If you live long enough, life has a way of balancing out. Disappointments of an earlier time morph into happiness in a later time. Case in point: recently, my wife and I moved into our dream home. It is larger than the two of us need, but it is quite lovely. One of its perks is a 60-foot lake frontage.

We moved in last April and are pretty-well settled in. Nevertheless, it has taken time to adjust to the new floor plan, where the light switches are, and finding stuff that we stored away never thinking that we would ever need it. However, the noises of the house still startle us once in awhile. We are still aware of the sump-pump kicking on or the strange sound of our state-of-the-art washing machine makes.

These sounds soon will go unnoticed. However, on several occasions, we have been awakened by a strange sound outside our bedroom. We didn't notice any strange sounds for the first several months because the windows were closed and the air conditioner was usually humming quietly in the background. With the approach of the fall and being Scottish, I open the windows for fresh and cheap, cool air. Over the past couple weeks, we have been scared enough to look for the source of these unusual sounds. I told my wife that it sounded liked the amplified slurping noise that my old Irish setter, Ginger, made when she would drink water after a long run. But atlas, it wasn't Ginger-she has gone to her reward years ago. Then I cryptically added, "Or perhaps it is a dinosaur slurping up lake water having just devoured some of our neighbors." Little did I know that I was partially correct about my theory. The loud slurping sound was made by a dinosaur-a plesiosaur to be accurate.

Years ago, when in graduate school in Edinburgh, Scotland, I spent many an hour looking for the monster that lurked in the depth of Loch Ness. All my efforts were to no avail in Scotland. I didn't even see a ripple on the loch to say nothing of seeing or hearing the monster, a.k.a. Nessie. After the disappointment of an earlier time, finally success came my way. There is a lesson in my experience for all of us. Life does seem to balance things out-in time.

We never saw the monster at night, although we surely heard it slurping down the lake water in the wee small hours just before dawn. However, I was up early one foggy morning working at my computer when suddenly I saw Nessie out there the lake. After years of yearning, finally, I saw my monster.

I immediately snapped a couple of pictures and after it disappeared, I went online to do research on this illusive denizen of the deep. I came across an account of an ancient sighting in 1527 by Duncan Campbell. My ancestor described it as "a terrible beast seen on the loch shore."

My plesiosaur sighting occurred the week after my third unsuccessful attempt to meet and interview His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. I have for years wanted to visit with the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhists and the leader of millions of Tibetan refugees. I traveled to Dharamsala, India a couple years ago and failed. Then he was to come to America the following year, but he got sick and cancelled his trip at the last minute. Just a couple of weeks ago, he finally came back for the dedication of a temple dedicated to world peace in Bloomington, IN. Again, I failed to reach my goal. However, I got within 50 feet of him this time. I salve my disappointment of not getting the interview with the epiphany of the plesiosaur. Perhaps, if I live long enough, my disappointments surrounding the Dalai Lama will someday be rewarded. Life does seem to balance out over the long haul.