There is something quite wonderful about letting go of plans and expectations to let unlikely influences come together in magical ways. Years ago when I started saying “yes to life”, I found I was having experiences that were beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’ve come to call them, “adventures of the unscripted kind”.
Sedona has become one of the places I can never get enough of, returning year after year. Its majesty and beauty is simply… beyond words. This year the place became equal partners with the incredible adventures I was about to have. Unplanned encounters with an amazing array of people. All with interesting stories of their own to share.
The Magic in Unrelated Things
There were two unrelated things that kicked off this round of adventures of the unscripted kind. Firstly, my daughter Lani was unable to join me on our yearly trip and I casually threw out, “I have an idea”, in an email to my long-time friend and fellow Aquarian singer/songwriter Kelita, who now lives on the other side of the country in Vancouver. “Why don’t you come to Sedona with me this year?” She had never been and I absolutely knew she would love it. Surprisingly she said “yes” and set in motion an incredible week together that we could never have planned. Even if we had tried.
Secondly, I had agreed to be part of a challenge during the month of October called #BetterYou, pledging to connect with people in person face to face and to spend more time in nature. Little did I realize how prophetic those intentions would become.
Unexpected Hiking Adventure
First day there, we joined a free hiking clinic offered by the generous spirited Greg of The Hike House. His yearly visits to his mother, a longtime Sedona resident, had him realize that his white collar corporate position in Texas, wasn’t fulfilling his passion and desire to live a life in nature. He decided to pack up his family and relocate to Sedona, opening his shop and café to serve the hikers who flock to Sedona to experience the multitude of trails within the area. Greg told us it would take 20 years to hike all of the 200 plus trails around Sedona. Impressive. A great reason to keep coming back too.
At the trail-head, just before the hike began, he called out to a passing woman, “Hi Terrie”. She cheerfully replied, then walked off to start her own hike. Greg mentioned that she owned the legendary house up on the hill above his shop and that she and her twin sister Jennie were the Doublemint Twins back in the late 60’s.
A Synchronistic Wrong Turn
Before we all moved out to follow a different trail, Terrie came back towards us and casually said, “Oops, I took a wrong turn.” Kelita stopped to talk with her and within a few minutes we had an invitation to come up and visit her at the house. Was there any possible answer but YES?
The house itself is the story of urban legends around Sedona. Called the House of Seven Arches it is also affectionately called “Lucy’s House”, as in comedienne and actress Lucille Ball. The stories can be elaborate or mere references, however, they all report that at one point in time, this was Lucille Ball’s house and she lived there.
Entering the house was like a nostalgic trip back in time. Movie and music memorabilia line the walls. Photos of Clark Cable and Marilyn Monroe hang over her newest and very prized possession, Lucille Ball’s piano, which Terrie just bought in February from Lucy’s nephew, Geoffrey. Terrie herself has had an amazing and illustrious entertainment industry career as a writer, singer, songwriter and musical theater writer (Dorothy Parker – Room Enough for Two), as did her sister Jennie who passed away in 2008. What Terrie Frankel is most proud of though, is being active in military causes and her recent honour of being inducted as Honorary Commander of the 944th Fighter Wing Squadron Medical Unit that shepherds wounded soldiers home from overseas.
House of the 7 Arches—the Legend Surrounding It
When asked about the legend surrounding the home, she told me “Lucy did not own this home, however someone in her family did. The Ball family believes that at one time Lucy owned the entire hillside that this home is built on. After she divorced from Desi, she had a lot of money and purchased a lot of property in this area. Although Lucy never owned the home, I have spoken with people who saw her here in the house for parties.” On the balcony which overlooks uptown Sedona, stands a red-haired “Lucy” mannequin that waves at the cars and jeep tours that drive up and down Schnebly Hill Road. It was fun on the day we visited to be on the balcony and be “live” wavers to the parade of jeeps driving back after their day of tours. Terrie said she had never actually done that before. The house also boasts one of only two Google EarthCam‘s in Sedona, which stream live images to the world.
Terrie is friendly and cherubic, with a generous heart and an open willingness to invite people in. It astonished me when she told us that very few people ever follow-up with her like Kelita and I did. Really?
Full Moon Drum Circle
A brief interaction with a lovely couple at a morning yoga class brought an invite to attend the full moon eclipse drum circle up on Cathedral Rock that overcast evening. It was the first time I had hiked in the dark by flashlight and was a fun way to celebrate, even if the moon wasn’t visible. After about an hour, as we were climbing back down, incredibly the moon emerged and we had a spectacular and unique experience of being illuminated by the light of the full moon.
