Friday, October 31, 2014

Being Fourteen

The tragic shooting last Friday Oct. 24 at Marysville-Pilchuck reminds me of when I was fourteen years old. It is probably one of the most difficult ages we live; however, it is no excuse what the shooter did that day. Most believe he had a relationship with a girl that broke off, but that still gives no reason to the shooting. He was known as being a very popular student in his class which shows to me though he seemed to be really nice and friendly he had a dark side as well.

I remember fourteen years old, and a freshman in high school being one of my most difficult years in school. I found it being very difficult socializing as well as having poor grades. I had to deal with some bullying from sophomores and junior most of the year. I never did feel as though I had to hurt anyone, or shoot anyone but I tried to survive. I only fought sometimes only so I would not get hurt. What helped out the most was I did know some seniors who came to my rescue sometimes.

Unlike the shooter last week I was not one of the popular students. I was somewhere down in probably the bottom third. Another thing I had to deal with like most at fourteen was how I felt about girls, and how they may have felt about me. I did not ask any girl to a dance because I was nervous and shy. I was not sure how they felt about me. Also, the ones I was most interested in, or I had a crush on already had a boyfriend. I did not know how I should deal with all of it. I am sure I was not alone in it.

Another thing at Peninsula High School we had what was called the freshman pond. It was located near where the buses parked. You can imagine why it was called the freshman pond. It was where some freshmen where thrown into by upperclassmen. I was very lucky I was never thrown into that pond. The experience did not happen very often but no one wanted to be known as someone who got thrown in.

Although things were difficult at fourteen I did survive. Most kids that age need to know whatever happens life will go on. It is really nice that there are counselors and other adults that will listen. Do not be afraid to speak up.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch

Growing up for me at Halloween time was trick or treat along with carving a pumpkin although I was not a big fan of eating pumpkin pie. Even now I do not think pumpkin pie has a great taste. It is good with whip cream though. In fact without whip cream I do not think it really has a taste at all, however, that is my own opinion.

The big thing that I found happening this year is for people to visit the Pumpkin Patch. I was told a few days ago by a woman with her three year old daughter and six month old baby boy at a local coffee shop that visiting a Pumpkin Patch has been going a few years. I guess I must be behind the times a little bit, however, it seems to be mentioned a lot in the local papers, and on the television news this year. Around here there are a lot of Pumpkin Patches to visit. Also, there is not a big problem buying pumpkins either. I am sure I will eat pumpkin pie but I will make sure it has whip cream on it. I find it strange though I do really enjoy drinking pumpkin lattes either with or without whip cream.

I really do like that every kid of all ages enjoy Halloween. This year like so many others I will be going to a Halloween Party. I think likely I will go as myself which is probably scary enough as it is. If someone asks me why I am not wearing a costume I will say I am going as Bill Gates. Oh yes I get to meet the Great Pumpkin as well. I expect to have a really good time along with getting some candy. Only time of the year I really eat much candy.

I hope you all enjoy your Halloween, and look forward the rest of the year. The holiday season is just beginning. We can all be kids this time of the year. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Shocking News

Just a few hours after my last post there was a shooting at a high school Marysville-Pilchuck in Marysville, Washington which is in Western Washington. At the time there were two shot dead including the shooter, and four other victims were seriously injured. On Sunday Oct. 26 one of the four other victims Gia Soriano died. She was only fourteen years of age, and had a full life ahead of her. At this time no reason for the shooting. As far as I know it is the first school shooting in Washington State. Just like the other previous school shootings in the United States no answers on how to prevent them in the future.

Just to let you know what I know about the town of Marysville. Last Sunday going north to Samish Island which I mentioned in another post my mother and I went through Marysville.  There is a rest stop only a few miles north of Marysville where we made a stop on the way to Samish Island. It is a small town about thirty miles north of Seattle on Interstate 5. Like so many small towns everyone knows each other or at least knows the names so everyone knew the shooter and the victims. In fact, the victims were known by the shooter, and in a couple cases were related. The shooter spent a lot of time with the victims which make it more terrible. What a tragedy because all them had so much to live for. It seems that one of the victims most likely will make it but it will take a lot of time to recovery. The other two remaining victims we do not know at this time whether they will recover at all. In fact, the chance is not very good. It is important to pray for them, and the whole community of Marysville. It will take a long time for healing.

