BOOK NINE: LIFE GOES ON: OFF THE ROAD

 

Book 9

LIFE GOES ON: OFF THE ROAD

Summer in Colorado

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 FORWARD TO SUCCESS:

Experiential Aids; The 40-Day Prosperity Plan; The Christmas Box; Wait for God’s Time; John Denver’s Story; Beginning the 40-Day Prosperity Plan; I am Become Rich; If You are so Smart, why Aren’t You Rich? It’s a Matter of Choice; I Lift up my Mind and Heart; A Blessing or a Curse? There’s not Enough; Legacy From Mom; Walking Through the Discomfort; I Release and Let Go; Our 40-Day Prosperity Plan was already blessing our lives; Happy Mother’s Day; Preparing for Angie’s Garage Sale; The Street Fair and the Carnival; It isn’t Over Until it’s Over; It’s Just Beginning; If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes; 

Chapter 2 THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN:

God is so Wonderful; “I am About to do a New Thing”; A Snail’s Pace; An English Tea Room; Ride the Dark Horse; “Get Off my Back”; All Things New; Secret of Life; God Within is my Entire Focus; The Reality of Me; A Sneak Preview; I’m Going Through it: Double-Jeopardy; My Mother’s Birthday; Another Interruption; An Obstacle-laden Maze

Chapter 3 ENJOY THE TRIP ALONG THE WAY:

Take Time to Smell the Roses; Back to Business; Up-Down and Update; Where There’s Smoke; But That’s not all; It Gets Worse; Sometimes it’s Better; That was Then, This is Now; We can Recreate Ourselves; 

Chapter 4 “I AM ABOUT TO DO A NEW THING”

My Reactions are Associated with my Perception of it; My Website isn’t Really a New-Thing; Neither is our Spending Plan; Keeping Cool; Joyanna’s Birthday; 

Chapter 5 WEATHERING THE STORM:

Consider the Options; Inner and Outer Storms; And the Rains Came, and Came, and Came; Another Kind of Storm: A Plethora of Words; Something Wonderful; My Home Church Family; The Next Big Step; Let’s Eat; My Aching Back; Attacks and Barriers 

Chapter 6 HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS:

Garage Sale Marathon; Still Celebrating; Mother Nature’s Unexpected Visits; Garage Sale Education; Different Kinds of Treasure; Getting Along Again; Freedom Day: 2020; Past Freedom Days; “…Filled With Love”; The White Fence Farm; A New Generation for Up-Down; Rascal, Cupid and Tweety; Another Visit from Mother Nature;

Chapter 7 GOD ENRICHES ALL OF MY EXPERIENCES:

Spending Plan Revisited; Extracurricular Summer Reading; Righteous Indignation; Tap Tap Tap: Someone to Take Care of me; Nothing Ventured; Nothing Gained; My Partnership with God; Needs are not the Issue; What I longed for and the Emotions Involved; A New Level of our Inner Adventure; The Sheep’s in the Fold; Partnership Agreement Between Joann and Van;

Chapter 8 TODAY IS THE DAY:

“See, Now is the Acceptable Time”; “I am an Explorer …”; Go and Explore the Land; Home Sweet Home; “God Doesn’t Screw me Over”; Get off my Back; A House Divided; “Manifestation is None of my Business”; Manifestation Begins in the Silence; Another Spending Plan Day; Answers and More Questions; It’s Almost Time; From This Moment On; Flat on my Back; Three Hours Later; While We’re Out; Oh No, Not Again; Whew; There Must be More; And There is More; The Long hot Summer; Count Your Blessings; What Will You Give? The Deep Hidden Things

Chapter 9 IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD!

A Cacophony of Morning Sounds; Louis Armstrong Makes my Day; I’m so proud of Joyce; Frenzy; A Season of Contrasts; Spirituality and Religion are not the Same; Time Will Tell; Inner Journey; Another Adventure and Another Challenge; Prosperity’s Ten Commandments; The Truth Will set you Free; Stop! Listen! Change! Life is a Journey; Lack of Circulation; Welcome Home; Breakfast; Sorting Things Out; 

Chapter 10 MOVING DAY!

Change; Making Plans; Inner and Outer Changes; Van Goes Internet; Another Prosperity Program; In the Middle of the Night; Countdown; Goodbye Angie; Lunch at Wendy’s; Dacona, Fort Lupton and Brighton; Goulash for Dinner; Happy Day Before Your Birthday; Hark! The Ice Cream Man Cometh; Great-Grandmother’s Brag Book; Impeccable Word and Impossible Dream; The Real Thing

Chapter 11 “EXPECT THE BEST AND YOU GET THE BEST”

Good News and Bad News; The Repair Saga; 

Chapter 12 IT’S NOT OVER YET:

       The Fire Conclusion; The Repair Saga Continues; What Would You Have us do? With a Plan in Mind; It’s about Money Matters; A Cookie Party; Another Giant Step; End of a Cycle; A Rascal Story; Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right; Get it Right; It’s Not Over, Yet! Why? For Answers to these Questions, read Book 10: Journey of Awareness.

CHAPTER 1

FORWARD TO SUCCESS

 

Experiential Aides

I know that God is moving me forward to success, because He is guiding me to experiential aides that push me from my comfort zone into a consciousness of unlimited opportunity, as He is assisting me in preparing my website for Inner Freedom.com.

Experiential Aides go beyond Visual Aides, because they are an experience, such as a book, movie, TV, or event. In this case, one book and two TV movies implemented my forward movement.

The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

While my husband, Van, and I were visiting our friend, Helena, in the new home, where she now lives with her husband, Lou, she was unpacking her boxes of fabric, which had been in storage, and arranging them on shelves that Lou had built in a closet. For Helena, having all this space for her previously stored precious fabrics truly exemplified Living in The Promised Land. When I arrived, she had already unpacked the first group of boxes and placed the stacks on shelves, arranged in piles of rainbow colors. Now, she gently unfolded each piece of fabric and refolded them to fit the expanded shelf size, as we chatted about her transformed life: from a tiny basement apartment to this three-bedroom home in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with views of mountains, valleys and a lake; a dream come true for Helena, who still enjoyed the free spirit of her former hippie days.

In the three months, since they had moved into Lou’s former home, their biggest challenge had been consolidating two households of belongings; and since they both loved to accumulate, this meant several sets of everything. As a result, Helena was planning a gigantic garage sale in the next month, and boxes were stacked in a corner of the living room with items already sorted and priced.

Remembering her previous money patterns, I asked, “What was the name of that book you read that made such a difference in your consciousness?”

The Abundance Book,” she replied, and added, “It was the 40-Day Prosperity Plan that made it work.” Again, she added, “If you’re interested, you can borrow it.”

I felt prompted to reply, “Yes, I think I’d like to read it. I need something to move me forward, now that I’m creating my website and facing the reality of putting my books out there.” 

I paused as Helena concentrated on arranging another stack of fabric, then I said, “You know, it’s one thing to write the books, and another to create the website; but it can be quite threatening to face criticism and rejection.” She nodded and I continued, “I’ve spent many years in therapy and recovery programs to overcome those Abandonment Issues from childhood, when my mom was temporarily placed in a mental hospital, suffering from her first schizophrenic attack, after the birth of my brother. I was adopted by my paternal grandparents, but it still left deep scars of feeling that it was all my fault and I was not wanted.” I added, “Now, I feel ready to move forward to success.”

The next day, I read aloud from The Abundance Book for Van’s benefit, and we decided that we would begin the 40-Day Prosperity Plan at the beginning of the next month.

The Christmas Box

That afternoon, we moved on to Van’s cousin, Angie’s, where we would park our 35 ft. Holiday Rambler RV in front of her house, while assisting with her various projects, as needed. But she had a commitment to dog-sit, Sammie, a brownish Labrador Retriever, and so she was periodically staying where he lived.

In the meantime, as Van and I were working on my website and preparing my books for marketing, the prospect of public access to them became more threatening. I was torn between the joy of knowing they were blessing lives, and the fear that no one would want to read them. It’s the old success-failure syndrome that causes authors to keep their books hidden away on a high shelf or buried in a drawer; in my case, filed in a computer folder.

I continually prayed to God to remove my negative projections, and I focussed on the positive aspects of the online adventure that would replace our RV adventures on wheels, as we took turns working on the computer.

As always, God answered my prayers. I didn’t realize, at first, that the story on It’s a Miracle, would be so impactful, but as it unfolded, those deeply buried feelings began to surface. A young man told of being given a story to write, though he wasn’t an author, about a child who died and the effect on her mother and other family members. While writing, he remembered that his baby sister had died, when he was quite young, and of once seeing his mother crying on the child’s birthday; but otherwise her death was never discussed.

When the book was finished, he presented a copy to his mother and siblings, which had profound results of recognition and relief from their buried emotions relating to the incident. And then he got phone calls from strangers who had read the book that had been shared by the family. 

Eventually a book store called for copies, but he explained that the book hadn’t been published, other than the few for his family members. But, he felt an urging to self-publish, and soon 9,000 copies of The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans were on the shelves and sold. And he decided to promote his book with tours to book stores. In time, the book was in demand in foreign countries and had to be printed in other languages.

Lives were being deeply touched by the story, and people with buried grief from the death of a baby were healed of their pain. 

When the author looked for the angel headstone, mentioned in his book, he learned that it had been broken off, and no longer existed, so he had a sculptor design and make one. It was installed at the gravesite, and soon people began pilgrimages to see the angel, and healings were happening. Other angels were erected in cemeteries around the country, as this quiet movement continued.

At the conclusion of the program, we got to see the family, including the mother whose life had been so deeply impacted by the baby’s death and by The Christmas Box

Wait for God’s Time

Needless to say, it was a touching story and I thought, “This is the way that I’ve always felt that my books would impact lives; and especially that their publication and distribution would be God guided.” 

I’d always believed that God was guiding my writings, but I feared that my own negativity would thwart the distribution, like the time I placed ads in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, with over a million readers each, and no one responded. I’d felt that my consciousness had repulsed the responses, but God is telling me that the timing wasn’t right; that I had willfully placed those ads, when my books weren’t even ready for publication. In truth, when it is God’s time, the results will be fruitful. 

I knew the truth of this guidance, but I used my former so-called failure to support not attempting to promote my books again. And I can feel God’s timing, now, as I prepare my website. And, I also know that God is preparing me for success.

John Denver’s Story

The same night, I watched a TV movie about John Denver, whom I believe will some day become part of our heritage, similar to Stephen Foster, whose songs exemplify his era. John Denver’s music, too, will live long after his time to record the spirit of the seventies, and also his dream to preserve the wildlife and beauties of nature that he cherished. But, it’s still too close to the time when he lived, and his shortcomings, such as alcohol addiction, are remembered, and held against him. Also, as the movie brought out, his music was by-passed by the younger generation, as new fads came and went; but in the long run, his music will become part of our heritage, long after the others have faded.

Because I have focused on patterns based on childhood issues, as a result of my own life, I was impressed that the movie emphasized the impact of his father’s attitudes on his life. John’s ongoing need for his dad’s approval and attention was finally fulfilled with their mutual interest in flying. However, this very cause of their bonding became the impetus for his heavy drinking, after his father died, at a time when John’s career was fading. And his downward trend was ended when his airplane crashed into the ocean near Monterey, just when he was beginning to get a positive hold on his life.

The impact of John’s story on me is that his first wife, and his love, Annie, was not  geared for his success, or the demands made on him as an icon of his time. All she wanted was her own home, kids and John there to share them; and, unfortunately, her ego didn’t allow her to see beyond her short-term needs to the long-term realities of his contribution to the world. As a result of these conflicts, their marriage ended, and he never fully recovered from that loss. 

Beginning the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

And I wonder, too, how my husband would adjust to the demands on our lives, if my books and ministry become popular. He is a non-social person, who is satisfied with a simple life, such as living in an RV, and his needs are limited.

On the other hand, I am more social and I miss that part of life, while accommodating his lifestyle. And I aspire to enjoying the good things in life that money can provide. For instance, while looking at the Denver Post newspaper, I noticed that the Champions on Ice will be in town, and so will skater Kurt Browning. How I would love to attend these productions, but our finances don’t even allow for the expense of living in an RV park, let alone the luxury of ice shows.

So the question is: do we continue to live his lifestyle, or mine? I’ve already told Van that I am no longer willing to live below poverty on our Social Security Retirement income, and an adjustment must be made, beginning with him developing a prosperity consciousness.

Yet, I know that if I am attracting these conditions in my life, then I, too, must need to change my consciousness. Thus we approached the first day of our Prosperity Program.

Each day we were to read a statement in The Abundance Book, by John Randolph Price, and meditate on it for fifteen-minutes, and then journal whatever came up to write.

“I am Become Rich”

DAY 1:   “God is lavish, unfailing Substance, the rich omnipresent substance of the universe. This all-providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me — the Reality of me.” 

This statement reminded me of a bible verse that I learned when I taught at Unity churches from Prosperity, a complex, basic book by Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity School of Christianity. In truth, he is one of the originators of most prosperity courses and books. For instance, it was this book that Catherine Ponder, America’s prosperity author, studied and simplified in her writings; and many modern money books were inspired by her philosophy.

My favorite teachings in Prosperity, are based upon the bible quote, “I am become rich, I have found me out substance,” so I wrote that down in my journal, followed by:

“Divine Substance is the unformed essence from which all is formed — GOD. God is All, God is Divine Substance, therefore I am Divine Substance. Money is formed from Divine Substance, therefore, I am money; just as I am Love, because God is Love, and if God is All, then I too, am Love. If it exists, it is God, for all is created from God, which is Divine Substance.

I AM ONE.” 

If You are so Smart, why Aren’t You Rich?

I often wonder why it is that I’m still not fulfilling my idea of wealthy, having studied and taught and written these prosperity laws. And my answer is: Because the patterns, based on childhood issues, are stronger and more predominant. So they must be eliminated; and that has been my journey throughout the years, and which I have recorded in many of my writings.

But, now it’s time to take my focus from the cause and results, and concentrate on the Prosperity Laws, without those blocks and limitations from the past.

One way is to follow the teachings: Be thankful for what I have. Realize that I am already living in The Promised Land.

A friend recently said, “Joyanna, you and Van are living your dream, traveling around the country in your RV. Many people dream of the day they can do that.”

It’s a Matter of Choice

Most of the time, as we traveled, I felt lack, because I wasn’t able to do all the things that I wanted, such as Disney World in Florida. But, we did get to go to Disneyworld’s Epcot Center, which I chose, instead, because I’d already been to Disneyland in California so many times. It was a matter of choice. And we also toured Kennedy Space Center, which was a matter of choice.

Like I always say, “The difference between us and a millionaire is a few 0’s, and they too, have to make choices about how they spend their money.” It’s a consciousness thing.

We also have the choice of how we look at things; our perspective. I can see our travels as coming from lack, or I can acknowledge that God did provide for us all along the way. Yes, we had RV repairs that wiped out our finances, but that’s true of any lifestyle, unless one can change the patterns that set up the underearning-overspending syndrome. Again, it’s a matter of choice, whether to stay locked into that pattern, or change it. 

And that’s why we are embarking on this new 40-day adventure.

I Lift up my Mind and Heart

DAY 2:  “I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my good.”

This affirmation reminds me of another favorite bible verse: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

I recognize and see abundance, rather than lack, all around me by changing my attitude and thinking about it. For instance, we are parking in front of Van’s cousin, Angie’s home in a small town north of Denver. She has an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that manifests as buying, mostly at auctions, which results in hoarding and holding onto her acquisitions. Therefore, her home and yard are filled with her purchases, all with an ultimate purpose in her mind that never materializes, because of her OCD. In truth, she is a Visionary, because, in her mind, she sees the ultimate use of all these purchases; however the disease does not allow her to let go of them.

The city sees this as a problem, because her abundance has overflowed into the front yard, and they have requested that she get rid of the so-called junk. This is easier said than done, for one with OCD, but she has made a supreme effort, and the front yard is almost cleared. Of course, the back yard is even more overflowing, despite the fact that she did get rid of a lot.

As I’m developing my Promised Land consciousness, I see Angie’s abundance as Living in The Promised Land. She has everything; it’s just a matter of finding it, which she usually does. For instance, she needed an extension cord to hook up her phone for us to use for our email. She finally found enough cord to reach out to the porch, because her house is too crowded with additional purchases.

Further proof of her living in The Promised Land:  her limited finances don’t cover her living expenses and home repairs, so she supplements by dog-sitting. This gives her their companionship, without the additional burden of buying their food and other expenses. And she has access to the owner’s pickup truck, which she can use to haul things from her home to the mountain cabin or from the auction to her home.    

It’s all a matter of how you look at things: abundance or lack; and whichever viewpoint 

attracts more of the same. So why not see abundance?

A Blessing or a Curse?

At times, I tend to see our lifestyle as coming from lack, because we must utilize the free parking at Wal-Mart and truck stops, as well as in front of family and friend’s homes. Yet, the truth is that we could not afford this lifestyle on our Social Security Retirement, if we had to pay to stay in RV parks. So, I must see the blessings, rather than the curse; and realize that we also get to visit with the people we want to see, which we couldn’t do, if we had to pay for air fair, hotels, meals and other costs. 

Often, such as at Angie’s or Dottie’s, and other places, we are invited to plug into their electricity and water, and we can check our email on their phone lines, which are additional blessings.

There’s not Enough

So, on Day 2, I am already learning to lift up my mind and heart into a more positive consciousness. For instance, when Van and I sat down to talk about the affirmation, I had an insight, which I shared with him:

“I’ve noticed that you will go without, so that there’s enough for me, such as our OPC-3 again running out, or the bottled water. You seem to have a pattern of giving up things, so that I (or someone else) have enough. Is this another pattern from your childhood; like there wasn’t enough to eat, so you were usually hungry?”

He nodded, and we discussed the devastating effect of this pattern in his life. I suggested that he change that pattern of lack to “There’s an abundance for me and everyone else.”

I could feel the energies shift within him, as the discussion progressed, and he wrote in his Daily Journal, “I recognize prosperity, and that it comes from within.” Much simpler than my lengthy treatise and probably just as effective. But the important part is that patterns are being changed.

Legacy from Mom

I find it interesting that I’d been in the process of handling the details for the inheritance from my mother, for over a month, but it wasn’t until Day Two that Angie picked up our mail, on her trip to the mountain cabin, and brought the Death Certificate, which had been mailed by my cousin, Marilyn (in Oregon), who was Mom’s executor, which must accompany the forms, in order to receive my inheritance.

Walking Through the Discomfort

When my mother died, I knew that I must contact the IOF (Foresters), to file a claim for the small legacy that I would receive from a life insurance policy that her husband had taken out. Since he’d died, I became the beneficiary, and now I must fill out the forms. I don’t know why this is such an ordeal, but I made several attempts, without success. Finally I called the IOF and asked a clerk to walk me through the form, which she gladly did. 

Now, with the forms filled and the Death Certificate in hand, I invited Van and Sammie (the dog) to walk with me the several blocks to the bank, where I had a copy made of the Death Certificate, and then to the post office, where I mailed the letter to the IOF.

This may seem to be a simple process, but sending in these forms meant an acknow- ledgment that my mother was no longer alive; and despite the fact that I had accepted this fact,  I was actually relieved that she no longer had to suffer from the effects of schizophrenia, although my inner child (Joanie) still felt the sadness and loss, she needed the finality evidenced by the Death Certificate.

Disbursement of my Legacy

I’d already committed a reimbursement to Marilyn, for handling Mom’s affairs, and I intended to tithe to our church, where I receive so many blessings, but have had limited funds to give back. And I’d offered to pay $500.00 for the used car that Van and I would be using, while settled in Colorado.

Somehow, in my mind, I thought I would still have a larger sum for financing my website, but the amount had rapidly dwindled, and I realized that the underearning pattern was still in effect, and the remainder would not go very far. Nevertheless, I was thankful for the legacy, as I affirmed that God is the Source of my Supply.

I Release and Let Go

In the meantime, since we’re staying at Angie’s, we decided that we wouldn’t need the car, at this time, because we would drive Freedom and stay overnight, when visiting Dottie. Actually, I had thought that having the car would facilitate Dottie’s transportation problems, too, while we stayed there, which no longer would happen, with us at Angie’s. And, as life would have it, Steve bought the car, and now Dottie has fulltime transportation. In other words, my willingness to let go, released the car to fulfill its purpose, and would allow me to use the legacy from my mom for the website expenses, as they needed.

Our 40-Day Prosperity Plan was Already Blessing our Lives

Our 40-Day Prosperity Plan was already blessing our lives, and would continue to do so for the remainder of the time. For instance, when we returned to Denver to attend the seminar, we were allowed to stay in Freedom on the Marriott parking lot, while enjoying the facilities and ambiance of this luxury hotel, because Dottie and Steve were staying at the hotel, during the seminar. 

Furthermore, our lives were enhanced by the priceless information given by the top representative from company headquarters. His simplistic, back to basics approach gave us all a needed boost for moving forward with our business. 

Happy Mother’s Day

And the next day, after the seminar was over, since Dottie and Steve had increased their prosperity consciousness by staying at the hotel an extra day, they invited us to spend time with them, by the pool. 

Because they are on the Leadership Team for Denver, their involvement in preparing, MCing, and otherwise facilitating the event, had been demanding and time-consuming, so I suggested to Dottie that the time we’d spend together would be my Mother’s Day celebration. She was relieved not to have another need to fulfill, and our visit by the pool, and dip in the hot tub, was enough additional activity for this busy weekend.

I was happy for a leisurely time to talk about our future business plans, but Dottie’s inner child wanted to play, so we suited up (swimming suit) to combine business and pleasure poolside, concluding with a game of cards.

Suddenly it was time to leave, and we said our temporary goodbyes and went our separate ways; though not too far away from each other.

Preparing for Angie’s Garage Sale

For the next few weeks, our focus was preparing for Angie’s garage sale, which meant cleaning and preparing the items that she was willing to release. But mostly, it meant supporting the process she was going through in order for this to happen. 

As I said, “I want to be supportive, but not infringing on your privacy.” 

She replied, “Don’t worry, if you put something out, don’t be surprised if I move it back into the yard.”

At times this scenario became frustrating, but I kept remembering that the healing process, for Angie, was taking place on an inner level. Anything sold was an additional bonus.  Van and I went through our own process, as our bodies ached from the unused muscles screaming in protest as their rusty gears were called upon for tasks above and beyond their retirement mode. But, I figured it was more fun, and far less expensive, than a bodyworks gym. 

The final thrust for the weekend involved Angie disappearing for the day, while we cleared piles of lumber and other cherished items for storage space. It’s a good thing, because she arrived with a rental truck full of stuff from her storage unit, which she was attempting to empty, at the garage sale, in order to save the expense. 

As it turned out, we didn’t have time to unload the truck, until the next day. In the meantime, her mom, (Van’s Aunt) arrived, like the cavalry to the rescue, on Friday afternoon, and began pricing. But she was in such overwhelm from the vast array of stuff, that she finally said, “Let’s go get something to eat.”

Food is always my answer to nurturing, and, at this point, I definitely needed lots. The rain had set us back several days, and the last minute push had become a “bridge too far,” as Angie and Van had hastily set up makeshift tables (from boards and sawhorses in her backyard), Aunt Betsy patiently priced, and I desperately grabbed more items from the backyard, while eyeing the rental truck parked in front.

When we returned, Van moved Freedom from the front of the house, and we invited  his aunt to spend the night on our couch, then chatted awhile.

The Street Fair and the Carnival

Angie had planned the garage sale to coincide with the Town Fair, and breakfast would be served at the Lion’s Club, across the street from her house; a perfect location. But, the festivities began at 7:00 a.m., and we had a mountain of preparation, so we all got up and went outside into the sunny day, just as the first customers began milling through the aisles and into the colorful blue and white tent that Angie had set up in the driveway, at the beginning of our project. It’s a good thing, too, because the heavy rain would have been a worse disaster. I’d already had to clean many items several times, to remove the muddy rain splatters.

The sight looked like a carnival, as the day progressed and hundreds of people streamed through her yard. Angie’s sister and brother-in-law arrived early to help out, and we were all kept busier than a cat on a hot tin roof, answering questions, looking for requested items, and otherwise doing what needed to be done. 

For instance, Van and Angie unloaded the truck, and her aunt,“the lady in the apron,” affixed a price, as people paid her, because there was no way she could have gotten everything priced. But, no one seemed to mind the chaos, and it was all part of the day’s festivities. 

It isn’t Over Until it’s Over

When it was all over, and the money counted, Angie had over $600.00, at giveaway prices; but best of all, the yard had been cleared of most of the big furniture and much of the other items.

Now, the hard part began: getting rid of the remainder of her stuff. The family had returned to their homes, Van was sleeping in, and Angie and I were in overwhelm, as we surveyed the scene the next morning; and the next morning; and the next. Gradually, we took down the tables, moved the boxes to the tent, and cleared the front yard in order to appease the city’s demand for keeping the front yard presentable.

But it isn’t that we weren’t doing anything: Angie had been making phone inquiries for someone to collect the stuff for a Thrift Store, and finally made arrangements with the Vietnam Veterans to come on Thursday. In the meantime, she was sorting through the stuff she wanted to keep, while also dealing with her emotions over the prospect of letting go. It was not an easy matter, and she spent much time going in circles.

The day the Vietnam Veterans truck arrived, we both cringed, as the driver tossed boxes onto the back, then got inside and piled them on top of each other, while we could hear the tinkle and crunch of the precious glassware that we had lovingly handled, cleaned and packed throughout the process. It was a nightmare for us both, each in our own way, and when it was over and the truck pulled away, we retreated to nurture our inner kids.

While I prepared lunch, mine (Joanie by name) was reliving the Loss Factor of my Abandonment Syndrome, as I reminded her “that was then; this is now.” I reiterated the victory and healing process of Angie’s being able to release this stuff, and I reminded her that this is a stepping stone for her to move forward with her life.

Of course, the immediate forward movement for Angie would be to get rid of the rest of the stuff in her yard and house, and our commitment, while remaining here, would be to support that process.

It’s Just Beginning

But, with the garage sale over, I must also move forward by getting my website completed and online, and oftentimes the process reminded me of Angie’s backyard, as I sifted through old computer files of my books, in varying stages of incompletions; projects begun and not finished. Now, it was time to uncover and take them out for air; either finishing, or at least featuring them in the website. Thus, when someone ordered one, I’d be forced to complete and send it to the customer.

All in all, it was exciting, as Van and I moved forward; this time not on wheels. Like Angie’s backyard, every time I’d accomplish one thing, another would appear. For instance, I found several books that I’d forgotten I’d written; buried treasure, just like uncovering the treasures that Angie had found and stored in her backyard. And the correlation between the two projects was an uncanny experiential aide of my own emotional process. 

I’d set the date of June 11th to go online, and now I was moving forward with that goal in mind, much like preparing for the garage sale. And the closer I got, the more uncomfortable I became. Soon I would be revealing myself, and my works, to anyone who chose to visit my website and order the books.

I could relate with Angie’s feelings about having her privacy invaded, as the city mandated that she get rid of her stuff. I, too, felt that having my books, mostly revealing my inner-self, exposed to the world would be a massive invasion of privacy. Yet, I must then ask, “Why do I do it?”

The answer: “because I have to. It’s in me to do.” In all honesty the compulsion to write is as much an obsession as Angie’s compulsion to buy and keep things; each serves some part of ourselves, for whatever reason, either to compensate for childhood issues, or to perpetuate a pattern. Only time would tell how it would all turn out for us both, and we were both moving forward toward our deadlines; or should I say “our coming-to-life-lines?”

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

Of course, throughout all of these activities, Van and I were daily working on our 40-Day Prosperity Plan, and were moving into new levels of consciousness. We were discovering that the outer prosperity manifestation was only part of the overall process. It’s the inner transitions that make the difference, because if nothing changes, nothing changes. 

They say that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, so the same could be said for our 40-day Prosperity Plan: if we don’t change on the inner, then there is no reason to expect change on the outer. 

In any event, we were in transition, each in our own way, and we were feeling and experiencing the inner changes. Consequently, we were noticing outer changes, too. It’s a subtle process, but definitely God-Guided, and one day I decided to reread the letters of testimonial that John Randolph Price had included in The Abundance Book. Amazingly, each spoke of the inner changes, as well as the outer manifestations. Aha! This is why the 40-Day Prosperity Plan works. It’s the inner changes that precede the outer manifestations.

This reminds me of the title of a chapter, Realization Precedes Manifestation, in Charles Fillmore’s books, Prosperity. In other words, it must become real on the inner, before it appears on the outer, and this isn’t going to happen, if we don’t do something different; change the inner thinking that causes the negative patterns to perpetuate. I’ve read, and even taught, Prosperity, and I’ve written my own books on the subject, and presented workshops, but the underlying causes of the patterns had not, yet, fully changed.

Not only that, but I’m only one person in this partnership, and Van’s energies have a great impact on our manifestations, too. So, the fact that we are both doing this program for forty days greatly enhances the combined energies, therefore, we can expect manifold blessings. And we do, as described in the next chapter. 

Chapter 2

RESTORING “THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN”

God is so Wonderful

God is so wonderful! During the weeks before and after the garage sale, I didn’t have time to write, but I did my daily 40-Day Prosperity Plan. Many of the days were hot, which is not conducive to me writing, because of pressure in my head; no doubt from the heat causing swelling. But, I’d been guided to spend this day at my computer to update my latest book. As God would have it, though we were expecting another 92-degree day, relieved only by two fans contributed by Angie, I awoke to a cloudy, coolish morning, and rejoiced with great glee, as I sat down to my computer.

I knew this would be a difficult chapter, because I’d already been given glimpses, while working on The Plan, as the title leaped out from Day 8: “My consciousness of the Spirit within me, as my unlimited Source is the Divine Power to restore the years the locusts have eaten, to make all things new, to lift me up to the High Road of abundant prosperity. This awareness, understanding and knowledge of Spirit appears as every visible form and experience that I could possibly desire.”

Of course, there had already been seven days of previous consciousness-building to reach this affirmation the first time, and this third reading of the ten Daily Affirmations, which were repeated four times, throughout the forty days. 

The first time through, I focused on other aspects of this affirmation, such as “awareness, understanding, and knowledge” looking up each in the dictionary and finally concluding “Thank You, God, for my life just as it is, for it is all part of Your Divine Plan for my life. Each day is part of the preparation of your Divine Plan for me: first my healing process, then Van’s, and others whom You bring into my life, as You Guide. All things are for good, even the seeming negative experiences. It’s all in Divine Order to fulfill Your Divine Plan.”

I noted, in my journal, that Van and I had worked on my website, preparing the webpage with titles of Transformation: a Twelve-fold Process, and adding colored letters and frame to coordinate with the assigned color of each Power (based on Charles Fillmore’s Twelve Powers of Man concept). I noted, “Looks good; came to life,” meaning the titles, no doubt, but also applying to Van and me, as we learned new functions for the website. 

I also noted, “Still having money aspects of the website to work out, such as ordering.” 

This remained a mystery throughout the process, until the third week; then it occurred to me to have all inquiries, feedback and orders sent to my website e-mail address, at first, assuming this would give us time to work out the process. Then, when we knew more about what we’re doing, we would turn the order-filling to our friend, Joyce, who had agreed to handle that project for a percentage of the income. But, for now, this process was in limbo, while we both adjusted our consciousness to accommodate the new level of prosperity.

The second time through the Affirmation, I was excited about the prospect of having the “years the locusts have eaten” restored, because I had seen signs that the times are ripe for moving forward with Inner Freedom Ministry website, indicated by the movie Jesus, and Shirley MacLaine’s appearance on TV to promote her newest book. I’d been wondering what happened to her, and had been thrilled to recently discover her website. Now, I’m assuming that she’s being guided to move forward, and I see this as an indication that people, again, will be receptive to the metaphysical approach, which is also reflected in my books.

