Thursday, May 28, 2015

What’s Happening

The last couple weeks it has been a busy time for my brother Jack and his family.
Today marks the third graduation where his son Ian graduates from Harvard University in computer science. I wish I was there right now. I can imagine what is going on because I have been to two graduations at Harvard. Right now I am sure that the graduates are walking in. After it concludes including speech from a well known person the graduates and family go to their prospective areas to eat lunch and then receive their diplomas. Usually the area is where the graduates lived unless they are off campus.

The next chapter for Ian will be coming out to Seattle for a job with Microsoft. It is same position that he worked as an intern last summer. Also, his girlfriend Helen is coming out as well.

On May 17 my niece Leslie her husband Daniel graduated from Lutheran Divinity School in Minnesota. I am not sure where he will be working as of yet but his Sunday’s will be busy for sure.

On May 18 another nephew and Jack’s oldest son Robby graduated from Yale Law School. He worked on the Yale Law review as an editor. He will be studying for the next couple months for the New York bar. He will be doing a little traveling before his next chapter begins working for a U.S. government agency. Congratulations to them all for their accomplishments. It is really nice when the younger ones in the family are paving their own way in different areas.

Closer to home next weekend June 6 and 7 Gig Harbor has its Maritime festival. It begins with a parade on June 6 where a lot of the town comes out. If you are in the area it would be a good time for a visit. After the parade there will be time listen to some music at Skansie Park which is down on the waterfront. Of course, there will be food available as well. I hope to see friends that I do not see too often.  Also, June 6 in the afternoon will be the blessing of the fleet. The local fishermen will be heading out soon to go to Alaska or the Washington coast.

On June 7 there will be continuing providing music all day long at Skansie Park along with other activities. It is great way to have fun especially if the weather is good.

It is so hard to believe that June is arriving at our footsteps. This weekend the weather is expected to reach into the 80s which is very unusual for the northwest; however, I would say the weather this year has been unusual all the way around. So it will be good to get out around the area whether by car, boat, bike or walking.

This coming Monday which is June 1 kicks off the month rain is expected. I am not sure how much but rain is normal for June but as I have said it is not a normal year. I am sure many places around the country can say the same thing.

I am still working at recovery from my procedure of last Thursday. I should be back to complete health in a couple days. I will get back to do some walking and if all things go well be riding my bike. It has been a while so I will start off slowly. I hope things will be normal for a while. Look forward to see what is in store for the summer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Visiting Relatives

The highlight growing up was always to visit our Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Most of the time we saw them during holidays and the summer; living in Gig Harbor it was always good to visit our cousins in the big city also known as Seattle. Also, we had cousins living in Bellingham, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

In those early days it took much longer get to Bellingham and Vancouver because it was before the interstate. Going to Seattle is about an hour drive from Gig Harbor; however, it was at least twice amount time to get there in those days. Bellingham and Vancouver took almost all day get to either place. If you are not familiar with Bellingham it is north of Seattle, and very near the Canadian border. So whenever we went to Vancouver we went through both Seattle and Bellingham as well.

The real early years I do not remember at all. Those are the years before I started going to school. I was burned just before my fourth birthday on my chest and under my right arm. How I was burned was that I decided to cook eggs on the stove. You see I was allergic to eggs at the time but I loved eating them. Since I was not given eggs to eat I had to take the matter into my own hands which of course was a big mistake. My pajamas caught on fire and my mother ended up smoldering me with a blanket to put the fire out. My sister Barb was in the same room as I so she yelled for my mother to come. If she had not been in the same room it would have been much worse. It is possible I may not have seen another day. I spent six weeks in the hospital before being released. I had more fourth birthday while in the hospital. My aunts, uncles, and cousins all came to visit. As I said I do not remember at all this is what I have been told by my parents. Barb though remembers it as though it was like yesterday. What an experience for a twelve year old girl.

Our cousins always like coming to Gig Harbor as well. We always enjoyed seeing them whether on holiday or summer vacation. My cousin Christy who actually stopped by for a couple hours last Monday always talks about the time she spent the summer with us in Gig Harbor. She and her husband were on the way back from their home in Arizona to their home in British Columbia. They now live east of Vancouver. That summer she was fifteen and I was ten. She spent the summer with us because our mother was taking college classes in Portland, Oregon. Our mother taught high school French and German in Tacoma so she had to go for more accreditation.  

All my cousins are older than me except Jennifer who is three weeks younger. My younger brother Jack was the youngest in the clan. I am speaking about my first cousins; we actually had some second cousins that were younger than me.

Everyone loved playing in the yard, going out sailing, and swimming some in the harbor during the summer. The water was very cold in Gig Harbor so I did not swim very long at all. Usually I went in to cool off and that was about it; however, Jack and Cousin Judy loved swimming in the harbor. I guess they would stay in for several minutes. It did not seem like the cold water really effected them, or it was they just had too much fun. Judy I say was about three or four years older than me and Jack was two and half years younger than me. One summer before Judy was going to graduate from high school she spent the summer with us as well. She was not here to take care of us like Christy but to learn math so she could graduate. She had flunked math and need to pass to graduate. My brother Dick was really good at math. I would say not many knew math more than Dick. So he taught Judy math and when she went back to high school she passed with an A. It really showed how good he was at teaching math as well as knowing it.

