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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Words To Live By

~Saturday, October 22, 2022~

Day 860 (Travel Day)

It was a 5-hour day of driving with a destination of Weed, CA to break up our 500+ miles to get to Napa. But before we hit the road, I made sure to drop off a plate of cookies to Rob and his staff to thank them for their warm hospitality. They were grateful and hungry! About 2 hours into our drive, the temperatures plummeted and the skies darkened when we encountered snow and hail, but not enough to worry about.

Crossing the state line from Oregon to California, the pain at the pump happened all over again with the average price of diesel hovering around $6.40/gallon, reminiscent of our time in Alaska. Good thing we won’t be doing a lot of sightseeing while in the Golden State. It feels really strange to be back to the familiar again, but we welcome it all the same. 10 months is a long time to be away from our dear family and friends.

Around 5:00, we arrived at our Harvest Host location of Mount Shasta Brewing Co. In all these months of using Harvest Host, never have we seen a welcome sign for members directing you where to go. But what a great idea. Once we pulled into the parking lot, we just weren’t sure where they wanted us exactly. The parking lot wasn’t that big and wanted to make sure we left enough room for whoever else was going to need a spot. When I went inside to check in, they were hosting a craft fair with live entertainment, so it seemed the perfect place to be on a Saturday. Being the first ones to arrive of the 3 Harvest Host guests, we had free reign of where to put the rig.

After our minimal setup and a few showers, we were ready to head on over to the brewery only to arrive to a much quieter scene than the one I saw earlier. And, it was a Saturday night. Where was everybody? We each ordered a beer and an appetizer of salad and a large soft pretzel. We chose our spot right next to the shuffleboard table where a very nice couple was also seated. We ended up hearing all about their upcoming 3-week road trip to Canada from their hometown of Livermore. They were also very forthcoming about their ages, he, 83 and she, 77 and deservedly proud of their 53 years together. Jeff and I would have never guessed those numbers based on how young they looked and acted. Then he asked us if we’d ever seen the Clint Eastwood movie called “The Mule”. Jeff had seen it, but I hadn’t. He went on to explain a song in the movie that held a very special meaning for him, named “Don’t Let the Old Man In”, written by Toby Keith. So much so that he became teary-eyed just talking about it. Here is a little background story on the song. Toby is a frequent guest at Clint Eastwood’s Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, and as a result became friends over the years. In one particular conversation, Toby asks 90-year old Clint what he’s got planned for the week to which Clint replies, “Well, I have a movie I’m starting tomorrow…..’ya know, ‘ya gotta wake up everyday with a sense of purpose…..don’t let the old man in”. And the rest is history. To witness a complete stranger getting emotional over a song, it must be well worth listening to. Now I see why he believes in its message so much. He leads his life similarly. This is my favorite verse:

“Many moons I have lived

My body's weathered and worn

Ask yourself how would you be

If you didn't know the day you were born”

I guess we were meant to cross paths with this lovely “young at heart” couple hearing their special message and delivering one more piece of advice…..”If you use the word ‘anymore’, take it out of your vocabulary right now!’ He’s right. It’s like ‘letting the old man in’. It was a pleasure meeting them.

Since the salad and pretzel were not going to quite cut it for dinner, we ordered a small pizza for me and a Bratwurst sandwich for Jeff, then got to our shuffleboard game. I was doing great up until point 14, then completely lost my competitive mojo the rest of the way to 20. I’d like to blame it on not having enough shuffleboard wax on the table or on the only beer that I had. A little more practice perhaps?

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