Day 15: On the Road: Solvang, California,

January 26, 2010

I had an incredible trip down memory lane a few days ago. When I was 13, my family lived in Minnesota and my grandparents lived in San Jose, CA. My sister, Joanne, age 11 and I were invited to fly to California to spend a few weeks with them. We flew into San Diego and drove to San Jose. Along the way, we toured and visited the San Diego Zoo, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and a little town called Solvang.

The trip was a dangling carrot to do well in school and to get all A’s and B’s on our report cards. When the final report cards came, I had a C in one of my classes. How could my parents tell my grandparents that the trip was cancelled? We didn’t see them very often and the details and airline tickets were all set. My parents went to Plan B. I was required to write a report about my California trip. It was truly a blessing in disguise.

I am pausing at the keyboard for a moment because I just realized that that was a foundational piece for what I am doing now. On that trip, I took pictures, and collected brochures, pictures, ticket stubs, placemats and even sugar packets. I learned to observe and record everything. I still have the scrapbook and report. I have read it numerous times keeping the details and memories alive.

Fast forward to the present, Hannah and I took our cats to the Santa Barbara area to meet the potential foster couple, Richard and Emrita. The closest town with a hotel that was pet friendly and affordable was in Buellton. It was an additional 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, a beautiful drive through windy roads, along the ocean and through the hills. I had reserved the hotel on-line and was following the directions. When we pulled into the town, I had a flashback memory and told Hannah that I had been here before. I didn’t remember all of the details of this sleepy town, but I remembered Andersen’s Restaurant. This was the same restaurant where I had saved sugar packets and a placemat for my scrapbook. This was the restaurant where I ate split pea soup with my grandparents and Joanne before entering the town of Solvang, a Danish town where we spent the night. My grandfather was born in Sweden and traveled to the United States when he was 10. This was a town where I learned more about my heritage. Many similarities between Sweden and Denmark.

Once again on this journey I have been led to a place I visited as a child. The memories of my childhood are awakening something in me. I am looking at the places I am revisiting with fresh eyes. I remind myself to look deeper. Ask more internal questions. Listen for answers. And reflect on the magnificent orchestration that is happening. The more awake I live, the more I see, the more my ideas and perspective evolve.

Hannah and I ate at Andersen’s. I bought treats from the Danish bakery, took pictures, and walked through the town of Solvang, weaving new memories with the old.

The other story to tell you is the connection with the couple who is fostering my cats for awhile. They are incredible people, Emrita and Richard. They have five cats. Emrita is an angel. You can see that she has such a connection to nature and the animals. Such a calming energy. Richard has a radio show called, “Tell Me Your Story.” He is passionate about life and the guests and topics. Here is the link to his radio show: http://www.richarddugan.com/tmysradioshow.htm

I heard about Richard through my friend, Katy Manna (www.livewiththelightson.com) who was a guest on his show in January 2010.

I visited with Richard and Emrita for two hours. We talked about animals, nature, our love of the ever evolving world. Questioning where we are headed. I felt at home with them immediately.

Hannah and I are going back in a month or so. Richard will interview us on his radio show and we will see the cats.

I am delighted by the synchronicity that is unfolding.

Katy Manna helping me look for a home for my cats in Baltimore.
Katy Manna and Richard Dugan connecting on his radio show.
A discussion they had about animals and sharing about fostering cats.
Katy connecting Richard and me. Richard and Emrita saying Yes to fostering.
Needing a pet friendly hotel in the Santa Barbara area
Following an instinct to select a hotel 30 minutes past Santa Barbara.
Remembering the restaurant, Andersen’s and the memories of my childhood.

Awake, alive, curious, and Open to Inspiration.

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