Friday, July 31, 2015

Sweet Summer

So far it has been a sweet and hot summer in the northwest. I have mentioned it just a few times. We have never had so many days in the 90s like this year before. Usually the temperatures are in the upper 70s and 80s.

In the eastern part of the state the temperatures usually are ten or more degrees hotter during the summer so I am sure they have had a record amount of days over one hundred. They are more used to it being hot over there than we do. I would prefer it to be normal temperatures.

The best part of the weather being this hot will bring tourists in. They may not realize this is not a normal occurrence though the sun is out most of the summer every year. We do have some cloudy days in the summer especially in August; however, they may only last a day or two at the most before the sun raises its head once again.

Growing up here I spent a lot of the summer on the water. During my elementary years my brothers and I were shipped out to Camp Seymour which is a YMCA camp for two week. It is not too far from Gig Harbor. I would say a half an hour or a little more. At camp we do arts and crafts, archery, and go out on the boats in the inlet; however, for us to go out on boats we would have to swim some distance to get the OK to do so. I don’t remember how far we had to swim but it was some ways that I remember. As a kid it was farther for me to go than it actually was I am sure. We would be followed by adults in a boat to be sure we were OK and would not drown. If we finished swimming the course without tiring we would then be able to go out in boats ourselves. I don’t remember whether I made it on the first try or not. I expect that it did take me a couple times to do so.

I have been back at least once as an adult to Camp Seymour for a church men’s retreat. The cabins all look about the same. The only real difference I saw was that they have rock wall that campers now can climb up. Also, they have kayaks that were not available when I was a kid. I didn’t ask but I am sure the kids still have to do the swimming course.

During my junior and senior years I was in boy scouts and we always went hiking every year in the Olympic Mountains. We did some small hikes; however, in August we always went on a fifty mile hike. It was difficult in some ways, and because we were near the rain forest it usually rained a couple days. We gave enough time though were we did not have to hike on those days it rained. We stayed in the camps and played cards along with harassing each other and having fun. Since it was fifty miles we usually hiked ten miles a day depending where we would camp out the next night.

During those summers we would work for our dad some so we would have some cash on hand to spend. We lived on the water so we would spend days sailing or rowing around as well. When I was twelve we took a trip across Canada and eastern United States. You can go back about a year and a half on this blog where I write about that trip.

I was not a big fan of school so summer time was my favorite time of the year. I am sure most kids enjoyed having the summer off. I did go to summer school a couple years but I considered more fun than anything.

I hope you are having a sweet summer yourselves. Also, it would be a joy to look back at the summers in the past. I know some families have a tradition on what they have done each summer. I hope you have those traditions yourself. If not I would recommend starting your own. Be blessed and have a great weekend.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Family Coming to Town

In five days I will be seeing my brother and his family. They are coming for about a week. His middle son actually now works in Seattle so they are coming to see him as well as my mother and me; it is always exciting to see them especially when it is every couple of years. Actually last summer I saw my brother and his youngest son but a couple years for the rest of them. Actually I went and saw them because the youngest was graduating from high school.

It is hard about family because they are not close. I know some cultures and countries families are much closer together. They either live together, in the same town, or the country is not that large so they are able to travel more frequently to see them. In my mother’s case he is living close to his wife’s family mostly so they can see them pretty often which I think is a good thing.

The thing about family is they are the closest bonding we have regardless the distance or at least it is supposed to be that way. I know sometimes families have arguments, and with the divorce rate it is families are not as close as they once were; however, it should not be that way.

One thing I do know very well is that whenever I have a strong need they will be there. Other words I can always depend on my family through thick or thin. I know a lot of people have the same thing with their families while others do not. This should be how things really should be.

I recommend that if for whatever reason your family is not close you should make every effort to reconcile with them no matter what happened that put you in the situation. We do not really know how much time we have left to live this life so we do not feel that we regret anything in the end. We need to forgive those who have hurt us whether family or not. There is nothing better than forgiving and be forgiven. Remember we are not perfect, and we should not live a life with bitterness.

I look back at what other kids did to me while I was in school. I have forgiven them for how they treated me. Though I still know they did some horrible things at times I actually don’t remember those acts. It has allowed me to be free, and a lot better person.

I know we have friends that are closer to us than our own biological family which is a good thing when our family is not around on a daily basis. Those closest to us are actually more family in many ways to us. We can count on them in many ways that our family can’t do because of the distance.

