Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fast Forward

You don't need anything else
When you have everything you need.
And everything I need
I find in you.

Alas, you pack your bags
And travel far from me
Taking all the love I have to give
With you when you go.

Forgotten, years later,
I am doomed to become
A fat, drunk, depressed old woman
Who maxes out her credit cards

And cares for naught
But her memories of you.

Friday, July 20, 2018

All of Us Are Lost Until we are Found: What I Learned from Losing my Dog for a Few Hours

Tonight I was walking Immy and Joey in the tiny artist colony of Tubac, Arizona. As we headed up the gravel road to the Montessori School I stopped to take a photo of the cranberry colored monsoon sky. In that very moment a cottontail rabbit sprang from the nearby bushes and Immy took off like a rocket after it, the leash flew from my hand, catching me totally off guard.  

Joey and I raced after her, but she was going 45 MPH and we were going maybe 8 MPH. She was absolutely nowhere to be seen as we came to the crest of the sloped gravel drive. A giant field, the frontage road on one side of it with Highway 19 just beyond. My mind was taking me to crazy places. I called her name over and over. Almost crying. "Hey Immy, Good Girl Come On! Let's go home!"  I whistled, the same whistle I would whistle to bring Jack home. No luck. She was nowhere to be found. 

Joey and I then ran as fast as we could all the way home to get the car.  Of course dusk was upon us. It was getting so dark already. I left the patio door open in the event she came home of her own accord. I grabbed my flashlight, stopped to post a Lost Dog post on my Facebook Page and the Tubac Barrio and Surrounding Area pages. I tried to post on the local Lost and Found Pet pages but was I a member? No of course not. I was never going to lose a dog. My hands were shaking so badly and between that and Spellchecker I was about insane already.  We took off in the car on the DARK roads of Tubac. Immy is dark! The roads are dark! My mind, still taking me to terrible places. 

We drove back up to the area where we last saw her. I drove all over the schoolyard, the nearby acreage. I climbed into the deep rocky ditches and the water-filled arroyo with my flashlight. Calling her calling her. Meanwhile the huge trucks are bearing down on the nearby highway. 
"Dear God, not the highway."  She is smart but I do believe she would walk right out in front of a car despite my years of trying to teach her otherwise.  

Then the train.  Whoo Whoo!   OMG. The railroad tracks! The train! Just 1/4 mile away on the other side of the village from the highway. I start hyperventilating. Crying. Driving slowly on all the streets of town, crying her name out. I had no whistle left. To the Frontage Road for 1/2 mile. I refused to consider the highway option.  It had claimed enough canine lives since I moved here so I tried to believe that statistically she was safe.  : / 

I was getting more and more upset. Hyperventilating.  Three times I came back to the house to see if she was there, but no Immy.  Each time I got more upset than the last time. A third drive through all the streets of town. I realized how upset I was getting; sick with it really. 

"Stop." I say. "Where's your faith? God's got this." 
God. The angels. Jack. Anyone else? I asked for help from all of them. 

I started to imagine her walking along the side street with her leash dangling behind her, waiting for me to find her walking along, ever so nonchalantly.
A song popped into my head and I started singing. 

🎶"There she was just a walkin down the street singin do wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo..." 🎶
I turned a corner, got nervous again. Those tears, that fear is so persistent! 
But so's the tune. 
"She looked good, looked fine..... "🎶
"God's got this. He knows what he's doing."
The tears, the fears still trying to get through. My imagination, trying to get the best of me.   
".... and I nearly lost my mind."🎶

We're all lost until we're found
Then I remember my pendulum. I had not dowsed in many years.
It was in the console of my car.  I pulled it out.
No, it said, she's not at the highway. No, she's nowhere near the railroad. Not there. No, not there. She was in the village limits. She was within the 9 square blocks of our quiet little village.
She was safe. She wasn't dead or injured.
🎶"..do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do..."🎶
Around and around the town I went. Visiting all the nooks and crannies.
Coming back along towards our house, I'm crying again!
OMG what if someone finds her and uses her for dog fight bait!  OMG!
"Dear God protect her. If she doesn't ever come home, take care of her. Please."
"I promise I'll never use my phone again on our walks if you only bring her back."
Entering the Bargaining Stage of Grief now.
"Get into your faith Kate. It's life. Whatever happens will happen."
I thought of Jack's excerpt from Book 3, Return from Rainbow Bridge...

