Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Important Visitor to Gig Harbor

On Sunday morning September 28 Gig Harbor had a visit from Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic of Croatia. What makes him an important visitor?  The first people who came to live in Gig Harbor besides the Native Americans were from Croatia. They were those who made Gig Harbor into a fishing village.  The Prime Minister’s visit was not originally planned to include Gig Harbor. His visit included Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City.

The city council of Gig Harbor when learning that the Prime Minister was coming to Seattle they wanted him to visit Gig Harbor since there is so much history including people of Croatian descent. The Prime Minister when speaking at Skansie Park let those who came to see and hear from him that he never heard of Gig Harbor, however, looked forward to come when asked to visit. He was very happy to hear that so many people living in Gig Harbor were of Croatian descent. He was not surprised they were fishermen. He expected anyone from Croatia would settle in or near the water, and would not be farmers. He was very impressed in Gig Harbor. It was really great that anyone who wanted to be able to speak with him directly, and tell him the stories of how their parents or grandparents came to Gig Harbor.

When growing up in Gig Harbor I had a lot of fellow classmates and friends whose grandparents came to Gig Harbor from Croatia. Their parents were born in Gig Harbor. At that time the fishing fleet was around 30 boats. Their fathers and uncles were out fishing for several months every year.  When they got older they went out, and spent summers on the boats as well. They usually went to Alaska or the Washington coast. The fishing fleet isn’t as big now as back then, however, some of those same classmates along with their children are fishing.

Another thing when growing up in Gig Harbor was our addresses were route numbers until I got into high schools. Actually our address changed several times though we never moved. During high school the addresses were changed to names, and numbers. I lived on Goodman drive which was named after the first teach in Gig Harbor. Ms. Goodman lived into her 90s and taught school for about seventy years. I was too young to remember her but both my mother and sister remember her very much. Also, the junior high I went to was named after her as well. Almost all the street names in Gig Harbor are named after the families that first came to Gig Harbor, and most of them are Croatian names.

There is now a history museum at the head of the harbor where people can visit, and learn about the history of Gig Harbor. Though I am not of Croatian descent it is very good to look back at the history of Gig Harbor, and when walking along the streets of Gig Harbor see the different name signs, and knowing most of the family names.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall is Here

We saw in the state of Washington and the northwest fall came out in a bang with some rain and colder temperatures. The last few days it has been cloudy along with the sun coming out later in the day. It is very common in the northwest for this to happen.

I have heard a number of people who said that they were looking forward to fall. We did have very nice and long summer. Though we do have some rain in late September and through October, also, we have do have some very nice days with sun coming out. Today is a common fall day with fog, and sun expected in the afternoon.

Seeing the change of color in the leaves is very enjoyable as well. There are a lot of bright colors in them. Those who told me they were looking forward to rain said that they would still say the same in November. I thought sure you do. Being a native I really do not mind the rain, but going many days without the sun can be very bothersome. There is another thing that I do not like a lot becoming dark early at night and waking up in darkness as well. Really makes the days seem very lonely.

When I was growing up when we had weekends with rain my brothers and I would play different card games. It was a good time, however, it does get tiresome after a while. My older brother Dick invented his own war games. Usually took several days to complete each game. In those days we did not have video games, and our television reception was not very good before cable television. It was good to go outside when rain was not happening. The days when it did not rain, and we were not in school I would spend at my friend Gary or Bob’s depending on who was home. When I went out neither lived to far away so I had no problem walking to either house. We did different things depending on whose place I went too.

For the children I hope they all have close friends nearby they can spend time with. I would make sure they are outside when possible. For the adults would be spend good quality time together doing different activities. It is something good to do because when winter comes it maybe even harder. If you live in an area that has nice weather all the time you are lucky, however, it is really nice to have all four seasons around here.

Friday, September 26, 2014


The first thing my heart procedure was a success. The doctor found no major blockage in my heart. He told me that there was a little bit of minor blockage but did nothing to them because it would not help. He would give the pictures taken to my cardiologist, and discuss what action would take place next. With success sometimes come mistakes and failures as well.  In this case I caught a cold while in the hospital, and bruising on my right arm.

The whole thing about success is that mistakes and failures are going to come along as well. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes and failures. Actually we must learn from the success as well. The only way we become more successful is to learn from our experience.

Sometimes we may not think we are successful because we look at our mistakes and failures greater than we ought to. Another thing is often we look at success of others especially our siblings and parents. We need to look at our success on its own merit instead.

