
vigorous massage. Now, I knew my body would release the tightness and I would be free of pain.
This attitude on my part conformed with comments by the therapist about the importance of
positive thinking and the right mental attitude. He was delighted when I explained that I’m a
minister and writer, and this is the thrust of my teaching. In fact, at the beginning of the
treatment, he had commented that I’m in good health, so the healing process wouldn’t take long.
The positive acknowledgment, from the doctor and acupuncturist, of my being on track is
as beneficial for my healing as the actual treatments, because I know that God is the Healer. On
the other hand, I also know that He works through them, as well as me, and that I had been
divinely guided to this place at this time. Thank You, God.
Loosening and Letting Go
I looked forward to the final step of “Building up,” in this Healthcare Smorgasbord, and
it happened on Friday. Dr. Shinn, the chiropractor, had insisted that he take an X-ray, before the
treatment, so while we awaited the results, he hooked me up to the same vibrator machine from
Monday, only with more intensity to loosen those tight muscles.
When he returned with the results, he said that my body was not out of alignment, but the
three discs at the top of my spinal chord were pinched together and very little blood was flowing
to my head and brain. No wonder I was having headaches and I hadn’t been able to think clearly,
my eyes were weird, noise was excruciating (Van rattling his cereal boxes) and odors were
extremely annoying; not to mention that my teeth even hurt. All this because the blood flow to
my head was pinched, like a crimped hose.
Thank God I had come to the right place. Dr. Shinn instructed the male therapist, and
soon I was having an intense deep massage, followed by his kneeling on the table behind me and
lifting my head in order to separate the discs. As he worked, he told me that I must arrange my
computer so that I no longer squish my discs.
When this procedure was completed, I was ushered to a massage machine where heavy
rollers slowly moved from my butt to my neck, stretching my body like an old-fashioned torture
machine. Keep in mind that my head was in a harness strapped under my chin. All right, now
you have the picture, but not the benefits, of course.
The entire time, I kept affirming, “God is my health, I can’t be sick,” giving Him credit
for all healing, because He works through the therapist, doctors and machines; and His healing
energies also work without them. However, I could see how necessary these treatments were for
the procedure of loosening the body parts that had become tightened.
As the process unfolded, I felt an inner letting go too, another Paradigm Shift, as love
was flooding through my being: for Dr.’s Yu, Karimi and Shinn, and everyone working in the
Good Hand Medical Center, and even the patients; gradually the feeling expanded to the entire
community, and I felt a great friendship for them all. In fact, I felt sad that Betty would be
moving and we wouldn’t be staying here anymore. However, I made up my mind that I would
return, if I ever needed the Healthcare Smorgasbord.
Dessert
In addition, while waiting for Dr. Shinn, I had had another opportunity to connect with
Parto, as I’d asked her about the advisability of combining Gingko with Tylenol or aspirin. I’d
seen a doctor on TV saying the combination could cause problems. She said not to take them
together, but one in the morning and one in the afternoon, if necessary.
I also gave her my card with my e-mail address and website, because she was interested
in several of our products. And then she gave me her card with her home phone number and her
e-mail. She agreed that it felt like we were friends, and when I returned, we would have lunch.
If the Good Hand Medical Center is a smorgasbord, then Parto’s friendship is certainly
the dessert, and an indication that God truly is restoring my good fortune, beginning with her.
To celebrate the completion of my treatments here, Joanie took a cookie from the tin on
the table, that had earlier been offered by Parto. I smiled and radiated love all the way home, as I
passed the businesses and people in this community, including Pho Hoa, where we had recently
enjoyed a nurturing bowl of noodle soup.

Chapter 21
THE LEGACY

Being Right!
The day was far from over, and I know that the events of the evening are as much part of
this healing process as the Healthcare Smorgasbord, because it’s Van who is processing through
this Inner Journey this time, and his relationship with his mother is a vital part of the process.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not affected, both directly and vicariously.
It all started when Betty called and asked me if we could make a copy of her Social
Security and Drivers License. I said “Yes,” and she asked if Van would come over and get them.
She then explained that the mobile parks in Redding wouldn’t take her older unit, so she called
the one in Anderson that we had checked out for her. The unit was still available, so she needed
to send the SS and license, along with her Application Form.
I must admit that I laughed, after I hung up; not because we got to be right, but because it
confirmed that God had guided us to that place on her behalf. It was just necessary for the rest of
the process to unfold for her to reach the place of accepting that it was right for her.
How often we all fight our good, because of our own considerations, fears, and excuses. I
know that I did, when given the guidance to go to the Good Hand Medical Center; mostly
because of the unknown, and concern that they didn’t speak English. And once I pushed through
my limitations, I found my Healthcare Smorgasbord, which I could have been enjoying all along.
A lesson that I continue to learn over and over. Yet, as much as I would have benefited from four
weeks of treatments, I feel that the timing was perfect for me to have them at the end of our stay,
and as preparation for moving onward; not only on the outer trip, but the Inner Journey too.
Because this would be our last evening to visit Betty, and I wanted to hear the report of
her decision, I went along. I also had some expectation of acknowledgment for our part in
helping her through this process. And, last but not least, I wanted to show her the picture of our
church-house, just in case God still had it as part of His Divine Plan for us.
When we arrived, she was listening to a radio Talk Show, and then we discussed world
conditions and other subjects. Soon it was time for snacks and watching “The Amazing Race,”
which was her only acquiescence to our TV preference.
During snacks and commercials, I asked about the other mobile parks in Redding, and
she repeated that they wouldn’t take her older unit, and that was the end of the discussion.
After “Law and Order,” it was time to leave, but I handed her the picture of the
church-house, she looked and said, “I would never live in all that rain.” She commented on the
expensive price, shown on the Listing (with the picture), and I mentioned that they had accepted
$175.00. She said, “It’s more than I can afford.” And that subject was over. But, at least I had
expressed my wants.
Is That What You Really Want?
Van, on the other hand fears saying much of anything to his mom. However, I had asked
the right question, earlier in the day, and learned that he had mentioned to her about us coming
back, after Thanksgiving. In fact, due to all of my threats to remain in southern California, or go
to Colorado, he had decided that he would return by himself and stay until Betty got moved and
settled, in January.
This had presented a dilemma for me, because I’d decided that I’d return, so I could have
more treatments and the opportunity to stay in one place. However, the truth is that God had
explicitly made it clear that this was all I needed. It looked like His Divine Plan was falling into
place and I would be staying in California, so I said, “Well, if you’re going to turn around and
come back, I might as well fly down there and save you the cost of the trip.”
“Okay, is that what you want?”
Oh no, the game was starting. Now it was about trying to pry out of him what he really
wanted, so I said, “Are you thinking that I once said I needed my files and more stuff than I
could take on the airplane?”
“Yes.”
My mind now whirled with the need to find out prices, schedules and make reservations,
but I still wasn’t sure if this was God’s Plan, or Little Ralph’s, so I asked:
“Well, I’ve decided that isn’t necessary this time. Besides, staying at Joyce’s was based
on me going down there for two or three weeks, while you were here. I’m not sure about staying
there three months.”
However, wondering if this was indeed God’s plan, I said, “I can rent a place and get a
job, so that’s no problem.” On the other hand, I suspected that Little Ralph was involved in this
conversation, wanting to be with his mommy, so I asked again, “What do you really want?”
“Well, we had talked about going down there for Thanksgiving.”
This was definitely Little Ralph, wanting to have his cake and eat it too, but it felt right,
so I said, “Okay, so we’ll drive down there.”
This lead to a discussion about the route and timing. We’d decided that we didn’t have
enough time to spend with Carol, but I wanted to stop and see Jerry Pitre in Soledad Prison, on
Saturday, so we would leave Friday after my chiropractic appointment and stay at Wal-Mart in
Salinas. And we might even make it in time to pick up my brother at the airport in San Diego on
Tuesday. However, that was an option that would be up to God, although it could be part of my
ongoing November healing process.
I had thought that we might go to Laughlin, after Thanksgiving, but with Van’s (or Little
Ralph’s) idea of staying here with his mom, I wanted to clarify the timing, thinking that Betty
might prefer that he wait until closer to her departure, especially if she had now decided to move
to Anderson and the matter was closed.
Van had reported that she had said, “Okay,” but I wanted to make sure.
As we were ready to leave her home, I said to Van, “Do you want to clarify with your
mom when you’ll be returning.”
She immediately said, “It’s up to you, but there’s no reason for you to come back right
away. I’ll let you know.”
Van didn’t say anything, so I added, “Van thought he could be some support to you.”
“There’s nothing to do. They’ll do all the packing and moving. I’ll just get in my car and
drive up there. I might stay in a motel for a night, but that’s all.”
It sounded pretty clear to me, so as we headed out the door, I thanked her for everything,
and said, “Well, I hope we’ve been some support to you while here.”
“Oh, you have,” she replied.
She and Little Ralph kissed goodbye, and he said, “I love you, Mom.”
She answered, “Me too,” seldom repeating those magical words, “I love you.”
On the way home, I said, “Sounds like she’s not ready for you to come back right away.”
“Oh, really, I thought she did.”