Climbing up the knoll beside the Airport Road Vortex, I spied a lady who was wearing the only shoes I wear to walk and hike. Love my minimus shoes! A brief conversation and she confirmed they were her “only shoes” too. We hiked around the trail and on our way back, ran into them again. We stopped to have a wonderful conversation about art and writing; music and life. Patty, an artist, and Vernon, a writer, hailed from Hawaii and we immediately bonded over common interests revealed through conversation.
My Own Starbucks “Meeting” Story
You know those stories about how people meet at Starbucks? Uh-huh. Yes, we had one of those experiences too. Our usual spot to sit on the balcony overlooking the red rocks was filled this Friday morning, so we went to the more shaded balcony. It was filled as well. A man was getting up to take a photo of a young Japanese couple who were about to leave their table. They were happy to hold their Starbucks cups up while he took their picture with the magnificent red rock background.
Taking their now vacant table, a conversation just flowed between the three of us. He had a gentle soft-spoken energy and wonderful welcoming blue eyes and it seemed easy and natural to talk about a variety of topics. During the course of our meandering conversation, the fact that I’m a writer came up and he mentioned his new neighbor had also written a book and was now in a place, like many of us authors end up, questioning “Now what?”
Authors on the Same Page
Roger thought it would be wonderful if Kim and I could meet, so he suggested dinner at his place that night. The invitation to an almost home-cooked meal, compliments of Whole Foods, (he had literally just relocated to Sedona that day), did manifest and the four of us had an amazing and delightful evening of sharing stories, lively engaged conversation and much laughter. And Kim had written her book at a later version of the same writing retreat I’d written my book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie, at. Also in Sedona. Turns out she knew several of the same people I did too. Small world.
When I told my daughter I was going to dinner at a man’s house that I’d met at Starbucks, her reaction made me smile. She asked if this was some “random man”. Maybe. However, over the course of the next week he and I had many conversations, times in nature together and lovely dinners. And I had a longtime wish come true, as he graciously took me on an off-road adventure up Schnebly Hill Road, something you can’t easily do in a rental car. Although we come from different backgrounds and perspectives on science and spirituality (he has a science background and I do not) it felt to me like all the cosmic puzzle pieces had fallen into place in that moment, in that place, on that day, allowing our worlds to collide as they did.
Dare to Say “Yes to Life”
These are only a few of the people I met. Maybe I’ll write part two, to share more of the wonderful people I had the pleasure to meet in person, face to face this month. It amazed me how the intention I set before I came, manifested perfectly on this trip.
It started me thinking how so often we miss the moments that could become memories in our lives, because we don’t stop and see them as an opportunity. We all have interesting stories to share, I believe. That to me is what being human is really all about. It’s as simple as taking the time to stop and listen to one another. To really listen with open ears and share with an open heart. I can only encourage everyone to say “yes” more than you say “no”. To sometimes let go of plans and expectations and let life flow. Go out and make some memories. Dare to live your life as one big adventure…of the unscripted kind.
What a fun adventure! I love your openness to let things unfold. You are an inspiration Beverley!
A. Lynn Jesus recently posted…Wait… Where Am I? O’ Yeah… the PRESENT!
Thanks for seeing the fun in this amazing time I had in Sedona, A.Lynn. And yes, we just let it all unfold however it wanted to unfold. Appreciate hearing that you see some inspiration in this too.
Lovely story. I see why, you are so interested in people and there for you attract them. You are interested in what makes the unique.
Heather Cameron recently posted…7 Accelerators to Double Your Income: The Plus One – Profit Margin and Q&A
Thanks so much for that observation Heather. Yes, I have a keen and genuine interest in people and perhaps that is why they are attracted to me. People sense that I have a real and authentic interest in them and their lives. Appreciate you joining in this conversation!
Live and let live! That seems to be what you did during your week in Sedona. You have described an amazing and interesting adventure. It is so interesting what can happen when you allow yourself to interact with total strangers. I love how you have shared your week. Thank you.
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Thanks so much for seeing the interesting adventures we experienced during our week in Sedona. It was amazing to let go and let live and to see what incredible people showed up to interact and share with. And thanks for appreciated how I shared the week, and you are welcome.
I love Sedona Beverely and it seems it is an extra special place for those unexpected serendipitous moments that change lives. And it takes someone “agreeing” to them…which you do so beautifully!
Keep on taking it all in and allowing!
