A Story to Tell

snow in Hood river

As I write this, I am sitting in a toasty Hotel room overlooking the Columbia River that is gray and forlorn looking this morning as it races toward the ocean.

I have a ground floor room with a sliding glass door leading out to a grassy strip that has a skim of snow on it, and beyond is the River. My view is because of Sweetpea my little dog. People with dogs get a ground floor and an exit outside to the grass. A nice dog-friendly hotel.

My daughter at home took four days off work so we could make this trip, as I am normally at home with my grandson. But today, I am here.

I have this room because we thought we were going to a memorial on Saturday in The Dalles, about 25 miles away.  I wanted a couple of days as a writing retreat, so I booked a room for Thursday and Friday and then for Saturday when my husband and eldest daughter would join me.

Severe weather warnings frightened people off for many were driving from a distance away, and so my brother postponed the memorial. My daughter opted out. My husband decided to reschedule our time in The Dalles—with his family. So, here I am.

Perfect.

Now I get four days instead of two.I’ve been asking for this—time to myself to write and read. Time alone with only my dog and myself to care for. I feel as though I am in a scene from the movie Mary Poppins where she interviewed with Mr. Banks for their job as a nanny while outside a North wind came and blew away the competition.

Remember nannies sailing through the air, skirts billowing, feet in the air, umbrellas turned inside out?

I spent the time writing and taking my own course Come On Baby Light My Fire. Then I heard that more people are interested in #How-to build a website, or #How-to blog, or #How-to make money blogging than are interested in Success oriented courses.

Whoops. I blew it.

My idea is that we want to be successful at whatever we decide to do, be it blogging or whatever. First, you have the idea, but if you don’t believe it’s possible what’s the use of it?

I wanted to plant a belief in the person reading my course that they would go out and rock the world–or at least have a damn good time of it.

As I watch the river, I see a little duck, tiny in that immense stream, paddling upstream. At first, I thought he/she (I can’t tell which), was staying in the same spot as the current flowed steadily past her little body.  Now, that’s a strong current and a big river while that duck is but a teeny little-feathered creature with only her internal insulation to protect her against the bracing cold. Soon she had moved across my view of her. I don’t know how she is managing, but clearly, something she or he, wants is upstream, and that little duck is determined to get there.

While I don’t want to be foolhardy in staying here instead of going home before bad weather breaks, this is too good to pass up.

If you hear that I was lost in a snow bank, know that I went out happy.

I made it home with a truck bed of snow–I told my Grandson I brought him a present, for he told me the other day he didn’t remember seeing snow. California and Hawaii will do that to a person. Coming home on Sunday, the road in the Columbia River Gorge was a bit of dicey from Cascade Locks to Multnomah Falls where snow on the road had been torn into chunks then frozen in place. The truck rattled over thaat frozen snow as though we were driving one of those lava-infested roads of Hawaii. The lady in front of me was going 20 miles per hour, but we made it through the bad area without either of us ending up in a snow bank.

The entrance from Portland into the Multnomah Falls parking lot was full, so I guess people drove from the West where they had little snow to the East where the storm hit–probably curious to see if the Falls had iced up.  Nope, still flowing.

By Gresham, right outside of Portland, the roads were clear. so I drove on into Portland to my favorite Elephants Deli and there saw the white peacocks. (Okay, they’re toys, stuffed, but cute as bugs ears.)

The peacock is my totem animal, and seeing one makes me feel that I am on the right track. When I saw one–a real live, gorgeous male peacock sitting on the fence outside our bedroom window shortly after we bought our present house, I came unglued yelling for the dog, “Sweetpea. Come look!”

I would never have thought I would see a live peacock in the sleepy little town of Junction City, Oregon.

That little bird in the picture below came in while I was outside, and drove the dog bananas, but all survived unharmed. I caught the bird once, took its picture, but he wiggled out of my hand before I could open the door. He made a bee-line to the area under the bed, where, because the bed was only two inches from the floor, he was safe from Sweetpea and the big monster–me.

Why is it that a bird will fly through a small opening into a room, but can’t find its way out of an open door?

One of the mysteries of life.

Finally, he found his way under the draperies again where I caught him.

Sweetpea had an adrenaline rush, the bird had an adrenaline rush, I had an adventure, and the bird had a story to tell when he got home.