OOPS! We’ve got a problem here. Is this denial, or what? Aloud I said, “Oh, excuse me, I
guess I misunderstood.”
“I don’t know, maybe not. Maybe I didn’t hear her right.”
It felt like something serious was taking place, but I’d decided to shut up and let God
take care of what we did, and when, so I said, “Oh, you probably did,” and let it go at that.
However, once home, I couldn’t resist asking, “Does your mom ever say, “I love you”?
“Oh sure.”
“That’s good. I guess I just haven’t heard her say it.”
It felt like I needed to say more, so I added, “I know that Adult Ralph understands how
she shows love, with money, like giving you $100.00 when you arrive and leave, but you want to
make sure that Little Ralph understands, so he doesn’t continue to feel empty and unfulfilled.”
“Right.”
Now, it’s time to shut up. I’ll leave the rest to God to handle on the inner level.
“Goodnight!”
What do You Think?
The next morning I entered the above words. However, when I got to this point, I stopped writing, because I was hearing no more input, so I moved to my chair and sat down.
Soon Van appeared from the bathroom, and asked, “How’s the writing?”
Taking his question as a signal to discuss the subject, I said, “I’ve been writing about the
events of yesterday that relate to Little Ralph, but it seems like there’s more.”
This gave him an option to pursue the subject, or not, and I was surprised when he sat
down and asked, “What do you think it is?”
Often, during these discussions, the words are spoken through me and I have no idea
what I’m going to say; and in many instances I don’t remember what I’ve said. That’s when I
know it’s a communication from the Higher Power for Van, or mostly Little Ralph. Such was the
case this day, but hopefully the words will come through me now, as they sometimes do when
I’m writing (if they are meant to be shared for the benefit of others).
I asked, “Do you have any insights relating to Little Ralph?”
“No.”
Darn, I always hope that his Inner Guidance has taken care of the communication, so it’s
not up to me. But no such luck, so I began talking.
“You know, sometimes a child tends to hear what it hopes to be true, or what it wants to
happen, and it’s so real that it thinks that’s what really happened, or will happen, and it becomes
a fantasy versus reality. For instance, what you thought you heard your mother say, and what she
actually said.”
He didn’t say anything, so I continued, “What I heard her say was: “It’s up to you, but
there’s no reason for you to come back right away. I’ll let you know.”
“Right.”
“Okay, that could be interpreted as ‘I want you to come right back,’ if you take into
consideration that ‘It’s up to you’ means that’s what you want.”
He nodded, and I added, “However, Little Ralph may need to recognize that you two
have had a good time of inter-relating, and it’s been healing for her to ask you to do things, and
you’ve done them, which has allowed you to feel her approval and acceptance. This has moved
you through the normal growth process that you missed, as a child when separated from your
mother. But now you have cycled through that process and it’s time to move on. Sort of cutting
the apron strings, so to speak. And Little Ralph needs to understand this and be willing to move
on to the next phase of your life.
“You see, your mother gave you a great gift: your freedom. And as I understand your
relationship, she’s always done this; allowing you to go where you want and do what you want,
without holding onto you. So, if you really want to stay here for the next three months, you will
need to make that communication to her, and, as she said, “You can call.”
By this time a shift had taken place and I knew that Little Ralph had grown up to the next
level, as I continued, “You see, Little Ralph must allow Adult Ralph to make these decisions
now, rather than shooting off in his own direction. So it’s important for the integration, or unison
of him with all parts of yourself: Superconscious (God, Christ Presence, Holy Spirit), Conscious
(Adult Ralph and intellect) Subconscious (Little Ralph and emotions) and the ego. When they
are all in alignment, this gives us tremendous inner power.”
I paused and asked, “Does this makes sense?”
He looked very wise, as he replied, “Yes.”
I concluded, “Okay, then we’ll just let our Inner Guidance show us what to do. And that
goes for me, too, because what I said I wanted before, was based on how things were going then;
it will probably be different in the future.”
A Change in Process
I thought I was through, but there seemed to be something more, so I listened, and then
said, “When you have all parts of yourself working in unison, it’s like you’ve been given a very
precious, valuable, powerful legacy which can be used to create or manifest what you really
want; and you must not abuse or misuse it. For instance like saying, “Oh good, now I can go to
the races or gamble.”
I repeated, “Does this make sense?”
Now, he had a look that said, “Oh, I already know all this,” which is not unusual for
Little Ralph, and it’s my cue to stop talking.
However, I had an idea for the title for this chapter, but I couldn’t think of the word, so
asked his input. Not being a mind reader, he didn’t know, so I looked in my Thesaurus and found
the synonym: Legacy. Yes, the merging of all parts of oneself is, indeed, a legacy; meaning “a
change in process that requires translating old data files to a new system.” In other words, a
paradigm shift, which happens during this Transition Process.
Another Kind of Legacy
Although that definition seemed appropriate, it wasn’t the one I was familiar with, so
while at Kinko’s, I looked in their dictionary and found “a gift from a predecessor or the past.”
My gift to Jerry Pitre is that kind of legacy; and his gift that I’m encouraging him to leave
is definitely a legacy.
Van waited with me for over an hour in the cold fog at Soledad Prison. Finally, I’d
cleared through the processing and waved, as he returned to the parking lot to wait in Freedom
for four hours while I visited. Van’s ongoing support to the Freedomers is his legacy, and he
serves as their positive role model.
My writing and my website is my legacy to the Freedomers and anyone who reads them;
hopefully this includes my kids and grandkids. And that’s why it’s so important to me to
complete my various projects.
But Jerry’s legacy is more far-reaching and complex, and my job is to encourage him to
fulfill his responsibility in writing his legacy, and to support him through the process; no small
matter, because he’s like Moses protesting: “I don’t know what to say,” or “I don’t know how to
say it.”
Again, we talked in the crowded visiting room filled with a sea of blue denim uniforms
interspersed with other colors worn by the visitors (we cannot wear blue denim or Levi’s). This
time I sat at an end table, with not so many people around us, in order to hear Jerry more clearly.
It’s a good thing, because he had important information to pass along regarding his endeavors to
write his book, “From Revolution to Spiritual Solution.”
He had written several chapters and sent them to me, but I had reported that I hadn’t
received them, so he asked the authorities what happened. They explained that what he had
written was considered inflammatory and it was destroyed.
Jerry explained that he had been guided to write about the military aspects of his
involvement in The Black Panthers, including all the vivid details. As such, he had gone through
the violence and trauma all over again, as he relived those historical events.
Although I was disappointed not to receive and read the contents, I confirmed the
importance of him writing this, at this time, for his own benefit and healing; adding that he can
re-write it when he is no longer in prison, because it’s not the most important part of his book.
The purpose is for him to write about his transformation from activist to pacifist; radical to
spiritual, and all that happened to him during that process. This will be his legacy to those who
followed the Black Panther movement, and others who are like-minded.
But Jerry insisted, “I don’t want this book to be about me.”
I replied, “Jerry, God wants the book to be about you. No one else can write what you
have to say.” I pointed around the room and said, “No one in here, or anyplace else, can say what
you have to write, because they aren’t you. It’s who you are and what you’ve done, and your
place in history that makes your story meaningful.”
He argued some more, but I said, “You don’t have to write the story in sequence now;
just get the words written. We can fix the rest later.”
This seemed to be a relief, and we talked about Sara Olsen, who is in the news because
of her activities in the ’60’s, and Jerry confirmed that he knew her and agreed that she would not
be able to have a fair trial now, because of the recent terrorist activities in the US. In fact, these
factors could definitely deter his hope of parole in the near future. In addition, Jerry confided
that President Clinton had pardoned him, amongst the others, but California’s Governor Davis
had not allowed it, and as long as he is still in office, there is no possibility of parole for Jerry.
I said, “Well, at least Sara had a life, unlike you having to live all those years in prison.”
And we began talking about an idea I had written to him for his future: “Wouldn’t it be great if
we get the church-house and you could live in the basement apartment and do my computer
work?”
His eyes lit up and we talked about his computer classes: $6,000.00 worth of training
over two years. He’s completed nine-months with nearly perfect grades on all tests; only two
were less.
I had written to Jerry, “I think God is keeping you in prison to finish this course.”
He agreed, adding, “Now I won’t have to work at MacDonald’s or something.”
I reminded him, “Well, if all goes as planned, you’ll be doing the computer work for
Inner Freedom Ministry and writing your book.”
I knew, as we spoke, that my legacy was to support Jerry in his work; and his legacy was
to support me in mine.
Running The Gauntlet
Throughout our conversation, Jerry would refer to a journey, or maybe I should say
gauntlet that he had been going through ever since our last visit when I’d first talked to him
about writing his book and he had protested. But he too has ongoing conversations with God, and
He had emphasized to Jerry that he is to write his book.
“But every time I start to write, nothing happens,” Jerry complained.
“It’s a matter of timing,” I said, adding, “and there’s more you are to be learning.”
“Well, I hope it doesn’t last much longer, because there were times when I didn’t know if
I was going to get out of that cycle I was in, or not.”
“You seem to have made it, though,” I soothed.
“Not really. It’s still going on,” he complained.
“You’re lucky that your Journey is somewhat compiled,” I said, adding, “Van and I have
been going through ours for years. I wonder if it will ever end.”
