Friday, March 04, 2011


I have been unable to leave the United States for five days.
Last Sunday morning seems a long long way off.
And I was scared.
There were many tears and disappointments as my birth certificate took three days instead of one night to arrive.
But as I finally sit here in the Vancouver airport after being away for nine days instead of four.
I have a few things to share with you.

The world is full of kindness.
And you will never know when your kindness will truly change the course of someone's day.

The meal above was eaten at the Daily Cafe in Oceanside, CA.
The waitress who served me, kept calling me friend every time she asked me if I needed something.
It was surprisingly cool on this particular afternoon, so she asked a server to turn on the patio heater for her friend, as she motioned towards me.

She made sure everything about my meal and coffee and comfort was looked after.
And on a day when I felt very much alone and worried she made me feel less so.

And she will never know, who I was, or how her words and actions made a difference in my life.

This little Carslbad Inn was a godsend.  Thank you Tyler for recommending it.
The large staff soon learned I was the mom without her passport.
Every single person I encountered was wonderful and helpful.
They even upgraded my room at no cost.
It was such a cheerful and bright place to return too. 
The smiles and looks of concern were there no matter who I spoke to.
For this little oasis, I was ever so thankful.

This is Debbie.  
She was an angel for me.
I met Debbie at the GoPro workshop, and when she found out through facebook of my predicament.
She called me immediately and offered me her home and her time.
But I needed to be at the address given to UPS.
She was willing and ready yesterday morning to drive to Los Angeles with me, to apply for a temporary passport, if that was what I decided I needed to do.

She spent an afternoon with me enjoying a wonderful lunch, 
and showing me some of the most beautiful locales.
We talked photography and I knew if I needed anything she was only a phone call away.
And phone calls, she did get : )
I spoke with her several times and also asked her husband for advice when I needed to decide to try for a passport in Los Angeles, and/or find a way to cross the border by ground.

This is Nikki and her baby boy Oliver, who is blowing me a kiss. (See what I mean abou the kindness?)
She was also an angel for me.
I also did not know her before last Thursday and she truly is the reason I am on my way home tonight.
She had immediately offered for me to come to Seattle the very moment I realized my passport was gone.

And when I finally learned I had been given incorrect information, and would not be able to board an international flight without a passport, The Agronomist and I came up with a plan.
I would take Nikki up on her offer and fly to Seattle, then take a bus to Vancouver where my birth certificate and driver's license would suffice at the ground border crossing.
I would then fly home via Vancouver.

Nikki picked me up at the airport last night, had supper ready, and treated me like a friend she had known all her life. The picture above was taken at 6:45 this morning, as we were preparing to leave for the bus station

This trip taught me many things.
When someone is in need, it brings out the best in people.
Humankind is intrinsically good.
Kindness can be found everywhere.

It made everything very clear for me.

I've learned without a doubt that the only thing that matters is family and friends.
Without them, nothing has any colour or meaning.

My home is where my heart is.
I can't wait to hold my girls and The Agronomist.
And you can be sure... I will not be letting go for a very long time!

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  1. Dana, I'm overjoyed for you about right now. I know how happy you are to be on your way home to family. Appreciation for family and friends takes on a whole new meaning when you're at the mercy of others. I'm happy I could be here for you. You're welcome in our home anytime...

    Many blessings to you and your family.

  2. It sounds like those people knew exactly what to do . I'm happy for you.

  3. I always expect to laugh...not cry when I read your blog Dana! Such a sweet and heartfelt post. I'm so glad so many people showed you kindness in your time of need.
    The inn you stayed at looks beautiful.
    Have a wonderful weekend with that sweet family of yours! I bet they have missed you terribly.

  4. what a heart warming post. I'm glad you are home safe and sound, and that you also had the opportunity to let the goodness of people colour your life for a few days. I will look around me now with a rosier glow, and try to be a kinder person. Thanks Dana

  5. I have been on pins and needles waiting to hear you are going home safe and sound. I am so sorry there wasn't more I could do.