One major error we look at is how much money we make. We consider a success or failure by the amount we make. The thing about success is we can be successful in many other ways besides money. Most of us will not make the money that Bill Gates does, however, it does not change the fact we are successful.

For most of us being born in the United States of America gives us an opportunity to be successful. We may have obstacles that get in the way of success but does not change the opportunity to do so. For example, in my life when I was four years old I was burned and spent six and half weeks in the hospital. I almost did not make it, however, I sure did. At the same time I had a hearing problem that was resolved when I was five years old. Throughout my elementary school years into high school I was behind in my reading level. While in high school I took an individual reading class that increased my reading level. Now I am able to read at the level as a junior in college. At least that was what I was at the last time I took a reading test. If I lived in another country I may have not survived, or if I did I would not been able to accomplish what I did. In that alone I would call high level of success.

After working for several years I lost my job so I went back to school. I received an associate’s degree at the local community college. I would call another success story.

We all have gone through many successes and failures along the road of life. It is important that we recognize our successes. If you have felt that you have been a failure all the way along you can today start on the road of success.

The marathon runner knows the most about success and failure. It is not how you start the race it is how you finish it.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014


The one thing we can do to encourage or discourage people with our words. It is something I am trying to do is encourage people as much as possible. In this time it is more important than ever since what is going on the word, however, many are being discouraged. Often it can be just one word to someone that will make a difference whether positive or negative.

We have heard where bullying is quite a concern, but negative can have the effect on children as well. I am sure we experienced it when we were kids. I know myself it happened quite a bit growing up in Gig Harbor. Parents need to speak to their children on how to act and words to encourage other children. Most kids are accustomed to speak negative words to other kids. Of course, many adults do the same thing as well. We do not learn from our mistakes very often. I often feel negative about myself because of the words others spoke to me in the past. The most important thing for us to do in this situation is to say today I won’t allow the past to get the best of me. It is a battle we must do on a daily basis.

Another area besides words we must with is body language. It can be as effective both positive or negative as words. People can feel very ignored or unappreciated on how others act as far as body language. I have said that when I go walking I give eye contact along with a smile. I have been told by others that they have felt very alone because people do not give them attention. Body language can occur to when you are speaking to another. They may give you the feeling that they are not interested in what you are saying.

Another thing is listening to others as well. This can feel negative especially when greeting others. We may have other things on our mind when we get contact with them. I know usually when someone ask how we are doing we respond by saying we are fine. Sometimes we pay respond that way when we do not really want to get into with someone. I remember once though where I was asked the question, and I responded that I was not doing well. There response was oh that’s nice. Obviously I felt even worse than I had.

The most important thing we can do is give others our attention. I can admit that I am not always good at it either. I know it happens so I work on it as much as I can.

I will be going through my heart procedure on Sept.23 so I am not sure when I will write again. I hope to be able to on the 24th but I am not sure. I will give you updates on how I am feeling. Until next time I hope everything goes well with everyone.

Friday, September 19, 2014


This week I have been thinking about culture. All of us are part of different cultures. We do not think a lot about it because we usually travel from one culture to another really easy.

Each of us is part of a culture because of our family roots. How we act around our family will be different than we do around other people including our friends.

My father’s father grew up in England while his wife grew up in Nebraska so there is a different culture all together. My grandfather came to United States after spending a little time in Canada. My grandparents first settled together in Bremerton and then in Tacoma. My mother came to Seattle after growing up in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Also, she spent time in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as well as Paris, France. Her mother’s family was English while her father’s family was part English and part Scottish. So I have mostly English in my background along with Scottish, and a little Danish from my father’s side.  So my cultures are mixed because of English and Canada primarily along with being American.

I have to say that most people in United States are very similar having mixtures of cultures; however, living in different parts of the country brings different cultures as well. For example, if I met someone from New Orleans and we traveled together to France the people there would see a difference in us. The only thing we likely have in common is being American. We would have common values to because we are Americans. The differences may confuse the French unless they have done some traveling to different parts of the United States.

My relatives in Canada we have some similarities but differences as well. People would see the differences because of our accents but may see similarities as well like how we look or smile.

Every city has a culture of its own as well. For example, though we live real close and only a few miles away from each other Gig Harbor and Tacoma have different cultures. For examples, Gig Harbor cost of living is higher on average than Tacoma. Also, Gig Harbor has fewer minorities than Tacoma. There are more minorities in Gig Harbor now than there were when I was growing up, however, whites still make up over 90% of the population. Tacoma on the other hand has a lot of minorities. So the culture in Gig Harbor and Tacoma are different for those reasons plus.

