Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seeing Old Friends

This last Saturday June 28 I was able to see several old friends by going to a wedding right here in Gig Harbor.  The groom I saw grow up, and now he is a wonderful man.  Along with the bride they look like a wonderful match together.

Actually I have known the groom’s family all my life since I grew up with his father, uncles, and an aunt.  I don’t see any of them very often anymore, however, it is always good to see them when I do.  Also, saw others that I do not see very often anymore as well.  It is a lot like a family reunion except able to honor, and see the bride and groom start their lives together.

Though most of these friends I don’t see very often it is a really great to see them each time. Also, I enjoyed meeting a few new people that I can call friends as well. Every one of them I would like to see more often but life often is so busy.  

The great thing about friends is that they are friends forever.  I try to make everyone I meet to be called friend.  Almost every day I go to a coffee shop in Gig Harbor to see those I now call friends.  Once in a while I will see some old friends there as well. 

Coming up this week is Canada Day, and Independence Day (more known as 4th of July).  Of course, Canada, and the United States are two of the greatest countries of the world. I know we are very blessed though neither country is perfect by any means.  It is important for each of us to pray for our countries, and our leaders. Also, I pray for you in other countries, and your leaders that peace will continue or come to you. We must fight for our countries through prayer.  We must pray for changes that need to happen as well.  A lot of change is in people’s mind.  I won’t go any further for respect to others. People think different today than 20 or 30 years ago.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Looking Back and Walking Forward

Last Monday I had a chat on line with someone I grew up with in Gig Harbor. I haven’t seen her since high school, and I found it really good to catch up with her. We not only spoke about what we have been doing since school, but spoke about school especially the early years.

Like most small towns you knew most everyone especially those in your neighborhood. She lived in the city limits of Gig Harbor while I lived on the eastside. She let me know some things she went through during elementary school years.  Though I knew that other kids had difficulties growing up as well I really only thought what I had gone through. Our conversation I believe gave healing for both of us.  I find it is easy to forgive more than it is to forget.

Sometimes it is easy to go back in your memory, and think how others thought about you. Many of the memories shaped your life, and are still part of you, however, we do need to remember in many ways we are different as well. I think about the young pre-school kid who had a hearing problem, and then his parents found out he had wax in his ears.  Going through elementary until high school he had problems ready, and not thinking very highly of himself; just like today some kids were mean as well. The summer between ninth and tenth grade this kid took a three week speed reading course; he was the only student the teach had so he got individual attention, and his reading level went up to high school level. Now the man can read at the college level.  Though the pre-school kid could never do so, the man is able to write a blog.

Looking back to the past makes you realize how far you have come forward. None of us are the same person we were when we were kids.  Though the memories shape our lives in many ways we have overcome the obstacles as well.  If we even look back to five years ago we are likely different, and in the next five years we likely will be more different as well.  It is amazing that we made it through those long tough years; however, we are stronger for it.  I find it important to think about the memories for the good things, and good people as well. Most of those I spend my time with do not know my history, but the past makes me thankful.  Now when I am in difficult times, or someone may say a unkind word I look back, and think no one can hurt me really any more.  Today’s difficulties were nothing those in the past. I have made it through to the other side.

I really hope this helps you out, and for you to remember that you are much better person. You can look back; however, you can walk forward. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beginning of Summer

The weather here in Gig Harbor, and the Puget Sound has started out very good for the summer. It always seems to rain in June, however, I was surprised this morning on TV news the average rainfall for June is 1.5 inches of rain, and so far we have had .5 inches of rain. I guess June is like a lot of months around here where there are a lot of cloudy days so it seems to rain more than it actually does. The winter months are when we get most of the rainfall. July thru September we get very little of rain.

I expect that we will get some rain before 4th of July. This is usually when we consider summer beginning, however, this June we have had a lot sun which is real nice. This morning we had some clouds but the sun came out this afternoon.  I have a bird bath, and I get a lot of small birds showing up in the middle of the day along with Robins, and Blue Jays Also, I have a bird feeder but generally they spend more time in the bath.

