Saturday, February 6, 2010

Inspiration....

I have only posted a few times to the forum, but have been reading everything for over a year. We have an offer on our house and I have been fretting over what can go wrong before the closing on March 31st. We've had a roller coaster ride trying to sell our house for the past year, and I have become convinced "the other shoe will drop" again.

The RV-Dreams community has kept me going. As I read all of the posts in this thread, I actually get choked up by the great people here and the encouraging words. I have learned many of you have had challenges, but you keep focused on the dream and keep your spirits up.

I vow to stay positive and keep moving forward on the dream. It will happen! Thanks to all of you for lifting my spirits. I can't wait to get started. One of the main reasons we decided to before fulltimers is the negative environment we saw in our workplaces. We choose to get off the out of control merry-go-round and live a life that will be far more rewarding. We no longer believe what our society has tried to force down our throats; that money and possessions bring happiness.

Thanks again for your inspiration!

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K&E,

Thank you for posting this!

We would like to add something that we have found very recently.

Over the last few days some of the people from which you have seen the encouraging words here to us as well as others have contacted us.

Here is what we have found. 

Behind those words of encouragement that you see here -- some very short -- are very real people that have shown us with no doubt that they live what they say.

Throughout our lives we have met many people that have said a lot of things.  Usually a common phrase of some sort that was meant to help in some way.  However, it was never really known how much credibility was behind the statements.

Let us say that here -- there is a LOT of credibility behind the words of encouragement -- it isn't just words -- it is from their personal life experiences -- it is from them putting what they say into action -- showing with actions that what they say can be counted upon to be true.

Does that make sense?

There were times during our accelerated move that Nanette and I sat in our house looking at the piles of stuff to be packed and we were so discouraged.   I remember this very well.

We felt we would never get this done -- and the door to the "old" was wide open and beckoning us to just get back to "where we belonged". 

We felt this often.

The only thing we had to counter, this seemingly easy path to take, was right here.

The responses to our trials came through the comments of those that had gone before.  We found ourselves seeing that the credibility of these statements to be the reason they helped us through so much.

So yes, as the subject of the post states this is a community -- and like so many of the best communities there is concern and a giving spirit to help when help is needed.

In our opinion, you have found here something very unique these days and something of great value.

K&E -- take comfort in the comments of the members here -- we have found that they mean what they say -- and they have deserved the right to say it.

That feeling of "what ifs" is very familiar to us -- it still exists today.

The difference today for us is that we KNOW now that the "what ifs" can not only be the potentially negative things but also the potentially wonderful things that are in the "getting into" and the living of this lifestyle. 

We are so glad you posted this here...

YOU have just become a part of the very thing you find so appealing here -- words of encouragement -- the vow to know that you can do it -- the commitment to a dream that so many before you and us are now living and know is worth all the effort to make it a reality.

Ken and Nanette

My Dad...The Log... and Mr. Kite...

Today we are inside again as we watch the Kentucky River rise.  It sits about 20 feet from the rear bumper of our motor home.

With the amount of rain we have received we think it is a good idea to keep an eye on it.

So while we do this -- I thought I would share this...

Yesterday I shared this picture with you...


This picture brings back a flood of memories for me.

This house is where I grew up.

It sat on 15 acres of rolling hills in Missouri.  The house itself is over 200 years old.  The logs were cut from the property and shaped by hand.

What you can't see is that there is a cellar beneath it.  It is cut out of solid bedrock.  This rock forms the foundation of the house with the logs sitting directly on top of it.

My room was on the second floor on the left front corner as you look at the picture.  My brother's room was on the right side.

These rooms -- if you can call them that -- were actually made up of one large room separated by a log wall with all but 1 log cut away to make a walkway through the wall which allowed access from side to side.

Let me tell you about this 1 log.

My dad was a handy man of sorts -- he could do just about anything -- although like his son (me) there were limits to his abilities and the fall-back method was always trial and error.