I wrote in my journal, “Watch for more spiritual sightings. The Spiritual Awakening is upon us. Yeah! And Inner Freedom Ministry is part of it. I am ready.”

“I am About to do a New Thing”

I was also guided to my Daily Spiritual Reading, which reminded me that I release the past and live in the present moment, as it read, “I am creating bright, new memories that will bless me for a lifetime.

“Free of the past, I am ready for new experiences. If I have been wanting to start a new project or pursue a dream, now is the time to make plans and get started.” It reminded me that God will answer any questions and show me the way. Just the words I needed to move forward with my website. 

The bible quoted one of my favorites: “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

A Snail’s Pace

Needless to say, I was getting excited. I could feel it happening: a new thing was upon me. But I had lots more preparation, and most of it required Van’s assistance. However, he was moving at his own pace, and sometimes it was a snail’s pace, as Little Ralph (his inner child) processed through his recovery. 

For instance, he did help with Angie’s garage sale, but not with whole-hearted commitment or enthusiasm; mostly he stood around and watched it all happen, helping as needed. But, he was doing the 40-Day Plan, and inner changes were in progress.

Obviously, he was resistant to lifting and moving the heavy stuff, but he did help carry some of the tables to the backyard.

In the past, during Little Ralph’s recovery, Van became aware of a childhood issue that had affected nearly everything he did. It seems that when he was around ten-years-old his dad rented a basement apartment for the family, but no one told Little Ralph that part of the agreement was his mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow; it was simply something he was expected to do. Then, one day he heard his stepmother, Ruth, telling someone about the arrangement.

The news had an adverse effect on him, with an attitude that he didn’t get to vote; it was just expected, and thus was born his 3-R’s: resistance, resentment and rebellion. At least, I thought that was the origin. 

But the day that Van helped move the tables, another revelation occurred. Somehow, he had twisted his back, which launched a stiff back and inability to lift anything else, and he held himself rigid to alleviate the pain. 

An English Tea Room

However, that wasn’t the main part of the day’s revelations. Apparently his step-sister was in the area visiting her aunt and they were planning to have lunch with Angie and her mom. To my surprise, in the middle of clearing the yard, after the garage sale, Angie announced that we were invited to lunch, which would be at 1:00 p.m. that day. 

We shifted gears from heavy-duty lifting, to changing clothes and riding with Angie to The House of Windsor, an English tea room. 

Van was delighted to see his sister, and they greeted with a warm hug, and he sat next to her and chatted throughout lunch. In the meantime, I sat across from his aunt and kept quiet, other than a few words with her about the food. Angie’s sister, sat between Van and me, and the aunts sat across from us and his sister sat at the head of the table, as guest-of-honor.

This seating arrangement is important, because it facilitated the conversation between Van and his visiting aunt. I happened to tune into part of it, but it wasn’t until the return home that I heard the whole story, as Little Ralph, again, unfolded the events, with descriptive details and deep feelings.

Ride the Dark Horse

It seems that another life-changing incident had happened when Little Ralph was around ten. He had been invited to this aunt’s (his stepmother’s, sister), for the weekend. When he got there, and he saw the horse, he wanted to ride, but his uncle (her husband) insisted that he first had to apply water-proofing (like creosote), to the cinder-block foundation under their new house, which meant standing in a ditch around the foundation blocks. 

Little Ralph painted and painted, until lunch time, but he was nowhere near finished. So, he returned and painted awhile longer, but soon he tired and didn’t finish. Of course, this meant that he couldn’t ride the horse, but, at this point, he didn’t care. He was tired, and it was nearing time to return home, and he knew he wouldn’t have time to ride the horse, anyway.

Fortunately, his aunt rescued him by insisting that he be allowed to ride the horse, which fulfilled his expectations. But the deed was done, and the pattern was established; something like mowing the lawn and shoveling snow, only with a different twist: In order to have the pleasure, there must be the pain. In other words, there’s always the price to pay, and it may not be worth the effort. So, why bother in the first place? Expectations only cause disappointment. With this lesson learned, the passive-aggressive pattern was established: promise, or pretend, to give them what they want, but don’t do it; and with it came the withholding, don’t give them what they want pattern. And, possibly a rescue syndrome, such as not having to do the required work, and still getting the desired payoff; riding the horse. 

But, as Van said, “It was an unfair deal from the start, because none of it was part of being there for the weekend. And then, I find myself working all day for a half-hour ride.”

However, Little Ralph missed a valuable point to the lesson: Yes, there is a price to pay; we don’t get something for nothing. And the truth is that he did enjoy riding the horse. So, maybe his inner child needs to grow up by recognizing this fact. For instance, while staying here, at Angie’s, it would be reasonable for him to help with the projects, rather than indulging in his “I don’t want to do it” syndrome.

“Get Off my Back”

When I first heard the story, I immediately tied it in with Van’s aching back, because, again, Little Ralph was doing something he didn’t want to do: moving heavy stuff; and for a kid, illness or an aching back, is one way to get out of the undesirable task, which they usually learn from adults.

Because Van was suffering, and I always rely on determining the cause behind the pain, I hauled out Louise Hay’s Healing Your Body booklet and looked under “Back.” Sure enough, the answer was there, but first I asked Van, “Is the pain in your upper, lower, or middle back?”

“Middle.”

I read: “Guilt. Stuck in all that ‘stuff’ back there. Get off my back.” 

I’m not sure if there’s any guilt associated with his experience, but he surely had a lot of his life tied-up in that event from “back there,” and it impacted everything he ever did, so that he was never free to live in the Present Moment. But, rather, he relived the episode of having to apply the weather protection, before he could ride the horse; and feeling that he probably wouldn’t get to anyway.

  And I’m sure that “get off my back,” is a valid description of his inner message, whenever asked to do something he doesn’t want to do.

The next morning, the words that came through me to speak to him, were from a Higher Source, as I spoke of his childhood issues associated with the incident at his aunt’s, and the pattern that had caused his back pain. Unfortunately, neither of us remembers exactly what I said, though they covered what I’ve written here, and they definitely had an impact on Little Ralph, and added to his inner healing process. However, his back still hurt, and he still did not indulge in any more lifting for several weeks. However, he did continue to work on my website, pushing through obstacles that came up, such as not knowing how to do a given project, and his attitude had improved immensely, without the withholding associated with “get off my back.”

All Things New

The third time I approached this Affirmation, I focused on the message of “all things new,” appearing as “every visible form and experience that I could possibly desire.” And I entered into a deeper realization, as I wrote: “Thank You, God, that the restoration is now manifesting as Inner Freedom Ministry website, using all of me, including my books and the God-given gifts that are mine, as God guides, and in His perfect Time.” 

I could now see that all the years of writing those books, and the dream that I had been given for them ministering to those who suffered, would be fulfilled via this website. I could see God’s Perfect Plan for good now manifesting and I felt a warm glow of gratitude, as an awareness of God’s wonderfulness engulfed me. Truly the “years the locust has eaten” are being

restored.

Later, when Van made his appearance, thinking about his recent traumatized years (since his layoff and enforced retirement, as a programmer/analyst from Fujitsu Systems of America, when they down-sized, I asked, “How do you see ‘the years the locust have eaten’ manifesting for you?”

Of course, I expected some profound response, but he seldom verbalizes his deeper thoughts, and I should have known better. Instead, he replied, “Doing what we want to do.” 

In my mind, especially after my recent great moment of enlightenment, this answer fell into the same category as “Being Happy,” which is his usual response to such thought-provoking questions. And usually I prod for further input, but this time, taking into consideration his recent experience about not being able to do what he wanted to do, which surfaced during the discussion of water-proofing the cinder-block foundation, I decided to let it pass. But, I did ask, “What would you have been doing, had it been what you wanted to do?” 

“Oh, I guess I pretty much did what I wanted to do at the time,” he responded.

“Well, maybe Adult Ralph felt that way, but I’ll bet Little Ralph had other opinions on the subject, and this process is for his benefit. So what do you think would have been more to your liking?”

“I guess being more financially independent would have been good,” Adult Ralph finally replied, without Little Ralph getting his two-bits-worth in.

We discussed the matter more, and finally concluded that our present “wants” would be money available to fulfill our needs and desires, such as traveling and paying for the repair bills; or buying a newer RV with less breakdowns and repairs; but that is a matter of consciousness, and hopefully we were changing some of those patterns. We both agreed that our ongoing good health was a high priority, and I added that having money to continue buying our own products, for our health needs would be helpful.

Van commented, “Now, more options are becoming available.”

I questioned, What do you mean?”

And he replied, “As a result of getting your website online, and your books being read by more people.”

That short communication reassured me that he truly was now committed to this project, and I rejoiced that our teamwork, part of my longtime dream, was beginning to happen, although not exactly as I had imagined. Yet, maybe, someday we would be working together presenting workshops about our experiences. Only God knows His Divine Plan for our lives.

Secret of Life

Day 29 referred to the ninth day affirmation, which spoke of the Secret of Life: “God within me is my total fulfillment.” Of course, it’s much more complex, but bottom-lines as, “I am now aware of the Creative Energy, as It pours forth. I am in the flow.”

And reading from another part of his book, I gleaned: MONEY is: My Own Natural Energy Yield, using the acronyms. Or, as in my words: “My own God Substance harvest.” Then, based on Mr. Price’s words, I wrote: I AM MONEY, and waited for lightning to strike me dead for such blasphemous words, but it didn’t, because it’s true: God is All, therefore God is also money; and God is me, so I AM MONEY.

Love Reaches Out and Reaches In 

As this consciousness of Oneness continued, I kept working on my website, and with Van’s help, I kept adding more books that I unearthed, which meant more duplication of covers, on his part.

Somewhere, in the archives of my writings, I found several books relating to the family; my family in particular, and my mind had cleared enough to complete one and rename the other. Saying ‘Yes’ to the Family became Love Reaches Out and Reaches In, and incorporated writings about love and family from the Freedomers inside prison, and family and friends from the outside; each reaching out and reaching in.

God Within is my Entire Focus

“I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance within me,” from Day 30, reminded me of my personal encounter with John Randolph Price, and I wondered why I hadn’t mentioned it sooner. But this time seemed right to tell the story of my crusade, when traveling through central Texas, when I searched for him at Guadalupe Ranch, my last known location of his Quartus Foundation. 

I was disappointed to learn that this five-star ranch, which had recently been purchased by new owners, was no longer his headquarters, but I did find out that the Unity church in Boerne might be able to give me some help. So, on Sunday I arrived at the church and discovered that the Sunday sermon would be presented by none other than Guest Speaker, John Randolph Price, with his wife, Jan, leading the meditation.

You see, my focus was on God, as I followed through on my crusade; and God guided me to the right time and place. Both John and Jan are the epitome of gentility and sincerity, and their presentations that Sunday left me floating out of the church on high energies. I could certainly relate to his statement in The Abundance Book, “People are the energy of money, and we share ourselves and our essence with them.” 

While at the church, I purchased his latest book, Living a Life of Joy, and continued to bask in his loving energies, as we traveled onward through Texas.

Now, with ten more days left of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan, I again basked in his loving, and also wise energies, as Van and I moved through the necessary changes on our inner journey, while preparing for the new adventure: Inner Freedom Ministry website on-line.

The Reality of Me

“God is lavish, unfailing Abundance, the rich omnipresent substance of the universe. This all-providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me — the Reality of me.”

 

Approaching Day 31 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan,  in The Abundance Book, meant beginning again, with Day One. This fourth time through the Statements of Prosperity, I felt guided to enter each one on the computer, and allow the words of my meditation process to write through me. 

I’d already begun the day by reading the June Unity Magazine, and later, when I turned to Day One, the words of an article flashed through my mind; rather, I should say that the essence of the article imprinted my mind, as I contemplated the main focus of the above words. 

Each day, for 31 days, the Statements of Principle enforced the same idea: Oneness, and the realization that God is the Source. And that’s why the article, My Awakening to God, by JD Bloom, the senior director of Development at Unity School of Christianity, spoke to my heart, mind and soul.

He wrote of a mystical experience, while attending a spiritual retreat at Estes Park, in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve been there, and I’ve experienced his description of an aspen grove, like he describes, and I especially revel in the memory of autumn’s glorious golden groves covering the mountains. But, I didn’t know the amazing phenomenon that was explained by his tour guide, while stopped for a break, on their straight up ascent of a very steep mountain. 

The guide said that all the individual aspen trees were connected together through a common root system, and that despite their appearance of separation, in reality they were one living organism. 

The author went on to explain that he experienced an awakening to the reality of God in our lives, and of his realization of the interrelatedness and interconnectedness of each individual person with each other, and with God, which, he recognized, is the nature of our spiritual reality.

There, I’ve said it! This is the essence of the article, and it is essence of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan: God is the Source, and we are all one with/as God; therefore, there is no separation between us and all that God is. That doesn’t mean that we are the totality of God, but we are like a droplet of ocean water compared to the ocean; we contain within us the essence of the ocean, but we are not the ocean. 

There are those with limited thinking and perception, who would consider these words blasphemous, but Truth speaks for itself, and stands throughout the ages. The conflict between Truth and some people’s reality, based on belief systems, was again brought home when I watched a made-for-TV version of Inherit the Wind, with Jack Lemmon playing the role made famous by Spencer Tracy, of the defense attorney, and George C. Scott replacing Fredrick March, as the prosecuting attorney. The story, which takes place in the early 1900’s, is based on a school teacher’s audacity of teaching the Darwin theory of evolution, and his being taken to trial for his blasphemous teachings, which contradicted the biblical account of creation.

The riveting story portrays the conflict between bigotry versus Truth, and like Fredrick March, George C. Scott’s enactment of the character conveys his zealousness for the letter of the law (bible) finally brought him to a pinnacle of emotion, and he dropped dead from a heart attack. 

 

Here we go Again!

As I’m rapidly approaching the time to take my Inner Freedom Ministry website on-line, my inner anxieties are surfacing and must be recognized, healed and released. Not that I haven’t dealt with them before, but here we go again on another level, because this healing process is cyclic and spherical, like a vortex, as we spiral inward toward the soul, according to psychiatrist Carl Jung.

Although I am aware of the reality of me, at-one-with-God, there is still that part of me that fears the criticism and rejection of people. Therefore, it has felt easier and safer to keep my written works hidden. So, of course, it figures that these feelings must be faced and permanently released, as part of my 40-Day Prosperity Plan; otherwise, people will stay away from my website, as if an invisible wall of energy repelled them.

On the other hand, as I’ve often said, in the past, when confronted with the need to overcome a fear that would, otherwise, keep me from attending a fearful event, such as speaking in public, I would say, “I’m going, even if it’s on a stretcher,” to convince my subconscious and ego that I will not give in to my fears. And I have done it!

But, as time goes by, I’ve retreated more into myself, allowing Van’s non-social energies to dictate my lifestyle; thankful for not having to talk with people, or even having a phone for the first year, and then one that cuts out or has a weak signal. All excuses for not prolonging conversations that could become critical or threatening; concluding in rejection; and, of course, this all reverts to my childhood Abandonment Syndrome.

So, the question becomes: do I accept myself, as I am, with the fears, and succumb to them, hiding my light under a bushel? Or do I push through the discomfort, with God’s guidance, and move to a higher level of living? 

Needless to say, for me, the answer is to push through the discomfort, or do it anyway. In any event, I’m deciding for God’s presence and His guiding me to the 40-Day Prosperity Plan, during this process. And I appreciate being able to share this experience with you, as I’m going through it.

I’m Going Through it

When I started this chapter, I had no idea that I was “going through it” as deeply as I am, but when I began sharing my feelings with Van, I knew that I was in trouble, emotionally, and that it would be healing for me to talk about it, and then write out my feelings.

Double-jeopardy

I explained that the phone ringing earlier this morning had jangled my head, and I hadn’t fully recovered, as I reminded him that Angie had suggested we hook up a phone that she provided, so we could use it for local calls, rather than the cellular phone, which often cuts out, due to the signal changes in this area. So, of course, I’m not used to the jangling sound of a phone shattering the quietness. 

Furthermore, it was Van’s aunt wanting to talk with Angie, who wasn’t awake, as yet, and I had been given the responsibility of telling her to call her mom about an important message. Now, it was double-jeopardy: the Responsibility Factor of giving Angie an important message, and the fear of rejection, if I forgot. Also, I was nervous about the possibility of her being upset over the changes I had made in the backyard, while she was gone, which was creating an internal anxiety for me. 

It’s about this point in our travels, when I usually decide it’s time to move on; but I knew this was all part of the preparation for putting my website on-line, and a result of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan, so I must push through the discomfort and move forward. Even as I’m writing, I feel my throat tightening and a familiar lightheadedness, signaling that I am going through an emotional trauma.

Added to the morning’s anxiety, I had previously agreed to meet with a lady that I had met at the garage sale, who was now taking the OPC-3 for her skin condition. As the time approached, my physical conditions increased to almost unbearable discomfort, and I knew that the only way out was through. The concern is that I will say or do something that will cause the person’s rejection or emotional flare-up, which goes back to my mother’s behavior, caused by mental illness, when I was a child; and by other family members unleashing their wrath, through- out my lifetime. 

The dysfunctionalism has caused deep emotional scars and reactions, which are part of me, but not the Reality of me and my assignment is to move beyond their impact.

Once I had discussed these feelings with Van, and had successfully met with the customer, I knew that I must write them out, in order to move through to the other side of the emotional and physical reactions. And then it’s simply a matter of asking God to remove them, and thanking Him in advance for the release from bondage.

This day seemed the time for me to take the plunge, because I’d also agreed to call Barry, the ambulance attendant in Louisiana, for a report on his reaction to the information I’d sent him, and his interest in joining our business. When I called, he said the material had just arrived, having been delayed over the holidays. I asked when would be a good time to call him back, and he said that he was terribly busy, so the first of the week would be good. 

I felt good about these two business transactions for the day, and ready to push on through to the next: also sending information and email to a friend who had shown an interest in our OPC-3 product.

Gradually, as the day progressed, the physical and emotional conditions eased, and I returned to my website.

My Mother’s Birthday

By the time we had reached Day 39, on June 8th, I took time to recognize and acknowledge my mother’s birthday, and allow time to be with her in my thoughts, during my meditation time.

In recent years, since living in Freedom, we had arranged our itinerary to be in Oregon with Mom on her birthday, at this time of year, but with her gone, it wasn’t necessary to take that long trip to be together. I simply tuned into her in thoughts, and she was there. Furthermore, as I was writing my Daily Journal for the Prosperity Program, she wrote a lengthy message:

“I am with you; you are with me NOW, and always. I am so proud of you, and I’m helping you with your website. It’s easy from here, as we have all the answers and knowledge. Actually, you do too, as you know. I can now be very creative. I didn’t realize what all you were doing, with your writing, or how important it is, and how many people you have helped, and will continue to help, as they visit your website and read your books. Don’t worry about it; they will come. God will bring them; and you will prosper, too. But, mostly you will enjoy your life and what you are doing along the way. Just enjoy each day and each activity.

Thank you for this time together. I’m with you, always, and with other family members, too.

I love you, always, 

Mom

There was more to the letter, and it meant so much to me to make this connection with my mom. After all, she has been a high impact in my life; both with her presence (in my first several years, and in recent years) and with her absence (after her mental illness caused her placement in a mental hospital; and with her coming and going into and out-of-sanity). But now, since her death, she is as near as my thoughts and love for her.  

So, the reality of me has a lot to do with my parents, all four of them, and that’s why it was important for me to write about them, in the past, as part of my healing process. 

But now, my wounded inner child is transforming into my wonder child, and my life is moving on.

A Sneak Preview

I had designated June 11th as my official on-line day, and I wrote an Announcement to send out via email to some family and friends. But, I accidentally pushed the button and it went out June 9th, the last day of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan, which was okay, as it took away the anxiety that might build in the meantime. Although I hadn’t finished every page, I’d posted a sign on the first page, stating: Pardon our dust; we are still building this website; browse and enjoy. This relieved the need to do it perfectly, and allowed the website to be the way it was, with its imperfections.

We had intended getting the website on-line that day, anyway, so we could finalize the basic logistics, such as linkages within the website. Van did a good job of “publishing” each page, but when we took our sneak preview, we discovered that several pages had not made the transition from off-line.

One page, Book List and Ordering Information, contained the entire Book List and prices, and how to order, so wouldn’t you know, it would be fouled-up? Furthermore, Van said that it could be permanently lost from my files. Since I hadn’t made a back-up, I went into a slump. Of course, I had to re-examine my consciousness to make sure I hadn’t sabotaged myself; and I also questioned Van’s intentions — conscious and otherwise — because, in the past, his passive-aggressive compulsions have caused Diversionary Tactics that took us off purpose.

But I wasn’t willing to allow these patterns to continue, so I quickly affirmed Divine Order, and simply knew that if it was God’s Divine Plan, then it would be okay.

Another Interruption

In the midst of all this activity, Dottie called to ask if we would be willing to go with her to a Seminar in Colorado Springs. Again, I questioned whether or not this was a sabotage that was taking us off-purpose. So, I explained that we had just gotten the website on-line, and I needed to stay with it; but I told her that I would let her know in a few hours. 

In the meantime, Van and I continued to correct what we could, and discuss options for getting the important three pages on-line. I questioned myself, and God: “Why is it the money-related page that didn’t make it?

While Van worked on-line, I took time for a meditation, and felt that it would be okay to go to Colorado Springs, especially since Dottie offered us the two free tickets and transportation in the Volvo. I delighted in the prospect of time with Dottie, and there is no doubt that we receive benefit from all seminars. And, of course, this was no exception, so the interruption was worthwhile.

In addition, I enjoyed more time with Arianna and Micayla, who were still visiting the new grandparents, and we were invited to Sunday breakfast and a BBQ, later in the day. In the meantime, everyone was gone, during the day, which gave Van and me time to work on the website, in the comfort of a cooling fan, on this 92-degree day.

An Obstacle-laden Maze

During my previous meditation, I knew that the Book List page would still be intact on the off-line site, and happily, I printed it out, so that I wouldn’t be caught in that predicament, again. And, I also would print all pages for the website.

Van concluded that the pages hadn’t transferred, because the text wasn’t properly disbursed, and he promised to fix it on Sunday, which he did. But, it wasn’t that easy. 

I’m not sure what dynamics were in place between us that day, but it was as if two little kids were battling their way through an obstacle-laden maze, resulting in a migraine-type headache for me, and questioning if a stroke would follow. Van, too, was in total confusion and frustration; therefore, nothing was accomplished, during this precious window of time.

Finally, in total frustration, I laid down on the couch, to soothe my throbbing head. Later, when I conferred with Van, he’d gotten the three pages on-line, and everything was working fine.    

Sometime, throughout this exercise-in-futility, I checked my email, and rejoiced in two messages from friends who had visited the website. Despite the missing pages, both offered congratulations, and one gave some good suggestions. Yeah! We were on our way. 

 

Chapter 3

ENJOY THE TRIP ALONG THE WAY

 

Take Time to Smell the Roses

These times of computerized access to the world, fast foods and instant gratification have created a speeded-up reality that often overlooks the sometimes time-consuming, but more important realities of life. And I didn’t want to get caught-up in the busy-ness again, as I entered the world of cyberspace, which is one reason I agreed to stop in the middle of our on-line travels and accompany Dottie to seminar in Colorado Springs, and stay at their place for the weekend.

When we arrived, both dogs, Rascal and Buddy (Arianna’s dingo dog) rushed out to give us a razzle welcome (Buddie learned it from Rascal), only he runs around, and jumps up on us. Rascal, on the other hand, wags his entire body (he has no tail), while whimpering, chattering and laughing in wild abandon, as he greets another of the sheep that has returned to the fold; an unending task for this misplaced Australian shepherd dog, whose duties (in his mind) are to constantly check-up on his flock — all family members, including cats. Once his welcoming duties are performed, he returns to the backyard to continue playing with Buddie. 

The cats, despite their characteristic aloofness, pause from their indifference, to welcome us with a meow and rub against our legs, which warms to a visit inside Freedom, as time progresses; but they don’t want to seem too interested the first day. 

And, of course, I wanted to see my new great-granddaughter, Micayla, who was visiting her grandparents, Dottie and Steve (still getting used to their new role, and loving it). It felt good to be with my family, and spend time with Arianna, the new mom, who was also here. But they were all busy, so we soon retired to Freedom and watched TV; one of the joys of having our own home wherever we go.

 

Back to Business

The next morning, after an early rising, Van took the driver’s seat in the Volvo that had once been our Golden Chariot, and we headed south to Colorado Springs for the seminar, as Dottie and I chatted along the way.

Dottie shared that she’d only gotten three-hours sleep, because they were so excited about a long-time friend signing up with the business. They’d been talking with him about it, and the time was now right for him to come on board. She reminded us that John lives in Idaho, and she announced that they would be going out there to sign him up and begin his training and support.

I asked if they would stop and see our prospects in Western Wyoming, and she agreed. That’s the amazing part of this company, it often takes time for the process to unfold. We had met Winston, when he drove the tow-truck and hauled us to Lakewood, when our motor died, leaving us stranded in Rock Springs, Wyoming. I’d taken advantage of the captive audience to qualify him by asking questions about his interests and approach to life, and then presented the idea of the business. He was interested, but it’s simply been a matter of time and the long-distance involved. Now, Dottie and Steve could present the plan, along the way. As I often say, “God’s time is the best time.”

As the Bible says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). And as much as Van and I had loved traveling, we were now in a time when we preferred staying put, but these short trips were okay, especially when we were able to be with our family members. And, we would go where and when God guides; perhaps to western Wyoming, if Winston, and his girlfriend, Brandy, become business partners.

In fact, as we chatted with Dottie, I mentioned that Barry, in Louisiana, the ambulance attendant who took care of Van on the way to the hospital there, was looking at the business material that I had sent, and we might have to travel there, although, for now, I preferred the idea of hooking him up with other business associates in nearby New Orleans. And this is another part of the business that we love, which hooks up trainers and meetings all over the country. 

For instance, Winston and Brandon would be able to avail themselves of the support system in Idaho or Salt Lake City, but they would, eventually, have to pioneer their area and become the support system in Western Wyoming; but we would all be training them and their people, until they were ready.

But, for now, we continued our own preparation, as we attended this seminar and we were glad that we had gotten out of our comfort zone and taken the time to reinforce our learning curve.

Up-Down and Update

On the return trip, Dottie’s lack of sleep caught up with her, and she enjoyed the trip by dozing, as Van and I chatted quietly. But, once home, she came to life and insisted that we play Up-Down, a favorite card game. 

Arianna and Micayla had gone to spend the weekend with friends in Lafayette, a few miles from Erie, and we were all excited, because she was interested in the possibility of moving to that area; much closer than Rapid City, especially for access to baby-sitting.

The rest of us waited in great anticipation to hear the report of her decision. But, we wouldn’t know, until they returned the next day. And then it would depend on Jason’s willingness to return to Colorado.

In the meantime, Dottie and I attended church on Sunday, much to my delight, and were refueled with the words, music and energies of Mile High Church, even though the minister, Rev. Roger Teel, was replaced by Assistant Minister, Rev. Lloyd. 

We’d planned to return to Erie, but the invitation for scrambled eggs and elk sausage for breakfast lured us to linger. And then Steve suggested that we stay, while they went to retrieve Arianna and Micayla, and remain for BBQ ribs for dinner. I couldn’t resist that offer, especially since we could work on the website in their cool home, on this 92-degree day.

So, as mentioned in the preceding chapter, we updated our website, and awaited the news of Arianna’s decision. We didn’t have to wait long, because she arrived with an armload of newspapers and magazines, and immediately began searching for house rentals. Yeah!

After the “best ever” BBQ, we again played Up-Down, and this time I won! How I love being a winner. Of course, I know that I am always a winner, which is determined by my attitude in life, but this game was especially fun, because everyone was in a good mood, so it was enhanced by much laughter; and I won the game, too.

Where There’s Smoke …

We stopped for our mail, at Mail Box, Etc., in Golden, on our return to Erie the next day, and decided to drive along the foothills to Boulder for a pleasant change, as we viewed the green pastures with grazing cattle.

But, soon after taking Diagonal Road, toward Longmont, where we planned to stop at the County Fair Grounds to dump, we noticed a huge plume of smoke surging above the mountains. This was rather disconcerting, because we were talking about driving in that exact location to look at a cabin that Arianna had brought to my attention, while looking through the newspapers. It was too small for them, but I thought it might work for us, as I felt the need for more room to research my files (both in my old computer and in boxes of letters and past publications), as I moved forward with the website activities.

The closer we got to Longmont, the more intense were the billows of smoke, and I began to question the wisdom of heading into that area. I’d already called the owner of the cabin and gotten directions, so I looked at my map and discovered that we would need to take Highway 34 that went west from Loveland, into the smoke.

When I heard a large plane flying low, I said to Van, “I wonder if the wind is causing the planes to take this alternate approach to the airport?”

“I don’t think so,” he replied, “they wouldn’t be that low.”

Then I realized, “It’s taking retardant to the fires.”

Van agreed, and I added, “Maybe this isn’t a good time to go there.” 

“Okay,” let’s go home, he suggested.

That evening, we turned on the News and discovered that a major fire was burning out of control west of Drake, the town near our planned destination to see the cabin. Thank You, God, for that good decision.      

But That’s not All

Furthermore, another fire was burning out of control, in the mountains west of Denver, in the area of two mountain cabins belonging to Van’s relatives. I immediately called her, and learned that Angie, who was at her sister’s house, was in panic over fear of their cherished family retreats being destroyed, especially since her dream was to eventually live there.

Soon Angie called and I tried to comfort her, but I knew this was a crisis situation, and felt that my best support was just being here. She said that she would stay there and watch the TV News, until it was over. Needless to say, we watched too.

We learned that because of the high winds, the fire crews couldn’t get into the steep mountain terrain, at the Bobcat Canyon fire, in the Drake area and the fire was spreading at a rapid, frightening speed. Traffic had been halted at that small mountain town, and mandatory evacuees were being accommodated at a Loveland elementary school. No homes had been burned and no one was in harm’s way, despite several thousand acres being burned.

But the story was much different at the High Meadow Fire; a much more heavily populated area. Mandatory evacuations were also in effect, including Wand crest, where the family cabins were located. Evacuees were being sent to two schools; one east and another west of the fire zone. The planes hadn’t gotten to that area, because of darkness, and the fire crews were simply trying to protect homes and subdivisions, rather than attempting to control the fire’s rampage. It didn’t look good, and some homes had been burned to the ground, with pictures from News Helicopters showing a lovely home being destroyed in flames, and bringing tears to our eyes.

It Gets Worse!

We’d gone to bed by the time Angie returned, but the next morning she came to our door and we watched the Special News Reports throughout the day, hoping to get word about their cabins, but to no avail. However, she did see a neighbor being interviewed, and Angie gasped when the neighbor, Suzanne, said that her home had been in the path of the fire, and was, no doubt, destroyed, along with 30 others. The numbers increased throughout the day.

Later, pictures of several burned homes and road signs indicated that the cabins had been in the fire’s path; yet, we didn’t know for sure. Hope returned when Angie spotted her neighbor’s home (below the cabin) still intact. 

Adding to the chaos, the planes had not been able to fly that day, because of high winds, but hotshot crews were arriving from the western states and nearby Wyoming. However, they were only able to prevent homes from being destroyed; no containment of the fire had been attempted.

The Bobcat Fire, near Drake, had become secondary, because there were not as many homes in its path, however two had been destroyed, and evacuees were still not allowed to go home. It’s a good thing, because later in the day the winds were gusting to 50 MPH, which we could feel, as Freedom sometimes shook in the wind, and the news cameras showed the reoccurring smoke plume, as the fire picked up momentum.

The planes had resumed dropping retardant in both fires, earlier, but stopped, as the winds increased. 

