Angels Do Have Wings

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We arrived at SEATAC airport (Seattle Tacoma) at 5 am headed to Ontario, California two days ago. Everything was smooth. From Richard dropping us off at the curb to locating our gate. Our assigned seats were located at the rear of the plane (row 31) and we marched our way down the aisle. I didn’t bump into any elbows nor did Owen’s backpack hit anyone in the face in passing. Our seat was second to the last row and I was pleased that we sat in front of a mother of two little ones. I had already befriended the 5 yr old girl and I was looking forward to making her 1 yr old sister smile.

We settled into our seats and that’s when a problem presented itself in paws and a wagging tail. A service dog with its master parked themselves behind us. My eyes widened as I met Owen’s worried look. We didn’t see this one coming. Owen is allergic to pets. He started rubbing his eyes and I immediately asked an attendant if they had some kind of Benadryl. I needed one for my son who is allergic to the dog. That’s when the magic began.

I’ve never been the type who gets over dramatic about situations that aren’t going as planned. I remain positive and always find the silver lining. The Alaska Airline attendant immediately got to work and told me to give her a moment (to see if she can find us another seat). I look over at Owen and his eyes are red and watering. He is starting to wheeze and I calmly explain to him that the attendant is doing what she can to alleviate the unforeseen issue. I remain calm and wait patiently.

Not long after, the attendant caught my eye and she gives me a motherly reassuring nod and smile. A tall gentleman with a red beard was trailing behind her with his things in his arms. We made way for this Good Samaritan and I thank him whole heartedly as he claimed his seat(s). He gave up his seat at the front of the plane, row 12 to be exact, for a little boy (& his mom).

As I sat in my seat reflecting, I felt tears come to my eyes. I started to think, what if no one had given up their seat? Would this mean Owen & I would catch the next flight out? Would they have asked the service dog and its master to do the same? Would we need to flip a coin on who stays on and who gets off? Would Owen have to endure the (short) flight in complete discomfort? I told myself to breathe, relax and be simply grateful. It doesn’t matter anymore. The good deed has been done. I later introduced myself to Eric and shook his hand. He gives a “no problem” gesture and smile, like it was nothing. Evidently, as a mother, it meant a lot to me and to Owen’s lungs.

It turns out earth-bound angels are in places you least expect. I’m not religious but I am spiritual. I believe in humanitarianism, spirit guides and having good karma.

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Owen’s New Classroom

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I found a volunteer opportunity here at a family support center (a homeless shelter). It’s specifically for families, providing them shelter and resources to help them get back on their feet.

For additional info: http://www.fscss.org

I was looking to do something to keep myself busy and at the same time, expand Owen’s homeschooling. This is the place where I can teach him what humanitarianism is.

I attended a volunteer training a few weeks ago for a host/greeter. It’s basically babysitting the front desk for 2 hours. I was supposed to sign up on the schedule but have been dodging their email because I didn’t want to do it. So hard to say no to such a good cause.

Finally, I wrote back and gave them an honest reply. I said it’s not what I had in mind for me and my son. I wanted to be more hands-on and use my talent. I explained that my personality type required me to be on the move constantly. Sitting at a desk at a quiet environment with nothing to do will be torture for me (& Owen). I asked the coordinator to please keep me in mind should she need help in other areas.

My honesty paid off because she wrote back and asked me what I had in mind. I proudly talked about my experience as a children’s event coordinator & host; providing arts & craft activities for the kids, hosting Lego nights, etc. this is where I would excel, I told her. I also emphasized that my son will be with me.

She wrote me back right away and Gave me two good news. One, she said its a family-friendly atmosphere and Owen is welcome to be with me.  Second, she had wanted to implement an arts and craft activity at the center on a regular basis. She asked me to come in to meet with her to collaborate.

The center is not like a homeless shelter you’ve seen in the movies. It looks and feels more like a center. It’s a place where I’d be comfortable hanging around with Owen, to be honest. They have offices there for the coordinators and an open lobby where the front desk is situated that overlooks the common area. The common area has a business corner, a TV/living area and a children’s section where I’ll be.

Our meeting was Monday and it went very well. I will be the center’s volunteer Arts & Craft teacher! Katherine the coordinator and I bounced off some ideas. We are going to have a sign up sheet to determine how many will attend. We’re also going to allow them to tell us what kind of activities they’d like to do. More importantly, we’re going to let parents sign up as helpers. Our first activity is decorating holiday-themed cookies.