I look forward to next week spending time with my brother and family going on short outings, eating, and just spending time together. The weather should still be very nice to be able to do some activities. I do talk most Saturday’s with my brother; however, being in person is so much better.

Whenever you see your family whether often or not be sure to give them a nice hug, and let them know how much you really appreciate them. Until next time thanks for enjoying this time together.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seeing Fellow Former High School Students

This morning it was really nice to have breakfast with two students that I was in high school. I would not say classmates because both of them were a year ahead of me. Of course, it meant they were classmates.

We met for breakfast at one of the newer restaurants in Gig Harbor, Washington. None of us had breakfast there before. We met because one of them was in town after visiting her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren who live north of Seattle. They are here for the day before returning to her home in California. We also met her husband as well.

This is the second time I have met with a small group from my high school in the last three months. The previous time was with two fellow classmates. What I find interesting about getting together with them after all these years is hearing stories from children that I had not heard before. Another thing was I was shy around girls especially in junior and senior high school. There were a few I talked to but most of them were intimidating to me. What I have found out now is that they were shy as well. School would have been so much nicer and easier to get through if I knew then what I know now.  

I encourage you if your children are going through the same kind of shyness with the opposite sex in those school years that it is normal thing happening, and help the best you can to get over it. They will be so much better for it over the long run. I know that my life would have been so much better off if someone would have taken me under their wings.

In our time together this morning we decided we need to get together more often and not every thirty or forty years whenever they come into town. They still have family in the area and plan to visit three or four times a year. Also, we talked about the present and future times as well. It is interesting to know these people now as adults besides remembering them as kids. Reminds me to see where I fit in the whole world of life.

Right now I realize that I can regret things of the past but it will not change things at all. The past is in the past and I must move on for the future to be a better place. Important to learn from the past so wouldn’t make the same mistakes again but must live in the present and look forward to the future. None of us knows what the future looks like or how long it will last but we must be content in all things and not worry either. There are so many ways that I am blessed in, and looking at all the mistakes of the past won’t change them either. We can make a difference in our lives along with the people we meet during our travels. So live life the way we want today. We will still make mistakes; however, we hope that we won’t regret them. Good day.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Native Son

I have lived my whole life in Gig Harbor, Washington. I have to say most of it anyway. When I was twenty I spent six months living in Forks, Washington on the coast, and is now is known for the Twilight series. It was quite the six months because it was the first time I was on my own. After high school I spent two years going to Bates Vocational School taking radio broadcasting, and still living at home. I went to Forks to take a job at the local radio station. I did everything from disc jockey to doing the news. It was a good time though I knew no one when I arrived except those few others working at the station. I did meet a few people while living there but I came to Gig Harbor. Though I enjoyed the time there as I had said but it rained a lot in Forks. I had Wednesday’s off and it rained almost every Wednesday. There was not a whole lot to do in Forks. I wanted to be a sportscaster as long as I could remember but I never did take another radio job after leaving Forks though I did look into other opportunities that were in other small towns as well. It is what you do in radio unless you super talented. Though I knew a lot about sports I just didn’t have the talent to be a broadcaster. Maybe I should have tried being a sport’s writer instead. Of course, I am writing now with this blog and my sport blog called herbslookatsports. At least my dream came true though even for a little bit.

I know a lot of people enjoy spending their whole lives in the same place while other moves place to place. I don’t have an opinion which way is the best. It works well for some to stay in the same place for their whole lives while others really like being on the move. I believe most people because of their jobs. My brother has moved several times over the years and they have primarily been in him changes jobs. Actually his most recent move two years ago was that his wife took a new teaching job near where two of her siblings live so now they are near family. She was dissatisfied with her previous job; however, she couldn’t find another one where they lived. Now where they lived she got the job on the first try. I say it was meant to be; sort of jealous because it would be nice if they could have moved to Washington State to be closer to my mother and me.

I would like to travel or move in the next five years depending on circumstances and relationships. Though I love Gig Harbor and the people I am still more of a world person. I would love to travel and see this world of ours. I would like to write about the places I go. So if this does happen which is in my plans I hope to bring you all along on the ride.

The whole thing about being a native son is that sometimes I feel people still see me like I was when I was a kid. I know it weird especially when most of my friends and those who I spend time with did not know me as a kid. I do run into others who knew me as a kid but that doesn’t happen very often which I think is strange because Gig Harbor is still a small town though it has grown quite a bit since I was a kid. A lot of the kids I have grew up with have moved on to other places like my brother and sister but there are those who still live in the Gig Harbor area. Most of them I never see unless I run into them by chance. It actually happened last week at the grocery store I saw a childhood friend for the second time in six months. We had not seen each other for quite some time. He spends some of the year fishing up in Alaska, and he just returned back to Gig Harbor. Fishing was a big thing when I was a kid however the fleet is smaller now.