I have other stories growing up in this crazy family and in Gig Harbor with visits to and from cousins. I will leave them for other times. The only thing I wish was that I could see them more often now. Aunts and Uncles are all gone now. My mother is the only one left of her generation. I miss them along with the good times. Always good to think about it though; there is nothing like family even though there is some faults in us all.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Do You Remember?

There are some things we remember very well. In fact we all know that there are things we remember from a long time ago while there are things we do not remember from yesterday or last week.

It is really funny how our minds really work. The thing is some people remember the whole experience while others only the highlights. I give you an example; on May 18, 1980 I remember Mt. St. Helen’s erupting and there was a lot of ash all over the place even though here in Gig Harbor is probably at least one hundred miles away, and the ash actually covered many parts of Washington State. There was an old gentleman named Harry Truman the same as the late president and may even been related refused to leave and died that day on the volcano eruption. He was not the only one though he is the one I remember. I know the destruction that happened that day but was I watching on TV or a few days later. Most likely that evening because I think that I was working that day. I know others remember exactly where they were that day.

I can give many other examples of experiences that have happened over my life, and I am sure you can do as well. I look back at yesterday, and I know that I went out for coffee, and who I saw. I know that I watched some of the Seattle Mariners game as well; however, some of yesterday is a blank. If I think more about it I am sure I will come up with some things.

I believe our minds work in a fashion what we find important to us. What I believe what is important are the people but the rest is OK at best. I know that the good things and in some cases the bad things I remember. There are some bad things I choose to block out.

When I look back at the past especially my child-hood it feels like things may have happened to someone else, a blur or a different lifetime at least. If you go back in my blogs like a couple years ago I wrote about our family trip across Canada for the summer. I really enjoyed the time we spent at Peggy’s Cove along with the Gas Bay in Quebec. I do remember other things that happened as well but in all feels so different now.

I know we all have a giant database that is called our brain. I look forward to remembering more of what is in that brain of mine. I have written some of my experiences in this blog; however, I look forward to so even more in the future. I hope that you are able to recall experiences that you have had over the many years as well.

This is the reason that it is important to write down our experiences for others to hear or read about them in the future. We have so much to offer other people whether it is history like Mt. St. Helen’s volcano eruption or last Thursday when I went in for my procedure to remove kidney stones. Every chapter of our lives is important; hopefully, we can remember as many chapters as possible. When we are older we lose those memories. I look forward to sharing everyone with more of my stories whether in the past or present. Have a wonderful week making new memories.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

Monday May 25 is Memorial Day here in the United States of America for those of you who live elsewhere. It is a federal holiday that takes place the last Monday of May every year.

The holiday started in 1868 as Decoration Day because of the end of Civil War. The name was changed to Memorial Day in 1882. Though it was a holiday it did not become an official Federal holiday in 1967.

The purpose of Memorial Day is to remember every soldier who died in a war. It became very important after World War Two since so many died during that war.

Most communities celebrate Memorial Day by having tributes at many cemeteries. Here in Western Washington we have several military bases. Bremerton which is about a half an hour north of Gig Harbor has the Naval Ship Yard. Also, there is the Naval Station on Whidbey Island that is north of Seattle. There are a lot of pilots that are trained on Whidbey Island. Just south of Tacoma is Fort Lewis Army Base and McChord Air Force Base. They actually now go by Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Over many years I have talked with many soldiers who have retired in the area after serving time at Ft. Lewis or McChord. It is estimated that over one hundred and twenty thousand retirees live in the area. There are a lot of days where I can see planes flying in or out of McChord.  

Boeing and Microsoft are the two largest employers in the area; however, the military presence shows a lot of hiring as well.

Growing up federal holiday’s like Memorial Day meant to me that I would be out of school. They did not become important to me until I became an adult.  Memorial Day meant that summer was about here. I am sure a lot of people like myself  who did not lose any family in war they still use Memorial Day to remember and honor family members that are no longer with us.

The most important thing about Memorial Day is that the soldiers who fought and died did so we can be free. Though the United States is not perfect by any means it is freedom that makes our country great.

So those who are fellow countrymen remember now the freedom we have. Those in other countries that are free as well remember your countrymen who died as well to make you free. Those of you that do not have freedom we pray that your country becomes free.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good Health

I have to let you all know that my procedure for removing kidney stones went great yesterday (Thursday). Going into it the Urologist was not sure if he could get both of the stones out. He knew the first one would be no problem but was not sure of the second that was larger and was six inches away from the first one. It turned out he was able to remove both in pretty good timing. The procedure took almost two hours.