Whatever happens there's a reason. I have to trust God with His Plan. 
I have to trust myself that she loves me enough that she would want to come home. 
I have to trust her that she is smart enough to find her way home. After all, we walk these village streets every day. She must know her way around quite well by now. She is a hound dog after all.  

Driving up the gravel road to the school for the fourth time, 
did I see two shining eyes up the road in the headlights?  
🎶"Before I knew it she was walkin' next to me...singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do."  🎶
No. It was my imagination.  Maybe a premonition. 
Wait. Look! Is that her standing over there?    
No. It's a downed tree that just happens to look like her.

Hey, a rabbit! It looked like the same rabbit she went after. 
Came out from the same place in the bushes. 🐾
I followed the rabbit.
🎶" Whoa-oh, I knew we was falling in love..."🎶

A left turn down into the nearby neighborhood. Into a vacant side lot. 
Drove my car over the bumps and rocks to search the lot with my headlights. 
Did I see two shining eyes ahead?
  🎶"She looked good. She looked fine. And I nearly lost my mind."🎶

From the Archives
🎶 There she was just as natural as can be. Standing perfectly still. Looking at me.
The rabbit was sitting there watching us the whole time.
Immy seemed confused, scared, not moving. Looked like she didn't recognize me.
This sighthound had to get a close smell of me to know it was me.
She often lets fear get the best of her. (Sounds like someone I know.) 
As I got closer I was able to see her dilemma. She had gotten the handle of her 16' retractable leash caught on a nearby mesquite bush. (so strange, we usually use the retractable on the wilderness trails and the regular leash in town, but for some reason we used the retractable one tonight. Divine Intervention?) Not only that but she had obviously tried to get herself loose and had it wrapped around quite creatively on an upside down tree stump beside her. Knowing how she gets when she is scared, I was not surprised to see the rest of the leash wrapped round all of her legs, like a cat's cradle, so she couldn't move an inch. 
The rabbit just watched. Immy was silent. She never complains about anything. She just endures. 
🎶"Whoa-oh, I knew I was falling in love..."🎶

It took about ten minutes to get her untangled from herself. 
Gosh she must've heard me crying and calling for her all over town, from her tangled web on this dark vacant lot. I wonder what she was thinking. Feeling. 
As soon as she was loose I hugged her and hugged her and hugged her. She is not usually tolerant of much affection but she was hugging me back. 
She was thrilled to get into the car. I wish I had a picture of her and Joey when they reunited at the car window.
But no more pictures when I have a dog on a leash. 

We headed home. 
🎶"...and so I told her all the things I'd been dreamin' of..."🎶

I had to be calm. I had to have faith. I had to stop crying and Be Still.
The stress. The adrenalin! Imagining the worst.
The moment I stopped worrying and put my faith in God and all the rest of us, everything turned around. 

I came home to hundreds of prayers from my frantic posting on Facebook two hours earlier (gosh it was only two hours? It felt like ten!) A very kind and helpful call came in from the local Santa Cruz Sheriff's Department who had received a call from a friend in Connecticut about my lost dog, wondering if they could help. (I was a little nervous, I thought they might have been calling me because I had been driving off-road all over the town screaming "IMMY!" and carrying on). I also received a call from an Animal Communicator friend I had met in Sedona who has expertise in Finding Lost Pets, calling to offer to help me free of charge to locate Immy. And one of my home care patients who is now a Facebook Friend offered to drive down with her husband to help me try to find her. Wow. I am overwhelmed with the care and concern and offers to help us tonight.  