Though I know that I have purpose and a destiny to live my life out in Gig Harbor; however, I think to it is much bigger and better going out into the rest of the world. For many it maybe to stay in one place but for me it is making a difference in the whole world. I really enjoy writing because I feel that I am making a difference around the world; however, I want to travel to a lot of places. My encouragement to everyone still is to know your purpose, and living it where you are at whether in one place or many places. The affect you have in one community can help put to effect on many other communities. So keep on doing what you doing.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pressing On

I have to be honest I wasn’t sure what to title this writing so this is what I decided to pick.

These days’ people seem so much busier than when I was growing up. I am not sure have to do with technology or how people have evolved over the years.

My dad had his own business so he put a lot of hours at work; however, when he got home he wanted to relax and spend time with the family. It was important priority to him. Now there is more things to do today even around the house. You are either on the computer like I am right now, or your smart phone checking on any emails, texting, or watching videos.

When I was growing up there was no home computer, or smart phone. Last night in the small group of men I meet with twice a month one of them mentioned that one of his grandchildren was really puzzled, and wanted to know what he did without a smart phone or computer?. What did you do in the car without a phone? No talking or texting while driving?

This is why we are so busy in many accounts because everyone is distracted by all the technical gadgets we have now. I though life was grand while growing up. Of course, I had my personal issues with other kids in school, and trying be accepted but growing up in a smaller Gig Harbor I enjoyed in the most part.

I was able to do almost anything I wanted to do. If you saw my house you would think I was spoiled and you are probably right. When I wasn’t in school I would spend most of my time with best friend Gary or the other best friend Bob. Thinking about it I didn’t spend a lot of time with them both together; it was really one or the other.  Gary I spent more time with because he lived closer than Bob. Not by a very long distance but still closer. Usually one or the other would call me up to come over. When neither were around I spent the time with my brothers, and there other kids in the neighborhood too. Most of the time spent with them was playing little league baseball, or playing football at the park. My brothers we played tennis unless it was raining and we played cards and board games inside; sounds exciting enough for me.

When I went out I always told my parents where I was going I didn’t have to be tracked by some app. So what I am saying besides slowing down and smell the roses it is easy to be distracted away from the things that should be important to us. So this is where pressing on comes in on the scene. We must spend the time and energy on in everything that actually should be important to us like family and friends. Also, we all have a purpose and destiny in our lives; we should spend as much time doing those things than the time on computer and smart phone. The have a purpose and need as well but we can’t be distracted by them.

In so many ways I want to go back to the simple days; however, they seem to be gone now. There are other things that can distract us as well I get to them at another time as long as I am not distracted. LOL

Anyway everyone have a wonderful weekend, and press on to those things that can keep us smelling the roses. Use the technology in the manner that is useful and please don’t be so busy.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cooling Down

The weather this summer has been extremely hot this year in the northwest. Actually the weather all year has been unusual. I am not sure how much rainfall we have had so far in 2015 but I know it below what it normally is. I actually tried to find the info on line but found it hard to so. Instead I am just remembering what has been going on. I am sure the last time we had good amount of rain was in May or could have been April.

During the summer we have very little bit of rain so that is not unusual the thing is that the temperatures have been higher. On Sunday July 19 the temperature got as high as ninety-seven degrees on South Whidbey Island where I was at for the afternoon. Coming home in late afternoon the temperature was about the same in Seattle. We haven’t had a lot of days where the temperatures been in the 90s but above normal. A lot of June and most of July the temperatures have been in 80s. Something those of us that are natives don’t mind but the upper 90s another story.

When it comes to the 90s it is more common in central and eastern Washington. There temperatures are generally ten to fifteen degrees warmer than us in western Washington. So being 97 on Sunday it had to be around 110 degrees in the eastern half of the state. I can say no thank you please.

The best thing was the temperatures did go back down to more of the norm on Monday. All this week the temperatures will be in the mid-70s to low 80s. More my cup of tea for sure; it is more normal for here I still call it the cool down period. I am sure the temperatures will go back up again I would be more than happy if it stays this way. I would love a long cool down period.

Since we have not had a lot of rain over the last couple of months or so the grass is browner than usual. I can’t even remember the grass being brown very often at all. Most years people water their lawns to keep from turning brown but the lack of rain this year no one is doing as much watering the lawns. I am sure the cost involved also has something to do with as well.