I arrived at the hospital very early at 5 am. The hospital is only ten minutes away from my home and is in Gig Harbor. I went in for the surgery at 7:15 am and woke up around 9:15 am and taken in recovery for about an hour than back to the area I was prepped for the surgery. I left the hospital around 11:30 am. I had to make a stop at the pharmacy for some prescriptions. My friend Art who is really great guy took me to the hospital and back home as well. He took me to a different hospital in Tacoma back on April 6 for my heart procedure.

I do have a little pain this morning but it is working out just fine.  The only thing is that I feel like peeing all the time but I wait until really have to. So far it has been after every hour or. Yesterday I had some blood but no longer.

What was the neediest part of going to the hospital was the nurse Rita who got me ready for the procedure. Not only had she done a really good job I found that we went to the same wedding last Saturday. She realized when I said where the reception was which was in a different location from the wedding. I did not go the reception because I was not feeling very well. She knows the bride because the bride mentors her thirteen year old daughter. I told her that I knew the groom longer and met the bride through him. I go to the same church as the groom. Now the bride attends the same church. It is sort of different because I find in my experience the groom usually ends up at the bride’s church. The church that the bride attended is larger than our church.

A second part of the equation is that after talking a bit longer I asked her if she went to same high school that I attended though several years later. She told me that she went to the same school as a freshman, however; she transferred because a new high school was built in Gig Harbor. So she attended and graduated from that school. It was called Gig Harbor High School while mine was Peninsula High School. She asked me when I graduated it was several years before her; however, an older brother graduated a year after me. It was really neat because I had not seen him in so many years so she was able to tell me where he lived which is near San Francisco, California. Rita told me about her family as well as his. Also, had an even older brother who taught at my high school when I and her brother were going there. Though were not in the same grade we were close in many ways. We talked a lot about baseball and basketball. I thought of him as a great guy. Over the years I have thought about him frequently so it was great learning about him from Rita. I told her to be sure to say hello to him the next time she sees or talks with him.

When I got to the hospital and she started getting me prepped before talking about her brother and family she said all the nurses on her schedule though I had a cool name. Of course, with the last name of Nightingale and every nurse knows about Florence Nightingale I get that a lot of times. She was a second or third something like that anyway of my great-great grandfather. Another interesting did bit is she died the same year both sets of grandparents were married in 1910. My dad’s father was probably real close in age to my mother’s parents; however, his mother was much younger than any of them. My mother’s parents were in their 30s when they married and my dad’s mother was in her early 20s. My mother was the youngest of four siblings. Her oldest brother was born in 1911 while my mother was born in 1920.  She had another older brother but I am not sure what year he was born in most likely 1913 though. She had older sister that was born in 1918. So they were not too far apart in age. I may write about their relationship at another time. It is quite interesting though to say the least.

So far the last couple years I have felt like I could use a new body; unfortunately none of us of get that lucky though. I am sure all of us feel like that now and then.

I feel very fortunate because I have known others recently who have been much sicker than me.  I have had both some around my age or younger that have gone through a lot worse than me. There has been a few as well who have died too; so sad to know friends and classmates that are no longer around.  

I have to say that we all should feel fortunate to wake up each morning being still around. It is very important to encourage one another since we never know how long we will see each other. I hope to be around for a lot more years, and for sure not have any more procedures for some time unless it is something that is more routine.

Everyone have yourself a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Being Wiser

I realize being older means it is important to be wiser as well. What that means I guess would depend on the person.

I see that I have made mistakes over the years, and I must continue to learn from them. I am not perfect like us all but it is important not to get new mistakes either. Other words not only mistakes should not be repeated new ones should not happen either.

The older we get it is sometimes easy to forget things. In this time now elderly are being taken advantage of. A lot of that happens to do with money. It is important not to let scammers take advantage of the elderly.

My mother is in her nineties; she is still blessed to have a really good mind. She plays bridge several times a week along with reading. She is able to recall so many things from the past. Of course, at times it is hard for her to remember more current things. She writes appointments down because it is hard for her to remember them. Being retired remembering what day it is sometimes comes into difficulty as well.

I believe that the mind is like the body where we have to exercise it to so it will stay in shape as well. I walk every day to keep my legs in shape as well as my heart. I see so many elderly that are unable to walk very well. I know that some are not able to because they may have had a stroke but I want to be able to walk the best I can when I am elderly. Of course if I have a stroke there nothing I can do concerning the problem of walking. I hope being the best shape as possible if a stroke does happen I can recover sooner.

Another good reason to be wiser is for the younger generation. Our grandchildren and their friends can use wise counsel. Regardless if you are middle age or elderly they can learn from our experience. This way they will not make the same mistakes that we made in the past.

I believe teenagers especially can learn from the older folks. I see now that more adults are mentoring younger people. It is true that often teenagers may feel hard to tell their parents what is going on their lives but may feel better talking to someone who is not their parents. I know I remember being a teenager and not able to tell my parents what was going on. It would really have been nice to have an adult to share what is happening. I was unable to find anyone at that time; it is seems to be more available now. I believe we would be surprised what they could learn from us. Another thing is that we can learn from them as well.