The suspense and frustration was torturing, and throughout the day Angie had talked with others who lived in Denver, but owned cabins in Wandcrest, as they tried to determine what had happened. It’s for sure the news wasn’t giving any definite details, although word of a map showing the fire’s path was mentioned.

Finallly, later in the day, someone went to the high school where the evacuees were staying, and was given a list of homes that had been destroyed or spared. When he returned, Angie was called. The cabins were still okay!

However, they were not out of danger, because of the increased and shifting winds. So, it was still in God’s hands. I’d provided food for us, as we were glued to the TV, but finally the regularly scheduled programs took over, and Angie returned to her home, while we watched our favorite shows.

When the 10:00 o’ clock News reported, the picture was not good: high winds and darkness had hampered progress, and both fires raged out of control.

Sometimes it’s Better

The fire raged on for a week, sometimes subsiding, when the winds lessened, and then worsening, as the high winds increased. It immediately became the high priority in the nation for firefighters and equipment, and they arrived from all over the west, along with Hot Shot crews from California, Oregon, and elsewhere. This tremendous influx of humanity (over 1,000) created its own problems for the small mountain towns: toilets, showers, tents, food, water had to be provided; and a small community sprung into being on a baseball field. The news cameras did a good job of keeping us informed and updated, as the erratic week wore on.

Angie had been planning another garage sale, this time at her mom’s, in Denver, but the family was so absorbed and distraught with the fires that it was postponed for a week, much to everyone’s relief. 

One day, when she finally tore herself away from the TV long enough to rent a trailer and load more stuff from her storage unit, a friend called and I took the message: a neighbor had gone up to the cabins and everything was intact! Fire crews were on alert in the Wand crest 

Community and a fire engine and crew were stationed nearby throughout the night. 

The lesson here: being able to take our focus from the apparent danger, or threat of danger, and put it on God, and then do the things that we need to be doing; and God will do the rest.

That was Then; This is Now

For the people involved in the Colorado fires this June, life goes on. The firefighters came, even the Hotshot crews from Prineville, Oregon, who were faced with reminders of another June fire in Colorado, when 12 members of the team were burned to death, near Glenwood Springs. A newscaster reminded us of this tragedy, when he interviewed the Captain of the team, who told us that the people of Prineville had recently held their annual memorial of that tragic event. The story reminded Van and me that we had visited the commemorative statue, in Prineville, a year ago, while working with a couple who signed up with our business, and then dropped out. But that was then; and this is now. Now, we are here, and life goes on.

Unfortunately, along with the additional firefighters, came higher winds: gusts up to 70 mph, and temperatures soaring into the 90’s, with more damage to homes and property, as the saga continued. But finally, the winds subsided, and the rains came. 

We Can Recreate Ourselves

I don’t understand why some homes are destroyed, and others spared. I know it’s not because some people are more deserving than others. And, if I’m to remain true to my beliefs, I must trust that ultimately God will reveal the good involved in the apparent disaster.

Or, perhaps there are deeper lessons of life to be learned that we don’t fully understand, at the time. I am convinced, however, that the way we respond to life’s challenges makes the difference in results. As the old saying goes, “When life gives lemons, make lemonade,” so, when a fire destroys your home, one can rise from the ashes, like the mythical phoenix, or we can become devastated by the disaster and allow it to destroy us. The event can become a curse or a blessing, depending on our actions and reactions. 

All in all, it’s important to enjoy the trip along the way, because we will not pass this way again, under these same circumstances; so we have the opportunity to criticize and complain, or turn it into a blessing. The unwanted change in our lives can become a new beginning, and we can rise out of the ashes of despair and become a new being, a new creation. We can recreate ourselves and our lives.  

Chapter 4

“I AM ABOUT TO DO A NEW THING”

(Isaiah 43:19)

My Reactions are Associated with my Perception of it.

The above words, from the bible, were given to me before I wrote the ending of the last chapter, and I had no idea how appropriate they would be for the continuity of our lives, and this book. But, God always guides me right, and this is definitely another new beginning. Actually, the title was inspired by my Daily Reading, which stated that my reactions to a situation are associated with my perception of it. It suggests that to go beyond our often limited perception, we must rely on spiritual insight, so that we know what to say and do. And that is the only way that I am able to write; as I open my perceptions to God’s guidance, the ideas flow through me, though sometimes limited by my ability to express them in the best writing style. Therefore, editing, by my daughter, resolves the situation.  

The Daily Reading reminds us that prayer enhances our good judgment, and guides us to focus on the blessings within every situation. The bible verse, in its entirety reads: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

Van’s New Thing

Of course, my “new thing,” at this time, is my website, and I shall continue to share the adventures, as they unfold. But the “new thing” for Van evolved from our monthly Spending Plan activity. 

As we have been affirming for over 40 days, money is a manifestation of our consciousness. In other words, “thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” So, we have been concentrating on the inner focus, which often causes the buried patterns of limitations to surface to be healed and released, opening the way for more good to come into our lives. That is what happened when we finally held our Spending Plan discussion, which is usually emotional, because there are deeper money issues than the obvious. For instance, Van and I attended Debtors Anonymous (DA) for a year, and discovered the bottom-line cause — underearning and overspending — and the solutions. 

Among other Tools of Recovery is the Spending Plan, similar to the concept of keeping a budget. And, another is keeping daily numbers of expenditures. Of course, a basic tenet is not using a credit card.

However, Van insists that the credit card helps him keep track of our money, which is basically a smoke screen for covering whatever else is really involved, such as control issues, with this insidious disease. And it is a disease, because it’s diagnosable, with its symptoms, causes and cures; and it has a progression, which can result in death, like alcohol and drugs, anorexia and overeating, and other addictive conditions. And, for many, denial is a common feature, with recognition being a first step toward recovery.

So, we’d put off this meeting for several weeks, with one good reason after another. Now, it was time to deal with money matters. First of all, our American Express bill had billowed to three times what we could handle in the total payment, due each month, so I had arranged with the company to make payments. Fortunately, they said, okay, but we were not to use the card for further charges. The first month we didn’t have any money left for food or other expenses, after paying our bills, but we survived.

By the second month, another total had been added, when past charges accumulated, so we were committed to three payments of $500.00 each. I insisted that Van write to several of our debtors, explaining that we’d had unexpected expenses, due to his hospital bill, and repairs to our motor home. With this arrangement, at least, we had money for food, and enough left for the second payment to Amex. But the automatic payment of the phone bill on our credit card, had shot the amount higher, even without our adding charges, so I had to agree to two more large payments, which kept our money flow at “O.” Thus, even though we were not traveling, or adding additional expenses, such as gas, repairs, etc., we still did not have extra money available for luxuries, such as movies, dental work, or clothes.

And, although we were paying off Amex, we still had a thousand dollars in medical expenses. The problem became: how to maintain the large payments to Amex, begin payments on the hospital bills, and still have money for daily living. Not an unusual problem in today’s world, but definitely not in accordance with our lifestyle. 

As we approached our options, we arrived at a decision: pay $25.00 on the medical bills this month and next, while paying off Amex; then increase to $50.00, while also paying off a monthly dentist bill. Then we would have additional funds to pay the medical bills. 

Working on the Spending Plan gave us more clarity in facing these expenses, and I discovered that Van was making payments on two other credit cards, so I insisted that we incorporate into our monthly Spending Plan higher payments, with the intention of paying them off by the end of summer.

With all these financial maneuvers in place, it was obvious that we could not possibly travel any sooner, even if we wanted to. So, that clarity and sense of direction was worth the time and effort. At least, now we knew where we stood.

But, that was only a small fraction of the clarity that evolved from the discussion. As I studied the accumulated indebtedness, a realization flashed across my mind; one that I had been aware of, but not able to articulate to Van.

Now, the words seemed to come through me, from my Inner Guidance, as they poured out, and I was able to say, “Do you realize that because your love-concept with your mother is based on her giving you money, your relationship with her is based on a bail-out pattern?”

To my surprise, he nodded in the affirmative, and I continued, “It’s associated with a rescue pattern. Whenever you need money, you ask her, and she gives it to you. I don’t know how it manifested in the past, but since I’ve known you, this pattern has been true with your business ventures, such as Buzzy, and then when she agreed to advance the money to finance our RV, for which I repaid my part, and also when she has bailed us out of the repair expenses; that is until I insisted that you stop asking her for money, in order to change the pattern.” Again, I asked, “so you are aware of this bail-out pattern?”

Again, he nodded in the affirmative, and I asked “Do you also realize that the credit card syndrome is part of that bail-out pattern?”

He looked puzzled, and I was too, but the words droned on, “You use the credit cards to bail out of your financial status, and it replaces your love-concept with your mother, as a form of nurturing. Once you recognize this, and the cause of the pattern, you will be able to approach money from a whole new beginning, because it will be free of that obsessive-compulsive syndrome.”

He still looked confused, as I explained, “When you no longer have that love-association with money, it will become simply a medium of exchange, and you will be able to handle it accordingly, so pray for guidance in this process, and ask God to remove the negative energies associated with that bail-out pattern.”

Van agreed to work with this new concept, and he said that it would open up new options and approaches to his attitude and handling of money. Rather than money being a love- association, relating to his mother, it would now fall into its appropriate category. This new beginning would evolve over time, as it filtered into his consciousness and incorporated into his money concept.

For a start, God had coincidentally arranged that a check from his mom arrived a few days prior to this time; not as bail-out money, but simply as a gift. When I asked Van how he planned to spend the money, he looked rather blank, and said, “I guess it’ll go toward the bills.”

I felt guided to reply, “Maybe this would be a good time to change that pattern. How about if we not use it toward the bills, which would be a form of bail-out, and instead we can use it toward a definite purpose?”

He said, “Okay, what do you have in mind?”

Again, as I listened within for guidance, the words came through me, “Let’s use 1/2 to pay for our latest OPC-3 purchase for personal use, and invest the other 1/2 toward another bottle for retail sale. This way we can deposit the check in the business account here in Erie, and that personal debt to our business will be handled, since we are now being more conscious about these transactions between our personal account and our business account.”

Keeping Cool 

Throughout the month of June, when the weather got too hot, and the motor home became a sauna (despite the fans Angie brought to our rescue), I would spend the afternoons in the breezeway, under her carport, clearing the area. Sometimes Van would help, such as the day we made room for the large cushions (for a modular couch), which Angie had brought from her storage unit. 

I enjoyed the times when we worked together, but they were few, because Little Ralph was still processing through his recovery from the “I don’t want to do it,” syndrome. So, feeling that he could choose to do it, or not, gave him options, and a sense of personal empowerment. Yet, I felt more empowered when we worked as a team; and the work and time went far more pleasantly.

We were also preparing for another garage sale; this one at Angie’s moms, in Denver, because there would not be enough people to attend one in Erie, without the street fair influx. So, Angie rented a trailer and hauled more stuff from her storage unit, and some from the yard, as she was willing and able to let go of her precious accumulations.

And, she also said that she would like to get rid of her couch, so she could use the modular one, rather than continue to store it. This meant clearing the living room, in order to remove the couch, so it became another refuge from heat, as I supported this project.

Thus the days passed, and I was able to keep cool, while Van spent much of the time working on my website projects. The good news is that he was, again, enjoying the computer time, and he even created his own email address, so he could send and receive messages; a major breakthrough for this non-social person. Now, he could continue correspondence with his sister, and several friends. But the most exciting news is that he began composing messages relating to our products and business. Thus, an even greater new beginning was in the making.

Joyanna’s Birthday Celebration

I always celebrate my birthday for several weeks, before and after, the actual day, so I’m not disappointment, if nothing spectacular occurs on the actual day; and, this also assures me that I will not be set up for unfulfilled expectations. Furthermore, I usually let Joanie plan the activities that appeal to her.

So, the day before, we combined our weekly dump with a short drive north to Loveland, to meet Helena, at her office. At first, I was only going to buy some enzymes from her, but Joanie insisted that a massage would be a perfect birthday present to myself. 

Helena and I also took time, first, to browse through the Surplus Market for discount foods, including health food items. I’d wanted to buy some roasted almonds, but this place didn’t have any. Nevertheless, it was fun being with Helena, as she grabbed an armload of Tofu Burger mix for $1.00 each, commenting, “You never know what they’ll have here, so you have to get it while you can.” It was a fun venture, and I bought a few cans of needed items, and 10 for $1.00 small bags of my favorite low-fat potato chips.

But, the most fun for Joanie, after the massage, was Helena taking us to a new ice cream parlor, Freddo’s, where they specialize in secret recipes from Argentina. Helena tried a dish of their rich raisin rum, and Van delighted in the very sweet caramel cherry specialty, but Joanie ordered a chocolate almond cone, loaded with almonds. 

We sat at a table overlooking Lake Loveland, savoring our treats, chatting for over an hour, and marveling at the crowds of people coming for their daily sweets, and sitting at the tables: entire families, parents with tiny babies, and lots of grandparents and kids; truly a festive atmosphere.

Van and I capped the day, after returning to the County Fairground in Longmont to dump our sewage and take on water, by rushing into Wendy’s, three-minutes before closing (10:00 p.m.), to order our favorite 99-cent meal, and returning to Freedom to take our time. Joanie and Little Ralph were enjoying this late snack, under starlight, and they were happy, because they missed these special fun time treats, which are a regular part of being on the road. Now, they became part of our weekly dumping ritual.

Finally, the big birthday arrived, and knowing that nothing special was planned, I created my own celebration, during my meditation. First, I invited mom and dad, and then more and more family and friends (all who were no longer alive) to join me for this special time. 

Then I began including everyone whom I would like to share this celebration with me: family, friends, Freedomers; and then I began inviting other acquaintances — past, present and future. Finally, I added everyone that I had ever known: service station attendants, waitresses, clerks, traveling acquaintances, and even the family pets. 

The crowd got so big that I decided to move the party to Denver’s new football stadium, so everyone would have plenty of space. Because some of the family members weren’t compatible, the rule was that everyone had to get along; and this meant the dogs and cats would be harmonious too, but they were allocated to the far end of the field. It’s a good thing I didn’t include the horses and cows that had once been part of my life, but that would have been too much.

As it was, the party became quite outrageous, so I requested that everyone retire to the seats for refreshments and entertainment. Since this was my creation, and my celebration, I could allow my imagination to run rampant, as I suggested that everyone could have whatever they wanted to eat, which would be supplied by the vendors meandering throughout the crowd. And each person could create whatever game they wanted to watch, without any activity conflicting with the other (after all, it was my imagination, so anything was possible). And, the entertainment consisted of whatever half-time event they wanted to recreate, or any Olympic spectaculars, or they could create their own.

My selection, for the grand finale, celebrating my birthday, was the Los Angeles Olympic entertainment, concluding with that grandiose fireworks display. It was an incredible spectacular, and when it was over, I really felt that my birthday had been properly celebrated. And I also concluded that I need never again feel lonely, for this celebration would remain an ongoing activity within my imagination, reminding me of all the friends, family, Freedomers, and others whose lives I had touched, or who had touched my life. It also reminded me to remain grateful to all those people who had given me service, products and blessings throughout my life, if ever I should feel neglected or needy.

By the time Van awoke, I was feeling high, and the day only got better; starting with his singing “Happy Birthday,” which he always does first thing, and then continues throughout the day, and for several days thereafter, for all family members, when he is around them.

I spent the day doing my favorite things: checking and sending my email, and viewing the animated greeting that Dottie had sent; then talking with her and Steve, as we attempted to call Barry, a prospective business associate, who wasn’t available. Actually, I had told them that my birthday request, during my earlier birthday party, had been that Barry would say “Yes,” and become a distributor, but that was left for a future occurrence.

As the day warmed, I went inside Angie’s and worked awhile, and then retreated to the carport breezeway and cleared more garage sale items. Cousin John added to the day with a birthday call, and a longtime friend in California called about ordering products, and wished me a Happy Birthday.

And then, since I’d requested that Van suggest something to celebrate my birthday (which he seldom does, unless prompted), we walked to Ricoli’s Pizza, which pleased Joanie and Little Ralph, and enjoyed a pizza.

The day concluded with a pleasant call from my son, Marquam, and a visit with Angie, after she returned from a run to her mom’s to unload garage sale items.

After I went to bed, I thought about my great day, and the celebration in the football stadium, and I realized that it was symbolic of the omnipresence of all things — past, present and future — a truth that we have been reaffirming each day with our Prosperity Plan, and it’s not such a far-out possibility, being able to create our own reality, when the thoughts are held firmly in mind, and the Truth is embraced and called forth.

I also remembered that, amongst the special guests at my celebration, were Jesus and the twelve disciples, and some others who were meaningful in my life: John Bradshaw and Ernie Larson (the inner child gurus), Melodie Beattie and Pia Melody (codependency book authors), Marianne Williamson (minister to the stars: she performed Liz’s last marriage ceremony), Shirley MacLaine (I love her metaphysical contributions, as well as her acting and showbiz presentations, which we saw in person), and more. 

As I said, it was a great celebration, and a glorious new beginning for the rest of my life, as I am approaching my seventies (two more years) and looking forward to fulfilling my greatest contributions, and greatest joys, and greatest rewards in life. 

 

Chapter 5

WEATHERING THE STORM

 

Considering Options 

Mother Nature had been gracing us with 90+ weather for 17 days, and we were one day from equaling the record, when a cold front came in, reducing the temperatures below 90, thus not breaking the record heat spell of consecutive days over 90, which was okay with everyone, even those with a competitive spirit.

With Angie’s fans, and spending time in her front yard, with my computer setup, we were able to survive, although we didn’t do much heavy activity. However, we did use the time for website activities, and I completed compiling another book, Unmasked: The Freedomers, which Van finished formatting into a book.

We had searched the Internet, discovering several options for digital publishing, at a hefty cost per book; a possibility, but one we opted not to pursue, at this time. Instead, Van agreed that we would continue our own publishing, and he seemed committed to this project.

And the Rains Came, and Came, and Came

Van had grown up in Colorado, and the weather patterns were familiar to him, but it was all new for me. However, in phone calls with Dottie, over the years, she had discussed the afternoon thunder and lightning storms that sometimes bring wind with rain and/or hail. 

I wasn’t looking forward to this phenomenon, but I knew it was inevitable, even in these times of unusual weather, and I was actually relieved when the heat spell was finally broken.

We had had a taste of the afternoon storms, a few weeks earlier when an afternoon storm had brought such strong gusts that it blew off the top of a dead tree that narrowly missed hitting Freedom. Fortunately, the neighbor had driven off in her car, or the flying limbs would have damaged it. After her return, we stood outside and looked, in amazement, at the fallen tree and debris scattered across the street and yard. Her husband had to lug and drag the tree out of the street, as it was too heavy for us gals. Angie decided that it would make a great addition to her proposed country garden flower bed.

But that storm had been brief, though intense, and we had survived. Now, after such prolonged heat, the thunderheads began to gather, and the clouds soon blocked out the sun, so that when the rains came, we felt like we were in a sauna, even though the temperatures had mercifully dropped about ten degrees.

Though I’m from Oregon, and used to rain, it is nothing like Colorado rain, which is hard and heavy, and splashes onto the sides of anything left out. So, we retreated into Freedom and closed our windows and door, listening to the pitter patter of rain; or maybe I should say the thudding of it on the roof and windows; rain so heavy and hard that soon the TV was alerting us with Flood Warnings for Lakewood and other areas. We braced for the worst, as we watched the waters flow along the street, but the new paved streets and storm drains worked fine, along this flat area, and we were thankful that it wasn’t a sea of mud, which it had been, up till a few months earlier, before the completed paving in front of Angie’s house. However, the main street was still unpaved, and became a sea of mud. We were thankful that we didn’t need to be going anyplace.

But, soon the sound of rain was drowned out by the clapping of thunder; at first muffled in the distance, and then growing louder, as it neared; until finally it announced its arrival over our heads with a frightening crash so loud and strong that it shook our RV, and about deafened us. And immediately, thereafter, the lightning flashed all around us, lighting up the entire sky; visible to us, even through the closed curtains.

I am not a fan of storms, and I let out a yelp, as if I had been struck by lightning. But, I calmed down, as the storm continued, with more loud claps and flashes; slowly fading into the distance, although the rains continued for several hours, stopped, and continued the next day, and the next.

This storm reminded us of the one in Natchez State Park, Ms., which was accompanied by intense winds and lasting for several hours. I was so scared that I huddled in the tiny bathroom for awhile, but that’s when I learned to surrender to God and trust Him for our protection. And the next day we learned just how destructive the storm had been when we walked through the park and saw many fallen trees that had been twisted like matchsticks, as we passed a neighboring RV that had been hit by a falling tree. I later learned that the woman had missed death, when a limb speared through the roof, within inches of her head. We realized what we had been through when we saw, on the news, that the same storm had traveled to Hattiesburg, about 100-miles east, and struck down as a tornado, killing 4 people and injuring 49. We shuddered, realizing that we had been parked at that Wal-Mart store the night before.

But, now we were safe and comfortable, in our snug harbor. However, others throughout the mountains and plains were in grave peril. For instance, the survivors of the recent mountain fires now had the threat of flood and landslides, because of no ground cover. And the rain was so extensive across the plains that dry arroyo’s turned into raging torrents, even wiping out a section of main highway between Parker and the small town of Elizabeth. However, once the rains stopped, the emergency road crews somehow managed to fill in the gap, leaving us to wonder about the safety of that road; hopefully, a bridge will be built.

Despite the storm, it brought welcome relief from the heat, as the “cold front” brought the temperatures into the eighties, and we could be comfortable in our home with the help of fans. This respite gave us the opportunity for more computer time, so I added some more information to my website, with Van’s help. 

Another Kind of Storm: A Plethora of Words

I seldom have an opportunity to use plethora, which means an overabundance, or satiety, which can seem to apply to my writing, when one visits my website. It’s even overwhelming to me, but I’ve been writing for over twenty-years, and it has accumulated. For instance, during the storm, I completed a book, Unmasked: The Freedomers, that I’d been working on for years. It’s a companion to SayingYes”to Myself, both based on the subject of Understanding, as also featured in Transformation: a Twelve Power Process. In fact, much of my writing is based on the twelve powers or centers, similar to chakras, originally presented in my Pot O’ Gold Prosperous Living Course. But, I’d written that book, before I learned the art of writing, and so I’ve been revising it, in various forms, ever since. 

The truth is that there was too much (a plethora) for one book, so I wrote the Transformation Series of twelve booklets first. And then I began writing the “Saying Yes,” series: each book, in the course, based on one of the twelve powers, with the companion books that feature the Freedomers. It’s become a life’s work, as I only have completed three sets, in the series of twelve. But, God always guides me, in the right time, with the right words, when I follow His guidance. If I try to force the writing, the words simply don’t flow, and it is so much work, rather than fun.

For instance, Unmasked: The Freedomers, has evolved over many years, as I’ve been guided to add bits and pieces, including the ongoing material from Dan Vincent and Pepin Menendez, who are featured in the first three books, in the series, with their responses to the Questions presented in the course and their stories told in letters, originally written to me. 

And this book features Dal Culvahouse, whose letters to me were written while he was in-carcerated. But then he paroled, and his letters were less frequent, though he did keep in touch, which is more than most inmates do, upon release. Yet, Dal has been successfully making it on the outside for over seventeen years, and we even managed to collect the hug that he had promised, as he lives nearby, in Colorado.

In addition, Unmasked features Two Generations of Freedomers, Donnie Halbert, and his sons, Adam and Michael, who are both in prison, and whom I’ve visited in person. These chapters are truly a study of Understanding, as we read the letters from each of them to me, and my responses; and also several articles they’ve written that appeared in my publication, Inner Freedom Support Connection.

The book concludes with the story of A Girl Named Connie, a friend of my daughter, Dottie, who was never incarcerated, but suffered from manic-depression and was imprisoned within her own body from this terrible disease. She eventually found freedom by committing suicide. Her letters (to me) give insights into her struggle to overcome the ups-and-downs of bi-polar complexity by understanding her inner child and codependency issues, and can be helpful to others with similar problems.

The most exciting part about writing, for me, is that it’s not me, but God doing it. I’m guided to what to say or compile, as I first put it together; and then, when I get to another stage, it’s as if God is taking a paragraph here, a sentence there, or a word, and moving them around, until it’s done. I can feel the energy flowing through me, and I love it! No wonder writing is my passion; while, as I once said, “expressing God is my Magnificent Obsession.” This way, I’m doing both.

As the book progresses, my letters to others also discuss the journeys that Van and I are going through, as we gain understanding, while we face and recover from our respective codependency issues and money disorders.

Something Wonderful

I’m not sure what brought about this miracle, but I must write about it, now, to make it as reality for me.

Something wonderful has happened with Van! I think the merging, alignment, unification, or whatever applies. It’s like that old saying, “He’s the same, only different; or is it: he’s different, only the same? 

In other words, he’s doing the same things he’s always done, only without the 3 R’s: resistance, resentment and rebellion. He’s just doing it; and it’s wonderful. In fact, he seems to be enjoying himself, as he works on the computer, either upgrading the website or fine-tuning my books.

At long last, my dream is fulfilled: my husband and I have a working partnership. Of course, it’s not exactly as I’d imagined, but it’s okay. I write and do what I do, and he fixes it, doing what he does. The important thing is that I recognize that it’s working, and give thanks for answered prayers.

In fact, every night, Van says, “Thanks for a good day,” to which I reply, “Thank you, and thanks for all the good things you did for me,” as I list whatever he’s done. 

My Home Church Family

Recently, he willingly helped me move some items in Angie’s backyard, in order to make more room, and his back didn’t give him any pain; only problem for him was the mosquitoes attacking him, but he continued with the project.

I know that this is the result of major inner changes on the part of both of us. And as we move ahead and clear the backyard, the deeper we’re going with our inner journey, and the further we’re able to go with the website. It’s a strange phenomenon, but true.

After the above activity, for instance, we finally made a link with several other websites relating to mine: the Unity church that I attended in Carlsbad, California, where the minister, Rev. Tony, has given me so much support in my recovery process, and Marianne Williamson, the renowned minister to the stars, who is now crusading for world healing, including a need for prison reform.

Rev. Tony had given me the opportunity to teach and conduct workshops at that church, which helped me regain my self-confidence, during various stages of my healing and recovery from the stress-out that took me into inner child and codependency programs. So now, as I’m moving forward with my website, it’s supportive that Rev. Tony, again, is saying “Okay,” to my request.

Only now, he has Joann Skybird to assist with his computer and website activities. I had met Joann, when we were in Carlsbad, around the Christmas holidays, and she had given me a ride from the church to where the RV was parked. So, my home church family is still part of my ongoing ministry; the wonders of the Internet.

Now that I think of it, Rev. Tony had once agreed to support my Inner Freedom Ministry, through the church, but we moved on, and it didn’t happen then. Yet, it is happening now, as his church has become my first website link. Thank you, Rev. Tony. I hope my readers will support your church, as guided.

Along these lines, I must mention that another link on Unity of Carlsbad’s website is Scott Kalechstein, a singing troubadour, whose songs have delighted and inspired us on Sunday mornings, special concerts, tapes, and now CD’s. 

Scott, too, has been an integral part of my recovery process, often giving me support and encouragement, as I’ve overcome feelings of insecurity. One time he sang his songs as an accompaniment for one of my workshops, adding an inspiring depth to the experience.

Yet, when I e-mailed Scott, requesting a link to his website, I felt a knot in my stomach, indicating a fear of rejection. However, he immediately replied with encouraging words, but explaining that his website is not set up for linkages. Though he said, “No,” I knew he was not rejecting me personally. Thank you, Scott.

I discovered that Scott is also a writer, and like his songs, his words are entertaining and inspiring, and can be read in his columns in Awareness magazine are featured on his website. I urge everyone to take lots of time and browse through his wonderful website; and be sure to buy his terrific tapes and CD’s. Visit Scott at: Scott (http://www.scottsongs.com)

The Next Big Step

The next big step for putting my website out there came when I linked to Marianne Williamson’s website. But this story needs a little historical background.

After seeing her in person and reading several of her books, I’d seen an article in Unity magazine, crusading for change, and also requesting input from anyone offering support and ministry to prisoners. So, I wrote to her, and anxiously awaited her reply. But it never came; for whatever reason. I know she’s busy, and I also know that it’s a matter of God’s timing and my consciousness.

So, I searched out her website, intending to write to her, again, about my prison ministry. And I was delighted to discover that she welcomes links to her website. So, when I was ready, I again prepared to link up, but there was a space for me to write my own message, so I waited for guidance. 

Finally, it came and I knew what to write. I’d filed the links page under “Favorites,” so now I had the space before me, and felt a sense of excitement, fear and anxiety, as I entered the words that would be seen by many people. Was I ready?

I wasn’t sure, because I was feeling something between nausea and a need to eat, which should have been a clue that something more was going on.

But, once my link was complete and submitted, it flashed up on her website for viewing, and there it was, along with several other new ones. Apparently they only stay a limited amount of time, as I’d recently tried to find several others and was disappointed that they were gone. However, now I spotted one of them, Naked RVers, listed again, so I sent an e-mail to make contact and tell them about my website. I also offered to share some of our travel information and give them the names of some other RV authors.

Let’s Eat!

As I said earlier, I didn’t know if I was going to be sick, or needed to eat, which often indicates an underlying fear, or a need for nurturing. So, I chose to eat, and suggested to Van that we walk to Ricoli’s Pizza for a Philly sandwich.

While on the walk into town — one block of businesses, the bank and the P.O., I stopped by the new deli, but it wasn’t ready for business, yet, though they were open and selling ice cream and produce, while awaiting the final licensing and other obstacles to small businesses.

I’d already approached Deborah, the manager, about our business, and she’d said the same thing as the owner: “I’ve got too much on my plate.” Now, she said that this would be her last day, because of the delay in the deli opening; she seemed so nervous and closed, so I bought an ice cream bar.

Then we walked down the street toward Taco Mine, a Mexican restaurant where I’d thought about talking with the owner about our networking opportunity, especially because of the irregular hours, and that I’d heard he might be going out of business.

As always, I felt uncomfortable about making a new contact, so decided to get a feeling or the place, first. It was very small, with only a few tables, but two of them had customers, so I walked toward the Order counter and a man’s voice spoke from the kitchen area.

I said that I was looking for something that listed the hours they were open, and the friendly man introduced himself as Richard, and walked with me to the counter, where he handed me a flyer with the menu and prices.

He asked my name and if we were new in town, and I explained that we were visiting Van’s cousin.

I said, “I heard you might be going out of business.”

He looked surprised and said, “Not me. I’ve been in business here for nine years, but his eyes twinkled, as he said, “But now that I’m older, I’ve cut back to six days a week.” And he added, “I was born here, and when I die, they’ll carry me up there to the hill and bury me.”

Laughing, I said, “Oh, so the reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated,” quoting whoever originated that famous retort. I’ve actually heard it assigned to several, including Mark Twain.

The man laughed, and headed back to the kitchen, as we said goodbye, and I left. He was busy, and that was enough for the first contact. I made note that the food looked good, and we would return another day. Now, I had a second place to eat, in addition to Ricoli’s.

My Aching Back

This discussion is leading to the apparent reason for the title of this chapter, which I hoped, at the time I used it, that I wouldn’t be going through any personal storm. But, I should have known better; and I should have known that my aching back was more than a result of lifting and pulling heavy boxes in Angie’s backyard.

I’d been aware of low-grade pain for several days, but nothing unbearable, until I awoke Saturday morning and could hardly get out of bed. Though we were planning to head north to Helena’s for the weekend, I struggled to get my heating pad and returned to bed, thinking, “Thank goodness Helena’s a masseuse, because I sure need a massage today.”

I tried to meditate, but the pain was too distracting, so I asked God what it was all about, and sputtered some short prayers. Then I read Even Mystics Have Bills to Pay, for awhile and thought about the words for the day: “I do not judge by appearances.”