As I have said I do not know the town of Marysville very well, however, many times especially when growing up our family would stop in Marysville when going to visit relatives in either Bellingham, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. We found that Marysville was a very good place to stop. They had a very nice restaurant called the Turkey House at that time, it has now changed name. We would stop for either lunch or dinner and have turkey along with pie. They had the best pies.

Last year my mother and I stopped in Marysville at a coffee shop for a latte. We were on the way to a wedding in north-east part of British Columbia. It was too early to have lunch. It was such a lovely place to spend a few minutes to relax before continuing on our trip.
The shooting at the school will put new meaning in the future of when I stop in Marysville, however, I look forward to talk with people to find out how things are going.

I am not sure what the answers are to these awful shootings, however, the government will need to find a solution. Please pray for our children and the United States. Also, it is important for the young people to get some answers. I remember that age as being one of the most difficult times of my life.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The News

Here in the Seattle, Washington area like I am sure in many other areas of the USA the local news has increased. I am sure to be able to compete with the cable news companies.

 The news here starts at 4:30 am until 7 am for local news than goes to national news. I am not sure why so early. Even if I had to get up that early I would likely not watch the news. In the afternoon the news now starts at 4 pm until 7 pm, and the nightly news from 9 pm until 11 pm. So we have lots of news along with the weather. Also, I can receive news on social media as well. It gives me links to the stories.

We can say we are being over saturated with news which is true, however, sometimes it important to receive news that is close to us. For example, on Wednesday October 22 there was the international news where a soldier was shot and killed at the Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario which is the capital of Canada. This story was close to me because my sister Barb works near where the shooting occurred so it made me very interested what happened. The best thing she did was send me an email letting me know that she and her co-workers were OK.

Most of the time I do not watch that much of the news, however, it is nice to know it is available since I do have family all over the place and occasionally something happens where family is in the area. Most of my relatives are in Western Washington so the local news sometimes is important. I am sure most people are in the same boat where family is close by but have family in other locations as well. It is really nice to know that news can travel so fast now that we do not have to wait to find out.

There is other news like Ebola that happens where we are not sure how it will affect us. I find that we can panic for something like Ebola that we do not really understand. Another thing is we are not sure how much of the truth about Ebola we are told either. There are other issues like aids when it came out, or what is happening in other parts of the world like the Middle East. The whole thing is that we cannot do much about it so why panic. It would be easy to feel fear all the time along with being paranoid.

The main thing is that when we wake up in the morning we do not know what the day will be like. We can only do the very best, and be 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Making Music

I have encouraged about smiling, laughing, and using our talents to the fullest how about music. I know not everyone can play an instrument or sing but everyone can enjoy listening to music. I think this true even if you do not have a true ear for music, or even if you do not have rhythm.

When I went into fifth grade I joined the band, and played the trumpet for two years. I really enjoyed the trumpet; however, I was not very good playing the instrument. In fact, I took some private listens from the band director, but it did not help either so my trumpet career ended with disappointment. Though I have not played the trumpet since other than blowing it a few times still realizing that I still have no talent it does not take away the love of the trumpet. Because I do have rhythm I do now have a set of bongo drums that I can. Hopefully we can all find something to play even if we are not good.

When I was going into tenth grade I joined the high school beginning choir because I loved to sing. I was not very good at the time either. I sang with a monotone voice which my mother knew; however, she did not tell me. My voice was changing at the time, and she wanted me to learn to sing right so she could enjoy me singing around the house. I am sure other parents have experienced the same thing. I found out real soon about singing monotone because my fellow choir members told me, and made fun of me. The best thing I do have a very true  ear for music so I became a good singer before the year ended, and the following year I joined the larger and the top choir in school. I sang in the school choir for two years along with many years in church choir. I consider myself a good singer but not a great singer where I would sing solos. It is really nice to be able to sing whenever I want to.

I would say though if you can’t sing very well at least you can sing the shower or in the car when no one else is in it. If you feel you can’t enjoy singing at least you should be able to listen to some good music.

Another thing that is good to do is to meditate. It is really great to get your mind in a good place. We are around people that sometimes say negative things so meditation will help get everything back in order. Music is good for it as well. I would recommend listen to instrumental music either classical or soft jazz.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Seeing Some Family Again

We seem to spend most of our time with friends, classmates or co-workers more than we do family. There is nothing better than we do see family. I think it is the connection of the blood line, and knowing that we are connected to some other people. We either look quite similar or we enjoy many of the same things, and we have a lot of the same talents. I really enjoy getting together with family to catch up on things. I am able to know what family is up to on social media, however, it is a lot nicer to talk in person despite the use of text messaging.

