May 29th 2013 011A couple of months before Robb was released on parole six years into his thirty-year federal sentence for the skyjacking of United flight 239, I rented a little house in an alley, in Reno.  He would be moving in there before I got back to town from my advanced meditation course at Cobb Mountain, California. My things were already in there, so all he had to do was add the waterbed and his own clothes and whatever he wanted to bring from his parents’ home.

This little house was owned by an older couple, who lived in the house next door. The man kept a dog in a chain link fence enclosure, where he picked at him so much and made him a very angry and scary animal. I guess that was the idea, to turn old Rufus into a real watch dog. It was not fun to have to walk by that pen to pay the rent and have him snarling and barking at us.

But the rental house worked for us, as it had two bedrooms, and a full, unfinished basement where Robb could do his welding work. He enjoyed making belt buckles from the abalone shells he had gathered from the sea on a trip we’d made to Ft. Bragg, CA, for one thing.  It was there we made our first home together, which plans had been delayed for seven years by this time, of course.  We got married shortly thereafter. 

Prior to that time, and after our parting when our marriage of seven years came to an end, I lived in many, many other little houses. Thus it has been a big relief to finally have my own cozy condo in Sedona, Arizona.  Sometimes the twists and turns on the path of life, just don’t turn out as we had wished or imagined. It’s been up to me to fill up my home with positive energy that makes all visitors feel welcomed and feel a sense of peace when they are here.  My twice-daily meditations continue to fuel my home atmosphere with that desired energy.

Thinking about the many abodes I’ve lived in, and pondering what a sense of “home” really means to me, I want to share with you one of my favorite poems.  I am sure you will see why I find it so moving, and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The House by the Side of the Road

by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears-
Both parts of an infinite plan;-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Photo of our little rented house in the alley and of me and Robb, back in the day.

 Photos of House in the Alley plus Robb and me back then