Happiness, Gratitude & small acts of Kindness

Happiness & small acts of Kindness

When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. ~ Dalai Lama


Image from The Kindness Wave Page on Facebook

So a quick little post today, it seems that sometimes themes seem to organically develop in your life.  Recently, as is evidenced by several of the last few posts, kindness has been that theme.  The thing about being kind is that it’s a two for one payoff, you feel good giving it and someone feels good receiving it.

So today just a note to relay a little circle of kindness.  When Hurricane Katrina hit I was at Burning Man in the Nevada Desert, there at the event, a group of amazing individuals decided on the spot to help.  Shipping containers were brought in, donations solicited and after the event, people saddled up and took those supplies to Louisiana to help.  With that act Burners without Borders was born.

So a friend is helping out with a charity auction for Burners without Borders in Seattle and I agreed to send up a couple of photo pieces to be auctioned off.  This morning I went to UPS and sent the pieces off and in the process explained to the clerk why I was sending the package.  After the order was complete he told me to hold on and dashed out to the backroom, he came back and handed me 53 cents.  Now I was confused, the price had been $16.53 and I’d paid by credit card.  He smiled and explained that he personally paid the change on all charity shipments, or for those people he saw being helpful or kind to other customers, his personal little kindness policy.

I unfortunately didn’t get his name, but gave him the site address and hopefully he’s reading this at some point.  This was such a small act but it completed a circle of kindness with tendrils as far away as Nevada and Louisiana, and that 53 cents has kept me smiling all morning.  So thank you Mr. UPS man for your kindness policy, I’m certainly having a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Swimming with Whale Sharks

Happiness is Swimming with Whale Sharks

The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.          ~ Christopher McCandless

So on passing through Atlanta a couple of months ago I was considering going to the Georgia Aquarium.  While looking at the website for information I saw a tag line for swimming with the whale sharks at the aquarium.  I was very excited, first, I didn’t know any aquarium had whale sharks in captivity and not only did they, but I could swim with them!  I was immediately in and went to the website to schedule only to find out of course, there was a bit of waiting period.  So knowing I would be back through Atlanta in late October I booked a date for my swim with the whale sharks.  Swimming with them has been on my bucket list for a long time, they are the world’s largest fish after all and I still hope to swim with them in the wild, but I couldn’t pass on this opportunity.

The experience was amazing and started of course with a visit to the aquarium and here are a couple of images of the exhibit and the various type of animals in the tank with the whale sharks, and yes those are other sharks as well.  My favorite other critter was the huge manta ray, it was 12 feet across and 18 feet from head to the tip of the tale.  At one point during the swim it came up from behind me and glided past about a foot below me, it was absolutely amazing.


w9 w7 shark shark 2 grouperWe were escorted behind the scenes to check out the tank and get oriented and suited up for the swim.  Here are a couple of shots of the tank and one of a sea turtle that is about to be added to the exhibit.

top view turtleWe then took to the water, the swim is done in a full wet suit with the option of using a breather or a snorkel.  You’re fully buoyant so and swimming quite slowly so no need for weight belts or fins.  Basically you slowly swim around the tank as the fish swim by.  The animals have absolutely no fear of you and I was hoping that one of the other sharks would come close but the closest I got was about 15 feet from a black tip reef shark.  You are not allowed to touch the animals, they are allowed to touch you.  One of the most amazing parts of the swim for me was having an 18 foot whale shark swim right between me and my swim buddy and somehow not bump either of us, they are amazingly graceful creatures.

w8My best friend was along to take photos through the glass so I owe her the photo credit and my thanks for the following shots.  The experience lasted 30 -40 minutes and was amazing, it was so serene and peaceful floating along in the tank with these magnificent creatures all around.  One tip if you are contemplating this for yourself, even if you’re a diver, do the swim.  The divers camp out on the bottom and if you notice in my pics of the tank, the whale sharks typically swim pretty high in the water column so you get much closer on the swim typically, although you may get closer to the other sharks on the dive.  Enjoy the photos and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Some other pieces you might enjoy!

