Wow! What a ride!

[Please click to hear my audio version of this blog post: Wow! What a ride!]

Today I began a new project: a podcast. They tell me it’s like a blog with audio. Or, if you prefer, T.V. without the pictures. I got this thing handled. Here’s what you can expect: life as I see it. It’s not a cancer podcast. It’s not a life-is-the-same-for-loren-the-way-it-was-6-weeks-ago podcast. It’s a this-is-the-quirky-way-I-view-life podcast. Hopefully, it will be insightful, irreverent…and occasionally funny. Any of you who have gone through a “life changing experience” probably already understand the things I’m now learning. Everything you do—no matter how ordinary—is viewed in a new light. Time speeds by because there are suddenly so many things we want to do now that we are aware of a possible expiration date.

Some weird examples come to mind—I’ve had a German Shepherd by my side since childhood. I’ve literally never been without one. The hardest part of owning any dog is when they get old and die. Ayla, my beautiful and devoted canine shadow, is at that age where I start to worry how long she has. For the first time in my life the thought occurred to me—which one of us will go first? Don’t get me wrong—I’m not giving up and never will. I will be dragged kicking and screaming from this body (despite its’ many flaws). Those are just the kind of thoughts that now come up.

This last weekend Susie and I took the new R.V. to our favorite beach. Susie spent the time talking to real estate clients, doing paperwork and chilling. I meditated and stared at the ocean with an urgency I had not felt before. I was rewarded by something I hope to see a thousand more times. A pod of pacific white-sided dolphins appeared directly in front of us, where a small wave was curling. They stayed in that spot for 3 hours, surfing the incoming swell and jumping back through the waves as they broke. I mentioned the specific kind of dolphin for a reason (not just to be Mr. Science). These are a pelagic species rarely seen near shore. They are about half the size of a bottlenose dolphin and far more athletic. Eco-geek that I am, I wanted to run up and down the beach stopping Frisbee players, romantic couples and family units to shout “DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT’S GOING ON RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU?!”

For me, time just keeps speeding past. I don’t want to miss another sunset, another milestone in my kids’ lives. I’m not pushing for grandkids but I don’t want to miss them if they come. I want to see my boy’s name up in lights and see both my girls achieve all that they dream. It’s weird how time takes on new meaning—and it’s not a bad thing. Suddenly, no moment is wasted and there is no time to dwell on the negative. I know that many of you figured this stuff out long ago. I’m just so happy to have joined your fraternity of enlightenment.

Let me leave you with a final thought I borrowed from Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”



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56 comments on “Wow! What a ride!
  1. Ani says:

    Hello Loren & Loren Followers…….
    FYI: I work at Scripps & we received this notice in our work email:

    The American Cancer Society continues the fight against this second leading cause of death in the U.S., and you can help by enrolling in its latest research study called Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). Enrollment is free and will take place at various locations throughout the San Diego area from March 10 to March 23.
    By joining CPS-3, you can help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which will ultimately save more lives.
    To find out where you can enroll for the study and schedule an appointment, call 888-604-5888 or visit

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lorenzo, I’m torn. All those years of you on TV, when I hear the voice I’m seeing graphics, video, music, the works. Just can’t take the ol’ TV gal out of the biz. But, reading your words I can still hear your voice in your writings. I can stop and ponder. Reread for clarity, take my time and you’re there to pick up where I left off. You go on with your techno self, this ol’ school girl will enjoy the words you live by. All the continued discoveries and enjoyment of the moments. xoxox Andy (Ch.8)

  3. audreywilmot says:

    Thank you Loran for making me think smile feel laugh and yes even drop a tear
    A funny thing is happening listening to your podcast , it’s touching my heart ! Letting you into a place where if and possibly when you lose this battle it will leave me with a really big loss ! I’m trying to be a light a beacon as you would ask of a friend 😄 yet my heart is just not listening to my head
    Sigh. For today your here I’m saving each pod cast cuz as time passes they will bring me comfort.
    Your friend
    Audrey Wilmot

  4. Maryanne Petrilli says:

    Love all of your writings…heart-felt, informative straight-shooting and always funny! Some of the best reading I’m reading!! Thank You! fyi: miss You and Kathleen together at 10 ( I’m sure you do as well!) …Fox 5 @10 is just not same…whaaa 😉

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear Loren,

    Can you feel the love?

