The Kelp Forest Suite

 ***Click Play Below to Hear Loren’s Voice***

This walking a line between living and dying continues to make me question my own depth. I’m in my late fifties and I’ve never really considered death before. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Turns out much of my time these days is spent trying to stay alive—doctors appointments, hospital stays, medications etcetera. All the while, considering what it means to be alive.

I was alive this week. 

Freed from the hospital and onto the open road. Searching for any spot I haven’t seen—and any facet of Susie’s personality I haven’t explored.

I’m a visual person. When I listen to a poem or story there are pictures playing in my mind. The news photographers, with whom I’ve been best paired over the years, challenged me with their beautiful pictures. Can’t have stunning scenery and dull verbs. Since I was young, I’ve pictured what it would be like to be a writer, in romantic terms. My ideal setting would be a cottage on a wharf, water lapping amongst the kelp forest, boat rigging clanging softly, an occasional seagull screech—and can’t do without a fog horn piping in. Inside the cottage—an ornery old cat, a big lovable dog, a potbelly stove and something warm in a cup. My writing table is at the window. The words just flow.

We pulled into Morro Bay this week, with great tunes playing in the background. I described to Susie my ideal nest for the night. She pulled the van over to the side of the road and tapped her fingers on the screen of her iPhone before driving about  another hundred yards. We pulled up in front the Estero Inn, a modern equivalent of the romantic writing scene I just described. There was only one room left—the Kelp Forest Suite.

To me, this is how it feels to be alive.



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83 comments on “The Kelp Forest Suite
  1. Bill says:

    Thank you for your bravery during your journey. Since I have known you, though you do not know me, I have enoyed learning from you. Whether how better to understand the weather, or growing better, fatter, juicer “maters” I have always learned, and you were the teacher. Now on this voyage, again I learn. The peace in your heart, the joy of being in love.
    Thank yoiu Loren for being you

  2. Kris Q says:

    I, too, feel alive in and around Morro Bay. A beautiful place to listen to the seals and talk to the seagulls. Since my dad was reincarnated as a seagull near Morro Bay, I am sure that he flew over you a few times to give you hope, strength, and peace. He does it for me every time I’m there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am speechless this is amazing . I am glad you two are living your Dreams. Stay strong

  4. Claudia says:

    As I read your blog couldn’t help but feel so happy for both of you to Susie found the place you just described and could enjoy that special time together there. Blessings for you and the family!

  5. Jane Quirk says:

    Sharing your stories in a modern day “blog” are so intimate, being drawn in like a novel yet so inspirational and haunting at the same time. Yet daily you and Susie are leaving everyone a gift

  6. Gina says:

    Anyway, unsure if my comments went through as it sent before I was ready;-) what I was saying is your words are gorgeous and true and you should compile them into a book as all of us will face death at some point but our society is mostly unprepared for it. It is refreshing and imspiring to follow the journey of someone who is straddling the two worlds we will all eventually face, with such candor and wisdom….

  7. george milne says:

    Sheeeeew! this gave me chills! Absolutely! You are having a great trip, aren’t you?? still jealous…..

  8. Gina says:

    Loren, this is gorgeous, such heartfelt and true words. You should compile all your writings into a book…. So many are facing death as we age and live in a world

  9. Kathy Aunan says:

    NICE!!!! It was meant to be….

  10. Hey Loren, you, Suzie and Hannah are helping us to slow down and appreciate where we are, what we have, who we love and who loves us all the more. Thanks for continuing to include us in your journey. Hugs to you all.

  11. Margaret says:

    Beautiful Loren I enjoy reading your road trip blogs enjoy your trip with your wife and my thoughts are with you and your wife.

  12. Mary Jo Watson says:

    Can it be any more karmic than the room of your imagination appearing before your eyes? You were grand master in a previous life, I presume 🙂

  13. linea says:

    The everyday little gratitude’s that make our lives so rich…if you take the time to really see do…and your words flow with the wonder and joy of it all…you will live to tell your grandchildren of these days…………..

  14. Bobbie Cruzen says:

    The photos of the horses brought back some wonderful memories. My daughter went through her “horse phase” years ago when she was in the fifth grade and on into junior high. We spent hours each month out in Lakeside where she was taking lessons. In the beginning while I waited I was drawn to the horses and asked if I could help groom them. Soon I had my own tack box, a container of biscuits, and a collection of tools and brushes. Every week we were there I would love being close to the horses, getting dirty and sweaty while I worked. The smell of manure and horse hair was my new perfume! Eventually I did take lessons too, bought boots, a helmet, horse t-shirts and riding pants. But most of all I loved getting out of the car and greeting my beautiful friends, sharing kisses and warm furry hugs, and seeing those eyes that looked right into my soul.

  15. Sandi says:

    Loren……you continue to touch hearts with your tender honesty. Prayers and peace.

  16. Kr says:

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    Among the sea-girls wreathed in seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us
    And we drown.
    TS Eliot
    The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

  17. Anonymous says:

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed in seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us,
    And we drown
    TS Eliot, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

  18. Reda says:

    love the area….love your blog…will continue to read it, love it and wish you the best!
    btw brain is working just fine…

  19. Nora says:

    I just love when small miracles appear out of nowhere. enjoy your trip.