Back to the log -- this log went from back to front as you look at the house and went from wall to wall.

Well this log was about 5 feet from the floor and you had to walk under it to get from my room to my brothers.  This bothered my dad since I had personally witnessed him hitting his head on it many times.

So...

He decided to cut it.  Hmm...  I remember he said out loud -- "I wonder what will happen if I cut this thing?"
I had no idea what he meant of course back then -- today I do.

So...out came the saw and the great experiment began as I stood there watching.

Now before I go on let me fill you in on what was actually happening here understanding what I do today.

This log was holding the house together!

It attached the front wall to the back.  There were actually 6 or 7 of these logs in place and all but 1 had been cut already by someone before us.

So whatever stress there was in holding these two pieces of the house together it was concentrated on this 1 log...are you getting the picture yet??!!

...and this 1 log my dad was feverishly sawing away at with a handsaw.

Now realize these logs were probably 160 years old or more -- and very thick.

Dad sawed away!

He sweated...and sawed.

He mumbled...and sawed.

He fussed about the saw being dull...and sawed.

He moved to the other side...and sawed.

Then...an Angel of the Lord arrived!

There was a knock at the door.

Wiping the sweat off of his head we all went down stairs to see who the unexpected guest was.

It was the man down the road - Mr. Kite

Mr. Kite was a wonderful man in his mid 70's that lived about 5 miles away. He was born in the house he lived in and had lived there all of his life.

He was a jack of all trades and he and his wife took my brother and I to church in their 1949 pickup truck every Sunday.

Dad wasn't a church going man -- but that is another story for later.

Mr. Kite came in and after normal hellos and weather talk my dad asked him if he wanted to see his latest project.  Mr. Kite of course said sure and up the winding stairs we went.

I am not sure I remember this exactly how it happened but in my mind's eye I seem to recall Mr. Kite seeing the saw...then the log...then him stopping dead in his tracks and just staring at the log -- then the saw -- then the floor where the sawdust was -- and then repeating this evolution of looks a couple of times.

Then this close to accurate exchange took place:

Mr. Kite:

"Um...Don (my dad's name)...do you know what is goin' to happen if you make it though that wood there?"

My Dad:  "Not really."

Mr. Kite:

"Well I am pretty sure you will have a good view of the stars at night."

My Dad:

"What?"

Mr. Kite:

Because I am also pretty sure that the second you make it through that beam -- you are gonna lose two walls.  One is goin' that-a-way and the other is goin' that-a-way - lickity split." (I do remember precisely him saying "Likity Split")

My Dad:

"Oh!" (then a word that would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap I am pretty sure.)

For the next couple of hours my Dad and Mr. Kite worked to get that log braced along the sides so that our house wouldn't fall down.

I ask myself today as I think of this event if the house really would have fallen.

While I don't know for sure...I do know that for a few years after this my brother and I would take our toy cars and run them down this log because they would  go really fast because of the big curve it had.

Funny -- I never remember seeing that curve before that day.

Just one of the memories I have of many.

So...I wonder...if I were in my Dad's shoes back then would I have cut that log?

Questions like this haunt me...because I probably would have.

...and I wonder what "logs" are still out there to show up in my life??!!


Ken

Friday, February 5, 2010

Rain on the roof...

What is it about hearing rain hitting the roof that makes you sleep so sound?

I am sure not everyone finds this sound to be a good thing but for me it works every time.

When I was growing up we lived in a 200 year old log cabin with two stories and a tin roof. The road we lived on got its name from this house. Tin House Road.

Here is a picture taken within the last year.  Of course it looked different but not much 40 years ago.

Can you see the Tin Roof?


There are so many stories to tell from this picture -- like when one of our horses decided to come inside and ended up falling through the porch that you see on the front.  The horse wasn't hurt but getting her out of her predicament took a few hours as she was up to her belly in porch...  Ah...the memories.  I think I will do a blog soon with some of these stories.