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I am with you 100% on loving Sedona Mama Red Knight! It might be the place and maybe setting the intentions also allowed this trip to be filled with wild and wonderful adventures of the unscripted kind. And saying “yes” and letting them all in, was the perfect way to experience the journey this time. Thanks for joining in the conversation too!
Beverley – what a wonderful journey towards “a better you.” I love your suggestion of an unscripted journey. I spend too much time over-thinking things and as you point out may thus be missing out on the opportunity to make memories. Thank you for the nice reminder of the joys of just letting go.
Thanks so much Ines. Yes, this journey was perfect for me to fulfill my “betteryou” intentions. And this idea of staying unscripted totally is new for me too, as I have spent a lot of time planning and thinking and orchestrating just how things would unfold. Of course, life happens just as it is meant to and in the letting go, we allow so much more than we could have ever imagined to actually come to us. Thanks for joining in the conversation here!
Thank you for sharing your journey Beverley! And love reading through these comments too! It has been about 10 years since I was in Sedona and I thank you for the memories in some cases, and the view through your eyes.
Thanks for reading and so happy that some of these experiences I shared brought you back to your memories of spending time in Sedona, Cheryl. It is a magical place for sure and one of those places that just make it easy to make wonderful lasting memories. And yes, some of the comments are lovely to read too. I always love to see what pops for people when they are reading. Thanks for joining in the conversation!
Beverley, this feels like a continuation of your book. Its the same woman with a zest for life, people and adventure. I imagine anyone meeting you would fall in love with you or at least enjoy your company and want to be around you. Thanks for introducing us to these great people along the trail.
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That is very interesting for me to hear from you, Roslyn. I never thought of myself in the stories in my book, as the way I am now. I am actually delighted to hear that the essence of who I am and have always been comes through that way. It was a pretty magical time in Sedona and I am not sure any of it would have happened if my dear friend, Kelita had not joined me this time. I am not generally a person to do things on my own and might have missed most of these experiences if on my own. Glad you enjoyed a bit of the wonderful people I met along the trail!
How exciting Beverley! And how fortunate you were able to have such wonderful experiences. I have a friend, Lee Schnebly, yes her husband is from “the” Schnebly family. They live in Tucson. Sedona is such a wonderful place. I’m going to make sure that in the not too distant future I will return and spend some time enjoying the wonders it holds.
Thanks so much for reading the piece Meli. I thought you would find some of the experiences quite unbelievable. That is very interesting to hear about your friend who is married to a descendent of the original Schnebly family. I bet they have some great stories and memories too. Would love to have a conversation with them. And yes, I would definitely plan a trip if you can arrange it. Sedona is just one of those places to take advantage of, especially if you live close enough to visit whenever you want to. Thanks for joining in the conversation here!
I have been to Sedona a couple of times and truly enjoyed our stay in such a beautiful area. We took tons of photos since we love capturing those incredible rustic mountains. Didn’t know the story about the urban legends around Sedona called the House of Seven Arches and that Lucille Ball owned a lot of property in that area. Now next time we go to Sedona, we will look for that home and see if we see a red-haired “Lucy” mannequin that waves at the cars and jeep tours that drive up. What a great story!
It’s hard not to take a lot of photos in Sedona, Dru. And the photos barely capture what the experience is like being there. People who see the photos are still amazed at the grandeur and beauty. And yes, this story and the house are told by the jeep drivers, the trolley drivers and just about everyone who ever drives by the home. It looks like a resort when it is lit up at night. Next time you go to Sedona, you are sure to see the house and hear the many stories that are spun about it. Remember to wave at the red-haired “Lucy” too. Glad you enjoyed the story!
Letting God Lead the way can give us wonderful experiences.
Debbie recently posted…End of summer business
It is really as simple as trusting that we will be led exactly where we are meant to go. Thanks for joining in the conversation Debbie!
Sedona is such a beautiful place. The experience that you are getting from this will always be wonderful I know. Great adventure
Sedona was pretty awesome, Veronica, and the adventures were really beyond words. Experiences that might just last a lifetime, as you mentioned. Thanks so much for being in the conversation!
That’s a hard act to follow, but Meli and I are going to try!!!
Each day and each person brings an entire new set of adventures Tina. Glad that you and Meli will be one of my new face to face in person experiences on this trip!
What a wonderful experience. Sometimes the best and most amazing things happen when we let go and allow life to flow to us. Take in all that is around us and make beautiful memories.
Meryl Hershey Beck recently posted…10 Keys to Increasing Happiness
Thanks so much Meryl! I am experiencing more and more in my life that the moment I let go and allow whatever is coming towards me in, my adventures are becoming quite marvellous and often beyond words.