What an adventure. She's exhausted. Joey's exhausted. I'm exhausted. 
But we're happy.  🎶So Happy Together 🎶

When you lose something precious and then get it back, you make sure to fulfill your promises. No more taking photos along our walks. It's going to take some discipline for me, based on my history. 
🎶"Now we're together every single day...
We're so happy and it's how we're gonna stay..."🎶

You do what you have to do and you honor your Promises. 
🎶"..Do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do..." 🎶

Night Night Miss Immy.  

Lyrics Do Wah Diddy by Manfred Mann
Songwriters: Ellie Greenwich / Jeff Barry
My apologies ahead of time if this song sticks in your head for the rest of the night too! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Driven by Fate

It's not how I planned it. 
You seem to assume a certain accountability 
For my future, 
Yet I gave control of me to you
When I gave my heart to you.
You, who interrupted the course of my destiny, 
Taking me to places I didn't want to go. 

At first I am angered. 
Dare you involve yourself in a way 
That alters my life, my Fate! 

Then I think again. My heart softens just a bit. 
Could it be that you are part of a Plan; 
Part of the Divine Design of my life?

I've been a word-monger all my life and yet
I think now that FATE is part of the word FATAL
Because in my fate I died as I was. 
Died and reborn as someone else.

All because of you. 

c. 2018  Kate McGahan

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Key to a Love that Lasts Forever

Letting Go doesn't mean you don't love them anymore. Letting Go doesn't mean you won't miss them anymore. You'll always remember. You can never cut the ties that bind two souls together who truly love each other. What you DO need to cut is the Leash of Grief and Guilt that binds them to you and prevents them from doing what is best for them.

As They say, set something free and if it was yours to begin with, it will come back. It's natural law, in Heaven and on Earth and in all the spaces in between life and death and life. Your loved ones cannot come back from a place they have not yet arrived. 

If you are looking for Signs and not finding them, take a look at what you are doing. If your best friend is still on the leash of your grief, your best friend is not yet free to be everything he or she can be. 

Letting Go is the most important thing you can do for both of you. It is the ultimate act of faith... and you will be rewarded for it. 

Breathe. Then Let Go. It's time.
You say you love. Do you love them enough to let them go? 
Do you trust them enough to have the faith that they will never leave?  

"'Do not cling to me,' said Jesus, 'for I have not yet ascended to the Father.'"
John 20:17
(Jesus to Mary Magdalene) 

Monday, July 2, 2018


Today would have been my father's 84th birthday. 
Life wasn't perfect for us, yet it was somehow perfect in that we taught each other what we needed to learn from each other. 
It was not his fault. It's not my fault. 
It's no one's fault. It just is what it is. 
We all have something we believe is true that isn't true 
deep inside of us
and some of us spend our entire lives trying to undo the misconceptions and beliefs that hold us back from living a full life of love and adventure.  
It's never too late. 
Life is the school, love is the lesson.

It seemed so long between visits
Just every month or so,
And even then time shared was brief
It was hard to see him go.

Of course to mother there was relief
In seeing him depart.
But to his daughter, it was the first
Padlock upon her heart.

This early lesson taught her
That men we love can leave.
So be so ever careful
Not to fall, not to believe

In lasting love, for love can stray
And separate the two
Who so loved one another
As love made it's first debut.

"Abandonment" they call it
Where you just seem to expect
That if you allow yourself to care
The old rule takes effect:

Those who love will also leave
No matter what you do:
If your Daddy has left you to fend for yourself,
It will happen again to you.

So you go your own way and you meet lots of men
And keep a safe distance between.
You're unintentionally "hard to get,"
Driven by a force unseen.

This of course drives men crazy
And you help them realize
That they'll not understand some women;
First she loves and then she flies.

There are lessons for you to learn that men
Are not all like your Dad.
Strive to open up your world
To a well-intended lad.

If he leaves you, understand,
That's simply a risk you face.
Like everything else, take what you learn
And apply it in the next case.

Until you land on one who's right
For you and you for him.
Sometimes there are lessons to be learned
Throughout the interim.

