Dangerous Compassions

what really happened on our trip

Hello, reader.  How are you?  Ming and I were house sitting recently for ten days at the coast.  Friends have asked, “How was it?”  This is what really happened on our trip.

what really happened on our trip

I slept eight hours almost every night of our trip.  Being just me and Ming, my ambient anxiety was much lower.  I learned that I can get a deeper rest, not sharing a roof with 11 other people.  It was painful to learn that because I would prefer it wasn’t true.

Living with so many people takes a lot out of me.  I’d prefer to use that energy for myself and my projects.  So my ambient anxiety was lower, but my specific anxiety was higher, when I considered moving and other huge life issues.

I was focused on me and Ming, and able to access what I really want to do with my life.  I quit our community’s signal chat for our time away and detached from house responsibilities.  This freedom meant I could go deeper into other feelings.


Stress was also high because of death.  We found out our friend Edwina died, and two days later our friend Louie died.  Both of these people were dear to us–peace activists with strong ideals.

Thankfully we had some warning with Louie.  He was an elder, and a friend emailed us to say Louie had pneumonia he wasn’t expected to recover from.  We were at the beach praying for him at about the time that he died.

Actually, we had warning about Edwina also, in that we knew about her cancer as it progressed.  And we knew she was hospicing.  But it happened fast.

I felt Edwina’s death very hard.  I freaked out for a couple days, off and on, with intense grief.  Makes sense, as she died of cancer like my mom did.  Also Edwina was very nurturing and caring, in her unique quiet way.  She was one of the few people I felt safe around.  So that was an overwhelming loss.

Also, Edwina gave us a place to stay, when we were passing through Sacramento.  One time God talked to me on her couch.  I loved her apartment–she had beautiful art.  Here’s an art of her done by her brother.

red art

She gave us a safe haven, which is so important and so rare.  Many people have more and give less.  She stayed in that humble one bedroom apartment, doing generosity and love, for Food Not Bombs and other peace groups.


So there was a big feelings component.  Then there was also a travel component.

We were able to visit places on the coast we’d never been before and learn about the beaches there.  I had only really been to Heceta Head and a beach near a big apartment building that didn’t really overjoy me.  I mean–I never met a beach I didn’t like.  But I come from a land where beaches are huge expanses of long beautiful goodness.

I like a big beach.  I never knew that until I encountered Heceta head, which is small and closed in.

We visited about ten different beaches.  We also visited Coos Bay, Yachats, Newport, Waldport.  Thor’s Well and the visitor’s center for Cape Perpetua.  We saw a big banana slug.  It was wonderful.

Ming protested with some climate change activists in Florence.  Here’s a pic of them in front of city hall.

what really happened on our trip

Ming said it looks very staged.  I said it’s cute.  I like how Ming and I do meaningful work wherever we go, even on vacation.


It’s fun to learn about someone else’s garden by taking over its care.  Nurturing the garden was our only real chore, besides cleaning up before we left.

I loved the little apple tree, the dill starts, the grape vines, tasting the evergreen huckleberries.  It was fun to pick cucumbers and yellow squash.  It rained at intervals throughout our time there, so we needed to water in the greenhouse, but not much the outdoor gardens.

We saw some weird mushrooms, and it was fun to watch them fruit out of the ground, grow, and open their caps.


Thank you for learning what really happened on our trip.  One surprise was lack of garlic, onion powder, and black pepper among the spices in the kitchen.

Another surprise was the foghorn, which is comforting to me.  It was going all the time, at its every 20 seconds or whatever.

Another surprise was the glassblowing.  Never in my life had I imagined I would do something like that.  I have a new friend these days who does glassblowing, which made me curious.  Suddenly glassblowing seemed within the scope of things I could possibly do.  That deserves an entire post of its own.  It was one of the most empowering things I’ve done in years.

Please keep me and Ming in mind, if you need some housesitting.  Houses like to be lived in.  We can fill the space with song, love, and delicious cooking.  We’d enjoy caring for your plants, and caring for any animals like chickens or cats.  Thank you for considering us.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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