What Gives?

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July 31, 2021- Stopping by one of my favourite local eateries, this morning, I received the jarring news that the owner of the establishment had come close to death, while I was away. He has recovered somewhat, but was still in an upset frame of mind when I saw him briefly.

There is a shortage of those willing to work, in our community, as elsewhere across the country. Some blame the recovery checks sent out earlier this year. Others point to the continued unemployment benefits being distributed. Having had to collect such benefits, on a few occasions in the past, I find that hard to fathom. Besides, the satisfaction of a job well done far outweighs the dubious bliss of lazing about in bed all day-but maybe that’s just my upbringing talking.

July, and the second journey back East this year, have come to an end. I won’t be leaving the Southwest again this year, barring a family emergency. The cost of the unexpected, but necessary, first trip, in May, and a freely-made investment in an enterprise that has turned out to be a money sink, have used the amount that I budgeted for a European visit, slated for this Fall. I don’t begrudge the entrepreneurs who asked for my contribution, but it is obvious that they did not think the whole thing through, thus their requests for continued donations-which I am refusing. Sometimes, the best thing one can do for another is to let him/her hit rock bottom.

I will make shorter journeys, in the months ahead: A memorial hike, on the Navajo Nation, is tentatively slated for mid-August; a visit to southern California is in the works for mid-September and I plan to spend 1-2 weeks in New Mexico, in mid-October, visiting and re-visiting some favourite parts of the Land of Enchantment. As COVID has pushed everything backward, 2022 looks to be busy enough: Spending time with friends and family in the Deep South, in February-early March; Trans-Canada and across the northern tier of the U.S., in May-early June and the postponed European visit, in October- mid-November. 2023-25 will bring other peregrinations, as well.

One of the most overused cliches in our culture is: “The more you give, the more you get.” I’ve found that usually comes from those who sit back and watch others get taken for a ride. At any rate, I am not buying into the cynicism and the chortling. No one person can be expected to raise others up, in perpetuity, It takes a community tide to lift all boats.

The 2018 Road, Day 11: The Essenhaus Kerfuffle

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June 6, 2018, Ridgetown, ON-

On the 36th anniversary of my wedding, I sat on the edge of the bed in Ridgetown Inn, pondering the power of one word.  Not seeing the word, tomorrow, on a friend’s post, cost me a fine dining experience, at Essenhaus, an amazing resort property in Middlebury, IN.

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All the comforts of the homey Midwest are captured here, and thousands of visitors flock to Essenhaus, each year.  I waited for my friends, in the foyer, for twenty minutes, re-read the message that had been sent early this morning, and, yes- as another friend said, not long ago, “It’s the reading comprehension, stupid.”

Not feeling right about dining alone, in the midst of so many happy parties of seven and eight, I headed up the road, found the delightful Hilltop Restaurant, and enjoyed a fish fry/salad bar.  I still stood out, being one of the few “English” patrons, in what is a favourite of local Mennonites and Amish, but folks were no more inclined to leer, than in any other small town establishment. I found Hilltop a delight.

 

Having had the Elantra serviced, earlier today, in Elkhart, I felt confident heading northeast, through Michigan, and across the Ambassador Bridge, the older of the two large commuter thoroughfares between Detroit and Windsor. I wanted to get as close as possible to Toronto, this late night, in the event I was able to meet with two friends there, tomorrow.  Their minds, and schedules, change as often as their clothes, though, so I remain open to doing Toronto solo, this time.  I love my friends, though, just so we’re clear and we do have a plan to get together, when I make a Trans-Canada trek, in summer of 2020.

Anyway, Ridgetown is a pleasant little burg, in west-central Ontario, so this is where I settled, for what was left of the night.

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NEXT:  Ontario’s London

 

One, Two, Three, Four- The Plans

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January 22, 2018, Prescott-

Every so often, I come out with details of my plans for this or that.  One year (day, month) at a time, I have been advised.  That makes sense for anyone my age, on up.  So my plans for this year, 2018, ought to be a foundation for what comes next.

This year, I will work, diligently, both at my day job- which will see an uptick in the number of students we have, come August, and at my financial effort, which is, admittedly, still in its fledgling state ( I can hear the Boo Birds, now- “There he goes again!”), but is being pursued, carefully, with a lot of expert support.  This will bring me to San Diego, the fourth weekend in March, for a mentoring conference.  Prior to that, I will have had nearly 60 hours of training and mentoring calls.  I have detailed other travel plans, in a previous post, and those still stand for next month, and for May-June.  An uptick in income would also allow me to join other mentoring events.

That covers the number one.  “Two” takes in 2019.  Next year marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of al-Bab, the immediate predecessor of Baha’u’llah, and His Herald.  This event, marked in late October, will be the overarching event of the year, for me and for millions of others.  My summer travels will bring me back to the Pacific Northwest, and southeast Alaska.  My work and financial ventures will continue apace. Then, too, who knows what the Universe will add on to all that?

“Three” brings us to 2020.  As I turn 70, in November of that year, its March will see my final physical Fast, under Baha’i law.  The Fast will have spiritual import for me, the rest of my life, but abstaining from food and beverages will not apply, once I reach the age of seventy.   I hope to be at, or past, my financial goals by New Year’s Day of that year.  Travel wise, I am looking at a Trans-Canada (BC to Newfoundland) road trip, in June and July.

“Four” means 2021.  This year will mark the Centenary of the Passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’u’llah’s eldest son and His Successor, as Head of the Baha’i Faith.  My longtime readers may remember that, in 2012, we commemorated the centennial of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to North America.  2021 will, thus,also be a special year for us Baha’is.

For me, personally, it will bring the end of my full-time employment as an educator.  I have ambitious, but still tentative, plans for international travel.  Besides those, I will be more active on the volunteer front, in whatever community (ies) I may find myself, once “retired”.

So there are the substances of numbers one through four, as they pertain to my humble life.  Many of these could very well come to pass, though the Universe does throw a curve at each of us, every so often!