  6. Colleen says:

    That quote at the end is one of my favorite. In fact I have that on a plaque on my “music” room wall.

  7. Well said Lauren. May you see many more sunrises and sunsets. May the time you spend in your RV bring you great joy. And may we all come sliding in at the end and exclaim as the very eccentric Mr. Thompson did, “Wow what a ride!”

  8. Kevin says:

    I saw Hunter Thompson twice, once In a pool of reporters following President Ford, they all had suits and ties, he had on a Hawaiian shirt and once at an event at UCSD that very quickly turned into a bizarre chaotic melee. Kr

  9. savage keefe says:

    ok Loren remember Hunter S Thompson went through life, skipping, screaming skidding and smoking lots of setevia until he shot himself in Aspen in the kitchen while his son was in the front room, yes skip, slide, skid through life but don’t shoot yourself, suzie would be mad and sad, your siblings and off spring too…

    from the swimming savage

    see you around the dolphin hood, I am the tne one out past the surfers, swimming without a wetsuit with my head above water and a baseball hat on, will pop over and say hi next time I see you..

  10. Judy Brackin says:

    Loren, thank you for helping to keep me grounded appreciating everything a little bit more on a daily basis through your journey, and road to HEALING…. I am once again touched by your spirit, and courage to peel back all the layers of lifes onion…..let us all start squeezing the last drop of our day dry …… before we rest our heads! Sending prayers… Judy Brackin

  11. Reese Brothers says:

    Love, love, love it! It’s so good to hear your voice again, Loren…like so many others, I’ve missed it. What a gift it’s been, you taking us all on this wild ride of yours. Awesome, simply, awesome! Keep it up, this is going to be as good for us, as it is for you. Like Renee Zellweger said to Tom Cruise in Jerry Mcquire…”You had me at hello.” We love you Loren!

  12. My son was diagnosed with a malignant, highly aggressive brain cancer (supratentorial PNET) in 2003, one week into his third grade school year. He had surgery here in San Diego and afterward we ended up taking him to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis where had radiation to his whole brain and spine, followed by four cycles of high dose chemotherapy/stem cell transplant.

    We are back in San Diego and my son is now completing his senior year at Canyon Crest Academy. There are now and always be additional challenges for him as a result of the cancer and aggressive treatments, but if this journey teaches nothing else, it’s not to sweat the small stuff. We can’t live in fear as we don’t know what lies ahead, if we live in fear it will be as if the thing we fear has happened and not a one of us knows the future.

    Nigerian drummer Babatunde Otanji once said,

    Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.
    And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.

    I am so very thankful for today.

    Please contact me if I can ever be of any help to you at all, I know you are swamped with well wishes, but our family has learned much along our own journey. Seven years prior to my son’s diagnosis, we lost our 4-year old niece to anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3 on her brainstem, due to the location no surgery was possible. There is no hereditary connection that anyone knows of.

    Love to you and your family as you face this trial.

  13. Lauryl Allen says:

    I really enjoy reading everything you write….

  14. Margaret says:

    Beautifully put enjoyed this wild ride with you, I wish you the Best.

  15. Jill John Coughlin says:

    WOW!  What a podcast – those dolphins were sent to you!  God works in mysterious ways and I’m sure this is one of them…a friend of mine says “there are no coinsidenses (?so) in life!

    I’m Jill Coughlin and am in charge (still!) after 24 years of the Plant*Grow*Eat program at the Fair.  We were lucky to have you come and judge those little radishes years ago.  So appreciated your taking time out of your busy schedule to help us out.  