My brother and I slept on the second floor and when it would rain the rain hitting the tin roof would drown out any other noises.

It was hypnotic at times, the gentle and not so gentle at times, sound of the rain at it connected with the tin above our heads. I remember it well.

Now that we are once again living in a home that the sound of rain is so clear -- it has the same effect on me.

It is funny how a sound or a smell can sometimes bring about an unexpected memory.

The smell of cedar does it to me. Again, during my childhood we were surrounded by Cedar trees -- the smell of these trees apparently got lodged in my memory and when I run into a strong smell of it images seem to come back to me. (You can still see the trees in the picture above if you look closely.)

Images of me running through the 15 acres of rolling hills that we grew up on. Of me running barefoot along the little creek at the bottom of our property. A creek that was lined with rocks -- and that was fed by a natural spring on our property.

Our property was located on the highest hill around and from our back yard we could see for millions of miles. Perhaps not millions but as a child that is what my mind defined it as. The sunsets -- oh the sunsets -- God's canvas was never adorned so finely as it was during my youth.

The sunsets appeared over the back of the house on the picture I posted.  If you sat on the right side of the house the view was absolutely stunning.

I remember seeing people come out and paint what they saw there.  They would ask my dad if it was okay to do so.  He would always answer with pride as if he had built it.  I would always laugh on the inside.

Even in those young years I was in awe of the powerful beauty of the nature that lay just outside our back door. I used to sit and just watch the canvas float by and wonder how so many colors could be captured in one place -- and why -- I was being treated to such a show.

My childhood is one that a book could be written about. I think I will share bits and pieces here from time to time.

It has been raining here since yesterday afternoon and is to continue until this afternoon when it turns to snow and we get somewhere between 1 and 3 inches.

So as I listen to the rain on the roof I think today will be an inside day for us.

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blackberry Nuked...and then THE email arrived..

To be perfectly honest the post I made last night was a struggle for me.  I was tired and just couldn't get my thoughts straight for some reason.  I guess this is what is called writer's block.

I carry a Blackberry 8900 Curve for communication and connection to the world.  These amazing devices can do things that still amaze me.  However, there is something known to Blackberry users that is dreaded more than anything else.

It is called a Nuked Blackberry. ( Should your curiosity be peaked do a Google search on Nuked Blackberry)

The short version of this is when you suddenly get a very tiny icon that is almost impossible to read which says something like - "Reload Software - Error 502"

When this happens your Blackberry is Dead! Sometimes it goes into an unstoppable reboot mode.

What it is telling you is that the operating system is corrupted.

For me -- when this happens -- I am in for about 4 or 5 hours of work since all of my third party applications must be reinstalled and activated one at a time.  Why is this a problem?  Because some bonehead (me) decided that he NEEDS 137 of them.

Yesterday afternoon this happened to me.  So I was out of phone and in for a lot of work -- again.

I did not tell Nanette this happened because when I do she suddenly has errands to do -- like go out to see if the Stop Signs are changing color as they should at intersections -- or check to see if there is a sale on Powered Georgia Buggys -- in other words I am hard to live with.

Finally got everything done late last night though so I am once again connected.

So...one of the first things that happens when it comes back up is all of the emails that have been sitting out there come in.  They did and I had 40 or so of them that were here this morning waiting on me.

Now to the second part of the title of this post...

How they found my email address I don't know.  I am kind of out there on the Internet and someone with some search skills can find an email for me apparently.

Well this couple figured out who we were through another discussion board we belong to -- then started searching for an associated email address based on the name -- bingo -- they found one.

I know they did this because they told me -- I told them that they has missed their calling and perhaps something in the investigative field would yield great rewards.

One other thing -- they tracked back to Howard and Linda's RV-Dreams website and found our posts in the Introductions section of the site.  We have written a lot there and it tells a lot about the inner workings of our transition.

Armed with all of this they wrote us -- they wrote us at 2:15 AM this morning!  I was sleeping at that time by the way.