So just believe, have faith assured
In the Powers That Be each day.
Use your insight, share your love,
And you won't be a divorcee.

From the book "One Heart's Journey" by Kate McGahan

Thursday, June 21, 2018

FRANKLy Speaking

The strength of human will
Is stronger than anything
That can happen to it.

This phenomenon of nature holds true:
As the strongest winds blow
So the seedling is strengthened.

When I think of the wisdom and the resiliency
Of Victor Frankl at Auschwitz,
I am better able to tolerate

The foul smelling woman
Who sits beside me
On the way to Penn Station.

Reprinted from One Heart's Journey © 2000

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Immy Shows Insight on her 5th Birthday

Today was Immy's Birthday. I actually forgot until I received an email from the vet saying: HAPPY BIRTHDAY IMMY!  Oh my, it was already late in the day and it hadn't even entered my mind.  I fell all over her with good wishes and affection, feeling so badly that I had forgotten her special day!

Such as it is when guilt hits, we tend to want to do whatever it takes to make it up to them. So when we went out for our evening walk a little while later, I told Immy that we could go Wherever She Wanted To Go! It must have made her very happy, for she can be very expressive in letting me know when it does not please her to go in a particular direction. She will stand still, rooted to her place, refusing to make eye contact until one of us wins. The one with the leash in her hand usually wins.

This particular walk, I assumed she would want to travel to the nearby Anza Trail. It is always one of our favorite walking destinations. There was still plenty of light in the sky and we had lots of time to make the trek.

We started at the nearby woodpile and recycle center, which is where she prefers to start most mornings. Then, following her lead, we headed out the back gate to the woodsy easement that leads to the tree-lined street behind our house. To the right, up the hill, to the church where we make our first decision. Which Way?  We cross the street, take the sidewalk that winds beyond the church to the Presidio and onward to the path that leads to the Anza Trail.  She was leading the way. Confidently. She knew exactly where she wanted to take us.

Then, midway down the path en route to the trail, she stopped in her tracks. She refused to move. "C'mon Immy, let's go!"  No response. Staring straight ahead, focusing only on her strong will.

"Okay," I said. "It's your birthday so....whatever you want to do."
Joey and I retraced our steps and we all walked back up the path we had just taken. A little while later we arrived at the edge of town. Ah, I thought, she must want to walk through town and check to see if there are any chicken wings or sandwiches in the various trash cans about the place.

But no, she chose the road that leads back home.
"You wanna go home already?" I asked her. No answer. She just stared straight down the street, paws planted. "OK. It's your birthday. We'll go home if you want to go home."  Down we went, back down the street to our house. But then when we reached our house, she surprised me. She wanted to keep walking down the street. "OK," I said, "It's your birthday."

About halfway down the next block we saw a man walking a dog. It was a man we recognized because we had seen him a dozen or so times walking his dog, Pepper, around town. As we got closer, I didn't think Pepper looked the same. Something was definitely different.
"Hi... Is ...that your dog?"  It definitely wasn't the same dog.
I asked the man, "Did you get a new dog?"
Something was wrong.
"No," he replied as he pulled out a handkerchief, "I'm dog-sitting for a couple of weeks."
"Where's your dog?" I asked, showing concern in my voice.
He wiped his eyes.  "Pepper died."  The man was crying now.  "It's been a month and a half."

So right there we did a little bit of grief work while the three dogs milled around each other. It was obvious the man did not have anyone who understood his heart and soul relationship with his dog of 11 years. He was new in town too. He didn't have a lot of friends. His best friend had been Pepper.
"Maybe you should read a book that I wrote..."
"I would like that," he replied.

Find Jack's Book/s Here at Amazon.com
So we walked to my house and I gave him a copy of "Reflections". 
"I'm a very slow reader," he warned me. He struggles with vision problems.
"It's okay. Jack is very patient. He will only go as fast as you can go. And if it's too difficult, a large print copy is on its way right now. I should have it by Monday," I said, realizing that all of this was By Design that we were here in this place; that I had ordered a Large Print Version, the first one off the press with the new cover, just a few days before. 