The whole thing about being wise though is that we should not think of ourselves being wiser than we are. We need to stay where we are comfortable. Our experience and knowledge should get us farther. The most important thing to go with be wiser is to be better listeners. I know at a younger age I did not listen to well. In fact I would say it is still a work in process.

So be wise and let others take advantage of it. It does not matter whether they are young or old. We all have a story to tell. This can be part of our new chapter.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Getting Older

Yes I am getting older though I do not consider myself old yet. Sometimes though my body says otherwise; of course, we are older today than yesterday. I have to admit that I have fewer days ahead then I do behind.

At the beginning of the year I mentioned how I was going to make this year the year of adventure. I am not sure it is what I expected but at least the year is still more than half left over.

Speaking of getting older I have to go into the hospital this Thursday to remove kidney stones. They are not cooperating by not passing through by themselves. I hope this is the last thing I have to deal with this year concerning my health. In April I had to go through a procedure my heart. It is still skipping but the doctor assures me that I do not have anything to worry about. On Wednesday I have a follow up with him. I am sure he will continue to encourage me. Going forward I will likely see my cardiologist every six months or so.

I can keep my fingers crossed and my faith this will be end of health issues for 2015. I do not want any more adventure concerning health for a little while at least.

I want to be able to encourage others whether it has to do with health, family, and friends. Though difficult times are here or in the future we can make it.

I still try to walk as often as I can depending on the specific day. I hope in June to be able to start riding my mountain bike my brother gave me last year for my birthday. There are so many beautiful places to explore in Washington State. If you have never been here I recommend that you come for a trip. There are so many beautiful places to see.

My nephew Ian and his girlfriend Helen will be arriving in a couple weeks to start a new chapter in their lives. Ian is graduating from Harvard in less than two weeks. He will be starting work at Microsoft on June 9. He will be doing the same work he did last summer when he did an internship with Microsoft. He was offered the position when he completed the internship. He interviewed at Google as well but preferred Microsoft.  Helen will be working for Nordstrom’s in the corporate office downtown Seattle. They will be living two blocks away from where she will be working, and he is able to catch a bus for work two blocks away as well. I have never met Helen but really look forward too.

With the young people I am not sure how often I will see them. I know it will give me a good excuse to travel up to Seattle. Being the only close family for them I am sure my mother and I will see them at holidays. Also, it would be good to get in a Mariner or Seahawk game as well.

Regardless of what my future adventures will be. Ian and Helen are starting on a new adventure and chapter. I look forward to see how all works out. My brother Jack and family will be coming out early August to see my mother, Ian, Helen, and me. It will be really good to see them all. We plan to take one good day going to either Mount Rainier or the Olympics. I have mentioned before I can go to a lot of places within two hours.

The weather here in Western Washington has been really good in May. We are expected to get some rain this week; however, the sun is out right now. Like I have mentioned before anytime the sun comes out even for a few minutes it is a good thing. It is sort of amazing though we could use some rain. We do not say that often around here.

Though I will be seeing doctors this week, and everything should go fine as scheduled I hope you all have a wonderful week.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another Birthday

What can I say today May 17 is another of my birthday’s. I won’t say how old I am but it is another milestone. The older you get the more you can say the next one can take its time to get here. 

I want to thank everyone who has wished me a happy birthday.  I am just relaxing today and I will go to church tonight where I expect something will happen. At least I am sure they will sing happy birthday. Friday night my mother and I went out to dinner because I had a wedding to attend yesterday and church tonight.

I have the honor to share my birthday with my Cousin Rob’s youngest son Mike. December of 2013 he had spinal injury while skiing. He had been a skiing instructor who was showing a move for his students when the accident occurred. He was paralyzed for several days and then spent more than a month in a rehab center. It is incredible his whole story. He continues to work on his recovery. He has been an inspiration to thousands of people in Canada. It has changed his life for the good. It is easy to take your life for granted until you experience something like that. So Cheers to you Mike and happy 28th birthday.

I share my birthday with Norway as well. The Norwegians celebrate May 17 as their independence day. I have a story to go along with it. When my Brother Jack’s kids were young they lived in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area where there is a lot of Norwegians. Each year they have a parade on May 17 to celebrate Norwegian Independence Day.  One of the kids asked if all the people who were attending the parade know Uncle Herb. When Jack told me of course I laughed.

I can say now that another chapter begins in my life. I hope the desires I have had in my life that has not been fulfilled that in the next year one of them will come true. I ask for your prays that one of them will happen. I will do the same for you.

May you be blessed in the next year until I write about another birthday passes.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Facing Tough Times

We all know that we will face tough times sometime in our lives. I believe the purpose is to make  us   stronger people. We  will be able  to overcome anything that comes our way.

