UPDATE ON BEV
Since getting back from her trail adventures, Bev has flourished. She is currently taking a sign language class. She is currently enrolled in a Zumba class. She is just starting a three-week farm-sitting gig, and she is weighing an offer to be a part-time manager at an alternative school she once worked at, only two hours per day because, well, life is more than just working.
Talking to her, which I do daily, I can hear the excitement in her voice. In a very real sense, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail has awakened something inside of her. I don’t remember ever hearing her so eager to see what life has in store for her. It’s infectious talking to her, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
So, for those asking about her, Bev is basking in the warm rays of her new rebirth.
And, me thinks, news coming within a week about . . . well, for a clue, I will just refer you to the section about allowing life to come to me.
WANNA KNOW WHAT DOESN’T IMPRESS ME?
Get ready for a can of worms. I’m about to kick one over, and this particular can of worms can be attributed to my father, may he rest in peace, if that’s possible, but let’s not get into that right now.
I met a man today at the campground where I was staying, a one-day residing address, if you will, and that man was, and I swear this is the truth, not three sentences into our conversation when he told me he was an investment banker and business has been damned good of late.
Excuse my language, and if this offends anyone l suggest you look in the mirror, I don’t give a chocolate-covered shit about how well he, or anyone else, is doing in investment banking.
Allow me a moment to explain.
I have three degrees . . . marketing, economics, and education. That impresses some people, but not me. I have owned three businesses, and that impresses some people, but not me. I have owned twelve homes and at one time had a real estate license, impressive to some but nope, not this boy. I have written nine novels and four nonfiction books and, you got it, I’m not impressed.
None of it matters when we are talking about the bottom line of life, namely what kind of human have I been, and am I improving as a human daily?
I’ve never understood that status b.s. I’ve never understood why some doctors want to be addressed as Doctor, or worse yet, those with doctorates in academics insisting on being called Doctor, or Professor, or some other self-contrived label which helps inflates their ego. Hell, let’s toss in politicians while we are at it . . . a state senator who insists on being called Senator really needs some ego-stroking in the worst way, and I’ll take that just short of the White House and hesitate on that example.
But it’s a sign of respect, Bill, the comeback I always hear, and my response is respect for what? The position? I don’t respect a state senator anymore, or less, than I do an artist or a garbage collector or a cashier. It’s all the same to me, and I realize that puts me squarely in the minority and solidifies my position as the black sheep of the Hollands, but so be it.
Show me you place love, compassion, empathy, and humanness above all else, and I’ll call you anything you want to be called.
Period! The Sermon According to Bill has ended.
MY LOVE OF SMALL TOWNS ONLY DEEPENS
Skamania and Clatskanie, Washington and Oregon in that order, are my two new favorites as this road trip continues. Would I live in either one? Not important for this conversation. What is important is that they have “the flavor” I yearn for in towns and cities . . . they have that small town mojo.
What is small town mojo?
It’s almost impossible to define. It’s an energy. It’s a vibe. It speaks without making a sound, borrowing from a long-dead poet, but as true today as it was way back then, when fine gentlemen and women rode in buggies and practiced all manner of fineries.
I felt the mojo in Ferndale, California. I did not feel it in Astoria, Oregon. I felt it in Idyllwild, California, but did not feel it in Mt. Laguna. I can’t explain it any better than that, but I’m willing to bet you who are reading this understand and have your own examples.
A small town on my list takes pride in the things that are important. Schools reflect the dedication of the town fathers, and mothers, a group belief that children deserve the best available. Parks are pristine. Homes have a distinct personality, like their owners. Gathering places are the same as they have been for decades, the popular café, the local tavern, the Grange, VFW, Kiwanas, and you can bet your last buck there is a Tony’s Garage, everyone trusts old Tony, and ask a local for directions and they will act like you are a long-lost relative, coming damned close to inviting you over for dinner.
Mojo, baby, you either have it or you don’t.
Worst example of not having the mojo, by far, and I’ve mentioned this city before . . . Barstow, California. Sad, sad, sad city. It feels sad, it gives of sad energy, and it looks sad. Strike one, strike two, and strike three.
Anyway, Skamania and Clatskanie, the latter appears on the original Lewis & Clark map of that area, the town named after the river, and I have no clue why the river is called that. It also has a beautiful city park, which happens to be right along that aforementioned river, and kudos to the town founders for not selling off prime riverfront for development, but rather keeping it, for future generations, as a park for all to enjoy.
That’s the positive energy, and vibe, I spoke about earlier.
Another sermon? Perhaps, but I happen to think we need some serious sermons about how we Americans view our nation in the future. I just read that the past June, July, and August were the hottest three months in recorded history . . . for the world. Do I really need to tell you where that kind of trend will lead us? I may very well live long enough to see Manhattan flooded, and the lights go out in Vegas because, well, that old Mr. Reliable, the Colorado River, goes bone dry.
Hell of a legacy for our grandchildren. And by the way, I hate all things Vegas. A bit strong? Shouldn’t use hate in a sentence? Bad energy? I agree with you, and I’ll work on it, and hopefully at some point in the next, say, one-hundred years, people will realize that Vegas is a sin against nature.
Oops, another sermon. Damn!
SOMEONE ASKED ME TODAY
“Hey, where’s Bev? We miss seeing her on YouTube.”
Yep, I get it. There’s also nothing I can do about it. Truth be told, Bev never liked being filmed and, while on the Trail, she was more into experiencing it all than filming it all. Now that she’s off the Trail, she’s more into new experiences, learning new things, and enjoying the hell out of her family.
Me, I enjoy filming. This YouTube gig is me cementing what legacy I have from writing. I love creating, whether through the written word or on film, and I plan on continuing with these films and, I suspect, Bev will continue to avoid them like the plague.
Someone else contacted Bev today and told her that since Bev is no longer in the videos, this person is not going to follow our channel any longer. I don’t blame her. Bev is enjoyable to watch, and I have no doubt many of our over 500 followers joined us originally because of Bev. So be it. I have power over the things I can change, and I have no power over the things I cannot change, and a great amount of my serenity comes from that approach to life.
Update on my life, September 11, 2023 . . . I think I’m going to be a caretaker for a person’s house who lives in Ocean Shores. If you’ve been following us, either on this blog or on YouTube, you may remember that we have a friend who owns a home in Ocean Shores, Washington, but who rarely stays there. I contacted her the other day, asked her if she would like to work out a deal, me staying on the property, doing yardwork and protecting the property, in exchange for power and water hookup. She actually has full hookups on her property, under a covered shelter, so it would be a perfect place for me to spend a couple Fall and Winter months.
Anyway, I’m going to meet with her tomorrow or the next day, work out the details, and I’m pretty happy about it. It’s only two hours from Olympia, so I can come back to visit occasionally, and people in Olympia can come and visit me . . . and any old time I can live rent free, sign me up . . . and in a tourist town I actually like . . . and her home is on a canal with good fishing . . . sign me up and put a bow on it.
There is only one drawback to this plan: it rains like a sonofagun in Ocean Shores, even more than in Olympia. However, for free rent for a couple months, and the saving of money that entails, I can ignore a little (read a ton) precipitation.
Maybe I should buy some rubber boots?
Update on the update: I met with the friend of ours, worked out the details, will meet her at Ocean Shores on the 23rd to get the key and discuss any last-minute details, and there you go.