Appalachian Trail Happiness, The Book

My Polar Bear Adventure

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments

Himalayan Travelogue

Happiness is Cycling in Ireland

Happiness is Photography: Burning Man

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Havasu Falls, Two Days in Paradise

Havasu Falls – Two Days in Paradise

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs

It was time for an adventure and the one I had set my sights upon was Havasu Falls on reservation land just outside the boundaries of the Grand Canyon.  I first discovered this place on an online post, one of those bucket list places post.  The comments people made about it were that it was one of the most beautiful places they’d ever been.  I will say that I agree with that statement.  I’ve been all over the world and the falls and rivers at Havasu are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  I’ll be following up tonight’s post over this week with some posts containing a lot more photos, including one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken.  It took me three weeks from when the permit phone lines opened, calling multiple times per day, in order to get the reservations but the effort was well worth it.

The trip started at the Hualapai Lodge about 70 miles from the Hilltop trailhead.  I drove out of the lodge at 4:30 in the morning.  I’d read lots of comments about horses and cows on the road and that it was really advisable to take the road more slowly than you could.  I did see some cows, happily off the road.  However, the road should be named suicide rabbit run.  There were no less than five jack rabbits that attempted suicide by car as I drove.  I’m happy to say none were successful and that I saw one of the weirdest things I’ve ever encountered on that road, a bat.  A bat that was sitting on the road and leapt up into flight as my car approached.  Otherwise the road was uneventful and I eventually had to pull over to shoot an amazing sunrise.

I hit the trailhead and checked in, I didn’t realize you needed to check in there but the very nice lady smiled and mentioned the potential for weather and recent mountain lion sightings as a reason for the dual check in.  So good luck with the flash floods and predators!  I’d realized the night before I’d forgotten my rain gear and I was eyeing the clouds.  I was happy they were there to keep the sun off me but they really looked like they were dissipating.  The hike in and out of Havasu Falls is a 10 mile run each way.  On the way in it’s a 2400 foot descent, a good thousand foot or so drop in the first mile and a half, and then an easy downhill run the rest of the way.  So of course, uphill all the way out, with a really good climb at the end.  Essentially a helluva quad workout on the way in and a glute fest on the way out.

Eight miles in you hit the Supai village where you happily find a store, a cafe and the tourist office where you need to check in.  The village is a fairly typical remote reservation village.  So unfortunately a good deal of poverty and trash and lots of roaming, begging dogs.  The tribe members involved in the tourist trade are quite friendly, but the rest of the tribe members are a bit aloof.  This isn’t surprising, I mean can you imagine having thousands of people coming to camp in your backyard all year-long, many who unfortunately are not as respectful of the sacredness or majesty of the place.  It has to at some level be a tough existence and I’m grateful that the tribe keeps the area open to the public.  I’m not sure I’d be so generous in their shoes.

As anyone who has hiked with me knows, I’m great on complicated trails but often, I mean really far too often, get lost on the easiest of trails.  So yes, I got lost leaving the village, I absolutely saw the sign to the campground, got distracted and went the wrong way.  I crossed over a lovely little bridge and ran into an old man from the tribe.  I asked, “which way to the campground?” He stared at me blankly, “this way to the campground I pointed?”  Finally after looking at me with a look that said, “what the hell are you doing here?” He said, “yeah, down that way.”  I got similar looks from people in the yards of the houses I past and finally pulled out my map and realized my error.  I saw that there was a loop trail that crossed back to the campground and made my way back to the right trail.

A short time after crossing the river again I got my first glimpse of the pools above Navajo Falls and was absolutely stunned.  Then I tripped and the buckle on my pack’s strap exploded.  So it was MacGyver time and after getting my pack rigged up I moved on down the trail which followed along the river to Havasu Falls.

