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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: December 22, 2005 -- San Diego, CA
Future Travel... Headed to Arizona.
Greetings... Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Oops! Happy Hanukkah for those of you where that may be appropriate. Darn! Happy Kwanza -- if that is better for some. Rats! Perhaps Happy Holidays may be more fitting. Then there may be some who ... oh the heck with it... Have a nice day!
Travel Quote... "Not knowing where you're going, you pay more attention to where you are, wherever that is."
--Ed Buryn, Vagabonding in the USA (1980)
Five years ago... on December 31st is when I retired. That time has gone so very fast. The only way I can realize what I have done in those years is to read my past columns and see the pictures of my exploring. It has been a terrific time and I have enjoyed every minute of that time. When I look at what I have seen and look at my "to visit list", I realize how little I have explored. At this rate, it will take twenty lifetimes.
New Years Resolutions... I don't make them, but I do make plans. Desires and hopes would be more appropriate. Like hoping that I could exercise more and eat less.
My plan... Trying to keep balance in my life, I will enjoy life each day that I am given and live each one to its fullest.
Balboa Park... in San Diego is where I was last spring when Silver Slug was stolen. I have returned to the scene of the crime each Tuesday since I have arrived. No problems. That may be because I park between other cars where overweight people would not be able to pass through. I can barely get out of the Silver Slug.
Model Railroad Museum... Since some of the museums are free each Tuesday, that is the day to go to see whatever is available. One of those I saw this time was the Model Railroad Museum. It may be the largest railroad museum in the world. There are very large "dioramas" for several different gauges of track representing various real California tracks and locations. The models of trestles over huge canyons is representative of the detail and work that had gone into the construction of these models. Throughout the exhibits, railroad enthusiasts are available to answer your questions making it a most interesting stop.
TRUJRNY -- on a large GMC wagon/SUV
DEMO CRW -- on an SUV. One mother's description of her family??
TALINME -- Is that a question?
LEXHERS -- On a Lexus and she is not sharing
Bumper Sticker... After all those "My student is ..." stickers, this one was inclusive for all students: "Rogers School honors all students".
Some Latest Reads... (It's been a busy month)
"Burro Bill and Me" by Edna Calkins Price. With a subtitle of "Death Valley to Grand Canyon by Burro via Arizona Strip", the author relates her life from the time she married Bill in Arkansas where they gave up good jobs to live in Death Valley close to the earth. This may sound like a modern story, but this one took place in 1931 when they were young and gave up the good life. For ten years they lived and eked a living out of mining, and selling desert oddities and photography to tourists.
I certainly could not say that my RVing nomadic life is anything like their ten years, but numerous quotes from the book reflect my sentiments. Here are just a few of those:"'The more you have, the more you wants,' Bill would grin as he tossed aside another article for which we had no immediate use.""'Free as a bird!' he exclaimed. 'All we have to do is toss our worldly goods on the burros and in five minutes we are moving! Who else in the world has so little and still so much?' Always he felt that he was having an experience denied to any but the luckiest of God's creatures."
"This was the answer -- the answer to those who a thousand times had asked querulously, 'Whatever do you see is such a life?' It was the answer to my father who wished for us security, for only in one's self does true security lie. When one has found that inner peace, that deep awareness of his own strength, he is secure in his own heart forever."
It will be an enjoyable read for those with the love and admiration of the free spirited individual.
"Wait Till Next Year - A Memoir" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Early in her childhood, her family moved from Brooklyn to a nearby suburb which had not only Dodger fans but Giants and Yankees included in the mix. Post World War II, this is a time of neighborhood corner stores. The author relates her early love baseball, how life was enmeshed in baseball and how the world had changed when the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957.
"In Open Spaces" by Russell Rowland. This novel's setting is the eastern plains of Montana where the very existence is controlled by the many moods of nature. It is in this environment, the author relates 30 years in the early 20th century of one struggling ranching family which goes through the process of familial destruction and eventually a sort of healing.
"Iron and Silk" by Mark Salzman. The author relates his post college years in China in the mid 80's teaching English while pursuing his personal goals in the martial arts. This is an interesting read with the focus on a very different cultural and political world from what is familiar to the American.
"Boychiks In The Hood" by Robert Eisenberg. With an ability to speak Yiddish and searching out his own Jewish ancestral background, the author searches out the growing Hasidic population around the world. Told with humor and reverence, you learn much about the -- sometimes surprising -- variations within the Hasidic conservative traditions.
"Thomas Jefferson - A Life" by Willard Sterne Randall. This biography follows Jefferson from his earliest days and education through his entire political career and to his death. A complex man who had a personal agenda like anyone who would have been President of the US, Jefferson ignored the US constitution when he personally felt it was a good direction. Ignoring the scandals that may have plagued Jefferson during his political career, the author concentrates his biography on Jefferson's impact on the formation of the physical and political United States that we live in today.
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