Whenever I spoke about Van, Jerry would speak on his defense, and somehow the
problems between Van and I became clearer and minimized: my assignment, for right now, is to
support him as we run the gauntlet of his inner journey, and that’s all that really matters.
Speaking of running the gauntlet, we drove through Los Angeles on our way to Del Mar,
and it’s got to be the epitome of such a challenge, with four lanes of traffic, more like a parking
lot, at times, or a speedway at others. All you can do is bite the bullet and go forward; sort of
what everyone is doing with their travels this Thanksgiving, especially flying. As a sidelight, we
noticed many new car license plates, and assume that more people are buying new cars, rather
than flying.
Fortunately there were only a few really slow backups, and the traffic moved nicely, once
we passed Disneyland and made our way from Orange County to the beach and drove through
San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Camp Pendleton; familiar areas where we’ve lived at
various times. We do love the coast, and I couldn’t help but wonder why we ever left Paradise.
Actually, we left because Van was beginning his inner journey, which had created the
inability to work and support the lifestyle to which we had become accustomed, in our large
home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Leucadia. But, running that gauntlet has already been
written in other books, so now we move forward.
Pattern Changes
I’ve also written about many of our family gatherings, so I won’t mention every bite of turkey,
dressing and potatoes and gravy, nor the pumpkin pie and whipped cream.
However, several noteworthy events seem appropriate to this book and chapter, as they
have to do with our “Journey out of the Hole.” First, came the phone call from Dottie announcing
that the money for the trip hadn’t come in, so they wouldn’t be with us for Thanksgiving, unless
they were to fly and charge the cost on someone’s credit card and repay it when a check came in.
Van and I feel that we’ve crippled them by bailing them out of too many similar
situations in the past, and now we simply can’t afford it, so we didn’t offer. This, in itself, is a
major pattern shift for all concerned, and a difficult one to make, because it meant we wouldn’t
be able to have a family gathering with Arlene and Gary. But, life is full of changes, especially
since September 11th, so life goes on.
Another change came when Arlene announced that she had asked Gary to take a shuttle
from the airport, rather than someone having to drive through the traffic and chaos to meet him.
After all, he is a world traveler, having flown to Australia many times, so this would be a simple
adjustment on his part.
Because we had planned our trip to arrive in time to meet Gary at the airport, I was
delighted that I could change my childhood pattern: “Take care of your brother, Joanie.” After
all, I was only two-and-a-half when he was born, and I certainly wasn’t qualified to take care of
him, or my mother. But, again, that story has been told many times.
The important point here is that the pattern has been changed. I knew for sure when
Arlene mentioned Gary’s birthday, and I realized that I hadn’t even thought about it in time to
buy him a birthday card. Usually, his birthday, the anniversary of the dissolution of our family, is
the highlight of November and the Thanksgiving season. And when I rode with Arlene to buy
him a berry pie, I offered to pay for the pie so it could be from us, but she insisted on paying for
it, and I understood that Joanie did not have to give him a pie. After all, he seldom, if ever, gives
me a card or present; so something big had happened, as his birthday slipped into history,
without my involvement.
We Listened
Listening, Listening, Listening
Gary arrived by shuttle on Tuesday afternoon, as planned, and we listened to his story
about minimum security hassles from Reno to LA, and even less on the commute plane to San
Diego.
And for the next few days, we listened, as Gary caught up on sharing his stories. He
spends so much time alone that when he finds a listener, he talks; doesn’t matter who listens, so
we take shifts, and he continues his stories from one to the other. I listened while working a
Thomas Kinkaid jigsaw puzzle, Arlene listened while cooking, and Van listened while eating, or
just listening; he doesn’t talk much, but he’s good at putting in the exclamations when
appropriate: “Oh,” “Yes,” “Ah” and Gary is perfectly happy.
We listened while he opened his presents from Arlene and Phyllis (her sister), and we
listened while we ate. And Van listened while he drove Gary to the airport for the return trip.
And when we weren’t listening in person, we watched a video and listened to his
narration about life on the lookout: the golden mantles (like chipmunks), grouse and tree
squirrels, or the season’s fires and sunsets.
But, we love Gary and appreciated his efforts to join the family gathering, especially
when you realize that he drove his VW van through the mountains and to Reno; then flew to LA
and waited, and then flew on a commute plane to San Diego and took a shuttle to North County.
We Played Cards
Updown
When we weren’t listening to Gary, we (everyone except Gary) were playing cards with
Arlene’s son, Tom, and Manny, who arrived Wednesday evening. Updown (or Gotcha, as I call
it) has been a family tradition for many years, and there is the California version and the
Colorado version (each kind of makes up their own rules; sometimes as we go along). In any
event, it takes a long time, but we usually manage two games a night. Sometimes Arlene’s
family play board games, but they play, rather than talk.
Tom and Manny had closed down their restaurant and flown to Las Vegas for a few days
vacation, then flew back home and drove from Long Beach for Thanksgiving with family. And
then they would drive to Palm Springs for the weekend, before returning to their busy lives.
Something Different
After a delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner, the rest of the family played cards, but
I decided to spend time with my brother, so we started by watching another short video at the
lookout, but somehow we got onto the subject his romantic interlude, while at the family owned
resort, and we actually enjoyed a conversation in which we both talked and listened, as we soon
began recalling those good old days at Kah-nee-ta Hot Springs.
I’d forgotten that Gary had spent portions of the summers there, and he had attended the
boy’s camp that had been conducted by our friend, Phil, a Portland Eagle’s hockey player. It felt
good to talk about these memories, which definitely are categorized as our legacy from the past,
especially when we reminisced about Dad Freeland, who was actually our paternal grandfather,
who had adopted and raised me. But Gary knew him as Grandfather, as he talked about their
precious shared times together, such as riding twenty-five miles into Madras, in the big Suburban
DeSoto. I hoped that Gary remembered about Dad Freeland’s encounters with Calamity Jane, in
South Dakota, and hunting with the Duke of Windsor, but Dad hadn’t shared those stories for
some reason, or else Gary had forgotten. However, Gary did remember his grandfather’s account
of his part in the Last Indian Uprising. I’ll add them to my website.
Gary and I are both writers, another family legacy, as our grandfather, Will Warren, was
an editor for The Oregonian, yet he hadn’t written about his memories of Kah-nee-ta, so I
encouraged him to do so during his long winter months of isolation as caretaker at the Bogard
Forestry Station where we had visited in July.
Although I had written “Pilgrimage to Kah-Nee-Ta,” which is published on my Joyanna
Freeland website, I’d missed some of the memories Gary and I shared. Yet, I’m happy that I
wrote them, and if Gary writes his, I’ll add them to his webpage.
Apparently our evening was important to Gary, too, because he told Arlene about it the
next morning, remarking that he enjoyed the shared memories, and that he was surprised at the
names and events that I remembered.
And They All Left
The next morning, Van drove Gary to the airport, and several days later he called Arlene
to say that he had arrived home safely that day, and he now had 2 ft. of snow. So he was snowed
in for the winter, other than the path he would clear with the snowplow.
Later in the morning (of Gary’s departure) I accompanied the rest of the family to
PicNSave for a shopping adventure, which I thoroughly enjoyed, though I didn’t buy anything. I
just enjoyed being with the family. Then Tom and Manny left for a few days at Palm Springs,
before returning to their daily routines in Long Beach.
The scenario reminded me of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” where everyone arrived with a
swirl, did their play, and then folded their tents and left, leaving a strange emptiness on the
scene, as we remained to work the jigsaw puzzle, play Updown and eat leftovers, while savoring
another few days with Arlene and Phyllis. But they were getting on with their routines too, and it
felt like time for us to move on.
The Storm
Actually, we would have left on Saturday, but a storm was brewing and we waited till it
had passed. I don’t mean only the winter storm that blew in over the ocean, but also an inner
storm within me, and between Van and I.
Ours had been brewing for a long time, and it erupted when he announced that I could
stay at Joyce’s, since that’s what I wanted to do, and he would return to his mom’s. As I
contemplated unpacking my files, books, clothes and necessary items I continued praying for
Guidance, “God is my help in every need.”
Was this God’s Divine Plan for me to settle down with my writing? It didn’t feel right,
but I felt that I could adjust to life in a bedroom, with no furniture, if that was God’s Plan, and I
began visualizing the routine. In my own mind, I lived without Van’s computer help (reluctant as
it was), transportation and the conveniences and comforts of my own home, and it still didn’t
feel right.
I had anticipated that we would go together to Laughlin for awhile, then return to the
coast at Pismo Beach and work with Carol on the business, and then arrive at Betty’s in plenty of
time to support her with her move, and this felt right.
But I kept feeling the compulsion to disrupt my life by staying at Joyce’s, while Van
returned to his mom’s, which he seemed intent on doing, despite the fact she had said that she
would let him know when she was ready for him to return. After all, she would be paying for the
site for him to park, a fact Little Ralph seemed to overlook. But then, again, for him that’s part
of his mother’s love: she shows love by giving him money, and he obviously was feeling the
need for more of her nurturing.
In other words, we were both stuck in a time-warp, but we weren’t aware of it, until after
we had each pushed the other to the brink, by calling the bluff.
