hello 2022

I am still waiting for a keyboard on a a computer to be invented that will allow my paws to type, Mom is 2 and half months late on writing my ‘New Year’ blog. That’s ok mom, I’d rather have you being taking me to Three dog bakery and our couple of mile walks each day, while seal hunting. We rung in the New Year just me, Lassen, and mom listening to Auld Lang Syne by Andrew Bird. Mom had bathed us right before midnight and she put our “New Years 2022” hats on and we listened to the song, while Lassen and I wrestled around and mom danced around with us. Dad was on a boys trip. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds smelly and adventurous. I like smelly adventures! Earlier that evening, we went with Grandpa and Grandma on their boat to see the Christmas lights before they took them down for the new year and Aunt Amy joined us. We walked down to 2nd street in long beach and I watched mom eat a delicious middle eastern meal, while Lassen and I begged. I was thinking about the highlights of 2021….

*On April 1,2021 I was re-diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live if i didn’t do chemo and given about 1 year to live if I did chemo. I failed at chemo. I am still here, and doing great.

*I did a 13 mile hike backpacking trip to Catalina island and camped overnight at Parson’s landing. The trans-catalina is a strenuous hike. Mom called it a butt-kicker!

*I did a 26 day road trip in the van to Yosemitie, Utah (Park City), Wyoming (Jackson, Ten Sleep), Idaho (Ketchum, Stanley), Montana (glacier national park), ending in Lake Tahoe. In Utah we drove to a small town and had a photo shoot done with a camera from the 1800’s.

*I flew to Seattle and did a weak road trip around Washington state, visiting the coast and visiting Olympic National park and Mt. Rainier National Park. We rented a Mercedes Sprinter van and i enjoyed camping along the beaches and mountains in Washington state. I even went in a sea plane landing along the san juan islands! Unforgettable!

*I continued my volunteer work at the United Cerebral Palsy center. Lassen and I showed up as snoop dawg (Lass) and myself as Eminem for Halloween to bring some smiles to our friends there

*We did our annual valentines day seal watching, i mean whale watching ride. Dad thought he had left coffee on the stove so we abandoned ship and went the day after valentines day for our seal hunting excursion

*I enjoyed seal hunting at dana point harbor per usual, and seal hunting from the pier at night. Most nights mom walked me and Lass on the pier and we became friends with the fisherman while i looked for seals

*I went on a ‘girl’s trip’ with mom and her friend to mammoth for a 4 day ski trip

*I enjoyed a trip santa barbara where we went sailing and camped in Carpentaria.

*I had a risky cancer surgery that was a life saving measure. My cancer had come back and mom advised it was risky to operate. She thought about it for 6 months and towards the later part of 2021, she had me operated on which proved to be the best thing for me. 

*I bought a cabin in the mountains that now Lassen and I are proud owners of a airbnb and call this cozy cabin home when we go up to the mountains every month. It was my mom’s dream to have me own a cabin in the woods!

*I grew a lot closer to Lassen my bro man

*I have spent the 5 months of 2021 flying or driving to northern ca for vitamin c infusions for my cancer care. I am a frequent flyer!

*I rekindled my love for dogs having my bro man Lassen here. I became the one trying to get him to play…and he’s 9 years younger than me. I loved all dogs growing up, but now when i see them i go up and wag my tail and am so happy to play with dogs again!

*My pawerents resumed their annual Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie themes Christmas party, despite it being canceled the year before due to covid, my pawerents had the party this year and i went as Cousin Eddie of course!

*I had a wonderful belated 11th birthday party in October at San Onofre, where dogs and humans had to come in halloween costumes. I, of course was a seal. Lassen was a squirrel. We also camped in Yosemite and mammoth for my actual birthday weekend and we went to a brewery of course, where Lassen drank some beer. We hiked around the lake and played like we were 11 years old in human years.

*We enjoyed so many trips to Lake Tahoe and Ill always remember when we found out our cousins Brinkley a golden retriever had cancer and we all took him to the lake and swam with him, cheering him on before he went to heaven

*2021, show me how many people have cared for me and my family the last couple of years through the cancer journey. If your one of them reading this, I appreciate you as much as Three Dog Bakery. We did a couple of photo fundraisers where dad took photos of dogs and their humans. Mom felt so much love through everyone’s generous hearts. We know who you are and will always remember you my dawgs!