I would really like it to see a real downpour for a day or evening or in the middle of the night. Whatever the case we can sure use the rain. I thought I would never say that but it is the case this year. Though I like it when the sun comes out let it rain please. Monday it looked like there was a possibility of rain but never happened. I would say most years the rain would have fallen on Monday; however, like I have said several times over this is not a usual year.

What I like about this week the temperatures being more the normal is that I can go out for my walk without feeling really hot. Regardless of the temperature I usually sweat a little anyway but not so much when it is cooler.

The positive side of higher temperatures is if you have a swimming pool it is in more use than normal. In the central and eastern part of Washington there are quite a few lakes so swimming in them is a must.

The negative side is with so little rain fall there are more brush fires in the area. Every-one must be careful when they are camping out; however, the brush fires can happen with lightning storms that frequently happen this time of the year. Central and eastern Washing-ton has forest fires most years so it is not any different this year.
Whether it is cool or hot temperatures I will still enjoy the sun and going around the area. If you ever come to Washington State you will find that you have come to paradise. So keep cool alright

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy Anniverary

On Sunday June 19 I had the honor to attend the 50th wedding anniversary of my cousin Peggy and her husband Cal. It took place on Whidbey Island which is in itself a beautiful place to visit. I am sure I was only among a handful that attended the wedding and the anniversary. I was not very old at the wedding so I don’t remember it very well. Mainly I know it took place in Bellingham, Washington and it took a long time drive to get there.  Fifty years ago there was no interstate five so had to drive old highway 99.

The thing about a 50th wedding anniversary is rare these days because of divorce, and the commitment of the couple to stay together. Also, another key is to live long enough to be able to celebrate the golden anniversary. I have found some couples who stay together for some time until their child are all out of the nest, and then they split up. Usually I think one or both go through mid-live crises. It could be they want to see what else is out there or what they may have missed during those years. I am not sure it is true in either scenarios but it could be.  My theory is that since the children are all grown up the couples really don’t know each other anymore, and the love has been lost. They don’t have desire or commitment to rekindle the love and passion in their lives. Those two things could have been lost several years back, and they decided to stay together because of the children. It may have not been what either was thinking during the marriage. Some may think what you know since you never been married. The thought has crossed my mind as well but it all sounds good to me.

Like most gatherings, parties, and celebrations they are always never along enough for me. I would love them to go on much longer. I believe other cultures celebrate these things a lot longer than us Americans do. They may go on for the whole day or even several days in other cultures but we seem to keep them going for the time it takes to eat and not much time longer than that. Personally I am so much into people especially family that I want to visit with each one longer than most expect or want to. It may not be any reason that no one wants to put a time limit it just is how things always work out. I just do not see or spend time with family as much as I really like too. I go to other gatherings like at church it works the same way. The thing about church is that those people I see more often than I do family; however, I would say many of them I don’t know as well as I do my family. I would say that we only know a handful of people a lot and the rest are just acquaints. I am sure most that know me very well would realize I am one that enjoys spending time with people no matter how long I have known them or not.

I believe that as Americans we can learn a lot from other cultures when it comes to relationships. The more time we spend with people the more we will know them. It is like with spouses they know each other very well or at least they should anyways. I believe the issue is that we are generally very busy, and we do not know how to sit back and relax. There is more to life than a job or doing chores. We need to build relationships. The thing is we do not really know how we need someone to teach us. I do have to say though it is getting better over the years. We need to spend time without a limit and not just over a meal. If it is a meal than we must have longer meals; how we change that is someone who has a party or a gathering must plan for it to last a lot longer. I am sure there will be those who may leave after the meal because that is what they are accustomed to; however, it has to begin somewhere.

I have to say Peggy and Cal congratulations to 50 years together and we all hope many more years to come.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Let the Light Shine

I am sure you are thinking about the summer and the sun shining. It is a good presumption to think this way; however, I am actually talking about us encouraging others by letting our light shine.

What does all this mean is that we use our personality and our heart to help others to be the best they can be. I have mentioned before that kids especially can use a mentor in our society today. Also, we as adults can use a mentor as well. I believe the important thing is to have someone who can help us, or listen to us. Actually to bounce things off; part of it to have someone we can follow and use as an example to lead our lives.

