Monday, August 31, 2015

There is Hope

 On Saturday Aug. 29 I went to a memorial service for an old friend Phil. He passed away eleven days earlier on Aug.18. He had been ill off and on again for the past fifteen years. Before and during his illness I always thought of Phil as a man of hope.

Whenever I needed to hear a word because I was in a place of darkness and hopeless Phil was there to speak hope back into my life. I met Phil the first time in August of 1982 when I attended a church called Gig Harbor Christian Center. A few years later the name was changed to Vineyard of Gig Harbor. Later on the name was changed a couple more times. Anyway Phil and his wife Lynn had started attending the church only a few weeks before me. Phil was a new convert becoming a Christian only a few weeks before I met him; however, he had so much hope and I had no idea he was a new Christian. God made changes in Phil’s life very quickly, and even more over the years. I am not sure how many times he spoke into my life but I can say it was quite a few times. Each time hope was the main word Phil gave me. He was not afraid to tell anyone what God was doing in his life and what he could in their life. A woman named Sue new Phil almost his entire life. At the memorial service she said that as a boy her father nicknamed him fearless Phil; so even before God called his name he let people know what he thought and was not ashamed of it.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened but I would say about four years ago. The church we attended unto his death and I still go to he came up to me in the cafeteria. See at the time the church was meeting in one of the middle school; in fact, I attended that school in seventh and eighth grade. Phil said that he had a word from God for me. He said that he didn’t know the circumstances but that something dramatic happened in my life when I was four years old, and that God on purpose had me not remember anything from that age and earlier. Phil was right on when I was four years old I was burned by cooking an egg on the stove, and my pajamas caught on fire. My sister was nearby and called out to my mother who came and smothered me with a blanket. My dad then rushed me to Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma where I was at four six weeks. If my sister had not been nearby the chances are pretty great that I would not be alive today; it truly was a miracle. I am sure Phil spoke into a lot of other people’s lives during the years of being a Christian.

I have been thinking of hope a lot since Phil’s memorial service. The greatest gift we have is love, and going along with faith and hope.  I believe now that without hope neither love and faith work at all. You can say it is like the Holy Trinity the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt you must have all three.

So I salute to you my old friend Phil. I will miss you greatly like all your friends until we meet you again. In the meantime when I need some hope I say to myself in the circumstance what would Phil say to me.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Endless Story

Right now we are all somewhere in our life story. There are some that are at the beginning, others in the middle, and then even others life is coming to a close.

What really makes life interesting is that none of us really know how long this life of ours will go. We may be here today but gone tomorrow or many more years to go.

I am closer to the end then the beginning; however, I hope the end is still a long way off. We all have a purpose and a destiny but when it ends anyone’s guess at this point. I would say that is why life is a mystery. I am still trying to figure out everything involved in purpose and destiny. I hope to figure it out before my life ends but if I don’t doesn’t change that I do have a purpose and destiny.

I know that my purpose in part anyway is to encourage other people. In fact, every person that I meet whether in person or right here; what I use for the most part when I am in person with someone is humor. It is a bit harder here because my humor is mostly on the spur of the moment. I do find it amazing how much humor I can get out there on any given day, and most of it is original. I may not say the same joke or pun twice most of the time. I do have some that I keep under wraps just in case I need them but the puns I say come up in given situations. I have friends that say I am the king of puns. I am not sure of that but I do say a lot of them in a given day.  Most people laugh while others just shake their heads. Whatever the case is I have gotten my point across. My main point is to have the best day possible with a whole lot of joy. This does not mean that I have some bad days because I do have some of them like most people but at the same time if we can have some fun in the meantime good.

Right now I feel to make each day the best I can. Circumstances in my life I don’t feel are the ways I like it but better to have a good time then sulk. I have many times over the years lived in depression and on the dark side which is not a fun place to be. So I don’t want to live there any longer as you can imagine. Many ways the dark side as I will call it has put me in a place now to enjoy life. Other words I can’t go any further down at least I hope anyway. I have never taken pills for depression because I have felt for one thing they likely won’t work and my depression has been about circumstances in my life and not a medical condition that people generally take pills for.

