Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Field Trips

I found as a kid one of the fun things to do was go on a field trip in elementary school. I am sure most kids would agree.  The schools would call it a educational experience. I am sure I learned things from the trips; however, I enjoyed getting away from school.

I remember couple of the trips more than the rest of them except the details.  I am amazed that some of the kids I grew up with still remember things very well, but I don’t.

I remember we went to see Namu the Orca whale shortly after he was caught.  He was the first Orca whale ever caught. A couple years later they made a movie of him.  I don’t remember the details; however, I do remember being excited in seeing Namu.

Another trip I remember going on but not the details was going to the Woodland Park Zoo. We took the trip on a train, and it was the first time I had ever been on a train.  In fact, I never went on another train again until I was an adult, and I went to England, and Germany.  On another trip I went on train in France.  To go on the trip to Woodland Park Zoo we would have a Pop and Candy sale for the school.  It was a tradition where a class would do it every year. I believe it was in fourth grade.

These field trips gave me the idea of traveling. When I was twelve years old our family took a trip across Canada for the summer. If you look at one of my early blogs you will see my writing about it.

In junior high I was on the basketball team, and going on road games was also a very good time as well. In high school the choir would go on a yearly trip to perform a contest. It was very good time as well.  I had cousins in Seattle, Bellingham, and Vancouver B.C. so any trips were great as well.  Anytime to get out of Gig Harbor was a great time.  Gig Harbor being a small town going anywhere was exciting since every place else seemed bigger.  I would call it an adventure.

I would still call today going anywhere except maybe Tacoma an adventure.  I would say that only because I have been to Tacoma more times than anywhere else, and it is very close.

Life as a child is an adventure for most of us, and we will never forget.  More adventures we go on the better.  In fact if we can have the attitude as an adult like a child the better off we are. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I have been saying how important family and friends are there is nothing like celebrating birthdays of all those wonderful people in our lives. It is important to encourage each other; everyone needs to know they are important. I certainly know I do. We need to know that we are here for a purpose, and not just hanging out tell we die. I know that is a weird way to say it but is really true.

In my family we have birthdays coming up including my birthday on May 17. Also my young Cousin Mike Shaw’s birthday is the same day. He has gone through a lot the last four and half months with a skiing accident that broke his spine where he needed surgery. It is remarkable how he has gone great rehab; he could easily been left paralyzed but has gone through quite a miracle change in his life. Doctors thought he could take nine months to a year to recover but he was out of rehab center in three months.    Having family and friends has really did encourage him.

First birthday I want to mention is my nephew Robby whose birthday is today April 27. He is the oldest son of my young brother Jack. He is going to Yale Law School where he is having a successful time. He has one year remaining until he graduates. This summer he will be doing an internship with the State Department.  He reminds me a lot of my older Dick; he is very smart, and cares a lot about people.

The next birthday is Ian who is the number two son of my brother Jack. He currently is going to Harvard University, and majoring in Computer Info Systems. He will be out my way this summer doing an internship at Microsoft working with databases. His birthday is two days later than Robby’s on April 29. There is three years difference between them.   He is just like me being the second son, and third child. I would say he is like me in some ways. He does some writing where he wrote his own book. You can purchase it through Amazon. Look for Ian D. Nightingale.  Also he has a really good sense of humor, and uses it to the fullest he can. So like me he enjoys having a good time.  He knows his gifts and talents, and goes for it.

My cousin Bronwen’s birthday is May 7. She shares her birthday with her mother Patty, and our Aunt Emily. Neither of them are around any longer, however, they were wonderful. I find it an honor to have had them both in my life.   Bronwen is a year and ten days older than I.  She has had a difficult life especially with her health as an adult.  She is blessed to have a husband Hank who is her best friend. It is really great to have her in my life.

Bronwen’s younger sister Jennifer’s birthday is on June 10. She is twenty-four days young than I, so she is the closest relative in age. We have always had to look out for each other since most of the cousins are older. Just kidding! Also she is wonderful, and has a son Ryan, and a husband Holt. They are both great guys, and I am sure Jennifer has a lot to do with it.