The initial email -- which is the first of 10 that have gone back in forth this morning was one that I had to read 4 or 5 times to get my arms around.  But I did.

I have asked them if I could share their reason for writing on our blog as long as no names were used and only the core of their issue was written about.  They agreed...so here goes.

On this blog -- which is in its infancy we explain we are living a full time RV life style.  On Howard and Linda's RV-Dreams site we posted about the "getting to" this lifestyle.  What caught their eye was the thoughts and emotions that we went through as we traveled to this point in the adventure.

They wrote that they are in this lifestyle not by choice but by the need to survive.

They have two beautiful children and are in their 40s.  They have no income other than unemployment -- having to go on it for the first time in their lives.  They are looking for work on a constant basis and running into the wall of a very bad economy.

The move to their RV was in actuality a move to a "lifeboat" since staying in their home was not sustainable.

The main point in their email was the stress of this change and what it has done to them.

They said they have looked for people that are in a similar situation and have found a few but of those they are very reluctant to discuss it and in particular the challenges.

There is much more but this captures enough for my posting here.

When I read this email I tried to put myself into their situation.  I went back in my memory having read instances where people in similar situations had written about it and drew some very pointed responses -- some not so kind to say the least and were basically told to "Just suck it up and get a life -- it is your fault you are in the situation you are in so don't cry to us."

Let me say something important here -- these responses that I am eluding to above WERE NOT from the full time community but general discussion boards and forums.

I find their reaching out to us not to be about us but about the community they see in this lifestyle.

As they explained -- the realize that many doing this have income streams from retirement, investments, or business that they have developed over time.  However, they also noted something they I too have seen in this community and that is experience and a tenaciousness that they could only dream of.

They told me as they read through the blogs they saw a common thread that exists in the lifestyle of taking what happens in stride and figuring out the answers.

They made another observation that really caught my attention.  They said they were talking about how much life experience exists in our community.  As they stated in their email -- for a lot of  the people they have read about it is apparent they are "battle hardened" individuals that have seen it all and have more that likely lived through things that would make their current situation a simple "bump in the road".

Wow -- when I read this a thought came rushing into my head.  I read the blogs too -- and what I see mostly is a Title -- A Description -- Perhaps a Short "About Us" story and then stories.

BUT -- behind those things are literally combined thousands of years of experiential living.  Hard living in some cases -- a myriad of personalities -- countless approaches that have been used to get through the hard times -- dedication to deep beliefs -- compassion -- empathy -- and a bunch more core traits that combined make for a powerful repository for support, encouragement and creativity.

Stress...

Stress is interesting.  I have had the blessing of working with some of the most elite soldiers that defend our freedom in our country.  During this work we worked on facing the issues of what stress can do to an individual when faced with situations that seem hopeless.

The issue is what happens to the body and mind when this stress hits.

Here is what stress does to us as we face these types of situations.

The recall of information is clamped down, the intake of new information is blocked, our heart rate elevates as does our breathing as well as becoming labored, our balance can deteriorate and these are just some of the things that happen.

So to put it another way when we need to be at our best -- we are mentally and physically a wreck.

So what does it take for this to happen -- well -- it is associated with the "perceived risk"  -- notice I said the perceived risk not always the actual risk.

Let me give you an example -- think about yourself in this scenario.

Lets say I lay a Balance Beam on the floor in front of you.  You are on one end and me at the other.

I hold out a $100 bill and tell you that if you can walk across this beam on the floor to me without falling of you get the money.

I would expect most of us could do it with relative ease -- I could see some of us even playing around some -- bending over -- skipping -- and having fun.

Not a difficult task and done by using abilities we have.  Getting the $100 is fairly simple based on our skill which we have learned.

Now lets change the scenario.  Lets take the same exact beam that we were able to cross and raise it 100 stories in the air.

You are on one end me at the other.  I hold up the $100 and say -- walk across it again and you get the $100 -- fall off and you don't get it.

Would you attempt it?