  6. I'm glad my fellow citizens treated you right, Dana! Makes me proud.


    PS. And I'm so happy you are home again!!! (I just got home today, too, from a 16-day vacation, and I cannot wait to see my husband when he gets home from work tonight.) We are both going to have very happy reunions...

  7. Oh my goodness what an ordeal! I'm so glad to hear you're back at home again, but also so happy that you had many angels to make your detour more bearable.

  8. Oh Dana - how beautiful is this. And you. And them. How perfect humanity can really be.

    Wishing you safe travels on the last part of your journey home.

  9. what a journey! so glad you are on your way home!

  10. But it made for quite a story.

    Glad you are on your way home. Can't wait to see the extra pictures you took with the xtra time you had.

    AND: look at all the kindness you were able to witness.

  11. What a crazy experience you have had!! All you wanted to do was learn to improve your photography and you got adventure galore. You are quite the trooper!!

  12. Christine BTMarch 04, 2011

    I really do believe that you get what you give.

    Even though your passport was lost and this caused you much grief, the flip side was that your new acquaintances, now friends, got to meet you and forge ahead with a friendship at a speed and depth that otherwise might not have happened. The outpouring of helping hands that were extended to you, my friend,is a testament and in direct proportion to what you always show and teach other people.

    So I believe that you get what you give.

    You are one of the kindest people I have ever met. It never surprises me that you take beautiful photographs that resonate truth because truth and beauty are naturally how you see things. This is rare. So are you. I smile in your direction and am very glad you are home again, but also I am glad that these people had the opportunity to meet you and now count you among their friends.

    Sleep well. I know you will!

  13. What a lovely story of kindness and generosity.
    Stories like this make me hopeful...hopeful that I have brought my children into a world that is good.
    Thank you for sharing and I wish you a peaceful trip home.

  14. It is so amazing how people - strangers - will rally around someone in need. I'm so happy that you met some fine people to help you get back home! Safe flight home tonight!!!!! ((Hugs))

  15. So glad you made it home! I bet your family missed you so much. I can't imagine.

    I love how such simple acts of kindness can have such a positive effect. Glad this crazy adventure you were on led to overall good feelings.

  16. Dana! So glad to hear you're on your way back home. I found out about your predicament a few days ago and it's been weighing heavy on my heart. It's awesome that our fellow GoPro's were able to ferry you back to the border.

    What an ordeal!

    There truly is... no place like home.

  17. Dana, this is a beautiful story from your heart-wrenching journey home. I love being surprised by the kindness of strangers. I am so glad you have pleasant memories from all this!

  18. How wonderful to hear about the kindness in the world, thank you for sharing it. Glad you made it home finally, I'm sure your family is so happy to see you!

  19. thanks for sharing this Dana. . .

    Considering all that is going on the world today, it's a breath of fresh air to recognize the good that happens daily!

    Glad you are on your way home...

  20. What a great adventure. And I want that meal in the first picture. Right now.

  21. Dana, I'm so glad these angels crossed your path when you needed them. The world can be a wonderful place!

  22. Oh my goodness - this has been one heck of a saga for you!
    Hopefully as I write this you have finished your bus trips and flights and are happily ensconced with your family.

    Am so glad that the right people were there to look after you along the way too and the hotel looks lovely.

  23. What lovely angels God placed across your path just when you needed them.

    I didn't know that you could still use a driver's license and birth certificate to get across the border by vehicle.

  24. What a wonderful tribute to the power of kindness, showing us all through your ordeal how our actions and words can make a difference, even when we're unaware.

    I'm so thankful all turned out OK and that you are heading back home to your family.

  25. Oh girl, this warms my heart. Really.

  26. Oh my gosh! I am such a spaz. I just now got around to reading your blog! I had no idea you were in California. For some reason, I thought you were in Chicago and lost your passport there. I so would have come down and rescued you!!!!! I feel terrible Dana. You were here and I could have helped you . . . and I didn't read what was happening!!!!!

    I am so glad that you found people to help you. That is just one long time to be stranded. Nine days!!! I still can't believe it!!!

    I hope you can forgive me. I need to email you my phone number in case you ever get stranded here again. Hope all is well now. Send me your email address again. Mine is


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