I would say part of depression and the dark side for me deals with self-pity. In other words why me? We can all look back to the past chapters in our lives to say I wish this didn’t happen but it did happen and the thing is nothing I can do to change it. If there was a time machine I would go back and change those things that I know better now. What I can do now is to learn from those regrets and live a better life. What I want most is to find my life partner to share before this life ends. At the beginning of 2015 I want to live this year as an adventure. I am not sure if it has turned out exactly the way I want it but it has been an adventure. Of course, the year still has a little over months left in it so more adventures can happen.

This year I have had to deal with some health issues but now they seem to be behind me thankfully. The issues had to with my heart and kidney stones which I can say really hurt; however, I am now past that. Last week visiting the doctor I found that my weight had gone up ten pounds because my legs were swollen with water. I am taking some pills along with drinking less water and eating foods with little salt. Right now it is an adjustment trying to change my diet that will allow me to lose the amount of weight I have wanted to do for some time. The thing about these illnesses it is easy to get down on myself; however, I have friends and old classmates that I grew up with that are going through a lot worse thing than I have this year. I feel blessed that these things have been taken care of.

So I am ending this with a word of encourage to make each day in your life an adventure even on the poor days. Enjoy a good laugh because we may have to cry ourselves to sleep. Also, remember that tomorrow will be a new day. Something really to remember for all of us when we go to sleep at night; each day has a challenge in itself though. Be blessed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Home Town and Mt. Rainier

Growing up in Gig Harbor one of the best privileges I have is to view the awesomeness of one of the greatest scenes in the world every day.

Most days unless it is quite cloudy I can see Mt. Rainier right outside the apartment. Also, when I travel around Gig Harbor I can see the mountain at many different angles. When I travel back to the apartment on Reid road I can see close and personal. One of these days I will stop and take a picture though it is difficult because on Reid road it goes around a curve but I will see what I can do. It is funny I think of being close because it does take two hours to drive to Mt. Rainier.

The picture I show is of Gig Harbor with Mt. Rainier in the background. What is so great is you can view Mt. Rainier almost anywhere in the state of Washington. So for visitors when they come into Sea-Tac airport they can get a very close view of Mt. Rainier from the plane.

Growing up our family would go to Mt. Rainier every winter to sled and enjoy going during the summer as well. Whenever family comes now for a visit we make a trip to the mountain as well.  There are many places to see around Mt. Rainier as well. One year when my brothers were home from college we spent a day at Mt. Rainier snowshoeing. It was quite the experience to do. Many places to go hiking as well around the mountain; everyone can make it a day trip or more if they like.

Right now with forest fires in the area you can see smoke around Mt. Rainier. You can still visit the mountain because the fires are farther north and not at the mountain itself.

Every year a lot of people climb the mountain as well. It is important to watch when to climb because people have died on the mountain. I would say the summer time would be the best though not as challenging as in the winter and not as much snow except at high elevations.

We salute you Mt. Rainier and enjoy your presence every day.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Rich and the Poor

It really does seem that the line between the rich and the poor is getting wider all the time. I am not here to write to put down the rich but it does seem more has to be done about it.

Here in Gig Harbor where I live there are more rich people than poor. Actually it is hard to find the poor though I know they are around. Gig Harbor is made up of a lot of wealthy people.  The houses in the neighborhood I grew up at are very large; unless you are very rich you could not likely afford to live there I know I couldn’t any longer.

The pastor of my church says that all teenagers in Gig Harbor should go on at least one mission’s trip to a third world country to see how other people live. We are sheltered in a manner that we don’t really know how the rest of the world lives. I have never been on a mission’s trip though I have been to Europe a couple times. Friends I have talked to that have been on mission trips to third world countries say they see so much joy out of the people they have met especially the children. Though they have very little they have a happy life. In many respects they enjoy like better than most rich people. Other words money does not always make you happy. I think part of their joy is to see people from other lands.