Have several classmates I grew up with have birthdays as well. So I want to honor them as well.

Though it is great to have birthdays and to honor everyone, it does get more difficult the older we get. It does seem time goes by so fast, however, if it can slow down the better for each of us.  Of course, we should not have to wait for birthdays to honor each other.  So let’s make each day to honor everyone. I make this Honor Day.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and enjoy this coming week.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


The next best thing in our lives to family is friends.  In fact, in many cases friends are a lot closer than family.  Many times we can feel better to share with friends than anyone in the family because of the situation. I know often at school the closest friends were able to help me out in situations I need help in. Also, I was able to help them as well.  Especially in sports when captains pick players for teams.  Often I was picked near the bottom though I knew I was better than those picked ahead of me.  My best friend Gary whenever he was captain always picked me first which always lifted up my spirits. I believe that is what your best friend is someone always there for you, and you for them.

Ideally one of your best friends is at least one of your siblings. It is really nice when families stick close together. I consider my brother one of my best friends though he lives on the east coast and I am on the west coast. We always talk every Saturday unless something comes up which is not very often.

If you are married your spouse should be your very best friend. I believe it is important because when things get difficult, and you need more than love they will be there.  I believe marriages would last instead of divorce if spouses were best friends.

Just remember what I am saying is my opinion, and I am not an expert just an observer.

 I know often young mother’s feel isolated, and having a lack of companionship. I think it is important for them to get out at least once a week if not more often. When I am walking I see often when there are at least two mothers’s walking, and pushing their babies. I think it is really cool thing to do.  It is important to get out in the evening without the children too.  Maybe once with girl friends, and then getting a baby sitter, and having the couple goes out on a date.

I get together with four or five other guys twice a month just to see how things are going. I see the same guys outside the group as well.

We are social beings, and we all need family and friends. It does seem difficult because our society everyone seem to be so busy. I go to a coffee shop almost every day not have coffee but have social interaction. Often I run into people I know while grocery shopping as well. Usually I run into someone I know. I wonder if I should try other grocery stores as well to see if I see other people I know as well.

One last thing is be friendly so you have a lot of friends. Family and friends we can’t have enough. By the way I consider you all friends.  Thanks again for reading. I continually hope I am encouraging each one of you. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One Month Oso and more

Today April 22, 2014 one month after the tragedy of a mudslide in Oso, Washington happened now President Obama plans to visit the site before going on to Asia.

On Monday April 21, 2014 the running of the Boston Marathon occurred a little more than year after the bombing.

Boston a large city and Oso a very small community on two different coasts had a tragedy that took only a few seconds to take lives and change lives forever.  Instead of bitterness the people of both places have risen up.  People across the county came to the aid to help both along with the people in the communities themselves and nearby.  There were tragedies before and after which had the same help of people as well. One thing tragedies do is bring people together as well as joy, peace, perseverance, and many other feelings. The biggest question still not answered in these two tragedies along with others is why. We may never know but we do work on trying the hardest never for it to happen again.

Life is like a marathon where it is not how long it takes to run the race but how you finish the race.  I would consider it tragedy where you lose one life or many more; whether young or old.  Often you remember the young ones because their lives were snatched without living to the fullest. It is like those you see that are in children hospitals as well.  What really amazes me is how strong and faithful those young ones are though they may know that they have not much time to live.

When I was four years old I was burned while cooking eggs on the stove. I spent six weeks in the hospital, and my parents for some of the time didn't know whether I would make it.  I don’t remember it happening I only know because of the scar on my chest.  Also, I had a hearing problem at the same times which turned out to be that I had wax in my ears.  Also, I remember being teased and bullying as well in school.  One of my first writings was about bullying and how to deal with it. All the experience I occurred growing up made me strong person who cares for others as well. Those who have gone or going through the tragedies of Oso and Boston or some other experience you will be strong though you will never forget. In fact I would say we will not forget.

