Carolina: Cruising Past 70: WOW: Opening a Door on the New Year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

WOW: Opening a Door on the New Year!

the big bang at Seattle's Space Needle!
The door to 2011 opened with a big bang the minute the 2010 window closed! As the seconds ticked away, we watched the awesome fireworks display at the famous Space Needle in downtown Seattle.  Before that we were battling it out as Kinect performers on the living room stage. After all, we had to dance away the calories from the Filipino paella, steamed crabs, grilled prawns, ambrosia, and wine for dinner.

our traditional Noche Buena

After midnight, we had the traditional Filipino noche buena with the good old holiday ham, queso de bola, whole wheat pan de sal, and thick Spanish hot chocolate. And to think, just two nights ago we had spicy pot roast, steamed wild rice, five-layer salad, apple-walnut cake, and wine at a reunion of what Bill calls my ‘Estrogen’ Book Club. The following morning we woke up to another highly caloric New Year’s Day Brunch!
the 'Estrogen' Book Club with spouses 

But it is not just about festivities and good-eats.  There are changes we are trying to make for 2011. Not only did we make sure the RV is spanking clean (a Filipino tradition of New Year cleaning instead of spring cleaning). You must have also noticed the different look and feel of this blog! Not only have we increased the columns to fit more things above the fold, we also shifted to a more neutral color theme.
still found room for the New Year's Day brunch!

But we have also been looking for deeper change.   In the midst of a fund-raising campaign for a community center at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle, Fr. Jack felt our longing for a ministry that can fit our cruising lifestyle. We were so used to rooted stewardships in our parish: the Filipino-American Association, Eucharistic ministry, and Supper Club. 
the toast at exactly midnight!
And it was as if the Holy Spirit spoke through him.  He felt that this blog is actually about wonderings on our wanderings.  We were not just going to different places; we were experiencing different levels of wonderment about His wonderful Creation! As a matter of fact, he suggested that, as we visit each new parish, big or small, we could undertake a primary research of best practices.
Fr. Jack Walmesley at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West Seattle
So, beginning this year, my posts will either be an OLA (Our Lifestyle Adventures) or a WOW (Wonderings on Wanderings). This first post of the year is a WOW! And we are now in the process of formulating the research project and proposing it to a beneficiary, including the drafting of the questionnaire we will be using.  We do think we are being led to a more purpose-driven life.

But what about my ne’er forgotten desire to help my home land move to a better position in the world? Fortunately, Doug Miller, one of the DUs (Bill’s high school ‘gang’), is founder/chair of Asia Venture Philanthropy Network, an organization looking into helping Asian non-profit and social enterprises just like they succeeded to do in Europe. He needs help in sorting out Philippine needs and identifying likely grantees.

the icicle formations on rocks along Highway 8 West
Indeed a window has closed, but a HUGE door is being opened! Bill’s only hope is that, in the midst of such inspiring activities, our cruising lifestyle does not revert into a driven one! And, as if to dispel that, on our way home to the campground, a sculpture of magnificence jumped out of the rocky landscape. We share with you these striking icicle formations (the result of a string of below 30 nights) on Highway 8 West between Olympia and Elma!

Next Stop: Elma and Olympia, Washington