The problem I have with the whole thing of facing these tough times it happens so often when we are growing up. I know in my case I had to start off with having a hearing problem caused by wax in my ears when I was four years old. My parents wondered why I was not talking like other kids. At the same age I spent six weeks in the hospital having been burned after having cooked an egg on the stove. In the hospital my brother Dick was my interpreter because the nurses could not under-stand what I was saying. I had to spend time with a speech therapist after the wax was taken out of my ears.

I did a lot of talking especially during my elementary years. Most of the teachers did not understand why and just sent me out in the hallway. I had a lot to make up for, and I felt like I was behind in so many ways.

The whole thing is that I know I was not the only kid going through problems like that. I wrote about a year ago concerning bullying, and I know others who had to deal with it as well as I had too.

I find it really sad these days to read about kids especially in middle school committing suicide over bullying. You would think someone do something about it. My experience with bullying is that I never felt right about talking about it. I may have been ashamed, or felt that no one would help me out. Many times I would cry myself to sleep at night. I never thought about suicide but wanted to know why God would allow me to live through it. Often I would say at night why God did you not take me when I was four years old when I was burned.

What I did in the end was fight back. I did not hurt those who tried to bully me but I let them know I could at any time. This happened during my ninth grade. It was the first year of high school. In Gig Harbor the high school was ninth through twelve grades. Not an easy year at all. I am sure they thought I was a bit crazy.

The whole thing was that I never told my parents or anyone else. I am sure some students knew but many did not know either. Years later I heard about other kids who were bullied as well. Most of them I had no idea.

My recommendation to parents is if your child is not talking and looks far off please talk to them even if they do not feel in doing so. If they are still not talking find someone who you know that they can speak too. It is very important for them to know that they are not alone, and the time will pass. It is hard to lose a child at any age before you but especially with suicide. They need to realize this time will pass.

Yes I am a stronger person now but I would have liked to gone through tough times at an older age than I did. I do not spend a lot of time dwelling on the past. I feel as though it was a different time.

I do have to admit I do go through dark times once in a while but I do know that I have a purpose in this life. Some of the purpose I am still trying to figure out. For me the most important thing in life is family, friends, and love.

I know that the next chapter in life will be even better than the last chapters. The best is yet to be written.





Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Reading a Book?

 I have to admit that I do not read a lot of books though I think it is a good idea.

When I was about four years old the doctors found out that I had a hearing problem. It was fixed because the problem was that I had wax in my ears. Though it was cleared up and I was about to hear fine it took until high school for me to read very well. I was always behind my grade level, and then I took a three week speed reading class between ninth and tenth grades during the summer. I was the only student so I was given individual attention. In those three weeks I went from a fifth grade reading level to a twelve grade reading level. Now I am able to read a high college reading level.

I still do not read a lot of books. Though I do think it is really important. I believe all children should read some of the time. What I mean is that children should spend time doing other things as well. No matter what it is most children spend too much time doing one thing. If it is not reading it is video games or playing outside. I did a lot of playing outside but it is important to do other things. My recommendation would be to split the time in thirds if the child is interested. Reading and outside play I would insist to do for sure. If a child has a problem reading like I did I would do what my parents did and that was getting a subscription to Sports Illustrated. My parents knew that I was interested in sports so I would read about sports. So whatever interest your children get them magazines or books. Also, I read a few sport books like about my favorite player Willie Mays.

Recently I read a book called “Wait Till Next Year” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It was a memoir about her life growing up during post World War 2 in Brooklyn, New York. If you are baseball fan like myself it really good reading because she writes about her love of baseball, Jackie Robinson, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Of course, it was about a decade before me so it was really good history about baseball in late 40s and the 50s. I found enjoyable to read from a perspective of a young girl.

Even if you are not a big baseball fan you can enjoy reading it about other things. She writes about living in Brooklyn, her parents, siblings, and friends. She grew up being Catholic, and going to her first confession. I found it to be quite amusing. She wrote about other news worthy things happening during the times. For example the Korean War. Also, the death of actor James Dean; the book ends about the time the Dodgers leave Brooklyn for Los Angeles.

If I say it is really good book to read then you know it is a good book because I usually never finish reading a book.

I hope in the near future to read a few other books. I have no idea how long it will take me to finish them. I still mainly read magazines and news-papers. I mostly read the comics and the sports section. The other sections especially the front page I skim unless I find it really informative. Some stories I read on line as well.

