My first thought when entering Florence, Oregon, is that this is a small community that seems to have it all. You have the Pacific Ocean to the west, pined hills to the east, and sand dunes smack dab in the middle of it all. And the businesses here seem to be just as diverse.
I found a nice quilt shop right off the highway and, of course, I just had to do a little shopping. It’s not as if I don’t have enough fabric, but to be able to say that I bought a piece of fabric in every state is just mind blowing to me. I thought “I just have to have it all” much like this town has. I found some unique finds and the help was oh so friendly. It just made me want to stay, but as usual, my stay here would be short.
I spent the day doing a lot of window shopping, ate at a fabulous seafood restaurant, and got back to the RV park I was staying at in time for the community dance the park was having. Not being a dancer, I opted to sit and watch the retired community members show me what they could do; so many could really cut a rug. It made me a bit jealous that I had never had the confidence to just get out there and learn. I guess I was just too independent most of my life to let go and stop leading, something most men don’t like, but I certainly had fun watching these senior couples as they spun around the dance floor. It seemed to me, at times, that they weren’t two people dancing, but one body floating across the floor. Harmony and synchronicity was prevalent in that amphitheater, and those seniors made me feel like I had all that I needed right there.
But as with so many things in life, the dance ended, and it was time for me to head to bed. I had a long day ahead of me, and I was bound and determined that I was going to make it to California before the year’s end. I was grateful for all the wonderful people I had met, the awesome sights this place has, and the time I was able to spend in this fine community. I’ve often said on this ride of mine, how wonderful God is to have blessed us with so many things. I prayed that night that we all would start seeing this world as God had intended us to see it. I know that God is not happy with the divisions we’ve created on earth, and although I’m only one person and incapable of ridding this world of those divisions, I knew that I could be making small changes with those divisions as I traveled my way through each state. After all, even small changes are an improvement over what we currently have. I ended my prayers thanking God for all the gifts He gives to us each and every day, and promised Him that I would try to recognize something new, some gift of His, with every town I’ll be staying in. And if I could help one person in each town that I go through, I would feel like this trip had a purpose greater than being able to say I traveled through every state in the United States. I fell asleep feeling so close to God. I knew that I truly did have it all right then.
And in my real world, I’m sad to say that Catholic Charities deals with many who do not have it all. Some have nothing but the clothes they are wearing. It’s sad to see, especially at these holiday times. But I know that the staff at Catholic Charities does all they can to help each client with whatever their needs are.
It makes me appreciate the things I have. I may not be rich in wealth, but I’m certainly rich in love. Like those senior couples I spoke about in my virtual world who shared their lives with each other for years, and their love was overwhelming. It’s the love of my family and friends that has gotten me through many a hard time. A friend of mine just spoke on Facebook about how she was thanked by a friend of hers for a small act of kindness she did for that person. And several years ago, while I was visiting my uncle in San Francisco, we were stunned when the car ahead of us had paid our Golden Gate Bridge fee. They didn’t know us and we didn’t know them. Sometimes it’s those little unknown things that we do that makes a person feel like they have it all. So as we enter these holiday times, let’s all try to help someone through some random act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t even have to cost you anything, it simply needs to be something that makes that person feel like they count in this world. And imagine the grin on God’s face if we all do one small deed. God bless you all, Happy Thanksgiving, and let’s keep going the distance.