I belong to a group of men from my church where we meet twice a month. When we get together we talk about has been happening since the last time we met. What has been good or bad happening in our lives. We sing and worship to one or two songs and end with prayer about things we talked about. What is great being part of a group of guys we feel comfortable with and go to anytime if needed. One of the guys in the group took me the hospital twice when I was going through surgery. It is good to have men that you can call friends and be accountable to. Several of the guys I have been in other groups for a lot of years. We call it church as much as going on Sunday’s.

The coffee shop I go to almost every day there are several groups of men that get together on a regular basis. It is really good to see men that you are familiar with and have a good time. Other words you can be the real you and not try being someone you are not.

I had a teacher in fifth grade that looked out for me for many years before she passed away. Her name was Mrs. Eaton she was the best teacher I had in elementary school. She not encouraged me that I could do anything I wanted and that I was worth watching out for. She was a member of my church so throughout the rest of my time in school she always asked me how I was doing. She was interested in everything I did. There were some other teachers also were examples that I could follow. Men and women that I had high respect for; I know they shaped me to be the man I am today. I recommend that you thank any one that has been a big influence in your life. Also, I hope that you receive the same appreciation if you have shaped others’ lives. Parents most of all should be the ones that make the most influence. Important thing is to thank them as well.

The greatest thing about it letting your light shine is that you likely don’t want to be credited for being a mentor or friend. Most men and women in this way are very humble people.

No matter how many friends we have we can always use more and there are those out there that are lonely who could use friend. So this summer enjoy the weather and the light that shines within you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Our Memories

  I have written a lot of about times growing up that I remember a lot. Our lives are made of memories. In fact every day we make up new memories. What is funny or interesting depending on how you think about it we remember things from a long time ago more than what we did last week? I would say the chances I will remember some things from last week in a year from now then today.

There a lot of memories that I don’t really remember what specifically happen but the situations are really clear.  I remember certain events very clearly while others I don’t.  Most of the events I only remember certain things that happened during them and not the whole event.  I am sure a lot of us are that way; however, I am sure that there are others who could tell you everything that happened on that day. Some people just have better memories than others. I can give you an example is my high school graduation. I remember the date, where it happened, some things leading up to, during, and after the event. More I think about that day the more I remember what happened.  Right now I would say I recall about seventy-five percent of what happened that day and continue thinking about it the percentage goes up.

The thing about memories is that we all have good ones and bad ones. We all gone through things we never want to go through again. We have been hurt by people and hurt people ourselves.  We have experiences that we are ashamed of and feel bad about. What I choose to do is not dwell on those memories. In fact those who hurt me in the past I have forgiven them so I know that they happened but I no longer remember the events that they occurred. I believe it is a real blessing. I believe those who are bitter inside are those who have not forgiven those people who caused the bitterness. It is a lot harder to do so if the circumstances happened recently as well. Forgiveness is the true answer or we will never get past those circumstances. It is not always easy but it is something we must do if we want to have a healthy life from this day forward.

My mother who is ninety-four and coming up to ninety-five in September still has a very good memory. She still remembers things from her childhood as well as other events in her life. It is really good when she talks about growing up in the depression along with World War 2 that happened during her twenties. Also, she grew up in Canada so I get a whole different perspective than I would have from my father.

My mother though is the last member of my family from her generation. My father has been gone for twenty-two years along with aunts and uncles as well as their cousins. I find it somewhat funny when my mother talks about her cousins she always says cousin before there name. For example she had a cousin Roy and she always refers to him as Cousin Roy. I finally asked her recently after all these years she calls him Cousin Roy. The reason is that she was the youngest child in her immediate family so Cousin Roy was a lot older than her. Now it makes some sense. I may say initially referring  to my cousin Bronwen putting cousin first so they know I talking about a relative but when I continue in the conversation I just say Bronwen because they now know who she is in regards to me and our relationship but that is not the way with Cousin Roy. Anyway it still seems funny.

When it comes to my aunts and uncles there are only a few events I remember seeing them at. Some are clearer to me than others; however, I do remember their personalities and how they acted. They had their faults and were funny and peculiar in their own ways. I really remember the real funny events the most; however, they are family and I love them very much. Also, I remember how each of them talked. They were all unique in how they spoke, and they were all different from each other.

Going back a generation I really only new two of my grandparents. My Grandmother Nightingale died when I was thirteen months old so of course I don’t remember her at all. I only know what I have been told.  My Grandfather Shaw died when I was four so I don’t remember him either. The circumstances in my life during that period are why I don’t remember him. I received my middle name from Grandfather Shaw, and my mother tells how much I am like him.  Grandfather Nightingale died when I was nine. I don’t remember a lot about him except he gave me fig newton bars and cod liver oil which was awful. Also, I remember him smoking a pipe.  Grandmother Shaw died when I think I was thirteen years old. She was on our trip part of the time when we spent the summer traveling through Canada and eastern United States. She was a lot like my mother where was in very good health and still had her mind when she died of a stroke. If they had prescriptions then like they do now she would have lived a lot longer.