The thing I like about most in writing this blog is if it changes just one person’s life it is worth it all. Remember we can be the best we can be. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

More about Family

I know I written twice before about family, however, I think it is an important subject. I get amazed that some families do disown other members because they don’t have the same beliefs.  I have heard cases where parents do not  want their children to marry someone that doesn't have the same religion, or you will be disowned.  I know over centuries as being the case, however, now where there is more diversity and marriages between cultures I think it is ridiculous. Also I call it controlling your children.   

I know in my family I don’t have the same exact beliefs concerning religion or politics, however, I love them anyway. I am a Christian, and I am told to love one another so if other members of the family do not believe exactly the same I still love them. Also, I know our politics is not exactly  the same either.

Last September I went to a high school reunion, and I asked a woman who was in my class how one of her brother is.  She told me she did not know because they haven’t spoken or seen him for several years. She says that they have no idea why.  I used to go to church with her brother, and I haven’t seen him or his wife for several years too.  I have no idea whether they decided to stay away from family, but when you are supposed to love one another it comes to your family that do not believe the same as well.  If I want my family to believe the same as I do I set the example. They see how important it is to me they may eventually to follow my way; other words, I practice what I preach.

I want my family to know how much I love them as well because I want them to know whatever comes I will be there for them in the same manner I want them to be for me.  There is nothing more important to know whatever mistakes are made I have others that love me.  For example, if I decide to rob a bank, or do something even worse they will support me.  In my case I know it will not happen because I know the consequences, but I know they will support me even if they have to tell me how stupid it was robbing a bank.

They greatest part of love especially from family is to tell them something when they make a big mistake, or need to make changes. Also, nothing feels better when you realize your mistakes, and the family comes to your aid. Let your love for one another be the best of you. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Family continue

First thing I want to thank you for reading about my last writing concerning family. It was one of my highest readings. As I said there is nothing like family.  We all need our family; I am blessed to come from a very good one as I said, also this includes my cousins as well.

This week I found out that I have a damaged heart. According to the doctor there is nothing that can be done other than give me medicine because the damage happened some time ago, and he said it may have happened ten or twenty years ago. If I had taken care of it at the time than they could do something, but likely I didn't recognize what happened.  Though it is a little scary I figured since it happened some time ago, and the doctor told me a little time I should live a normal life. The reason I found this out now my primary doctor thought I had a skipping heart so I was given some tests which revealed the damage.  I have to take a few more tests to make sure I am put on the correct medicine. I appreciate any prayer; however, it does seem that God is looking after me.

I do have family and friends that has been going through more trials than I am. It is important to have family and friends around to support us.  I know several have lost family very recently, and others that are going through health issues as well.

Four months ago my cousin Rob Shaw youngest son Mike was involved in a skiing accident that damaged his spine which he had operated on.  Initially he was paralyzed as well, and the doctors figured it would take at least nine to a year of rehab to recover. He had the real possibility of being paralyzed the rest of his life.  He has been out of the hospital and rehab center for about a month.  He continues to go through rehab but is able to walk. He is a living miracle who feels that he will be able to ski again but not at the same level.  A few days ago he had a video showing walking on a treadmill.  Along with the miracle he has gone through it all with a positive attitude, also, he has had a lot of friends who continue to support him. Mike Shaw I call him as a champion. He is an example to so many including myself.

For those who celebrate Easter I wish you a great time this weekend.  Everyone else I wish you a great weekend as well.  Also, whatever you are going through I am with you and wish you the very best. Remember your family, and friends all around you. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beautiful Spring

So far in the Seattle, Washington area we have had wonderful weather since spring happened.  Of course, we always grateful when the sun comes out this time of the year; we are expecting some rain in the next few days. We do need the rain so we can have the May flowers.