This year was filled with so much goodness and so many treats. It felt like I was living at Three Dog Bakery sometimes, while other moments felt like a scary dog kennel ran by a lady named bertha. There were really hard moments as mom says, like when the chemo pill made me lose so much weight and that was hurting my tummy. Mom and Dad decided for me to not live on a chemo pill and here i am thriving and doing so good. We found traditional Chinese medicine and high dose vitamin c infusions to be a major part of my anti-cancer regimen.  My cancer re-diagnosis was hard for my parents, but for me i just kept living and hiking, and camping, and doing van life…so it’s been a beautiful life…gosh i love that movie!. On our 26 day road trip, Lassen and I got even more into cows as the cows visited us at our campsite. We spent hours looking for cows as we drove from state to state staring out the window. Mom will never forget how much we loved these simple things, ‘cows’ and they brought so much joy to our heart as we were so curious about them. Little does she know, i wanted some filet mignon. After the road trip, we would drive monthly the long 7 hour drives to my anti-cancer high dose vitamin c infusions, Lassen and i would look for cows on these drives.  As i thought about it, the highlights above from 2021 were so great as i love adventuring, but it was all the moments where mom and i snuggled and she prayed her prayers and told me her morning mantra to remind us of truths, Lassen and I played around the house, and Dad, Mom and Lass and I had dance parties in the morning as they sipped their morning coffee as we huddled around the heater together…that made this year what it was. Mornings are the best time around here. Its definitely not Folgers in my parents cup.  Mom told me, that it wasn’t all the trips that she remembers most, but its all moments we share in daily life where I’m present to her and she tries to be present to me. She told me that she feels this guilt because she can zone out on her phone but to be present to us is to not miss out on what is best. She read this quote by Kate Bowler (a duke university professor who has a beautiful life with a lovely husband and little boy and she also has terminal cancer), Kate says,

“I think I believed that I was living in the center, but I rarely let me feet rest on solid ground, rooting me in the present. My eyes shifted to look for that thing just beyond, the next deadline, the next hurdle, the next plan… On long walks I forever roped my husband into my favorite topic: the next thing. How could we improve our lives? What should we do next? As we walked through the tall Carolina oaks on a fall trail dusted with Technicolor leaves, my mind hummed with possible futures. Always. If I were to invent a sin to describe what that was – for how I lived – I would not say it was simply that I didn’t stop to smell the roses. It was the sin of arrogance, of becoming impervious to life itself. I failed to love what was present and decided to love what was possible instead.I must learn to live in ordinary time, but I don’t know how.” I know how to live in the moment Kate Bowler, thats what dogs do. That’s where we have it over people. Learn from us. Mom resonates with the author and looks at all our moments and wants to learn how to live more ‘into them.’ 

I’ll teach you mom, Lassen and I got this. Just follow our lead! We can teach you… ’Sit’ ‘stay’ for a while…take it all in!

So friends, follow our lead. Stop and smell the flowers or the boys on the stinky road trip that are camping next to you or sit and look at the face of the one you love… how i love looking at seals …you know, …”Sit, stay, and stay longer” that’s good, real ‘good’. The ‘treat’ is the moment. Yeah 2021, was filled with the ‘both and’ as mom says…both real hard things that made mom anxious over me and both beautiful and good things that are sacred. For me, it was everything i needed it to be…I am alive, I am here, you are here my friends.  Maybe stop and sit and reflect on 2021, what treats did you not get that you wanted? What made your heart smile within? Is your heart still humming from that experience? I’m still humming within from all my seal experiences and that Ive trained Lassen to be an expert seal hunter. We are also bear hunters now. I need to share a memory to leave you with, the night that mom and dad closed escrow on the cabin on November 1, 2021, we all went out to a celebratory dinner in Truckee. Dad forgot to lock the van door where the kitchen was stocked full of alcohol and food. When we got back to the van, there was a a bear in the van who obviously had a drinking problem, because all the cans of cutwater mai tai’s were drunk. He left all the sparking waters and went for the good stuff, if you know what i mean…and whiskey. We have named him Salty Bear and legend has it that my brother and i, now look for him in these parts of the woods of lake Tahoe. Salty bear left his scent all over my moms chair in the sprinter van so we knew he was there and my dad had to ask him to leave the van. Salty bear, we will find you and then probably Lassen will drink alcohol with you since he’s so into alcohol. Well my friends, may 2022 be all our hearts need…here’s to this new year we find ourselves in. So grateful that I am here, you are here, we are here together.

Do you remember

When you looked in the water and saw your reflection

The embers

They drew out a map and they showed you direction

Your sender

Is far in the east where your heart is at peace

When you enter

My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center

My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center

My love it’s just a reminder

My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center

Help me recall that first morning

Sunlight adorning

Cracks on the floor well it served as a warning

Everything’s changing

All re-arranging

Felt so familiar

So amazing

Hopped in the car

Drove to the mountains

Cows in the street

Prayer beads you were counting

There was the river

Eternal Giver

Flowing forever

Remember find your center

My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center

My love it’s just a reminder

My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center

My love it’s just a reminder

-Trevor Hall

8 thoughts on “hello 2022

  1. Bruce Baffert

    What a wonderful accounting of EBEN’s adventures along with his family if you could write a book it would be filled with such a diversification of places that it would be a true adventure story keep up the good work and may many more aventures come your way


  2. Brenda L Foster

    Love your words Love the pictures. Yours is
    “A Beautiful Life”. I am Blessed to be able to call you All Friends Love Brenda


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