I see other cultures that are different as well. For example, if I go into the coffee I regular attend the culture is different than the culture I become part of when I go into the public library. People in the library are expected to act a certain way while in the coffee shop it is not expected to be the same way. I am sure those who go into the library go frequently to the coffee shop. I like the coffee shop more because I do not have to worry about being quiet while others may prefer the library.

What I am mainly saying is that we should embrace the diversity in all the different cultures. We should not stay away from a culture because they are different than what we may be accustomed to. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Living in Washington State

I have to say that I am blessed to live in the best state in the best country of the World. I know that there are those who would disagree with me. I have friends who have moved to California because they do not like the weather in Washington during the winter time, and others that go to Arizona during the winter. I know that it is tiring to go so many days without sun during the winter and the spring as well. The positive side we have the best looking nature anywhere to be. I know I get tired of the rain and cloudy days as well but I have to look at the positive more than the negative. Here we have so many places to see that I have not ever been to as well. Also, we have all four seasons, and it never gets to hot or cold. What could be the number one reason to stay is the awesome Mount Rainier.

The number two place I would live in the United States is New England. It is a lot like Washington State as well except it does get colder during the winter. I believe because they do not have any mountain ranges like we have to keep it warmer. Some of my family lives on the east coast so if I had to move this would be the place to go. Other parts of the United States I may visit but I likely would not want to live because of being too hot.

The number three place I would choose to live is southern France. I visited there once, and hope to go back again in the future. It is so beautiful there as well. Also, the people are so nice to be around as well. Family is very important to them, and I could spend a lot of time with them. I do have relatives in the area too. Next to them would likely be Spain and Italy though I have never been to either.

After those places would be British Columbia Canada which is a lot like Washington State as well. Also, I have first cousins living there. Another place I would consider that I have not visited before is New Zealand. The pictures I have seen make place look so beautiful. I would consider England, and Germany next on the list which I have visited both. Many other places I would have to visit before putting them on the map too move to.

In the end there is no place like home. I hope to visit many places but would still consider Washington State home especially Gig Harbor. Come for a visit you may agree.

Monday, September 15, 2014

More of Hanging Out

I know that there are those who think that they spend enough time with others; however, I think it is important to spend as much time as possible. I am not saying you have to spend all free time with others because we do need to spend time alone as well. We need to free our minds of thoughts that are negative. Sometimes other people put those thoughts in our minds. I believe it is important to be with those who will lift us up instead of tearing us down. Other words, we need to be around the right people.

Just like writing this blog I believe I can make a difference in those people I get into contact with. So I try to meet people at coffee shops and grocery stores among other places. I find it really nice to have some new friends. I have joined in groups that exist already. The coffee shop I generally go to there are a group of retired men that get together every morning. Some of them only come three times a week; however, they get together some nights as well with wives along. Next week four couples in the group are going on a river cruise in Europe. I think it is great having friends like that. I am not saying though you have to spend as much time together as they do but some time is good.

I know often being single I feel discouraged, depressed, and alone not having a relationship with a woman whether it is romantic or friendship. It is easy to have a dark cloud come over me, but going out to be with others helps out.

Being alone can also happen with couples. They can feel alone with each other, or have no close friends besides themselves. This can really be true for those who have small children. It is important to meet other couples that are in the same situation. These couples can spend time together like a larger family. Also, they can watch each other’s children to have free time to spend together. Once in a while it would be good to get a baby sister where adults can spend time together. Regardless the age of the couples it is important to go out on dates.

I really hope this really helps each person out. I feel this being part of making changes in our lives. No matter how great our lives are they can even be better. My thoughts and heart are with you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hanging Out

The most important thing we can do in our lives is to spend time with others. I know that some find it hard to do or a funny concept but it is true.

In our society it seems to be that most people work a lot of hours at their job each day so they feel like going right home afterwards. It is the wrong thing to do. It is important to spend time with others whether it is co-workers, family or friends. In some cases those you do not know very well. It is not as though you have to go spend an hour or two at one time with others but a few minutes would be good for you. It is important to take time out by yourself as well. It is my opinion that I am saying this but I am sure experts will agree.

Growing up for me was not easy time. I only had a few close friends and school was not a place I enjoyed going to, however, I believe the interaction I had with other children was important to the development of my life though it was not always easy. When I was four years old I had a hearing problem so I had problems communicating but they did find out the problem and corrected the issue, however, it take me a few years to feel comfortable talking with others though I sure tried. In elementary school I got sent out in the hallway a lot for talking too much in class.