So the next time I think that Immy shows little concern for anything, aloof and uncaring, I will remember this. I realize that had it not been her birthday, I would have coerced her down to the Anza Trail and we would have had no synchronistic story to tell at all. 

We ended up going back out to finish our walk later and once again Immy led the way. As we walked through La Encantada, an upscale shopping plaza, she stopped outside of Elvira's Restaurant. She knows fine dining when she sees it. She fixed her gaze upon it and stood there, her feet rooted into place.
"No Immy. Sorry.  I know it's your birthday and all but I have to draw the line. Let's go home and have some dinner." She turned back to join us and we walked happily back home. She probably already knew that I had some liver thawing out on the counter for her special dinner.

Thank you Immy. Thank you Jack for sending Immy into our lives. Thank you to God and the angels and this man's father who crossed over five years ago on this Father's Day. All of them perhaps were working together to make things happen so that we would all be at the right place at the right time.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Borders Cafe

We laugh together
Over froth;

Aromas of fresh ground sweetness
In the space that divides

We ponder and philosophize
On musings most ignore.
Music, research, books and love.

We share and teach
And stretch our minds
To accommodate new vision;
Adding to each repertoire, 
Although you know
Much more than I. 

It seems we could go on like this
For hours on end had we the time,
But obligations
This spell; 
They send you your way
And me mine. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Universe Conspires to Get Us Where We Need to Be

"I am Don Quixote!... When Destiny Calls Me, Onward I Go!"

My first trip to Sedona was in April of 2001. I had just ended a very intense and transforming relationship, had written a semblance of a novel and when I decided to temporarily leave my very busy life as an Upstate New York business owner, I chose to rent a house for a week in Sedona to work on the novel.

Over 1400 pages of novel notes were based on my relationship with Benito, a complex and highly spiritual Mexican immigrant who changed my life. Not only was it a love story, it was an experience that taught me about spirituality and deep connection with others. We shared the same nighttime dreams. I would think of him and he would call within minutes of my thought of him. As I began researching and writing the novel, I would read him excerpts from it and he would say "How did you know that? That is EXACTLY what happened!" Or he would tell me a story and I would reach over, pull out my novel notes and read it back to him almost verbatim. It was bizarre! It was amazing. It was about connection and the knowingness that comes naturally when you allow things to flow in your life. At the time the title for the book was Don Coyote and has since been renamed Trickster.

So, back to Sedona. When I arrived at the private rental home, I was greeted by the owner Maria. She and I hit it off and we went for coffee at a local bakery before she left for LA where she was completing work on a screenplay. Over her coffee, she leaned towards me. "So, tell me what your book is about?" In a fragmented way, I told her it was about a Mexican guy and an American girl and that the backbone of the book was based on the life of the coyote who gets hunted, moves, adapts, survives and so on. 

Maria says to me "Watch out the back in the morning and every day you will see a lone coyote passing through the backyard." 

Here's a photo of the lone coyote taken from the rental house balcony the next day.

Maria proceeded later on in our conversation to tell me about what it was like for her to buy her land in Sedona and to build her home. It was built high on the rocks and in order to access the main floor, you had to go up 16 steps to get into the house. She told me a story that when they were clearing the land, they found human remains. Now, in NY, finding human remains initiates a call to the police. In Arizona, bones, ruins, the ancient past of the area is uncovered on a fairly regular basis, so it was really no big deal that she found a femur and pelvic bones! I enquired "What do you DO with the bones when you find them?" She replied,"I set them aside and that night I went out, lit a candle, said a prayer and buried the bones at the edge of the property." Taking a mysterious breath and looking to the left and then the right, she said to me in a hushed tone, "You know, I believe that the coyote that passes through each morning is the spirit of the guy whose bones those were."

Maria had no way of knowing that in my novel was a similar story. The Mexican guy's grandfather had traveled north to the US in search of work and had never returned. It turned out that grandfather's traveling companions had spotted a coyote at every twist and turn and they believed that the coyote was the spirit of the deceased grandfather who had been killed during a group border crossing.