 

Hood River pics 4

Wow, This Blew Me Away

First, my morning moral dilemma:

I looked out my kitchen window to see a little pillow-like blond thing in the flower bed. When I saw it throw dirt on its back I realized it was my free-range chicken Chick-a-dee, having a dirt bath and sunning herself in the morning sun.

Well, maybe this dilemma isn’t a moral one, but it’s concerning to me. I want Chick-a-dee to be happy. She likes her freedom. She lives roosting on the back porch.

I’m tired of cleaning the porch, and with spring coming on I would like it to look good.

Who do I please?

She likes to be close to us, and if we don’t watch carefully she will follow the dog inside. She will wiggling her little fuzzy butt, run after me when I go out to feed the three penned chickens behind the Wayback house. When I call her she will come.

I bought wire to make a run between the old chicken yard to the new kenneled yard with its off-the-ground hutch. My plan is to put her in the old house, and with the run between the two, let the chickens decide what is best for them. The not-so-tame chickens are afraid of Chick-a-dee and will cower in their house when she is in the yard.

Will they work it out? I don’t know. Chickens like chickens and Chick-a-dee had a sister she was close with, but when her sister came up missing, Chick-a-dee adopted us. But I will miss Chick-a-dee at the house and telling her, “Good night Chick-a-dee.”

 

Okay, I left my window, got my coffee, and sat down at the computer to begin my day, and…

Wow, this blew me away:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
― Buckminster Fuller

 

I heard Buckminster Fuller speak in San Diego California, and my mouth dropped when he said he made $300,000 a year and spent every penny of it. He would make another 300,000 the following year.

How cool is that!

That was 30 years ago.

I have been taking a course begun in Portland Oregon, called The Right to Exist. Now it has moved to another location and to new writers named Dominika and Cedric. Their course is The Trailblazer.

When I first began following the Right to Exist site, I thought about how people work like slaves, often hate their jobs, go home tired, grumbling, watch television and fall into bed, only to repeat the same procedure the next day.

And working mothers get their three-year-old child up at 7:30 to take her to day-care, drop the son off at school, work for 8 hours, pick up the children—go home to whatever happens in the evening, and then begin it all over again. The little girl spends 40 hours a week in day-care.

And our social system, in giving any financial assistance, keeps the precipitant at the poverty level, for we have the belief that if a person doesn’t work, they are lazy, and we don’t want to support that. One must justify their right to exist.

 

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

—Nelson Mandela

 

On the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum are individuals who rush to “jobs” they love so much they say, they would do them even without pay. These individuals often make an enormous amount of money, buy jets and such, send cars into space, and are the envy of others sitting at home watching TV.

Of course, those glorious ones got off their butts and worked for the thing they loved. As a result, some received high financial rewards. However, some have a problem. In their effort to reach the top, they forgot that inner work is required to become a whole human being. They became despondent, couldn’t handle the pressure, their relationships fell into the toilet, they used drugs to calm the savage beast and ended up killing themselves.

It’s such a dilemma.

And crap, this will break your heart:

“If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.” –Nelson Mandela

We care.

Okay, now I am putting myself out on a limb. I am in the process of writing a course—for me? Yeah, and for anyone else who chooses to sign up.

While working my way through the Trailblazer processes I hit a spot where I questioned what I wanted to do, where my strengths lie and found, that while I thought I knew what I wanted—to write, to blog and to write books. Another possibility came pecking at me.

I wanted to write my own course, not to copy others who have gone before me, but my own—to work through it with my participants, for, you know there is more than the external trappings of life.

There is also the inner work of how we relate to other human beings and to ourselves. Few of us have escaped life unscathed, and most people feel they aren’t good enough.

If one’s psychology is 80% of the battle in living the life we choose, then the place to begin is with clearing the path to our greatness.

I have taken more seminars, workshops, courses, and training programs than you can shake a stick at. (Words of my mother. Although I still don’t know what that means.) It is time to stop soaking up information and to pour some out.

Like spaghetti thrown to the ceiling, I will throw out my information to see if it sticks.

Share what you know. We need to hear it.

Thank you for being here. You are awesome!

So, how was your week?

Love,

Jo

From the brilliance of Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Spaghetti