So, what is the “Good Life”?
That is a question only those brave enough to venture out on such a journey of discovery can answer. I am one of those brave souls, and my wife Karen decided to tag along with me on this crazy ride.
It was 1999 and our favorite show on HGTV happened to be called “The Good Life”. It featured true stories of people deciding to walk away from the security of the life they knew to follow their dream. They were not actors but real people with stories of adventure fueled by passion.
From a plumber to a painter with an art studio in Carmel, from a corporate exec to a tour guide in Alaska, from a teacher to a surf instructor in a cozy little seaside village, from a rural farm in Nebraska to a cabin in the mountains of Montana; each story so different, each dream unique, they were stories of conquered fear and fulfillment.
One such story had Karen and me packing for a trip to Union, Oregon to experience the dream of one young couple who had placed all their hopes and resources into an old rundown hotel in the center of town. Our dream was different, but just as crazy. So why not?—they did it.
October 2003, the twenty-seven foot U-Haul was packed and we were headed for Seaside, Oregon with the lights of Spokane, Washington fading in the distance. It must have been a crazy dream because all our friends and relatives told us so.
Ten years later, here we are, more in love with the Oregon Coast than when we got here. From our house on the hill I look out at the magnificent beauty of the mighty Pacific Ocean, humbled by my God who not only provides for all our needs but often times serves us up a piece or two of “The Good Life”. From my room with a view I write these words and think of how blessed I am.
Your dreams may be different. Pursue them. Life’s too short for regrets. What is your dream?
It’s almost time for the OCW summer conference. I’m a little nervous but excited. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me this year. This will be my third conference since my decision to jump right in the middle of this crazy world of writing. As Chip MacGregor has instructed and strongly suggests, I will be prepared for success. First impressions with all my scheduled appointments, I want them to be great ones.
It has been a very busy summer, with work and writing and conference preparation. I am anxious to get my first completed manuscript, “The Darkside of Winter”, into print. It is suspense with a supernatural twist and very relevant in today’s ever changing political climate. I thought I might give you a tiny peak into the story to see what you think. I would appreciate feedback.
Robert Fairmont is a preacher and he’s good at it. He’s happily married to Kathy, his wife of thirty years and is settled comfortably into his ordinary ‘no surprises’ life. He knows his place. Religion and politics don’t mix—you just don’t cross that imaginary line . . . unless you’re the Government.
Then Kathy hears from God, in a dream—seven times—the same dream. She isn’t prone to having dreams; not like this one. And she is not alone.
“Robert, it was God and His message was clear. We are to be salt and light in a dark world; are we?”
It wasn’t Bob’s dream, but he knew she was right. Why hadn’t God spoken to him? Maybe because he wasn’t listening. Bob likes his life, just the way it is. And he hates politics. But maybe it’s time . . . time to cross that imaginary line.
Fast forward four years, eight months. Bob is on the run and under investigation for tax fraud, un-American activities, and is the only suspect in the untimely death of his wife Kathy . . .
July 4th 2013. It won’t be just another day . . . it never is . . . at the beach. Seaside starts to come alive with people around Memorial Day, but Independence Day is the official kickoff for summer. Families, food and fun—but best of all, memories.
It started for Karen and me in the summer of 1999. The kids were grown; it was just the two of us. Karen’s birthday is on the 4th of July. Rumor had it that Seaside put on a pretty good fireworks show and besides it would be an excuse to come to the beach. So we did.
Wow! The bunkers dug deep on the beach, the smoke from fireworks mixed with the smell of burning camp fires, the sun setting over the ocean with thousands of people dotting the shore line; it was like a war zone. Our eyes burned and our ears rang with the non-stop explosions lighting up the summer sky. And that was just the pre-show. The official fireworks wouldn’t start for another hour and a half.
We settled into our beach chairs; the show began. Music played and the sky lit up as we watched a thirty minute display of smoke and lights that would make any American proud. When it was over the roar of the mighty Pacific filled the night air. What was not to like? We had found a new tradition. Over the next four years we would make our pilgrimage, with family, to Seaside, Oregon on the 4th of July.
Karen and I moved to Seaside in the summer of 2003. We now watch our favorite holiday celebration from the back porch of our house on the hill, with family and friends.
So as we make memories to last a lifetime, in a place that fills us with imagination and a dream fulfilled, we think of freedom that isn’t free. Let us—each one of us—never forget, lest we lose the gift, bought with the ultimate price of blood and sacrifice.
GOD BLESS AMERICA.