Soon I felt some relief and managed to get to the computer to check my e-mail. I’d written to Linda, asking for her son’s address, and I also mentioned that I’d written a book about them, and wondered how she would react to the truth of their active crime life.

As her e-mail message flashed on the screen, my back pain intensified, and then it was as if the entire screen revealed a hidden message.

Later, after returning to bed, and then enduring excruciating pain, while getting up to go the bathroom, I tried to put into words to Van, what I’d realized:

“I know what’s causing my back pain. I’ve known for many years that I have a syndrome or pattern that manifests in someone criticizing or attacking me whenever I’m teaching a class or facilitating a workshop. In the past, the fear has been so painful that I finally quit putting myself out there, and it’s the underlying reason for me not wanting to get this website going, or my books available for scrutiny.

“Now, with all these links, and moving forward, the fear has intensified, along with the back pain. And seeing Linda’s message brought it to my attention. Somehow, in my mind, it was another attack and rejection. But the truth is that she didn’t say anything hurtful. It’s just my deep-rooted memories from childhood, associated with my mother’s mental illness and me being blamed, and also the syndrome of Mom Freeland verbally attacking and then punishing me for the multitude of wrongs I was blamed for. I just couldn’t do anything right, it seemed.

“The pattern is so ingrained that I don’t know if I can overcome or change it. But, like I always say, ‘I’m going to do it, even if I have to do it on a stretcher.’”

As I was talking, my back pain released, and when I stood up, it didn’t hurt. I was totally amazed at what had just happened, and I knew for sure that I had discovered another level of the deep fear that had kept me from moving forward with my public life.

When I laid back down, I asked God to remove the negative energies associated with this pattern, return them to Divine Substance (God) and transform the energies into positive and productive energies for good.

By the time we reached Helena’s, my massage was merely a confirmation of the process, rather than a need for relief from intense pain.

Attacks and Barriers

One day the Mystics book suggested that we list our barriers to God, and I realized that they are also barriers to good, as I continued to face the stuff about these fears, and I felt an underlying anger burble to the surface with memories of the pain and abuse of verbal attacks and punishments from Mom Freeland.

Everyone reacts differently to the onslaught of too much coming at them: some run away, others, such as Van, dissociate by leaving their bodies behind, and they become like robots, without anyone at the controls. I vacillated between compliance and rebellion, depending on the situation, and probably relating to my Gemini mood-shift

I wasn’t aware of the ongoing impact of these onslaughts on my psyche, until I read John Bradshaw’s Homecoming book, which explained how they are imprinted on our nervous system and other parts of the body. And his explanation came back to memory when I recently went to the dentist for teeth-cleaning.

The combination of razor-like pain in my mouth (from the x-rays), along with the penetrating, scraping tools left me feeling beaten up and exhausted; much like the sensations from incessant verbal attacks and physical punishment. It was another of those insightful revelations that always accompany God’s experiential aides, leaving me nearly incapacitated for the rest of the day, and seeking food for nurturing and comfort.

Again, I realized how much these emotional and physical beatings had affected my life, and were handicapping my ability to move forward with my website, and otherwise serving as barriers to my good.

For instance, I’d been sending out some e-mail and making contacts, which were now being answered, and again, I felt myself being overwhelmed with too much coming at me, and I felt overloaded; the same feelings as with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I was beginning to wonder if this condition was a result of similar duress and overload to other sufferers.

I Feared Reprisals

This entire syndrome was becoming absurd, because every time I checked my e-mail, I feared reprisals from whatever I had sent out, whether to strangers or acquaintances. This fear of reprisals syndrome had become so ingrained that I carried it within every cell of my body, and I projected it into everything I did; it never went away. And now, God was giving me the opportunity to be healed and free of it, first by becoming painfully aware, then forgiving and releasing. 

In fact, even after my massage from Helena, the back pain returned to remind me that I wasn’t through the storm, yet. There was more processing, as my awareness of the fear projections intensified to a roaring crescendo. It’s easy to see how one would become a recluse, or simply give up any further effort toward going out into the world, with these buried energies constantly present and sending out negative messages. And it’s no wonder that these energies would be received by others and become self-fulfilling prophecies. They had for me, and there was always someone willing to respond in like kind.  

The Storm is Passing

Yet, I must be doing something right, because I continued to receive favorable responses, encouragement and support from my e-mail and website visitors.

And with each success, I let go of more fear, and felt more reassurance and self-confidence. Even when we were at Helena’s, and I took her on a walk-through of my website, I was shocked to discover that I had failed to link one of the most important parts of my ministry, The Freedomers, to my Index. In other words, everyone visiting the website, so far, did not see their webpages.  But, I managed to keep my cool and when we had time, we fixed it.

And God continued to send me healing messages and messengers. For instance, Scott Kalechstein sent an email with his updated Appearance Schedule and latest column article titled, Quantum Leap. I know he wrote it just for me, as it served as another kick in the butt to get off it and get on with it.

He said it was time to get out of our wheelchair, as seekers, and start doing our thing, whatever it might be, as finders. Yeah! I needed that, right in my aching back, too. He said a lot more, too, and I suggest that you go to his website (given above) and look in the August 2000 issue of Awareness magazine to read the entire article. Bottom-line, he’s right, I don’t have to wait until I am healed or better to start giving my gift to the world. 

In fact, it’s already out there, now it’s just a matter of continuing to do what I’m doing, and being receptive to the good that is already coming my way.

“I am a Healthy and Whole Creation of the Master Builder”

Once all this happened, God guided me to catch up on the past week’s Daily Readings, and guided me to the booklet that had been missing during that time. Apparently He wanted me to read it as a double-whammy, so I would really get it.

The reading went on to remind me that imprinted within every atom of my body is a genetic plan for ongoing life and health. And this, of course, is the Divine Plan, which I affirm and align with every day in my meditation; adding my thanks for His ongoing guidance as to how to cooperate with His plan.

The reading concluded with a bible quote from a parable of Jesus: “That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house, but could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke 6:48). 

The inner and outer floods and storms had been pounding against my house, but now my foundation was stronger, and I knew that I could weather whatever storms lie ahead, and I was ready to move forward.

And God continued to give me guidance through the Daily Reading update, promising wise use of time and prioritizing, which gives peace of mind, as we “put first things first.” He also promises to guide us through complex and complicated situations with spiritual understanding that can be relied upon. And I definitely felt the need for this guidance, through the ongoing challenge of Van’s transition process, which was becoming even more apparent, as we returned to his aunt’s and heard more stories of the family characteristics. At times, I became fearful and overwhelmed, thinking it was hopeless, but again, the reading reminded me that wherever my footsteps take me, God is there, and His presence goes with me.

“In My Presence”

In the meantime, we had been continuing with our new 40-Day Prosperity Plan, and again, the emphasis was upon an awareness of the presence of God, being the true wealth. Day 18 said that an awareness of God and a growing relationship with Him is our basic need. 

I was guided to read ahead to the Conclusion, which emphasized that we must simplify our lives, because our basic need is an awareness of God; and the next page invited the readers to contact the author, if interested in his “Inner Journey” information and newsletters. I’ve been in correspondence with Jim Rosemergy, a Unity minister and now a vice-president at Unity School of Christianity, since once asking him to visit a Freedomer near the Raleigh N.C. church where he was minister. He did, and in later years wrote an article that referred to the impact of his visit with my #1 con, Al Vaillancourt.

Now, again, I felt guided to write and thank Jim for his book and the impact of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan, request his Inner Journey information and suggest that he visit my website. This would be a supportive contact, at this time. 

As a conclusion to this phase of my inner journey, and the chapter, I completed my Daily Reading with the words for this day: “Serenity of the soul comes to me as I open myself to an awareness of God within me and within every moment of my life.” And “Being aware of God is my reason for being.”

With the message coming so intensely from both readings, I knew that my inner storm was over; at least this one. And I was ready to move forward.  

 

Chapter 6

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

 

Garage Sale Marathon

I came across the above adage in my Daily Reading in the middle of Angie’s garage sale marathon that lasted for several weekends — first at her mom’s, and another a week later at her sister and husbands, while they were away on vacation. 

Rather than return to Erie, we spent our time parked at Dottie’s or Van’s aunt’s for several weeks. In retrospect, this is a perfect title for this chapter, and we’re fortunate that we have our home with us, wherever we are; so life is not quite so disruptive. Nevertheless, our focus shifted from the website to the garage sales: loading Angie’s rental trailer to move the stuff, cleaning things up, setting them out, being there for two days (each), packing them up, and then reloading for the trip across town to the third garage sale (we’d already had one, the end of May, at Angie’s). 

Still Celebrating

On Sunday afternoon, after Garage Sale #2, we moved and parked at Dottie’s curb for a few days in order to continue celebrating my birthday; this time with a family BBQ, prepared by Steve. 

I was happy that Arianna and Micayla had been visiting her parents for several weeks, and Jason had now arrived to make this an even more festive event, especially since they had decided to return to this area within a few weeks. They’d had their time to themselves, and now they needed and wanted to be with family, as Micayla was happily bonding with her grandparents; also baby-sitting was definitely a factor.

When we returned to Van’s aunt’s, she treated us, as a belated birthday celebration, when we all went to dinner with two other of Van’s cousins, who were passing through town, having flown from Georgia, on their way to Wyoming. Of course, I love celebrating my birthday for several weeks, and I enjoy meeting new family members, so this was another festive occasion. In addition, we were invited to visit them, when our travels take us to Georgia.

Although the birthday celebrations waned, during the garage sales, Van’s aunt still provided meals: made sandwiches, had pizza delivered, or we stopped for a fast food snack, as the marathon continued.

Mother Nature’s Unexpected Visits

Summer in Colorado is not much different than winter, when it comes to unpredictable, and often untimely, weather. I guess you could even say that Mother Nature’s visits are not unlike any mother’s untimely and unexpected arrival.

Garage Sale #2 was going great: lots of people responding to the ad in the newspaper and signs that Angie had placed at strategic locations. The sun was shining, and it was actually too hot, but no one seemed to mind, as they searched for treasures in the front yard, driveway, and garage. Some even wandered into the backyard, in hopes of more bounty; not that there wasn’t more there, but it wasn’t ready for display (either needed cleaning, or Angie wasn’t ready to let it go), so the visitors were directed to the front yard goodies; everything from delicate crystal goblets to furniture, and even car chains.

One of our favorite mystery items was finally identified by a shopper; it’s a hand held clay pigeon ejector. He demonstrated how it worked, as he explained, “The person holding it would stand by the person with the gun and pull back a lever, releasing the clay pigeon into the air, while the shooter would aim and shoot.” However, the customer did not buy the obsolete 50-cent conversation piece.

With that mystery solved, Mother Nature decided to pay her surprise visit in the late afternoon. At first, we were thrilled when the clouds added a protective coat from the intense sun’s heat, but soon a strong gust of wind whipped through the yard, sending papers, bags, and boxes flying up the street. With the help of some customers, we quickly boxed the delicate crystal, and then I ran up the street to rescue the papers that were scurrying toward their freedom. The trees were stretching and bending, tossing leaves and small branches, but the stalwart Coloradans simply continued browsing and buying. Some even remained and helped us spread sheets of plastic, when the heavy raindrops splattered on everything. But typical of Colorado, the storm soon took its frenzied gusts elsewhere, and the garage sale continued. 

Mother Nature paid a second visit Sunday afternoon (after we’d left), with much heavier and longer rain showers, causing a halt to the garage sale, as they retired the linens and other rain soaked items to the garage, and began the tedious packing and boxing for the next sale.

Much to our surprise, Garage Sale #3 brought a different visit from Mother Nature. This time the intense heat (again in the 90’s) was accompanied by enough wind to create the appearance of a July snowstorm, as millions of white, fluffy cottonwood seeds blew in blizzard-like conditions through the air; sometimes upward, as the air currents shifted. The reflection of the sun on the upward sailing fluff balls looked like brightly twinkling stars, which caused me to have a sensation of vertigo, while looking upward.

Again, most of the Coloradans continued shopping, undaunted by nature’s games. However, some complained of allergic reactions, as they wiped their eyes and noses; but they kept right on sorting through the piles and boxes, now filling another driveway and front yard; this time along Cherry Creek, in southeast Denver.

Garage Sale Education

We’d already learned about the clay pigeon ejector, at Garage Sale #2, and this time we learned several more interesting facts. For instance, the tall reddish cylinder, which we thought to be a vase, was actually a wine cooler. Once soaked in cold water, the clay vessel chilled a bottle of wine, throughout the meal. On the other hand, we discovered that a similar colored rectangle shaped obstacle was actually a clay baking dish, which held the heat and cooked much quicker than glass or tin ones. We learned that lesson from a lady whose son is a chef, as she carefully held the dish with paper, so not to burn her hands on the sun-heated object, which she bought for her son.

As another lady paid for a thick book, Merck’s Manual, I asked what the book was about, thinking it was for auto mechanics. 

“It’s a Pharmaceutical or Medical manual,” she replied, “and it’s very technical,” Toward the end of the sale, Sunday afternoon, Van and his aunt returned home for more boxes, and Angie went to take down the signs, leaving me to tend to any late customers.

A very tall young man, with a backpack, browsed through the books, which were under the blue and white tent that Angie had used for Garage Sale #1, at her house. That had been protection from the rain, but now it shaded browsers from the sun. Fortunately, we hadn’t put it up at Aunt Betsy’s, or it would have surely blown away.

For some reason I felt guided to chat with the fellow, and learned that his name was Ben, and he had recently arrived from Pennsylvania, in search of fulfilling his dream: writing a novel. Well, of course I would find the writer in the crowd. He said that he had written several poems, and some short stories that would someday be part of his novel. But he was running out of money, and would have to get a job in the computer industry, earn enough money to go off someplace and write his novel.

As we talked, I learned that there is a website, iuniversal.com, that helps writers get published, no matter what phase there manuscript was in. This sounded like a possible solution to some of my writing needs, so later, when Angie and Van returned, they helped me get set up on a computer, and I studied iuniverse.com. However, it was getting late, and I was so tired that I decided to put off that pursuit for another time. Yet, I was grateful for another bit of garage sale education.

Different Kinds of Treasure

Most people at garage sales seem to come with the purpose of finding treasure, and if they don’t find what they are looking for, they move on; probably to the next garage sale. But, some enjoy the socializing and will chat awhile, if they find something of interest to talk about. 

I’d been talking with someone about my writing, and mentioned that I wrote motivational books for prisoners. He said that he helps get websites set up, so I suggested that he visit my website and leave information for me contacting him, and he said that he would. This reminded me that it’s time to indulge in business cards that list my website address; and it also brought to mind that it’s time to get back to my website and move it forward.

When he left, a pleasant looking man asked me what I said I write about, and I told him. Then he explained that he had been in prison. He said that the only rehabilitation is what one does for himself. He told of his own changes, and how his life is now working good. He pointed to his car that he’d gotten at an auction, and said that he works as a mechanic at a car junkyard, and also with his sister at her art store nearby. 

I’d hoped to invite him to visit my website, and asked if he had a computer. He said that he didn’t, but his sister has one. I suggested that he look up InnerFreedomMinistry.com, and he said he would.

Not too long after he left, I approached a lady who was browsing, and she said her brother said that she should come check out the yard sale. We chatted, as I showed her several items that might be of interest and she said that she’s got her business listed on Ebay.com. She gave me some pointers on doing that with my books. I asked the lady to encourage her brother to check out my website, and she agreed to do it. 

Angie’s aunt had said “This is the last garage sale,” and I rejoiced. We were all tired, and needed to get on with life. Although it hadn’t been my intention, I’d made four good contacts, and I knew that God was telling me that it’s time to move beyond garage sales.

 

Getting Along Again

But, we were still nomads, as we rested up another day at Van’s aunt and he helped clear her garage (from Garage Sale #2), so she could finally park in it, again.  

After dinner, her phone rang. To my surprise, it was my teenage granddaughter, Airica, calling me. She and I had been avoiding each other, since our falling out a month or so ago, although we had been to Dottie’s several times.

I asked, “Why are you calling?”

She replied, Oh, I wanted to talk to you.”

“Does this mean we are friends, again?” I asked.

She laughed, and said, “Yeah.”

I asked, “How come?”

“I got tired of it,” she responded.

We chatted a long time, as she talked about her plans for the summer, such as cheerleading camp the next week, and her senior year at school, and college in another year. It felt good that we were getting along again. 

 

Freedom Day: 2020

And it was another reason for celebrating Freedom Day (July 4th), which honors this country’s Independence from British rule, after winning the Revolutionary War. Our family likes to personalize the holiday by taking steps toward inner freedom, as Airica had done with her phone call to her grandmother, which ended our generation gap differences.

When she had finished talking, she gave the phone to Dottie, and we discussed our options for the next day, as she said, “I’m tired of BBQ’s, and I don’t want to go anyplace, or be in crowds. I’m more into honoring inner freedom and keeping cool.”

“How about Van and I taking you guys out to a restaurant?”

“Just so the air conditioning works,” she replied.

Past Freedom Days

Later that evening, during my meditation, I reflected on the many family gatherings throughout the years, specifically the July 4th events; usually picnics or BBQ’s at a home or park. Originally the clan gathered in Oregon, and then moved to northern California, and later to southern California, and now we were scattered throughout those states, and also Colorado. 

Sometimes Van and I celebrated alone, such as the time I fixed us hot dogs and we sat at a card table in our living room in Leucadia, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and then walked up the hill and watched fireworks, and returned to listen to band music on TV celebrations. Another time, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in a huge RV park, (formerly an Amusement Park), we watched the grandchildren, in the next RV, joyfully lighting sparklers, and that was enough fireworks for me.

I never did like them very much, ever since someone’s rocket started a fire on the hillside at Kah-nee-ta Hot Springs, owned by my adopted parents (my paternal grandfather and his second wife), when I was a youngster. It scared me, and ever since, I’ve preferred watching fireworks from a distance.    

However, I did enjoy several church gatherings at a member’s hilltop home, above a country club, within view of the Del Mar Fair, where we were surrounded by the fireworks display at both places, and even in the distance, at neighboring cities. But the best part was the camaraderie with friends, and good food, and the singing, accompanied by the pianist-hostess.

“…Filled With Love”

Those celebrations were all appropriate for the time, but now we made the transition to Dottie’s family home, and prepared for yet another celebration of freedom.

As we uprooted, once again, I recalled the words from the Daily Reading, referring to a heart filled with love of God, allowing us to feel at home wherever we are. As a fulltime RVer, I like that idea, especially as we face the question of where we are going next; and when.

The White Fence Farm

But for now, the love flowed within our family group as we gathered at the White Fence Farm, which aptly described the tree-shaded acreage with ducks floating on ponds; sheep, goats, chickens in pens, and a horse-drawn carriage giving rides to the kids. One day this would be of interest to Micayla, but she wasn’t with us this day (they would arrive in another week).

Otherwise, the youngest kid in our family, Brandon, is eleven-years-old, and his main interest, as with the rest of us, was food. So we waited inside the expanded “farmhouse” and enjoyed its air-conditioned comfort, until our number was called. I chatted with my great- grandson about his recent visit with his mom, and heard the story about his aborted adventure in Disneyworld being rained out, after only two rides. 

And when we were ordering dinner, I asked Brandon where he developed a taste for jumbo shrimp, and he replied, “New Orleans,” so we chatted about his trip there with his mom, and the good food they enjoyed, and I recalled several points of interest when we were there.

The rest of us, including Earl, (Brandon’s dad) tried to remember the last time we had gathered at the White Fence Farm, and were shocked to realize it had been six-years, when we had celebrated Dottie’s birthday. We all wondered where the years had gone; the same years in which Brandon had entered elementary school; and now he would be entering sixth grade (his last year at the same school Airica had attended). She would soon begin her senior year in high school, and kept busy with her own life, such as today, which she spent with Josh, her steady boyfriend.

Dottie observed that the White Fence Farm was a perfect place to celebrate The Fourth, with its homey atmosphere, including a mural of a tree-protected farm sitting midst rolling hills of wheat. The food is served family style, with bowls of appetizers, salads and soft corn fritters, while we awaited the main course. Everything tasted the way we expected, including their specialty, fried chicken, which most of us ordered and enjoyed, as we sat around the country style table.

We thought of the many families celebrating this holiday, with similar food and family gatherings, and a feeling of love and oneness filled our hearts. It’s true: home is where the heart is; and often that place is with family. As the Daily Reading affirms, “I am always at home with God.”

A New Generation for Up-Down

When we returned to Dottie’s, the adults sat in the backyard awhile, and Brandon bounced on the trampoline. I have no idea how he can take such exercise, after a huge meal, but that’s youth.

The rest of us prefer a milder form of Up-Down, which is the name of a card game we learned from our southern California family. It’s quite complex, with the bottom-line that sometimes you actually have to lose to win. 

Much to our delight, Brandon decided to join us and learn the game, under his Auntie Dottie’s tutelage, he grasped the game quickly, winning or losing with a good response; a definite sign of his new maturity. I remembered that when he was much younger, he could not handle losing, and often a game would be discontinued due to his upset. But Little League and the process of life had taught him good sportsmanship, and it was fun having him join us for the card game.

Rascal, Angel, Cupid and Tweety

What would be your answer, if the question asked on a Game Show were: “What do the above names have in common?” 

In our family, the answer is: “They are the family pets.” And their colors even match: black and brownish for the three tortoiseshell colored cats, with white added to the Australian sheepherder dog (Rascal). However, your answer would be wrong, if you said, “a tail,” because Rascal does not have one, so when he’s happy, his entire body wags.

These animals are so much part of the family that I look forward to our time together, as much as with the humans. I’ve already mentioned the razzle welcome, given by Rascal, when he wags his entire body, whines and talks in wild abandon. And even the aloof cats acknowledge our arrival, and come to visit our RV for short periods of time. 

But the morning trek from the house to the RV is a ritual for Rascal, and when he sees our door open, or otherwise feels it’s time, he runs between Dottie and the window or door, until she lets him out. Then he makes a wild dash to the RV and gives us his morning version of a razzle welcome. I give him some dog snacks, and once he knows we are staying put, he is satisfied and returns to the house; although sometimes he will lie down and stay awhile.

Rascal may be here, or not, when Cupid or Tweety decides to visit. They enjoy their morning rub and petting, then investigate everything from stem to stern, and usually leave.

The mother of the two cats, Angel, has never visited our home, and sometimes she warms up to us, but she’s always been more aloof, because she started life by living in a field, having been born on a farm, and is less sociable.

I would be remiss not to mention Buddie, Arianna and Jason’s family dog: a golden short-haired dingo mix, which also originated in Australia. Because they weren’t allowed to have pets in their apartment, he lived with the family, during his puppyhood, and role-modeled Rascal. As a result, Buddie is a clone of Rascal, and does everything he does, including the razzle welcome, which can become overwhelming with the two dogs, especially when the enthusiasm of the younger one nearly knocks you over, while licking and jumping; fortunately, Rascal has mellowed with age.

I could write a book about these animals, and I have written a short story about them, but every day there is another chapter. For instance, the day before we arrived, Rascal did combat with a skunk, during the night, and got sprayed. Poor thing felt so ashamed, but even in his remorse, he still crawled up on the bed. When Steve realized the situation, he applied Pet Magic, one of our wonderful products, and the smell was gone from the dog, bed, and house. But, I must save the rest of the stories for another time.

Another Visit from Mother Nature

Everyone says this is an unusually hot summer, but we wouldn’t know, because it’s our first one in Colorado, and the 90+ temperatures have influenced some of our choices; just as snow has done in the winter. 

Without being able to run our A/C, because the house amps are not high enough, we rely on the fans that Angie gave us. But once the heat is over 90, they only blow around hot air, and it doesn’t relieve the feeling of being cooked alive when our home becomes an oven. So, we decided to stay at Dottie’s longer than planned. Although they don’t have A/C either, we combine fans, and keep the house closed, and somehow survive. If worse comes to worse, we could be smart, like the cats, and retreat to their cool basement.

In any event, the change of plans created the need for an adjustment of priorities, as keeping cool, along with surviving, became #1. 

 

Chapter 7

GOD ENRICHES ALL OF MY EXPERIENCES

 

Spending Plan Revisited

When the above quote headlined my Daily Reading on the subject of Prosperity, I wasn’t sure this topic belonged with a new chapter. As the words continued to emphasize that God’s spirit is within me, and therefore God’s presence goes with me, wherever I go, I decided to go with it.

Knowing that I would be writing about our latest bout with the Spending Plan, the affirmation seemed appropriate.

As planned, Van had made another payment on our burgeoning American Express card, and we wondered why it kept increasing, despite our huge payments and not making charges. Finally, after we had nearly finished the session, I stumbled onto the fact that there had been a loan, through this card, to pay for the new refrigerator that we had replaced last winter. I asked if it were possible that the payments were being added to our credit card, and Van looked rather blank, replying, “Maybe.”

By this time, as usual, I was exasperated with his ten-year-old attitude when discussing our Spending Plan. After all, this man had been a Financial Consultant and handled the finances for others, besides our own, quite successfully, I had thought; but when I brought this to his attention, he denied his ability. Perhaps he now knew more about himself than he had then, and understood the depth and extent of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, identified as underearning and overspending. For some, it manifests as gambling, for others it’s hoarding, for others it’s scarcity, and for others it’s an unidentifiable money disorder. Van’s symptoms had once leaned toward gambling, but he solved that by abstaining. Possibly he unconsciously attempted to resolve our financial problems by ignoring them, but needless to say, they don’t go away with lack of attention.

In fact, by the end of this session, I was more convinced than ever that putting consciousness into finances is part of the solution. So, again (as the month before), I suggested that he put consciousness into our financial accounting (personal and business) each day, with a block of time, after his Prosperity Plan reading and affirmation. He wasn’t thrilled, but he agreed.

In the meantime, I could feel that this session had taken us further than ever before, as layers of confusion and indifference were being uncovered, and more clarity appeared for us both; in our personal and business accounts, and toward decreasing our debt.

Despite the growing American Express balance, with this month’s payment, we were within reach of paying off the credit card next month. The amount that had been going toward that bill could now pay off the dentist bill (from California), freeing up $50.00 more a month that would go toward the next selected bill that we could eliminate in two months, with one large payment.

I got excited when we considered full payment for another credit card; until I realized that we would need that money to repair our brakes or generator. Van chose brakes, as a higher priority, for obvious reasons.

I’d been doing well with maintaining my focus and consciousness, until this point. By this time the heat had reached over 100 degrees, and the sun’s intensity was pushing against the dining room curtains, where we were sitting. I felt the pressure in my head, which arrives under these conditions, and I was no longer able to think clearly, so we stopped.

But we had made progress. For instance, up till now, payments had been hit and miss; Dottie had been selling the products and putting the money in the account, until last month, when we changed the order to include only our personal use products, leaving nothing to sell. This meant that money from my legacy was being used for this purpose, and not for what it was intended, the website expenses. This instigated a firm desire on my part to have two accounts; otherwise, I would have no legacy left, when needed, which is another pattern that I intended to change.

Another item had lost meaning, and that was our tithe commitment. We had agreed that the tithe would be absorbed into Inner Freedom Ministry, as our place of spiritual worship, which it is. And the fact that much of our space, electricity and other expenses were a result of the ministry definitely qualified the tithe deduction. However, we hadn’t been putting consciousness into the money transaction, and this is a must. 

In fact, I had felt guided to re-read Even Mystics Have Bills, by James Rosemergy, and was directed to a page that suggested there comes a time when we must put the principles to the test, quoting the famous verse in Malachi 3:10, and suggesting that we follow a program titled “Truth Comes Alive.” 

He refers to living beyond one’s consciousness, as the cause of underearning- overspending, and he is so right, saying that unpaid bills cause the consciousness of the minister to ebb (in a church), which is true for anyone. As he reminds us, thoughts of lack perpetually held in mind will produce after their kind, just like any other thoughts. So, we must change the thoughts and consciousness. One method is by consciously tithing, and by blessing the tithe check each time, and praying for the recipient. He also suggested doing the same for our bills, as we write the checks.

As I leafed through this book, I was surprised to discover that he, too, presented a 40-Day Prosperity Plan, which I decided to enter into, when my 70 days with the other one were concluded, because it is so important to keep focused on God, as we put consciousness into our money matters.

When we finished with this Spending Plan session, I felt certain that next time would take us even further toward clarity in our prosperity adventures.

Extracurricular Summer Reading

I’ve mentioned before that God always uses experiential aides to get across a lesson. It’s like a visual aide, only I’m more of a participant than an observer. They can be movies, TV, books, or actual happenings. 

Although I’ve been too busy, in recent years, to read other books, God brought to my attention that I was to read One, by Richard Bach, when He had me rescue it from the garage sale throw-away bin. It had gotten wet and rumpled, but otherwise okay, so I took advantage of some spare time (when I didn’t have access to working on-line) and read the book in two days. Now Van is reading it.

It’s about Richard and his wife visiting alternative realities: past, present, future. And it gets into the subject of patterns, ideas, and what we do with them; how to formulate them. All this is spiced with adventure, as they fly their high-powered seaplane into and through different dimensions. Ultimately, the author ties together the truth of his fantasies with the reality of science and medicine, as he attends a conference of like-minded authorities on the subject of the unknown possibilities where we have only scratched the surface. I’m not sure where fantasy and truth begin and end, but I do know that such gatherings are taking place, and the attendees are creating a consciousness that will ultimately lift mankind to new levels of consciousness. I can hardly wait, for I have been on the fringe-area of the investigations into these truths, and I have wondered why it has been so quiet out there, in recent years. Now, I’m discovering that it has been continuing, on inner circles, all along. Thank God! 

The second book, The Choice, by Og Mandino, came my way at Dottie’s, highly recommended by her and Steve; so one day, while Van was scanning material into my computer, I read it; couldn’t put it down. The main attraction was a hint, at the beginning, of the protagonist’s untimely and immanent death, as he is writing his story. Although it isn’t mentioned, again, until the last chapter, it lurks in the back of one’s mind, luring the reader onward for an explanation.

In the meantime, we are caught up in the story, as he quits his high-paying job, moves to the country and lives in a lighthouse, while he writes A Better Life, a how-to book for successful living, gleaned from his experience as a motivational speaker. At first, he spent his free time with his family, doing all the things he’d planned, and the book takes its appropriate place in his life, as we share his emotions from the joy when its complete, and the disappointment, as the rejection form letters return, and the fear and anxiety, as money is running out; all of which I’ve experienced, as a writer.

But, throughout the book, once it has been accepted and published, we share concern over ominous notes that show up in strange places. And then there is the visit with an old man, who once lived through these same triumphs of success, as a published and adulated author. Soon, he appears at seemingly inopportune times, and we eventually learn the correlation between the letters and the old man; another multi-dimensional explanation. And the story takes some surprising twists, with deep lessons of life, as we read onward to learn the ultimate conclusion, which I won’t share; otherwise, it would spoil the story.

Both books had similarities: the men were authors, in a teammate marriage, gave up a lucrative lifestyle to fulfill their own dreams, and focused on being in the moment with their loved ones. And both stories were fantasies, but based on possibilities, using the characters and plots to teach basic truths of life.  

A third book entered the scene, while Dottie, Van and I were shopping at Costco. She’d been talking about Gary Zukav ever since he was on Oprah, and then she and Steve read his book, Seat of the Soul, and here was his second book, Soul Stories, so I bought it for them, for us all to share. And that afternoon I began reading. Again, another book that takes us beyond the ordinary, into other dimensions, for explanations of life’s possibilities; and this one is not a fantasy, but true stories.

Righteous Indignation

One afternoon, we watched videos of Gary’s appearances on Oprah, when he dealt with the topics of fear and anger. These issues have always seemed nebulous to me, without definition that I could apply to myself, and I have always felt that anger, when it’s righteous indignation, has its rightful place in life.