Pools above Navajo Falls

I made my way down to the campground and as you come down the hill you look to the right and get the view in the first picture.  The falls are magnificent and in a good rain year are flowing really well.  I made my way down into the campground and saw the first thing I wish I had known.  Nowhere in my reading did anyone mention that there is a little frybread hut in the campground, which meant I would have carried less food.  But I walked around and found a great site for my hammock and strung up.  Shortly thereafter a storm came in, I was happy to be in camp given I’d forgotten my rain gear.  So I resolved to take a little nap in the hammock and wait through the storm, just one thing.  I had tied off to a slightly thin tree and it swayed a bit in the wind.  Of course when you’re in a hammock if your tie off tree moves your hammock moves up or down.  Unfortunately, the wind was blowing the tree toward my hammock, so during gusts my hammock would crash to the ground.  So, in the middle of forty mile an hour winds I had to re-tie my hammock to another tree, no picnic whatsoever.  But I got it tied off after a time and had to do some additional rigging, but after a time I got things set up well.  The storm wrapped up and I was able to get some good shots of the falls.

Over the next two days I led a pretty idyllic existence, hike a little, take some photos, meet some people, eat, take a nap, repeat.  My neighbor in camp was a pretty fascinating guy, part of the year he works at Havasu running groups for BG Wild.  He spends the rest of the year in the bush in Namibia as a missionary.  Their camp set up also had these amazing inflatable couches that were just too comfortable to pass up.

I’d meet lots of really cool people, as you almost always do backpacking.  I met a couple of young women doing their first hike ever, some PCT hiker trash and a group of women from Marin County.  One of them was absolutely beautiful and stole my heart for the weekend.  She reminded me of a younger, prettier version of the actress Molly Parker and was a total sweetheart.

The beauty of a trip like this is a really amazing thing.  You’re doing some strenuous hiking, you’re camping and staying for a couple of days in an absolute paradise.  I slept better over those two nights than I have in months.  Something amazing about being out in nature in a hammock.  This is the real life, being out there on the trail, camping and exploring.  There are few other places I feel as happy, restful and peaceful as I do on the trial.  I hope you find something similar in your life that does this for you my friends.  Have a happy day. ~ Rev Kane

Some Other Adventure Posts You Might Enjoy!

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Trail Community

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Reader’s Favorite Posts

Quitting the Appalachian Trail

My Favorite Appalachian Trail Photos of 2015

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments

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A Day in the Farallon Islands

A Day in the Farallon Islands

In nature, light creates the color.  In the picture, color creates the light. ~ Hans Hofmann

When I was a child, I saw a book on one of the end tables in my house that my mother was reading.  I asked her about it, and then if I could read it, it was called Jaws.  The book was fantastic, a spectacular book by Peter Benchley which a few years later would become, at the time, the most popular movie in history.  I remember in my home the posters going up, week after week, Jaws held over for 2, 3…20 weeks.  It was the first great summer blockbuster of my life.  I was also a Jacques Cousteau fan and watched every ocean TV special that I could see.  I fell in love with the ocean, I would later train as a biologist and ecologist.  I’ve been doing whale watch cruises for over 30 years.  Whales and sharks are two groups that I’m absolutely fascinated by and love, I’ve even done a whale shark dive at the Atlanta Aquarium.

Now that I live near San Francisco I’m back to a place where whale watches are plentiful.  I live an hour north of the ports for the Monterey Bay whale watching fleets.  I also live within 30 minutes of numerous cruises that leave out of San Francisco.  As such I investigated my options and found a way to possibly engage both of my loves.  A trip with the Oceanic Society cruising out to the Farallon Islands, which this time of year includes lots of sea mammals, whales and of course great white sharks.

Now unfortunately, I didn’t see any great white sharks, it would be an incredibly rare sighting if we had but we did see evidence they were there.  At one point a California Sea Lion launched itself completely out of the ocean.  Likely that meant it was being chased by a shark.  Unfortunately we never saw a dorsal fin, or any sharks passing near the ship.

The cruise was really fantastic, the water was rougher than had been expected, so I got pretty wet a couple of times from ocean spray. But in general it was a wonderful, foggy day and as we came back in the fog broke, the sun came out and inside the bay things were pretty calm.

Out of the boat, we saw harbor porpoises, sea lions, lots of birds, a small blue whale, likely only about 60 feet long and a bunch of humpbacks.  Including one that did six full body breaches as we watched.  All in all a seven hour wonderful day, enjoy the photos below.

