It truly is amazing how Life works.  Having just published my book describing how following Spirit works vis-à-vis a journey that I took when I was 28 years old, here I am doing the same thing again at 65.  Déjà vu! 

As described in my previous blog post, I left Sunrise Ranch towards the end of Feb without having a real solid idea of what was next for me.  Since then, I have “moved” to Florida (that’s in quotes because I’ve established legal residency in my brother’s Ft. Lauderdale home but so far have spent very little time in Florida), spent 3 ½ wonderful weeks in Costa Rica, and took a road trip up the east coast which brought me to NJ.  That’s ironic since the trip I took in 1976 started in NJ, went through Florida and ended up out west.

A few details about my travels.  I bought a Thule when in Colorado and, with the help of my friends Ford North and Billy Hunter, mounted it on top of my 2008 Subaru Outback (I like to call her Mo).  I then determined that anything that did not fit inside Mo or the Thule, was no longer mine and gave the excess away.  Over the past 15 years, I have been discovering how little I really need to thrive and enjoy life.

The road trip through Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida got me back in touch with how diverse and beautiful this country is.  Other than a short section of snow and icy roads in Colorado and an hour or two of driving in blinding rain in Florida, the weather was perfect for enjoying the splendor of the countryside, especially since I only drive during daylight hours.  I had intended to take more secondary highways and two-lanes but caved in to the desire to get to Florida sooner rather than later.  Still, the scenery was breath-taking and I did get a bit of the experience of driving through little towns and eating at places other than franchise restaurants.  Also got to see the 100+ year old house that my friend Chuck Hunter owns in Baton Rouge and visited with my friend Jim Barker and his granddaughter in Ft Worth.

That brought me to Florida where I spent time, both before and after Costa Rica, with my brother Rob, sister Carol, and niece Dana and their respective spouses Laura, Paul, and Andy (plus my grand-niece Bindi).  If you have enough relatives to stay with, you don’t wear out your welcome!!

The east coast trip brought more beautiful scenery.  It’s cool seeing alligators by the side of the road in Florida.  Hot Springs, Virginia is a gorgeous well-kept secret in Virginia matching historic buildings highlighted by the amazing Homestead Resort and Spa with verdant rolling hills and flower-carpeted mountains.  Kiawah Island, South Carolina is one big post card.  The town is carved out of the natural setting and the man-made aspects are groomed to perfection.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you can take walks on the beach by the ocean either. 

It was good to re-connect with my friend Nancy in Tampa whom I hadn’t seen in 25 years or so and to share deep personal time with my friend Keith in Atlanta.  Total blast to jam a little with Ron, an old friend in Hot Springs who is a world-class jazz drummer and always good to spend time with my dear friends since college, Mike and Michele in Kiawah Island. 

Perhaps I’ll write more about my time in NJ and trip to South Africa, where I now am, in a later posting but now I’d like to consider something I observed during the trip from Colorado to Florida and Florida to NJ.

I stayed with several friends and relatives during this journey and their homes varied from ultra-modern with all of the conveniences to VERY rustic where you wonder when part of the house is going to collapse.  I found myself able to easily adapt to all circumstances and in a place of gratitude for being graciously hosted in each case.  Moreover, I noted that each person lived in their home in an attitude of loving care and appreciation.  It gave new meaning to me of, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  Personally, I have lived in a beautiful house decorated by my wife who was a professional interior decorator, a small simple home I decorated myself (simply but nicely I might add), and a room without running water and erratic electricity in a village in northern Ghana.  VERY different abodes!  What was common was my appreciation for what each offered and what I could offer into each one.

I’d love to hear about your experiences in this regard and what you value most in a home.  Feel free to leave comments or submit a blog posting.