At the end of the day, Maria was on her way to LA and I was settling into life at the rental house. I went to sleep that night in the master bedroom. The only book in the house was on the bedside table and it was on screenwriting.

The next day I had writer's block -- I was stuck! Until a light bulb went on in my head and I asked myself why I was writing the MOVIE in my head, trying to make it a novel instead? I then outlined the whole complex thing sitting on the back of Bell Rock on a Wednesday afternoon.... and then towards the day's end, with the scrap paper I still had left, I found myself drawing house plans (What house plans? Go figure!? Since when did I have an opportunity to build my dream house?)

Bell Rock

The Sedona story continues -- Later that week I put my tourist hat on and head out to the Airport Vortex with my digital camera. The vortex gave me(on demand) a brilliant rainbow and then it gave me a guy who spoke to me and reminded me that there was a pot of gold at the end of it... which ultimately led for a search for the "pot of gold" which led me to the Elephant's Foot which led me to Painted Canyon Drive and I came to a stop at the side of the road at a Real Estate sign. (Hmm! I thought. There's a novel idea. After a lifetime in my hometown, I was considering what it would be like to have Sedona red rock views from my home).

Could it Be? Could it be that there is a pot of gold at the end of it?

As I was looking at and half-heartedly pondering the land for sale from my car at the shoulder of the road, two coyotes slowly appeared at the front of my car -- one looked me directly in the eyes; the other one nervously followed him as he headed into the parcel that was for sale. I don't know if there was meaning in this (? reasons for all ?) but I was very oriented to the coyote at this point in my trip. Was it a sign? Was the coyote guiding me?

The following week I was back in NY having lunch with my colleague, Mark. He asked me whether I had completed my novel during my time in Sedona. "Not yet," I replied, "but I've titled it Don Coyote." Mark then serenades the restaurant with "I am I Don Coyote the Man of Lamancha... Onward I go!"  I made a face while I laughed at and with him. At the end of lunch we walked down the street and had gone our separate ways just as a woman was handing out flyers on the corner. I took a flyer to be polite and my jaw dropped as I glanced down at it. "Syracuse University Theater Productions presents: Man of LaMancha" and lo and behold, there was Don Quixote on his horse with Sancho Panza next to him.
Chock it up to irony?

So next thing I know I'm surfing the internet looking for Sedona Real Estate -- I couldn't help it, Sedona seemed to take hold of me. One day I got an email from Gretchen at Sedona Realty (
http://www.sedonarealty.com/) and the subject line read "Cute Little House." I opened it and it's showed a two bedroom, one bath (read between the lines - affordable) with huge panoramic views of Sedona.

It was located on Tonto Rim Drive. I viewed the 360 virtual tour and decided that when I go to Sedona in August (four months down the road) if it was still on the market I would go to see it.

In the meantime (I have a tendency to enjoy researching details) I found out that the seller's name was Douglas Flackman, an oil artist. I had been told by Gretchen that the owner was relocating East to continue his work. Since this feng shui consultant wanted to learn more about the energy of the "previous owner," I Googled "Douglas Flackman" and was taken to a webpage where I could view his beautiful work. Must be a good energy person to do this kind of work, I thought.

Then I clicked on "Home" on the artist's page and it took me to the HomePage of the "
Tilting At Windmills Gallery" and there -- once again, was Don Quixote on his horse! I begin to wonder if this house MUST BE FOR ME!? It was a long wait until my next planned August visit.


In the meantime, I was preparing for my Master's program in Feng Shui and had to recruit client histories, hours and feedback for services I had provided. I was preparing a mailing and questionnaire for my previous clients. One day I realized I didn't have all of their addresses in my records.

As I looked up my client "Kim Hennessey" in the phone book, I saw just above her name "Paula Hennerty."  Paula was a nurse I worked closely with at Iroquois Nursing Home years before. I am not one to make a spontaneous call very often, but I made a call to Paula at that moment. We caught up on events from the past few years since we had seen each other--and when I told her of Sedona and Don Coyote and Don Quixote she replied "What are you DOING?! Don't wait! You HAVE to go out and see that house."

