Celebrating my "Silver Jubilee"
The trip reinforced many ideas I have. First, we live in a land of great abundance: cropland, trees, natural beauty, wildlife, energy resources, and people.
Second, money is just a form of energy according to my business coach, Christine Kane. The happiness experts advise to buy experiences and not stuff, if you want to be happier. So, I tried to circulate as much money as possible on this trip to buy memorable experiences: nicer hotel stays, expensive meals, excellent wine, and a boat ride on Lake Tahoe. I want to thank my friend, Carol, who could not join us, for giving me a very big check that enhanced my ability to spend during this trip.
I did buy a fabulous ring from one of the last turquoise mines in the world, which is located in Tonopah, NV (Queen of the Silver Camps), also the location of a new BLM-sponsored solar power project.
Fourth, while the simplicity of the western landscapes -- which emphasize mountains, rock outcroppings, desert, and big skies -- are dramatically beautiful, I still prefer the green fields of the mid-west and the lush forests of the East.
Fifth, I have no regrets about the life I have lived. If we had driven over the cliff at Yosemite (as we nearly did), I would be proud of my influence on the world and of the life I have tried to live with love and integrity.
Sixth, even at 60 years old, I still have so much to do, say, write, teach, learn, and contribute. What will the next decade hold for me?