Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 and beyond


It is amazing to me, and I am sure to most of you that 2013 has gone by so fast. They say each year goes faster than the year before the older you get, and it is very true. Right now people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions, however, I prefer purpose because it can go beyond the New Year, and people usually break their resolution anyway by February.  

As far as purpose goes we each were given one or actually many by God, however, for some it is to figure what it is. For me writing this blog is part of my purpose, and since I have only been writing this for a couple months I look forward to how it develops over 2014. If you are married, and have children as well than that is your main purpose along with your job.  Depending on your talents will show where your purpose goes as well.

Last week I received a Christmas letter from my cousin Susan and her husband David; I really enjoyed it because they are adding to their purpose. They own and operate a ranch in British Columbia; they have three sons that have children of their own; so they have six grandchildren at this time ranging from one year old up to six years old. Their two oldest sons have a business together where they design, and build homes; the youngest son is an engineer. Besides the ranch, and raising their children Susan taught school for many years, and David worked both for the federal and provisional governments. Now they are working the ranch which keeps them both very busy. They do hire some people time to time to help out on the ranch; however, the new purpose is that they are going to teach their grandchildren how to run the ranch in the years to come. They have begun doing so with the older ones.  I think it is the coolest thing to influence the next generation.  

In my opinion whether we have children or not; even don’t have children like myself we can give them our wisdom, and experience. I am sure I will write about our purpose in the future but I will end it here for now. Everyone have a great and wonderful New Year.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

The day after the day after

I hope that everyone had a very good Christmas Day. My mother and I spent the day relaxed mostly listening to Christmas music. After opening Christmas presents, we called and spoke with my sister, Barb, in Quebec for several minutes.   Barb and her two sons went out for a run in the morning through snow. The temperatures were around 20 below zero; I would say that I would find it difficult to run even if I was dressed like an Eskimo. Of course, they are more used to it than I would be. Either walking or running in Gig Harbor would be much more favorable.  As far as presents go I received several shirts plus a sweatshirt from my mother that says Gig Harbor the Maritime City on it. I plan to wear it a lot especially when walking.

On Thursday Dec 26 which in Britain and Canada is known as Boxing Day.  For those who may not know what Boxing Day is, or how it came about. Originally in Britain it became a holiday where the servants who had to work on Christmas were allowed to open their presents. Boxing Day was another relaxing day though I did go out for a walk around Gig Harbor, and stop for a latte as well, which is a routine I try to do as often as possible. While walking around the harbor I called my brother Jack to see how his Christmas went. Found out that my nephew Danny who is spending the school year in France came home for Christmas. He spent several days with cousins in southern France including Christmas Eve.  My sister-in-law Anne was able to get a very good price on a ticket to come home for a couple weeks. Also, had thought it wasn’t possible with the program he is doing over there, however, found they did allow them to come home for break.  Personally I think they should have had him to spend more time in France but I understand why they would want him home as well. As I have said it is important to spend as much time with family as possible. As everyone knows the older the children become, and have their own families how hard it is to get together. Later in the afternoon my cousin Bronwen and her husband Hank stopped by for visit. It had been a while since seeing them. Neither of them especially Bronwen, has been in very good health; so it was very nice to see that they both looked very good.  We talked a lot about family, trips to France and South Africa by my mother.

Since I have written how important family is, and where love especially works in the equation. I found the holidays successful. I hope you were not only able to spend time with family; however, you were able to talk with those who were some distances off as well. Another thing love those who you are with.

Until next time be thinking of you. Herb

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Hello everyone it is one day till the magic day of Christmas. I know some won’t celebrate because of their religion, however, we can all get together with family and love one another; Joy to the World and Peace on Earth. Also, I think we can make difference in others life as well. I am thinking about sports where two teams are playing, and the score is tied with only a few minutes remaining; neither one wants to go into overtime.  What can we do to break the tie so our team will win? Or in another way how can we go the extra mile.

Also, I want to reach out to my relatives up in Canada.  Last week my cousin Rob Shaw, his son Mike was in a very bad skiing accident in Colorado, and is in St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver.  He did send a video through Facebook showing that his legs and arms are moving, however, he will be going through rehab for some time. So keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  His attitude is very good, and appreciates everyone. The skiing team he coaches stopped by the other day in his hospital room, and all showed support. They mentioned how much he inspired them. So to you Mike and family up north have a extra Merry Christmas.

Again everyone have a great Christmas. I will check in with you in a few days. Much love Herb.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gig Harbor

Hello Everyone I hope you have a wonderful weekend and you finished your Christmas shopping. Here we are having our first taste of snow.  I have less than an inch of snow. . By the afternoon the temperatures will be high enough where it will be gone, and be only rain. It will be another year where we will only be dreaming of a white Christmas. People don’t really like driving in the snow; I see the problem being more ice because we have a lot of hills.