For instance, I had been feeling low-key angry at Van, which erupted into verbal abuse, after reading One. But I didn’t communicate the real root of my feelings, until Sunday afternoon, after Dottie and I had attended church.

Tap Tap Tap

The above words didn’t make much sense to me, either, until Rev. Roger Teel built to the climax of his sermon, which was titled “Coming Out of the Dark.” He had spoken of Jesus knocking on the door, and our need to tap within ourselves for answers and fulfillment, but the highlight of his talk was the illustration of Annie Sullivan, who brought Helen Keller out of the darkness of her boxed-in world, in which she couldn’t see, speak, or hear; in other words, she was deaf, dumb and blind; making communications nearly impossible. What a dilemma to be born with!

In desperation, after trying every conceivable approach, Annie took her to the outdoor water pump and splashed water on her hand, then she tapped on Helen’s hand; a first step in communications.

I didn’t understand the significance of the story, so asked Van. He said the tapping was to let her know that she could communicate; a major breakthrough, because now the girl, who lived in total darkness and threw tantrums out of helpless frustration, could let someone know when she wanted a drink. Other signals followed, and eventually she could talk. In fact, the minister told of Jean Huston, who had recently spoken at the church, sharing about her visit, as a child, with Helen Keller. 

Ms. Huston had attended a private school that took the children to visit famous or inspiring people, including Helen Keller, who asked if there were any questions. Jean felt compelled to raise her hand, although she didn’t know what to ask. Nevertheless, when Helen called on her, Jean asked, “What makes you so happy?” Helen, who was still blind, put her hands on Jean’s face and replied. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what she said.

Someone to Take Care of me

One thing lead to another, as Van and I talked about the Sunday sermon, the books I’d been reading and Gary Zukav’s videos, which I knew were part of the process I was going through; in fact, we were both experiencing, and I knew it had to do with communications, for one thing. But I hadn’t been clear about the rest of it, until Dottie dropped her bombshell, before church, when I was talking about my upset with Van.

I said, “I know that my anger evolved from the changes in Van. Once he had taken care of our finances and the things that I expected a husband to do; in fact he was the support of the entire family. And then he changed and couldn’t seem to handle much of anything. To my inner child (Joanie) this change merges with what happened when my mom was no longer able to function as she had, before she so-called went crazy and was put in a mental institution. I hate their change from the familiar to something unknown that I don’t understand. So, yes, the anger evolves from fear, but I don’t know what’s under that.”

Dottie dropped her bomb with her response, “You need to take it further, the fear is “Who’s going to take care of me?”

Just then we arrived in the parking lot, and her attention was focused on parking, and then we went into the church and got onto other subjects, but the effect of her bomb was still in the back of my mind.

And when Van and I were talking, I was able to verbalize, “I know my anger evolved from the books I was reading, especially during a final chapter in One. After the sometimes inspiring, and often horrendous adventures they’d been through, which had given them new insights into their lives, the couple was making plans for their future. It was a teamwork of closeness, oneness, and purposefulness; perhaps the intimacy that they shared, which brought to my attention that, after all these years, you and I are still like a team of horses, only one seems to be pulling off in another direction from the other.”

Nothing Ventured; Nothing Gained

I paused, and he said nothing, so I continued, “I realize that you are doing more than most when it comes to assisting and supporting me, especially with the computer and website projects, but I’m always feeling this low-grade anger, because my needs aren’t being fulfilled, and also, I feel that some of these issues are life- threatening. For instance, this long heat-spell (95+ weather) affects my health and I need the air-conditioning, which we can’t use, because our generator doesn’t work. It needs fixing, and we don’t have the money to fix it.’

Of course, this took me onto another subject, which is always a source of upset, but I continued anyway, questioning the feasibility of altering our priorities, rather than paying off debts, to having the brakes and generator repaired. As always, the issues became overwhelming, I felt anger, and nothing was resolved.

However, later, I asked Steve’s advice about where to take the motorhome for the repairs, and he suggested that we at least try to use the A/C with the present hookup. So, after Van gave him all the reasons why it wouldn’t work, he tried it, anyway. And, of course, it didn’t work, because the house amperage was too high. Oh, well, nothing ventured; nothing gained.

So, in an attempt to determine if we could get the repairs done, I asked Van the balance in our bank accounts. When he replied, $100.00, I blew another gasket: “It’s the first of the month, and that’s all we have to live on for the entire month?”  

We’d been keeping cool with the fans inside the house, but I stormed out to our RV and told Van that I wanted to be alone. In spite of the heat and our one fan, I managed to cool off, and finally sat down to update my Prosperity Plan. It was the last day that I had elected to work with this one, before beginning a new prosperity program, so Day 10, the statement for the day, hit like a hammer:

“I keep my mind and heart off this world, and I place my entire focus on God within as the only Cause of my prosperity.”

I reflected on Dottie’s words, “You want someone to take care of you,” and it was like my life flashed before my eyes. She was right. That’s really what I subconsciously wanted; and I was angry with my parents, and with Van, for not fulfilling their job of taking care of me. And part of me wanted to know that Dottie and Steve would be there to take care of us, when we weren’t able to take care of ourselves; and I’m sure that caused a subconscious resentment on Dottie’s part. 

Consciously I knew that God would take care of us, but my inner child still subconsciously carried that abandonment fear, and she wanted someone to take care of her. But God was now letting her know that He would never abandon her, and it was time to move forward and upward; and He had guided me to three books, a video tape and church, plus a bombshell from Dottie to get the message across. 

My Partnership with God

The next morning I began my new 40-Day Prosperity Plan presented in Even Mystics Have Bills to Pay, by Jim Rosemergy. The first day stated: “Today, I begin my Partnership with God. And infinite wisdom is guiding me. I have no fear because God is my partner. Day 1 required that we write “My Partnership With God,” and I knew this would take me from my feelings of unfulfillment. So I wrote:

I will allow (take) time to listen: meditation, prayer, quiet, or at the computer; in all that I do, I listen to You, Your Guidance, Your Will, and Your Desire.

I know that, of myself, I can do nothing; it is not I, but the Father within who doeth the works. I give all glory and praise and acknowledgement to God.

I will follow Your Guidance and do as You Guide.

In return, I expect from You, the fulfillment of Your Desires through me, and knowing what to do, when, where, how and with whom.

I trust that You will provide us with sustenance, money, food, clothes, transportation, our home (RV), and all of our needs and desires fulfilled.

I trust You to provide nurturing and protection and that You will take care of us, as our loving, caring, supporting Father-Mother God.

I no longer look without to persons, things or conditions to fill these needs, and I release others from that responsibility. Thank You, God.

It was signed with the radiating fish, which is always the signature from my God-Messages, and I signed my initials. So it is, and so it is done.

Needs are not the Issue

I knew that we were in another God-process by the time I’d finished with the Day 2 assignment: write down what I had strongly longed for, at some given time, and the emotions involved. I thought about our recent upsets, which had been intensified by my latest website efforts. 

I’d been visiting several others, and even sent them e-mails asking if I could link to their websites, which was overwhelming for me; it meant putting myself out there even more. Then I tried to find Marianne Williamson’s website, and two links that I had been excited about when I last visited. But I needed Van’s help, and became frustrated when he was in his they are not there mode; “I’ll help, only I won’t really give you what you want.”

We never did find the two websites, and I became more frustrated, as the evening progressed.

I was so angry by the time I went to bed, and we were both feeling hopeless, so I suggested that Van come up with a solution to our problems. He’d already acknowledged that his passive-aggressive pattern was apparently in full bloom, because I mentioned that Dottie had noticed it too. So he asked her to explain it, and she gave a simple answer: “Oh, it’s when they say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t care,’ or otherwise are non-committal,” concluding, “Some people are just that way.” I thought she could have gone into more explanation, but she’d chosen not to, so I assumed that Van wasn’t receptive to any more input on the subject, at the time.

Before drifting off to sleep, I’d concluded that the only solution to our problems was to sell our RV, pay off our debts, split the difference and he could buy himself a little RV and live his miserly lifestyle in perfect contentment. I knew that I could start a new life, because I’ve done it many times. With my half of the monthly income, I would rent a room, keep up with my website, expand the links, and wait for the orders to come in. I would find a place near Dottie and Steve, shopping, and a bus stop, until I could buy a car. I felt such relief from the burdens of our present struggles that I fell sound asleep.

What I longed for and the Emotions Involved:

“Security, support, sanity. Can’t stand the confusion, conflict and chaos. Money issues seem to be the cause, but they’re only the outer appearance. The real cause is the insanity, instability and insecurity.” 

I liked the euphonic sound of the statements, and I could feel the Spirit within me guiding my words, as I continued, “The above was true with my natural parents: Mom’s mental illness and Dad’s irresponsibility; and also with Mom Freeland’s crazy-making alcoholic addiction and personality. And child-raising, with their neediness, demands, and misbehavior had the same disturbing effect on me. I thought I’d escaped all that when I began my relationship with Van, but eventually his passive-aggressive behavior and obsessive-compulsive personality became even more confusing and crazy-making, because I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t know what to do about it; like Mom going into her breakdown when I was a child.”

I paused in my writing, and then wrote, “Would the underlying pattern change in another set of circumstances? I doubt it; not unless I change the inner cause of the pattern, and then my consciousness changes to attract different results. In that case, my present circumstances would improve accordingly; Van’s behavior would change. First within; then without.”

Otherwise, I knew that leaving would not solve the problem; I would only replicate it in someone else, or similar situations. With this in mind, I wrote: “So what is the current problem? Debt, no income, no money for the month? No. It’s Van’s attitude — oblivious, covert control, indifference, not assuming responsibility for our financial condition. His ‘I don’t want to do it,’ or ‘I won’t do it, but I’ll let you think I am complying, while I’m circumventing the request or requirement.’ It’s always the problem.”

Okay, so this is his part, but what is mine? Fear! Fear of abandonment? Fear of something bad going to happen? Fear that I can’t take care of Mom, Van, myself? No, I’ve already dealt with those fears and they have lost their impact. 

“Maybe it’s just that I don’t want to or choose to. It’s for sure that I don’t want to take care of an old man, especially when he’s younger than I am. I want a helpmate; someone to share the adventure, responsibilities, and joys; a teammate. That’s what I’ve always wanted. And I thought Van was it, but he withholds that which is wanted; it’s part of his condition: ‘Don’t give them what they want; whatever they want, hold out, keep them wanting. It keeps them around.’”

I’d come to recognize and understand this much of Van’s behavior, with the help of his aunt unraveling the mystery in her family members. But, did I want to live with it the rest of my life, if nothing was going to change? I continued writing:

“So what is the solution? I am not a victim; I am victorious. I am not a captive; I am free with the freedom of Spirit. I can choose to stay and survive, as God guides, protects and inspires; or I can leave and make a new life with God’s guidance, support and protection.”

By this time, Van had gotten up, so I shared the writing with him, letting him know that I’d gone to sleep with plans to sell our RV, pay the debt, share the difference, and go our separate way. I also went over other options: stay together, hang on to the saddle horn, go through the ups and downs and let it be the way it is. Or, we could make the inner changes and enjoy the results.

He sat down and listened attentively; seeming relieved when I’d finished the discourse. Once the analysis aspect of the presentation was over, I was guided to read from the Daily Reading: “I am a healthy and whole creation of the Master Builder.” It spoke of the genetic blueprint within our bodies that included a plan of ongoing life and healing. 

A New Level of our Inner Adventure

Surely, this entire week’s scenario, with the books we’d been guided to read and the video we’d watched, and everything that happened had seemed to be part of the experiential aide that God wanted us to experience in order to take us to a new level of life.

In any event, I concluded by suggesting that if Van chose to remain in the relationship, then he must choose to do what he does, without withholding, holding back, and otherwise not participating or giving of himself. 

Again, he chose to remain and continue working on the website, and go with the flow of our life together.

I reminded him that we are each the results of the conditioning and programming in our lives, like Rascal, the sheep dog, running in figure 8 patterns, though he has never seen a sheep in his life; it is the result of genetic conditioning. Other examples had come to me, in recent days, reminding me of these facts, and we could become permanently impacted by them, or we could consciously choose to make the inner and outer changes. Yet, we must accept these factors within each other, while supporting the personal growth each is going through.

Van agreed, and we again reached a new level of our inner adventure.

The Sheep’s in the Fold

Earlier in the day, Van had moved Freedom a few houses away, to make room for the rental truck, and, as planned, while we were all at a meeting, Arianna, Jason and Micayla arrived; thus beginning their first step toward returning to this area. Of course, finding jobs and a home would come next.

But, for all of us, and especially the family sheepdog, Rascal, having the family together was cause for rejoicing. Even though Airica was at cheerleading camp, we were all within close proximity. However, Van and I would be returning to Erie the next day.

Partnership Agreement Between Joyanna and Van

God was ready to take us to a new level, which He began during my morning meditation. I’d been affirming “I am thankful, grateful and appreciative” and began to enumerate some of Van’s endearing qualities and accomplishments, when God said, “Write a Partnership Agreement with Van.” A flashback to the previous day’s Oprah show (which Dottie had left on, after watching her soaps), reminded me of such a contract being suggested by the day’s guest, who had been working with couples to resolve their differences; another experiential aide, no doubt.

So, when Van got up, I suggested the idea, and added that it would be good to each write our own version, first, and then work together for the final document. Here is my version:

JOYANNA’S PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

I will continue to prepare meals and do household tasks, which I hate, in keeping with our current lifestyle. 

I will handle the planning and navigating of our travels — inner and outer. 

Most of my time and attention will be given to my writing and website activities, as God guides.

I will follow through, as God guides, on matters relating to the business.

I will continue to be the spiritual mentor for us, on our inner and outer journey, and I will support your inner growth, as I am processing through my own, giving what input I feel appropriate, according to my own reactions to yours, and as God guides.

I will work with you in putting consciousness into our finances: keeping the Spending Plan, and paying our debts, and staying within our income, and doing what I am guided toward increasing the money flow. 

I will attempt to fulfill your needs and desires that are within my ability to do.

I expect you to drive, and maintain Freedom, as a vehicle and as our home.

I expect you to support and assist with my website, and listen to my writings, giving input and feedback, as appropriate. Also I expect you to assist and support with my writing formats.

I expect you to put much of your time and attention on building our business, and/or otherwise providing an income in keeping with our lifestyle and needs and desires; providing for our health and well-being, such as food, travel, clothes, maintenance, fun, family activities and products.

I expect you to take care of the accounting and financial aspects of our lives, including the Spending Plan and Numbers; and your daily 40-Day Prosperity Plan.

I expect you to continue to empty garbage, provide your own breakfast, and take care of the heavy lifting and projects related to Freedom, including getting and storing things from/in basement.   

I expect you to be aware of your passive-aggressive and obsessive-compulsive behavior, and make changes that will make your life more successful

 

Chapter 8

TODAY IS THE DAY!

 

“See, now is the acceptable time”

I chose this title from my Daily Readings, because its positive declaration and the three affirmations set the tone for the next phase of my life.  

Affirmation #1: “I am healed, and the life of God within me is renewing and restoring me, and is constantly happening within me.”

Affirmation #2: “I meet my goals! Today is the day I continue to work toward the goals I have already established and to set new goals.”

Affirmation #3: “I enjoy peace of mind, which is established through my awareness of the presence of God.”

And it concluded with one of my favorite bible quotes which states: “See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

The reading suggests that we take a few moments throughout the day to acknowledge the presence of God and the blessings of peace this realization gives. What a great way to start a new chapter, and the rest of my life!

“I am an Explorer …”

And this is an exciting day, because I will break through my cocoon and write several more letters and e-mail messages relating to my website, making important contacts and forward movements; and the barriers are gone!

I can affirm with another Daily Reading, “I am an explorer of Spirit in a glorious adventure called life.”

Yes, I agree, “My quest takes me forward to a greater understanding of my purpose in life and to a greater awareness of the blessings God has given me. I am ready to discover God everywhere, and I do. Knowing that I am a spiritual being, I live the life that God created me to live.”

“Go and Explore the Land”

The bible reference, Judges 18:2, 5-6, for the above reading, reminded me that I had not finished writing Journey to Inner Freedom. In fact, I had left off with The Final Battles, and still needed to complete Living in The Promised Land, although I had felt that we were living in a Promised Land consciousness, while in Colorado.

So, I turned to the bible quote and felt excited as I returned to the story of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, though these passages were unfamiliar to me; mainly because I didn’t want to get into the negative aspects of the ongoing saga. Nevertheless, I was here, now, so I read about the Levite priest who came to the home of Micah and lived there. And Micah said, “Now, I know that the Lord will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.”

But their peaceful, prosperous life was soon disrupted when the Danites sent five spies to “Go and explore the land,” hoping to take it for themselves, because they had not been given an inheritance. 

Once there, they asked the Levite priest if their journey would be successful, and he replied, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.” Now, these are inspiring words, but unfortunately the journey was the theft of Micah’s valuable possessions and the priest, leaving Micah bereft and destitute.

This does not seem to be a happy ending, but the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary says that Micah represents the individual’s awakening to the truth of his real being, which is spiritual, and he is thus endowed with all of the attributes of his twelve spiritual powers; all that is contained in the Son, the Christ, Jehovah.

Okay, so now we’re back to Jim Rosemergy’s contention that all we really need is a humbleness of spirit and an awareness of God.

This reminds me that my morning’s meditation time had left me in a state of question, after reading those words. Indeed, my new adventure may be taking me to places I’ve never been before, both on my inner and outer journey, as I travel further within on this spiritual odyssey.

Home Sweet Home

The above words seemed destined to bring me to the fulfillment of my desires; or at least well on the way.

Although I wasn’t clear on their priorities, I soon found out when we moved onward to Dottie’s. We survived the usual razzle welcome from the dogs, while Arianna and Micayla were trying to keep cool, with the help of a fan. She was awaiting Jason’s return from South Dakota, where he attended the funeral of his paternal grandmother. 

Earl and my great-grandson, Brandon, stopped by, and we heard the news that Brandon’s mom (my granddaughter, Christina) was on her way to live here and be near her son; and then Brandon and I played cards.

Steve came home from work and BBQ’d dinner for this hot day. And Dottie managed to stay afloat with the activities, while trying to handle their ongoing business. 

Each evening, Van and I accompanied Arianna, pushing Micayla in the stroller, with the dogs on leashes, and followed by one or two of the family cats. Such a parade! One evening, we walked by a duplex that Arianna had noticed for rent, while searching the papers for a new home. She wasn’t interested, as it was too small, but it perked my desire to settle in a place near my family and the things that were important to me, including my church and shopping, which were within walking distance.

The next day Van and I stopped at the duplex, during Open House, and I was so excited that I insist Van fill out an Application, which cost $20.00. A washer-dryer, swamp cooler and natural gas heat were important extras, besides the two bedrooms, a view toward the mountains, so I could see the sunsets and clouds, and a pleasant living room and kitchen; and even a lilac bush out back. I was in heaven.

Although this option had not been in Van’s reality, I knew that this was what I really wanted, at this time of my life: a place where I could settle down, complete some more books, keep up my website, and be near my family; truly The Promised Land.

Van was balking, as usual, when it isn’t what he wants– travel — but I was determined to make it work. I kept awake that night, making plans, as ideas came through my mind: I’d use the legacy money from my dad for the deposit, even though I’d been saving it to help with printing and website costs. But, the Mystics book had been emphasizing that we move beyond needs to oneness with God, and this seemed so right. I even had an idea that my granddaughter (Brandon’s mom) could rent our motor home to live in, which would be helpful to her and provide us with additional income to pay off our bills, while being able to afford a place to live.

Everything seemed perfect, although the landlord (Rodney) asked for the phone number of the former homeowners where we had rented for sixteen-years. Van and I searched, but couldn’t find it; then I called our former neighbors all day, but to no avail, hoping they could give me the phone of the current owners; for sure they would have the number. Finally, that evening, I obtained the required information and left a message for our prospective landlord.

I slept peacefully, knowing that within a few days I’d be in my own home, sleeping in my bed (now stored at Dottie’s) with my cherished bedspread over me. I’d be taking a shower in my own full-spray shower, without worrying about using too much water; either in fear of running out of hot water, or forcing a premature trip to the sewage dump). In my mind, I placed our few pieces of furniture, such as the folding table I’d gotten from Angie, and the camp chair, and also my recliner, which was also at Dottie’s. I figured we would acquire more furniture in time. It would all work out.

In the morning, looking around at Freedom, I thought, “It’s a good home, but it’s served its purpose in our lives. I’m ready for a change: perhaps sell it and buy a smaller, less expensive one that we could use for our transportation more easily, while living in the duplex.

I said my meditation, knowing that God is the Source, and assured that He would open the way for us to live in this new environment.

“God Doesn’t Screw me Over”

Dottie always makes the above affirmation, and I agree. But when Rodney called to announce that he had rented the duplex to other applicants, I hung up and burst into tears, feeling bitter disappointment, and definitely that God had let me down. Why would everything seem so right, and then not work out? 

I remained in the question, as I expressed my disappointment to Dottie, Arianna and Steve; each responding with the same positive reinforcement that I always affirm: “it isn’t the right place or you, there’s something better.”

But I wasn’t convinced, and I asked them, myself, and God “Why would you show me exactly what I wanted, and then not let it happen?”

As I kept asking the question, the only answer my grief-stricken mind came up with concluded that it was Van’s fault; he didn’t want to live there. One of the stages of grief is blame, and this conclusion clearly affixed the blame on Van, because when I told him the result of the phone call from Rodney, and broke into tears, his only response was a light pat on the shoulder and “That’s too bad, My Love,” as he continued with his morning routine, without missing a beat. It didn’t take a college degree to figure out that scenario, so I remained in anger, another stage of grief, at him, as I concluded, “God doesn’t screw me over, but Van’s passive-aggressive behavior does.”

Get Off my Back!

In fact, I was so angry, as we drove back to Angie’s, rather than around the corner, from Dottie’s, to our own home on solid ground, I blurted out, “It would serve you right, if I die from this damn heat and no air-conditioning; then you could carry the guilt the rest of your life.”

I knew better than to make such a vehement statement, because they usually have repercussions, and this one definitely had its payoff.

The next morning, while replacing the window shield, which I felt Van should have done the night before, I stretched too far and my lower back felt like it had been ripped apart. Excruciating pain forced me to make my way to my bed and remain there in agony, while he continued sleeping. He slept until almost noon, typical of his inner child behavior, as if he has nothing else to do and no responsibilities. This made me even angrier, despite the fact that I knew I needed to change my attitude to forgiveness, rather than blame.

When I attempted to go the bathroom, I yelped in pain, as I tried to get up. Finally, I made it through the necessary ordeal and returned to bed.

At some point, Angie came to the door and asked if we were okay. I explained the problem, and thanked her for her concern, and assured her there was nothing she could do to help, and she returned to her yardwork. This exchange finally roused Van from his slumber, and he came out and apologized to me for not taking care of the window shield. 

I felt somewhat vindicated that he recognized he should have taken care of it the night before, as I snarled, “Well, now you can take care of me, until my back heals.”

Van is not inclined toward caretaking, but he willingly helped me up and down for the painful bathroom trips, fixed my Isotonix brew (OPC-3, B-12 and Multi-tech), rubbed Tiger Balm on my back, and otherwise took care of things; rightfully so, as far as I was concerned.

A House Divided

But the result wasn’t worth the pain, and I tried to change my attitude, without much success. Instead, I brooded over losing the duplex, and referred to the loss every opportunity. And he said nothing at all, another indication that he got exactly what he wanted, and was willing to pay the price. He did not want to live in that duplex, because he had hopes of continuing to travel, once our bills were paid.

On the other hand, I was tired of the travel related stress, and I wanted to settle down where I could tend my website, continue writing and focus on my ministry, and be near my family.

 

“Manifestation is None of my Business”

In the meantime, we were continuing our new 40-Day Prosperity Plan, and I was rebelling over the insistent “no-needs, just focus on God as the Source” emphasis, as the author, Jim, gently and persistently guided us along the path of mysticism.

“I’m not sure I want to go this deeply into this realm,” I mumbled to myself, adding, “I’m sure that Jim has a comfortable lifestyle, and I don’t see any reason to declare myself into poverty. Being able to afford one’s chosen lifestyle is not an unreasonable desire.” Of course, I knew that Jim wasn’t asking that we give up everything; he simply urged that we “seek the kingdom of God, first,” knowing that the other things would be provided.

I suspected that this entire exercise in frustration, such as not getting the duplex, returning to Angie’s curbside hospitality and the painful back fiasco were all part of the next level of evolvement. 

“Manifestation Begins in The Silence.”

The second day relating to manifestation concluded with “Manifestation Begins in The Silence.” And the second day of my back pain gave some relief, as I was able to get up and down okay, assuming that I would be fine by the third day. But the pain was so intense that I cried out in agony, and Van finally awoke and asked if I needed help. I did, and he fixed my brew, while I plopped in my chair; getting in and out of bed was too painful.

I knew I needed to shut up and listen, so I went into a meditation, but still asking “Why?” I remembered that back pain is associated with the power of Strength, in the Twelve Power Process, with responsibility being a factor, and more importantly it relates to willingness and ability to move forward. Now, I wondered if I was subconsciously creating the back pain to avoid moving forward with my website activities. 

If so, it was deeply buried, for I had no conscious objections; in fact, I wanted to get back to my website and add more goodies. On the other hand, I had been hearing guidance that indicated it’s time to move forward with Road Sign #10: The Final Battles. Often, when I seem to be up against an obstacle, it’s because I’m ready for another level in the cycle. I wondered if the answer would be revealed, as I returned to revising Journey to Inner Freedom. 

Another Spending Plan Day

After meditation, my back felt better, so I updated my current writings on this chapter, but soon my back became much more painful and I had to stop. As the day progressed, the pain came and went, allowing me to prepare a casserole for lunch, and then eat outside, in an effort to keep cool.

And later, I suggested to Van that we update our Spending Plan, while I rested on the couch. As we went over the past and present monthly accounting, I became aware that we were much further in debt than I had originally thought. This was after Van revealed to me another addition to our debt, which I had thought was paid off with the final American Express payment. But, no, we still owed $1200.00 for the new refrigerator we’d gotten in Tucson in January; and another $650.00 for the new tires we’d bought in Needles. Even with the payments that had been deducted, we still owed nearly $2,000.00.

And that isn’t all. The Action Plan for Paying Off Debt was impossible to fulfill, because 

the figures we’d been working from, on the Spending Plan, were unrealistic, having no basis on the actual amount of our income. In fact, I wondered how we had managed to live this lifestyle on our meager Social Security Retirement; and I was certain that we would not be going anyplace in the immediate future, and perhaps not at any time. In other words, our five months staying put, spending as little as possible, while paying our bills, had not even made a dent in the overwhelming debt. Actually, if we continued, at our current rate, it would take several months to break even with the monthly Spending Plan figures, not counting the credit cards. 

I felt utterly hopeless. Remembering the sharings from others in Debtors Anonymous, I recognized the covert patterns that Van had been indulging in: withholding information, control, and all the time looking me straight in the eyes, as if he was cooperating; and yet, I don’t think he was doing it intentionally. It was part of the obsessive-compulsive behavior pattern, much more devastating than most other addictions, and I wondered if there was any end to the depth of this underearning syndrome.

Answers and More Questions

Now, I had answers and I understood why God had protected us from ourselves, no way could we have afforded that duplex. Not now, and probably never, under the present circumstances; and there was no immediate relief in sight. 

The question became, not so much “Am I willing to continue with this sham?” But, “How long?”

I had been getting answers from various experiential aides indicating that there is no cure for these behavioral disorders. Therefore, the question I must ask myself is: “Why am I continuing to live with this condition? Is it because of my own codependency addiction; the need to fix what isn’t working? Or, is it because I don’t think I can do any better? 

When we’d completed the session with our Spending Plan, I asked Van, “What is going on here?”

He looked at me innocently and replied, “I thought we were doing the Spending Plan.” And I knew that answer was as covert as when I said, “I know that you didn’t want that duplex, because when I was crying, all you said was ‘That’s too bad, My Love,’ and went on with your routine without missing a beat.”

He mumbled something that didn’t make sense, and I knew there was no use to pursue it. Now, I must do some serious meditation. Despite all of Van’s admirable qualities, something was too far amiss to be ignored, any more than an alcoholic or drug addict’s uncontrolled indulgence. 

I wrestled with the problems, evaluating the wonderful contributions Van had made to my life, and to our family, before he changed; and even taking into account his ongoing efforts toward my website and books. Yet, was the price I’ve been paying for inertia too high?

Indeed, “Today is the Day,” but perhaps not for the results I had anticipated when I began this chapter. Only God could give me the answers.

“It’s Almost Time”

In the midst of these happenings, the Republican Convention selected George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, as running mates for the presidential campaign. They spoke of it being time for change; time to end the insanity, so to speak. And indeed, it did seem like we’d all been under a heavy weight for such a long time, and it’s time to get out from under it.

I just couldn’t believe that, after all these years we’d all endured the president’s insanity, nothing had changed. And, I feared that the same was true with my relationship with Van. Although there had been some improvement, through the years, the same things I’d been struggling with were still going on, and he apparently could not, or would not, be able to fulfill my expectations of providing a livable income. 

The question remained: would I be able to do it on my own? Was it his influence; or mine?

From This Moment On

I took these questions to bed with me, and awoke the next morning in agonizing pain when I attempted to get up. Van never made a sound, despite my desperate moans and groans, 

and I managed to get through the ordeal. I even fixed my Isotonix brew (using only the B-12 and Coenzmyne-Q-10), then sat in my chair and began my Daily Reading and meditation. 

I noticed that my back pains again subsided, after my morning brew, so I concluded that it’s the B-12 that relieves the spasms and pain. Now, as they return, I would take another dose. Much better than going to ER, or tracking down a chiropractor.

As part of my meditation process, I read Day 28 and did the exercise. It was about being thankful, and suggested writing down 5 people I’m thankful for, 7 physical things I’m thankful for, and 12 spiritual things I’m thankful for.

I began my list with Van, because I truly am thankful for his positive contributions to my life. It’s just that his obsessive-compulsive disorder added to the passive-aggressive behavior becomes unbearable at times, especially when I get a strong realization of it, such as I did doing the Spending Plan.

This back pain ordeal reminded me that I am thankful for my mobility and other physical blessings, such as eyesight and hearing. Looking around at my comfortable, familiar surroundings, I concluded that I am also thankful for our RV, and the whirring fans reminded me that I certainly am thankful for them. And I am especially thankful for my computer, which gives me the opportunity to fulfill my passion of writing. To this list I added the necessary commodity of food, which God does seem to provide in abundance, even though we don’t have money for monthly stocking up. 

I paused in my listing, to listen to the birds chirping outside my open window, and I remembered that yesterday, while lying on my bed, I had seen two yellow canaries flitting through the thick foliage in the shade tree, and I was thankful for God’s creations: birds, trees, shrubs, and all beauty, even though I had listed more than the required number.

The third list seemed overwhelming, once I’d listed The Presence of God, because what else is there? But then I realized that I’m thankful for my soul and my freedom. And then the twelve powers poured through my mind, and I listed: wisdom, love, life, creativity, faith, understanding, enthusiasm, order, strength, and two extra spiritual items, for good measure: joy and oneness.

By the time I again picked up my Daily Reading, I loudly proclaimed “Amen” to its message: “My awareness of God is all important to me.” And I agreed with its conclusion that what truly matters is my relationship of oneness with God, as I, too, affirmed “From this moment on, I will truly live my life from this truth.”

Flat on my Back

I thought sure this great insight would remove the pain “poof” like a dandelion seed into the breeze, but no. The next morning I awoke in as much agony as before, and I knew the healing process was not complete. Now, the question became “What to do about it?” 