On Sunday afternoon my mother and I headed north of Seattle to Samish Island where the newest family member Finnegan lives to celebrate his first birthday. It is approximately 122 miles from Gig Harbor, and it takes just over two hours to drive. Fortunately most of the driving is done on I-5 freeway. Samish Island is a very beautiful spot just a few miles south and west of Bellingham. On Samish Island at Finnegan’s house you can see a beautiful view of Samish Bay. It was a sunny day so it was very nice to see, and there was a little bit of wind as well. We could not see it at the time; however, Mt. Baker is north and east of Samish Island.

My mother and I were the first to arrive for Finnegan’s birthday party since we were the ones coming the longest distance, and made sure we left enough time because of traffic. Finnegan’s birthday party was made up of family only. There were cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. The first hour was spent meeting family members and catching up with them. Also, there was apple cider along with the treats. The second hour was spent mostly opening Finnegan’s presents and having a very nice desert. I was able to see very close how Finnegan eats his birthday cake. I was warned about being so close but turned out not to be no problem. He ate his cake with his hands. The cake was angel food along with homemade raspberry jam and whip cream. Actually the angel food cake was homemade as well. At the end of eating Finnegan’s face had the raspberry jam mostly and the whip cream. It really made the best of the party. Actually a few minutes before leaving to return home we saw Finnegan left the best for last. He actually walked his first steps. This is actually what family is all about.

The return trip the weather continued to be nice though it had been forecast to rain. Going through Seattle at night is beautiful to see; however, I have to watch the other drivers more closely. This day was a day to remember. As I have said nothing like family. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Soccer known as football in the rest of the world except United States is becoming quite popular here as well.

The Seattle Sounders FC has the largest attendance in the MLS. Also, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps are right up there as well so it shows how popular and important soccer is in the Northwest. Not only people are watching the sport the kids are playing a lot of it as well. In fact, many schools in the Northwest the boys are playing soccer more than football. I would say the small schools that still have football will likely not provide it in the next five to ten years. A lot of girls are playing the sport as well.
On Monday October 13 both the Sounders and the Timbers announced they were going to have teams playing in the USL Pro League starting in 2015. If you have not heard of this league which I can say I had not before October 13 they are considered the third level of professional soccer in the United States. Also, all the teams in the MLS (the league Sounders, Timbers, and Whitecaps are in) will be required to have either teams or players in the USL Pro League next year. The League will be expanding from 12 teams to 24 teams. It will be players who the MLS consider development. It will be like a minor league that Major League Baseball has. The teams in Seattle and Portland will be called Sounders FC2 and TimbersFC2. They wanted to be sure that they could still control the players who go to the USL Pro League. This will allow the players to be able to play more, and be able to contribute to the main club in the future. The attendance both teams have it will allow the fans to see more soccer, or for those who can’t see the main team to see those teams. Sometimes it is as exciting to see the younger players coming up instead of the established players. This will really allow the players coming out of college to continue developing their skills.

I think all this is positive for the young kids who are beginning to play soccer that they may have a future playing professional just like football, baseball, basketball, and hockey.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Columbus Day Storm

On October 13 it became windy that afternoon. It was not really windy like we often get in Gig Harbor; however, it did remind me of the biggest storm in my life-time in the northwest. The storm happened on Columbus Day fifty-two years ago.

Like many other events during my childhood I do not remember the storm very much. The storm did leave something behind to remember itself. I know we lost electricity for several days because one our trees next to the road was hit by the electric pole, and it caught on fire which destroyed most of the tree. Only a small amount of tree remained after the storm. The tree remained as long as we lived in the house. The people who bought the house removed the tree shortly after moving in. Each time I drive by the place I wish the remaining of tree was still there. I could understand them removing the tree; however, in our family it was part of history.

Usually this time of the year it is common to have storms, but nothing was like that storm. Most years we do lose electricity at least once for at least a few hours. In many cases it is because of wind storms, however, we have had cases where car accidents have caused them as well. We have been fortunate to have electricity off no more than maybe a couple days at the most. Other places nearby have not been as fortunate. Also, once in a while snow will cause electricity to go out as well.