For those of you who never been to Gig Harbor it once was known as a fishing village; however, since the mid70s it has become more for tourism. There are several marinas so Gig Harbor still has plenty of motor and sailing boats. In fact you can rent a boat or a kayak. The best time to come is in July; also August and September the weather is pretty good too.  What is really great is seeing Mt. Rainier in the background. It takes about two hours to drive to Mt. Rainer. When having visitors usually go to Mt. Rainer and the Pike Place Market in Seattle. There are a lot of other small towns in the area you can visit as well. Most of the time going to Pike Place Market we take the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle. I recommend everyone take the trip at least once.   I inserted a couple of pictures of Gig Harbor as well.         

I want to end with Proverbs 17:17 Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.   

Have a great day.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

reflect and more

Like the Geico camel says it is hump day.   Also, amazing to think that Christmas is one week away, and New Year’s is only two weeks away.   I think in generally 2013 has been a good year for me. I am currently out of work; however, I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring. It is really allowing me to enjoy writing this blog, and I expect that you are enjoying reading it too.  In 2013 several students I went to Peninsula High School with died.  Also, my cousin Molly died as well as Russell Clark who I consider a mentor, spiritual father, family, and a close friend. They are all close to my heart along with all the others that I have known have died in prior years.

In sports the Seattle Seahawks are having a very special year. They currently have the best record in the NFL, and are favored to win the Super Bowl. What I find really encouraging is the coach Pete Carroll preaches to the players at practice that if they play the game the way he tells them that they cannot lose.  I believe if we life our lives in the same manner we will be successful.  In the Bible, the book of proverbs speaks about wisdom and discipline. In I Corinthians 13 speaks about what love is, and in the final verse says that there is faith, hope, and love, and love is the greatest.  So I know for me I want to grow in wisdom, discipline, faith, hope, and especially love. I want to show them through this blog as well.

Anyway, enjoy your day, and the time up to Christmas. Love much!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I have to say Jack is the best younger brother around; he is my best friend as well.  It did not begin that way. In the beginning he was annoying; my parents thought he was an angel and could do no wrong. Of course, they were misled. So as an older brother I took my job very seriously, and made him into the man he is today. By the way Anne, Leslie, Robby, Ian and Danny your welcome; I am sure Ian especially understands. Joking aside, he has turned into a great man. I know he is not perfect, just ask his kids. He has a really good job being a business consultant. Along with his Anne, they are able to send all his children to college; Leslie and Robby both graduated from Harvard University. Leslie is married to Daniel Rinehart, and teaching at University of Minnesota. Robby is going to Yale Law School, he will finish up in May 2015, which the same time Ian will graduate from Harvard. Last but not least Danny is spending this school year in Paris, France, He is having a really good time, and he will attend Harvard starting in the fall of 2014. He will have Ian there for one year to guide him , and give his experience. As you can see there is a trend there. Both Jack and Anne met, and graduated from Harvard as well. Besides being very smart, each of the children has their own talents, and each carving out their own way. I would say I am not really into the smart game but Jack and I relate in other ways especially coming to sports. We talk each Saturday by phone; finding out how our week went, and how the family is doing.
I believe having a sibling being your best friend (next to their spouse) is very important because you know that when you need someone, you know they will be there. Again there is nothing like being a big brother.

Monday, December 16, 2013


On Saturday Dec 14 I went up to Seattle to visit my cousin Jennifer and husband Holt.  It was a very good time showing the area she grew up in Magnolia. It has been a long time since I had been there. Other than a few new building it didn’t seem much different. Also, went out for Greek food.

I have to say I am blessed to having a wonderful family. It is hard to say because I know that a lot of people can’t say that.  Though we have been blessed my family has gone through a lot of hard times as well. I lost my older brother, brother-in-law, and some cousins before their time.  I even have relatives now who are or have struggled through health issues over a period of time. Those are still here along with those who have gone I think about them a lot.

Why I say it is hard to write because I know there are those out there that have gone through even worse situations than my family.  It may have to do with alcohol, drugs, broken relationships, or even worse things we don’t really want to talk about.  I don’t want to be cruel but the major problem has to do with selfishness either on our part or someone else’s. The reason I have insecurities is because other’s were selfish and put that on me.  It is not all their fault because I listen and believed their lies. I am sure that I have done the same thing though I don’t recall.  We can blame on other things like we inherited it, science, but it really comes down to selfishness.  We all have it to one degree or another. It is important for us to forgive, and forget so we can move on.  I am sure I write this blog to some degree of selfishness, however, I hope this will help others as well.  The only way we can get rid of total selfishness is to die.  Without dying naturally we have to die to our self, and we can do that spiritually but that is something that must do on a daily basis. The only way we stop selfishness is to stop the blame game as well.   I recommend if you are struggling with anything to look into yourself first.  Also, look to God, he will help you out as well.  