Anyway happy reading and yes spend time outside as well. Enjoy some walking like I do.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

First of all I want to wish all mothers a happy Mother’s Day. You look out for us from the beginning besides giving us birth. You think that labor is hard you find that there is a lot more to it. You sacrifice your needs to take care of our needs, and we do not always seem to appreciate it.
In the beginning of my life my mother wanted to be sure that I did not come up with pneumonia. She was quite concerned because she had an older brother who died only a few weeks into life from pneumonia and did not want me to have the same ending.
Actually she had to deal with her mother-in-law harshly because she did not understand how important it was for my mother. It is so wonderful that my mother fought for my life. We know why we have heard about the mother bear that protects her young no matter what animal comes to get them.
Though my relationship with my mother was not always perfect, and we had misunderstandings she wanted to be sure I was protected.
Remember to thank your mother no matter how difficult things may have been through the years. She has done a job that is sacrificial, and our society does not always give credit too. She does a job that does not pay anything either. She may have to work besides to be sure that you are taken care of.
I especially want to say thank you to those single mothers who does a job of two. It is not an easy task; however, her children usually know she is even sacrificing more.
Currently I am watching out for my mother because she is in her 90s. She still has a sound mind though her body is not in good condition. It is nice we are able to get along fine as well. I do not know how much longer she will be around but I do know that I will miss her.
The weather here in western Washington for Mother’s Day is expected to be around mid to upper 70s. It is like summer has arrived early. Usually the summer generally is around these temperatures and gets into the 80s as well. Not often does it hit 90 or so.
End here with a couple of my mother’s poems or sayings. I am sure you enjoy and know her humor as well.
“Great Caesar’s bust stood on the shelf and I don’t feel so good myself”.
“Dante Gabriel Rosetti buried all of his libratti thought the matter over then went and dug them up again”
Happy Mother’s Day


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Our Story

I have been told by a couple writers it is important for us to tell our story. It is what people want to hear about. It is something I try to do as often as possible on this blog; however, I find it important to encourage others as well. Hopefully telling my story is part of helping everyone out.

Let you know that your story is as important as mine. If you have the opportunity I encourage you to do so.

I have my mother writing some poems and writings she has read and spoken over the years so they can be seen for many years to come.

My mother recently had some of her life story mentioned in a newsletter for the local chapter of American Association University Women. She grew up during the depreciation in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. During World War 2 she read mail of German Prisoners of War who were shipped to Canada. After the War she spent a couple years in Paris, France working in Canadian embassy than she came to Seattle, Washington as a French War bride which is funny since she was not French.

This part of her life happened a decade before I even showed up on the scene. There is even more to her story which I will write more about in the future.

The important part of her story is that it is part of my story as well. My heritage includes Canada as well as England. You can read what I have told about our trip when I was a kid across Canada for the summer. It was one of my early writings in November or December 2013.

I look to travel throughout Canada in the future as well as England. This will allow me to learn more about myself through my heritage. This way I can share with my people on the blog.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Mini Reunion

On Wednesday May 6 I had what we called a mini reunion with two of my classmates Emily and Sherry.

We went out for lunch at one of the restaurants in Gig Harbor. We had not seen each other in a long time though we have lived in the area all this time. It is amazing that we had never run into each other sometime during all these years.

We have been in contact through Facebook for the last couple years along with other classmates. It is through Facebook we decided to actually meet and catch up. We had the plan for several months but the health of Sherry and I we decided to wait until we were both feeling better.

It certainly was not your usual lunch time for sure. We spent five hours at the restaurant when we decided it was time to go. We actually were still talking while walking out to our calls. I believe we could have easily talked for another five hours. Other words, it had been so long since we had seen each other we had a lot of things to say.

At the end before leaving the restaurant we had our pictures taken together. Later Sherry posted them to Facebook which made a lot of sense.

We do plan to get together again. Another classmate wanted to join us next time which we said gladly. Yes we said we wanted to see each other again though we did not put another date together. As far as I am concern anytime would be great.

During the five hours we talked about a lot of different things. We talked about family along with other classmates. At the beginning we had one thing very in common with each other. All three of us are the third child in our families. We have two older siblings along with young ones. Of course, we laughed about that.

In our conversation we talked about the other children we grew up with as well. Emily and I were in the same grade school for the first couple years then her family moved where she transferred to another school in the district. We met up again in junior high and graduated from high school. Sherry on the other hand moved to Gig Harbor in seventh grade from Kansas. I did not realize that until recently when she mentioned it on Facebook. I had figured she came from the same elementary school that Emily attended. Though there were some kids moved into Gig Harbor the majority of us grew up in the same area the whole time.

One of the reasons we had not seen each other in a long time was that our class has not had reunions as often as other ones have. We had a ten and twenty year reunions but none since. I believe we have missed out. A couple years ago we had an all school reunion so I was able to see some at that time along with those from other classes. I really like the idea of an all high school reunion. In fact there is a plan for another one coming up this year.

Anyway, I realize that classmates are like family as well. Actually we spent more time with classmates then we did with our family on a daily basis. I hope to encourage everyone to find classmates as well as family for a reunion. The past helps us to realize our present well as the future.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend. Do not forget to hug your kids.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Being Friendly

In most recent years I have found that people are becoming friendlier. I am not sure why exactly it is becoming this way; however, it could be starting with me.

What I mean is that I am purposely making myself friendly to as many people as possible so it could be the response I am getting back. The more you do something the more you get a return. It could be that our society in the whole is making an effort to do so.