A chiropractor seemed the best answer, and I’d met Dr. Tammy, an associate in Helena’s office; or I could drive to Lakewood and go to Dr. Deb, Dottie’s chiropractor. We didn’t have money allotted for this purpose, and I didn’t want to pay extra for the first exam and x-rays, which are often required on first visits. However, I called Helena and she highly recommended Dr. Tammy, so I gladly chose her, rather than drive all the way to Lakewood.

Now, we still had to unhook and drive north to Loveland, but we made it easily in time for the 2:00 appointment. And the pleasant drive, through farmlands, with The Rockies skyline in the afternoon sun, made the trip much more enjoyable than the hectic traffic going south. Even though we were staying put this summer, we were enjoying the scenes that people drive hundreds or even thousands of miles to see, and I felt thankful for these blessings.

Three Hours Later

No one else was in the office, so once I filled out the initial papers, Tammy sat down and began the preliminary part of the examination, which meant taking my medical and family history relevant to my health. 

Somehow, the questions she asked brought out more than I’d expected to discuss about the health challenges of some family members. It’s lucky she didn’t have any more appointments that afternoon, because I began talking about the duplex disappointment and my anger at Van. And inevitably, the subject of our financial struggles got aired, and she agreed to do the $100.00 exam and treatment for $50.00, because she would bill Medicare, though we would need to pay up front, whether or not we were reimbursed. Certainly more than reasonable, and I was grateful.

The interview was taking so long that I feared she wouldn’t have time for the actual treatment, but she reassured me it was okay. Amazingly, when I got up, I had no pain! And during the physical exam, when I was asked to twist, bend and go through other movement, nothing hurt. This confirmed my suspicions that the entire lower-back-syndrome was an emotional reaction to our current financial circumstances.

However, I knew that the treatment was a vital part of the healing process, especially with the pain that accompanied lying down on the table and turning over. I was simply in a form of remission, due to the preceding “therapy session.”

I knew that Dr. Tammy used a soft treatment, Vertebral Subluxations, without the painful manipulations, but I was definitely impressed with her explanation and application of the procedure: it was painless and efficient. When she was through, I exclaimed, “I feel as if I’ve had a complete overhaul.”

She replied, “You have. I not only adjusted your lower back, but also the other symptoms, including your upper back, ear congestion, and internal problems that you mentioned.”

I expected to feel great, after the treatment, especially considering how good I’d felt from the interview, but to my surprise, my body felt as if I’d had a deep massage. This was explained in a handout that said I could feel tired or sore for a few days, as my body adjusted to realignment.

While We’re Out …

Dr. Tammy had suggested that I walk awhile, and she assured me that Wal-Mart and the supermarket would be okay, as long as I didn’t push the cart or lift anything. Yay! So, we completed the list of things we’d planned to do the next day, thus avoiding another trip for dumping and shopping. And while out, we also stopped at Boston Market and stocked up on a chicken, turkey and meatloaf; and ate some of the chicken with coleslaw in the air-conditioned restaurant. 

By the time we’d completed our big day, my body was hurting and I could hardly walk, but I was happy to have accomplished everything. And I was happy to pile into bed that night.

Oh No, Not Again!

I slept through the night, but when I awoke, I could tell that I was still in pain and could hardly move. I had not expected this, and I began talking it over with God. Finally, I said, “Okay, God, I’ve tried everything else, there is one thing that I must still do. It seems like I’ve done this before, but I guess it’s time again, at a deeper level.

“Here’s the thing, I’ve got to turn this entire money matter issue over to You. I mean, really, really give it up: all the fear, anxiety, apprehension, and attitude associated with money, especially with Van’s patterns and behavior.”

This seemed like a Paradigm Shift of the highest magnitude, and required total letting go, on my part. So, I continued, “I know I can’t do this by myself. It’s impossible, or I would have done it already, so thank You, God, for removing all the negative energies involved, returning them to Divine Substance, and transforming them into positive and productive energies for good.”

This is my normal prayer for this process, but this time I realized the intensity of this energy transition, and I also understood the necessity for the “overhaul treatment” that Dr. Tammy had done. It was all part of God’s Divine Plan. How could I have doubted? So I added, “Thank You, God, for freeing me up from these limitations so that I can get on with fulfilling my part in Your Divine Plan, and for showing me what I am to do.”

Whew!

I thought about Day 25, “Manifestation is none of my business,” and the meaning and depth of the message reverberated throughout my being. It really is none of my business, especially Van’s money patterns and behavior. If I can just keep focused on God, then my relationship with Him is really all that is important, as the Daily Reading had affirmed.

I again prayed for strength and wisdom in letting go and changing the pattern of control relating to Van’s behavior; that, too, is none of my business, but it’s God’s business, and I will release it to Him.

Whew!

Okay, so this is “none of my business,” either. I must and I will let it go, but again, I asked God’s assistance in making this major transition.

There Must be More

I figured that, after all this, I would easily get out of bed, but the pain was still there. Now what? There must be more.

Maybe this isn’t only my healing process. First, I must get it written, not only for my own release, but so that others who may be suffering from these symptoms and syndromes, may have some support and solutions.

And, then there’s Van. After all, he has had a part in it, too, such as feeling guilty about not putting up the windshield sunscreen, taking care of me, and otherwise having his life disrupted. Perhaps this ordeal has been an experiential aide for us both, therefore, I must share today’s process with him; not to fix him, but simply to complete the cycle. 

And There is More

In an attempt for completion on this issue, I read the chapter to Van, hoping that he would respond with his version of the above scenario. At first, he said, “Yes, I do have my version, for instance, I am trying to come up with ways to increase our income by selling our products.”

I knew that he had sent out some e-mail messages and I asked if he’d had any responses, to which he said “No.” And then I said, “You know, it’s part of communications to share that kind of information with me; it doesn’t need to be a secret. It’s something most people share when they’re having dinner, for instance like last night; but instead, you just sit there and silently eat, without even looking up. It’s as if I’m not even there.”

“I suppose you’re right,” he conceded.

“And that reminds me,” I began, “What do you do with the money we have allotted each month for specific items, such as food, and then you charge it? I suppose you have a secret stash set aside someplace. It’s characteristic, according to others who shared during the DA meetings.”

Oh Oh! Now, I’d gone a bridge too far. Van got angry; at least as angry as he gets, which usually manifests as more passive-aggressive, but this time he retorted, “Oh, now you’re accusing me of not being moral with money.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with morality,” I barked, adding, “You know, as well as I do, it’s characteristic of this particular obsessive-compulsive disorder. They talked about the secretive handling of money. It’s no big deal. I just wondered what happened to the difference in the figures.”

He gave me an explanation that made sense, and I replied, “Okay, so that’s the kind of communication I’m talking about.”

The conversation continued awhile, sometimes one or the other, or both of us getting heated, but in the long run it felt as if we were at another new level of reality, and when it was over, I got up from the computer, without pain, which was an improvement over the discomfort I’d felt when sitting down.

The Long, Hot Summer

But the pain continued off and on; worsening in the mornings when I first awoke and lessening during the day (after my brew). 

Along with the pain syndrome, the weather remained in the high 90’s, causing the motorhome to become a literal oven and making it impossible to remain inside much after noon; so Van would set up my folding table and camp chair outside, under the shade tree, and I would continue working, as God guided.

It seemed fitting that I was guided to work some more on The Final Battles, because we were surely going through them. And in addition to the pain and heat, the construction noise on paving the streets and making sidewalks seemed never-ending: high-pitched beeps from backing trucks and equipment, roaring trucks passing by and belching their diesel fumes, dust, and heavy energies all day. So much for peaceful, quiet Erie; but we were surviving. And I was thankful that we didn’t have severe thunder and lightning storms, with their high, gusty winds and pea- sized hail, often bigger, in some areas.

Count Your Blessings

Day 30 reminded us to be thankful for our blessings, and indeed, there was much to be thankful for as the summer moved forward into August. Angie was spending more time in the mountains, at their family cabin. The neighbors were getting ready to move into an apartment, because their new home hadn’t gotten started, let alone built, thanks to a mistake by the survey crew; and she would be hauling her oldest son to kindergarten and back, until the move. And Dottie and Steve were flying to Greensboro, N.C. for the International Convention, which we had attended two years ago, while traveling through The South. 

But, now we were here, in Erie, life goes on, and our inner adventures continue, even though we are immobilized. Obviously, God has a purpose for this part of His Divine Plan for us, and the next phase soon began to unfold, thanks to the forward movement along our Spiritual Path.

Every day I’d been considering our many blessings, especially that we were surviving the heat, enjoying the abundance of good food (from our Boston Market supply), and making progress with my writing and website. Also, despite my painful back, we were in good health, and our families were all being blessed too. Dottie and Steve’s business was blossoming, Arianna and Jason both had jobs and would soon move into their own place, and Airica would soon begin her senior year. Other members of the family and our friends and the Freedomers were okay, also. So I felt thankful for this period of our lives, even though it was not all that I had anticipated for our Golden Years. Yet, in my own mind, I knew that my most productive, fulfilling and rewarding years were still before me; but due for the harvest, very soon.

What Will You Give?

I’d read ahead in our Prosperity Plan and learned that the last several days focused on giving, which is always part of any presentation about increasing money. The first day suggested that we give something anonymously to someone, and by the next day, I still hadn’t acted upon the exercise, but in the back of my mind I knew that the renewed back pain had to do with this project, and it wouldn’t go away, until I completed the assignment.

For many days, I’d been considering an idea that had been surfacing for my website, even before Stephen King announced that he would offer his latest book on the honor system of payment: read a chapter and send in a dollar. I wasn’t sure how it would work for him, but I was fascinated, because I really wanted to put my books on the website and depend on donations for the income.

On the other hand, it seemed that I had done much too much giving, with my ministry, and very little donations were received. Added to this, one of the tenets of the Debtors Anonymous program is that we must receive payment for our services in order to break the underearner’s syndrome. So, I felt in a quandary: was the idea a good one from God, or was it more of the underearner’s pattern?

The Deep Hidden Things

Having read aloud the entire Road Sign #10: The Final Battles book to Van the day before, I was clearly aware of The Deep Hidden Things. I referred to them as the Last Roots we are struggling to pull and that are the heavy artillery used as a last stronghold of the ego. 

When Van awoke this morning, I began talking about our assignment, and asked if he’d made any progress with it. He hadn’t, so I began talking about these deep hidden things that seemed to be part of our money issues.

I explained that I had wanted to give my books free on my website, but that I feared this was more of the underearning syndrome, when, in fact, we should be paid for our efforts. I reminded him of his past compulsion to give his services away, be overly generous with some family members, and of our mistakes in our MLM business, when we paid for our distributors to become supervisors, assuming they would reimburse us when their business prospered. But none of that happened, and we ended up filing bankruptcy. Added to this had been our generosity with Dottie and Steve, when they lived with us, promising to pay rent when Steve had a good job. In later years, they repaid part of the agreed amount, and we arranged to clear the books of the debt. Now, they have the same problems with Arianna and Jason’s financial battles. I guess the old saying is true: what goes around comes around.

In any event, the history of our financial patterns were not good, and I said to Van, “Maybe it goes back to the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families author, Ernie Larsen’s explanation: what you live with you learn, what you learn you practice, and what you practice you become.”

He listened, as I explained, “Your childhood family history was exposed mostly to low income, because of your grandmother trying to support the big family with income from her quilting. You’ve said that it was a financially deprived situation, and that pattern must have been formed then and also when you lived with your dad and stepmother throughout your growing-up years. Because of your dad’s inability to earn enough, the pattern was reinforced. So, despite you knowing the difference, and trying to provide more money, the pattern repeated.”

He didn’t say anything, so I continued. “It seems to me that this is one of those deep hidden things that you will have to ask God to remove. Remember, in all the battles of The Promised Land, we have to ask ‘Jehovah to fight the battles’ for the Final Victory. It’s when we try to fight them by ourselves that we get in trouble, and it’s for sure that we haven’t managed to overcome them so far, so it’s probably a good time for you to throw yourself prostrate before God and surrender your control and being in charge, and ask Him for the victory.” I paused and asked, “Does that make sense?”

He said, “Yes,” and I launched into my own deep hidden things. “I’m not without blame in this matter, either, you know? After all, I was born during The Depression, and my parents didn’t have any money, often having to live with their parents in order to survive. And Dad talks about walking along the railroad tracks in order to get coal for heat. It must have been terrible. I was lucky to be adopted by my paternal grandparents, with him being a doctor, and no longer being subjected to such poverty.”

Van had sat down and was listening, so I continued, “Despite our efforts to change those patterns, we are still victimized by the lifestyles of our parents, and we are suffering from what is called carried-feelings from them.” I paused, and added, “It isn’t enough to have our own issues, but we have to free ourselves from theirs, too, with God’s help, of course; and this seems to be the time.”

I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with the complexity of it all, but I continued, “Remember, we use to say that we wanted to become wealthy before we left this lifetime? Well, perhaps all these processes we’re going through are preparation. It’s for sure that we couldn’t have made it, with all that garbage we’ve been carrying around. That’s why so many people win the lottery or get an inheritance and squander it all within a short time; they haven’t changed the patterns. We don’t want that to happen to us and it won’t, because we are making the changes; and we are keeping focused on God and following His guidance.” 

I paused, took a gulp of water, thought about everything that was being said through me, because I certainly hadn’t planned on speaking these words. Then I concluded, I’m sure that when the book orders start coming in, we would have been overwhelmed; or even when the business starts booming. But, now, with this inner work we’re doing, and establishing good patterns, such as the Spending Plan and you working on the accounts every day, we are close to being ready; otherwise, we would have been overwhelmed. So, that’s something else we can be thankful for; that God is preparing us for the bounty that will soon be ours — from Him, of course.”

Van was getting edgy and anxious to get on with his day, so I concluded the discussion by asking, “So, what do you think we should do about publishing the books on the website?”

“You could start with one at a time,” he suggested.

I was delighted that he had stayed with me throughout this discussion, and even more so that he actually made a contribution. Yeah! I replied, “Well, I already have the first book prepared for that purpose; each chapter is a booklet, so maybe I should start with that.”

“Sounds good.”

I was thoughtful for a moment, and added, “Eventually I want to combine all the booklets for the Saying “Yes” to Inner Freedom series into one book, like it was originally, with the course, the Freedomers, and the pictures. But it will take help from you. Are you willing to do it?”

He nodded, and I thanked him for his contribution, and as we went about our morning routines, I could hardly wait to get to the website and begin transferring the first booklet, while Van worked on our daily account books. Yes, we were moving forward.

 

Chapter 9

IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD!

 

A Cacophony of Morning Sounds

This morning, like most in “quiet Erie” I awoke to the persistent crowing rooster in the neighbor’s yard, which, somehow, managed to take precedence over the roaring bulldozers, tractors and dump trucks parading along the street to begin their day; this time at the corner, along the main street, where they were preparing to pour concrete for the new sidewalks. Of course, all the distractions caused the neighborhood dogs to bark: from high pitched yaps to deep-toned woofs. And overhead, the Red Baron planes were arriving for the next day’s display of old-time planes at the Erie Airport

These sounds were superseded by the nearby blasting of the Mexican workers’ radio, as they shouted back and forth to relieve the monotony of this ongoing construction project. I’d learned to live with the rest of the noises, but the unrelenting boom boom of the bass beat on the radio was a bridge too far, especially when I was attempting to have my meditation.

Louis Armstrong Makes my Day

I struggled out of bed (the morning back pain was still in progress) and made my way to Freedom’s stereo and attempted to drown out the noises with Louis Armstrong’s album of Greatest Hits. 

When I listen to his version of It’s a Wonderful Day, nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul. As the familiar melody wafted through the ethers, within our four walls, memories of another day filled my soul. 

It was Sunday morning in Carlsbad, California, and I had been uplifted by an inspiring church service, as I now drove along the Pacific Ocean toward home, twelve-miles further down the coast, in Leucadia. The sun was shining on one of those magical California days at the beach: people were roller skating, running, surfing, sailing, pushing babies, or simply strolling along the walkway, as they do every chance they get. The window was down and the gentle breeze refreshed me, while Louis Armstrong belted out “It’s a Wonderful World.” I silently affirmed, “Thank You, God,” feeling that life doesn’t get any better than that.

That day was certainly a contrast to this morning in Erie, but I am here, now, and life goes on. I allowed the music to take me into my meditation, as I read my Daily Reading: “God helps me understand what I can do to cooperate with the healing that is taking place, and what others can do to aid that healing.” 

He certainly had been taking me on an interesting journey with the insights and revelations in recent days, as Van and I were fulfilling our idea to give the gift of one chapter of each book to visitors to my website. So far, we had two books handled, despite the unbearable heat in Freedom, where Van prefers to work at the computer. 

I’d tried setting up the laptop outside, but the dust and noise from the trucks and bulldozers was disconcerting, so I, too, preferred being inside. And while he transferred the chapters, I made a batch of rice (in the microwave), and started a pot of beans in the crock pot (plugged into Freedom’s outside outlet, so as not to heat the inside). I transformed the rice into a chicken salad, adding some frozen peas, celery and a tad of Vidalia onions. And rice added to some of the beans, with a bit of meatloaf (from Boston Market) to add flavor, became a southern treat. Of course, this left plenty of beans for minestrone soup, and my improvised chili. And we had turkey sandwiches for a few days, while it lasted. I liked being in one place, so we could get some continuity to life; both on the computer and otherwise. 

My meditation progressed, as I read the Bible quote for the day: “I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security” (Jeremiah 33:6). I loved the combination of healing and prosperity, because they were certainly related in my current back pain syndrome. And, of course, once I’d finished my meditation, the pain had eased and I continued with my day.

Next, I read Day 33 of my Prosperity Plan: “Giving is a matter of spiritual understanding and values. It is life in expression.” The idea seemed to be that giving, like breathing, is essential to life. 

Because I’m so often anxious and irritable about money matters, I decided: “I will give the gift of a sweet disposition as my anonymous gift to Van.” I knew I’d need God’s help with this decision, because I certainly didn’t do too well on my own, but my intentions were a good starting place.

I’m so Proud of Joyce

Responding to my friend, Joyce’s email message, while Louis was singing It’s a Wonderful World, I had tears in my eyes; tears of joy that my friend now had a roommate with a computer, and she would give Joyce lessons and let her use it. What an accomplishment! I was so proud of Joyce for making this breakthrough, because I knew it wasn’t easy for her to make this forward movement, yet necessary, if we were to work together; and opening the way, in my mind, for us to contemplate how we would combine efforts with the website activities.

A flood of words poured forth, as I began updating her on our activities and plans. I also encouraged her to return to the website and see the new additions, giving instructions on how to do it, and understanding that this would cause her overwhelm, too, but knowing that she could and would do it.

Frenzy

At some point, I decided to file the accumulated email messages and transfer hers to my personal Juno service, because I was more familiar with it, and it was easier for me to use. So, with Van’s help, I thought I’d gotten them filed and attempted to recall the file in order to finish answering her letter. But there was nothing in the file. Somehow, the saving process, in this new system, hadn’t worked. And, of course, I had been so efficient in clearing my email that I had deleted the files. Now, none of them were saved.

Van didn’t seem to know what had gone wrong, and we spent hours trying to retrieve something that wasn’t there. I was disappointed, because I wanted to keep that special message from Joyce, once I’d responded. Where had I filed her email address? This took more time; searching for something that I never found. 

By this time, it had gotten hot and we’d moved the computer outside and under the shade tree, but the passing trucks, dust, noise and heat added to my frustration. I finally gave up, sent the part of the message that I’d finished and went inside to lie on the sofa and watch TV

I felt disappointed that I hadn’t even done what I’d thought I was going to do for the day, which was prepare a newsletter and add another chapter for the website. But, I knew that something major had been accomplished on some level, especially in my relationship with Joyce, so I thanked God and let it go.

A Season of Contrasts

The next day was cooler, thanks to a “cool front” that brought the temperatures down to 89, but the weather quickly climbed from mid to high nineties, as we drifted into the middle of August. I couldn’t believe that summer was nearly over, and some schools had already begun, including Airica’s, and soon the glorious autumn colors would adorn the aspen trees in the mountains.

The Erie construction was in full-swing, as they tackled the preparation and pouring of concrete for the sidewalks, with the addition of cement trucks to the din. Somehow, through it all, we managed to transfer my Travel Newsletters to the website.

And then it was time for another trek to Lakewood; this time to attend Wednesday Night Live at our church. Father Leo Booth would be speaking and my Guidance urged me out of my comfort zone.

On our way out of town, I stopped to pick up a video from the older couple who lived on their farm next to the bank. I’d been visiting them on our walks to the convenience store, and hoped they might be willing to relieve some of their illnesses. Richard had become so incapacitated that they had to use a golf cart to do their chores, such as tending the horses in the big pasture.

I enjoyed talking with them, and had learned that the bank wanted to buy their entire farm, forcing them to uproot from their 30-year home. This meant that they would have an auction in September, releasing the farm equipment and some personal items. 

They were in the golf cart, by the pasture, when I arrived, and I asked, “What are you going to do when you leave here?”

“Oh, maybe we’ll buy a farm; get some cows and chickens,” Barbara answered.

I wished that they would use our OPC-3, which would relieve some of their problems, but they’d decided that it was just too much to deal with, at this time, so we walked toward the house to get the video, leaving Richard to his chores.

I asked, “Do you really want to leave here?”

“No,” she replied, without any hesitation.

“Do you have to move?”

“No, not really, but the bank is driving us crazy, wanting to buy our property.”

“Then don’t do it,” I counseled, adding “you could sell most of the property and keep the house.”

She looked wistful, and confided, “I’m afraid that moving will kill Richard.”

“Is it too late to change the deal?”

“We’ll know this week, if the bank accepts our terms.”

She walked into the house and returned with the tape. I felt so sorry for these good people having to deal with such trauma, but they obviously could no longer attend to the place by themselves. She showed me the lettuce and radishes that were growing in a pot by the door, because she couldn’t keep up a garden.

I suggested, “You could hire someone to take care of the yard, and just stay put.”

Somehow the conversation shifted to their little rental cottage next door, which would also be sold. No one was living there, now, and I asked if she would consider renting it to us. We walked over and toured the 100-year-old adobe building, as she explained that the former Mexican renters had trashed the place. Yet, I could see the possibility of our living here, and the price was right, several hundred dollars less than the duplex in Lakewood. It even had a gate to drive Freedom into the yard, but I didn’t know if this would fit into God’s plans. And for now, we needed to get down the road. 

We stopped for my haircut at Great Clips, where I’d been encouraging Robin to try OPC-3, and to get her sister with MS on it. It had been a year, and Dottie had even talked with her about the freedom she had from this so-called incurable disease. She still didn’t respond, so we moved on.

By this time, the skies had darkened and we could see a storm brewing all around us, including the direction we were headed. Suddenly the night sky lit up with forked lightning, and I concluded, “I think we’d better stop at Wal-Mart, in Commerce City for the night.”

Van agreed, and as we approached the worsening storm, we felt like we were on the road again, as we launched into a brief adventure of finding this elusive respite that we had not, as yet, been to. A wrong turn and a turn-around brought us to the welcome lights of Wal-Mart, and we hurriedly parked in the shelter of an abandoned building next to the parking lot.

The bright lights of Wal-Mart contrasted with the wild forked lightning of Mother Nature, as we sat in Freedom and contemplated the feasibility of walking to a nearby fast-food for a late snack.

Sure enough, just as we crossed the parking lot, the rain came; big, heavy, splashy drops. But, we were hungry, so we completed our walk, got our food and returned to Freedom. Soon we settled down for the night, and slept soundly with the cooler temperatures and pitter patter of rain on the roof. With the thunder and lightning moving eastward, I felt safe and secure in our home-away-from-home. 

The next morning everything felt fresh and new, after the first major rain of the season; and after our short shopping session, we moved eastward, along a new route for us, toward Flying J Truck Stop.

Within a short time we were away from the city, and viewing the plains that rolled onward into Kansas; and we even saw fields of sunflowers and horses grazing in a pasture; and in the distance the infamous DIA (Denver International Airport). What a contrast! 

And it felt good to be traveling, although I didn’t feel any urge to go much further; at least not for now, and not until our bills were paid.

Spirituality and Religion are not the Same

The Wednesday Night Live auditorium was packed — 1000 people– listening to the above words spoken by Father Leo Booth. The first few minutes were lost with me trying to detect who he sounded like. Finally, it came to me: Dudley Moore as Arthur. And Father Leo later referred to having used his accent when addressing 800 inmates at Leavenworth Prison.

This really got my attention, especially since I’d written an entire book about Donnie Halbert, a Leavenworth inmate; and I still correspond with his two sons, Michael and Adam. As the talk continued, I began to realize why I had been guided to this evening’s talk, and I knew that I must give Father Leo my website address. And, as I wrote the information on the back of our card, I also knew that I must have business cards made. But what would they say? Help Stop Crime, as I had once thought, or simply Inner Freedom Ministry? God would need to give me the answer.

During the evening, Father Leo introduced a man from the audience, saying that he was working with the PBS video they’re doing for PBS about spirituality: a first. Again, I perked to attention. My Guidance was saying that I must speak with this man.

I remembered other attempts to get my books and ministry out there, and I balked, but I also felt that I would do whatever I needed to do, as God guides.

Father Leo’s inspiring talk reminded me of things I already knew, but he put them in context, such as “Spirituality is the result of being positive and creative.” He emphasized that we must take care of ourselves, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And as a result of this, we would develop intuition. 

This Catholic priest is known for his recovery from alcoholism and his involvement in the Twelve Steps recovery program, and his no-nonsense approach does not tolerate excuses and codependency, among other limiting characteristics that keep us from expressing our God-given potential.

Rather than diversity, he encourages oneness, insisting that the boxes of religious differences must be overcome with love, and he gave an example of talking with the Leavenworth inmates, who were sitting in individual groups: blacks, whites, Catholics, Jews, Islamics, skinheads, Nazis and others. By the time the meeting was over, many had made a commitment to move beyond those barriers, which is major accomplishment in prison, even more than otherwise.

 

Time Will Tell

After the service, Father Leo invited everyone to the community center for a Question and Answer session, and I took advantage of the opportunity to give him my card, while mentioning my prison ministry website. And, I also introduced myself to the PBS person. He gave me his card and suggested that I email him with my information.

Now, I had my homework, and I would do my part, trusting that God was fulfilling His Divine Plan. Time would tell.

Inner Journey 

While moving through our new 40-Day Prosperity Plan, I noticed that Jim Rosemergy invited us to send for his Inner Journey information, so I did. When we collected our mail, on the way to Dottie’s (where we would stay a few days), I spotted an envelope with a little red heart next to the return address: Jim and Nancy Rosemergy, Inner Journey. Reading through the love-full material, I smiled at their mission statement: “To Journey in Love with you.”

The material expanded on the answers to the question (in the book) “What is Inner Journey?”

OUR MISSION

To quicken and foster humankind’s natural inclination to discover the truth of being.

OUR COMMITMENT

Is to a life of prayer. To let a consciousness of God be the beginning of every thought, feeling, and act.

OUR REMEMBRANCE

An awareness of God is the answer. Meekness, humility, and gentleness are Spirit’s way.

 

OUR JOY

To explore the kingdom of God within. To live a simple life of service. To journey in love with you.

 

Another Adventure and Another Challenge.

Exploring their material and visiting their website: www:innerjourney.org became another adventure; and another challenge. Am I ready or willing to commit to the simplicity and humility of their Inner Journey, and to make it my own?

Yes, the appeal and urge beckoned, but I felt certain conflicts; possibly the ego rebelling. Yet, my Inner Freedom Ministry, though promoting love and an awareness of the presence of God as my mission statement, seemed to take a different path. 

I spent some time in meditation and listening for my Guidance. 

Prosperity’s Ten Commandments

In the meantime, we completed our 40 Days, and began a new series: Prosperity’s Ten Commandments, based on a Unity book by Georgiana Tree West. I’d been hearing my Guidance to use this, as our next series, and was delighted to see her featured in the September Unity Magazine, with Prosperity as its monthly theme.

I felt the need for extra oomph to take me through the ongoing website adventure, and I still awaited the first book order, which may depend on getting ourselves a search engine, while preparing our consciousness to receive financial blessings.

Each of these apparently obvious commandments has deeper meanings that allow no one escape from their implications. This is the basic explanation:

 

Prosperity’s First Commandment: Thou shalt look to no other source, but God, as thy supply, based on the First Commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 

Of course, this idea has been completely covered in our previous series’, and I’m beginning to get it on the subconscious level, which is the purpose of repetition.

 

Prosperity’s Second Commandment: Thou shalt make no mental images of lack, based on the Second Commandment: Thou shalt not make any graven images.

 

Prosperity’s Third Commandment: Thou shalt not speak the word of lack or limitation, based on the Third Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of thy God in vain.

 

Prosperity’s Fourth Commandment: Thou shalt let go and let God do it, based on the Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

 

Prosperity’s Fifth Commandment: Thou shalt deal honorably with God and with all human instruments through whom God’s good is manifested for you, based on the Fifth Commandment: Honor thy father and mother.

 

Prosperity’s Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt not take thy wealth out of circulation, based on the Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill.

 

Prosperity’s Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not abase thy wealth to idle or evil uses, based on the Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery.

 

Prosperity’s Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not seek something for nothing, based on the Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.

 

Prosperity’s Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against the Source of thy wealth, based on the Ninth Commandment; Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

 

Prosperity’s Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt not limit thyself by coveting that which is another’s; thou shalt claim thy own, based on the Tenth Commandment, Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

As I mentioned earlier, these are powerful universal laws, and they work, whether we are intentionally obeying them, or not; also if we are disobeying them on any level. And each time I cycle through them, I get their truth on a new level, and I move up higher.

“The Truth Will Make You Free”

This bible verse is not one of the Ten Commandments, but it is also a universal law, and it accompanies the Daily Reading that is part of my current experiential aides. 

I’d been concerned with what would be our next phase of existence, since God had not allowed us to rent the duplex, and we’d been hearing threats of a hard winter, which I did not want to spend in our motor home in Colorado. And, as much as I tried to stay in the Present Moment, it was on my mind. So, the reminder that changing locations does not guarantee my freedom; it comes only from God, was timely.  

And the fact that I must forgive myself for past mistakes in judgment, so that I am free to move on with my life, added another reality to the fact that we are to trust God’s judgment and guidance, rather than our own limited choices. 

In fact, God seemed to be preparing us for moving on, yet I continued with the projects at hand, such as spending a few days at Van’s aunts and then returning to Dottie’s for another Wednesday evening with Father Leo Booth; and continuing to update my website, as time allowed. This also meant sending my e-mail to the man from PBS, and then waiting for results, in God’s good time.

Stop! Listen! Change!

Father Leo Booth was on a roll, having celebrated his “37th” birthday, again, the day before, and being sung to by the group here. He had just arrived at the DIA, with barely enough time to make it; but he was here, and he continued.

This time he spoke about co-creation and our part in working with God to create our heart’s desires. Our part is to stop, listen and change. In other words, stop doing what we’re doing that isn’t working, listen to ourselves and our messages and God’s guidance, and then change the patterns and activities.

Again, he spoke of coming out of our boxes, and being confident in stepping forward to fulfill our destiny, or whatever we must do to bring about the desired results. He said that fear usually holds us back, and he added that fear is the opposite of abundance; it’s stagnation.

My inner Guidance was prodding me onward with the realization that I can do the things that I had once done, and that it was time to get started. For instance, this time when we get on the road, I must make arrangements to facilitate workshops based on my courses, and have the books ready for sales.

This would be well and good, except that I had stopped at Office Depot to have copies made of my first travel book, On the Road, and discovered that it would cost more than I had planned to charge; in fact, more than traffic would bear for a self-published book. So, it had been back to the drawing board, while I awaited God’s guidance on this project.

Van had offered to make the copies on our computer, thus reducing the cost, but not enough. I could write shorter books, as a solution; but there must be another answer. Also, I could focus on selling the books with fewer pages. 