I know there are those that go to other countries to help out the poor whether it is giving food or helping build homes; however, there are those who go on vacations to places that have really nice beaches like the Caribbean and have a really good time but ignore the poverty that is around them.  What I am saying is the rich should not only give to help the poor but spend the time with them as well. Many rich give out a lot of money through organizations like Bill Gates Foundation which is a really good thing but they never take the time get to know the people they help.

In the beginning I said that the line between the rich and the poor is getting wider which I meant has to do with home much money each have but I think socially is the same way. In my opinion we need to spend more time with other people regardless of the class we are in. I am not saying just between the rich and the poor; also between the cultures. When I say we I am including myself in this as well. I am a white Caucasian with English and Scottish blood in me; most people in Gig Harbor are white Caucasian as well.  There are Mexicans, Indians, Blacks and other nationalities that I see most every day but I don’t take the time to talk to them as I should, learn about their cultures, and most important of all about them. This would go for those who are poor as well where I can learn about their struggles and what I can do to help them even if it is only in a small way.

There are many other ways we can help to bring the line between the rich and poor. I believe the United States government waste so much money on programs that could feed and house at least one third world country along with helping the poor right here. I am sure other large countries can do the same. I am not sure how much change can happen regarding the poor however if each of us does our part regardless how big or small we can make that dividing line smaller.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Smoky Skies

Here at my place in Gig Harbor, Washington I woke up on Sunday to smoke in the air. You may think that someone’s home was on fire or a brush fire in the area. Actually the case is that in central and eastern Washington there are forest fires going on, and the smoke blew into our area. 

It was quite amazing because it felt like the fire was in the neighborhood. I had to be sure not to breathe in the smoke. The air quality was poor all day long until the evening. This morning a few minutes ago I went out to see how things were, and I could not see or smell the smoke so the wind blew it away.

Give you an idea of the smoke it takes three or four hours to drive from here to where the fires are at. I watched part of the Seattle Mariners game yesterday and you could see the smoke hazing over the ball park there as well. I am not sure how far the skies were smoking in western Washington but it was quite a distance for sure.

Every year there are forest fires in central and eastern Washington but nothing like this year. We have had a lot more hot weather this year than I can ever remember.  It is nice to enjoy the weather in one respect but it has affected the lands being drier than normal. There have been some brush fires throughout western Washington; however, it is not the same affect a forest fire will cause.

Right now there are over two hundred firemen fighting the fires in Chelan and Okanogan counties. Seeing pictures on line the fires are large and have destroyed some family’s homes. Give you an idea how large the fires are last week three firemen lost their lives in Chelan. So I ask that you pray for the families of those fire fighters along with those who are fighting the fires now. Also, I ask to pray for those who have lost their homes as well. The roads right now in the area are mostly closed and people have been asked to evacuate the area. Some have left while others have stayed; it is not an easy decision to make when it is in regards to your homes.

When it comes to vacation a lot of locals over here go to Chelan and Okanogan for their vacations. I know many who go there ever year because it is a great spot to camp out and go water skiing since there a lot of lakes in the area. These large fires are going to make it difficult to rebuild and take a lot of time to do so. I am sure people will have to make alternate plans for vacations at least for next year.

I know several fire fighters who go over there every year to fight the fires. It will be interesting to hear their stories of the fires this year. Again please pray for those who are involved in the fires in Chelan and Okanogan counties. Thanks!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Being a Helper to Others

It seems to me in our day and age it is hard to find people to help us whether it is moving to a new place or helping to install something in our current place. I am sure this is happening around the world everyone is so busy doing their own thing. Most people work a lot of hours at their job, and then spend the remaining time with activities. It is ok to work hard and to do activities but we must be flexible to help others as well.

We should leave at least one or two days a week open to help others. I know it is easier said than done of course. If you keep yourself open for others than they should be able to do so for you as well. Some things are easier to do with help than by yourself. I would even include working in your yard.

Part of the incentive would be to ask help from a close friend or even several friends for the help. You would include having pizza and beer or another type of drinks. If not pizza make different types of sandwiches; they have children that are the same age as yours, and are good friends as well bring them along. They can help along with the adults depending on what you are doing. At the least they can play with each other and stay out of the way. Also, this will depend on the age of the kids as well. The important thing is not only get the work done faster it is to have fun doing it as well.