  20. Carrie M says:

    You’re a gentle giant. Keep up the hard work and continue to feed your souls with heart-felt love. Once you’re through this part of your journey you’ll have many sweepstake memories to return to.
    Flowing healing love & light to you day & night

  21. Don’t think all my post got to you
    “Madonna Inn”……..San Louis Obispo
    Hundreds of unique rooms

  22. Anonymous says:

    You might really like the Little River Inn, just south of Mendocino. Has that old Inn feel you might be looking the crashing waves and a gorgeous State Park right next door, within walking distance.

  23. Hundreds of “Theme” rooms…..take a look for a unique experience……Our daughter loves the place ……I think you would too

  24. Kathy Schwartz says:

    Hello Loren & Susie. I remember you well from many years in SD County. We moved to the Central Coast six years ago. If you are up to it, take the short drive to Cayucos to try Ruddell’s Fish Shack & then across Main Street to the Brown Butter Cookie Company. They’re both hidden treasures. Enjoy your stay & know a lot of folks are surrounding you with love.

  25. Thanks so much for your inspirational posts. Your journey is a complex reminder of how fragile life is and you are so very selfless to share your experience. God Bless.

  26. Doris Jaffe says:

    This world can be a beautiful place if we seek our inner resources to find it. May you and Susie continue to tap your resources to find healing, bliss, and love for many years to come..

  27. Eve Ducati says:

    You have a beautiful way of sharing.. bringing each of us listening along in a way… Love how you’ve found a sky for your rainbow… Much love Eve

  28. Darlene says:

    Wow! Your words are just so amazing and inspiring! I hope you will put this blog you are sharing with us into a book once you are all finished with your treatments and are cancer free! You are such a good writer Loren!

  29. Colleen says:

    Good hearing your voice again my friend. Hope your energy level is better this week. Loved the karma of finding this site.

  30. monica way says:

    Brilliant….just brilliant.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Loren, enjoy every moment in such a beautiful place with your beautiful wife.

    Linda Garnica

  32. Linda Fennell says:

    Wow, that made me cry at that last statement. I’m sorry the journey is as it is…with the blob, but I’m enjoying how simple you’re making life and I’m seeing blessings abound in you. Thanks for sharing the journey.

  33. John Geer says:


    I am a big fan of yours, Denise Yamada turned me on to your blog and been following.
    I want to recommend an awesome book for you and your wife to read, it is one of my all time favorite “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. You may already know about it. Much love to you and family, you are in my thoughts.

  34. Bonnie says:

    serendipity of the spirit…..thank you for sharing the moment, the words, the profound simplicity of truly being alive. We too are a cancer warrior family….and we LIVE for those perfect moments. Knowing you will have many, many more of them 🙂

  35. maureen white says:

    one of the sweetest sounds is oh-so-slowly awakening to the reverse-lullaby of a seagull serenade… & that’s exactly what you can experience at morro bay 🙂 thank you for sharing this snippet with us 🙂

  36. Joan W says:

    Thanks so much for sharing such a beautiful time. Makes me look around my own blessed world with more appreciation. Big thanks.

  37. Dawn says:

    The love of my life and I spent time in that area and it is breathtaking. I am glad you and the love of your life are enjoying time there as well. May you continue to be blessed as you travel the bumpy road of life.

    Hugs to both of you,

    Dawn & Paul

  38. Janie Klein says:

    Oh Loren, you and Susie make my heart flutter. You have such beautiful words, so well thought out. I look forward to your thoughts on living and sadly, the possibility of dying. I just have a strong suspicion that you are going to make it. You are a man of the earth and the earth is healing. Love you both, a fellow gardener. The Amarillo’s opened today. 🙂 Janie Klein

  39. Fran says:

    Loren,,loved your word pictures of how you would love life to go on…enjoy it while we’re here…we’re just passing thru in this life…Heaven is a much better place;when we all get there we’ll be ‘rejoicing” ! ❤ enjoy while you can!!

  40. Another fabulous entry. Keep them coming Nancarrow family. It is the highlight of my days…

  41. fred wollman says:

    poetry. that is all that needs to be said. this was the first time I have listened. I find I like being read to.

  42. foxtail56 says:

    A place by the sea….I like it. Sounds lovely and peaceful. Enjoy you two.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Your appreciation for EVERYTHING is so inspiring! Thanks for putting “life” into perspective.

  44. Beth Browne says:

    When I first started reading your thoughts today, the romantic scene you described took me back to a time I was up in that area with someone I once loved. So, you are in the perfect spot Loren, with the perfect thoughts, and with the love of your life. So enjoy life. Soak in the moments and know so many of us are thinking of you and praying for you and your family. And thank you for sharing this special time.

  45. Kimber Allison says:

  46. Anita Lawrence says:

    Whether we are cancer warriors or a family members of one, I believe we all experience the joy of “being” alive in a new and grateful way. Thanks for reminding me, Loren.

  47. gina says:

    That is incredible! The Universe was speaking back to you, with the name of the suite Kelp Forest, it couldn’t be more appropriate! Gave me goose bumps! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  48. mary! says:

    nothing like a place by the sea & thee …. ♥ enjoy you two!! ♥
    sending light & love & blessings & cobalt blue!!
    (my comment to susie yesterday seemed to fit here too!! 🙂

  49. Fletch says:

    Beautiful and peaceful. Stay a while.

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