I do not remember what year it was, however, one year our electricity went out on Thanksgiving. We were fortunate that it did come back on so we could have Thanksgiving dinner. I mainly remember it because my older brother Dick was visiting our sister up near Vancouver, British Columbia. The electricity was out at least all Thanksgiving, and they were unable to have turkey dinner. Our sister said that Dick was very upset. He usually kept cool; however, he was not that day he was looking forward to the dinner. Like I have said it is quite common to have heavy wind storms during the late fall, and winter. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Remembering Halloween

Since it is coming up once again I am sure most people remember their years going out trick and treat on Halloween. I would say likely one of the high lights of your childhood.

I have to say though I do not remember much about my experiences; however, I do remember going door to door to all the neighborhood houses. A lot of the neighbors had young children as well though there were some older people as well. Some had known my grandfather for several years. More people were living in Gig Harbor full time; especially in my neighborhood prior to the 1950s a lot of people lived in Gig Harbor during the summer and weekends. This was the case of my father, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. My grandfather did not live full time in Gig Harbor until he retired. My dad’s family lived during the school year in Tacoma like many others did. The only ones living in Gig Harbor full time then were the local fishermen, retirees, and those who had businesses in Gig Harbor. It wasn't until the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built in the 1940s; before that the main transportation to Gig Harbor was by ferry.

I do not really remember the customs that I wore for Halloween. I recently saw a picture of my brother Jack and me wearing cowboy outfits. I was likely around nine and he was six. It looked like we got them for Christmas; however, I would think we wore them for Halloween the next year. I am sure one year I went as the lone ranger. Also, I may have gone as batman or superman. Since I was a big baseball fan, and played little league I am sure I wore my baseball uniform at least once as well.

I know a lot of my classmates remember a lot more about their childhood than I do so I am sure they remember a lot more detail what they wore. In fact, they may even remember what I wore as well.

Speaking of my classmates most of them had children, and I am sure they remember what they wore for Halloween as well. A lot of them now are grandparents, and enjoying seeing their grandchildren dressing up for Halloween. I think kids up to probably ten years of age are really cute no matter what they wear for Halloween. Of course, now with everyone having cell phones a lot of pictures are being taken more than ever before. I am sure I will be seeing them in their glory through Facebook.

One thing that has changed about Halloween is that kids do not go door to door as much today. In fact where I live I haven’t seen any trick or treaters for several years. My apartment complex does not have many young kids, and in Gig Harbor parents can take their kids downtown to celebrate Halloween. Also, a lot more parties happen at Halloween now. The most important thing it does keep the kids safe. I am sure those that do trick or treat happens very close to their homes along with family and friends. One thing that has not changed is children still get their treats.

Whether you have small children or you are grandparents enjoy Halloween. We are coming into the best time of the year for all the holidays. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Welcome Back

You may be thinking about a friend, a foreign diplomat, or Vice President Joe Biden who just visited Seattle. Actually I am writing about the rain which will be returning this weekend.

He has been gone for five months on a longer summer vacation, and he is expected to stay for about seven months. Most people have been looking forward to his return since the sun has been around for so long. I do not mind him returning, however, I hope he allows the sun to come out sometimes. The problem with the rain is that he is somewhat of a bully, and only allows the sun to come out every once in a while. If he has his way he will come out on Halloween and make things not very good for the children. He especially does not like children. He does not like adults very much either because he remembers them as children.

Around here in the northwest he usually comes out as a drizzle. Only on special occasions he comes out as a downpour. One of his best friends is wind who likes to cause trouble usually around Thanksgiving. He wants people to lose their electricity, and have a miserable time. He doesn't like snow very much because he does not want it to be cold very often, and the snow upstages him.

Another of his good friends is clouds. He wants people in the northwest think it rains a lot more than it actually does. He believes that clouds make people very depressed; so much that some people actually go south for the winter. He really does not like birds either since he knows most of them will go south for the winter. He likes Canadian birds because he knows they do not like snow, and some of them will spend the winter in the northwest.

Since the rain is a bully do not allow him to get the best of you. If you can ignore him as much as you can. In fact the best thing to do is not use umbrellas. It makes him very mad. I know for those who have to walk a distance to walk after parking need a umbrella.

Have a great weekend. If rain comes your way just laugh at him; do the same with his friends. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another Day

Today is another day as we know. Regardless of what happened yesterday whether good or bad it is yesterday. We should learn from yesterday since now it is history.