Another thing is you can plan either before or after working together at your place schedule the time when you can go to their house to help out as well. It doesn’t  matter how large or small the project is the best part is spending the time with friends and helping each other out.

Another idea to helping out is to find someone who needs the help and has no one that they know to help them. This is really true for single parents. When I was younger a couple other friends and I would help others who were in need. We did it once or twice a month; most of the time it was moving someone but we had other little projects to help out too. Often they were people we didn’t know or know very little. We found it very rewarding along with the fact we spent some time together. I played a lot of tennis in those days as well, and helping others didn’t stop me in doing so. In some ways I miss those days though a few times a year I help others out.

I believe we feel rewarded for helping others out, and we may gain a friend or more as well.

The other day I met someone who said that they could use a new friend. We had never met before but the person thought the type of person they think I am would help them out. They just gotten out of a very bad relationship and needed a friend. They were not asking for a lot but to be there for them. This is another way we can help people out as well. We can keep some time available where we can be a friend to someone who needs a friend. The most important thing is to listen to them, and see how we can help them. We don’t have to spend a lot of time with them just be there when they need us.

I know time to time I can use a friend like that myself. Like I say people are so busy that even your friends may find it hard to spend time with you. I know that they say call us anytime; however, I find it hard to do that myself. I don’t want to put another person in a position where I feel needed and call them a lot. Let’s be open and help each other out even if it feels awkward because I know it will.  Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Believing in Miracles

 Depending on where you come from or your religion makes up whether someone believes in miracles or not. How people define a miracle can be different as well. In third world countries where they believe strongly in spiritual things see more what they call miracles than in the developing countries like the United States. In the developing countries they would explain that a miracle is really not one at all just an event happened that they can’t explain while third world country a person would know it is a miracle.

I have to say though I haven’t seen too many miracles in my life. It is possible that I may not be looking for them either. I do though believe miracles can happen even if I haven’t seen many them myself. Something I would call a miracle is where someone survives a bad car accident where the vehicle is so damaged it is hard to believe anyone would survive. Another example of a miracle would be where someone was close to death or may even had died but came back alive. Often someone was healed from a disease I would call that a miracle.

I knew a girl who I graduated from high school with had a brain tumor and she was in a coma for two years. She was nineteen when she went into the coma and no one really knew she would survive or not. I only heard it second hand so I am not sure how she survived the coma; however, after the two years she came out of the coma she was blind. Up to this day she is still blind but surviving the coma I would call a miracle.

I knew another young man at the time who was a friend of my young brother Jack who was in an accident while fishing in Alaska. He fell off the fishing boat I don’t remember right now but I think he was hit by something on the boat. He was in the hospital for some time as well. When he was released from the hospital he was slow in speech. I know that because I saw him only a few days after being released from the hospital. His memory was in a place where he had to learn how to speak all over again. It took him some time; however, he did eventually returned to being normal. If you saw him today you would have no idea what happened to him unless he told you his story. I would call that a miracle as well. It was something you can’t really explain how he survived.

The next miracle I know and the last one I will write about is very personal since it actually happened to me. When I was four years old I was burned while cooking an egg on the stove. Yes I was the one cooking the egg. My pajamas caught on fire and I ended up with a scar on my chest and my right arm pit. What really made it a miracle my sister was in the living room not far away from me, and she shouted where my mother was able to hear her and came to my rescue by smothering my pajamas then my father drove me to the hospital in Tacoma. A major part of the miracle is that if my mother had not gotten to me at the right time I may have burned on my face as well. It may have only been a second or two longer where that may have happened. I was in the hospital for six weeks with a temperature around 104. I am sure my parents were not sure if I would survive or not. I consider it a miracle; however, it was not the end of the story.

