Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Way of Thinking: The Greatest Day

Yesterday was birthday #58.  Wow!  Seems like yesterday that I was blowing out a mere 30 candles on a giant birthday cake with a picture of me on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.  That was then.  I prefer now.

My day yesterday began in the normal way.  I was up at 5am for my morning meditation.  Allowing the Universe to fill my tank with light energy is a ritual that I would hate to be without.  Jon, Roxy, and Charlie showered me with some extra birthday hugs and kisses.  We had pancakes with the help of Aunt Jemimah and then off I went to give four counseling sessions.  My day was already perfect.  But you don't know Jon.

At 2pm Jon met me at the center with a van, specially equipped for my power wheelchair, and a driver whisked us off to The Living Desert (one of America's great zoos right here in our valley).  Jon had also called the zoo's director and arranged a super VIP tour of the facility.  We were greeted like royalty and were taken immediately to the giraffe enclosure.  I was amazed at the space.  Acres of open desert for giraffes and camels to play.  Lots of shade and misters to keep them cool.  I was stunned to be invited inside the enclosure.  There I was greeted by three adult giraffes and one young one.  I was in heaven.  I touched them, hugged them, and received a kiss from the little one that knocked my glasses off.  Her tongue was rough and thick and I was hopelessly in love.

We visited all kinds of animals.  I held a young chimp who wanted to come home with us.  I was spit on by a camel.  Heaven.  You haven't lived until a camel spits on you.  I met a tortoise the size of a minivan.  And so many other creatures the Universe has created to make our little planet work.  As if I needed reminding that we two leggers are responsible for being their caretakers.

Okay, enough at the zoo stuff.  I could write a book about that alone.  After getting home, I checked in with Facebook to find dozens of good wishes, took a shower, changed clothes, and we were off to Billy Reed's, my favorite Palm Springs restaurant.  Again, Jon outdid himself.  We had a private room, our favorite server, Carol, and four couples who have been great friends to us.  We had a blast.  I even had two cocktails.  I was given some wonderful gifts including a Disney book that is very hard to find.  We got new leashes for our babies, a basket full of toiletries,  a framed lithograph of an elephant, some blu-rays, and my fave, a gift card for Wal-mart!

It was a day I will treasure for the rest of my life.  We received a letter from our landlord, giving us the permission to adopt a third dog.  We got a certificate from one of the volunteer vets from our animal shelter for a year of free veterinary care.  But the greatest gift was the outpouring of love from close friends and strangers alike.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who read my blog, to my Facebook group "Over The Rainbow: Pet Memories and Other Stories", to the two family members who have stood by me, to dear old friends who have loved me when I wasn't very lovable, to all my four legged furry pals, may the light that shines on me shine on all of you as well.  You all deserve the very best.  That is the wish I hold in my heart for each and every one of you!  Now and forever!!!

                                         Peace and Love,




  1. What a wonderful day Austin!!! A perfect celebration for a one-of-a-kind, special person! ♥ ♥ ♥
    You deserved every minute of it and more! Thank you for sharing this special day with us!

  2. Thank you Lisa! Whether or not I deserve such blessings, I accept them with immense gratitude and humility.



  3. We had the best possible day, didn't we hon? But then every day is pretty great around here. Thanks for teaching me so much about love.



  4. Bill, I know your classmates havent got a chance compared to giraffes and chimps but they would love it if you would rent another van and come up to the reunion in september. I promise nobody will spit on you.