Today I look for being thankful since it is a new day, and when the day ends to be thankful for the day as well. The first thing about today is that we have made plans whether it is  going to work, or going to the coffee shop I regularly attend and then onto the pharmacy to pick up prescription. The mystery of the day is what happens at both locations, or may happen on the way. I look to encourage others, along with being encouraged by others as well. Also, I will need to encourage myself as well. Many ways we are like in a war each day, and we must look to find a way not to be a casualty, and be victorious.

In another way I see today like being a football game. We have set up a play to run, and we look across at the defense to see if that play will be successful, or we may need to change the play. We may realize that the play we have called may cause us to be sacked by the defense if we are passing the ball, or the running back loses yardage when handing the ball off. We change the play to make sure the play may be more successful though we will really not know until the play is run. Hopefully, we are not at the end of the game where we are behind, and we have to throw a Hail Mary pass to win.
This morning on line I read about the passing of one of my English teachers in high school Mr. David James. He was an exceptional teacher who many former students remember fondly. I saw him last year at an all high school reunion. I was amazed after all these years that he remembered me. Of course, it was for others who attended as well. He was given a standing ovation along with other former teachers who attended as well. So this is added to my plan of the day to remember Mr. David James with high praise, and rest in peace.

So I hope you have a blessed day, and everything turns out good. If not, it is only another day, and tomorrow will be better. Also, remember to be thankful regardless of how it turns out. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Beautiful Skies

Currently we have had the best weather I can remember the last five months. I know I have said it several times how beautiful it is when the sun comes out in Western Washington.

It reminds me of a song by Perry Como call the most beautiful skies are in Seattle. It was recorded and made a hit in late 1968. Also, it was a theme song for a show called “Here comes the Bride”. It starred David Soul who later was in Starsky and Hutch. Also, it starred Bobby Sherman who was a teen idol just before Donny Osmond. The show lasted two seasons. The only reason I watched the show because it was about Seattle and Tacoma. Also, it did not hurt seeing female actresses who came on the show. They were young ladies coming to Seattle from the East Coast to become brides for the men who were there. They were primarily loggers at the time. Actually Tacoma was supposed to be the big city instead of Seattle until the gold rush hit Alaska, and Seattle was closer.

The stretch of really nice weather which is longer than normal makes me wonder how the weather will be in the winter. Will the weather be mild like the last couple years, or be a rougher colder weather? The thing about mild winter is that we still get plenty of rain, and snow in the mountains, however, it happens in fewer days. The whole thing about snow in fewer days is that the skiing season is shorter in the ski resorts. The ski resorts have had it rough the last couple years so they look for it to snow sooner this year instead of later.

The whole thing about snow is that I really like it; however, I am allergic to snow. Actually I am more to cold weather than snow. The major thing is that most people in Western Washington have a problem driving in snow. On the positive side most people stay at home, however, when I drive I still watch out for other drivers.  The major reason there is a problem driving in snow is that we have a lot of hills. In Gig Harbor we have several hills that are hard to drive up so it is important to avoid them as much as possible. Some people have problems getting out of their driveways as well.

I know I am going to enjoy the lovely weather, and beautiful skies as long as possible. In the middle of winter whether mild or rough I will remember these days, and look forward to them in the future. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nice Arrival

This might sound light I am writing about the arrival of a brand new baby, however, I am actually writing about the month of October.

The month of October has started out with really good weather. The temperatures are expected to be the high 60s and low 70s for at least two weeks. Also, I really like to have the sun out as well. We know it will be really soon where we won’t see the sun very often for several months. There is not a better place to be than Gig Harbor when the sun is out especially looking at Mt. Rainier. If I were to go anywhere during October would be southern France; another beautiful place to be.

Another reason I like October is baseball with the playoffs and World Series. This year the Seattle Mariners missed out making the playoffs by one game. It would have been so exciting if they made the playoffs even if they did not stay in it very long. I will watch a little football but I will get more into it in November.

Another big thing that happens in Western Washington is Oktoberfest. There are different places to go besides Gig Harbor to enjoy Bavarian food. In the middle of the state is Leavenworth which is a small town that looks very German. Besides Oktoberfest a lot of people visit Leavenworth during the Christmas season. They put on quite a festival, and you will see some snow coming down as well.

Of course, the best part of October is at the end of the month with Halloween. It is always great seeing young children in their cute outfits, and going trek or treat. We see what they think is important or what is popular.

I am sure I will think more about October which I will share if it comes to my mind. Have a great weekend, and enjoy this month. Remember each day has uniqueness to itself. Say hi to someone you do not know. Oh yes give a smile as well.