~ Rev Kane

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Happy Birthday to My Mother

Happy Birthday to My Mother

happiness family

My maternal grandfather looking quite dapper with my mother

This post is a couple of days late, but I’m ok with that since last week I actually flew to NY, hopped a train and had dinner for my mother for her birthday.  My mother, as she will freely admit, was not always a perfect mother.  There was nothing resembling Leave it to Beaver in the home I grew up in as a child.  But it was a heck of a hard job to raise a family as a single mother in the 1970’s.  My mother, a woman with a high school education, worked incredibly hard to keep food on the table, clothes on our back and to make sure we had the things that were necessary for us to survive.  She made education a huge priority in our lives and that education has helped me have an incredibly blessed life.

In the 70’s, when the economy tanked my mother lost her job, so she hustled.  She spent time on unemployment, she ran an day care in our home.  We lived for a time, insanely close to the edge, but she never let us go over that edge, no matter what it took.  I will always be insanely grateful to my mother for that effort.  So happy birthday mother and thank you for all you have done!

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Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day

American flag, veterans day

An American Flag at the Temple at Burning Man

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism. ~ Alexander Hamilton

Happy Veterans  Day my friends!  I am not a flag waving patriot, I feel although America is an amazing country, possibly even the best place on earth to live, that we should always cast a critical eye on the things we believe.  I am fairly critical of the decisions our politicians make, particularly related to how and when we go to war.  However, I have utter and complete respect for the men and women of our country who decide to put on a military uniform and put their life on the line for this country.

Over my lifetime I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of conversations, relationships and friendships with veterans.  I’ve gotten to talk to men who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, both Iraq Wars and Afghanistan.  I’ve had the pleasure to hike with some of these veterans as well and as an overall group they have been fine individuals.  When I was young, like most young men, I glorified war, thought it was like a John Wayne movie.  Over the years, through these conversations I’ve had the delusions of my younger years dissolved by stories of the harsh realities of their realities.

War will change you, that has been a consistent theme from these men.  I’ve known more than a few who have struggled with PTSD.  These men have my sympathy in conjunction with my respect.  Coming home from war and readjusting to “normal” life in America must be incredibly hard, I really can’t imagine.  Too many veterans have survived war only to come home and lose the peace through suicide.  We have to in America do a better job of taking care of those who bravely fought, were wounded, lost friends fighting for, and are still trying to survive in our country.  This should never be a political issue, it’s a moral issue that all of us should be able to get behind.

The quote below was, like the photo above, found at the temple at Burning Man.  The temple is a sacred site, a place where people go to say goodbye to those that they have lost, to let go of the things that weigh them down and defeat their happiness.  The flag was in honor of a veteran who had been lost, a son, a brother, a father like so many others who have been lost before.  I think this quote applies to our war vets, war at some level changes, perhaps breaks you.  But the quote is also hopeful, because in spite of that change, even if you’re a broken crayon, you can still color, still lead a good and productive life.  That is my hope for all of the veterans who have and will, return home.  Thank you for your service, have a happy day and keep on coloring my friends. ~ Rev Kane

veterans day, happiness

Broken crayons still color


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The World’s Most Dangerous Reverend

The World’s Most Dangerous Reverend

happiness, hiking, appalachian trail

My Polar Bear Selfie

No great art has ever been created without the artist having known danger ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

So the other night I got tagged in a Facebook post by my friend Mark who I hiked with on the Appalachian Trail.  He’s Kingfisher for those of you who read my book Appalachian Trail Happiness.  The comment was, I think you’re in this video and it was entitled The most dangerous photos ever taken.  The photo above shows up in the video at the end of the section about the grizzly selfies.