    Keep up the podcast postings – love the way you write and know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Peace and Good Health!



  16. Maxine and Neal Davis says:

    Loved your “what a ride” quote. Our 49 year old son just got another chance for his ride with a lung transplant. He has a zest for life like you do. We’ll be ‘pulling’ for both of you, best of life to you, Loren.

  17. Kathi Hall says:

    I am still hanging on to this wild and rewarding ride called life! Glad you hopped on. Be sure and wave as we pass each other! My best to you!

  18. June Vejar says:

    Love that quote at the end of your blog. That’s how we should all go out!

  19. Anita Lawrence says:

    I know exactly what you mean, Mr. Nancarrow. During & after the loss of my husband to cancer, I began to look at the world with new appreciation. I still do. It behooves all of us to “stop and smell the roses” before it’s too late. I wish you the best of everything during this journey you are experiencing.

  20. Mary Jo Watson says:

    Absolutely love this totally heartfelt, soulful segment, Mr. Nancarrow.

  21. suzsom says:

    You have no idea how much my heart and mind needed to read this today. Good for you, offering inspiration and hope. It’s hard to explain the connection us S.D natives have to you but we do and your generous offering of awareness gives me a peace this morning and for that…I thank you.

  22. Loren, I remember being thrilled watching you in the Bay Area, what a breath of fresh air ! I’m glad we both made it back to San Diego.

  23. misha says:

    Thanks for that Loren, You are such a special man… I could feel that burst you get in your heart when your having one of those great days..LOVE. XOXO Misha

  24. Those dolphins were a gift from God telling you all will be well and it gave you such joy and peace for a while! I am a widow and do not regret any of the time or money we took out time to love and play. Go for it!

  25. Sydney says:

    “Wow! What A Ride!” reminds me of my 22 year old son who has always been an avid skateboarder. When I obsess about some of the falls he’s taken and will take…he tells me “Mom, if something happens, it happens while I’m doing what I love” and off he goes…in a “cloud of smoke.” Darn, if only he was around when I was 22 to give me that advice!
    I had a scare last year and not being certain of my outcome, decided to get 2 lab pups so my sons would each have one to love were I not here, as I wasn’t sure whether my 15 year old lab would still be here either…well she is, so am I…and our house is complete mayhem…but…you know…those pups made me laugh so much that it took my mind away from my fears and reminded all of us of what it was like to laugh daily again…which really was and is the best medicine!
    i recently read and I quote”The strength that carried you to today will see you through tomorrow” It’s true!

  26. Ruby says:

    love you “eco-geek”

  27. Mike Howder says:

    Loren, you rock. Just like you always have!
    Love you man!

  28. Kimberly Fowler says:

    When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease it was frightening. When I was recommended for Deep Brain Stimulation surgery (which is done with the patient awake), I was terrified, but looking at the world around me and watching my grandkids playing how could I not? I’m now almost three years post-op and it is a true miracle….and I wasn’t one to believe in miracles….I’m not cured, but I now enjoy a quality of life that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. Continue to enjoy life day by day, Loren, have no regrets and tell those you care about how you feel EVERYDAY! None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow.

  29. Cathy Eischen says:

    Well said…and I love that devilish look in your eye!

  30. Reading your blog always puts a smile on my face Loren! Stay cool blue…

  31. Ok So Far says:

    It’s so good to see these feelings put into words. My diagnosis a few months ago (ALS) has me thinking along the same lines. I love your attitude! Thanks for sharing this. Hang in there!