So remember memories are the best part of our lives, and make sure you go out make some really good new memories.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Enjoying the Music

I have really enjoyed music since I was a kid. I enjoy all types of music. I sang in high school choir for three years. It was a tough start because my voice was changing when I first joined the choir. Also, for quite a few years I sang in church choirs as well. My current church does not have a choir but does have a good small worship team. Though I would love to sing in a choir again it is not my highest priority. I enjoy during worship to be able to change the level of notes I sing whether to go with the melody or sing lower. I am a baritone so cool to make up my own part since we only have the words on the screen.

One of the reasons I joined choir. My mother didn’t like the way I sang around the house but that choir would help me become a good singer. My first choir experience in high school was for freshmen and sophomores. You didn’t have to tryout so it didn’t matter if you could really sing or not though most did sing very well. I was probably an exception at the time. Several weeks into the school year though I picked it up pretty well, and other members stopped making remarks that I didn’t care for. I liked music so much and wanted to sing I allowed the remarks not keep me down. My junior and senior years you had to join the large choir or not be in choir any longer. The thing though you had to be good to be part of it. There were tryouts for what was called chamber choir. It was really good when I found that I made the choir. This was really true for what I had to go through the year before. So the thing is I had a good voice I just needed to be trained in singing. With the love of singing and music it was great that I made it. I would have been heartbroken if I didn’t make it.  Another thing with the last name of Nightingale I felt it was important to be good. I didn’t feel I had to be a soloist but I wanted to be a good part of the choir.

So music is very much in my bones. I am glad the music I listen growing up was really good. It was not like it all good but I think it was in most part. There was some that the words were rebellious but that was the time period in the 60s and 70s. Some of the songs I didn’t listen to the words at all while others were really nice. It was the period of folk songs and ballads. You had Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Jim Croce, Bread, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and a lot more. I believe now popular music has had a comeback. I didn’t listen to much music of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Most of it just was not my cup of tea.

When it comes to music I have chosen to lay back and enjoy. Music for me is something that relaxes me and in general is a part of me. Without music life would not be the same. I enjoy at times to listen and other times to sing a new song. In fact I want to sing more new songs, and go out and be a bit crazy with it. It beats anything else out there except maybe love.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Funny People

We all have funny, different, or strange people we know. The thing about it is most of them are part of our family. I am sure we all have stories to tell and we generally keep them in the family. I would say primarily we keep it in house because we don’t want anyone outside the family to know. Either we are embarrassed or others just wouldn’t understand.

In my family we have at least two and even more we would consider different and funny in their own way. In the both cases they are an aunt and an uncle. The other day I was telling someone about my aunt. He said we all have aunt like that in our families. It is sort of nice to know that your family is not alone when it comes to strange and funny people in your family. The thing about it all no matter how they have acted over the years, and done things that you wish could be changed you love them anyway. It is not like my aunt did anything illegal at all she did things you just which could be undone.

I have decided to keep her name out of the story on purpose though family sure knows who I am talking about. The thing about my aunt is that she never married so she treated each of us like we were her children which we did not appreciate. In my siblings and cousins she sometimes did not treat very kindly at times. I was lucky because I did not spend personal time along with her; however, they all loved her anyway. Though she had her faults she had her good points as well. The main thing is that she meant well even when she didn’t treat each of us very kindly. There are many stories I could tell but I would have to write a whole chapter about it in a book.  Who knows may do someday.

My uncle was on the other side of the family. He was my dad’s only brother. He is one I could write a whole chapter about as well. Actually my aunt and uncle are a lot alike in some ways and different as well. In his case he was married several times. If you knew the stories you would understand why he was married several times. Again he was one that meant well. Though he did not treat his family very well at times I enjoyed him as an uncle most of the time.

The thing about my uncle was he enjoyed telling jokes. The jokes were very good; however, he would tell them over and over again in the same setting. So I or better we would hear the joke at least ten times each time we would see him. In other words over time I heard the same jokes more than a hundred times. I didn’t know until later he got the jokes from Groucho Marx. Now you know why they were funny but my uncle was able to deliver them pretty good too.