Boating season will be starting pretty soon. I am sure some people go out into their boats in April; however, the first weekend of May is the official beginning of boating season.   On the Saturday the University of Washington has a regatta each year bringing in top college crew teams. The University of Washington usually wins most of the races each year. They are usually a power house when it comes to crew; in fact, the rowing teams for the USA Olympic team are made up of University of Washington crew members or alumni. The regatta is always on Lake Washington which is beautiful place to watch, and take your boat either motor or sailing.

Though spring can be very nice here the best time to spend in Washington is the summer and fall. Many people who go to University of Washington football games come by boat.  Any game that is shown on national television they will the boats, along with Space Needle, and Pike Place Market.  Husky Stadium where the football games are played is right near Mountlake so easy access by boat.  Often people from Gig Harbor and other outlying areas will come by boat.

Along with boating there is fishing, and in the Seattle and Puget Sound area there are lots of harbors to land in. The whole area there is so much to do besides boating, and fishing there is hiking and camping. Also there are a lot of parks you can visit as well along with culture places like museums.  Another thing there is many restaurants where you can eat seafood of all types.

Though there is rain during the spring usually it is light, and often breaks where there is no rain. You just have to plan for it by bringing rain gear.  Sometimes it does get windy as well so important to wear gear for wind as well.

The Seattle area is all so wonderful.  It has all the four seasons, and gets neither to hot or cold. Of course, it depends on where you are from. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I have written about family before; the most important thing in our lives is our family. However, the problem is that we don’t have control over the family we are born into.  We can either be born into a really good family, or very bad family.  In fact, because marriages into divorce about 50% percent of the time means that we likely have been born into a bad family 50 percent of the time.  I don’t really think it works that way.  The reason I say that is I have cousins that have been divorced but family still seems to be good anyway. My opinion is if you turn out fine than your family must be good. Of course, that is not always true.  Some people are able to overcome family situations as well.

I am not saying all this because I am an expert by any means, but by observation only.  I remember growing up, and at school there were some kids that were good, but their siblings were not so good.  Hopefully, the bad kids matured in adulthood, and are fine now. Also, the good ones stayed that way.

They say the odds are most likely if your parents are alcoholics most likely you will be one to, but I think people can overcome those things. It may take some work, and they must make the decision to do so. At the beginning of the year I wrote about being champions, and us working on it.  I find that it is not always easy to overcome our weaknesses but it can be done.  I know myself I am still working on them. It is so easy to live your life the same way even if you want to change things. It is like an athlete become the best, or if you have a craft you want to get better at as well.

I am blessed to be born into a wonderful and loving family. It is not a perfect family by any means but I know each would be there if I need them.  What I miss most is that my sister and my brother’s families are on the east coast, however, when we do get together it is very special. I do know some friends that are very blessed where they are close to their families, and see them a lot.

If you come from a family that is not so good or close make every effort to change. You may have many friends, but your family is very special, and no one is more like them.  Remember they will not always be around, and you don’t want to regret your loss of them.  Friends may come and go, but you will always have family.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oso and Three Weeks

There are so many problems in the United States and around the world; however, when a tragedy happens people come together. Though there is a lot of evil in the world good will triumph in the end.

I amazed that the tragedy happened in Oso, Washington with the mudslide that cost many people their lives was three weeks ago. I think it seems like a lot longer than that; I am sure those families that lost loved ones and those who are still missing would agree.

What I see in the Oso tragedy like so many other tragedies that happen is that there are so many heroes.  There are those who come for the clean up as well as those that are involved in the search and recovery along with family members.  Other heroes were the people of Arlington, and Darrington who may have known some of the victims, or at the least felt they should be a part of search, and recovery.  As far as I am concerned everyone involved are heroes.  There were even people who came from Colorado and California as well along with other people in Washington.

So many other tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing of last year this one will be remembered for a long time.  There is a lot of work and decisions to make in the months and possibly years ahead to do in Oso, Washington. To find out what exactly caused the mudslide, whether to rebuild homes, and putting in new roads.  Of course, the biggest work is to put the lives of those who survived along with those who lost family members back together again. We need to continue praying for them including the people of Arlington, and Darrington.

