If you are wondering what’s at 55 Fourth St. in San Francisco, it is the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Beverly and I stayed there this past Wednesday through Saturday for Beverly’s birthday and a much-needed rest and relaxation break. Now for the meat and potatoes of this post, “The Treasure’s” part! While on our stay I had an epiphany. I came to the realization that one of God’s grandest of gifts to His children is the gift of communication. The great thing about God’s gifts is that we have a choice on how we use them. Ah, that’s one of the reasons I love my God so much, in His divine wisdom He granted us the power of choice. Communication can take many forms the obvious is verbal and silent in the form of signing, eye contact is another form, touch, human connection through skin contact, kissing, shaking hands etc., you get the idea. The major requirement in communication is that it takes at least two subjects for the transaction to be effective, though I do agree that you can communicate with yourself if you are open to self-examination of your soul, heart, and mind. My point being that communication is a gift from God and as with any gifts it is to be treasured and honored with our best efforts. While on our trip we had the opportunity to communicate with many folks along the way. I wanted to share the standout experiences that impressed me and moved me to write this post. I love people, no ifs ands or buts about it. I enjoy meeting and learning in the exchange of communication between the goings on of travel. I have always made a concerted effort to learn and meet new people whenever I can, it doesn’t matter where or when, making meaningful contact and learning from those encounters. It’s a choice I make and at times it was to the dismay of those around me, as it takes time and effort to do so. I have always felt that the effort paid huge rewards in establishing new friendships and learning information about people I meet. Our trip to San Francisco proved this to me once again. We left Austin early Wednesday morning on a direct flight, which had us arriving around 9:30 AM. By the time when arrived at the hotel it was only 11:00 and the check-in time was 4:00 PM. So we dropped off our luggage and decided to walk around Chinatown and check things out. (Reminder to self, cowboy boots are not the ideal footwear in the hills of SF!!) When we arrived back at the hotel hours later, my feet were sore, I was tired, and our room was not ready yet. Beverly decided I needed running shoes for the rest of the trip, so she went shopping to a mall a couple of blocks away (Thank You Lord). I waited in the lobby eyeing the landscape for any interesting spirit that might want to strike up a conversation. When we checked in the desk clerk named Alan was very friendly and helpful, giving lots of useful information about the city and the hotel. Alan saw me sitting there so he came over and we struck up a conversation. Alan is a very gregarious individual and was easy to speak with; I learned that he had come to the United States from Nicaragua where he had very humble beginnings and how honored he is to now be here in the land of opportunity. Alan has a smile on his face all the time and truly loves his job which transfers to the people he serves. We had also met a young man named Adam who was a bellhop at the hotel, young and full of life and zest, we learned that Adam had recently been married and had been raised in San Francisco. He was very knowledgeable about his home city and helpful in steering us in the right direction on our travels. I then met Barbara, the Chief Concierge at the hotel, when I needed some detailed information about a planning a side trip. I have always been blessed with this gut feeling about people when I meet them and it was no different with Barbara. When our eyes met I knew we had a lot to share. She is from Germany originally and has recently lost her husband. Since I lost my wife 7 years ago, I shared my story with her about meeting and marrying Beverly after the loss of Vicki. We shared email addresses and plan on emailing each other over the course of time. One other day, Beverly and I ate at a restaurant and met a wonderful young man named Luke from Orange County, CA. I lived there many years ago and Sloane, my oldest son, lived there until last year. Luke told us of his struggles and how he was working hard through a program to overcome them. Luke and I also are going to stay in touch so I might be able to help in his growth. I get so charged up and encouraged by these brief but meaningful encounters that add so much substance to my life. If not for each of us to be willing to put ourselves out there to share, we would not have a clue about each other. This comes to the point of this post. If we do not make the effort to communicate with each other we then lose so much meaningful contact and information, which is so valuable to our hearts and souls. This information and sharing enriches our heart and spirit, which adds value to our lives. It also gives us hope that we are not alone in this life and that we all are tied together by the lines of communication if we chose to use those lines and make an effort to communicate. We get to share our faith, not only in God, but also in mankind itself. It’s what gives me my purpose for being on this earth, my reason to live and love. That’s the Treasure of 55 Fourth St. San Francisco.