In the back of my mind I kept hearing the idea to offer the more costly books as a bonus for donations, like the TV Evangelists do, but I wasn’t sure that I was ready to take that step. Yet, money was needed to give the free books to Freedomers, and this was a legitimate option; one worthy of consideration.

Life is a Journey

What a unique concept! Of course, I’d already written a course titled, Journey to Inner Freedom, and my Travel Series often refers to our life’s journey. And then Jim Rosemergy’s project is titled Inner Journey, so we are definitely on target with the Daily Reading, which suggests that confidence increases awareness of God increases, and as we pray for guidance. It says that where I am going is not nearly as important as the experience along the way, enjoying each day, knowing that each person and experience has meaning and something of value that we can learn from the journey.

It’s for sure that I have been learning many valuable lessons this summer, even while staying put. There have been many inner lessons, as my awareness is opened by inner and outer teachers. 

For instance, I had arranged for Van to meet me, after Father Leo’s presentation. He was waiting, along with Rascal and the two cats, and we enjoyed the peaceful walk across the Christian College Campus, as the cats romped ahead and then rested, while we caught up; and Rascal gleefully enjoyed his freedom racing across the football field.

Once on the sidewalk, around the corner from the house, I accidentally lost my balance and fell down. Rascal stood by, while Van rushed to help me up. A twinge of pain went through my twisted ankle, but I didn’t choose to let this become another opportunity for setback, so I got up and continued walking homeward.

The next day, while reviewing (in my mind) Father Leo’s words, I wondered if these ongoing morning back pains, added to the fall, were subconscious efforts to stop my forward movement. And as I listened for a response, a fleeting recognition confirmed this insight. 

Lack of Circulation

I’d unearthed my Prosperity’s Ten Commandments book from Dottie’s basement, and was reading the Sixth Prosperity Commandment, which suggests that there are many ways we fail to fulfill this commandment. One of them is lack of circulation, or stagnation, which can be hoarding, withholding or not giving. And, of course, fear is usually the reason. Father Leo says that fear is the opposite of abundance, because it causes stagnation, and that inhibits the inflow of our good. Oops!

That’s not good, because this books states that death is disintegration, and stagnation is the starting point of disintegration, and lack of circulation is the cause of stagnation. Later in the book the author, Georgiana Tree West, says “Each person is expected to use his present abilities in such a way as to increase them and in so doing develop greater abilities or gifts.” She adds, “Circulation is the secret of increase, and if we are to prosper there must be not only circulation of rich ideas in mind, but the wealth that is the outpicturing of these ideas must also be kept in circulation.” She concludes this discussion, “Fear and condemnation are allied with stagnation and death.”

Maybe I need to get myself in motion, and out of my comfort zone. But how? Well, I hadn’t made a phone call to Rev. Marjorie Carroll, the Unity minister who showed an interest in my website and ministry with prisoners. That would be a good next step.

Welcome Home!

Our return to Angie’s had been somewhat stunned by a giant dumpster parked in our place, which meant that we would need to locate behind it, further from the electrical and phone hookups. We were feeling quite displaced, though reassured by Angie that the receptacle would only be there until Tuesday. In fact, Shane, the Code Enforcement Officer, had helped her cut branches and the dumpster was nearly full. And they would return next week, with some helpers, to complete the project. Positive action was definitely in progress.

Breakfast

The Erie Lions Club would be having a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, according to the posted sign when we entered town. Furthermore, it would be in conjunction with a fiesta on the main street.

So, I was awakened by the usual crowing rooster, cars stopping, doors slamming and people greeting each other, as the dogs barked at all the commotion. The deep woofs weren’t nearly as annoying as the frenzied yap of someone’s prized pooch. 

And, for some reason, this Saturday the construction was working overtime, with its roaring trucks and bulldozers augmented by the high-pitched beep, beep, beep back-up noise.

As if that wasn’t enough, the airplanes, from nearby Erie Airport, were loud, as the pilots practiced their touch and go (taking off and landing). And the neighbor fired up his lawnmower to get an early start.

I probably could have survived all this, but a fly that had come on board was dive-bombing me with its loud buzzing.

“That’s it” I grumbled, rousing Van from his dozing and causing him to look up. I recounted the disturbances, which apparently hadn’t interfered with his peace, and concluded, “It’s time for It’s a Wonderful World.” 

He mumbled “Okay,” and his head dropped back onto the pillow. Obviously the other distractions hadn’t bothered him, so Louis wouldn’t interfere with his slumbers.

Thankfully, Louis’s trumpet blasted away all the other noise and I was soothed by the accompaniment of Bing Crosby’s joining in for several old familiar melodies.

While I attempted a meditation, a piercing bird-call became a bridge too far. “That’s it!” I exclaimed, and got up. “Thank You, God, for my Saturday morning wake-up call. Obviously You have something else in mind for me, besides sleeping-in.”

Sorting Things Out

I decided to get on the computer and update my chapter, but I knew that my goal was to complete the project I’d started at Dottie’s. The idea had come to me to create a webpage that would link from my Money Matters page. It would be titled Networking, and would feature my booklet, What is Your Magnificent Obsession?

Steve had suggested that we could offer to send an audio tape about the business and/or products to anyone interested. And Van said we could also send them a Preferred Customer Application Form. I liked this idea and got excited about the possibilities for this on-line marketing.

Furthermore, we could do this and continue traveling, which I was also beginning to get excited about, since receiving a letter from Laughlin, announcing Riverside Casino’s autumn gift package: a room for $17.00, a free meal and buffets, bowling and other goodies. All this would be available for several weeks in September, and the first week in October.

We had plans to be with Dottie for her birthday, September 4th, and then attend Helena and Lou’s delayed wedding reception September 16th. From there, we could drive through The Rockies and see the glorious golden autumn aspen, while sightseeing in Steamboat Springs and swimming in the Glenwood Springs naturally warm pool; the longest outdoor pool in the world.

And, of course, we had the free coupon for five days and nights at Blue Mesa Ranch near Gunnison, Colorado on the West Slope.

Heck, once we’d gotten that far, we might as well head on over to Laughlin for some fun, and then who knows? Maybe it’s time to move on.

 

Chapter 10

MOVING DAY!

 

Change

Autumn traditionally is a time of change: vacations are over, school resumes, the weather cools, and leaves begin turning glorious colors, as people begin settling into their winter routines. 

This neighborhood, Erie, is no exception. The plums are ripening in Angie’s backyard and the sumac’s seeds are turning bright red; soon the leaves will match. But, in the meantime, her helpers are cutting away the overflow branches and hauling out her accumulation of lumber and excess storage items, and hauling them into the giant dumpster out front.

At the same time, the energies are rising, as the neighbors packed their belongings into boxes, which were later loaded into five huge portable storage units and stored, until their home is built. So far, only the foundation is being done, and it looks to be a long winter in their temporary apartment. But, they will be gone, along with Sasha, their barking Black Lab dog.

In their place will come the owners, and their dog, who doesn’t bark. At least, that is what Angie tells me. But, as I write, Sasha is barking like crazy with all the activity in Angie’s backyard. Not that I blame her; it is noisy at times.

However, the trucks and tractors and bulldozers are no longer roaring by or beep, beeping, which is a major improvement. Instead, the pitter patter of seasonal rains are often heard on our roof.

Making Plans

And Van and I are making plans for changes too. Our staying put in Erie days are about over, as September approaches and the threat of winter’s cold weather chills our bones. Within a few days we’ll head to Dottie’s to celebrate her birthday, which comes on Labor Day this year. Then we’ll drive south to Colorado Springs to visit Dal, and return in time for our generator repairs.

Mid-September we’ll attend Helena and Lou’s wedding reception, and then we will head over The Rockies to Blue Mesa Ranch, on the West Slope, near Gunnison, for five days and nights, thanks to the free Introductory Offer given to us by Steve.

Of course, once we are over The Rockies, we’ll head West to Laughlin and take advantage of the package deal we received from the Riverside Casino. From there, who knows?

But, at least we have a plan, and we will follow it, as God guides.

Inner and Outer Changes

The website is progressing nicely, with many new additions, such as my Travel Newsletters from the past three years, and the first chapters or Introduction of all books, and a new policy that evolved from our ongoing Prosperity Program’s ideas about giving. 

I’d been wanting to offer the books on-line, and then Stephen King came up with his “honor system” idea: pay $1.00 per chapter for the first two chapters. If it works out, he says that he will continue. 

So, in keeping with my desire to give the books away, and realizing that would be foolish and not in keeping with the DA’s (Debtors Anonymous) policy of receiving payment for our services and products, here’s the new policy: A value is placed upon each book, depending on the number of pages, which affects the cost of publishing. The buyer sends a donation check, which will also allow us to send free books to Freedomers, requesting their book. We then send it to the buyer via e-mail.

Once orders increase, we will consider doing E-Commerce, but we still have to figure all that out. In the meantime, at least we are moving forward within and without. As I mentioned earlier in this book, it seems that my outer progress on the website correlates with my inner movement; and that is indicated by the depth of accomplishment in Angie’s backyard. 

The new policy evolved after my back felt sufficiently strong enough to resume work.  The backyard project had stopped, after I hurt my back. But now I felt motivated to clear an area in the middle of her yard and I spent an afternoon hauling various sized pieces of plywood and particle board to the dumpster. Angie had conceded to let these go, as they are the ones that deteriorate more quickly. And each day she processed through her inner journey with willingness to let go of more stuff.

I found it interesting that my back seemed to release the pain, as I opened up more of myself on the website, and as Angie was willing to let go of more accumulation in her backyard. 

Apparently our time here had been fulfilled, and we were ready to move on to new adventures.

Van Goes Internet

In fact, Van had already begun his new adventure, while staying put, and it had evolved from the ongoing Prosperity Program, which had gradually lifted him from lethargy into motivation.

Quietly, without saying much, as usual, he had acted upon an idea to send information about our products to people advertising on E-bay. It’s the way his mind works, chewing on an idea and pursuing it on his own. But, rather than his former obsessive-compulsive workaholic pattern, he talked it over with me, and also Dottie, making sure he followed the company’s ethics and ads, rather than doing it his way.

And one day he was astounded when he checked his e-mail and had received two responses: one for more information and another for a sample product. Of course, this brought forth quite a stir of excitement, and we planned his follow-up. First, refer the inquirer to the company website, where all the products are explained. And, of course, send a sample (from Dottie’s supply) to the other. Yeah! We were on our way to prosperity. 

But most of all, Van had changed the old patterns and was moving forward into a new and exciting reality; both on his inner and outer journey.

Another Prosperity Program

When we completed The Tenth Prosperity Commandment, which bottom-lined, Thou shalt not covet that which is another’s; thou shalt claim thy own, we were so happy with our daily Prosperity Program that I wondered what we would do next.

Without missing a beat, I was guided to another unread book on my shelf, All about Prosperity and How You Can Prosper by Cornelia and Jack Addington. When I glanced through it, I laughed out loud, for here was another Daily Prosperity Program in the back of this book, along with Daily Affirmations. 

Excitement built, as I read “I am Prosperity,” and I knew that these and more motivating words would accompany us on our next inner and outer journey.

In the Middle of the Night

Moving Day continued, as Angie’s neighbors moved from around the corner into their new home. They own the home, but had rented it out; now they would move into this larger home and rent out the smaller one. Colleen had been transplanting her wild flower garden, throughout the summer, and we had been enjoying the rainbow colors: everything from Echinacea to iceplant, including many herbs.

They began their move within hours from the time Tammy’s family moved out, and continued far into the night, bringing over truckloads in their pickup. Within a day, they were settled, and Colleen was out in her yard happily tending her flowers, which inspired Angie to keep working on her front yard project: a berm of dirt, between the sidewalk and her lawn, providing another form of barrier between her and the outside, which she planned to cover with similar wildflowers, under Colleen’s tutelage. 

One morning I noticed Colleen’s granddaughter, who lived with her grandparents, taking Angie by the hand to show her something of interest, and I knew this would be a good forward movement for her.

Countdown

I could feel that it was time for us to move on, and suddenly it was the last day. The summer was over, and there was so much that I’d wanted to do while here, in Erie. Yes, I’d prepared and gotten Inner Freedom Ministry website up and running and several more books were completed, while daily writing on my current book. But, I’d wanted to talk with several more people about our business and products, and there were still some additions to the website.

I’d realized that my Welcome and Introduction, while appropriate for my prison ministry books, did not explain the Money Matters or Travel Series, and I thought it would be a lengthy rewrite, but following Guidance, I was able to add another paragraph that completed the project. Then I added a few more items to other pages, and published the results on-line. It was done, and I felt a sense of completion.

Now, to make those contacts with the neighbors. I invited Angie to go with us for lunch at Taco Mine, a locally owned and operated Mexican restaurant, and we enjoyed the tasty meal, while talking with Richard, the owner, cook and waiter. 

It was closing time, so he sat and talked. When I’d stopped in two weeks ago to get acquainted, he’d said that he’d lived here fifty-years, and would remain here, until they carried him up to the cemetery on the hill. But, now he announced that he would be leaving as soon as he sold the business and adjoining home. In fact, yesterday would be perfect timing, as he’d bought a home in Rio Rancho, near Albuquerque (where our friend Dan lives), and he was anxious to move.

Wow! Things happen fast these days. Van entered into the conversation, sharing about Dan’s interest in stocks via the Internet when Richard had talked of his plans to pursue stock investments. We promised to introduce the two men, our next trip to Rio Rancho, if Richard would send us his address. 

I gave him our business card, and also Dottie’s, suggesting that the products would serve as a Fountain of Youth to this vibrant fifty-plus citizen, who loves playing golf. And the business would provide an income that would support his activities.

Out timing was perfect, because Richard is focused on his move, but I wondered if sooner would have been better, allowing us more time to explain the business. No, our next contact would be in Rio Rancho, when he was settled into his new home.

Angie, Van and I walked back home on the new sidewalks, along the newly paved streets, and this, too, seemed a completion of our Summer in Erie, although we wouldn’t be here to enjoy the quietness. 

I felt a twinge of regret at leaving this town that I’d grown to love, as we left Angie at home, and walked the few more blocks to Barbara and Richard’s. I knew they weren’t interested in our products, now, but I wanted to finalize the possibilities of living in their rental cottage. In fact, I looked on the results as a sign: whether or not we would actually leave.

The realtors were there, and also their son from back East, so I quickly asked the fateful question and learned that “It was a done deal,” as their son emphasized. Both Richard and Barbara expressed disappointment, but the son seemed firm, and I had a feeling that their kids were pushing for this sale. From their viewpoint, I suppose they felt it best for their parents. I felt their sadness, along with my own, as we said our goodbyes, and I asked her to write to me; but I knew she wouldn’t. Indeed, their moving would be the end of an era, for them, and for the community, as they’d lived on this farm for over 35-years.

When we walked back, along the main newly paved road into town, we stopped at the house on the corner, where Jim lives. We’d watched him, on the other side of the construction zone, through the dust and dirt, all summer. Now, we could walk to his house, without obstruction, and our timing was right, as he walked to the front of the house.

We chatted, in the hot sun, for several hours, about this and that, and finally I presented the idea of our products, as a possible solution for his aches and pains. And also he seemed a good candidate for the business. I’d thought Jim was retired, but no such luck, though he would love to be free to fish and travel in his camper. However, he’d just financed a wedding for his wife’s son, and was feeling the financial pinch. So, I gave him our card, and Dottie’s, and he agreed to get in touch.

Okay, I’d completed my prospects, and now it would be up to God, I thought, as we crossed the street and returned to Freedom.

Goodbye, Angie

Much to my surprise, Angie was loading her car, and announced that she was leaving to stay at her sister’s, while watching Murphy, their big, rambunctious Airedale terrier. She hadn’t mentioned these plans earlier, but I supposed it made our parting easier.

Van and I thanked Angie for her hospitality and generosity throughout the summer, and she assured us that we were welcome to return to our spot under the shade tree, which had become home. She said we could keep the fans and telephone. Heaven knows, she had plenty, as she reminded me.

One last completion with Angie put my mind at rest. Because some members of my family have demanded that I not mention them in my writings, considering it an invasion of privacy, I asked Angie if it would be all right to write about her struggles with the OCD of hoarding. I explained that I feel talking about these things helps others, who are dealing with them, too. It’s not a desire to exploit anyone, but to expose the shroud of despair that so many suffer in silence. Angie agreed, and I promised to send her a copy of anything I write about her. 

As I said, “It would be difficult to write about this summer’s experience, without mentioning her obsessive-compulsive disorder, especially when Van is affected, too; only his manifests in slightly different ways. For instance, rather than hoarding, his is a Silas Marner, or not-having complex. I pray that, someday, there will be more understanding and help for these conditions. In the meantime, any light that is shed into the darkness must be helpful.

Lunch at Wendy’s

All summer I had wanted to take a few side trips, but it didn’t happen, until we stopped at the Boulder County Fairgrounds for one last dump, and to pick up the videos from Diana. But, another surprise: she wasn’t there. I learned that she had been sick and stayed home for two days, so I called and left a message, explaining that we would stop at Wendy’s for lunch, and if possible, we would like to stop by her home in Dacona to collect the videos.

Wendy’s had become another favorite tradition this summer, and we enjoyed our last meal here, but knowing there are more Wendy’s wherever we go. We were surprised this Saturday of Labor Day weekend that the place was packed with families and others, having a quick meal in the midst of their holiday activities. We scanned the room, taking a quick survey: the value meals were the most popular, usually with a hamburger or chicken sandwich. The taco salads were favored more by women than men, especially those who were health conscious, and chicken nuggets were the food of choice for most younger kids and some older women; so much for trivia.

In the midst of our lunch, Diana called and gave me directions to her mobile home in Dacona, so we planned a mini-adventure to her place, then south along Highways 85, 76 and I-70 to Golden, where we would get our mail, before going to Dottie’s

Dacona, Fort Lupton and Brighton

We retraced our way, along Highway 52, to the Erie turnoff, and then kept going east, over I-25. Within a few minutes, we had left the foothills of The Rockies and were onto The Plains that extend all the way through Kansas and Nebraska, with very little difference in scenery: jaunty sunflowers waving their happy faces, cattle or horses peacefully grazing in the pastures and miles of cornfields, with farms scattered throughout the area; and, of course, a few small towns and occasional larger cities.

It felt good being on the road, even if for the short distance to Lakewood, and seeing new places. But soon we were in Dacona, still a small town, within 50-miles of Denver, and followed Diana’s directions to the trailer park; and it was a huge one really a good place to live, within view of The Rockies, near the Big City, and yet rural.

Diana rescued us from her big, black Great Dane, who was being too friendly in her overpowering efforts to welcome us, and she invited us inside. As she talked about her recent illness, I said, “You know, Diana, why don’t you buy a large OPC-3 from us, now?” Adding, “We have one left, and can replace it at Dottie’s.”

The timing was right. She’d already seen the videos, read the material and listened to my stories. In fact, she had sent in her Preferred Customer Application Form, so she easily said, “Yes.” Van got the product, filled out the receipt and gave them to her. I knew that she would be feeling the good results within a few days. So, perhaps Diana would be our one positive contact from this summer, and I wanted to make sure she understood that she could contact us, or Dottie, with any questions, or for support, as I gave her both phone numbers.

Diana was in a hurry to pick up her teenage daughter, so we said our goodbyes and went on our way.

We jostled along the country road to the edge of Fort Lupton, where we joined Highway 85, and continued south. Passing along a lazy creek lined with trees, I said, “This reminds me of scenes in The South.”

Van agreed, and I could feel his energies shifting, as Little Ralph happily continued on 

the road viewing the open plains. We hadn’t seen much of Fort Lupton, as we turned onto the highway, and we breezed on through Brighton, but at least we caught a glimpse, and I made a note to return here and take more time to look around, on a future trip. 

Goulash for Dinner

Dottie was enjoying some fall sunshine when we arrived, and we sat outside, in her backyard, and chatted. She brought to my attention the fact that we were now in the Virgo energies, and how much clearer everything felt, as she updated me on the latest family news and business activities.

Before long, she prepared her version of goulash, without olives or tomato sauce (since she didn’t have any and no car available to get some), substituting salsa. Like the spicy Mexican vegetable soup I’d made, she could rename it: Spicy Mexican Goulash. But, Dottie’s cooking is always good, even her mistakes, and we ate heartily, leaving very little leftovers, after feeding her large family, including Arianna and Jason, who are still looking for their own place.

Happy Day Before Your Birthday

Van always starts singing the Birthday Song, several days early, which fit right into the Sunday, because Steve was barbecuing a big turkey, and he had invited some business friends over for the afternoon. 

But he’d told Dottie that they were going to do a business presentation to someone, at home, because he had to cook the turkey. Not knowing these plans, I’d asked to sit in on the business presentation, so Steve found time to fill me in on the plans. 

As the time approached, Dottie insisted that they spend some time straightening the house, getting dressed and preparing for their presentation. While in their office, she kept bugging Steve to change his clothes, from shorts to pants. Soon I spotted the guests arriving, and told her “Someone’s arriving.”

She came in, gave the business friends a hug, accepted their flowers and card, and then explained, “We’re going to do a business presentation, but you can stay for it, if you like.”

Steve interrupted, “Honey, this is the business meeting.”

Dottie was so focused on the original plan that it took her a minute to grasp that there was no business meeting. Then she changed modes and said, “Well, I’m going to put on my shorts.” We all enjoyed a brief birthday interlude, before the friends excused themselves to get on with their busy day.

Hark! The Ice Cream Man Cometh

After a delicious turkey dinner, we were all playing cards when someone heard the musical sounds from the ice cream truck, along the next street. By this time, Dottie’s inner child, Dorie, was into the spirit of celebration, and she wanted an ice cream drumstick. This ignited the attention of Joanie (my inner child), and Arianna announced that she’d wanted one for two days. So we waited impatiently, but didn’t hear the music. Fearing that it had gone on a different street, Steve and I walked outside, and soon heard it; too far away to be coming here. 

The three girls insisted that the guys should go find the ice cream truck, and I suspect they wanted ice cream too. So, they headed down the street. Soon the jaunty music could be heard, and I looked outside to see it parked across the street, with a dozen kids coming in all directions, as Steve and Jason sauntered back. They later explained that they had found the driver and asked her to come up our street. She was delighted, and, of course, so were the kids of all ages.

But the evening wasn’t over, yet. Jason and Arianna rented The Whole Nine Yards, a comedy with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, and we all watched, while munching popcorn that Van provided and popped.

Although this wasn’t Dottie’s official birthday, it was a fun family gathering, and I wondered if I was making a mistake by moving on, especially with Micayla getting so cute and responsive. 

Great-Grandmother’s Brag Book

Okay, so I don’t have a lot of pictures to show, I can write a word-picture of Micayla. When we first walked in, she was peacefully sitting in her car seat, while her grandmother was reading. And she smiled, kicked her feet and waved her arms when I bent down to greet her. Now, how could anyone leave these precious moments behind?

Later, when we came inside, Dottie was sitting on the floor with Micayla, and exclaimed that she was sitting by herself for the first time, without falling over. She was so cute and so unassuming in her new position of prominence; and, I got to be there for that golden moment. I began to lament our moving on as I wondered how many more would I be missing?

She was such a joy, throughout the weekend; and so much part of our family activities. Even when we played cards, Micayla would be sitting at the table in someone’s arms, or fighting off sleep, so as not to miss anything. She just couldn’t give up, so she sat in her swing, while we watched the movie and ate popcorn. It wouldn’t be long, and she’d be having popcorn, too. 

But, so far she had only progressed to her first solids: rice cereal, usually fed by Grandmother Dottie, because Arianna was working at Chili’s in an effort to earn more money for their own home. Jason had one good job driving heavy equipment, but it had run out, and now he would have another, after the Labor Day weekend.

On Monday morning, we were invited to Dottie’s birthday breakfast, prepared by Arianna and Airica, and there sat Micayla, in her swing, with a cute little outfit and a big matching bow around her head. Cute!

Her mom takes good care of her, but when Dad arrives, she comes to life, flailing her arms, kicking her feet and with a big smile; enough to melt any man’s heart, and certainly Jason’s, who takes such good care of her, sharing in the responsibilities, especially when Mom is busy, or working.

I love to hold little Micayla, too, when I get an opportunity, and she is so accepting and responsive to her great-grandmother. I have a good feeling that we have our bonding, but what will happen when we’ve been gone for six-months?

Oh well, we’ll just have to get reacquainted, and take up wherever we are then. It’s for sure, we’ll be back for her first birthday.

Impeccable Word and Impossible Dream

With all the birthday festivities and beautiful Micayla to record, I don’t want to overlook the special Sunday morning that I shared with Dottie when we went to church together. Airica’s new car wasn’t working, so she left us off at church, and we planned to walk home. 

The guest soloist, Stephen West, sings with the Metropolitan Opera, and has traveled through Europe, and elsewhere, concluding his summer’s stint in Santa Fe, NM. His first song, Haydn’s “Creation” was breathtaking, but when he sang, The Impossible Dream, as he, no doubt, has performed it on stage, it brought tears to my eyes, and a standing ovation from the congregation.

The songs accompanied our minister, Rev. Roger Teel’s, theme, Be Impeccable With Your Word, about the Creative Word, based on The Four Agreements, a book by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Real Thing

Labor Day was about getting ready for Dottie’s birthday celebration: last minute presents and preparing the BBQ. And then we all gathered at the family table for Dottie’s choice: shish kabobs (beef, prawns, scallops and veggies) and croissants, with a surprise selected by Dottie: chocolate eclairs. Later, the presents were opened, and Steve surprised her with the news that he had bought a Blazer, which he would drive so that she could have her Volvo back; an arrangement that pleased Dottie. 

The evening concluded with most of the family watching the Broncos football game; and Dottie enjoying the warm glow of having her family celebrate this final birthday, before the Big 50. And, of course, there were cards and phone calls throughout the day, as more family and friends added to her special day. A highlight of this particular birthday was the presence of her granddaughter, Micayla, with a cute outfit and matching big bow. 

As planned, the next day I treated Dottie to lunch at Gemini, a health food type restaurant. Somehow, with all the cars in the family, none was available for this event, so Van unhooked Freedom and drove us north on Wadsworth to Wheatridge, and waited while we savored good food and time alone together to celebrate the day that began her life; a special time for us both.

But, all too soon the celebration was over and we moved on. First, we stayed all night at Camping World and that’s when I discovered that without our generator, I couldn’t use the microwave to prepare dinner. Fortunately, Dottie had given me some leftovers, so I made sandwiches. However, my plan to go to Colorado Springs to visit Dal didn’t make much sense, so I called Van’s aunt and arranged to stay there, until the generator got fixed, next week.

 

Chapter 11

“EXPECT THE BEST AND YOU GET THE BEST”

 

Good News and Bad News

We took Freedom to Apex Auto Care, in Golden, for an estimate on the brake repair, suggested by the squealing when pressure is applied. The good news is that the front brakes were better than the rear; the bad news is that they should have been replaced, not yesterday, but last year. And more bad news: the cost is almost $900.00. And that doesn’t include the expense of having the generator repaired. But, Van says the good news is that we will have a high quality, safe brake system. Let’s pray that the generator repair is a minimal expense.

So, now the question is: do we stay put another month or two, and chance getting stranded for the winter; or do we head west, and then stay put?

“Expect the Best, and you get the Best”

I like the idea, because it’s affirming a universal law, and this latest repair situation definitely gives me the option. I can become discouraged and anticipate the worst, such as not enough money to continue with this lifestyle, or I can “expect the best.” It’s really a matter of consciousness, so it’s a good test to see where we are, after three months of prosperity affirmations and programming.

It’s for sure that with new brakes, I can look forward to going over the Rocky Mountains without fearing the worst, like what happened to another RV that’s sitting in the lot. They were going over the mountains, during the summer, with their air conditioning on, and their motor burned up. They’ve been here over two months, awaiting their home, and having to stay in a hotel, because the new motor burned up, also. Now, what’s going on with their consciousness? They are from New Mexico, so maybe they just like Golden. 

Making an Exception

Okay, so here’s one: Apex has a policy of not allowing the owners to remain in their RV during repairs. They used to, but someone fell coming down their steps and sued the repair shop, so that ruined it for everyone. However, Brian, the owner, okayed us staying inside for the five hours.

Van and I had eaten lunch and he was doing his prosperity reading, while I was on the computer. Suddenly the entire coach collapsed, knocking over the jacks and folding our levelers, which were also extended. We were both okay, but I was concerned about Jim, the mechanic. Fortunately, he had left on an errand, or he could have been badly injured.

When he returned, he was shocked to realize how near he had come to danger. And the other mechanics agreed that they had never had such an experience; nor had we. So, why did it happen? Whose consciousness attracted such an occurrence?

Of course, someone had to comment: “That’s why we don’t want anyone staying inside. Not that it was our fault, or that we were moving; it just happened. Perhaps someone needed to feel justified in their policy. I don’t know; only God knows. But I’m sure asking Him questions.

Kabump! Just as I wrote those words, the coach collapsed again. Okay, God, what are you telling us?

God is Telling Jim Something

It wasn’t until seven o’ clock, or later, when the brakes were completed, that I went into the office, while the mechanic took Freedom for a test drive. I was talking with Beth (Brian’s wife, who is the office gal), wondering about God’s good reason for the two kabumps with our motor home. She told me that she believes in prayer, too. We’d both concluded that the purpose must have to do with Jim (the mechanic), because he had been gone both times the RV fell, and he was obviously shaken by the incidents.

Then Beth told me, “The other day Jim had been sitting in a chair in the back bay, when it suddenly collapsed, landing him on his rear-end.” She added, “I walked in just in time to see the overhead door start to fall right where he was sitting, and I yelled at him to move. He narrowly missed being crunched by the door.”

I remembered that when he returned from his errand and saw the motor home had fallen right where he had been working, he had exclaimed “Holy Shit.” So, obviously God had some unfinished business with Jim, and we were part of the experience, for whatever reason.

What is God Telling Us?

Apparently God had unfinished business with us, too, because it turned out that there was more work to be done, and we were to return on Monday morning. On the test run, Jim determined that the noise we had thought was the air-conditioning was actually something else, and he would need more time to fix it. He’d noticed that some screws were loose, and he hoped they weren’t stripped, and that whatever they were holding in place didn’t fall loose, in the meantime.

Oh, that’s good news. Again, I wondered how many more things were getting ready to fall apart, and how safe it would be to make a trip anyplace, even to Aunt Betsy’s.

In fact, it was so late, and we were both so tired from the stress of the day, that we decided to drive to the next Wal-Mart for the night. In the morning, we could complete our shopping, and then go next door to Costco.

It’s Okay, Now

As a result of our conscientious effort this summer, we had paid off over $2,000, mostly repair bills, besides maintaining our monthly Spending Plan. And we had felt confident that we could maintain our present lifestyle, including the trip to Laughlin and treating our inner kids to some fun. But these unexpected additional repair costs created the opportunity of choice, as I mentioned earlier. We could expect the worst, such as not enough money for the trip, or we could continue to look to God as the Source of our supply, and move forward.

We prayed about the situation, and then discussed it, before shopping. My Guidance said that Van’s inner changes, as a result of our Prosperity Program, had taken away his pattern of looking to his mom to bail him out of money problems; that he could now ask her for the money, from his eventual inheritance, while realizing that God is the Source, and thanking Him for using Betty, as the channel through which the money manifests.

Understanding and Discovery

Van still felt apprehensive about asking his mom for the money, because it had been a love concept between them all these years, and, to him, her possible refusal would mean rejection, like “I don’t love you.”  Through our discussions on the subject, he had become aware of these false love concepts, and he had built a more realistic love relationship with his mom. Yet, the anxiety remained, even as he explained to her about the expensive brake repairs.

Fortunately, he now understood this phenomenon, and he thanked God in advance for fulfilling our financial needs, from His infinite warehouse of abundance, however that might manifest.