After I returned home from the hospital I had boils on my chest. My mother had to try to clean the boils every day while I would scream. I am not sure how long it was; however, it was in June so our family would always go to Twanoh State Park. It was a tradition we did for many years growing up. Anyway this one time there was a waiting pool that little kids like me could go into. Mother says that I was heading for the pool but figured I would not go in because I was afraid of water and would scream each time she bathed me. Not only did I walk into the pool I walked out and no longer did I have the boils. This would be called a miracle in my mind as well. It was something that could not be explained by anyone. What I just written I don’t remember the experience at all. I don’t remember being burned or going to the pool. I was told it all by my mother. Another thing is if my mother says something about my burn and my sister is there you can see in her face like the experience happened just like yesterday. Though I don’t remember she does. Someday I will have to talk with her about it.

So I can say miracles are around us a lot but we don’t recognize them as such. I am sure we have all had experiences in our lives that I would define as a miracle. Like I say a miracle is something happens that we can’t explain most of the time; however, I am sure things do happen that can be explained but I would still call them a miracle.

In many ways we are all miracles. How we came to be and where we are right now is a miracle so think of yourself as a miracle. Our lives can be much richer that way. So tell a family member or a friend that they are a miracle.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Visit to Cushman Dam and Hood Canal

On August 5th when my brother and his family were visiting we took a day trip to Cushman Dam and going along the Hood Canal. The Hood Canal is not your typical canal is a long stretch body of water.

You can get to Cushman Dam going west from Bremerton. It is just over an hour drive. While driving to the dam you will see the Hood Canal off to the right. It will be shortly after going through Belfair which is only a short drive from Bremerton. There are places you can stop off as well on the way to or back from the dam. One of the places is Twanoh State Park. The park is a place our family visited a few times while growing. It has not changed a whole lot since my childhood. A few renovations but basically the same; we stopped there on our way back from the dam. It brought back many memories. They have a tennis court where my brothers and I played tennis as kids often. We usually played tennis after swimming in the canal. Another thing at the park the picnic tables were the same ones and they did not look good at all for their age. Of course, they are older than me.

On our way to Cushman Dam we made a stop at Alderbrook Inn for lunch. Recommend stopping there for lunch. Also, a place people stay for weddings, receptions, honeymoons etc.. Going outside the inn you get a very good look at the canal as well.

Cushman Dam is about a half hour drive from the inn. The dam is east of Hoodsport in about nine miles. You would make a left in Hoodsport to get to the dam. Actually there are two dams. Dam #1 the original dam you can see from a short distance however dam #2 is closer get to. Our family there is an importance to the dams because my grandfather Richard Nightingale was the chief engineer when the dam was constructed in the 1920s. The dam generates the power for the area including Tacoma and Gig Harbor where I live.

I will show now some pictures I took of the dam and the area.


                                          Power lines connected to Dam #1

                                                 Dam #2

                                             another look toward Dam @

                                                   Lake Cushman


Friday, August 14, 2015

Thunder and Lightning

Here in Gig Harbor and Western Washington we do not have a lot of thunder and lightning storms during the year. We can usually count them on one hand the amount of times we do. In fact I would say in August over the years it has happened very few times; however, this week it has happened twice.

I have to say I should not be surprised since the summer of 2015 has been unusual summer. We have had more ninety degree days that I can ever remember. I am not sure how many we have had it total but more often than most summers. The ninety degree days have come in bunches this year. Normally the summer temperatures are in either the upper 70s or into the low 80s; we have had a few of those this year but not so often. I am sure most people here are not complaining about the temperatures for sure. The summers are always sunny and usually go through September. Also, October can be a very nice month as well; however, since this year has been unusual we can only guess what it will be like this year.

