March 17, 2014

3/17/14. One day last week, it was getting near tent pitching time and because the weather report said low 20’s for the area, I was hoping I could get a room at the lodge at Calpine, California. When I got to the lodge it was obvious it was now closed. Disappointing to say the least. There was a man sitting on the ground next to the lodge working on putting new brake shoes on a car. I said, “Excuse me sir, is this the only lodge in the area?” he looked up and said, “Hey Steve!” I hadn’t recognized him at first, it was Kenneth, I had met earlier in the day as he was working on the highway, an employee of Caltrans. He said he was also the caretaker for the closed lodge and that there was no electric or water in the rooms, but I was welcome to stay in one and at least sleep in a bed and not have to pitch my tent. He also let me do my laundry and take a shower in his apartment also located in the lodge. A friend of his came by and invited us to a cook out at his friend’s house. The friend was a very sweet young lady in her late 30’s who had once been both a police officer and a firefighter in New York City and retired early from a California police department. She was able to do that because she had taught herself the skill of buying and reselling homes. I thoroughly enjoyed being around her. She gave me three big bags of dried mixed fruit and offered me more stuff that I turned down because of weight. We spoke a lot about the beauty of life. The next day I received a text from her telling me she sincerely appreciated what I was doing. She explained that at 15 she swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills and it was a miracle doctors were able to save her! How blessed her family, her friends, and the rest of us are that such a fine high quality human being is still with us! I am so very thankful for all the precious human beings I encounter in life. I LOVE LIFE!!!!

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