If not -- why not -- you can do it -- you proved it -- you have the abilities.

Perhaps it is the perceived elevation of risk of failure -- not your proven abilities?

And what if the stress response I listed above kicks in about half way across?  Kind of hoping you have a parachute at this point?

Also realize that the $100 doesn't have the allure it did while on the ground.

My point in all of this is that this couple that wrote me appear to be having the same response.  They stated they feel paralyzed and foggy in their thinking.  Their stress level is very high as they look at their children and start asking "what if worst of the possibilities happens?"

So they may well have the potential to navigate out of their situation, however, they are in the arms of this debilitating stress and don't know how to break it.

Why did they reach out?  I believe it was for the reasons I stated above about this community.  I believe they are looking for support from people they deem credible and have shown they know how to get through the rain.

One other thing...they have lost their support structure...since moving out of their house...their friends have distanced themselves from them.

They said that they sense they are deemed homeless by them.

I pass no judgment on their friends.  Heck, we have detected the same sentiments among our acquaintances (not friends) so I understand this.

So what can our community do for families like this that are hurting is the question?

Perhaps just be ourselves -- it seems that this community -- and these blogs - carry an importance to some that we have no idea of.  A reaffirmation that tough times can be overcome.  That hope exists that adversity can be embraced without the associated paralysis that blocks the very abilities we have to overcome and benefit from the challenges we face.

In closing, this couple did not ask for money or a job.  They simply asked for understanding and if we had ever experienced in our life the feelings they are.

Are you kidding me?

In our lives we have been in places that we look back at now and wonder how we EVER got through it.  We have felt the power of stress in our lives -- the sleepless nights -- the fog of the "what ifs" -- the butterflies in our stomachs -- the feeling that next day would  bring more hits instead of good  news and much more.

We came to think we deserved the bad things coming to such an extent that when things turned around it seemed wrong.

We shared with them not answers -- but simply experiences -- through our experiences we could share empathy.

We never told them that everything would CERTAINLY be alright but that is could be as long as there remains hope, love and desire to the extent that the effort continues to overcome.

Maybe...just Maybe this writer has underestimated the power of the community we have joined.

The power that comes from being who we are -- that seems to be good enough -- and the willingness to share ourselves in our writing will not be underestimated again.

I know for us -- we will never take for granted who is reading the ramblings we write -- what it may mean to our readers -- the unknown hope that is given by the thousands of words that show that while life can be cruel in the end it isn't what life does to us but rather what we do with life.

Ken

Are you staying warm?

As we are still close to where our house was located we see many of our friends on a regular basis.  The one thing that they all have asked us is if we are staying warm.

Apparently the thought is that living in an RV in the winter MUST be cold.  It just seems funny that we are asked the same question from all of them.

We tell them that we have two furnaces actually opposed to the one most homes have and that we stay very warm and only have to run one of the two furnaces.  We get roughly the same reply each time -- "Really?"

We have found ourselves haveing to educate a number of our friends regarding the systems of an RV.  This has actually been fun for us watching them learn about our new adventure.

It is interesting looking back on how differently our friends reacted to the "news" that we were going to be changing our life style.  There weren't any that thought we had gone full tilt Bozo or anything but there was surprise and a lot of questions.

In a couple of cases I think we inspired some to start researching the possiblities for themselves.

We could not have asked for more help from them when we found out we had to accelerate our move.  Actually we could not have done it without them.  We found out just how good of friends we have.

Now we are meeting new friends and really like what we are finding.

The people we have met since we have moved into this lifestyle are a very special group.  Very accepting and willing to help in anyway they can.

In addition, the amount of knowledge available is very impressive. For those contemplating making this move we think you will find the same thing as we have.

One other thing we would like to suggest is to try to find an owners group for the make of RV that you have.

We have a Fleetwood Bounder Motorhome and have joined an owners group and a discussion board for Bounder owners.  There is no price we could place on this in terms of the value and information we have received for other owners.