I argued with her to an extent that I had too much to do, but then I looked in my calendar and surprise surprise, I had "SEDONA" written on the weekend of June 25. My mother and I had planned to visit Sedona and Mom had made other plans and had to cancel but I had never removed it from my day planner. So, June 25th I was on a plane to Sedona for the second time - for four precious days.

Oh, and in the MEANTIME, I had been corresponding with a guy in Pennsylvania who specialized in the archives and collections of Carl Moon, who photographed Native Americans in the early 1900's. Author Tom Driebe sent me a complimentary signed copy of a
coffee table book he had written and two little used books that he thought might be of interest to me. One of those books addressed the "People of the Tonto Rim" --- Could this be the SAME Tonto Rim that housed Douglas Flackman's house for sale, located on East Tonto Rim? I took the book with me on the trip.


So, back in Sedona again, I find myself in pursuit of a place that I might call home. I went with Gretchen from Sedona Realty to go see the Flackman house. It was lovely enough but it just didn't feel like the house for me. It seemed like a bad joke! It called me here with its beautiful views and the moment I walked through the door I knew it wasn't the house for me. This would not do. What the heck am I doing here in Sedona anyway?! Am I crazy?

I spent the weekend driving all around, getting a "feel" for neighborhoods and spaces. Not far from the Flackman house was a huge green area.  I remembered when I had left town the last time that I had glanced over at this particular landscape and said to myself "Hmm. I wonder what that is over there?" I assumed it was National Forest land or something. Little did I know it was an introductory glimpse of my future. The acre+ lots had been divided and were For Sale By Owner. I decided to explore.

It was not long before I was writing my family and friends at home that I could not even afford a chicken coop in Sedona. One acre with a crumbling coop was priced at nearly $100K. The price of my whole house in NY. The journey was leading me to realize that Sedona was out of my league.

The Coop
But how do you put a price on the view from the coop? 

(see below the view in my rear view mirror)

Rear View Front View from the Coop!

I hiked around some more and as I arrived at a particular lot at the base of Wild Horse Mesa, in a heartbeat I KNEW I'D COME HOME. In a moment I knew that no other lot would do. No other house would do. I threw away all of my real estate notes and catalogues and guides and I called the owner and offered the value of my entire house in New York for that parcel of land.

It was all too soon time to leave Sedona, but not without many photos of this parcel. The last photo I took was from across a nearby field. I went to take a long shot and I had to stop and look twice. There, peeking out above the trees at the top of the property, was the "Don Quixote" house in clear view.

Flackman house is on the right. The yellow ranch below it is the house that borders the rear of my property. 
(I never noticed the glowing orby light at the lower edge of the photo until now)

Just after I put in the offer in on the land, I took a drive uptown to get a smoothie at the local coffee shop. I sat in the shop and looked around me at the people who were milling around. It was a shock to realize I had just put an offer in on a piece of land in a community that had so many people who seemed so unlike me. They seemed kind of like misplaced new age hippies. Oh my God. What on earth was I DOING? Had I made a mistake? My goodness, I had nothing in common with the people in this town! I came from a very traditional town. As I was pondering this, my heart fluttering, they called my number to give me the smoothie and I quickly left the place. 

I then drove down the street to a New Age shop and went in to buy a couple of souvenirs. When I approached the counter there was a lady in a long flowing mumu with long hair and big-lensed glasses. She was a bit strange-looking to me, as most of them were, but she looked at me with warmth and kindness and in a gravely voice said, "Did you find everything you were looking for?" I replied, "Yes and more. I'd better just move here so I can stop buying souvenirs!" She looked me straight in the eye and it was like the moment was frozen in time when she said to me, "You are being CALLED HERE, you know. You are MEANT to BE here. Do you KNOW that?" I said "I guess so," and I paid for my stuff, thanked her and left the store. 