On Wednesday this week I went out for my usual morning walk. The temperatures were expected to be in the mid to upper 80s like most of this summer has been so I dressed accordingly to the weather no jacket just a light shirt. I was only into the walk for about five minutes when it started thundering. I thought at the time I wonder if we will have lightning as well. I was hoping that I would be safe but wasn’t sure at all. Probably a couple minutes into thinking about lightning there was a strike of lightning that I could see. There was a flash of lightning that occurred in front of me and another within five minutes. I kept on walking trusting that I would be OK. I could still hear the thunder but no more lightning. When I got to half way through my walk and turned to go back to my car it started raining. Though I was not wearing any rain gear at all I was fine with it. I had survived the lightning so the rain would be OK. It rained the rest of my walk which was about twenty minutes but I did not get that wet. I saw a couple ladies on the way back going to the direction I had just came from they were trying to stay dry in the trees. They said that they surprised by the thunder but were willing to go the distance of the trail which was about a mile long and then come back same way. They told me that they had been in the goodwill store and they had heard rumbling but thought just something was going on upstairs without the thought of thunder. Like I said we are not used to thunder and lightning so it was not surprising they had no idea like I had no idea when starting on the trail. I wanted this year when it began to be a year of adventure and having the thunder and lightning just added it for me.

I heard on the news, from people I know, and social media that Seattle and Tacoma along with the other small communities in the area got hit a lot worse than where I was on the trail. I would say that God protected me during that time. He has more plans for me than me getting hit by lightning. For example, I still have to continue writing this blog you would never know the rest of the story of my life.

The early morning I woke up to hearing thunder around 1 am and again 3 am and when I got up at 6 am. I could not see any lightning however checking the social media I saw reports and pictures of lightning happening around Seattle. I would say it is a good way for people to wake up in the morning. If you have a hard time getting up in the mornings I would say a lot different this morning. I am not sure about earlier but when I got up at 6 am it was raining very hard. The truth is we really need the rain though not the thunder and lightning. Actually I would say the lightning for sure. Since the grass has been really dry this summer the lightning could cause a lot of brush fires. I am sure I will see some of them reported. We already have had quite a few this summer.  Anyway I reported more occurrences that may happen over the next few weeks. It is amazing to think that kids will be looking to go back to school within the next few weeks. Time flies while you have a good time.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trusting People

Sometimes trusting people is the hardest thing to do especially if we have just met them.

In most cases I trust people very much; however, there are some who do make it very difficult to do so because of circumstances. I would say that the biggest issue trusting people has to do with money. Often people ask others to borrow money when they meet. This is especially true when people meet on line. Many people are scammed and taken advantage of on line. This happens a lot to the elderly; more often than other segments of society. If you have elderly parents it is important that you make sure this does not happen to them. I have heard about elderly people being scammed and losing up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are told about things that most likely bigger than life; these things can help them out where they will live very comfortably the rest of their lives. Instead the elderly will lose all their life savings.

Scams can come to the rest of us as well. We all need to be aware of these scams. A lot of times I get emails where the sender tells me that I have won the lottery, or I am getting an inheritance from a long lost relative. Another one is like I got yesterday where a woman says that her husband died, she has cancer so she has little time left as well. She needs someone to take care of it for her. She has a lot of money where it can be used to help the sick. These emails could be true but most likely not. I know that I would never take the chance this would help me or other people out. Often they want information like  your social security number as well as your address along with other information you should never give out. If I answered every email like this I could be a very rich man but likely I would have no money. The chance is that likely I will have my identity taken.

Where trust hurts the most is with your closest relatives. They may decide ask to borrow money; they may intend to pay you back but likely they will not. I am sure most families have members that live beyond their means. Another part of this is where  a close relative dies, and the person is left behind most likely will remarry. The children often will not get their inheritance from the remaining parent because the inheritance will go to their new spouse and family. It is important the children look out for the surviving parent because likely they wanted it to go to the children in the first place. This doesn’t happen all the time but does happen for frequently than we realize.

It is really sad that trust is hard to deal with for most of us. We have all learned about by prior experience happening to us or a loved one. It is important that we are not taken advantage of; however, we can’t be paranoid either.

I believe in the end it is important that we trust people in general but must keep our eyes open to what may happen. Again anything that seems to be better than life probably is. I think it is important to give some money to good causes as well. My mother is always getting calls about donations but she has learned to keep them to a minimum. There are a lot of good causes but we can’t give to each one.

Often we see people in the streets or on the sidewalk asking for money. When it comes to the poor we need to use wisdom as well. My advice would be to buy people food instead of money. This depends on the situation the person who is asking.