Things will go wrong from time to time and having someone that has dealt with the same thing before can save a great deal of time in money.

Well -- that is all we have for now.

Ken and Nanette 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Wonders of Technology...

This is a little something we just found and setup for our Blog.

This post is being posted directly to our blog from my cell phone - no computer required!

Also, we can post pictures this way as soon as we take them.

This will allow us to post no matter where we are and when the next great event happens.

We want to be able to capture events as close to real time as we can.

Isn't technology great? Well when it works - when it doesn't - very frustrating!

Ken and Nanette

A strange sound...not so good.

I forgot to post earlier something that happened yesterday that was very troubling.

I was here alone in the morning for a while and was in the bedroom doing some work on the computer.

I had the back window open enjoying the fresh air.

We are sitting on the banks of the Kentucky River.  The river is about 20 paces away from the back of our Motorhome.  There is a road that goes along the opposite side but it is hidden from view from the trees that line the river.

All of a sudden I hear a gunshot followed immediately by a fluttering sound going over the top of the motor home.

I know this sound from when my older brother and I would go target practicing in Missouri when I was very young.

One day when we were doing this I heard this same sound.

My brother immediately grabbed me and pulled me to the ground.  He told me it was a bullet going over our heads.

Well I always thought a bullet going by would sound like the "pink" you hear on TV when a bullet is going by.  Apparently they don't make that sound.

So back to yesterday -- after hearing and identifying the sound I just heard -- there was a very quick reaction which was to get away from the window and behind something.  Shortly after this I heard 5 more shots in rapid order.

It is my opinion the bullet I heard was more than likely a bullet bouncing off of something not a direct aim at our motor home.  But no matter what -- having a bullet go over your head is not something that is comforting in any way.

We told you some of our adventures might not be all good.

Ken and Nanette

A little late on posting...

We are little late in posting today.  Still getting the blog setup and took too much time doing that and not enough time posting. :)

We spent the last couple of nights in the RV-Dreams Chat Room and met some really great people.  If you haven't visited it yet you will find a very welcoming group with a LOT of knowledge regarding the full time lifestyle.

Getting to know the people in this lifestyle has been one of the joys of our experience.  If you are thinking of making the move just know that there are many people out there to help in many ways.

The thing is they understand what this life style brings.  Having been there and experienced many of the things that can happen out here they can offer encouragement as well as annswers to many questions and concerns.

During our research we wrote many questions on the various internet sites -- questions that have probably been asked many times.  We were greeted with a willingness to help that told us a lot about the people that have embraced this lifestyle.

The snow is melting here rapidly being quickly replaced by mud.  We have prepared our site for this as we were told that due to the layout of the campground mud can be a short term issue you may have to deal with.

Today brings some administrative duties which we should have accomplished by noon.  Then we will see what the afternoon brings.

We have decided to post a couple of times each day as time and events permit.  We are still formulating the best way to communicate our adventures.  We have researched many blogs and made a list of what we really like about how they are managed so we have a template of sorts in our mind about what may work best.

We are also planning to contact a few of the bloggers and ask for advice on what has and hasn't worked for them.

Well...that is it for now...we will post later today.

Ken and Nanette

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adventure in moments...

We have realized that adventure can happen in moments.

It can be something as subtle as seeing nature at her best or her worst.

It can be in the eyes of a child expressing wonderment at a simple first discovery.  (Sometimes WE are that child.)

It can be at an unanticipated emotion that is pulled up through the actions of others -- some we know some we don't.

It can be many things -- all happening in a moment -- a moment that must be seen first to be seized to then be appreciated.

Life would have us move right past these gifts as we go from event to event.

What he have done is to go on a scavenger hunt each day -- to uncover these moments.  To search until we find something of significance for the day.  We know they are out there to be seen and appreciated.  We also know the choice to find them is ours.

This adventure we think will be just like this.  Daily gifts put before us for the taking.

What will you have found at the end of this day?