Like I did at my community back in California, I will be taking pictures of the kids and creating collages and displaying their masterpieces and highlighting them on a bulletin board at the center. Starting January 2015, I will be volunteering twice a month. The best part is: Owen will be involved and meet children of different backgrounds. His humanitarian training starts here. The second best part is: I get to teach kids art and give them a sense of pride towards their creations.

Moral of my story: my goal was met when I started with being honest.

What I learned: My God-given talent is going to be used to make a difference in a child’s life, starting with my son’s.

Saying Good bye

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This has been the most exhausting and most exhilarating 3 days. We’ve been packing, loading and unloading. I just know I am going to be sore! What I can tell you is this: my heart is soaring because of the love and support from friends and neighbors.

Not all are pictured but all have been helping us out along the way mentally and physically. They made it easier for us. We’re lucky to have these friends and we’ll miss them.

We are packed and ready. Richard & I are just doing last minute organizing. Owen is playing with friends down the street. I’m dying to take a long shower in my bathroom for the last time.

See you all in San Dimas!

The Art of Giving

May 13, 2014 Tuesday

written by Pam

This is Ryan Z. from Giant RV in Colton. He, along with his team Jamie H. and Scott M. has been with us every step of the way in making our dream a reality.

Ryan took us under his wing the moment we stepped in the lot. We had no idea what we wanted and he showed us everything until we narrowed it down to a trailer bunkhouse. I think we saw about 10 trailers and RVs in 3 hours. We got to know each other and consider him as one of our new favorite people.  Yes he was doing his job but you can’t train genuine kindness.

There’s still good people on this planet and when we meet them, we value their good hearts and show our appreciation.

We gave him a gift to share with his wife and little girl.

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This is Jorge and he’s been maintaining my lawn for the past few months. I’ve never met anyone like him. He is very soft spoken, has a good heart and has this aura about him. When I found out he and his wife had been praying for a car that would fit his 4 kids (ages 8-14 yrs old), I knew our SUV would make his family happy.

My SUV had been with us for the past 10 years. We brought Owen home in it. It’s been with us every beach, desert and forest.  It became part of my family. I thought I would have an emotionally hard time letting her go but my emotions were of happiness when the time came.  Knowing she’s going to a good home puts me at ease.

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Richard & I just figured out why we’re going on this trip. We haven’t even left yet and we’re already meeting wonderful people. People who inspire us are appearing left and right. We feel that the purpose of us being on the road is so we can inspire and touch lives along the way.

Favorite Things to my Favorite People

May 12, 2013 Monday

Written by Pam

This weekend, we had our second garage sale (by invitation only). Close friends came over and helped us out tremendously by taking a lot of things off our hands. I was pleased to see my favorite things going into the right hands. From art works to favorite books.

Our couch and sofa went to my high school best friend Beth. My cake stand went to my good friend Summer,  my favorite wall painting to my sister and my favorite art piece to Stephanie Oritz who has a little girl who will admire my work on her bedroom wall.

For Mother’s Day, I didn’t get breakfast in bed but Richard went all the way to Newport Beach and picked up a generator. I can’t really complain now, can I?

Today, we had our house appraised. One hour later, a home inspection. The home inspector tells me our house is very clean and this makes my day. I like being complimented for my neatness and organizational skills.

 

Let It Go

May 7, 2014 Wednesay

written by Pam

 

I’m finding good homes for my well-loved furniture, personal belongings, etc.

Yesterday we test-drove a truck, was pleased with it and purchased it. I’m happy to say our  vehicles are going to deserving families, as opposed to trading it in or ending up with strangers.

To us, it’s not about the money. Yes, sure the money will help tremendously but giving or selling our things to people who need it and will take care of it is what matters the most. It’s even a bonus if I know them personally. This gives us greater joy.

We were up all night making a list of which kitchen (small) items we’ll take with us. A few made the cut. We’re saying good bye to a few luxury item and passing it on to friends.

Letting go of our things little by little feels like weight being lifted off our shoulders.

Letting Go quote

Expectations

May 1, 2014 Thursday

written by Pam

After dinner, we sat on our thinking chair and discussed our future expenses. We also talked about financial expectations, how to make income, etc. It looks like we can afford to do this for 2 years and still have money left over to help us settle down, etc. This plan after the plan puts me more at ease. I’m actually getting excited now…

We also want to get involved in humanitarian work. My homework: read up on NGO (Non governmental Organizations). There are so many organizations that address global issues such as climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more. One that caught my interest was Nature Conservancy – nature.org. I have a lot of reading to do…