Again I want to thank my family for each of you being who you are, and how much I deeply love each of you.

If you enjoy this blog past it on to others; if I am able to help one person than it is totally worth it.

Again Merry Christmas to all.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Almost six years ago I stopped by my mother's on a Sunday afternoon which I did quite often. When I arrived I found that her face showed it was purple. I asked her why she looked that way. She said that she had fell at church that morning. So I decided to stay with her for a little while until she felt a lot better. About a month later she asked if I would just stay and move in with her.  I now have been with her ever since. Neither one of us really knew whether it would work or not.  Being together has worked better than expected.  Once in a while she forgets that I am an adult and treats me like a kid. It is ok I just reminder her that I am an adult and she is fine with it. I think it is common for parents to forget that their children are no longer kids.  The main reason I didn’t think living with her would worked was I always thought she didn’t understand me very well.  Now I am not sure whether it as true as I had thought.  I think it is because of how our parents treat each child different.  I was the third child who naturally believes we are missing out, and the youngest and oldest always get the most attention. It is amazing that we think that way though it is not really true.  I now find that whenever I meet someone who knows my mother how much she talks about me, and appreciates that I look after her. My mother now is in her 90s; she is in pretty good physical condition for her age though she has some little ailments. Also, she continues to drive though she doesn’t prefer to drive at night. She gets in and out of her car slowly, and walks slowly for a little bit before doing just fine.  I think it is because she is afraid that she might fall. Another thing that is great is that her mind is still working fine.  She plays bridge, does crossword puzzles, and read books.  Her social life continues to move on. It can be the hardest part of getting old not having any one to interact with.  In our family she is the only one remaining from her generation.

My mother has had quite a life so far. I think we can all learn from the elderly especially our parents. My mother grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. She graduated from high school at sixteen years of age.  When starting in first grade her mother went to the teacher; was told there was no room in the class but her mother insisted that the teacher would make room.  My mother was the youngest of four children. When she started college at University of Alberta in Edmonton they required the students had to be seventeen years of age. My mother became seventeen the day school started.  Of course, it was the Depression so money was hard to come by, however, her eldest brother Bob paid for her first year of college. She majored in French, and minored in Germany.  When she graduated from college she went to Ottawa, Ontario seeking employment.  The Second World War started she worked for the censor department.  Because she had taken German her job was to read mail of prisoners of war who came to Canada. Of course, when the war was over the job was no longer available so she went to Paris. While in Paris she met a US A soldier who she married, and moved to Seattle.  In Seattle they had my older sister Barb.  When my sister was three they divorced. It was not an easy time since there was not very many single mother’s at that time.  She worked as a bank teller in Seattle when she met my father.  Barb would spend some time up in Edmonton with our grandparents.  Barb was five years old when my parents were married. Our dad was really good because he treated Barb like she was his own daughter. She never saw her father again. She found that he died while she was in college.  After my two brothers and I were in school my mother became a high school French teacher at Wilson High School in Tacoma. Also, she taught German on occasion depending how many students were taking French or German. She taught for twenty years when she retired.  During her teaching period she went back and got her master degree as well. She has also song in her church choir at St.John’s Episcopal Church since coming to Gig Harbor. She started the branch of the American Association of University Women in Gig Harbor as well.  So as you can see she has done a lot in her life besides raising four children. If you know her, or ever meet her you will find that she has a very good sense of humor, and that she has a saying for every occasion. At least that is what I call it. She has many things she can say, and I am blessed to have her as my mother.


Thursday, December 5, 2013


End of May went to St. Louis, Missouri for one week to seem y youngest nephew Danny graduate from high school. He graduated on Thursday May 30, 2013 at John Burroughs High School.  It took place in their new gym. The next night after returning from dinner at local restaurant I experienced my first tornado warning. We spent about two hours in my brother’s family basement before returning to the living room.  I would not call it a bad experience but I would be fine never to go through the experience again. Actually my brother has moved to Virginia so unlikely won’t attend another tornado warning in St.Louis.

The next morning my brother, Jack, Danny, and I went to Springfield, Missouri for a soccer tournament Danny’s club soccer team was involved in. It is about a three hour drive depending on how fast you drive.  It was a three day tournament, and I had a really good time. I had never watched a soccer game before.  Danny’s team lost the first game Saturday afternoon but did rebound to win the remaining two games on Sunday and Monday. The team that they played on Saturday won the tournament.  Danny is very good soccer team, and has played for several years both in club soccer and his school’s soccer team.  In fact, he played a lot as a 9th grader on the high school team.  The high school team played in the fall; so I was only able to see the club soccer team play.  Since I don’t have a large knowledge of soccer I believe he played midfielder.  Anyway, he was last defender before the goalie. It was nice to meet his teammates, and some of the parents. The tournament was the last time the whole team played together since most of them were graduating from high school.