One thing people can do around here when it is raining this time of the year is go to the Zoo. There is a zoo in both Seattle and Tacoma. In Seattle it is called the Woodland Park Zoo. When I was in elementary school we took a field trip by train to the Woodland Park Zoo. It was a really good time; however, it was the only time I went to Woodland Park Zoo. I hope in the future to go once again. In Tacoma it is the Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium; I have gone there quite a few times because it is much closer for me. It is a great place to take kids especially if it is cloudy or raining.  You can see all types of fish along with Polar Bears, monkeys, and other animals.  When my sister and brother visited last September we visited there for a day. When we arrived there was a beautiful Peacock that walked up close to us. I thought it was sort of cool. Also, there are other places you can visit at Pt. Defiance as well. There is a really nice garden area you can spend time at, and also there is Owens Beach.  At Owens Beach you can see a very good view of Puget Sound primarily Commencement Bay, and Vashon Island. It is really nice place to picnic, and barbeque as well.  Pt. Defiance has a five-mile trail that you can bike on or walk. There are spots where you can look over and see toward Gig Harbor as well.  I live near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on the Gig Harbor side, and see over to Pt. Defiance along with seeing Mt. Rainier in the background. It is such a great view.

The great thing about the Puget Sound is that you can see so many views of places in the area whether by ferry or by car. There are so many places to visit in Western Washington where you can’t go wrong. Most people who live here would be best to spend their summer vacation here as well.  Maybe once in a while take a summer vacation somewhere else as a special occasion. I don’t think there is a better place to live; we have all four seasons during the year. The winter generally is mild with mostly rain; we don’t’ get a lot of snow except up in the mountains.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


I am amazed that so far I have not had writers block. I say it may be down the road but so far I have a lot to say. My mother said that I did not start talking  until I was five but then I would not stop. I do still talk a good amount but I would say I have learned to listen to others as well which hasn't been easy. In general we are selfish people, and it is not easy to become unselfish.

I have read things from other writers, and broadcasters who say that each of us has a story to tell. I believe they are correct. There are other ways to do so besides writing, and broadcasting.  For example, to learn about someone and their story is that if they are an artist, photographer, or film maker as well. I believe that we are all story tellers; it just depends on how we want to express it. These days a lot of people are expressing themselves in social media through either writing or pictures. You can learn a lot about them this way.

A lot of my writing has to do with Gig Harbor and growing up in a small town.  Also, I write about encouraging others especially with their gifts and talents. I believe my life like so many others is a life of contradictions.  For example, I am a weak, and a strong person. I want to make my weaknesses into strengths. I believe it is how we become better people, and we can help out others.

Living in Western Washington most of the towns are small, so most people live in the country. In Gig Harbor we have boats of different sizes. Since my dad was into sailing, and we lived on the waterfront it was quite natural to have boats, however, there are others in the area that have horses, and other animals.  

Though there are a lot of things to do I think most kids look forward to go to the big city like Seattle. I have only been in Seattle maybe twenty times or so in my life I think? I have gone through Seattle many more times to visit family farther north.  I do have cousins living in Seattle so we visited them on occasion.  Every time I do spend time in Seattle it feels like I am in a foreign county. It seems so international to me. I don’t think that as a problem. The two places I enjoy the most in Seattle is the Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle. Usually I visit them when family is in town; We like taking the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle. It is a very fun trip, and so good to see the Puget Sound.  Most anywhere in the area you can see Mt. Rainier; it is an awesome sight. Like so many places in the area it takes around two hours drive to Mt. Rainier.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It Is Here

Another year where time goes by so fast and it is summer already; I am sure most people have their plans already set. I am not one that really does except I will enjoy the Gig Harbor area. The only sure thing is my brother will be coming in early August.

Gig Harbor is a really good place to walk since it has several trails besides going around the waterfront. Also, there are places nearby that I can enjoy as well. There really is no better place to be in the summer time. The weather is really nice, but, not overwhelming when it comes to temperature.