Dangerous Selfies

The video shows some dangerous photos and talks about how one person died trying to take a similar photo.  The section my photo appears in is at the end of a series of grizzly bear selfies.  Now I in fact agree one-hundred percent with the point they make in the video.  Taking a selfie in the wild with a bear is STUPID.  Whether it’s a black bear and particularly if it’s a grizzly.  Taking a selfie in the wild with a polar bear would be absolutely suicidal.  However that’s not really the story behind my shot.

photography, travel, adventure

Aurora while photographing Polar Bears in the Arctic

Photographing Polar Bears

I have written about my polar bear adventure on this blog before.  The picture used in the video, my polar bear selfie above, was a completely safe endeavor.  I was on a guided trip photographing polar bears in the Canadian Arctic just outside of Churchill, Manitoba.  When you look at the photo a couple of things should jump out at you, the first is the size of the bear.  The bear behind me in the photo is an 1100 pound male polar bear.  In the photo he doesn’t seem very big and that’s because he’s 15 feet below me and another 10 feet out from the platform.  The platform is part of a facility and the base was a steel grating system.  The bears could walk underneath us but had no way of getting to us.  Here’s two close-ups of the same bear.

polar bear, happiness, travel, adventure

Look at that paw, as big as a dinner plate

polar bear, happiness, travel, adventure

Look at that canine tooth, he was actually gnawing on a giant tire just outside the facility

The other thing to notice in the picture, in the lower left corner just past my elbow, you can see part of the railing on the platform.  I assure you I was absolutely safe, but had the thought I might actually be able to pull the shot off, ran to my room, got my phone and BAM, there it is.  A very happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Other Adventures with Rev Kane the World’s Most Dangerous Reverend  🙂

Traveling in the Middle East

Going to Mt. Everest

Swimming with Whale Sharks

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Traveling is Learning from Others

Traveling is Learning from Others

I always encourage people to get out there, travel the world, see new things, experience new people, experience new food, experience new culture.  What happens is it helps you to grow and to be your best self. ~ Karamo Brown

So I’ve been living in Mexico for almost two months and over this year have spent almost four months in foreign countries.  It’s been a wild and wonderful experience.  I’m fortunate in that I’m different from most people, wherever I am is home.  It really only takes being someplace for a few days for my mind to adapt to thinking this place is now home.  After two months in Oaxaca my mind really thinks that way about this place.

Perhaps the most awesome thing about traveling is all the learning that occurs.  In being in other places you see that things can and are done differently than they are done where you live.  Traffic is different, public transportation is different, food, speech the way people treat each other, customs, manners, etc… it’s sometimes uncomfortable and sometimes wonderful but always a learning experience.

Tonight I want to talk about some of the things I’ve been learning in Mexico.  First, politics, it’s an interesting time being an American in Mexico considering a lot of the political rhetoric that comes out of the Whitehouse these days about Mexicans and Latin American immigrants in general.  I can tell you, Donald Trump is not popular in Southern Mexico and I have been asked many times if all Americans dislike Mexicans. I assure them that my very presence should demonstrate to them that it is not the opinion of all Americans, but I’m honest as well and let them know that there is a segment of the US who is very distrusting of foreigners in general and Mexicans specifically due to the immigration issue and the political rhetoric around it.

The immigrant crisis that gets so much attention in the US is actually a much bigger issue for Mexico and in particular Southern Mexico as the countries most of these immigrants are fleeing from are on Mexico’s southern border.  The immigrant caravans flow through this part of the country from several directions heading for Mexico City six hours north of Oaxaca City.  Southern Mexico is one of the poorer regions of Mexico and people here have great sympathy for others who are struggling financially, especially for those who also are having to deal with oppression and violence.  Unfortunately like many Americans, people here wonder what the solution to the problem is and don’t have an answer.

mezcal, mescal, mexico

Sunset at the Mezcal Distillery

There’s another reason it’s been an interesting time politically to be here.  The outgoing Mexican president was really unpopular and generally considered corrupt.  People here are sick of government corruption.  I’ve had interesting conversations about the government and in particular the Mexican police force.  Tourists generally feel good about the police here, police who are highly visible in their trucks, on their motorcycles and on the street corners with their combat gear and assault weapons.  It takes a bit of getting used to, to regularly be walking by men and women holding assault weapons.  Locals I have spoken to tell me that the police are very nice to tourists, but are really tough and not typically fair to locals.  They tell me that the browner your skin, the more likely you are to be hassled by the cops here.

