Don’t Give Me Maui or Disneyland. Give Me This…


Last week, my husband and I drove over the glorious Cascade Highway, to a small city with wooden sidewalks.

But that ‘s not the punch line here.

The dreamiest gift on our vacation wasn’t a big, splashy location like Disneyland. I’ve certainly experienced some so-called “magnificent” experiences like living on Maui.

I swam in a school of fish while on Maui, and saw the California sights while living there. Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and Palm Springs with all the glitter and glitz.

But my soul smiled brightest when I watched the squirrel living in an apple tree outside the cabin we rented in Winthrop, Washington. Worldly wealth, palm trees dancing the hula on the beaches of Maui*, and eating poi doesn’t cause the sunlight of my soul to sparkle like a dozen diamonds.


I prefer the amusement of a squirrel who stores his apple tightly lodged between branches. The furry little critter crawled to the ground, grabbed an apple and ate it right to left. Then, like an old-fashioned typewriter, he ate in the opposite direction.

Eventually, the – dare I say “rodent” – carried his meal up the tree to save for snack time. He replayed this scene a few times while we rented the cottage.

As I told my husband, I know some people who aren’t quite that smart.

I learned volumes from this sweet creature, and maybe you can hear his heart as well:

Use the gifts available to you. Sometimes the loveliest treasures are in your own apple tree.

Tap into your strengths. Stop focusing on perceived talents and treasures of others. You are more blessed than you can grasp.

Persevere. Whether you’re writing a book, climbing Mount Si, or raising a child, perseverance pays off.

God will provide for your needs, one day, one apple at a time.

Enjoy your gift of today. One bite at a time.

So you can choose your dream vacation. Take Disneyland, and surf on the beaches of Maui. I know Paradise doesn’t reside on this planet, as I’ve lived in Palm Springs, and on Maui.* Yet sometimes the Paradises in life contain sharks.

I know that true gifts often reside in the present,

Under the apple trees of life.~

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This isn’t the squirrel in my journey. Couldn’t get his pic, as he scared easily. But this one, who snagged a croissant at my mom-in-law’s 90th birthday party, wasn’t camera shy. Go figure! 😉


  • For my journey on Maui, read my book. Find it on the link above.

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