I have family friend Tom who has a rental boat business. You can either take out a boat, or he will take you out on a tour of the area. Also, there are a number of places where people can rent kayaks on an hour basis. The harbor does get some wind, however, normally not to heavy where you can’t handle it. Besides getting out on the water there are several small shops as well to look into. The city has expanded a lot next to the highway opening a couple new shopping centers, and looking to build another.  One of the problems though the oldest shopping center has lost a few businesses as well, and may lose more with the new one.  I wonder if Gig Harbor now is at capacity; I don’t really see more people moving in either.  The city council has been in discussion about revitalizing the waterfront area as well.  I don’t have a problem with it if the plan is to go with more small businesses, but I think they may look at larger ones which I am not sure is a very good idea.  My opinion is they need to help existing businesses. I am not sure what the answers are, however, I hope they have some good experts.  I see the waterfront should be too   revitalized to help out visitors.  This is really true for those who come in by boat.

Anyway enough of my soap box; though Gig Harbor need help for the future there still is a lot to see for visitors.  Coming to the Olympic Peninsula is a really great idea. Besides Gig Harbor there are so many other places to discover as well.  I recommend a word search for Olympic Peninsula, and find some good ideas. Living in Gig Harbor always means enjoying looking north to Mt. Rainier; it is an awesome sight.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Schools Out!

What I call the best time of the year when I was a kid when school was out for the summer. I know that some kids loved to be in school; however, I can say I was not one of the them. Especially in elementary school most of the teachers did not understand me. I am not sure many others did either.

I am sure most families have a special place they go each year for the summer.  Our family the traditional place to go was Twanoh State Park on the Hood Canal. We usually went at least three times a year during the summer.  We went shortly after school was let out than in July, and August.  It was a great place to go the water was warmer than Gig Harbor.  For little kids they had a small area of water to walk in. Later on we were able to swim out to the dock. The water still was little cold so we would spend some time on the dock before going back to the beach. We would swim around before the dock as well.

I was very fair skinned so mom would put a lot of sun tan lotion on me. I did not really like it; however, she was very smart about it. Also, I had to wear a tee shirt most of the time which I was not happy about either.   I was not happy because most boys went without tee shirts.  Of course, I burned easy so I would have been unhappy in the long run.

Besides the swimming area they had tennis courts so when we got older my brothers, and I would play. There was a picnic area so we ate really good food my mother made. There was a concession stand so candy, water, soda, and ice cream was available.

Across the street they had a camping area. A couple times we stayed overnight for a week in our tent trailer. They were very good memories I have.  The drive from Gig Harbor to Twanoh State Park was a little over an hour each way. The way the roads now are you can do it in less than an hour. I have visited there a few times as an adult, and the place looks exactly the same.

I hope that you had a very good place to visit during the summer each year as well. If you live in Western Washington area, or come for a visit, and have kids I recommend Twanoh State Park. Have yourself a great summer.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Graduating Advice

It is this time of the year when high school and college graduation happens. I first want to say congratulations to you all including all you parents.

For you high school students graduating do not grow up too fast you have a long way to go on this path of life. Though you may think you know exactly what you want to do as a career or job it may change several times unless the plan is to be a doctor or lawyer. In those two areas they may change as well. Whether you are going to college or not enjoy the ride. Those of you who are going to college be flexible knowing that you may change your major at least once, and possibly your college as well. For the parents go for the ride with your children; let them make their own decisions, and give advice when they ask for it. Remember that is OK if they make mistakes.

For you graduating from college I would basically give you the same advice as the high school graduates except if you are in a relationship, and looking to get married please take your time as well.  If you are already married it is important to take your time to have children. It is best to get to know each other better first before having children. It is important to build up savings for your future. If you already have children enjoy them, and make them a high priority. The most important thing is whatever stage you are in a relationship put each other first, and love one another. Again for those who are not married, do not get married because you think you have too.  Enjoy each other without too much responsibility.

For those of you not going to college graduating from high school, it is important to know that you can go to school down the road as well. Most important thing to do is leave your options open including taking a class while working as well.