During the time in Springfield Danny had to decide what he was going to do for college. There was a college he had decided on, however, a few days before my arrival he received a letter from Harvard University saying that he had been accepted by them, but he would have to wait till the next school year 2014. I think there was some pressure because his sister, Leslie, and two older brothers had gone to Harvard University. Actually Ian is a junior at Harvard right now, and went through the same process Danny did. I admire him to follow in his sibling’s feet.  I think it would be easier to go to another school. Part of waiting to go to Harvard is that he can’t go to any other university during this school year.  So he decided to go to France and learn French during this school year. The others have done some traveling before so I will write about them at a later date. So in the mean time he is learning the French language and culture.  He does have a break coming up as well, and he will spend Christmas with relatives in Southern France.  During the break he will also go to other parts of France as well. The whole experience will grow him up and he will be in a better place when starting at Harvard next fall. I return back home on the Tuesday after going to Springfield. What I found funny was on the way to Springfield I asked my brother if the Simpson’s would welcome us. I really laughed when seeing a sign of the Simpson’s when arriving.                                                            


Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Monday Night Football on Dec. 2, 2013 the Seattle Seahawks showed the country what their fans already knew.  Their game begins with defense, and it started on the first play of the game.  #12 makes it hard for the opposition to win in Seattle, and Russell Wilson is a special player.  The Seahawks record now is 11-1, and they have clinched a playoff spot, and likely have all playoff games in Seattle except the Super Bowl which will be in New York. If the Seahawks continue the way they are playing it will become known as a special season in Seattle.  Right now they are considered the favorite to the Super Bowl. The whole northwest will go crazy if the Seahawks have the special season. I hope to be able to write concerning this season in February 2014. One thing for sure as long as Russell Wilson stays healthy Seahawks should have the opportunity to go to Super Bowl several times. He has a special heart that if we each have the same type of heart put into action; we can win the championships that come into our lives, with our gifting, purpose, and destiny.  For us to achieve them is to have the same faith that Russell Wilson has in his abilities. What I am really enjoying writing this blog to encourage others, and at the same time encourage myself. If I can make a difference in just one person’s life; then I feel great in my writings.  Have a great day!

Monday, December 2, 2013

growing up

I grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington and still make my home.  It is 35 miles southwest of Seattle.  I know it is a weird name. It was named by explorer Wilkes. He was going through Puget Sound and a storm came about, so he wanted to come into the harbor but the mouth of the harbor was too small for the ship to enter.  He anchored the ship outside the harbor and   took some smaller boats called gigs into the harbor. Many places in Puget Sound he named, and this harbor he decided to call Gig Harbor after the boats.

During my childhood Gig Harbor was a fishing town; a lot of fishing boats went to Alaska and coast of Washington to fish.  There is still fishing happening the fleet is only a fraction of it was in those days. In those days they had the first weekend of June called Harbor Holidays where a parade happened along with blessing the fleet.  Still happens but no longer is called Harbor Holiday. The parade is now called Maritime Parade.  Takes place in the morning, and the blessing of the fleet happens in the afternoon.  The parade goes through downtown, and there is always a large crowd attending.  Gig Harbor now is more known for tourism.

 I really enjoyed growing up in Gig Harbor even though I had to deal with bullying and teasing at times. Most of the kids I grew up with were actually pretty good; it is amazing how I could be affected by a few.  At four years of age I was burned; I was trying to cook eggs and my pajamas caught on fire. I was in Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma for six weeks.   Fortunately I was not burned on my face. At the same time I had a problem with my hearing which they found out I had wax in my ears.  After removing the wax I went to speech therapist to help out my speaking.   I believe the problem of hearing was only short lived it was major part of my difficulties, but now after years of adult much healing, and forgiveness I remember the good times only.  Though it is still considered a small town it is more than twice as big as when I was growing up.  We spent a lot of time outdoors; it was before home computers, cable tv, and cell phones.  Our family had waterfront property so we had several sail boats since my dad was really into sailing along with row boats. Often we would row to the spit at the mouth of the harbor, or to one of the marinas. Also, there was only one high school and junior high school while now there are two high schools and four middle schools.  So everyone pretty well new each other to some degree. I lived only about a mile-and a half from our city park. In junior high would play pickup football after school in the fall; also, was my little league home field. Now there are more parks as well along with walking trails. So again despite some trouble growing up I could not have lived in a better place. In the future I will expand some thoughts about Gig Harbor.