In this instance, God provided through Betty, and she okayed the advancement from Van’s inheritance. Thank You, God; and thank you, Betty. Now, we could complete the repairs and continue our travels, while maintaining our carefully planned monthly Spending Plan in a warmer climate; and we could have fun, while we were working with the Inner Freedom Ministry website.

The most important part of this transaction was the inner changes that Van had processed, and his understanding that his mom was not bailing him out to show her love, but that God was providing from His infinite supply.

Seemingly Insurmountable Repairs and Expenses

We spent the weekend at Van’s aunts, confident that within a few days our repairs would be completed and we’d be ready to travel. Wrong!

When we returned to Apex Auto Care, within a short time they informed us that the motor must be removed in order to make the necessary repairs. We’re talking at least ten-hours of labor, totaling another $1,000.00, quickly depleting the money that Van’s mom would send, and this still didn’t include the generator repairs. Furthermore, Brian explained that the problem could have been caused by the previous work having been done incorrectly; thus it could have been avoided. In other words, the motor was moved through the door (instead of the front opening), so when it was replaced, the bolts were not properly tightened, causing them to work loose. 

This news had been given, as we sat in their lounge, because we were no longer allowed inside Freedom, after the coach collapsed. When Brian left, I broke into tears. This just seemed like too much. I felt frustrated that after all our efforts to change patterns, we were still facing seemingly insurmountable repairs and expenses. 

Stop Struggling and Let God Solve the Problem

My solution, as always, was to give up, dissolve our marriage and start a new life. Yet, what difference would that do? If my consciousness contributes toward creating these conditions, then there’s no use trying to escape. So, I simply surrendered it all to God and continued revising one of my books (on my laptop), while waiting in the lounge.

But, later Brian asked, “Are you in a good mood?” He then explained that, as a result of the above-mentioned fiasco, the metal plate had broken and must be replaced, and the part wouldn’t be here until the next afternoon.

I really fell apart, now, because this meant that we would not be able to keep our appointment at the Onan Generator shop for those repairs, for which we’d already waited three-weeks. Now, we probably wouldn’t be able to get another one in time to get over The Rockies before the snow comes.

In the expediency of time, Van asked Brian if they could and would repair the generator. Jim looked at it and concluded that he could fix it; but the new part wouldn’t arrive until the next day, and they would not remove the generator until it was here; then it would be three-hours labor to remove it. And who knows how long to replace it. 

Okay, now we are talking another thousand-dollars. How far do we go with this? In fact, we were already too far into it to stop. I was not willing to leave town without our generator working, and I was not willing to stay in Freedom for a cold winter in Colorado. What is God telling us? Again I asked: Do we find a place to stay here, or do we take a chance on making it to warmer climate?

Well, there wasn’t much we could do, at this point. The time and labor had gone into taking the front of Freedom apart, and the new parts were already ordered, so we were committed to staying. This time Brian let us remain in Freedom, since it wasn’t on jacks, and I spent the time working on my revisions, while Van maintained his usual routine that takes most of his days. And life goes on.

 

Time Passes

The next afternoon came and went without any sign of the parts, or any further work on Freedom, but I kept revising, and managed to maintain a pleasant outlook, while observing that the mechanics worked a short time on our RV, and then moved on to something else. Considering that they had about a dozen coaches, plus cars, on the lot, they eventually got them done.

Nothing more had happened by Thursday , so we took our second evening walk; this time along the main highway. Joanie felt the need for nurturing, so we stopped at a local restaurant and ate dinner. Having stocked up, before arriving, I’d been fixing good meals, but I needed a break, after being cooped up four days. 

By Friday, I’d finished revising one book and moved on to another, when Brian announced that the part had arrived, and Jim spent a short time replacing it. But, now we were told that the radiator needed flushing in order to add a new anti-freeze.

In the conversation, Van mentioned to Brian something about having added distilled water from time to time. This threw a monkey-wrench into everything. Apparently, this radiator is a sealed system and shouldn’t need water, unless it was leaking. Now, Brian announces that we need a new core in the radiator.

Of course, it was already two o’ clock, and it couldn’t possibly be sent out and fixed in time to get it back and replaced today, so we would have to stay over the weekend.

Joanie Blows a Gasket

This was a bridge too far! We’d been here a week, already, and we were planning to go to Helena and Lou’s wedding on Saturday. In fact, we had been invited to arrive on Friday and spend time with the family and friends, so we’d be there overnight and could ride to the wedding with them. Also, I was planning to help with the food preparations.

Brian obligingly offered to replace the radiator, as is, but he brought to our attention that it would need fixing in the near future, and most of the expense is for labor; better to do it now. Van went blank, unable to make a decision, so I called Steve and Dottie. 

I explained the situation, hoping for some input and support, but their minds were on other things, and the best they could offer was the use of a car for us to drive to Fort Collins to the wedding. This would be good, except that our blackwater tank (sewage) was almost full and we wouldn’t be able to take Freedom to a dump, nor would we have access to a toilet over the weekend.

I was rapidly going into the depths of depression, which set Dottie didn’t want to deal with, because she had her own priorities; one being to take Airica to Golden to pick up her senior pictures. Since one of my concerns was the need to replenish our supplements (from a supply that had arrived at their house) she offered to drop them off here.

I tried to explain the directions, but finally gave the phone to Van, hoping Little Ralph could come out of his hole long enough to make them clear. Then he hung up and I laid down on the couch in a deep funk. Apparently he had arranged for Dottie to come by at 5:00 p.m. with our supplements.

Joanie was beyond solace, and I couldn’t figure out what the heck had happened. Partly, it was anger at Van for not telling Brian about the leaking radiator, for which he made sure he brought the blame to Van. Mostly, I was upset that this had dragged out all week, until it was too late to get it handled for the weekend. I really felt that we’d been jerked around, and my victim tape was running, although I kept affirming: “I am not a victim; I am victorious.” I didn’t feel victorious.

I Give up Hope

I’d given up any hope of getting to the wedding, so the decision was made to have Brian take the radiator for the repairs, and we’d stay here for the weekend; and if we were lucky, we might get out of here Monday or Tuesday. In that case, we could still get to Blue Mesa Ranch by Friday, for our reservation. And I’d also given up any hope of the generator being repaired any sooner, because it hadn’t even been started. Judging by the time involved in the other projects, this could take another week.

I was not being facetious, because I’d talked with the owners of the motor home with the blown motor (who had returned to stay in their coach) and they said that they’d been here a month (spending part of the time in a hotel). It didn’t look hopeful that any of us would get out in the near future.

But, Brian was determined to get them out that afternoon, and all efforts were bent in that direction, so Jim, too would assist, although the generator parts had arrived several days earlier. To my surprise, he began working on our generator, and I now heard sounds of activity beneath the couch where I was reclining. But, within a relative short time, he stopped and left to help take the other coach for a test drive.

A Communication Gap

Now what? When he returned, I asked what he had done, and he said, “The starter’s in.” 

I didn’t know if that meant something else had to be done, like replacing the generator, or what. It certainly hadn’t been three hours. However, time passed, and I finally got up to see if the other coach had returned. It hadn’t. Oh! Oh! Could it possibly be that they had more problems on the test drive? 

Jim came and got a tool from Freedom and announced, “I need this so the tow truck can hook up to the other motor home.”

This time I tried to ask the right question, “Did it blow up again?”

He replied, “No, it just stopped,” and he went on his way.

We had arranged to meet Dottie out front, and it was time, so we headed out. That’s about the time that Van mentioned that Steve would be coming, too, and would leave the Buick for us to drive over the weekend. 

“Thanks for letting me know,” I snarled.

“I thought you knew,” he defended himself.

“No!”

This was another example of Van’s lack of communication, which caused the radiator fiasco, in the first place. It had been sitting there for four days, and everything could have been finished on schedule, if he would have given Brian all the information.

But, it isn’t only Van’s fault, because there are some heavy duty patterns going on around here, and it’s as if this was set up, for some reason; either Van, or me, or Brian, or God, or all of the above. And I was still waiting to see what was going on. Not even God was talking.

A Respite

Thank You, God, for this respite midst RV repairs. On our way to the wedding, we took time to pick up our mail in Golden, and then we began the two-hour drive. I had planned to stop at Eldorado Springs, south of Boulder, to replenish our water supply, thanks to the information from Jim that it’s free, if you have your own containers, which we did.

However, we could see the black smoke billowing into the sky, from the latest fire, and the nearer we got, the more I wondered if this was a good idea. It seemed to be coming from the exact location of the springs, and I remembered the last time we planned a side-trip into the mountains, there had been a huge forest fire, and we didn’t go. 

But, we needed water, and Van took the exit and headed into the mountains; only three-miles, but the closer we got, the more apprehensive I became, because the smoke was directly in front of us, just over the first ridge. Undaunted, Van continued, but soon the road narrowed, as we entered a canyon, with a creek taking up the center, and houses filling the rest of the space. As we drove through the community, and saw people sitting on the patio of the Eldorado Cafe, I said a prayer that they would all be spared from the dangerously close fire. The pavement ended and we were bumping along a makeshift road that promised the Eldorado State Park up ahead, but signs warned us not to park here, or we would be towed away. 

“Good thing we didn’t try this venture in Freedom,” I said, but Van didn’t reply, as he focused on avoiding the pot-holes.

We passed by a resort hidden in the trees, with more signs warning us not to park, so we continued, assuming that the springs were further, and taking heart from the fact that cars were coming toward us, although making the driving even more precarious for Van. 

Finally, we spotted the entrance to Eldorado Springs and saw the delivery trucks parked in the lot. We followed another vehicle to a laundry tray setup, and watched them pick up the plastic hose that came out of a hole in the building, and quickly fill their ten-gallon container. 

The water runs continuously, so we picked up the hose and filled our four jugs. The other couple had explained that we should put the brick over the hose (to hold it in place) when we finished, but the water pressure was so strong that it was difficult to contain the flipping hose. However, I managed to corral it, while Van loaded our bounty, which required 25-cents payment in a handy receptacle.

Fortunately, there was no smoke or fire, because it was thwarted by the high ridge, but if it came over the top, this community would be doomed. “Please, God, protect this community,” I prayed, as we left and returned to the highway. However, as we drove further north, toward Boulder, we could see and smell the smoke clouds that did not succumb to the reddish slurry (fire repellent), dropped from the planes flying back and forth, between loads (later that night, when we returned, the smoke had engulfed Boulder, causing us to choke and our eyes to burn. It obviously hadn’t been contained, but there were no flames on this side of the ridge. Thank You, God).

Helena and Lou’s Wedding Reception

The festivities had begun, when we arrived, with groups of people sitting or standing and chatting in the City Park’s recreation center. I quickly spotted the happy couple: Helena, wearing a vibrant blue-toned long gown, and Lou, wearing an old-fashioned tuxedo and top-hat (perfect for this casual, yet festive event).

They had asked me to give the Invocation, so I showed them one in the book, Illuminata, by Marianne Williamson, which I had been guided to bring. Helena needed to direct the kitchen activities, so assigned the task to Lou, who glanced at the words and decided they wouldn’t do, because no ceremony would take place (they’d been married in December). However, he looked through the Table of Contents and turned to A Prayer for Couples. 

“This is it,” he said, and explained that Helena would introduce me at the proper time.

Within a short time, the couple sat in chairs at the front of the room, along with the M.C. (Lou’s brother, Len) and the informal fun began. 

First Lou and Helena commented on their meeting and their relationship, midst laughter and joy. The radiant Helena bubbled, “It’s wonderful,” as she extolled the virtues of her man, whom she had met right there on the dance floor (they still attend the contra dances). And Lou (an engineer turned computer systems designer analyst/programmer), gave a bit more history and details, such as their living together in her tiny basement apartment, and then at the animal shelter farm, where he lived and volunteered his services; and now happily remodeling the home that he had already owned, but had rented to his former wife.

Helena introduced me to read the poem; lovely words, as if written just for them, and God had surely guided me in bringing the book, and Lou, in selecting the poem. I felt honored to have the privilege of participating in their ceremony.

Next, her friend, Nancy, read a descriptive poem about love that she had shared at their wedding ceremony: an excerpt from Twelve Songs from W.H. Auden Collected Poems titled XII. This unusual poem has the wit and wisdom comparable to “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran, and is worthy of being featured on special occasions.

From this point, the impromptu comments of other guests were encouraged, and kept us inspired or laughing. Probably a highlight for Helena came when her son, Nick, spoke of having been dragged around the country, as a child (in Helena’s hippie days), while she searched for an elusive something, and finally found it in her own hometown, Fort Collins. Nick added his acceptance and approval of Lou, as Helena’s love mate, and got a big hug from his mom and Lou.

I reminisced about Helena and I meeting in Leucadia, California, and that she wrote a column, which I titled “Our Angel Helena” for my monthly publication.

Once the ceremony was completed, we enjoyed cake and refreshments prepared by Helena and her family and friends: veggies, snacks and two cakes, including a vegan chocolate cake, which means no animal products; not even eggs or milk (Lou is a vegan, and Helena is a vegetarian, but allergic to wheat). 

Talk about a match made in heaven, these two are definitely soul mates, and they are wonderful, loving, caring people, as expressed by each of the guests who commented, during the ceremony.

Because they met at a contra dance, in this building, the next two hours featured dancing, and Lou, despite an injured back, miraculously managed to trip the light fantastic with his lady-love. 

The time passed too quickly, as we snacked (both delicious cakes) and chatted with Lou’s mom, and several of Helena’s friends, whom we had met in the past, and then it was time for the potluck. 

We enjoyed visiting with Darrell, a train, trolley and cable car enthusiast and avid traveler. He told us about some good places to visit, such as the cog mountain train in New Hampshire and the Freedom Walk in Boston. We began to look forward to our next adventures, and I asked for his e-mail, so we can check with him, when we get to New England; maybe another year from now.

Many of Helena and Lou’s friends from contra dancing had attended the reception and stayed for the regular Saturday night dance, which began at 7:00 p.m. By this time, Lou’s back was painful and Helena was exhausted from the preparations and Big Event, so they loaded up their things and went home.

Although presents were specifically not expected, I’d decided to give them the Calendula plant that had outgrown our home, and I knew it would have loving care from Helena. We’d brought it all the way from Mississippi, where it had been given to us by my cousin, Carlie’s, friend, Lennie, and now I would share it with my friend, Helena. I had saved and transplanted part of it, while at Angie’s in order to keep the reminder of our visit with Carlie, and it would continue to grow, and then blossom in the spring. 

I liked the continuity of giving this gift and still keeping a portion for our enjoyment. Indeed “Life Goes On,” and Helena and Lou’s wedding reception is a good time to remember this truth, and also to end this book on a happy note

As we resume our travels, my next book will share our new adventures. And the conclusion of the RV repairs and the fire near Eldorado will be related Chapter 12.

 

CHAPTER 12

IT’S NOT OVER YET

 

The Fire Conclusion

As I said earlier, when we returned from Boulder the smoke had engulfed the area, causing us to choke and our eyes to burn, but once we got further south, the air was clear and we could, again, breathe. The fire continued for several more days, forcing evacuation from hundreds of homes, while we watched the smoke, visible from the Apex Automotive parking lot. The Evening News kept us informed as the fire raged out of control, and more firefighters were brought in from other states. Finally they gave the news that the fire had come into containment after a few more days. 

The good news is that no homes were damaged, no one was injured, and the firefighters returned to their respective states; or to other fires.  

The Repair Saga Continues

In the meantime, we sat in Freedom, over the weekend, and into the next week. As the repair saga dragged on, several factors came into the picture; the first being that Monday and Tuesday came and went, without the work being completed. Then the Weather News predicted that a cold front was coming in and we would be having snow over the weekend. In addition, I’d been noticing that the night temperatures in Gunnison, where we had reservations for Blue Mesa Ranch RV Park, were dropping into the low 30’s. 

Since Van and I are not snow enthusiasts, I concluded that it would be best to cancel, or postpone our reservations. In fact, I now had second thoughts about traveling over The Rockies — with or without snow; Freedom just didn’t seem to be up to the climb, so I thought about keeping on the low ground, along I-25 to Albuquerque, and then I-40 to Arizona. 

When I called, they confirmed that there would be snow over the weekend, and suggested that we would probably be happier waiting until spring. Okay, so much for all of my fun plans in Colorado: forget Steamboat Springs, and no swimming in the hot springs pools at Glenwood Springs or Ouray, near Gunnison.  

What Would You Have us do?

So, what could we do to make up to our inner kids? Or, maybe it’s not about entertainment, until we get to Laughlin. Perhaps God has other Plans? Okay, God, what would You have us do?

Once I opened to other options, God answered with a complete itinerary: visit our friend, Rev. Dan, in Rio Rancho (near Albuquerque). After all, he is a minister for a Unity church, and perhaps it’s time for me to begin giving workshops or lectures relating to my Inner Freedom Ministry, which is based on the teachings of our church. I’ve got to start someplace, so why not here? 

I called Rev. Dan and he was delighted that we were coming, as he happily announced, “There’s an Oktoberfest next month, and the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival. Come and stay as long as you want.” This sounded like fun, and definitely welcoming.

I always believe in going through the doors that open, and not to force doors that are closed, so now we had a direction and a purpose to our travels, and this felt good.

I also looked forward to seeing our friend, Judy, who lives in Santa Fe, and I reminded myself that she had offered to do some editing, which Dottie no longer has time to do. This felt like forward movement. And I began to get excited about the possibilities of doing some Recognizing and Changing Money Patterns workshops, once we made it to Laughlin, where I had planned to do them for the last three years; perhaps now would be the time, as God guides!

With a Plan in Mind

With a plan in mind, we looked forward to moving on, and rejoiced when the RV was finally ready late Wednesday afternoon; more like early evening. But, at least we were free! We would stop by for our mail (to collect the check sent by Van’s mom to cover the repairs), then drive east to Flying J and get fuel and propane, and finally dump our waste storage. Then we would go to Van’s aunts on our way south. Wrong!

Along I-70, we began noticing another banging noise, and I cried out, “Oh No! Now what?”

“I don’t know, but it’s not good,” Van replied, “We’ll have to take it back tomorrow.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. Furthermore, I was upset. I thought about the couple who had been at Apex for over a month, and I wondered what was wrong with our consciousness to keep creating these repair problems. I suspected that we hadn’t completed Little Ralph’s money-love syndrome, with his mother providing financial assistance for the ongoing RV repairs. I had felt guidance to okay Van’s asking her for help with these repairs, because he seemed to understand the previous patterns, and now seemed in a more responsible place, as he recognized that God is the Source, and his mother is simply a channel through which God provides these funds.

With this in mind, we changed our plans somewhat; we would drive to Wal-Mart and stay for the night, so he could deposit his check in a branch of the bank that Van considers “his bank,” which he had spotted at another time. Then he would drop me off at his aunts, as I refused to return to Apex Automotive. 

It’s About Money Matters

Bright and early, Van got himself up and ready, and we drove to the bank. I could tell he was hyped, because he was depositing the check from his mom, and it was bringing up patterns, and it was slippery for him; like an alcoholic working in a brewery. But, he felt like he was in control of his money addiction, as he hurriedly went to the bank, only to return with the news that it was only for home loans; there’s no branch to “his bank” in the Denver area. 

“You can deposit it in ‘my bank,’I suggested, asking, “What difference does it make? The money all comes from the same place.” 

“Okay, which one should we go to?”

“Well, you can take me to your aunts and then go to the bank by Dottie’s, on your way to Apex Automotive.”

I knew a process was in progress, and it probably had to do with Little Ralph going through some more growing up, so I didn’t need to take it on myself. Yet, I became involved when I looked up, as we went around a corner and I saw a tall building with my bank’s name at the top. Once I got the word to Van, and he turned around and pulled into the bank, I knew Little Ralph was in trouble. One part of me wanted to stay out of it, but for some reason I was being guided to go inside with him; something to do with changing a control pattern relating to money: “his bank vs. my bank.”

I suggested that he calm down and release control, and let God handle it, especially the part about worrying whether or not there would be a hold, until the check cleared; a possibility that could really delay our travels.

Once inside, he went to the cashier by himself, while I looked at a newspaper, and then he returned, greatly relieved, and announced, “It’s okay; no holding time.”

He then dropped me off and returned to Apex Automotive, and came back totally stressed, with the announcement: “They had to order another part for the AC. We have to go back on Monday to complete the repairs.”

By this time, it didn’t matter much, anyway; our reservations had been canceled, and we weren’t in any big hurry, because we’d decided to wait until our supplements arrived, which could be next week. 

Van’s aunt had been taking care of family matters, which involved going to a meeting, and she, too, was stressed, when she returned, so our inner kids were thrilled with her decision for the three of us to go to Old Country Buffet, one of my favorite restaurants. Joanie was delighted that there was some fun (food) in all this stress, and Little Ralph nurtured himself with ample servings.

The money matters and other stress issues had been too much for him, and he could barely stay awake, while we all watched TV, and he was thankful to finally go to bed and end this day.

Why was Van stressed? His answer: “Because of all the repairs and having to wait out the time.” 

But, there was more: long-time money patterns: his mom bailing him out of financial issues, which, in Little Ralph’s mind is the way she shows love. The question is: has he overcome this pattern on a deep, inner level? 

Perhaps, this saturation of RV repairs would be a completion. 

A Cookie Party

Of course, staying over the weekend meant that we would be here for the expected snow storm, but we resigned ourselves to going with the flow, and settled in for more time with his aunt, which Little Ralph enjoys, anyway, as he gets lots of nurturing from her good cooking. And she even decided to have a Cookie Party; baking him two kinds of his favorite cookies, including Snickerdoodles and oatmeal cookies, which created the aroma of cinnamon and raisins baking on a cold, snowy day.

As I’ve mentioned before, Van likes to graze throughout the morning, which means that he eats breakfast, until about noon, fixing his own dried fruit, dry granola, banana and muffin. I usually spend the time writing, but this time I decided that it would be good to have breakfast with his aunt, so we took our huge muffins inside and offered her a chocolate one. 

She had a lot of family matters on her mind, which she talked about, while we ate. This took all morning, and it was afternoon, before she realized that she had planned to make French toast, which we encouraged her to fix for late lunch. 

After we’d eaten, she started the cookies, and the first batch was done around dinner time; so we simply ate cookies and canned peaches for dinner; a day that appealed to the inner kids.

Another Giant Step

While his aunt attended to more family matters, Saturday, I got Van to help me take another giant step with my website: linking with International Network of Prison Ministries. Now that he’d made it through his latest growing up process, it was Joanie’s turn, and she was stressed, because she had tried doing it at another time, and came up against her block and stopped. But, this time the two of us worked together, following the instructions for linking, and we made it. Well, almost; but we ran out of time before we completed putting their banner on my website. However, that would take another giant step, and we could finish it next time. 

The End of a Cycle

I hadn’t expected to be here for Steve’s birthday, although we usually stay in Colorado, until after this last seasonal family gathering (before the holidays begin). Yet, here we were, so arrangements were made to move Sunday morning (since the snow hadn’t been as severe or deep as expected: only two inches, and it had melted). Van left me off at church and parked in front of Dottie and Steve’s, so I could walk through the Christian College Campus one more time; this time with snow weighting the branches of the trees and melting into wet squishes across the athletic field.

When I arrived at Freedom, Cupid greeted me from inside, having visited awhile with Van, and then went on her way. Dottie, Airica and Joshua were leaving for last minute errands, and Arianna, Jason, Micayla and Buddy soon arrived for the birthday celebration. They had moved, the day before, into their own home (exactly what they wanted), and were anxious to return to their own space, but wanted to be together for this last family gathering, until spring (Dottie’s family would be gone for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we would be in Arizona and California). 

Thanks to the cold front, Dottie prepared her semi-annual fried chicken dinner for Steve (the other time is Father’s Day), which had been skipped for two years, due to hot weather. It was a nostalgic gathering, because of the family changes. But we would return in time for Micayla’s first birthday, Easter, and Arianna’s birthday; all in April. In addition, Airica and Josh would be graduating from high school in May, and we didn’t want to miss those festivities. It would also be the end of an era for my great-grandson, Brandon, who would complete Elementary School and look forward to Middle School.

A Rascal Story

An important member of our family, Rascal, the family dog (an Australian shepherd), has been featured in a short story I wrote, and it seems time to mention him, again, because he’s so unique, and precious to us all. 

Dottie told me the first part of this story, after the fact. It seems that Sunday morning, they were sitting in their garage (which is their office) when Rascal jumped up and looked toward the door, but finally gave up, when they told him it was nothing. Actually, it was Van parking Freedom, but he didn’t go inside, because Dottie had said that they wanted their first morning alone together.

So, later, I arrived and stayed inside Freedom, awhile; then went in the house, after Dottie came out to say it’s okay. Finally, I went out to the garage to collect my Razzle Welcome, which is a “wag the dog” from head to toe, for this tail-less dog when he shows excitement; so much love; and such a funk when anyone leaves. 

I’ve never seen a dog show so much feeling; much more than many humans. For instance, he hates getting all muddy during his runs (an unconscious shepherding procedure), and when the day is over, and he realizes that he’s too muddy to go inside, his self-esteem is totally shot. In fact, when I went out to say “Goodbye,” the dried mud was clinging to his hair, with clods between his toes and he was shivering and shaking with shame; his eyes were deep sunk and dead-looking, and he could hardly hold his head up, even when we patted him and said words of encouragement. 

After Steve took pity on him and gave him a tub bath, Rascal came rushing into the living room, wagging from head to toe, smiling, with his eyes glistening, as he rubbed against the sofa to remove excess water. What a transformation! We didn’t have the heart to tell him we would be leaving in the morning, so we gave him lots of petting and then went to Freedom. 

Another Day at Apex Automotive

Indeed, life goes on, and with our wheels, we would move onward; at least when the last repairs were completed.

But, first we returned to Apex Automotive, and within a few hours we learned that the compressor for the AC had gone kaput, which meant it couldn’t be replaced; and they couldn’t find a used one, so a new one must be ordered and replaced; another $700.00.

The 2-3 hours (projected on Van’s Thursday return) quickly passed, as Jim took apart the necessary sections of the air-conditioner, while determining the broken culprit, and the day was rapidly going by. At first, I busied myself with projects, other than writing, thinking it wouldn’t take long. During that time, Jim was mumbling, to whoever would listen, “I spend all of my time here; nights, weekends, all of my time. It isn’t right.” 

I said, “Hey, Jim, guess what? We spend all of our time here, too,” and laughed, but he didn’t see the humor.

Later, he complained, “I dug up all of my green tomatoes and green peppers, because they said it was going to freeze; but it didn’t freeze. Now, I’ve got to throw them out.”

“Why don’t you make green tomato salsa, or fried green tomatoes?” I asked, adding, “or you could make dill green tomatoes, which are something like dill pickles?

Neither project interested him, as he said, “I’ll just throw them out.” 

Of course, with Jim there’s often a discrepancy between what he says and what he does. For instance, when we were here before, he’d told me that he’d been in jail three times over the weekend. But he later mentioned that he has his daughter with him every weekend, and, in truth, he hadn’t been in jail.

So, when I heard him saying that he’d been bitten by a black widow spider, which had been in the AC area, I didn’t believe him. But, he showed me the dead spider, and eventually he showed me the red line going up his arm. In addition, he spoke of a wolf spider, almost as big as a hand, that had also been under the hood. When I questioned him about it, he took me to where he had moved it, and sure enough, there it was, although it’s harmless and only eats flies and bugs. Thank goodness. It’s for sure that if I’d seen that thing inside Freedom, I would have been scared to death.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

Although I’ve shared some humor, it was written when I thought we were within a few hours of being freed from this ongoing repair saga. Wrong!

When the compressor arrived, toward the end of the day, we were informed that it was the wrong one, and they wouldn’t be able to get another until the next day. 

“So, we’ll stay here tonight, right?” Van asked, adding, “And will we be able to hook up the electricity?” 

We were hopeful of getting an early start the next day, and we felt right at home, so settled down for the night, as I prepared leftovers, instead of eating with Dottie’s family, as planned. At least the weather was warmer and we were able to stay comfortable, while watching TV.

Hope springs eternal, as we awoke the next day and looked forward to a hasty departure. I should know better, the way things go for us at Apex Auto Care. It’s not always their fault, but circumstances, and probably our learning process that’s involved. But this time, it was Brian’s mistake. Of course, the new compressor didn’t even arrive until late afternoon, and when the process was finally completed and tested, it didn’t work properly. The container that Brian had told Jim to use (for the Freon) was actually empty, and he had put air into the system, causing it to freeze up.

“So, we’re here for the night?” Van repeated the question.

Oh, yes, we were here for another night, and we called Dottie to cancel another meal, as I hauled out more leftovers for dinner. Not that I’m complaining about the leftovers; I love them. But when in the world would this end?

Get it Right!

It didn’t seem right, somehow, to request further money from Van’s mom, so this time we decided to handle the cost ourselves. After all, we had originally intended to charge the brakes and generator repairs, increasing our monthly payments with the difference between the doctor and ambulance expense, which would be paid off in October. 

So, I suggested that Van call the credit card company and see if we could increase the limit; an idea he hadn’t considered. They were willing to handle $300.00 for one, but none on the other. Okay, keeping in mind that God is the Source of our Supply, we decided to write a check for the difference, which would be covered by the reimbursement from his mom that would cover our September bills.

First, we went over our September Spending Plan to make sure we were within our amounts. We were okay, and would have a fresh start with our October finances. This was a very scary procedure, as we were changing money patterns; and it was working. We were taking responsibility for debts and finances, without succumbing to the bail-out pattern.

Van seemed in a much more stable place, after we had completed the process, and we knew we were ready to move ahead — within and without. Apparently we needed this one last time to get it right.

And this time everything was working perfectly with our motor home, as we drove down the highway to new adventures. 

It’s Not Over, Yet! Why?

The last sentence is how I expected the story to end, but it wasn’t over, yet. First of all, when we went in to pay the bill, we learned that the labor charges hadn’t been included in the last estimate, so now we were facing over $1,000.00, an amount that we could not pay. So, Brian agreed to accept three checks; one to be drawn from our current account, and another one in October, after our Social Security check was deposited, and another check for November. 

This wasn’t the best arrangement, but it’s all we could do, under the circumstances, and we began our trip, which is covered in the next book, Journey of Awareness.

But I would be remiss not to include the next portion of this ongoing money saga.

The next time Van talked with his mother, he mentioned the added expenses, so she offered to send another check to our mail box, and it would arrive with our next forwarded mail, to our friend, Dan’s in Albuquerque. 

Several days later, while on our trip, Van called Bill, at Mail Box Etc. and confirmed that the letter from his mom had arrived, and arrangements were made for the mail to be forwarded. Everything was going smoothly.

However, Freedom had been overheating, so Van called Apex for advice, only to have Beth announce that she had deposited all three checks. Apparently, she had returned to the office, after Van left the checks with Brian, and rushed right down to put them in the bank, without discussing the matter with Brian.

She explained to Van, “It wasn’t my fault; it was just a mistake.” She added that she had called the bank, trying to stop the transaction, but it was too late. Now, she offered to pay any extra expense that the bank might incur to us. But the damage was done, and there was nothing we could do, until Van got the check from his mother and remailed it to his bank in California; a matter of three or four days, at least.

Okay, so what is going on in whose consciousness that this should happen? Things that could work out aren’t working. Why? 

Usually, it’s been my experience that when things get this messed up, there’s a pattern involved, and it’s time to change it. But, I’m tired of it all, so this book will end with the completion that Van got the finances handled via on-line, the check arrived from his mom, and Beth kept her word by paying the $36.00 overdraft fee.

 

For Answers to These Questions: to be Continued

We found another auto repair shop, Duke City Automotive, to handle our new repairs, and Life Goes on. To continue with our travels, and learn if we reached a new level of consciousness, and our destination, read Journey of Awareness, as we move onward from Denver to Albuquerque.