Because of experience in school I am not a big fan of sending little children to pre-school or kindergarten but I do think it is important to do so. I know that sounds strange saying so but it is true. I do not think it is right to send children that young for teaching because they are going to spend enough time in school; however, it is important for them to interact with other children. Going to school playing with toys and games would be fine but learning different subjects I think they should wait. Of course, I think it depends a lot in the child because everyone learns at a different time. For example, my older brother was very smart and started reading at two years of age so it made sense for him. In these kind of cases would be learn at home or get a tutor to help.

Anyway I am going to stop here for now on the subject but I will continue next time getting a little too long here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Enjoying September

I say that September is one of my favorite months of the year. One of the main reasons has to do with the weather. September is a month that starts getting cooler than July and August. It is still very warm the first half of the month or more during the day time while at night it is getting much cooler. I have heard friends saying it is cold while I really enjoy the temperatures. Of course, it is starting to get close to fall as well.

Growing up I did not like September so much because I had to go back to school, however, the temperatures allowed me to enjoy recess, and looking forward to when school got out. Most days after school usually went to the city park and play football with other kids in the neighborhood. Also, we got one day out early from school go to the Puyallup Fair. It is now known as the Washington State Fair. It takes place in Puyallup, Washington which is east of Tacoma. It takes about half an hour to drive to Puyallup depending on the traffic. Enjoyed going with other kids to the fair to go on the rides. Of course, it depended if we could get a ride or not. If I could not make it that day at least was able to enjoy the rest of the day away from school. We may have had to go to the fair on another day; besides the rides had candy, pop corn, hamburgers, and scones. We could also enjoy the horses, and other farm animals. Another thing was a lot of music happening around the fair as well especially country music. I don’t go every year now but still a good time.

Another great thing about September I am able to enjoy the end of baseball season, and the beginning of football. This year is really good because the Seattle Mariners are in the playoff chase. It has been ten years since it has happened. Also, the Seattle Seahawks are defending Super Bowl champions so this year it exciting to see if they can repeat. The last time a team repeated was ten years ago as well the New England Patriot.

I hope that your September is going well, and you are having a good time. It is important because not only fall is coming but winter will be close as well. I enjoy the snow; however, we do not get much snow in Gig Harbor so it is only cold along with rain. Usually I have to go to the mountains to enjoy the snow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 11, 2001 Remembered

I still remember September 11, 2001 as an unusual day. It is a day we will all remember the rest of our lives. It was a day that we never seen before in United States. Hopefully we will never see a day like it again.

I woke up about 6 am pacific time like most mornings turning on sports radio. Instead of reporting on sports they were reporting as a news station. They were reporting that one of the towers had gone down in New York City. It was so hard to believe so I turned on the television to see what was going on.

When I turned on the television the second plane was going into the second tower. It was so hard to believe what was going on. I thought I was watching a movie instead of something real going on right in front in me. In fact, I would say it still feels like the whole thing was unreal. I am sure many people felt that way.

A few hours later we were hearing that a plane headed from Pennsylvania to the Pentagon. It was such a great thing that passengers were heroic by taking down the high jackers before crashing. It was such an act that saved many lives at the Pentagon.

We should never forget this day especially with the group ISIS and other groups of terrorism still happening today. I am sure the family members who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 are still feeling it. Losing family members in any fashion is tragic but especially something like this. My heart goes out to them all.

We need to pray and make sure our government and military will always be on alert so nothing like this will happen again. It is so easy to be ignorant on such matters. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Laughter is Good Medicine

September is the month of change which people have a hard time with. They say that most people do not like standing and talking in front of a group, and I say change is right up there as well. So laughter is good medicine to combat both. If you have to speak in front of a group make sure to say something funny. It doesn't have to be a joke told, however, maybe an experience that you had at sometime that was funny.  Also, laughing during a tough time or change would be good as well.

I think laughter releases something in us that really helps. Usually going to a funeral something is said about the person who died being funny. It allows us to be real, and think very highly of the person. Humor I find to be part of my ever day life. I think it not only helps me but the persons I am in contact with.

In just over two weeks I have my cardiac catheterization procedure. It is important for me to keep laughter in my life to make it until that day, and after. I believe in our darkest time laughter will help us get through. It goes along with hope. I know I have to deal with change in my life so laughter will release me of any stress I feel.