Saturday morning I awoke with the plan to tell him to move me to Joyce’s and help
unload, and then go on his way to his mother’s, and I’d see him when he grew up and was ready
to function as my husband and not a ten-year-old.
Instead, I changed the pattern of the compulsion to blow-up our relationship with a
volatile outburst, and I asked him “What is the plan?”
He replied with his usual noncommittal answer “What do you want to do?”
“C’mon,” I urged, “What do you want to do?”
He calmly replied, “Well, we’ll follow the plan we discussed.”
“We talked about three different options, which one did you have in mind?”
“Well, you said something about going to Laughlin for awhile, and then to Pismo Beach.”
“So is that okay with you?”
“It sounds okay.”
We were walking up the hill (from our street parking place) to Arlene’s for breakfast and
had originally planned to leave afterward to go to Joyce’s, but I had managed to get a signal and
her line wasn’t busy with her computer cribbage game, so I got through to her. She said that she
had a new job and that she would be working all afternoon and evening both days, so we decided
to wait until Monday afternoon.
In the meantime, a storm had been predicted for that afternoon, and Arlene agreed that it
would be best for us to stay put another night. So Van and I worked on the puzzle and we all
played Updown in the evening; plus we got to eat lots more leftovers, besides what Arlene had
given us to take on the road.
Mid-afternoon the skies clouded, and then the drizzle came, and soon the wind and rain
fulfilled the promise of an impending storm. While we played cards, a heavy downpour pounded
against the windows and the wind blew the palm trees and bamboo. Indeed, a full-blown winter
storm was upon us.
By the time we finished cards, it had ended and we walked home in the calm after the
storm.
Sometime, between the beginning of the season’s first winter storm and morning, my
own internal storm had subsided, as some important realizations came to my mind.
First of all, we were still in the time-frame between Gary’s birthday and Christmas, all
the components were in place: Joanie, Gary, and our family. My subconscious had fulfilled its
program that says, “Oh, I know how this goes; it’s time for the family to blow-up and disappear.
And sure enough, Van and I were re-creating the scenario. Gary, Tom and Manny had already
left, and the other factors were being acted out.
The pressure of the intense compulsion had reached its climax, and I was ready for the
replay. But I had been God-guided to change the tape, and I too felt a strangely calm aftermath.
The second realization came to me that I hadn’t been taking the full amount of OPC-3
lately, and I had been indulging in distorted thinking. Once I resumed the double dose, my
thinking improved.
A third input came through that Van also has a pattern that coincides with mine, and it
was fulfilling itself: as a child, he would get bored or dissatisfied, and then he would create a
situation where he got kicked out, and then he would go to another place to live; and everything
would be okay for awhile, until the syndrome repeated.
His pattern began after his maternal grandmother died and Betty couldn’t cope, to the
extent that she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and her doctor told her dad to take her
on a trip. In order to do this, Little Ralph was sent to his dad and lived with his paternal
grandmother. But Little Ralph never knew, until his mom told him the story two years ago, that’s
why he was sent away. He thought that it was because he was bad and unwanted; and thus the
pattern was established and fulfilled.
Out of the Hole
Another factor seemed to be involved, and that was a maturing process with Little Ralph.
When we left Santa Clara, I had understood that this time at his mother’s had been a graduation
from one level to another, and that he was entering into a more adult phase of life. Or perhaps I
should say that Little Ralph had merged with Adult Ralph. In any event, he had seemed more
like his adult self, or maybe it’s Young Adult Ralph, because he has become more assertive,
which is good, but when he cycles through this phase, he is more independent, which is also
good.
But it requires an adjustment on my part, because he is a different person; more like the
Van I first knew and married. In other words, more adult, responsible and capable than Little
Ralph. And with this change, I always remind myself that I can, and must, quit my parenting role
and allow him to be the adult husband.
It’s exciting to reach this point, because I know that it is the end of this book. We are
both “Out of the Hole.”
In other words, I have what I wanted, now it’s a matter of wanting what I have; and with
that are the adjustments for us both. The question is: are we able to make the transition of our
roles? And that is the challenge.
The next, and last chapter, will give us more answers, as we move forward.

Chapter 22
THE WAY THE HORIZON LOOKS

The Turning Point
Sunday seemed to be a turning point. I awoke feeling certain that the inner storm had
ended, as well as the outer, and my “Daily Reading” confirmed “I look forward to and joyfully
embrace all that God has in store for me.” This reminded me of the earlier realization that my
good fortune was being restored, and as the day unfolded I knew it was true.
The turning point could well be a matter of how I looked at, or perceived life, as the
words continued, “The way the horizon looks changes in relation to where I am standing and in
which direction I am looking.”
This truth came to mind later in the day when we walked along the beach as the sun set
below the horizon. And then walked up a ramp to the cliffs where we were parked, and Van said,
“Now the sunset will last longer,” meaning that as we went higher, above the horizon, the sun
would shine longer before setting.” What a beautiful visual aide!
But I’m getting ahead of my story, because I want to continue with the “Daily Reading.”
“So when I consider the horizon in terms of what I believe the future holds for me, I know that
viewing all from a positive outlook, I prepare myself to be a part of positive experiences.”
I realized that Van and I had come to a fork-in-the-road and taken it. Actually, we could
have gone our separate ways; and maybe we should have. But with the decision to remain
together, I realized that I must change my attitude toward him so that I projected what I wanted
to experience.
It’s for sure that I was ready to stop writing about the “Journey Out of the Hole,” so the
best approach was to recognize that we were already out. Now, it was up to me to shut up and be
positive, and to enjoy life.
With this in mind, I wondered if I should simply stop writing, so I wouldn’t need the
ongoing stuff to write about. Perhaps this would be a good time to continue working on my
courses. On the other hand, if this were all part of God’s Divine Plan, then it will unfold as God
guides, whether I write about it, or not. So, I would probably keep writing.
But, as the reading continues, “no matter what changes I may make in my life or which
direction I may take, a path of divine love stretches forth from where I stand and on into the
horizon.” Exactly what I had decided, as we move forward in our relationship, and in our travels.
“My eyes are on the glory of God, in this moment and when contemplating the future. So
my horizons are always filled with hope and eagerness for what awaits me.” In other words, if
we keep our focus on God and His Divine Plan, then we can be assured that we are on the right
path, and we are doing the right thing at the right time, and in the right way.
The bible verse concluded, “I saw the Lord always before me … therefore my heart was
glad, and my tongue rejoiced.” This is definitely the way I intend to live my life.
Confirmation
Soon after reading, we finished our preparations and headed up the coast to Unity Christ
Church in Carlsbad, which is my home church. I had been considering whether or not to return
here and again teach classes and become involved in my church family, but with my choice to
move on, it wouldn’t be happening.
However, I had second thoughts when I stopped and talked with Gary, a new friend I had
made in recent years when visiting the church, and now he’s the President of the Board, and gave
me a friendly greeting. And then I was warmly greeted by Rev. Tony, the minister, and head of
our church family, and also Anne and Dell, who had become friends when we stayed for a month
in February. And my heart leapt with joy when Wendy Wilde, a friend from those precious days
when we had so much fun while I taught classes and we formed a social bonding.
Rev. Tony asked for a volunteer to read the “Daily Reading,” and the longer the wait, the
more intense was my inner urge to raise my hand. It felt so good to be on the platform looking
into the friendly faces, as I again read the above words for the day, and I knew that I hadn’t lost
my ability to be a leader or teacher. When God opens those doors for me, I will be able to walk
through. I needed this confirmation, and I had it. Furthermore, I even commented that these
words were so appropriate for our lifestyle in our 35 ft. RV, as we travel the country.
In fact, when I sat down, Rev. Tony mentioned that I had once been a teacher at the
church, and Wendy, sitting beside me, said aloud for all to hear, “Yes, and she was a great
teacher, too!”
Wow! Another confirmation, and how appreciated her words, and I told her so too.
Forgiveness
It never fails when I attend church that the subject is written just for me, and today was
no exception. The subject was forgiveness, based on “The Lord’s Prayer,” from Emmet Fox’s
classic book, “Sermon on the Mount.” Every word spoke to me, and I knew that I must forgive
Van, and release our past relationship, so that we could start a new one. In fact, I also forgave
and released everything from our lives that had added to our limitations. It was very healing and
freeing, and we were told that once we had forgiven, God would take care of the rest; and we
must not ask again, because it would invalidate that it had already been done. I felt very
complete with the process, and I knew that Van and I would now move forward in our new
relationship.
Restoration
Seeing Wendy was definitely part of my fortune being restored. And she gave me the
phone numbers of her good friends, Ken and Cheryl, whom I had been guided to contact. I’d
missed all of these special people, and I wanted to see them to complete communications
relating to the past, and to ask if they would be available to help with my website activities.
Now, I would be able to arrange for our meeting, before we left town.
Networking
After church, I chatted with Wendy about Dottie and Steve, who also attended the church
during those years. I told her that Dottie had had MS, but her symptoms had gone away with
OPC-3, and Wendy wanted more information, so I gave her my business card and website where
she could learn more about the products. As we were talking, two other ladies asked for my card,
as they were interested too. And I marveled at how easily the doors had opened in God’s good
timing. That’s how I had expected the business to be built, but it hadn’t happened that way; at
least not until now.