About twelve years ago I made a trip to France. I spent most of the time in southern France because I have family there. I realized how friendly the French are. Not only do families get together for meals they meet friends and speak with them about their families and how life is going. Like a lot of Europe they often greet one another with a kiss on both cheeks. I thought wow I wish it would happen in the United States more often. I see that we are not as affectionate as are Europeans.

When I arrived back home I found it so much different than France. I mentioned it to some friends and they thought when they visited France that some people were rude. I realized at the time is often when Americans travel they are rude themselves to the people in those countries. Other words I can say there are rude Americans. A very good lesson is that you are treated in a manner that you are treated.

So if you feel that people are not being very friendly the chance is that you are not friendly yourself. I know it this sound harsh but it is true; however, there will be people no matter how hard you try will not be friendly. They are the ones I am also talking about.

When I go out walking every day I say hello to each person I meet with a smile. Most of the times I get a hello back as well; however, there are those who do not say anything, and they no eye contact either.  I wonder if that is the way they are or are they just having a bad day.

I try now not to take those people who act in a bad manner so personally anymore. The truth is not everyone will be friendly in each encounter. I believe what I can do is be friendly myself, and hopefully each person I see will have a better day. I can only do as much possible as I can do.

I really hope reading this will make everyone friendlier. We could be already very friendly but I believe we can get better and better. The most important thing is to do the best of our ability.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Being a Bit Crazy

Last week I was looking at one of my high school annuals. I am not sure why except maybe to remember the kids I grew up with, and wondering what they up to now. Of course I know that most of them have now raised their own family and that some of them have grandchildren as well.

I do see a few here and there since they still live in Gig Harbor like me. It is amazing that others though are still living in the area I never see at all. A couple of gals I graduated high school with we are planning to get together this week or real soon. Also, there are some that I keep in contact through social media.

Growing up for me was not an easy thing to do. In so many ways I was behind in school. I struggled with reading and English especially and I was teased some as well.

Reading my annual the girls who wrote in it really liked my sense of humor while the guys thought I was crazy. Actually I was both things to be honest. I felt since I was required go to school I might as well be crazy some of the time especially with teasing.

With the trouble being in school my parents were glad that I stuck it out and graduated from high school. Though I did not think my parents understood me that much I have to give them a lot of credit that they allowed me to be myself. I was the middle son between two brothers who liked school and were good at it as well. They both went onto going to Princeton and Harvard so you can see where I am coming from but parents never put the pressure on me to be like them. In fact I went to public school while they both went to private school. I have been asked that a number of times why I didn’t go to private school like my brothers. I tell people it was not my thing.

Sometime later though I did go back to school at the local community college; it was amazing I actually graduated with honors. I went back though to get more skills to be more employable. I took classes in business, english, math, accounting, and computers. Also, I took a class in typing figuring it was an important skill which really helps especially doing this blog. I was surprised that I was at the top of the class in typing. I just wanted to be Ok.

This last Saturday my younger brother Jack mentioned me going back to school. He actually surprised me by coming to my graduation. He said it was honor to see me graduate, and seeing other older students especially single mothers go back to school.

The whole thing is to find out we can still accomplish things we never thought we ever could. If you have to I do recommend adults to go back to school. Also, it is important to act crazy once in a while. We get so busy in our lives it is important to step out of the box once in a while.

Regardless where you are in life whether a child, adult, or older in life live as yourself; other words do not let other people dictate who you are whether they are your parents, teachers, brother, sisters, friends, and peers. My advice since life is short is being you whatever you are.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Those Were the Days

For all of us growing up was not always easy whether we lived Gig Harbor like myself or in Europe among many places.

We all had our ups and downs for different reasons. It may have been our health, learning disabilities, or being teased and bullied. We all have stories to tell. The most important thing we made it into adult which is another story to tell.

There were times that I did not like at all growing up. I wish God had just taken me away or I was not born but those times made who I am today.

I have seen pictures of myself as a kid and almost always had a smile which meant I had some good times as well. The most important thing was my parents loved each other and us kids. They were together forty years when my dad died while on vacation and visiting family in France. Things were not always easy for them but they stuck it out; we can’t say that for many families these days.

As far as an activity my dad’s greatest love was sailing. He went out a lot of weekends on races. At times we went out with him as well. Though he loved sailing our family was still what he loved most. It sure something I admired about my dad. Unlike me he did not talk a lot but when he did there was a lot of wisdom in it.

 One of the hardest things growing up was that Gig Harbor being a small down everyone knew each other which were good in some ways but the negative sometimes felt like it outweighed the positive though it really didn’t.

Now looking back the hard things like taking a long time to learn to talk and read turned out being a victory. When I was little I had a hearing problem which turned out that I had wax in my ears. Though it was a little thing in some ways it took a while to sort out. It seemed like a lot of things for me took a while to work out but the great part they did work out.

The whole thing is that champions like us are not made overnight it can take some time to do so. I believe is that right way to go otherwise we can take things for granted and think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

I look back to that time, and it seems like it was a whole different lifetime. Though I know I lived it some of it I do not remember which can be a good thing.