I just want to remind you all that you have a purpose and destiny to your life. Seek out, and find out what it is. Again enjoy the ride, and take the time. Though you may make mistakes do not regret what you have done. I know personally there are paths I would rather have gone on but never too late to take them. I know later in life you can still do things that you did not do when younger.

Again congratulations to you all for graduating, and enjoy the great ride. Get a lot of good laughs along the way. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Father's Day

I want to start out by wishing you all fathers a great Father’s Day this Sunday June 15. It is really nice to be able to honor our parents on each of their special days.

My dad has been gone for a while he died on June 11, 1993 which was near father’s day. I miss him very much, and I think about him every day. He was not the perfect father by any means; however, he was a really good father.  I think the greatest honor I have received has come from a few cousins who say I remind them of my dad.  My dad died while visiting relatives in France, so I was unable to say goodbye, however, he did say before going on the trip how much he loved me. I believe in his mind he thought he may not return.  Another honor I received from my dad was that I was named after him as well. I am not a junior because my middle name I got from another father my mother’s dad. I did not know him very much because he died when I was four years old.  According to my mom I am a lot like him in personality, and interests.  So I would say knowing myself I know him in some ways.

I say that none of us have perfect fathers.  We can learn as much from their failures as well as their strengths.  If you have or had a father that has not been a good father by neither living it, nor not even being there for you the first thing you should do is to forgive him. I know many sons and daughters have scars they received from either one or both parents. I am not talking about physical scars which some have received as well but emotion scars.  If you are a parent who has put scars on your children, and it does not matter how old your children are you need to go to them, and ask for forgiveness.  It is very important because so many people live with broken hearts, and scars.

For each one to become a good parent is to learn from your parents both the good and the bad.  Each child is a reflection of their parents.  Unfortunately I am not a father in the natural but I believe I can be a father in other ways to younger children who may not have fathers.

So I end this writing by giving you all fathers a great honor.  Hold your head up, and let your children know how much you love, and appreciate them.  Hopefully, each generation all parents are better than the generation before them. Also, have yourself a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Last Weekend

Last weekend we had wonderful weather to be able to do many different things. I don’t remember too many early June’s where the weather was like summer. Usually we have rain in June especially the early part of the month. In fact, we haven’t had any rain so far except maybe a few drops.

In Gig Harbor we had our annual Maritime festival including parade on Saturday, and blessing the fishing fleet on Sunday. Like most parades there were floats, and marching bands from the local high schools.  Also, local business, and politicians participated as well.  It was the largest parade that I remember the festival has had for the many years it has been going on.  The weather brought out a large crowd as well. I think it was the most enjoyable parade I have seen in some time. Of course, I really enjoy seeing a lot of little children. They are always the hit of the party far as I am concerned.   

The rest of Saturday in downtown Gig Harbor was booths where you get food among other things. The lines were a bit long so I skipped that part of it.  Also, there was music going on throughout the day. Being very light skinned I got sun burned around my neck.  I was wearing a Mariners cap so no burn on my head or face thank goodness.  I did take an afternoon nap since the weather and all wore me out.

On Sunday was the blessing of the fleet. I did not stick around long for it though I did hear the blessing.  I walked from the north side of the harbor to downtown which I would say is about two miles. The road was blocked off downtown, and most people parked their cars all the way long. Again more music occurred, and I got a hot dog along with lemonade. The lines were not as long on Sunday, at least when I arrived.

The Maritime festival is the main activity to begin summer, however,  there are other things happening during the summer. Tuesday nights downtown they have music bands playing, and then they have outdoor movies as well each week. Also, many of the churches have summer schools, along with public and private schools as well.  Parents can send their kids to camp as well. When I was elementary age my parents would send my brothers and I to YMCA camp at Camp Seymour which is on the Key Peninsula. We would go for two weeks. There were arts and crafts, archery, and swimming along with canoeing, It was a really good time.  Camp Seymour is still in the same location now, and doesn't look too much different.  I am sure our parents enjoyed the peace, and quiet for those two weeks.

