The Journey

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Peace, Love, and Music

Our neighbors for the weekend greeted us with smiles and offered any help we needed setting up.  Quickly understanding the concept, I helped our one set of neighbors get their pop-up tent in place.  When they heard that we were first-time festival goers, they’d quickly offer advice as to the best practices to get the most out of the festival. Hearing the stories about how long some of these people had been attending the festival was absolutely amazing.  One had been coming every year since 1969, others were at their 15th, 20th or 30th festival.  One guy, now in his 30’s grew up at the festival, first attending with his parents as an infant and continuing to make the trek now as an adult.  They came from all over, near and far.  The gentleman that has been coming since 1969, Allen, flew in from Ogden, Utah and rented an RV for the weekend with a buddy.  He originally grew up in the Philly area, but said that he’d never miss a fest, regardless of the distance that he might have to travel.  When I told him that this was our festival, he said, “Man I gotta give you a hug, this is gonna change your life!  There’s nothing here but peace, love, and music.” At this point, we were only there for about an hour, but I knew that we in a special place.  This wasn’t just a music festival; it was a community.

Youkilis, the Golden Retriever

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Youk’s Last Ride

It was a hot day, but we were very excited to be on a volunteer project again with many of our fellow RV friends.  Mainly because of my book signing schedule, we hadn’t worked a volunteer project since September of 2022, so this had been a long-time coming. As Youkilis has aged, he really minded hot weather.  He would lay around on hot days and not move much at all.  This is the way that he was when we arrived at the project.  It was the third day in a row of pretty hot weather, so Sandy and I really didn’t think much of it.  We just told him that tomorrow would be cooler. After we had our volunteer meeting and tour of the project facility, Sandy, Youk, and I went over to sit and talk with our friends, Jennie and Eric, who we’ll be traveling through Canada and Alaska with this summer.  Youk got his customary pets and love when we first got over to their rig, but it didn’t take him long to just settle and lay down while we chatted.  It was starting to cool down, so I thought that we were on the home stretch and he’d be back to his old self soon. When we started to pack our chairs up and head back to our rig for the night, Youk couldn’t get up on his own.  I helped him up, but again, didn’t think too much about it and just figured that he was still just beat from the heat that we had experienced over the past three days in the desert on our way to the project. Monday morning when we woke up, he was laying in the exact same spot where he was when we went to bed.  Normally, he would change locations during the night.  If he went to bed near the hallway, many times he would be sleeping by the couch in the living room or in front of our bathroom door in the hallway when we got up.  That was just his routine.  When I told him to get up so that we go potty and eat breakfast, he tried, but could not get up on his own, just like the night before at Eric and Jennie’s rig.  Now we were starting to get concerned. 

Many Little People

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Aliza Hava – Into the Light

Aliza is making her second appearance on the show.  We first spoke back in January and talked about the healing power that music has.  Feel free to listen to that conversation by clicking here. In this episode, we really focus on talking about her new album that is scheduled to be released in the coming months. “Into the Light.” This album is deeply personal for Aliza.  She has used music to help her overcome the trauma of an abusive childhood.  It was a healing journey for her, and she hopes that it can be used by others in their own healing journeys.  The album was produced by multi-platinum Grammy-winner Mikal Blue, who is best known for his work with Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, and OneRepublic.  The album is a body of work, which features ten songs that take the listener on a soulful journey from darkness, "Into the Light."