Save the Waystation

 

 

It goes without saying that tonight’s visit to the Wildlife Waystation made an indelible impression on me.  It was an experience that was so raw, so real; the atmosphere filled with a kind of love that was almost tangible.  The impact that these animals have on us and our connectedness to them is unquestionable.  With only a couple of feet separating you from presences so powerful, you can’’t help but see the stories behind their eyes.  Authentically present and heart-breakingly vulnerable, they stare back at you through the chain-linked fence, their souls so pure, so honest, so exposed yet so trusting of their surroundings. Unwilling and unable to avert their gaze, you can practically feel their breath on your face.  Each of these animals has its own unique story, but all have found themselves with a second chance at life here at the Waystation.  Martine Colette took in her first animal in 1965, inevitably leading to the inception of the Wildlife Waystation in 1976.  Over the years, she has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of exotic animals.  With boundless compassion, she currently houses over 400 animals, yet she has somehow found a way to love each one individually; naming all of them, hand-feeding some.  In fact, it’s not uncommon to find her walking her favorite tiger, Montana, around the property between snacks.  She has made it her mission to give these animals the lives they deserve: a protected existence, an opportunity to mature and flourish, with constant stimulation, entertainment, and most importantly, love.  In the past, the Waystation relied on private donors for financial support, but in recent years, as the economy worsened, the donations got smaller and smaller.  Even with the entire staff working on a volunteer basis, there is no longer enough money to keep the facility in operation.  Although devastating to think about, acknowledging the reality of the situation is the only way we can rise up and save the Waystation.  We need to be exposed to a kind of truth that is impossible to turn away from; a truth that finds living, breathing beings with the purest of souls facing an untimely and unfair end.  Plainly stated, without the funds, these animals will be put down.  The Waystation is their home.  There is nowhere else for them to go.  We are their only hope and we cannot let them down.  So now I’ll ask you, will you stand with me and help give these amazing animals the chance they deserve?  Can you give up your Starbucks for one day?  Are you willing to, just once, forego that fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant?  No amount is too small, every dollar makes a difference.  I truly hope you’ll consider making this difference with me.

 

Outside the Bookstore

There were only five people watching them play outside the bookstore that evening and we were amongst them. Although there was no stage, the illusion was created by the steps they were standing on, as they sang covers of songs that preceded their time.   Read more…

If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing.

I’ve recently started a new relationship with singing. Growing up, I was very self -conscious about singing, as I was always in the school choir, and the kids were just so cruel. Meaningless put downs morphed into lasting insecurities, which I carried with me all the way into my adult years. It wasn’t until I met Paul, with all of his love and encouragement, that I began to explore that area again. I’ve always loved to sing. As a child, I put on shows for my neighbors in my living room, and even started a “girl band” at the age of 7 with two of my best friends. In retrospect, I can’t think of a better form of expression for a child. Read more…

Camping with iPads

I woke up today, unzipped my tent, and walked over to my 12 year old little brother.  He was sitting by the pile of old firewood that was still smoking from the night before. What are you doing? I asked. I’m just on my iPad, he said. What are you doing on there? I asked. Nothing I’m just watching something on YouTube, he said. Read more…

Bean Bertha and Biscuit

Nothing compares to 5 week old puppy breath. That’s what I kept reminding myself as I sped through freeway traffic two Wednesdays ago to go pick up a litter of puppies that had been left in a box outside a shelter. Who does that sort of thing anyway?

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It was just the right kind of chilly

It was just the right kind of chilly, and the heels of my feet hurt from walking in my mother’s hand-me-down boots all day. We held hands and walked through the park, on our way to someplace to see something… Read more…

For you little butterfly

What journey has led you here, to rest in peace in the shadow beneath my chair? How long did you live and how high did you soar? How many people did you leave mesmerized by your intricate patterns? Your colors so magnificent, they drew me closer before I realized you were nothing but the shell of what you once were. Read more…

So…

Its officially official! I have a twitter and a facebook account! Woohoo I finally did it! It is… (drum roll please) @nikkireed_I_am

One Hundred Miles from Graceland

Once again it took ten hours and two flights to get to the south. Three of those hours were not spent flying, but rather sleeping on the airport floor in Charlotte waiting for a connecting flight. It was brutal, as was the line to get a chicken biscuit from Bojangles.

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Driving Into the Storm

I’ve never really experienced a natural disaster first hand. I was very young when the Northridge earthquake destroyed parts of Los Angeles, and I must have blocked most of it out of my mind. It’s true that I’ve sat wide eyed with my jaw to the floor as I read the news, or watched the TV as other parts of the world were hit by mother nature at her angriest. Read more…

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