It is amazing how we remember those things we did as children. I am sure the children of today will do so as well. I am sure everyone will enjoy this coming weekend with Father’s Day on Sunday. My next writing will be to honor fathers. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

World Together

First of all I want to thank you for reading my blog. I know I have said so before, but I do really appreciate it especially those in other countries.  I recently had someone read from the Ukraine, and several from Russia.  I know things are difficult in both countries, and if I can give you some peace I feel though I am really helping out.

Here in the United States we are probably blessed more than any other in the world, however, things are far from being perfect either.  I feel those who are living in families that seem to be better than others do not mean things are well. I believe I lived in a family better than most though not perfect by any means.  Our family was not rich or poor, at least by USA standards any way. I know that we were richer than those in many other parts of the world, however, I had difficult times growing up. The problems did not happen at home most of the time, but, I did have hard times at school, and even times before I started school.

I do believe we all come from difficult situations even under the best of circumstances. We live in a world that is not very fare. For some it is at home, and for others it is at school. The most important thing is what we have learned from those circumstances.  I do believe we can overcome all things if we are determined to do so. I know it is not easy because I have things I still have to work out. The most important thing is to find others who will help us out.  Recently we have had shootings in our area where young people have lost their lives. Those shootings have been done by disillusioned or mental ill people. Either them, or someone in their families have spoken to authorities who have not listen.  It is important to hear from people who are crying out in this manner.  We must do something so less violence will occur. People should not lose their lives because of these circumstances.

If you know someone who seem to be acting in a manner that is not right it is important to get them some help. It is possible you or someone close to you that may lose their life.  I certainly know that I do not have all the answers, however, we can listen. I know when growing up I wish sometimes people would listen to me.  I made it through because of determination, and having a very good conscience. The problem in this world is not everyone has a good conscience.  We all have free will, but not everyone uses it correctly.

If you need help, or know someone who does please find it; the thing we can do best is listen. My blessings be on you. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sticking Together

I thought writing about Father’s Day than remembered is on June 15 so I will write about it next week. I find how important for all of us to stick together for our good, and for everyone’s.

June 5 there was a shooting In Seattle, Washington on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.  This is the second shooting in two weeks on a college campus.  They always seem to come in pairs there are no details yet on why the shooting occurred.  They have found the shooter is not a student at the school.  Seattle Pacific is a Christian school so usually they do not even make the news.

There was a death of one student a nineteen year old man, and a young woman who had to go through surgery, and is in critical condition at this time.  There were two others shot to, however, in satisfactory condition, and they will stay alive. This shooting is changing the lives of so many. It affects the lives of the families of the young man who died, along with those who were injured, and those who witness the shooting. Also, affects all the students, and their families at Seattle Pacific University. Another affect it changes the lives of the shooter’s family as well as him.  What was great is the student who stopped the shooter from taking more lives.

Today is important to pray for each person’s life affected by the tragedy along with the whole community of Seattle, and the state of Washington. Also, I would let every friend, and family member you know how much you love them, and care for them.  Unfortunately this will not be the end of violence so we must stick together closely, and listen to each other.  Young people especially need to know they have a purpose, destiny, and are loved.  If they have any tendency toward evil, and destruction make sure they get some help.  Here in Gig Harbor at the high school the last several years there have been students who have committed suicide.  Important to encourage each other, and pray for one another to be sure nothing like this happens in our family, and community.

My thoughts, prays, and love are with you this weekend as always. Until next time stick together. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I would say today lifestyle is something big today. I did not really think much about it when growing up in Gig Harbor. Though Gig Harbor is still considered a small town it is two or three times bigger than when I was a kid.

We did not have a lot of things to do growing up; we basically made things up ourselves.  Spent a lot of time with friends, and going to the local park where we had our little league home baseball games at. Also, we played a lot of sandlot football as well. My brothers and I would sometimes play tennis at the park too. My friend Gary and I would spend hours in his tree house exchanging baseball cards. Also, we would play baseball just the two of us in his yard. We sometimes played in our yard but we did not have the room he had in his yard. Another friend Bob, we often went to the sand spit at the head of the harbor. We played a lot there including one on one football. Those were great times.

