Brad Causey
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The Freedom Letter
v1n7
What Does Heaven Look Like?
7/24/2001
This is the last of my Southern California updates. I have received a few positive comments from some of you. I appreciate that they have been read! Thank you.
As I write this, I am safely back in Nashville. The cat (Motley) is very happy I am home. The two dogs (Adolf and Millie) appear content also.
Speaking of heaven, I think I now know what it looks like. Not knowing whether I deserve to go or not, seeing something similar is comforting. I am speaking of Santa Barbara, California. The Pacific Ocean, white beaches, mountains in the distance, lots of green grass and trees. It is also named after my Mother! I hope heaven looks like this. Santa Barbara is about 100 miles north of LA. Right on the coast. A very "up scale" community.
We ventured up there on Sunday the 22nd. On the weekends they have street vendors who set up along the "boardwalk." The boardwalk is a grassy area between the beach and the main street through the city. Everything for sale from etched plexiglass to custom made belts. I naturally enjoyed the dogs who were able to come along with their human companions. There is a large wooden wharf which extends some distance out into the water before the Marina. A collection of small shops and restaurants. We walked all the way out to the end of the pier. Before we got to the end the most extraordinary thing happened. A full size Pelican landed right on the platform. He naturally grew quite a crowd. He then proceeded to clean himself from head to toe. He then wandered around for a while looking for some easy grub. An amazingly graceful creature. Granted, they are ugly, but majestic also. I have seen a lot of birds in my life. I have never before seen a Pelican this close. Later, a couple of his friends showed up. They also cleaned up for a while, then either went to sleep or begged some food from the fisherman. Truly an amazing sight. Don said he had been there many times in the past, but had never seen a Pelican land, and then mingle with humans.
We got back in the truck and drove through the Santa Ynez valley. Beautiful farms and mountains. A lake, carved from the elements. We ate lunch in Solvang. An old Danish settlement with shops and windmills. After getting back on Highway 101 to head home, we actually experienced "normal" southern California traffic. In other words, there may be six lanes, but it is still at a standstill. What took us an hour and half in the morning, took a good four hours in the afternoon. Fortunately, we each had a reservoir of good jokes to keep the other amused. Don let me drive the S-10 in the afternoon. Since he was white and hanging on to the dashboard, I think he may regret it! Come on now, it really wasn't that bad, was it?
About the only thing negative I can say about Santa Barbara is that I found a homeless guy washing his clothes in the public bathroom. Makes me believe in capital punishment for minor offenses! Ha!
Some final thoughts. Most of you probably don't know that I was born in Northern California. Palo Alto, to be exact. Although I understand the allure of the ocean and the virtually perfect weather, I am glad I do not live there now. California is one of the best places to visit on earth, but, I have come to enjoy the green trees and clean air of my current home. My friend Don Sands, is one of the finest people on earth. He seemed to enjoy putting up with me for a full week! Thanks, Don! To Nancy and Gary, Tim from the Orange Elks, and Pat and Dale, thank you very much for your hospitality. Until next summer....
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