In the end I have to say is give away money that you can afford to give away, and not money you cannot. This advice I would give whether it is the poor or some member of the family. Some people need to learn tough love as well. There are those who continue to be in a place where they always need to borrow money. They need to learn to live within their means. I am sure we all have been in this position at one time or another regardless which side. Sometimes there are circumstances where people do really need the help so help them but remember don’t give away your last dollar most likely you will need it.

Monday, August 10, 2015

More From Visit to Seattle

                       Showing pictures of visit to Seattle  last Thursday


The Water Front Line on Bremerton

Bainbridge Island

Century Link and Safeco Field showing from the Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Landscape from the Waterfront

A Washington State Ferry Coming into Seattle Waterfront

Looking Up to the Ferris Wheel From Below

I hope you really love seeing these pictures


Friday, August 7, 2015

Visit to Seattle

It is always nice to take a trip to Seattle. I don’t do it very often; always do so when family is visiting from out of town like this week with my brother and his clan.

What we usually do is take the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle on these occasions. It takes a half hour to drive to Bremerton and another hour for the ferry ride. We take the ferry ride for the scenic view of Puget Sound and not for the time. It is much faster to drive to Seattle by car. It takes only about forty-five minutes the normal route through Tacoma north on interstate 5 to Seattle.

We spent the afternoon and evening down on the waterfront of Seattle along with going to the famous Pike St. Market. Both places are lovely to spend time at. There are several places to eat along with going on the Ferris wheel. It is a good way to view the area of Puget Sound and the city of Seattle. My family went on the ride of the wheel but I chose not to; for one I am not great on heights and the cost was more than what I would spend for the experience. Actually if it was the last thing we were going to do I would have taken the ride knowing that I could recover at home.

When you come in by ferry you can see both Safeco Field where the Seattle Mariners play their baseball games and Century Link Field the home of the Seahawks. Often people from Bremerton take the ferry over to see ball games. It is not too long of a walk or you can take a cab as well.

Another landmark you can see even from a long distance is the Space Needle which has been known since the days of the Seattle World’s fair. I can say that I did attend the fair so I maybe showing my age but I was not very old and don’t really remember at all. We decided that we didn’t have the time to go to the Needle on this trip since we have been there quite a few times. In fact I have been there many more times than Pike Place Market.

If you ever come to Seattle both the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market are a must to see. There are many other places that you can see as well but they are the top two. The number third choice would be going to Mt. Rainier that you can see looking south and east especially from the Space Needle.

The next thing I recommend to do is to take a number of different trips on the ferry. You can take the one I took; also, the Bainbridge Island ferry, or going to the San Juan Islands. This last one would take several days to get the most out of the experience but is worth doing so. The thing about both the Bremerton and Bainbridge Island ferries is that a lot of people who work in downtown Seattle will commute in every day. It is less expensive to live in either place especially in the Bremerton area.

Again we had a really good time, and I look forward to my next trip into Seattle. It is like many big cities though it is lower key than most. Much easier to relax; however, there are so many places to visit including hiking if you decide to move here. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Always Having Fun With Family

I finally got see my brother and his family yesterday Aug 4. I first had breakfast together with my brother, sister in-law, mother, and niece. The boys were not up yet so saw them a little bit later on. I actually went with my brother right after breakfast to run some errands. Thought we talk almost every weekend there is nothing like doing it in person.

We went back to my apartment for a few hours relaxing, and catching up with each other. Midafternoon my brother, niece, nephews and I went out kayaking in Gig Harbor. It was a really great time being out on the water on a nice day. The temperature was not as hot as we have been having for the summer. The sun was out; however, the temperature was in the mid-70s.

Besides the time out on the water with them I really liked seeing the homes, and boats at a different view. When I drive or walk I am able to see the homes on the east side pretty good for front view; however, it is even better by water. There are even a couple houses that are under construction right now as well. I couldn’t see them by land so I didn’t know they were even there. The homes on the east side are very close together so I can’t really see any more homes being built on the east; however, like you can say if there is a will there is a way. I don’t really want to living in a house that is so close to another but that is what’s happening now.

