Highs and Lows

Highs and lows

I can’t believe I just went 62 grueling miles getting from Crescent City, California to Trinidad, California.  When I say grueling, I don’t mean huge mountains I had to ride up and down, but more the fact that the road is quite busy, most of the ocean views are blocked by trees, and it rained on me for at least half the trip. 

I was feeling quite low, until I rode up to the Turtle Rocks Oceanfront Inn.  It’s a small hotel, but the views are breath-taking.  As I entered, I overheard a woman arguing with the hotel manager, or at least I presumed he was the hotel manager.  This woman had with her, a little shih tzu with a pink bow in its top notch.  It was a cute little thing who seemed very well behaved.  It wagged its tail as I approached, allowing me to pet it.


The hotel manager was having nothing to do with the woman.  I could see that the woman was reaching her limit, so I decided to step in and tell the manager that she was right. 

“Sir,” I said, “if you go to the Trinidad California Chamber of Commerce website, it specifically says that the Turtle Rocks Oceanfront Inn is pet friendly.  May I suggest you log on and see for yourself?”

The manager was none too happy with me, but he did go to his office, shut the door, why? I’m not sure, maybe only to get himself calmed down.  I stood there with this lady who had picked up Muffin, as I quickly learned was the dog’s name, and thanked me for verifying that she was not insane.

The manager returned after a few minutes, apologized, and then told the front desk clerk to honor the woman’s reservation, but that she’d have to pay a $100 deposit.  The woman didn’t seem bothered by the extra expense.  It was obvious that Muffin was much more than just a dog to this woman.

My check-in experience was much less dramatic, and soon I found myself in my own little suite.  The deck looked out onto a sea lion colony.  I stood there for several minutes watching and listening.  I began to wonder how many people had stayed her who ended up complaining about the growling noises these creatures make.  I found it all so fascinating.  The crashing ocean waves were much louder than those sea lions, but I knew from past experience, that these sounds would lull me to sleep that night.

I get cleaned up fully expecting to want a nap from my long ride, but the low I was feeling riding into town had vanished and was replaced with an exceptional high.  I head into town and tour their museum, a couple of other local businesses, then ate lunch at the Larrupin Café.  Life couldn’t be better at that very moment.

But the moment would be brief when I heard some locals talking about a young couple who had recently gone off hiking along the beach area forgetting to keep track of when high tide happened that day.  They were trapped in a remote area of the beach as the waters continued to rise.  Unfortunately, they were both caught in a rip tide and drowned.  My heart went out to their families.  I said a quick prayer for the repose of their souls.  I wondered how God could allow such a thing happen to such a young couple at the beginning of their life.  Then I remembered that God gives us choices in life, and if we choose to live our life on the edge, sometimes bad things happen.

After a fabulous lunch, I headed back to the inn to get some rest.  I knew my stay in Trinidad would be short, and after such a long trip, I knew I’d need to get to bed early.  I was thrilled that this inn served a free full breakfast in the morning.  Saving some money always brings a bit of a high to me.  Life was good again.

And in my real world, I’m faced with highs and lows daily.  I think we all do, but I try to focus more on the highs.  It keeps my mind clearer, and allows me to keep God first in my life.  I know God is always there, especially when I’m at a low point.  I feel like He wants us to appreciate all that He has given to us, things that give us that Godly high. 

I know I have many things in my life that I appreciate, too many to record here in this blog, but I’m also aware of all the people out there that have so little in their lives; people like the clients Catholic Charities sees daily.  I wonder if they have anything in their lives they can appreciate, or if the harshness of a bad economy and maybe a few poor choices in life keep them from seeing the good that is around them.

I know many of them do thank those who help them with various life issues, so that’s probably something they are appreciative of.  But then I wonder how long their high from the help they receive from Catholic Charities lasts.  It would be easy for me to sit before my computer preaching to them how they need to let go and let God, but I don’t think that would be fair of me.  I don’t know what their lives are like and just how bad things might be.

I’m not here to judge them, but I do think I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom.  Back in the mid 80’s I reached a very low point in my life where I actually thought about ending it all.  It was the worst fifteen seconds of my life.  Yes, it only lasted fifteen seconds, but it changed my life forever.  It was then, at that lowest point, when I decided it was up to me to make something of myself, to pick myself up and get back to living, to let go and let God. 

I prayed hard that night for His guidance and support.  I shed the overpowering pressure of being broke and embraced it instead.  Soon I found my life was on an upswing again despite the fact that I was still broke.  I saw the beauty around me, I appreciated my friends and family, and I turned over my lack of income to God.  Shortly after that, job offers started coming in and life was good again.

