Monthly Archives: August 2014

TRAVEL IMPRESSIONS – Long Beach, California

Friday, August 29th – marked a new chapter in my life. (Pardon the writer’s cliche, but it just seemed appropriate here!) I left the old working life behind and embarked a a new, retired phase. How wonderful I could kick-start this part of my life with a dream vacation, a trip of a lifetime — to the South Pacific Islands!

First stop – Cali.

When I boarded the plane in Salt Lake City, the connection between Atlanta and Long Beach, I walked onto the plane through one of the accordion tunnels we all know so well. But when I landed in LGB, the cabin door opened to bright sunshine, fresh air, pleasant temperatures, and a blue sky adorned with puffy white clouds.

I have to admit I felt a sense of euphoria walking down the roll-away staircase to the terminal. I use italics here, because it took me about two minutes to cross the A/B terminal and out through the doors marked Baggage Claim — right into that dazzling sunshine again. Signs led me to the where I could collect my suitcase (all still outside) and … voila! There it was! On the conveyor belt heading my way! Anyone who’s experienced the mysteries of the gargantuan Atlanta airport can appreciate my awe.

With the assistance of a very helpful Jet Blue agent (I flew in on Delta), a Skycap who was wheeling another passenger in a wheelchair, a policeman guarding our safe crossing to the other side of the street, and a very nice taxi driver, we made it to our hotel in Long Beach. Many thanks are owed at the Hilton, too, for a helpful, courteous, and friendly staff.

Right outside the hotel, we hopped the Long Beach Passport bus, a free ride that takes you around the town to all the tourist attractions, as well as some of the more residential areas. We dropped off at the Queen Mary for a short tour, and then caught the bus again to the Shoreline Drive shopping area for a delicious dinner at Tequila Jack’s.  Another fantastic experience with yummy food, a funny and friendly wait staff, and a water view to ooh and aah over.

Temperatures were in the low 70s with little to no humidity, so we elected to walk the mile-and-one-half back to the hotel. You learn a lot about a city by riding a bus or walking the streets. While I’m sure Long Beach has its own dark side (all cities do), what we saw and experienced here blew away every preconception I had of California. I came expecting earthquakes (they had one a few days before we arrived, one that did some serious damage north of here), plastic people (Hollywood ain’t that far away, folks), squalor, and definitely gangs. Street thugs. Didn’t see nary a one.

The streets in Long Beach are wide, as are the sidewalks. The city is clean andlong-beach-aquarium_2 well kept, with a very large park area near the water. A few people lounged on blankets, soaking up the sun. Totally not crowded, not on the bus, the streets, or the shops. Drivers obey the law, even to giving over the right of way to pedestrians in or out of the crosswalks. We saw families walking, couples strolling, dog walkers with the doody-bags in hand, lots of bicycles — all smiling and with a friendly wave or hello. There was no barking, yelling, or car horns, although we did hear one firetruck wailing. All the cars pulled over to the let it go by. The only loud music we heard spilled from a couple of bars we passed, but no lewd or drunken behavior.

Long Beach is nice, a respectable little town that I enjoyed immensely. A real melting pot of nationalities, all living in harmony and with a lot of pride.

Kudos to you, Long Beach. I can’t wait to come back.

Heartbreak — The Way of the World Today

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to offend anyone, but my heart is heavy with the need to say this.

The horror stories are coming fast and furious now, tales of Christians being killed, about the Yazidi’s extermination because of their beliefs, of defenseless women and children tortured and beheaded for a cause.  Tragedy, atrocity, heinous acts, reprehensible acts, abject evil — this is the state of the world today.

And yet, here in the United States of America, arguably the greatest nation on earth,  we grieve for a man who took his own life.

Robin Williams WAS a talented comedian, some might even say genius or brilliant. I have no argument with that. He WAS a great entertainer. I enjoyed his movies and laughed at his jokes. That he had a darker side is not in dispute; most of us do. I don’t question his medical instability; I have friends who suffer–SUFFER–with depression. That’s not my point.

It’s the Facebook messages and news stories that get to me. They speak of “rest in peace, Robin” and “you’re free now” — all gratuitous lip service.  Robin Williams committed suicide. There is no way he’s resting in peace or free of anything. He’s dead. He gave his life away…while the Yazidi’s lives are being taken forcibly. Is it just me, or is there something wrong with this picture?

If you are not a Christian,  then you know the living, breathing body that WAS Robin Williams is dead. It will decay and putrefy, and eventually return to dust. The essential essence that made him so special — his living, breathing spirit — is gone. Dead people don’t feel, not peace and not freedom.

If you are a Christian, well, you know how the story ends. Peace? Freedom? For believers, yes.


On Retirement…

Fourteen years … long years … productive years .. .memorable years …

That’s how long I’ve worked at my current job. To last that long in one place today means it was a mutually beneficial relationship — or we all got stuck in a rut. For me, it’s been very positive. Let me count the ways: my bosses, the people, the opportunities, the work, the appreciation, stretching my limitations, expanding my horizons, making friends, finding goofballs, some funny and some not-so-funny — all in all, a decade+ of experience.

They say (whoever “they” really is) that all your experiences mold you into the person you’ve become. I’m thankful to have been surrounded by some very wonderful, kind, caring, and professional people.

I thought it would be difficult to leave, but I know now it would be more difficult to stay. I’ve always heard you know when it’s time, and I did. I do. Leaving will be bittersweet, but it’s time to open a new chapter and begin a new phase of life. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, but excitement trumps trepidation every time!

There’s so much going on in my life right now with my debut book launch, training a replacement, wrapping up projects, South Pacific Islandretiring from a full-time job, and a going off with my honey on a dream cruise to the South Pacific. How could I NOT have the fidgets?

I say Bring It On!

I’m ready to tackle it all because My God created all this. He planned my life and is big enough to handle what the world  throws His way.

Imperfect Wings … Now available on Amazon!

Imperfect Wings by Elizabeth Noyes — Published by Write Integrity Press — Now available on Amazon in hard copy and Kindle format:

Evil stalks TJ McKendrick. 

Three years ago, TJ buried her estranged father. Needing answers, she heads to Honduras where he was murdered. While there searching for clues, TJ  witnesses something she shouldn’t have.

Imperfect Wings front cover FINALNow, she’s running for her life from a high-profile U.S. politician who wants her silenced and a crazed drug lord intent on doing the deed. After her top secret file is compromised and her hiding place is revealed —              Who can she trust?

The last thing Garrett Cameron wants is another woman disrupting his life. His past is filled with violence. Love was never meant for someone with secrets like his, but when the sassy vixen that sabotaged his top secret mission in Central America shows up at his Idaho ranch, running for her life —        What’s a man to do?

Can TJ relinquish past hurts and learn to trust again? Will she lower her defenses for the one man who sees past the mask she wears?

Darkness stains Garrett’s soul. Does he dare expose his true nature and risk losing the only woman to ever  touch his heart?

As attraction ignites and fans into flame between them, TJ and Garrett put their faith in God and their trust in each other to face off against a deadly threat.

If you enjoyed Imperfect Wings, please leave a Review on Amazon so others will know. If you don’t like it, send me an email so I can take your opinion into consideration for future books. Thanks! – En