The homes on the east side in the most part very large. When I was growing up on the east side the homes were smaller and not so many of them either. The real small houses that are actually still there were used by those who owned them on the weekends and in the summer. In fact, the house I grew up in was just a cabin before I was born. My dad grew up on in Tacoma and came out primarily in the summer to Gig Harbor. So when I was very small my dad enlarged the place into a real home.  The house is still the same today on the outside. The current owner has done some work inside the house.

The west side which is where downtown Gig Harbor is has a lot more homes than the east side. The west side was settled first before the east side had homes built on it. The homes on the west side are not nearly as big either. The homes near the water front on whether east or west is very expensive. Most of the homes in downtown have been there for many years even before I was born.  There are some newer homes but many of the older homes have been remodeled.

I am not sure what plans we have today. We may go to the Hood Canal to see Cushman Dam. My grandfather was the chief engineer when the dam was constructed in the 20s. It is the dam that powers Gig Harbor and Tacoma along with all the other adjoining town and cities in the area.

On Thursday the plan will be going to Seattle by ferry. We will be celebrating my mother’s ninety-fifth birthday coming up in September.

So whether you go by water or land this area is more beautiful than any place I have been too.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Meeting New Friends

I believe there is nothing better to do in live than meet new friends unless it is seeing old friends who can catch up on.

Last week I had breakfast with two old friends from high school at new popular restaurant. It was really good to find out what they have been up to for last many years. One of them I had not seen since high school and the other I have seen three times this year but had not seen prior to this year. We met together because one of them was in town on vacation and wanted to see some old friends. It is interesting to see how people are, and look different after all these years along with maturity and possible change of personalities that you remember anyway.

When it comes to meeting new friends it usually happens at local coffee shop I go to almost every day, out walking around the harbor, or grocery shopping. When it comes to walking I see some of the same people each time so it is really cool to think of them as friends even though it real casual. In most cases don’t even know their names which fine with me.  If you haven’t seen them around for a few weeks you ask what they have been up to. Many times they have been on vacation somewhere and just got back so learn where and what they did during the vacation. Some have dogs as well so you get to know them as well.

In the coffee shop I see a lot of the same regulars who come in each day as well. I know some friends outside of the coffee shop scene sort of wonder why I go in every day. I don’t drink regular coffee I usually get a latte or a smoothie. I consider good conversation with good people, and I find it cheap entertainment compared to going to a movie or a ball game which maybe an alternative.

This last Saturday I spoke with a young man who works as a cashier at the grocery store I usually shop at. We started chatting at the coffee shop because he came in because he was two hours early for work. His name is Anthony, and he is very mature for his age I think anyway. He is quite thoughtful about his surroundings especially with talking with customers while checking out their groceries. He is saving money to take a trip to Europe next some with a friend of his. They plan to go for like two months, do some juggling, and other street acts for people. He had a pad on him. I asked him about it and he showed me some of his drawings. He is quite a talent; I told him he should look into doing it for a living. He said he might but likes just doing it for now. He hopes to figure out what he wants to do in the future while in Europe as well. He doesn’t plan to go back to school until he figures out what he wants to do. I told him he should do something with his art since he is so good at it. He says he plans to write a novel with the drawings included.

Yesterday I spoke with an attracted young woman who had her sixteen month old daughter with her. We didn’t have very long to talk but I enjoyed it thoroughly especially with the cute daughter who was doing a little talking herself, and playing around in the basket.

Those were two examples why I like meeting new friends during the day. I figure if I can meet and talk with one new person a day the more we will both benefit from it. Who knows we may see each other again, and strike up another conversation. Anthony I know I will see again because he works at the grocery store. We will be able to say hello at a new level because we got to know each other on Saturday.

We all have a purpose in life; mine is to meet people every day, and I hope to make a change in their lives as well as mine. We can learn so much from other people that make us a better person. I know it is not for everyone but I would take the risk if you have the opportunity. The worst thing can happen is they tell you to buzz off but most will enjoy talking. If you want to know how to start the conversation just say hello. They may start the conversation themselves or you can ask them what their plans are for the day. Always good to have a new friend even if it only for a day.