Homeward Unbound —Chapter 5: Deliberation with Nature

Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

Perhaps the greatest gift bestowed to each of us is our innocence. In a grief-stricken world driven by calamities and chaos of varying degrees, it is difficult to maintain the innocence of our youth. Where the world was once new, and the peculiar and weird were something of amazement. I am surprised to still carry some of this innocence and bewilderment, even if only an iota.

To see the world every day as new, untamed, and full of possibility is a beautiful thing.

I have promised the self a life of growth, that is it.

That with each new day, I have become a man who can, with all sincerity and honesty, make the bold statement, that I am a better man than yesterday. With this, I take great pride.

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Homeward Unbound — Chapter 4: The Worst Day Ever, Tears, and Triumph

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

It was 7:00 PM. We had just traveled about 6 hours from Phoenix, AZ to San Diego, CA. There, Alicia felt terrible and I was agonizing over yet another emergency room visit. We knew the drill. It would be yet another visit where doctors tell us nothing. Another tedious emergency room bill to deal with. Another visit with no answers, diminishing hope, and continued despair.

I made the decision to drive back to Phoenix, AZ. It’s where she felt good. It was her safe zone. A term we use for locations where the potential of her health being comprised is minimal. She has the nose of a bloodhound and her body responds in accordance with her present environment.

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Homeward Unbound — Chapter 3: Sin City, Rethinking Reality, and Lessons From the Road

Lake Powell — Page, Arizona

Our hotel was on Dean Martin Drive in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alicia insisted on taking me to her favorite eatery, Urth Cafe. It was located in the Wynn Hotel. We had to cross Frank Sinatra and Sammy David Jr. Drive to get there.

These men were members of the original rat pack. They were gentlemen, modern George Clooney types. The types of men I looked up to. They had class, and style, got up to politely greet a woman when she entered a room, and had a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi about them.

They lit up Vegas a half-century ago.

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Homeward Unbound — Chapter 2: Crater Lake, Camping, Death Valley, and a Near Death Experience

Valley of Fire State Park— Clark County, NV

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Homeward Unbound — Chapter 1: Letting Nature Guide Us

Smith Rock State Park, OR — Photographer: Alicia Swamy

I was at the Kaddy Car Wash the day of our unknown journey to help my wife heal from her mold illness.

The attendant asked, “Where are you going?”

I said, “ I don’t know yet?”

It’s how I’ve always wanted to answer that question.

Our first stop was Bend, OR.

The drive was tragically beautiful. 2020 was an eventful year, most will agree. The Pacific Northwest had its fair share of fires and when driving southeast from Portland, we could see the aftermath devastation. It was a forest of the past, with filaments of burgeoning wild green, homes that were, and black as night mountains.

Like us, nature was also rebalancing. We pulled over to fill our lungs with the cleansing air and took a picture. Alicia looked at me, with smiling eyes, and said, “I feel good.”

We looked at each other as lovers rekindled. Her words were healing for us both since she hasn’t felt well in over a year.

Her words brought light to our situation and gave us hope.

“Hope is a good thing, probably the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” — Stephen King

We checked into a hotel that night, had some Mexican take-out, and called it a night while watching Superstore, which is a hilarious show, and this is coming from an Office fanatic.

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Life Update — On The Path To The Unknown

Lacamas Creek Trail — Camas, WA

It’s about 9:00 AM PT on February 23, 2021.

I wanted to share an update on my life. This post is geared to friends and family but may help others as I share my perspective on leaving everything behind so my wife can heal from her illness.

She has Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). It’s more aptly known as a biotoxin illness caused by mold. After conducting numerous tests on our home, and data from her extensive blood panel work, it’s unanimous that mold has been causing her to get sick. It’s been challenging for both of us, but more so for her, because she’s battling for her life. We love Oregon, but the extensive moisture makes it a breeding ground for mold.

As a man that’s made a vow to be with her through sickness in health, I am determined at whatever cost to ensure she gets back to where she can not only enjoy life but also thrive in it. She has something special to share with the world and I intend on helping her share her light so as to inspire and heal others.

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#98: How to Live a Simpler Life Today – 7 Things You Can Do to See Immediate Results

I wrote this because it is much needed during these interesting times.

We are dealing with a virus that’s affecting the entire globe. We see media outlets’ constant onslaught of fear-mongering tactics that have been giving rise to conspiracy theories and have overwhelmingly created separation and distrust in many arenas.

We are a nation that is divided and each side is absolutely sure they are right.

While the world feels smaller because almost everything is real-time, it also does seem a bit more chaotic.

Peace and joy are within everyone’s reach, but the onus is on us to do the work and the path is a solo journey.

Below are a few tactics that have helped me turn down the noise of negativity and division:

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#97 The Meaning Of Life According To Prince & Purple Rain

When I first heard the classic jam, “When Doves Cry,” it was actually by 90’s r&b artist, Ginuwine, who’s famously known for his hit song, Pony.

If you don’t know who Genuwine is, I forgive you. However, for Tom, played by comedian Aziz Ansari on Parks and Recreation, it’s a slightly bigger deal.

It wasn’t until I was older, that I realized it was actually a remake of a Prince song. Needless to say, I wasn’t the biggest fan. Not because I didn’t enjoy his music, which I do now, but my taste was less evolved during my younger years.

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#96 Timeless Lessons Learned for 2022

I turned thirty-seven years old on November 7th, 2021.

That’s thirty-seven revolutions around the sun.

That’s 148 seasons, roughly 13,505 days, and 324,120 hours of a life lived.

However, age is an arbitrary figure when looking at the lens of the present moment, but for the sake of this article, I will share thirty-seven pieces of advice that have helped me, and I hope it helps you too.

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#95 Power Steering – Finding Beauty in Struggle

Photo by Manuel Asturias on Unsplash

I’m currently in the process of saying goodbye to our home in Oregon. The state will hold a very close place in my heart.

The fresh air from the Douglas firs made it seem like a winter vacation every day. I’ll miss the summers paddle-boarding, finding our own private watering hole as we would plunge into the Umpqua River, and the countless culinary titans dishing out some of the best food I’ve ever had.

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