Fellowship
The finale of my restored fortune, for that day, came with having lunch with Rev. Tony
and his new lady friend, and another lady from the church. How I savor this fellowship, and I
miss it, and I find it so tempting to want to return to the comfort of these familiar energies. Yet,
God keeps telling me to move on, and so I follow.
Van doesn’t accompany me in my church activities, so he had parked near the church and
waited. I had felt so high from the fellowship and support, and I regretted that Van and I don’t
share this spiritual path. Yet, I know that we are on the Path that God has opened to us, and so I
must accept this.
Solace
I was glad that we had to wait until Monday to see Joyce, because this meant we had time
to stay at Carlsbad State Beach above the Pacific Ocean, and to walk in the sunshine along the
beach, and then watch the sunset, as mentioned above.
Joanie squished the seaweed bulbs and picked up some colored rocks, while playing tag
with the waves when they rushed into shore. And Little Ralph sauntered along the beach
observing everything he could see, including the passing strollers, and airplanes passing
overhead, but mostly enjoying the moment.
I also needed time for solace to sort things out and determine where we’re at and where
we’re going, now that we had taken the fork-in-the-road. Perched above the ocean, enjoying the
last of the sunset, after eating our leftover turkey, I finished writing Chapter 21, which allowed
me to see the process that we had been through.
Van, who had advanced to his Young Adult stage, sat in the dark, totally out of character
for him, and when I asked what he was doing, he said, “Just being here.”
The energies felt peaceful, and because some of the details weren’t clear, I asked if it was
okay with him for me to read aloud, and he could give me feedback.
With his permission, I read what I had written, and I realized that we had gone through an
intense storm, and we deserved this quiet time alone. In fact, I was becoming more in agreement
with Joyce’s idea of having fun. Enough of this Inner Journey.
A New Space
However, I hadn’t shared with Van my new space, and I wasn’t real sure what was going
on with him, especially his Young Adult. So I tried to have a conversation, but I should have
known better, because his participation was minimal. And it felt like another one-sided
dissertation, but at least it helped me to verbalize what was going on with me, such as whether or
not to give up my writing and even my website in order to have harmony between us. As
codependent as this seemed, I questioned that perhaps it was the extent of God’s Divine Plan for
us.
However, Van acknowledged that my writing was part of me and that didn’t seem to be a
desirable solution, so I had that bit of important information, and I would continue as God
guides.
I also suggested that we declare a truce and both agree to do our part in contributing to
this relationship working. For instance, as he fulfills his adult role as husband, then I would quit
parenting and criticizing. In any event, I would no longer be critical or judgmental, and I would
allow him to do his own thing in his own way and time, without my negative comments.
Most important, since his graduation into his Young Adult, with a higher degree of
self-esteem and self-confidence, I would make every effort not to undermine it. But, I reminded
him that he must not project the negative vibes either, because we attract what we think about,
so it would need to be a mutual effort.
I kept getting the urge to explain something, and then I would lose what it was, until I got
myself out of the way and the words came through. Whenever these communications come
through, I usually don’t remember what I said long enough to write about it. But part of it
returned, because it was brought to my attention that I am guilty of the same thing that I accused
him.
It has to do with the child being dissatisfied no matter what is going on, which is a result
of childhood unpleasantness. This becomes a pattern that wouldn’t allow a person to be happy
any place at any time; not even in Paradise. And it’s a pattern that takes a conscious desire to
change, but ultimately it requires asking God to remove it, and then releasing it to Him.
Obviously, like any other habit, pattern or addiction, we haven’t been able to change it by
ourselves, and only God can free us; but first we must feel the discomfort enough that we really
do want to change.
Young Adult Ralph seemed to understand what I was talking about and agreed that he
would change the pattern.
Of course, the next day it seemed that the pattern was coming at him whatever he did,
which is normal when we reach this point of transition. And my challenge was to keep my
agreement not to nag or criticize. So we were making progress.
Taking Care of Ourselves
Usually when in this area, our former home town, we take care of our dental
appointments, and I get balanced at The Chiropractic Health Center by Dr. Tracy Magie, who
practices the Neuro Emotional Technique and Cranial Sacral Technique, among other things.
I reported my X-ray results and treatment at the Good Hand Medical Center, and she said
it was holding just fine, but she did some additional work for my eyes, teeth, neck and head.
Unfortunately, my teeth had deteriorated in recent months, which is unusual, so my
dental work went beyond cleaning this time. In fact, one tooth had broken and 1/2 had to be
removed and a temporary filling added, until the cracked corresponding tooth, on the other side,
was prepared. Then we had to wait another week for the crowns for both teeth.
Fortunately, Van got by with the cleaning this time, but we were still paying on the last
visit when he had extensive repair, so the total of over $2500.00 would now be added to our
monthly payments, which would take four years to pay.
Last on my list for taking care of myself was a massage by long-time friend and
masseuse, Denise Richards. Over 22-years of massage, she her hands had become even stronger
and she still gives the best deep massage, including extensive time on my head, neck, shoulders,
and thumb, in addition to the regular time on the rest of my body.
I can never write about Denise without including a comment on her ongoing home
remodeling, all paid for by massages. First she added an upper and lower addition in order to
restore her ocean view, which had been lost by a housing project on the street next to her. Over
time, she added another story over the rest of the house and remodeled the main floor and back
yard, which had Grecian columns along the swimming pool. This time she had expanded her
living area and was creating an exotic front yard with a tiered fountain and planters.
Denise has an exceptional attitude about money and it’s obviously not what she’s
working to improve in this lifetime. However, she has spent many years overcoming the negative
patterns of childhood that left her with a wounded inner child. In fact, she originally introduced
me to this concept and is responsible for me meeting, naming and healing my inner child, Joanie.
This time, she told me that she and her husband had attended and gotten tremendous
benefits from Life Skills, a program designed for “understanding the life long effects of a child’s
wounded spirit.” In fact, she recommended it for Van, but I told her he was going through a
One-on-one God-guided program. On the other hand, I made note that if Little Ralph continued
to act up, I would strongly consider this program.
The Final Project
The final project for this area involved Joyce, our friend and my Money Makeovers
partner. For some reason nothing much had been done with that website since our last visit when
she bought her computer and Van got it set up for her, including addition of all my website
programs. In fact, her computer stopped working and it took four returns for reconstructed ones,
before she finally got a new one that worked. But the Money Makeovers program was lost, so
now Van agreed to install it again. Also, Joyce and I are handicapped when it comes to the
technology of online business, so he agreed to help us move beyond our blocks of not knowing
how to send the books and workshop when ordered.
All Set to Go: Almost
Before heading out, we had to take Freedom to Camping World for adjusting the
generator, and on the way it rained. When Van turned on the wipers that had been repaired in
Bend, on 9-11, the one on his side swung over to the edge and stuck. In other words, it still didn’t
work and would need repairs before traveling; nor could the technician fix the generator.
Because of the week’s delay with my teeth repairs, which would keep us in the area until
December 6th, and the need to find someplace to fix Freedom, we decided to stay at Carlsbad
State Beach and then return north, rather than taking the side trip to Laughlin (time and money
being major factors). However, we were disappointed to learn that it would close on Friday for
two months. Our options were to drive north to Doheny State Park, which we love, or try San
Elijo State Beach in Cardiff, near Del Mar.
We decided to push through our discomfort of the unknown and stop at the latter to make
reservations (on our way to the dentist for the second fitting), which made more sense, especially
since Van needed to make appointments for Freedom, and I still had more contacts to make
while in this area.
The California Park Ranger did not make the task less daunting, as she explained that we
could only pay on a daily basis, and the weekend would probably be filled with reservations and
we probably would be asked to move. Nevertheless, we paid for the day and trusted God to
handle the rest.
Once finished with the dentist, we headed to Joyce’s, through a heavy rainstorm, without
wipers. Van stopped at an auto repair along the way, only to learn that they didn’t do RV’s. So
he drove in the rain, as I prayed that he could see and that he wouldn’t be stopped by the police.
Fortunately, while at Joyce’s, the rain stopped and we made it back to Cardiff safely.
Good Morning!
We awoke to a sunny morning and I decided to take the weekend off and enjoy the
campground and beach, like other folks, so Friday we took a long walk, along the beach, to
Restaurant Row, studied the menus and planned to return for lunch another day.
The next day we walked along the beach, and then across Highway 101 to the Cardiff-by-
the-Sea community which hadn’t changed much over the years: VJ Donuts still makes the best
and we bought a thick custard-filled karambollo, then walked next door and bought Mexican
food and sat down and ate: a Carne Asada burrito for Van, and I had two chicken enchiladas,
black beans and rice; more than we could eat, so we asked for a take-home container. We agreed
that this new place, The Beach City, was the best Mexican food we’d eaten and we savored its
tastiness with the sun warming our backs while we watched it dancing on the ocean across the
street.
When finished eating, we strolled by the other shops to “Good Morning,” a New Age
vintage shop that I had cherished when we lived in nearby Leucadia. Some things don’t change
and I was happy to see Darreld, the youthful white-haired owner, still holding court with his
customers and sharing love and joy.