  32. Tammela Waggoner says:

    Ive always said: Live life, as if you are living through the “Eyes” of a child, yet as an adult, & the world will always be more beautiful and one may realize, heaven really is right under our feet. (Henry David Thoroughs Book) Since 1987, life changed me, and I had to change my life as a result. I saw things in a diff’ light and have never taken one day since, for granted. We all have our struggles and challenges and daily difficulties, but to make the best of the worst and make the worst, seem like the best day of your life is a forever happiness, each day is a blessing. Loren’ you have been putting smiles on faces of San Dieganz for YEARS, your family bonds give us inspiration and aside from all of that, your wealth of knowledge on so many levels, keeps us on our toes. Thank you for sharing the times of your life that are the utmost challenging, beautiful, complex and uncertain. You reflect a true depth, of courage, genuine heartfelt logic which opens the eyes of so many that have yet to see the world, as you are now. THANK YOU Loren! You rock!

  33. Netty says:

    I love you and your family….doesn’t get any better….

  34. akalittleblondegirl says:

    Fantastic post! I think about you and Susie everyday , sending lots of live and light your way. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this post with my other friends. It’s an important message and reminder for everyone, no matter their circumstances. ~ Blessings ~

  35. Ann Knight says:

    Fraternity of Enlightenment …. sounds like a great club. Loved your podcast.

  36. Jane says:

    I believe everyday is a blessing & that goes for time spent with my beloved Bernese Mtn dog pal, Carlos! Embrace & Love Life- even the nitty gritty!

  37. Greg says:

    I love you.

  38. Geni Cavitt says:

    Thanks for sharing
    your sense wonder.

  39. Julie Gutierrez says:

    I love the new podcast!! Your voice is magical and it really brings to life your stories, and I look forward to more!!

  40. Krisi davis says:

    I saw those same dolphins here in Solana Beach on Saturday! Not sure which beach you two were at, but those dolphins were putting on quite a show! Love the new blog- and the attitude of gratitude!
    p.s. Blue is a great color on you!

  41. Laura Critz says:

    I ~have~ told people around me at the beach to *LOOK*!! I love seeing dolphins & whales!! The other day at Ponto, my friend & I saw a seal! He was pretty big….48 years living in North County and I had never seen a seal swimming in Carlsbad….it was so awesome!! 🙂

  42. Jackie Owens says:

    Love hearing your voice on your blog. I hopefully will skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up and totally worn out and loudly proclaiming; Wow what a ride” I can just see my mom frowning and saying’ that isn’t very lady like” and I will tell her that Loren told me to do it. You are amazing. Hang in there everyone is praying for you world wide by now, It has got to work it doesn’t have a change against all of usl

  43. Sandy Phillips says:

    Thanks for the gentle reminder of awareness.

  44. Rusty Jones says:

    I really like this one.
    I lost my dear one to ovarian cancer Oct, 2011, and it was our experience too, that being confronted with mortality made it possible to see the exquisite beauty in every moment, and also possible to see the silliness in what seemed so important before.
    I like this quote from Warren Zevon when he was battling cancer: “I never knew how much you were supposed to enjoy every sandwich.”

  45. Nancy Linke patton says:

    Love this – amazing sight!!! Loren, Rip & I want to come hang out! Or you and Susie come to Windansea. You still have my contact stuff or I’ll track ya
    Big love xOXOooooooo

  46. says:

    Hi there Loren, Awesome podcast…………… Loved it. I am really glad you are doing this. Love ya, Judy and Dave

  47. Maggie May says:

    I have always loved that quote. Having had a very, very difficult beginning in life, I have always had this kind of anxious awareness of the total jaw dropping miracle and beauty of everything, and the miniature amount of time we are given to live in it. To be awake fully with the people you love is the closest thing to ‘childlike amazement’ that we get as adults, I think. It is an honor to follow along as you are clearly an awesome person with a huge ability to live life and to love.

    • Bobbie Cruzen says:

      Maggie, you are so right. We all get into ruts and plod along at times. Your suggestion to think and be the opposite is a much bigger challenge but still easily accomplished if we are in the right frame of mine. I have a personal goal which is if I find myself dormant or being in a sedentary way of living, I must kick myself and shout out, “Wake up, Bobbie; get yourself out of the house; be out there in the midst of life, and look around you; be ready for life to surprise you!”

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