6  January 2008
Dear Lorne,

The adventure of being the Anyone Can Host contest runner up was just one of the pieces to the puzzle that I am still trying to get a handle on. On a transatlantic flight, while discussing the differences between the States and Britain, one theory was that there were old souls, those which had lived more lives, and young souls, which had the greater tendency to seek new horizons. This would account for which country has the greater concentration of those who think or those who act.

New Years afternoon, my return flight to Seattle was not for a few days. The planned accommodation turned out to be a big misunderstanding. While I could have found a hotel, it seemed my money would be better spent in the pubs. After finding a place to leave my suitcase, with the essential items in the pockets of my long wool coat, I was off to discover London.

The first night I was able to sneak into a hotel that had a common bathroom and sleep in the tub. The next morning, not really having the option to sleep in, up bright and early, it occurred to me that rather than spend another day aimlessly wandering, the best way to meet some nice people would be to do some volunteer work. You never know when or where you might meet that person who could change your life.

The manager at Oxfam charity thrift store in Covent Garden was from South Africa and had beautiful, shoulder length blonde hair. He put me to work right away putting together a new window display. The interaction between mannequins did not turn out to be that much of a distraction. Why is it the night before you go away, you meet the one who makes you want to stay? She was another volunteer, a raven haired beauty with a mind sharp as a tack. She drove me out to Heathrow in her Anglia. Would the same long distance bond I had with my children be possible?

Having not made the time to pack certain items from the store in my checked baggage resulted in prolonging the security verification procedure. This was not long after Lockerbie, the Scottish officer was not amused by the shocking cigarette lighter. But some of his colleagues were happy to accept my gift of a fake cockroach they said would go well with their supervisor's tea. Sharing the fruit of my wares took on another dimension out in the real world. Was it time to spread my wings?

May the sun never set on a happy moment,