I introduced myself, reminding him that I’d bought his “Man in the Mirror” piece, which
he has stopped making. It’s a poem about a man that’s embedded in a mirrored frame.
As I attempted to take in the complexity of his small shop, it reminded me of Inner
Freedom Ministry’s diverse contents. I loved this shop, with the rainbows, pyramids, Pegasus’s,
and everything relating to those times, along with red, white and blue flags, bumper stickers and
other memorabilia. If it has beads, dolphins, incense or rainbows, it’s probably here. Or if it’s
local greeting cards or art, it’s probably here; it just takes some time to focus and find it. I still
love this shop.
We chatted about my “Rainbow-by-the-Sea” ministry, as my ministry-by-mail with
prisoners was called in those days, and about our RV travels, and about the changes in his
business through the years.
During our conversation, I delighted to hear him confirm that today’s teens are returning
to the values of the past, as I’d recently read in “Modern Maturity.” And before I left, a group of
them filed into the tiny shop, as he said, “Here comes some of my kids now,” with obvious love
and acceptance that truly comes from the heart.
Darreld had shared with me a heart-warming story that adds to his warmth and love, as
he told about a recent trip to New York City, with his wife, to attend a wedding and meet with
some of her schoolgirl friends, where she had lived when younger. He said that they had a fun
day walking around town on that Tuesday, and he remarked about how clean the streets were, as
he took a picture of the gals, with one of the twin towers in the background. And a week later
that tower and over 6,000 people were destroyed by terrorists; it could have happened on the
previous Tuesday, a fact that he does not pass by lightly, and reminding him how precious life is.
and that it is to be enjoyed; a fact that is proclaimed on his business card with the words: Happy
Days.
When I mentioned that our RV is named Freedom, Darreld walked to one of the crowded
counters, picked up a red, white and blue bumper sticker proclaiming “Freedom” and gave it to
me, with my promise to apply it to the bumper.
I left the store with a warm glow of memories from the past aligned with joy in the
present moment, and hope for the future. It was a good day from having visited Good Morning.
The Longest Journey…
Remembering the feeling of liberation from taking the bus to Carlsbad Unity on our last
visit here, I decided to go for it again. The sun was shining as I walked across Highway 101 and
talked with a homeless couple waiting for the bus. They described their lifestyle as “street
people” while sharing with me about the reduced rate monthly pass for disabled or seniors; the
lady being emotionally disabled, but the man having to pay the full rate. However, he still
extolled the benefits of being able to ride the buses anytime and anyplace in North San Diego
County. And, for an additional rate, one could even ride buses all over San Diego and the
surrounding areas.
By this time, the bus arrived and I settled into viewing the coast and towns along the
route. As my friend, Anne, described her first visit, “I liked Funky Encinitas and Leucadia, with
the quaint shops and people leisurely enjoying the outside eating facilities.”
These were my home towns for seventeen years, and I loved them. But, on the other
hand, I also enjoy Del Mar, which Anne described, “I knew I was no longer in funky,” while
passing this ultra-expensive community where my dad and Arlene lucked-out by trading their
property in Oregon for The Maui Apartments, which she sold last year.
On this trip north, we didn’t go through Del Mar, but rode toward Oceanside, more
familiar because of Camp Pendleton. I’d been chatting with a bike rider who stored his vehicle
on the bike rack at the front of the bus. He’d been talking about his hip surgery and excitement
over a job where he “baby-sits a car lot and gets to watch football on TV, with his friends.
He’d asked me if I was going to church, and I mentioned the name in my reply, which
can be a mistake, because people have negative opinions about the so-called cult, as
fundamentalist Christians call it. He was OK with it, but when I got off the bus at the Carlsbad
Station, and walked across the courtyard, the bus driver (taking a five-minute break) caught my
attention and asked, “Do you realize that Unity denies the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity? I just
wondered, because I see you’re wearing a cross.”
The cross should have been his answer, but I was in a hurry to walk the five blocks to
church, so I said, “I don’t want to get into a doctrinal discussion, but you’re wrong,” and I kept
walking.
During the sermon, Rev. Tony talked about God-love and Oneness, and I wondered how
anyone could question the Truth of these teachings, based on the words and life of Jesus.
The subject was “The Good Life,” and the minister reminded us of the importance of our
right thinking, and being non-judgmental, bringing us to the challenge of living from the heart
and not the head: of feelings versus the intellect. And he said, “The longest journey is from the
head to the heart.”
I couldn’t have been hearing a more appropriate message in my rededication to applying
these Truths in my relationship with Van, and others too. Thank You, God, for bringing me to
this church at this time.
The day was especially enjoyable because Anne and Dell, the new friends from our last
trip to this area, were there and remained for the potluck, so we had lots of time to socialize. And
afterward, they invited me to go with them to an Open House at Ecke’s Poinsettia Ranch and see
the hundreds of red blooms in the field. Dell told me that they now grow most of their plants in
Costa Rica, because of less expensive land and labor, despite the fact Encinitas is “The Flower
Capital of the World.” Unfortunately, most of the flower growers have moved out, because of
the high costs.
But this event was a fund-raiser for Walter, a former worker who had dove from a board
into a swimming pool and hit bottom, leaving him totally paralyzed, much like Christopher
Reeves. In fact, Walter reclined in his special wheelchair and greeted anyone who spoke with
him. Dell explained that his expenses were astronomical, and the money would help, although
we didn’t buy any poinsettias. Fortunately, others did, and they walked away with many potted
plants of varying sizes and colors, including cream, and pink.
I said silent prayers for Walter, as he faced a lifetime on his long journey, and I thanked
God for the blessings of my inner and outer journey, as I approached the end of this book,
remembering to write about the important values in life; the ones that come from the heart.
We stopped at Anne’s long enough for her to give Dell and me some of her delicious
chili from the potluck, and then Dell drove me home, on her way to Del Mar, where she lives.
Again, I was reminded of values, relating to the heart versus head, when Dell told me
about her recent heart surgery, when she almost died, and how her friends and acquaintances
helped take care of her and her house cleaning business, during her recovery.
The Necessary Journey
I love how God gives me the experiences and information for my chapters. For instance, I
had lost track of Iyanla’s TV Talk Show, but while eating breakfast I turned on the TV and there
she was. The show was about Aging, and covered the decades from 20’s through 60’s. I was
happy to see my age included for a change, since everything now revolves around the baby-
boomers becoming senior citizens. Of course, they didn’t even discuss any age over 70; so what
else is new? Considering that I’ll be 70 next June, I am quite aware of this subject.
In any event, I watched the program with interest and rejoiced that I had successfully
made it this far, through the empty nest syndrome, menopause, memory loss and the other
hazards along the way. And it seemed like a fitting subject for the close of this “Journey Out of
the Hole,” as Van and I have supported and assisted our inner kids into a new phase of maturity.
Bottom-line, Iyanla’s advisors were saying, “Take care of yourself” and “Be good to
yourself,” a lesson it’s taken us forever to learn. Hopefully, her viewers might learn this advise
and follow it much sooner than it took us to reach a place of remembering to have fun and enjoy
life.
The Fullness of Life
Speaking of life, it’s time for me to mention that we are now in the month of December,
and the twelfth Power is Life, with the color red and the disciple Judas, who represents not the
idea of betrayal, but that he sacrificed his life to fulfill God’s Divine Plan. After all, someone
had to do what he did so that Jesus could overcome death into the fullness of life everlasting, at
one with God. And that’s what His life and teachings were about: oneness. And we too, can
experience oneness with/as the presence of God, who is our life, as the essence of every atom
and cell of all that is.
As we approach the Holy Season, I am reminded to focus on what is important, as I
continued to follow God’s guidance.
God guided me to re-read November 26th in my Daily Reading, “Aware of God’s
presence, I experience the fullness of life.” It continues, this allows us to “be aware of God and
the sacred imprint that is within all life.
“Caught up in the fullness of life, I comprehend so much more — more about my own
spirituality and the presence of God that is in all and through all. I do whatever I can to uphold
life, and I participate in ways that speak of how much I care.
“The power of God moves in and through all creation as strength and vitality, as wisdom
and understanding, as health and healing. My life is full with the presence of God. Knowing this
blesses me and fills me with an enthusiasm for life.” It concludes with the quote for Ephesians
3:18-19.
Mixed Emotions
I wrote the above words while waiting for Van to get ready to begin our northern journey
back to his mother’s home so we could support him. Again, we were parked in Del Mar, not far
from the ocean, only without a view, because houses were between us. But, at least I knew it was
there and I could feel its energies, as well as those of Del Mar, which caused me to feel not
welcome and not belonging. Part of this is my own projections, and part is simply how it is in
Del Mar. In the past, we’d had a policeman knock on our door Christmas Night, and this time
we’d found a warning citation on the windshield for our “abandoned vehicle.” And another time
one of the neighbors had stopped and tried to intimidate us into leaving. So, this is Del Mar, but
it is also Paradise, and it is also where my family lives.