The people of Oso, Arlington, and Darrington show us all that in many ways we are family, and we must stick together.  The great gift we have is love.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cascades and Olympic Mountains

Monday April 7 the temperature hit 70s and blue skies in Gig Harbor. There is not a better sight on the earth when this happens.  On highway 16 looking south you see the Cascades including Mt. Rainier, and looking north you see the Olympics.  If you go on Soundview Drive looking east you can see the Cascades along with Vashon Island, Point Defiance Park, and Commencement Bay which goes into Tacoma.

The Cascades have four large mountains in Washington State. Besides Mt. Rainier there is Mt. Adams and Mt. St.Helens to the south-east and Mt Baker to the north-east.  Mt. St.Helens had a large volcano eruption on May 16, 1980; so it has a visitor center a lot of people visit each year.  Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie Pass, and Mt. Baker are very popular spots to ski.  Besides hiking the mountains directly there are a lot of other places to hike in the Cascades as well. Also, you can visit the Mt. Rainer National Park, Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Park, Mt.Adams National Forest, and Mt. St. Helens National Monument.

The Olympics is not nearly as large as the Cascades, however, is a wonderful place to visit, and hike. The largest mountain is Mount Olympus. Also you can view Mt. Constance, and the Brothers which is a double peak from Seattle on a clear day. There is the Olympic National Park which makes up most of the Olympic mountain range.  The Olympics have a number of rivers including several known ones the Quinault, Elwha, and the Dosewallips.  They have what is called the Sol Duc Hot Springs as well; a lovely place to hang out at. Also, while you are visiting the Olympics you are close to the Pacific Coast of Washington as well.

When I was in the Boy Scouts we did a lot of hiking in the Olympics. There are so many places to hike in the Olympics including the areas I already mentioned.  For three years during the summer we went on fifty mile hikes. Also, there are a lot of places you can go on day hikes as well.  So if you are a hiker both the Olympics and Cascades are great places to go even for one day. Make sure to take a camera as well to take a lot of pictures. Washington State has so many wonderful places to visit on vacation. Most of the places can take only two hours to drive too. Though there are a lot of places in the world I would like to visit I could spend a lot of time in Washington as well. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

City of Bremerton

The city of Bremerton is about a thirty minute drive north from Gig Harbor. It is by far the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula with a population of forty thousand.

It does have its pluses and minuses For instance on the negative side I would likely not live there because of the look of the neighborhoods, however, I find it a really good place to visit.  The easiest way get to Bremerton from Seattle is by ferry.  In fact, there is a great view of Puget Sound riding the ferry between Seattle and Bremerton. It takes about an hour ferry ride either way. You actually pay the fare for the ride only on the Seattle side. You can drive your car, ride a bike, or be a passenger only.  I take the ferry ride at least once a year when there is family in town.  It is fairly easy walk to the Pike Place Market; also you can go to see the Seahawks, or Mariners play very easy too. Many people take the ferry for work on either side.  Of course, a lot of visitors take the ferry ride to Bremerton for easy access to the rest of the Olympic Peninsula.

The largest employer in Bremerton by far is the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Many people live in Bremerton or other areas near by including Gig Harbor and Port Orchard.  A couple places near Bremerton that are really nice to visit are Silverdale, Seabeck, and Belfair.  A little north of Silverdale is the Naval Base at Bangor.  Seabeck is west of Silverdale, and Belfair is west of Bremerton; both places are easy access to the Hood Canal which is a wonderful place to visit.  When I was a kid our family would go to Twanoh State Park at least once or twice each summer which is west of Belfair. It takes about fifteen minutes from Belfair.  There a lot of other wonderful places to visit beyond Twanoh State Park as well.  I will write about them at another time. You can view and visit a number of naval ships in Bremerton Bay as well. I would call it the best place to visit in Bremerton.