So what I am saying is to remember those in your family with fond memories who were different and likely funny people. I know I do for my aunt and uncle along with other members I put in the same place. I guess I would say they all have made my life a better place. Of course, I have family and relatives who are more normal. I wouldn’t say where I fit in the crowd but likely in the middle somewhere. I hope to be remembered with good memories. These people are the ones that keep the family moving along. I am sure you have friends as well as family that you can tell good stories about. The funny people of our lives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Running with the Pack

When it comes to most animals they like sticking together or what I call riding with the pack. The thing about this is that there are ones that left behind, injured, and in many cases killed.

You take the Mountain Rams the males fight over the territory to get as many female ones that can have.  In some cases those who lose have their pride hurt at least. The other male rams will get the left over female rams from the one that is now king of the heard.

The reason I bring this up is that in so many ways we do the same thing running with the pack especially when we are children. So often there are kids that are left behind by being hurt by other kids. Today more children are being hurt than ever before. We so much want to be accepted by our peers.

This happens with adults as well where there are some who step on their peers. Some bullies when they are children continue to be as adults. In some cases those who were bullied as children will turn the tables as adults. This is not a good sign happening.

When I was growing up I had to deal with being near the bottom of the chart or what you call the food chain where others kids tried to take advantage of me, or I was just not so popular. This can happen for a number of reasons. It can be your size, looks, or some other thing that makes you different. It is probably the biggest problem not being popular is that you are different than your peers in some fashion. I have heard from others that I grew up that went through similar experience as I; however, often we only see what we are going through then what others are going through.

I did though see some other students that had more difficulty in school then I did. One of the worst times was junior high or what may be called middle school now. We had one student Randy who would carry all his books to class. Randy was very smart but very awkward socially. What happen with Randy some kids would throw things or push him where his books would fly all over the place. Often after Randy would pick up his books they would do it to him again. This would happen to Randy almost every day. I felt bad for Randy though at least they stayed away from me. I finally spoke with Randy giving him advice to only carry one book to class. Randy never took my advice on the manner. In high school kids were more mature or maybe they moved on to someone else because Randy didn’t have the problem again. I haven’t seen or heard from Randy, however, I did hear that he is quite successful which does not surprise me. He left those kids that bothered him behind. It would be so nice to run into him some day.

School years just seemed so long to me. If I could get out of going to school I made every opportunity to do so.  I never told my parents much happened in those days I would say you guys know more than they do.  I have mentioned it before if you are a parent look for the signs in your kids. I believe there are more opportunities today to help kids now. There are mentors that will help. I know I would give advice to any kids what to do.  I believe the best advice is that the school years whether you’re having trouble in any of them especially middle or high school those years are only a short period of time even though they feel like your whole life.

Another advice I have is that it is OK if you do not run with the pack. What you do more than anything is be yourself. This is from someone who tried to deal as much with the pack he could. Instead of being run over by the pack. I am still dealing with looking at the pack from the outside. It is important to be a champion among the wolves.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Family Reunions

I believe one of the greatest things we can do is to go to family reunions. The sad thing is not everyone agrees. Just like high school reunions some people do not to go to their family reunions.

I do know that not everyone is able to go to their family reunion; however, to choose to stay away is very sad. I know that not everyone gets along sometimes but your family is the only one you have.

Our family on my father’s side had our reunion on July 4. I liked the turnout; however, there were a lot that did not make it that I wished had been there. It was short notice so I know some had other events already scheduled so they were allowed to miss. The weather was very hot so could not blame it on the weather for sure. I am not here to put anyone down or show judgment but if you decided to something else instead we missed you.

The thing about family is everyone has a place in it. I know that people enjoy their friends a lot more because they around them a lot more but family will always be family.  Since my immediate family is so spread out and the rest I don’t see that often when I do I find it very special.

With family reunion you talk about what happened growing up and the memories along with what is happening now. Also, you get to meet the new members of the family. You can talk about those who could not be there.  Another thing is we never know how long anyone will be with us especially the oldest ones.

Friends may come and go but family last forever. I know we need more contact with our family on a regular basis. I know that some I not only don’t see enough I don’t talk with them enough either. I know often friends feel more like family than our family does. It is hard to realize that but it is true.

I find the memories I remember the most revolve around my family. I do remember others with friends but they are not as special to me. I think it is important that we go out of our way and make more phone calls to our families whether close or far away. Often the ones closest to us in distance we spend less time with. Also, what really is nice about social media is that we can show each other more pictures so we feel like we are living out our lives in a closer way. I especially like seeing pictures of the small children and then the older ones to see the differences of them growing up and maturing.