Therefore, it was with mixed emotions that we left Del Mar and moved on up the coast,
through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, to our destination: Pismo Beach State Park. It was an
unusual trip, because of the strong Santa Ana Winds, which come from the east, blowing away
all smog and bringing the warmth from the desert. Therefore, we could see the entire horizon:
from the mountains to the sea, and everything in between, including the Los Angeles Airport and
the buildings downtown.
Taking a Risk
We continually commented on the beauty of this area, when you can see it, such as today.
And another joy of the trip came with our decision to take a risk and try the Toll Road from San
Juan Capistrano to Huntington Beach. As Van always sings, we really did “See Places Never
Seen Before,” and we were astounded at the ongoing developments of homes and shopping
sprawled over the rolling mountains between the coastal cities and the sea. But the best surprise,
with this alternate route, was the lack of traffic on this four-lane thoroughfare; worth every dollar
of the $5.00 fee. Of course, this was Saturday, but on the weekdays you can be sure the commute
traffic is zooming along.
Usually we dread driving through LA, and we go miles and miles out of our way to
by-pass it. But today, as on our southern trip, we bite the bullet and go for it. However, this day
the traffic went smoothly and it was fun seeing the sights of The City, along I-405: Wilshire and
Sunset Boulevards, with skyscrapers, offices and shops. I remembered when we had tried to find
a place to park so we could visit my niece, who worked nearby, but driving a motor home on
those busy streets was frightening and we were happy to find the parking lot of the Veterans
Hospital, call her and cancel our meeting. She was extremely busy and happy to oblige, so this
time we didn’t even make the effort. And when we passed Mullholland Drive, the exit to their
home that winds up steep hills of the Coast Range, we kept right on going.
Other Horizons
One of my favorite views, along Highway 101, from Ventura through Santa Barbara, is
the sweeping bay which today had huge rolling waves stirred by the heavy winds. Although I
regret the off-shore oil rigs, they are disguised as mini-islands with palm trees, so the view is still
awesome, as we can see from one point of the bay to the other, with the waves attempting to
crash on the beach, but being blown backwards, from the intense winds, and spraying high into
the air.
Inland from Santa Barbara are the high bare mountains of the Coast Range with homes
perched on any available land. In fact, it’s here that President Reagan once owned a ranch, but
they have moved into The City since his Alzheimer disease has advanced.
Although the view from 101 is spectacular, we had taken another risk on our last
southbound trip and drove over them from Solvang to Santa Barbara, where we could see below
to the sprawling town, and beyond to the bay and the land points in both directions.
But now, as we passed through the town, hidden by the shrubs and palm trees, we
realized that one would really need a car to enjoy staying here and seeing all the sights, such as
the 200 restaurants, pier, museum, zoo, botanical gardens and miles of beaches. However,
somewhat like Del Mar, and much of southern California, the town does not cater to RVers, but
rather to tourists who are willing and able to pay to stay in the expensive hotels. Even the RV
park costs $30.00 or more a night, unless you stay at a state or public park. And we plan to do
that some day, but not this trip, as we had plans to stay at our favorite: Pismo Beach State Park.
North of Santa Barbara, at Gaviota, the highway goes inland and through the rolling hills
for about fifty-miles. However, a favorite stop here is Anderson’s Pea Soup in Buellton, which
we did. Or, a side trip to Solvang for Swedish pastries is a popular choice.
We arrived at Pismo Beach State Park before sunset, so we quickly secured Freedom and
walked one block to the beach where we could watch the waves and the sunset, as we strolled
through the sand, which is always tamped down from the many vehicles which drive back and
forth.
From here you can see the mountains that come down to the sea at Pismo Beach, with the
windows of gold reflecting the sun from the homes overlooking the fabulous scene of this bay,
pier and beaches; a view that is one of our choices for a permanent location.
But for now we are content walking along the shore that reflects a golden-orange sunset
in the wet sand, and we laugh at the seagulls riding the surf into shore just like the surfers who
are further out. Did the surfers learn from the birds, or did the birds mimic the surfers?
Once the sun went down, the air cooled and we reluctantly left the passing panorama of
vehicles, headlights beaming through the darkness, as they return from the dunes further south;
and the Saturday night teens puffing smoke from their cars, as they cruise the beach. Although
the few surfers are giving in to the darkness and leaving, the birds are still riding the waves into
shore, and there are always the walkers and their dogs.
We passed StevieD’s deli, which advertises: “Voted the Best Clam Chowder in 1999,”
which we had tried on our last trip. It was delicious, and we enjoyed every bite, as Stevie talked
about her dogs and life at the beach. But now she closes at 3:00 so she can enjoy her life; much
of it being on the computer. I planned to visit her during our stay, but for now we would settle
down in our warm home, with TV, thanks to our hookups.
A Day of Rest
Sunday was a Day of Rest for us, and I watched Hour of Power from the Glass Cathedral
in Garden Grove, California. As they are getting into the Christmas Season, I remembered
having seen their elegant Christmas Pageant in person, but for now I was thankful for TV
reception.
As the rains came, we snuggled into our warm, cozy home and Van watched football,
while I caught up on my “People” magazines that had arrived in our forwarded mail. And later in
the day, between showers, we walked to Old Juan’s Mexican Restaurant for a tasty but
expensive meal. However, the ambiance and the size of Van’s Especial Pork Burrito (enough for
another meal) offset the price, and the fact that it rained while we were inside and cleared when
we were walking made it even better.
Walking home, between downpours, we laughed at the ducks and geese huddled up on
the lawn, rather than floating in the pond. Recalling the surfing seagulls, we wondered about
these strange feathered creatures at this beach.
Changing Weather and Scene
Before leaving on Monday, we were reminded of the constant weather and beach
changes, as we took another walk, now under sunny blue skies. As we approached the beach, we
walked up to Stevie D’s door, only to discover another sign: New Winter Hours: Friday, Saturday
and Sunday: 10:00 — 3:00. Oh well, maybe next time. Or, I could always reach her via e-mail.
The heavy weekend traffic had vanished from the beach, but now several horseback
riders passed by. However, that wasn’t nearly as unusual as the two sleek black trotters, each
pulling a two-wheeled cart, as they raced along the beach. The scene took us back in time to
another era: a gentler, quieter scene of harness racing, before the noise and speed of
motor-powered vehicles, such as dune buggies and motorcycles.
By the time we reached the stream, at the southern end of the beach, blocking us from
further passage, the trotters had raced to their northern destination and returned. And, later, when
we drove to the North State Park to dump, we saw the horseback riders congregating around the
horse trailers, and we knew that they would soon be leaving.
And we too, were leaving for another horizon, as we drove south through Guadalupe, a
Mexican farm community, past the miles and miles of cauliflower, brussel sprouts and other
winter crops, as we took the back way to Santa Maria where we parked near our friend, Carol’s
for a few days (discussed in the Epilogue).
The Castle on the Hill
Our time at Carol’s went faster than expected, so we decided to take a side-trip on our
northern trek: to San Simeon State Park, near Hearst Castle. Again, sunshine danced over the
water, as we drove past the monolith jutting from Morro Bay along Highway 1, and continued
driving past California’s best kept secret, Cambria, and even past the State Park.
The day was so lovely and the scenery so beautiful that we decided to drive along the
coast a few more miles. The tide was out and the jagged cliffs along the shoreline were enhanced
by the rugged rocks and tidepools protruding from the ocean’s exposed floor. Usually I like to
wander through the tidepools, but Van had decided to turn around in the parking lot for Hearst
Castle.
The charm of the castle on the hill, and memories of taking the tours, in the past,
reminded me of the opulence of the wealthy newspaper magnet, William Randolph Hearst. I’d
been reading Catherine Ponder’s prosperity book, “The Millionaire From Nazareth,” so I
suggested that we walk over to the Ticket Center and absorb the prosperity energies in the Gift
Shop.
As we strolled through the nearly deserted lobby (another result of the WTC attack), we
noticed that the theater offered a National Geographic display of women photographers, so we
wandered into the free museum and studied the various photographs hanging midst the massive
tapestries, furniture and carpets; either from the estate or duplicates.
In any event, the opulent energies were permeating the atmosphere, especially when we
took time to leaf through a new book about the castle and its furnishings, and watch part of a
free video narrated by the famous granddaughter, Patty Hearst. Whew!! Talk about different
horizons, this certainly elevated ours, as we viewed pictures of the ornate indoor and outdoor
pools, statuary, artwork and furnishings.
A New Horizon
While there, we’d intended having a lunch snack, but I couldn’t bring myself to paying
$3.50 for an ice cream cone and $7.00 for a hamburger, despite Catherine Ponder’s influence.
Most people visiting here are a captive audience and have no choice, but we had a full container
of Breyer’s peach ice cream in Freedom, which beckoned for later. Besides, the purpose of our
visit was simply to absorb the prosperous energies, not spend money on unnecessary
expenditures.
Yet, I knew there was more to our adventure, especially when Van offered for us to take
a Tour of the castle, which is totally out of character for him. Something wonderful was
happening, and although it was tempting, I declined the offer. And Van’s wonderfulness
continued when he accompanied me into the Gift Shop, which he never does. I was delighted
with his participation and later told him how much it meant to me; actually beyond the mere
words of appreciation.
We hadn’t spent anything but time at the Hearst Castle Visitors Center, yet we had a
delightful experience together. Thank You, God!