Another good medicine is a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I know in our country it is something people feel uncomfortable to do especially the kiss part. I find it something good to do with someone you love. In France it is a custom of greeting. I really enjoyed while I was there, and miss it a lot. I have cousins in France and I really enjoyed the kiss on both cheeks. It was mostly done with the women, and not with the men. It sure made me feel really good and I recommend doing with a loved one. If not a good hug will work just fine. I think at least two or three hugs a day really helps out. I do not get the chance for it to happen very often, however, it is a good thing. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

September Brings Change

The one thing that September brings is change. First of all we know the change goes from summer to fall. Right now here in the northwest it is still feeling like summer though the evenings are cooler. By the end of the month it will look and feel like fall. Those who put it off are now cutting their grass, and trees along with the leaves that are coming.

A real big change is the little ones who are off to pre-school or kindergarten for the first time. I saw yesterday a little girl who was with her mom by herself. Her older siblings are now in school, however, I believe she will be going to pre-school soon for three days a week. Of course, mom now has a change in her life where she will have time without children part of the day. Later in the day the house will be noisy and she will be making dinner for all.

There will be other children going from elementary school to middle school to high school. For some they will be taller, or at least wearing a larger shoe size. They will be wearing new clothes for at least a few days. They will have new teachers along with maybe new classmates. There may be some who not only change school levels they may have moved to a new town, or at least a new neighborhood. My dad told us once that when he was in elementary school he went to a different school each year though he stayed in Tacoma all those years.  It is an adjustment meeting and having new friends.

Another change is high school seniors who have to think about what college they will go to if they go at all; maybe they will join the military, or get a job out of high school. They will be the top dogs at school along with thinking about their future. Some may already know, and some may put it off until later in the school year.

Last but not least we have those who have graduated from high school, and now have started their new life. Last year my nephew Danny decided go to France for a year before now embarking on college. Last August my brother Jack and his wife moved to Virginia from St.Louis, Missouri so now Danny goes off to college from a different city. Talk about a change.

Anyway I want to congratulate everyone on the changes in their lives especially my friends Gabriel and Sarah who just had a baby girl yesterday. Talk about another change that happens for couples. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Are You Sure

First thing I am going to try writing this blog a little shorter now and in the future. I find it hard to do though but I hope to be able to do so. I may try to write in more installments about a subject.

My brother Jack last Saturday when we were talking on the phone that one his co-workers and her boy friend did a trip to Oregon in August. They both had such a good time they thought about moving to Oregon.  He wanted them to know that the weather in November will be much different than August.

A lot of times going somewhere on trip during good weather will want you to move to the place, however, Oregon is a lot like state of Washington where the weather is much different in winter than during the summer. Oregon and Washington have four seasons though the winter in not as brutal as some places. We do not have the snow like they have on the east coast. I would say Oregon may have more snow than Washington because they have only one mountain range while Washington has two. In western Washington we have the Cascade and Olympic Mountains so it blocks out the amount that may happen.

We will be having some rain in September and October but generally the raining season starts happening in November. Often September especially has what we call Indian Summers where the sun comes out quite frequently.  As a native it is easy to get used to rain and cloudy dates during the winter and spring. There are a lot of people who go south to California and Arizona because of the rain in the winter and spring. Though I get used to the rain I enjoy the time when the sun comes out.

I expect many places are pretty nice during the summer but the winter is a whole different story. Unless you like rain I would not recommend moving to Washington State or Oregon. 

Monday, September 1, 2014


On Friday Aug 29 I wanted my family and close friends know what is going on my life. Now I have decided to let everyone else know.

I found out several weeks ago that I was told by doctors that I had a heart attack at least ten years ago without knowing it. My primary doctor found during a normal examination that my heart was skipping, and he thought I see a cardiologist. I went through more of an examination with the cardiologist that was found I had a damaged heart.

On Sept.23 I will be going through a procedure called cardiac catheterization. It can take up to two hours or so depending on what they find out. They go up through my groin to my heart.  Anyway I have asked for my family and close friends to pray for me. I ask the same from all of you as well. I wish the procedure was this week instead of waiting for three weeks.

It is really encouraging how much family and close friends think of me. Very kind words they have spoken. I have said before there is nothing more important than family and friends. Sometimes we see friends more often because they are closer to us, and we see them more often.

I have written before about changes in our lives this year. I find how important it is for us to do so. I believe circumstances like what I am going through right now will make us a lot stronger. It takes faith and perseverance on our part to do so. I hope that you all are working on the changes and you are being successful. As I have said we are all on a marathon and to finish the race strong. It is important that we are examples to others so they can finish strong as well.