Let’s be sure that we spend the time with family not only about the memories but about today as well. I enjoy not only writing about the past but about today as well. Often people see us as who we once were and not who we are right now. I feel that sometimes that I am who others think I am and not who I really am. In our society people want to make us out to be different people whether it is who we really are. You can even look at famous people and come to a conclusion to who they are. The truth is they maybe someone totally different then we think. I believe to that we make people think we are someone else as well. Sometimes we try to put an act on; however, those who are closest to us know the real us. We think.

Put on a good face and have a wonderful week. I hope things go very well for you. Thanks again for tuning in and reading me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence DAy

It is amazing to think that the year is just half over and now we in summer and celebrating another 4th Of July also known as our Independence Day.

I am sure the kids especially enjoy still seeing fireworks going off. We know that animals are not big fans of fireworks though. In my apartment complex we are not allowed to set off fireworks though you can hear them going off most of the time; I like seeing the fireworks in the air. From my place it is common to be able to see three different fireworks going; also can hear a couple others as well. I can hear the one in Seattle and south in the area the U.S. Open golf tournament that took place just last week. In fact if I am not too tired of the travel to and from family reunion I may go down next to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to view the one south.

I remember when I was in elementary school fireworks went off in the harbor almost in front of our place. They were so spectacular; however, they stopped doing it. I was quite disappointed. After that we had some years dad would take us in our large sailboat into Commencement Bay. It actually looks and goes into Tacoma. It is where you enter and exit the harbor.

After we grew up dad and mom would take sailboat out and go up to Seattle to see the fireworks. They would meet up with friends from other Yacht Clubs. My parents were members of the Gig Harbor Yacht Club. In fact in my dad’s memory they have the sailor of the year named after him.

This year it will be nice to visit relatives for the holiday. We all know how important family is even if we do not see them as often as we like. I know some who have family real close and see them a lot while others like myself not so; however, it does make it very special. My brother and I talk on the phone almost every Saturday. It makes it really nice to hear his voice at least.

Next to Christmas I believe Independence Day is children’s favorite holiday because of the fireworks.  We cannot forget what the meaning of the holiday is as well. It is so easy to do so to forget. We all need to remember the meaning of Independence. The freedom we have here in the United States of America. We seem to take the freedoms for granted and some of them seem to become less and less each day. It is important that the minority have a voice; however, they should not be able to overrun the majority. We try so much not to offend people that the country is going down a wrong path. It is important those things the fore father meant to be important stay intact. We can’t let those who seem to be in charge to overtake and remove the freedoms. I am sure other countries love to have the freedoms we are blessed with.

Enjoy your weekend with those you are doing with. Let life be a joy to us all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Beginning of Summer

Here in the northwest summer usually starts on this date July 1; however, this year it began on June 1 if not into May.

I would say that most people here have taken advantage of having an early summer. I sort of wonder though it will last through August or September.

We always have a great July; at least that is what I remember. I don’t see very many cloudy or rainy days in July. The temperatures usually are in the 80s. If we do get any rain it usually falls on July 4 which is a funny irony since it is a national holiday. This year though forecast is in the high 80s for the weekend.

I don’t usually do a whole lot during this coming weekend. I mostly just relax though for several years I had to work on July 4 if it was during the week. This year though I will be going to a Nightingale family reunion. I expect most of them will be second cousins. Certainly will be the right day to hold it since the weather will be great. We try to hold a reunion every couple of years. It certainly a great way to catch up with each other along with the fact there is nothing better than family. I wish I could see them more often like friends. I think it is great when family is real close and they are friends as well. Most of my relatives though are not real close far as driving distance.

My brother and his family will be coming out in another month for a week. It will be good to see them as well. So we could call it a reunion in sorts as well. Our mother is coming up on her 95th birthday and she doesn’t like to travel anymore unless it is a day trip by car. She still drives to some extent; however, they are short distances like around town which is quite amazing. She still has her mind intact.

July is one of the best months to visit here in the northwest. Besides the weather the beauty of the area is fantastic and there are lots of places to go and do things. If you have never been here before I recommend when you come to visit the famous Space Needle in Seattle and go to Mt. Rainier which you can see from many locations in the area.

If July is not a good time for you then August is good to. September is really good because the weather is nice but not quite so hot and the kids are back in school. I would do a search to find other places and things to do as well.

Since I have called this the year of adventure I hope all my friends and family have a summer of adventure. I will be thinking of you.