A transformation had taken place between us in recent weeks, and our new horizon was
definitely looking good. It’s for sure that we were “out of the hole” and thus it seemed fitting to
conclude this book, as we begin the next phase of our lives.
Despite the opulent wealth of WR Hearst and his castle, the surrounding beauty of
mountains, sea and clouds on this sunny December afternoon reminded us of the true opulence
on this Inner and Outer Journey: an awareness of the Presence of God within us, everyone and
everything.
We parked at a View Point along the ocean, within sight of the castle, and watched the
waves crash over the exposed rocks from low tide. A family romped on the beach, and an old
man made his way down the makeshift steps to the sandy beach, set up his tripod and began
capturing the beauty as the sun began to set in a spectacular orange-gold panoramic view: castle
on the hill, rolling green hills, winding palisades, jagged rocks, reflecting tide pools and
glistening ocean.
Soon we would drive to San Simeon State Park for the night, and then we would move
north on our return to Santa Clara. But from there our horizon would be unlimited: another book,
or perhaps not. We would know as God continued to reveal His Divine Plan, and we continue to
follow.
In any event, as Van said, when awakening to another day in Freedom: “Boy, are we
lucky!”

EPILOGUE: YOUR FORTUNES ARE RESTORED

Reconnecting With Ken and Cheryl
I always like to write the Epilogue later, after the book has settled awhile, and there are
some updates that enhance the story. The same is true now, and it seems timely to include
several results of recent endeavors.
While at Cardiff-by-the-Sea, I contacted Ken and Cheryl, who once attended the Carlsbad
Unity Church, back when Wendy, Dottie, Steve, and the gang were all together. For several years
I had thought they might be willing and able to be on my team for Inner Freedom Ministry:
Cheryl does graphics and related work, and Ken is a great promoter. However, when I wrote
them, three years ago, I never received an answer. I realized that their first son, Johnny, was born
shortly after I wrote the letter, but my negative patterns had caused me to wonder if they were
upset with me.
So, I called Ken and made arrangements for us to meet at Freedom one evening. They
brought their adorable boys, three-year-old Johnny and ten-month-old Trevor; both smart, lively,
well-adjusted kids. And Ken tried to build a fire in the circle so Johnny could have roasted
marshmallows, but it didn’t light and they promised to do them in their fireplace.
We got caught up on family news, and their activities, which includes Cheryl’s full-time
job and Ken’s Comedy Traffic School, which he owns and handles while taking care of Trevor.
Cheryl yearns to be home full-time with her family, but it hasn’t worked out that way, as yet, so
she spends all available time with them. Obviously, this is not a good time for them to take on
more projects, and I realized that the timing isn’t quite right yet, anyway. However, Ken did
offer to help, if needed. And the most important thing is that we reconnected and I cleared up
another repercussion of my “not wanted” pattern, which was extremely healing. Thank You,
God!
Gloria’s Getting Married
Gloria had once lived with us when we lived in our big house in Leucadia, and she had
edited some of my early writings. Her style is very succinct and accurate, and I had thought she
might be available now to finalize my books.
Back then, she had met a wonderful man that reminded us of John Wayne, but not his
walk. They had married and she moved to Canada where he owned a golf course and she happily
got to do the landscaping. However, his health failed and he died, after only a few years together.
Fortunately, he left her financially secure and she returned to La Jolla where she volunteered at
the Historical Museum.
When I called her, I learned that she had met another wonderful man and would be
marrying very soon. In fact, her life is busier than ever, and she doesn’t even have time for her
own books, so I knew there was no use asking her to edit mine. However, we had a great visit
when she came to see us at Cardiff, and she simply radiated inner and outer beauty and joy.
Despite the fact that she was not able to edit my books, it felt good to reconnect with
Gloria and resume a special friendship.
On the Other Hand
On the other hand, another friendship ended during this time; or at least it was shelved,
and I felt bad, because I had felt the same Guidance that she would be involved with my
“Journey of Inner Freedom” course, which is still in progress.
It’s been a tough Journey all along with this course, and it’s taken over ten years to write,
because I’ve been living it, and it goes in cycles. My friend and I have also cycled through our
relationship during that time, so there is hope that we will still make our connection in God’s
perfect time, as we are growing and evolving through this Transformation Process. Like the
“Journey to Inner Freedom,” it is a work in progress.
Money Makeovers Connection
One of the main purposes for being in the area, of course, was assisting and supporting
Joyce in getting Money Makeovers back on her computer and activated for taking membership
sign-ups. She had gone through three reconstructed computer replacements before the Lemon
Clause kicked in and she was given a fourth one: brand new. But, in the process she had lost the
Money Makeovers program, and no longer had access.
Van’s expertise quickly restored the program, and we eventually got the password and
proper addresses for Joyce to send the workshop and three books to new members. In addition,
she and I discussed important issues that opened the way for the floodgates of orders to roll in.
All in all, our time with Joyce had been productive and successful, and we were extremely proud
of her newfound abilities with the computer; actually beyond what I could do.
The three of us had definitely made some inner changes that prepared us for this session,
which was obvious by our compatible energies, and the smoothness of the process. Thank You,
God!
Carol Signs Up
We parked near Carol’s condo in Santa Maria from Monday till Thursday, while
presenting the products and business plan for our networking company. She worked days, so our
time was limited to evenings, with Carol ordering home delivered Chinese that fed us for two
evenings. The third meal was Orcutt Burgers.
Tuesday evening we accompanied Carol to a Flipchart Presentation by Tony, who is
pioneering the area. The event couldn’t have gone better if we had scripted it: simple and to the
point with not too many details. Perfectly complementing what we had already explained on
Monday. And Tony provided the necessary forms which we didn’t have, and helped Carol work
out her opening order from his Updated Price List, which we also didn’t have.
By Wednesday night, Carol was ready to sign up and Van easily took her through the
process. The forms were now ready to mail to Dottie and Steve, including the post-dated checks,
which Carol had decided she could handle, after the holidays. And that was perfect, because she
wouldn’t be in a position to do anything more until then anyway.
In the meantime, Tony would be leading the two preliminary trainings on January 5th, so
everything seemed to be in Divine Order. Thank You, God!
With all this fitting into place, the way opened for us to move onward, promising to
return later, when and if she needed our support and assistance. However, we felt quite secure
with her in Tony’s capable hands.
In addition, I mentioned to Carol that I had felt guided to offer her a similar opportunity
as Joyce’s, in which she would be responsible for “Transformation’s Twelve Power Process,”
keeping 90 percent of the income from her efforts and paying 10 percent royalties to Inner
Freedom Ministry. Carol had completed the course, now being offered free for anyone
interested, and she had colored the accompanying mandalas. Not only that, she had typed the
original “Pot O’ Gold Course,” before computers were in vogue, and doing this had opened the
way for her to take a job with Ford Dynamics, that through the years has promoted her to Data
Manager, with retirement in five-years.
Therefore, when I made the offer, her eyes lit up and she immediately said, “Yes”! And
she added, “I’ve always wanted my website activities to include something of a spiritual nature,
and I love this program. It’s perfect!”
Hooray! As I’m following Divine Guidance, some doors are closing and appropriate
doors are opening. Thank You, God.
Along Those Lines
Speaking of doors closing and opening, while I was in Southern California, Adam Martin
contacted me and asked if I would perform his marriage ceremony. I needed to find out from my
church headquarters if I was licensed for Texas and was told that I am. So, again we will be
traveling to Southern Texas in the springtime to see the wonderful flowers in bloom, and also to
officiate at Adam and Waynette’s wedding; a privilege of the highest magnitude.
I also asked Adam how his plans were going for creating income, and he replied that it
wasn’t happening. After nine months, I felt the time was ripe to remind him of our plans to work
together for Inner Freedom Ministry, and he agreed. So this is another door that is opening, and
we will go through as God guides.
I’ve always felt that the ministry would be shared with Adam in some way, so we will see
how that unfolds. Thank You, God!
In God’s Divine Time
In the meantime, Jerry Pitre has committed to working with Inner Freedom Ministry, and
we both agree that his $6,000.00 two-year computer course, which he is getting free, is part of
God’s Divine Plan. And his time of release is also a matter of God’s Divine Timing. But it feels
good to know that Jerry is on board, and there is so much that he will be able to handle, once he
is released from prison.
It seemed such a part of God’s Divine Plan for Inner Freedom Ministry to originate from
the sanctuary of Rainbow-By-The-Sea II, with Van and I living upstairs and Jerry living in the
downstairs apartment as Website Manager and writing his book. However, in the due course of
time, I learned that God apparently had another Divine Plan for us, because the church-house
was sold.
In the past, I would have been extremely upset, but God had taken me through another
level of learning, and I was able to release that dream, realizing that I do not need a house, or
anything or anyone else to be my savior. In other words, it isn’t about “Life will be better when
….” Life is perfect now, and God, through Jesus, is my savior.
So, as this book concludes, we can see that the doors are opening and the fortunes are
being restored. And there is so much more to come. As I’ve always said, “The most productive
and rewarding years of my life are still to come.” As I approach seventy-years, this promise is
definitely a good feeling.