The country has just elected a new president whose largest promise and central campaign theme has been that he will eliminate corruption from the government of Mexico.  He’s a populist, promising less corruption, more jobs, less taxes (hmmm sounds familiar).  A segment of society is uber excited about the election of AMLO and see his presidency as a big change for Mexico.  Others, although happy to be rid of Pena Nieto, are cautiously optimistic and a couple have pointed out to me that AMLO sounds a lot like Trump and they don’t see the big changes in the US he said they would.  But time will tell and I really hope this is a turning point for Mexico, these people truly deserve a break.  I’ve come to really care for the folks here.  The people in Oaxaca have been incredibly gracious and patient with me.  The are almost exclusively hard-working blue-collar folks who don’t have a lot.  And as I’ve discovered all over the world, it’s very often those who have the least, who are the most generous and kind, Oaxaca has absolutely been no exception to that observation.

AMLO, president, mexico

The presidential inauguration broadcast publicly in the Zocalo

While in Oaxaca in language school I’ve had class with a lot of people.  Most have been from the US but others have been from Canada, Japan, Scotland and Turkey.  For me, one of the most interesting thing has been meeting Banu, from Turkey.  She’s also a traveler and writes an interesting blog, Gap in Time, that she writes, get this, in English, Spanish and Turkish.  It’s hard enough to keep up a blog in one language, to do it in three is a truly impressive accomplishment, jump over and check out her pieces on Cuba, they are really interesting.  She is the first Turk I have ever met, I’m sure I’ve driven her a little nuts with both my ignorance and questions about Turkey.  But it’s been fascinating to talk with her about the food, culture and politics of Turkey.  What I’ve learned most of all is that I really don’t know anything about Turkey and so it has now bumped a bit higher on my list of places to visit.  Especially since she turned me on to what looks like an amazing long-distance hiking trail, the Lycian Way.  So I’ve talked with Banu about visiting Turkey, particularly Istanbul where she lives and then traveling together to Cappadocia before spending some time on the trail.

cappacocia, turkey, travel

web shot of Cappadocia

One of the great things about being in the company of other travelers is learning about how to travel better.  We all have little tips and tricks we use, we all have different levels of finances.  So when you start talking the information sharing is really wonderful.  You learn about new places you hadn’t expected to want to go visit.  You even find out things about Oaxaca you didn’t expect because we all find different things while out exploring.

The final thing is that when you stretch yourself out beyond your comfort zone, not only do you learn about new places, cultures and people but you learn about yourself.  You answer a lot of questions about yourself.  How self-sufficient am I?  How am I under stress when things go wrong in a place where I know no one and don’t speak the language?  How deep are my emotional reserves?  How easily do I make new friends and acquaintances?  How well do I roll with the punches?  How much structure and planning do I need to feel comfortable? And on and on and on, it’s a beautiful thing.  For all of these reasons I continue as often as possible in this blog to encourage, recommend and even implore you to find a way to travel, to get out of your own comfort zone and discover how difficult and wonderful this world is, I do this because I know it will lead you to happy days my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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A Happy Vacation

A Happy Vacation


The first house I ever lived in

It’s good to be in your feelings, and it’s cool to be sad, and it’s cool to feel all of these feelings. ~Cuco

So I took a quick vacation back east over the last few days.  It was a quick and wonderful trip.  On the way back to the train station in Hudson, I snapped the picture above of the first house I lived in from age zero to two.  I love that it’s still the same light blue as it was back then.  I also miss the fall colors back east.  This trip was really full of an amazing array of emotions, definitely a bit of a nostalgia as I walked by my old home.

Brooklyn – Halloween

pizza brooklynAs you know if you know me, or read this blog, I LOVE pizza.  Especially NYC style pizza and being in Brooklyn for a couple of days meant that good pizza was everywhere.  From a whole pie for dinner at my brother’s place to slices on the streets as I walked between his place and my hotel.  There are fewer small perfect joys in my life than a couple of great slices and a coke.

pumpkin, brooklyn

On Kane Street, near where my brother lives, there are the famous staked out pumpkins.  The house has been doing it for over 15 years, so it was a must see stop for me since I was in the neighborhood.

brooklyn, halloweenThe absolute best part of my time in Brooklyn was getting to meet my littlest niece who is four months old.  She’s an absolute doll, and holding her was spectacular.  She smiled, cooed and laughed for me and although I was always madly in love with her via photo, she completely stole my heart in person.