Gig Harbor now is looking at building another shopping center up by highway 16. It will be the fourth shopping center on that road. The grocery store on the other side of the highway will be moving over with a bigger store, along with a restaurant, entertainment center, and bowling alley. When I was a kid there was a bowling alley downtown, however, there has not been one for many years. For many years there were a couple car dealerships where the shopping center will go in.  Most recently there has been a RV dealership. I would say I am not a big fan of the RV dealership.  I am not sure about another shopping center; however, I knew it would be coming because when the car dealerships sold their property it was to the people who own the shopping center on the other side.  Not sure what they will do with the current location of the grocery store.

Last Saturday when I went to visit my cousin Bronwen in Puyallup I saw more shopping centers as well. Puyallup always has been larger than Gig Harbor, but, it is considered a small town as well.  Most small towns in Washington State have added more shopping centers in the last twenty years. Bronwen and I went out to lunch at a new burger type restaurant in Puyallup.  There were so many choices of burgers I decided to have French dip instead.

Life style has changed where everyone does everything at a faster pace. So instead of eating at home most of the time most of everyone eats out at least once a week or more often.  Gig Harbor now has several fast food joints where we had none when I was growing up.  I don’t mind eating at a fast food joint once in a while I am now looking at much better diet, and more exercising. I know there are others doing the same thing, but more people need to change back to the good old days. I guess we will see what happens but it may take another ten years for it to happen. 

Monday, June 2, 2014


I still can’t believe that summer time is about here, however, in Western Washington we have had wonderful May where the weather has acted like summer being in 70s and a lot of sun.

This weekend was that way where people were busy outdoors since the sun was out. I went to Puyallup on Saturday which is east of Tacoma. I spent the afternoon with my cousin Bronwen and her husband Hank who live in Puyallup. In the morning I enjoyed my walk along Gig Harbor waterfront. It always has a great view.  There was nice light wind which would be really good for sailing, and some young kids were out Kayaking as well. Sunday afternoon I drove up to Sea-Tac Airport, and picked up my nephew Ian who will be doing an internship at Microsoft in Redmond for the next twelve weeks before heading back to Harvard University for his senior year. It will be really nice to spend some time with him this summer when he is available. My brother Jack and his youngest son Danny will come out early August to see Ian, my mother, and myself.

This week the weather is expected to continue to be in the upper 60s and 70s.  I don’t think there is a better place in the world than Western Washington when the sun is out.  This coming weekend in Gig Harbor we will be having the annual Maritime Parade on Saturday. It happens the first Saturday of June every year. In the 70s they called it Harbor Holidays but now Maritime Festival. On Saturday Night at Shansie Park in downtown Gig Harbor they will be having a couple local bands playing. They have several booths at Shansie Park as well over the weekend.  Sunday afternoon they have the blessing of fishing fleet as they are ready to set out to fish on the Washington Coast and Alaska.  The weather is supposed to be very good, and a lot of locals come out each year. I plan on spending time, and to hope seeing old friends that I do not see very often.

The whole Western Washington area have a lot of people out and about during the summer, and whenever the sun comes out. I have said before there is a lot to do in the whole area. Of course, if you come into Seattle you must go up to the famous Seattle Space Needle. You can see so much of Western Washington right from there.  The Space Needle has been around since 1962 when Seattle had its world’s fair. I have written a lot about the area around where I live; however, there is a lot to see north of Seattle. Of course, the really nice place to go visit is the San Juan Islands. Up in the area you may be able to see the Orcas Killer Whales. They are such a beautiful animal.  The only way to get to the San Juan Islands is be ferry. You can do a search on line for the San Juan Island ferries, and then you are able to get directions on how to get there. Another animal you can see a lot of is the Sea Lion.

Anyway I hope you can make plans to come out my way for the summer.  Maybe you can look me up. Another thing you cannot forget is there are a lot of restaurants you can eat seafood especially crab, salmon, and clam chowder. If you do make it up to the Space Needle they have a nice restaurant too. Have yourself a really nice summer of traveling wherever you go.