I wish I could go back in a time machine. The reason is not to live it again but watching it as an observer. I could see what to learn from it.

If you have children or grandchildren tell them to really enjoy their childhood and not to grow up to fast because those times will never come again. It is important for us to enjoy those times as well. Mold them into being loving people who can be champions themselves, and live a life of adventure.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy May Day

Welcome to the month of May everyone. I am not sure the original meaning of May Day; however, I am sure most countries have a tradition.

Here in the Seattle area there is the opening of boating season as a tradition. I am not sure for how long but it has happened as long as I have been around. On Saturday the University of Washington will have crew races happening. They have several universities here to participate including one from England most likely. The races will happen on Lake Washington in Seattle where a lot of boats will be there to watch. This year it will be nice because the weather is supposed to be really nice.

My dad used to be in sail boat races as long as I remember as well on May Day weekend. Sometimes we would go with him. We had at least one sailboat all the time that allowed one sailor to go out in it so either my brothers or I would go out and sail.

Some weekends throughout the spring and summer we would go out into Puget Sound. Seeing Seattle and Bremerton along with Vashon and Bainbridge Island; I was more of a fair weather sailor unlike my dad. He would go out sailing no matter what where I preferred it being sunny and windy.

I remember once where we going to Bremerton I believe from Seattle. My dad said that we would eat as soon as we arrived to our destination. It was not very windy that day so it took some time to arrive. Every once in a while I would complain by asking when we would arrive because I was hungry. Dad would never give me the answer. I have to say that was not a fun day.

Today in Seattle they are going to have protests. I am sure it has to do with what happening in Baltimore along with Missouri. I hope it will be orderly and no riots. I do not mind small protest groups but I do not like large ones. I wonder if some people just do not have anything better to do. Mainly I do not like big groups because it usually holds up traffic, and riots more likely will occur. They have the right to protest but they need to think about others as well. I hope it does not become a May Day tradition though.

May is a special month for me because my birthday is in a couple weeks. So ahead thank you very much. Also, it means that summer is not far off, and we can see pretty flowers.

Enjoy your May Day with all the tradition and pleasantries.

Lovely Dinner

Wednesday Night went out to dinner with my mom to someone’s home who goes to my mother’s church. Her pastor felt it was important to together with other members of the church in their homes. They had designated homes to go to.  

The hostess was someone she had known since she was a little girl. I had known her and the family growing up. Mom used to take her to school because the hostess went to the school my mother taught at in Tacoma. The hostess is five years older than me so I knew she was though did not spend a lot of time except admiring her.

The hostess did have a younger sister who was about a year older than me. She went to another school than me and her sister. I knew her much better, and thought she was quite cute as well. Also, had some other siblings older than the two of them as well; an older sister used to play the organ in the church for several years.  She actually still plays the organ at a Lutheran church in Gig Harbor.

The hostess and her husband live in Crescent Valley which is northeast of Gig Harbor. It is a lovely area nearby where I grew up. In fact, my little league team was made up of mainly kids living in Crescent Valley. There were only a few of us that did not live in Crescent Valley.

My brother Jack used to ride his bike down through Crescent Valley. I had my cub scout meeting at one of my friend’s home in Crescent Valley. The place is still very beautiful, and made up of several farms along with some nice homes. Other than adding a road that goes east up the hill to what is called Sea Cliff, and a fire station next to that road nothing has not changed at all. I expect nothing will change for many years to come.

Our little league baseball games were right on the edge of Crescent Valley at the city park. Now that there are more parks in Gig Harbor they now call it Crescent Creek Park. Yes there is a creek that goes through that starts at the park and goes through Crescent Valley. It starts at the edge of the harbor. Crescent Valley starts at the top of the hill from the park, and you make a left. Going right you would than go into our old neighborhood. Until you go to our old house the road is called Crescent Valley Drive.

There also is a road that you can turn right on as well at the bottom of hill next to the park. Growing up we had no street addresses only route numbers which changed several times before street address came along. My brothers and I called the road at the bottom of the road the low road and Crescent Valley drive the high road. I still call them the same today. At the end of the low road is a boat launch. Just before it you take a left that goes up to Crescent Valley Drive (high road). I used to walk to the park a lot on the high road and my friend Gary lived on the high road just passed the meeting of the roads of the low and high road. Take a left and his house was only a few feet away. The house looks a bit different now but the yard looks basically the same.

Back to the dinner; the guests I did not know at all or very little. Including ourselves and the hostess there was a total of ten of us. The dinner was delicious including salad, the main course, and dessert. I would say no restaurant could out do a better job than the cooking of the hostess. In fact the host said that he has a hard time eating other salads when he goes out because they are not as good as his wife’s.

We all agreed at the end of the evening it was a lovely dinner as well as very good company. Also we agreed that we could easily come back every Wednesday night for dinner. If the church has a plan for more dinners out we know for sure whose house we will sign up to go to.