I returned to New York and proceeded to go home to get my house there ready to sell. After all, I had to sell the it to buy the land, so things were now set in motion. I was assuming my offer would be accepted.

Hmmm was Don Quixote was leading me after all!? Three days later my offer was accepted. I put my entire retirement account in escrow (and sent it off with a SMILE!???) -- agreeing to lose most of it if I didn't come up with the remainder by the October 1st closing date. I put my beloved NY house on the market a week or so later.

Think the story's over!? Not quite! Soon it was August and I was getting ready for my next trip West which wast to include a week in Sedona and week in Northern Utah for feng shui mastery training. My mother came along to visit Sedona with me for a few days on the early end of the trip. It was very hot for it was the middle of monsoon season in Sedona -- we spent most of the first day going in and out of shops and cafes, being typical tourists. We went up to visit the Chapel on the Rocks and while there I glanced at the open bible near the altar which was opened to the Book of Mark. My eyes landed on 21:22 which reads...

AND ALL THINGS, WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING, YE SHALL RECEIVE.... Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you... For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ...Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 
(Just in case ye don't "get it" the first time -- or the second!)

Chapel on the Rocks, Sedona Arizona

Mom and I went for a happy hour margarita at The Wild Toucan Restaurant and then we proceeded to visit my property. At approximately 7:15 pm, she and I were on the Southeast ("Wealth") corner of the property planting a special silver dollar that she had given me on this trip -- along with a copy of the prayer from the Book of Mark. A few hours later a call came in from my realtor in NY. Apparently at 10:15 PM (with a three hour time difference between NY and AZ, it was at EXACTLY the very moment we were planting the prayer) the paperwork was signed for a full purchase offer on my house in NY.

And that was weird too! The buyer had come into NY from California for the weekend for a reunion. She and her husband took a trip down Memory Lane and drove by her Grandma's house and found that it was For Sale. She went up to the front door, looked in the window, called over to her husband, "Honey! I have to have this house" and he says "OK."  They went to the reunion dinner, met with the realtor later, signing the paperwork late in the evening and were on a plane back to California the next morning. The house had come full circle and ended up back in it's own family.

The little house in Marcellus. It's been good to me.

...And after following the signs and messengers, I, too, have ended up where I need to be.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Sonnet for the Tree Frog

I wrote this while lying awake in my bed at the Rosedon Inn in Hamilton Bermuda... 

Tree frogs, small as a fingernail
Filling the night with boisterous song;
With rhythmic cadence they tell their tale.
To some they are a noisy throng!

Paying attention to the way
They send their notes into the night
Finds them, by nature, propelled to play
Every melody as an orchestra might. 

One sets the beat, the others chime in
A metronome of predictable sound 
Of perfect harmony, timing and 
Like carousel music, goes 'round and 'round. 

Strength in numbers, harmony the goal, 
They simply sing out the song in their soul. 

Oh how we can learn from the animals!  
The Frog represents RENEWAL, CLEANSING and ultimate TRANSFORMATION.
What is the song your soul is singing? What are you yearning for? 
It's never too late to renew your perspective and discover it. 

Learn more about Animal Spirits and Signs in our book "The Lizard from Rainbow Bridge" Available on Amazon Worldwide, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lesson at a Book Signing Event

A woman approached my table. She looked right at me with her deep blue eyes, as if she could see into my soul. "I have grief," she stated simply. She was not young; she was not very old. She tole me how, over a brief period of time not so long ago, she had lost her husband and their two young adult children. 
We grieve and it's one of the hardest things to triumph over, but if we stick with it and have time and support on our side, we do indeed rise triumphant from the ashes. 
In the meantime, let's count our blessings. There is always somebody somewhere who has it worse than we do. 

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Monday, April 16, 2018

National Haiku Day - April 17

Your laughter in waves
My boat skims on the surface
Till I make waves too. 

Haiku: A Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Roommate Has The Bed By The Window

An old story I've heard since I started working in health care -- so many years ago....  

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.  The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour 
periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline
could be seen in the distance.  As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in
his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up 
on one elbow  to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

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