There are so many places on the Olympic Peninsula to visit, and do a lot of camping as well.  Besides the Hood Canal there are the Olympic Mountains, and the Olympic Rain Forest. When I was in boy scouts we went on a fifty mile hike each summer along with some other smaller hikes.  The hiking wasn’t always easy; however, the scenery was fantastic.  Those were some of the really good times. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Playing Basketball

I grew up playing basketball as well as baseball as far as organized sports. Also, I played tennis and football around the neighborhood.

I started playing basketball in fifth grade. Like most kids that age the regulation height of basket was too high to shoot with a regular basketball so had a lower basket height of eight feet.  In fifth and sixth grade played basketball during PE and recess most of the time. Also, did some shooting in the front yard at home.

In the seventh grade I went out, and made the school basketball team. I was the twelfth player on the team so I didn’t play a lot except when the game was a blowout.  Into the season the coach spoke with me knowing that I was frustrated by the lack of playing time.  He wanted me to know that I was better than other boys who were not on the team at all. For someone who is competitive and loves to play not what I really wanted to hear.  I knew that I was not that good but I thought I was at least as good as a few players who played more than I did.

  When I tried out for the basketball team in eighth, ninth, and ten grades I was the last guy cut from the squad. Talk about being frustrated, however, I was persistent for those three years.  I didn’t try out eleventh or twelfth grades because I figured there were younger players that gave me less of a chance to make the team.  What frustrated me the most was the coaches said that other players had more potential than I did, and not better than me.  What is that with potential!  Of course, in those days there was not the three point line in baseball, but I think if there was one I would make the teams because I had a good outside shot. I know that I didn’t have the talent to start but at least good enough to come off the bench.

We had a basketball hoop at home so I did do a lot of practicing to get better. Usually I pretended that the Seattle Supersonics were playing the Boston Celtics who were NBA champions, and I made sure the Sonics always won.  I wasn’t that good of a foul shooter either so I did a lot of foul shooting as well.  

I really enjoyed playing basketball as well as baseball. As an athlete I considered myself being at least average if not a little above average.  Being competitive I was at the top.  Whatever sport I played I did it at full force. I was above average as far as speed goes as well which helped me out. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Playing Baseball

Like most boys I played baseball as a kid along with basketball; I played sandlot football as well. I played little league baseball through eighth grade.  Because baseball was the first one I played became my first love as far as sports go as well though I didn't play in high school.  If I did things over again I would have played baseball in high school as well or tennis. Why I say tennis is because it is the best sport I am good at.  I played a lot of tennis after high school. If I knew that I was that talented at tennis I would have played it at a much younger age. I was good enough that if I started younger I could have played college and professional tennis.  I started way too late.

Playing baseball I played almost every position.  I remember one year where the coach had us play workup where we moved position to position until we came to bat. If you have played baseball you would be very familiar with workup.  I did fine until I came to pitch, and I was unable to get the ball over the plate. After walking several batters the coach took the ball and moved everyone up. 

In fifth grade during recess I played catcher, however, I was hit by the bat so I needed stitches. The last time I played catcher, and I was moved to second base.  The reason I didn't play baseball in high school was because I didn't like some of the other players on the team.  I thought later  I should not have let that bother me.  The team was very good; however, they could have used another outfielder.

When I was in seventh grade, and playing little league I was not hitting the ball very well. It was really the first time I was not doing well. The coach told me he was keeping me in the game because of my defense. At the end of the game on that day I made a diving catch to save the game. After the game another parent told me that I was stepping into the bucket which meant I was stepping toward third base, and I was unable to see the ball; after being told that I was able to hit again.

Every year we had a different parent coach our team in little league which included my dad. He was not much into baseball but he did do a very good job. In fact he really enjoyed the experience; also, I think he enjoyed spending the time with me, and my teammates.  Everyone enjoyed playing for my dad because he allowed everyone to play no matter how good or bad they were.