I also got to go trick or treating for the first time in over forty years.  My two nephews who are almost four and six, were going as Transformers, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee to be exact.  I let them pick my costume so I was decked out in a full-body skeleton costume.  Brooklyn Heights on Halloween reminded me of my old neighborhood in the 70’s, full of children everywhere.  More accurately, my old neighborhood on steroids, there must have a thousand kids in the neighborhood, the streets where blocked off, it was amazing.

The weather absolutely cooperated, it was a pure Indian Summer night with temperatures in the 60’s.  They go all out on Halloween in Brooklyn, houses are decorated everywhere and lots and lots of people are out on their stoops with bowls of candy.  I spent the time with my four year-old nephew holding my hand and trying to navigate trick or treating.  He struggled with all of the steps at once.  He knew, say trick or treat, raise up his bucket, pick some candy if they don’t hand it to you and say thank you.  It was just that he didn’t necessarily get all the steps at any one house.  Luckily for him he’s absolutely adorable and so he was continuously forgiven and in many instances people gave him lots of extra candy.  My equally adorable six year-old nephew also raked in the candy although he was much more aggressive and sneaky in racking up the candy.

It was absolutely an incredibly special night for me.  Walking the streets with my little nephew depending on me, holding my hand and never ever not talking for a full 90 minutes was absolutely magical.  When we got back to the apartment my older nephew told me I could pick 4 pieces of his candy to have.  I love these two little rascals and it was really amazing to share this night with them and my brother, while my littlest niece napped at home with her mom.

Virginia – Wedding

On Friday I flew down to Virginia to attend the Saturday wedding of my friend Second Star.  Second Star was part of my Appalachian Trail Family.  In fact, of all of my hiking partners on the trail, I spent the most time with Second Star.  We spent 63 nights together on the trail and she features prominently in my book Appalachian Trail Happiness.  On the trail she joked after the hike, she’d get a job, find a military man and get married.  Well on Saturday she accomplished exactly that.  She’s found a wonderful guy and looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day.  It was like watching one of my sisters getting married and I was so incredibly happy for her.  The wedding site was beautiful, the weather perfect, the ceremony on a mountain was fun and amazing.  A really special day and I was honored to be there.




I wrapped up the trip by flying back from Virginia and then taking a train up north to the town of my birth, Hudson and to dinner with my mom, oldest sister and my two nieces.  My mom’s birthday is this weekend and it was a chance to buy dinner for her birthday.  A quick overnight trip, then back to NYC for the night and a plane to California in the morning.  Was able to snap the picture below from the train.

It was also a sad night as my youngest sister’s step dad passed away.  Bill was a great guy and he’ll be missed.

It’s important my friends to every once in awhile reach back and touch the past.  To hold on to the hand of your little nephew or hold your newest and littlest niece.  I can be a jaded and cynical human, but sometimes it’s really, really important and good for  your happiness to open up and let the emotions flow, and have some happy days with special people.  ~ Rev Kane

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Great Quotes & Good Laughs

Great Quotes & Good Laughs

01Laughter is the sun that drives the winter from a human’s face ~ Victor Hugo

So for my fun Friday post I’ve gotten a bit lazy this week and am posting a little early as  I’ll be traveling for the next couple of days, so a greatest hit run of pasts humorous and quote posts, enjoy and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Funny Internet Memes

Kids explain the meaning of Christmas

Funny baby memes

Funny baby memes part 2

Weird News & Evil Clowns

Happiness is Laughter: Pranks


Quotes, Quotes & More Quotes

Happiness Quotes

Inspirational Quotes about Life & Happiness

Quotes about Happiness, Gratitude & Kindness

Inspirational Quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh

The Poetry & Wisdom of Khalil Gibran

The Wisdom of Paulo Coehlo

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