Bringing Water to the Nicaragua – A Land of Glitter and Poverty

I’m taking a break from my memoir ‘Life and Deaf ‘ to tell you of my latest adventure volunteering with El Porvenir.

Bob and I arrive in Managua on a prop plane from Costa Rica to participate in our third volunteer ‘brigade’ with the NGO El Porvenir. Our guide Jimmy and driver Jose drive us through town and fill us in on life in Nicaragua. Things have changed drastically since our last volunteering experience with El Porvenir over three years ago. Many historic buildings have been torn down, a la Orwell’s “1984” or barred with tall chain-link fences topped with … Read more...

Hippie Days – Expecting the Unexpected in the Wild Northwest

We’re on our own for awhile and plan to make a grand circle of the northwest. Going north into Wyoming we hit ranch country, all cowboys, horses, boots, saddles and ten-gallon hats. Scooter’s been waiting for this. Heading into the Wind River Mountains on a bumpy dirt road, we go back in time to beautiful Big Sandy Lodge. Built at the turn of the 30’s, it hasn’t changed a bit and is so remote it has no electricity or phone service. Just as we pull in a mother and baby antelope leisurely cross the road in front of us. The Read more...

Hippie Days – All Over Colorado

PICT0005Hippie Days –All Over Colorado

After two weeks of traveling hundreds of miles, experiencing innumerable exciting new adventures and interminably crisscrossing the state of Colorado waiting for Scooter’s hearing aid to be fixed, we cross over our second mountain pass Pike’s Peak and arrive in Colorado Springs to find that, amazingly, it’s fixed and ready to go. After taking a quick look at the Air Force Academy we’re “On the Road Again” toward our rendezvous with the gang in Boulder. Trudy’s sister Mary Ellen and friends are taking the summer off from college, working and playing in this young progressive … Read more...

Hippie Days – Worm Attack in Aspen

Children’s Diary July 7, ’74 – We went to Aspen. It rained and we saw a flock of sheep. We had to stop the van. 200 sheep. Baa-baa-baa.

Aspen, Colorado. We’ve heard about this mountain wonderland – an historic mining town that’s become a dichotomy of rich developers and young people with countercultural ideas. We’d heard that Hunter Thompson had migrated here because,”he knew the Aspen Institute was here, and all the things left over from the silver mining era that gave a certain dignity to this Colorado town. Once you got to Aspen you could smell the funkiness and … Read more...

Hippie Days – Eldorado Springs – By My Own Fire

Last journal entry of Hippie Days – July 7, 1974


Alone under the stars, moon, clouds, mountains, and trees.

The wind carries the smells, sounds and heat of the fire.

I calm down, lighten up, breathe in, write poetry.

I call “I love you,” toward the heavens. To whom?

Life. The world. My children. My husband. It doesn’t matter.

This solitude gives me serenity.

I was lonely cooped up in my box in suburbia – four walls and a roof, with only my small children to talk to. I couldn’t breathe. Instead of escaping I withdrew, became sullen, yes, sometimes … Read more...

Hippies Days – Westward Ho!

On through golden wheat fields of Kansas we go. Many people we’ve talked to abhorred the drive through those flat middle states, but because I’d spent most of my life in the flatness of Florida, I appreciate the perfectly connected puzzle-pieced vistas of farmland going on forever. Camping spots are scarce, but on the Colorado border a shimmering oasis appears in the distance. Alone in the middle of these great plains stands a manmade reservoir surrounded by trees so lofty and isolated they look artificial. A plain’s wind is blowing as we pick our campsite. I start cursing “Oh shit!” … Read more...

Hippie Days – American Graffiti

We’re on our way to Hutchinson, Kansas to visit our Ormond Beach next-door neighbors. Our first babysitter Tamy and her sister Teresa, who’s rebounding from a quick bad marriage, are spending the summer with their aunt. Though Hutchinson is known as the land of Dorothy before Oz, for me it’s cruising American Graffiti style – the 1973 hit movie of one night in the life of rocking and rolling teenagers. And that’s what we’re doing. Since we have a motel room we decide to get in a little (young) adult nightlife.

“I wanna go,” charms Tamy through her cute smile. … Read more...