Ken and Nanette

Monday, February 1, 2010

This is the first of many.

Hi!

We are Ken and Nanette and we are very glad you stopped by.

We have been asked by a number of people to start a blog.  So...we have.

We will include daily updates as we progress along our path to the adventures that we know await us.

A couple of months ago we sold everything we didn't need for daily living and moved out of our house into our motorhome.

We researched this lifestyle for a few months and decided to be out of the house by April 15th 2010.  Well as happens things changed and we ended up leaving on Decemeber, 28th 2009.

It has been an interesting transistion to say the least.  The actual getting rid of stuff was a rollercoaster of emotions.  It was hard at first and as time went on it got easier.  It actually got to the point that we couldn't wait to get rid of everything and just get moved.

Through this process we had help from friends that proved to be priceless.  Without their help I doubt we would have made it.

But...we are here and living the dream.

Please give us a little time to get our blog up to where we want it.  We decided to start writing now though and take care of the details as we go along.

Ken and Nanette

A Man A Rose -- A Memory!...

Those roof vents can really vent!

Guess what you get when it is 1 Degree above Zero and you leave a roof vent open?

You get the sound of propane being sucked up by a furnace trying to keep the RV warm.

Yep -- we learned this lesson.  Not sure who left it open but we suspect it was Banjo the Shelty.  All of us are in agreement that it was him since none of us would ever do such a thing. confuse

The things you learn the hard way sometimes.

So...here we are...on the banks of the Kentucky River still enjoying winter.

We continue our course of looking for workamper assignments.  We have received a couple of other opportunities and have emailed back and forth to some really great people.

The other thing we fill our time with is blog reading.  This has become a morning ritual. 

So many -- so good -- it is hard to stop reading.

I would like to share something I can't get out of my mind with you.

A couple of days ago Nanette and the kids were gone and I was here by myself doing some work on the computer and had the window shades up.

As I have told you we are sitting in a CG on the Kentucky River -- and I mean ON the Kentucky River.  If I were to step outside the door turn right and walk about 20 paces...things would get very wet.

Anyway -- as I sat here working I caught movement outside - out of the corner of my eye.  The campground we are at has a gate so most movement this time of year is well anticipated.  But this was different -- a time of day I would not have expected anyone to be out and about.

As I looked out the window I saw a man in his 70's, I would guess, slowly walking toward the river within about 40 feet of our site.

In his hand was something I couldn't make out until he turned. 

It was a single red rose.

I found myself fixed on him and what he was doing.

He walked up to the bank and bowed his head for about 2 minutes. 

He then moved closer to the bank -- actually stepping down some. 

He then threw the rose into the river.

He stepped back a few steps and again bowed his head.  He then looked up and watched the rose very slowly float down the river.

I guess he stood there for about 5 minutes and then walked away.

I had this immediate feeling that I had just been a spectator to a very deeply emotional event. 

It was like I was looking through a window at something I just couldn't find the answers to. 

Who was he? 
Why was he at this spot? 
Who was the rose for?
What deep emotions had driven him to this point in his life?

Strangely enough I felt sadness -- then wonder -- then respect.

These things we witness in our lives only have meaning if we choose to grasp the moment and ask the questions -- even if no answers come.

I am sure he had no idea I was watching and no idea of the emotional response his actions pulled forward in me.

Life -- what a truly amazing thing -- what wonders -- what lessons wait for us to learn.

This moment -- having in common with all other moments the simple passing of time was different. 

Packaged within it was a lesson -- that there are many events in life that although were not created by our circumstances - still can touch us.

So -- I guess the lesson in this is keep watching -- and feeling -- and take the journey as it comes. 

Keep looking out the windows as the train keeps on its journey and just wait...because the moments that matter will come into view.

I kind of see the blogs I read to be similar -- people allowing us to look into their lives, thoughts and feelings.

What wonderful gifts we are given -- and the thing is -- the best ones are usually free should we decided to open them.

Ken