About five years later, a co-worker commented how upbeat I always was and how she looked up to me.  Then she told me she thought of me one Sunday when her minister talked about letting go and letting God.  I was floored.  I couldn’t believe that I had made an impact in this woman’s life to the point where she thought of me in the context of her minister’s sermon.  How honored I felt just then.  It’s that feeling I think about when I get to feeling dumpy, fat, or inadequate. 

I know that I am exactly who God wants me to be, I’m doing exactly what God wants me doing even on days when things seem to be overwhelming, and that as long as I continue to accept the highs and lows in life, God is pleased with me. 

Have I ever come close to getting as low as I did that one fateful night?  No, because I know that I have been blessed by the Lord.  And I know that some of the lows we have are from God, too.  We need those lows to appreciate all that we have; to appreciate the highs.  And as I sum up this blog, I can’t help but hum the song from The Bryds “Turn, Turn, Turn” based off that ever popular bible passage Ecclesiastes 3:1-15.  How true those words are every day of our lives.  There is a time for everything, and it’s up to us to make the best of it.

So when you’re feeling a bit low think about the words from that song or bible passage, and know that God is right there beside you, waiting for you to embrace all that He’s given you.  And as always, let’s keep going the distance.


22 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kathy said,

    Great job!

  2. 2

    Emily said,

    Betsy, love the blog! Any chance you’ll be making it to Southern California this coming summer? Running Springs is a pretty quaint place I think you’d like.

    I’m currently reading “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, your style of writing reminds me a lot of his! Keep the posts coming!

    • 3

      Unfortunately my route does not take me clear down into southern California. I’ll be heading into Nevada from Lake Tahoe and then down to Las Vegas. I may change my mind, though, since nothing is written in stone. And thanks for the huge compliment comparing my writing style to Henry David Thoreau. I’m truly honored.

    • 4

      Janesa said,

      Full of salient points. Don’t stop benvieilg or writing!

      • 5

        I will never stop writing. It’s in my bones. I denied my writing calling for years, although the desire was always there. But now that I started writing, I just can’t stop, so expect more blog posts in the near future. And look for my upcoming book, “Going the Distance”, that will be released soon in paperback and ebook form through Create Space and Amazon.

  3. 6

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this
    site. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts
    by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog
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    • 7

      I hope to be blogging more often in the near future. My current job has a big fundraiser around St. Patrick’s Day, so prepping for that is taking up much of my time. But after that my plan is to blog a little something daily or at least 2-3 times a week. I don’t want to lose the integrity of my content by writing too often, but I think I’ll still be able to accomplish writing thought-provoking stories as I continue to bike my way across the U.S. Know that my biking is only in the virtual sense since I ride a recumbent bike. I invite you to invite your friends to my blog. It will give you some semblance of what my books are about. I’m writing a series of books based off of my virtual travels on this epic bike trip I’m on. I’m still in the process of getting them published, but things are looking good. Thanks for your kind words and good luck should you start your own blog. You’ll have fun with it if you do create one.

  4. 8

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

    • 9

      Thanks. Sorry I didn’t get all your comments, but knowing you like my blog is good enough. I should be blogging more frequently after next weekend. Have a lot of work things going on that doesn’t allow me the time to blog like I’d like. Check back soon.

      • 10

        Nadezhda said,

        I got home from work yesterday afnortoen and mowed the lawn and blew leaves before the rain came today. After I mowed my lawn, I went next door to my neighbors house and mowed his lawn and blew the leaves off his property. I slipped a pay it forward card under his door mat when I was finished. He came over and thanked me for what I’d done, and also asked me about pay it forward. I often do things for other people, but yesterday it felt a little different because it gave me the opportunity to tell him about paying it forward; also in hopes that it would have a chain reaction and many lives would be effected by such a positive and simple notion of paying it forward .

      • 11

        Cool. I’m so glad to hear about people paying it forward. We all need to be doing more of this. Maybe our small steps will result in a chain reaction of paying it forward. Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

    • 12

      Bazelais said,

      very well written and very true.. in the endnig paragraph i was thinking that story was getting fictitious but finally it got turn and it was true endnig very well written ..

  5. 14

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  6. 16

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    • 17

      I haven’t had any issues with WordPress, at least not yet. I tend to write my blogs in Word, save them in Word, then cut and paste into my blog. That way, if I am hacked, I haven’t lost anything.

  7. 18

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    • 19

      Thanks to you and your brother for liking my blogs. You have a special friend in your brother, for I feel he must have seen something in my blog that he knew would help you. I’m happy that I was able to bring some joy to your life.

  8. 20

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  9. 22

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