Gulf Coast, Naples FL

When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take this for granted, or with gratitude. C.K. Chesterton

Halloween 2020. Three years ago, we had terrible news delivered to us. My mate was diagnosed with cancer. He focused on researching his condition and the best options for treatment.

Since then, he has been through surgery, radiation and hormone therapy. All of this happening as we continued living as nomads. He entered the world of cancer without knowing much about it at all. Today, he continues to stay on top of the many treatment developments.

From what was then the worst day of my life to today… I am so grateful to be standing on the beach with MAO and taking this video.

Grateful for all the doctors and their teams that worked with him, for being in North America and having access to excellent care, for the gratitude we each have for life that carried us through the tough times, and for love.


Garden outside San Francisco de Asís Mission Church, Rancho de Taos, NM

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. Maya Angelou

Not too far from where we are staying is a famous church and the best New Mexican food. Very glad that we made it to Rancho Plaza Grill, and that I now know what a sopapilla is!

After lunch, we walked around the church taking photos and wandered about the mostly empty plaza. In the parking lot, a woman engaged me in conversation. 86 year old veteran from Rancho de Taos. She had lots to say about the Royal Family – theories on Harry and the church with its history of pedophiles. Without a doubt the most interesting parking lot conversation I’ve ever had.

Grateful today for Martie – our neighbour at Casa Gallina who mentioned the restaurant, the parking lot conversation, and for a moment at an historic spot.


Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. Louie Schwartzberg

Weekends are more precious when the week is filled with work. A slow morning to start the weekend…a thermos of coffee out in the yard and watching chicken TV over a few hours before making a delicious brunch together.

The afternoon is spent on a leisurely drive on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. Beautiful landscapes against the incredible sky. A stop in Red River for a walk in the town and a hot chocolate to go, followed by a pint at Comanche Creek Brewery – what a view!

Grateful for the beautiful landscapes we filled our eyes and souls with, for holding my mate’s hand along the way, and for the journey we share together.

Keeping it together

2020 began with renewed hope and new directions.

From 2017 – the end of 2019, we traveled on our nomad path, alongside a cancer diagnosis, surgery and radiation treatments. By the end of 2019, all that could be done had been done. All the doctors said “live your life” and get blood tests done every 4 months. It seemed that we could start to think a little longer term.

By February, we could not peel away from the news of the virus or the John Hopkins dashboard showing the global number of cases, number recovered and number dead.

Today, safe at home is in Florida. If I were to believe everything I am seeing online, we could not be in a worse place. Our day to day does not reflect this in any way, nor does what we experience each day.

Each day blends into the next. Crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, streamed content and zoom get togethers are a part of the day. We’re now watching our first K-drama together…took 20+ years and a pandemic.

The toughest moments often come from those that are the most beautiful – watching videos of health workers, inspired concerts on empty streets, people coming together to support one another during difficult times… These are the moments that bring tears to my eyes as I wonder… What is happening out there?

A glimpse of longer term planning turned to complete and absolute uncertainty.

MAO has been my rock during these times. We greet each other brightly throughout the day – even though we are together all day. We hold hands as we watch our K-drama and hug each other tightly when we go to bed. And we laugh together at silly things.

I am ever grateful for my MAO. Thank you for helping me keep it together.

Packing up

MAOs’ Enchanted Forest  |  April 15 – August 31, 2018

Our stay in West Vancouver has come to an end.  Again I am amazed at the passing of time.  When we arrived the creek beside the house was a raging river, today it is much calmer and quieter. 

It has been wonderful to experience spring and summer in the enchanted forest.  Enjoyed the wildlife of our backyard forest – black bear, wolf, owl and woodpecker were delights to see.  The lost hikers and dog walker were fun too.  😉

Cypress Falls Creek was the soundtrack to our days and nights.  Raging in early spring … Gentler and quieter at the end of August.  

We have loved every minute here and were grateful to have friends and family come to visit us.  So wonderful to share our enchanted forest!       

Grateful today for our time here. 

Our hearts are filled with the beauty , wonder and awesomeness of nature in BC. 

Ready to get back on the road tomorrow with MAO.