Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Living Today

Though I enjoy writing and thinking about the past living today is the most important thing of all. Of course, it can also be the hardest thing to do as well.

The older we get the more we seem to think about the past and the future as well. The deal is how we work with today. If you are around my mother’s age of ninety-five the past and the present is really all you have because there really is not much of a future.

When it comes to the future I think about my life for the next five years primarily. For most of us thinking ahead it is a good idea to think about the future in five year increments. It is important to start with the first year and work toward the five years.

For me the next five years will be about retirement and what I want to do during that period. Actually it is planning retirement because in ten years I will be retired. At this time I am not married so part of the plan is to be married. Of course, it has been part of my plan for many years; however, it has not worked out so far. I can think of regrets from the past about marriage and family; however, it really is not the right way to live. I feel it is more important that we all think about the good things of the past, and learn from those things that we can put into practice now and in the future.

Most people my age have grandchildren and enjoy taking part in their lives. Like I say I never married, however, who I do marry in the near future I hope will have children and grandchildren that I can enjoy. I suppose I can marry a younger woman and have children of my own. Though it is still possible at my age I am not sure I want to have children of my own. The main reason is that I want to see my children grow up and have children of their own. My plan is to be around for a long time reality sets in that may not happen. This is especially true when I see some of my peers dying. For that reason alone I find it really important to live today and one day at a time though planning for five years and beyond.

The most important part of my life today is to see people, and continue to build relationships. The older we get the more we realize how important family and friends are. For many they still may enjoy going to work every day but in the end those two things is family and friends.

For some friends maybe more important than family because you see them more often; I know in my case outside of my mother I only see my sister and brother about once a year. I enjoy the time we spend together but it is still friends that I am around more. I do have the privilege to talk on the phone with my brother almost every Saturday and my sister about once a month. Always gives joy in my heart to know what they are up to and the family news. These days with email and social media we can all feel closer together even though far away.

So remember those memories of the past, plan the future, and most of all enjoy today with passion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

There Is No Place Like Home

Though I would love to travel the world wide and the seven seas there is still no place like home.

If I were to win the lottery the next step would be to start traveling around the world; however, I know at some point I would have to return home for some rest and relaxation for the very least.

My dream job right now would be to get a traveling job where I could write about the places I visit. I would love to tell you where I have been and what I am doing in those places. In the end though home is where the heart lives.

I know some have moved away where they grew up because of a job or the person they met while going to college. In fact, they may have moved away because they were tired of the rain or something else entirely; however, the heart is still for home.

My sister and brother have lived elsewhere longer than they did in Gig Harbor; however, when someone asks them they say Seattle. Very few know about Gig Harbor unless you have visited here or you have read my blog for some time. My brother and his family visited in August; I could see that for my brother it was such joy to come back home. My sister will be coming for a visit soon, and I am sure the same look will be on her face.

Gig Harbor does not look the same exactly as when we were growing up; however, the memories are hard to forget. In the neighborhood we grew up our house is one of the few still standing. I hope to find some old pictures that I can show here. Our house looking west had glass windows all the way across where we could see one end of the harbor to the other. It was really great scene to see and show people when they came over for a visit. I thought it would be nice to have a nice outside balcony; however, our father never build one. The current owner has a balcony out there now so seating outside has to be such a great thing of beauty especially in the summer months.

Now that October is about to arrive we will have still some very nice days; however, I expect some rain will start falling. I remember as a kid playing football at the local park, and the days it really rained hard my brothers and I would play board games and cards. In the early evening after dinner I would go out and shoot baskets with my basketball. I would pretend that I was playing for the Seattle Supersonics team and we would beat the Boston Celtics each time. They were the NBA champions back in the day. Getting dark early in the evening was the hard part. I stayed out as long as I could before mother would ask me to come in for bed. Those were the days and made Gig Harbor the place to be. I am sure everyone has their stories of home.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Getting a Bad Reputation

Here in Western Washington a local grocery several months ago bought quite a few other grocery stores from a couple different grocery chains to become much larger. The thought that expanding really was a very good idea; however, like some other companies that have expanded it may have not been a good idea. There could be reasons behind why the business did not work in the manner they thought it would. We have seen over the last couple decades or so that expansion does work sometimes and other times it does not. It is a risky business to expand especially if you are acquiring much larger chain than what your chain had been before. We did have a telephone that did the same thing a few years back, and they have been successful in doing so.

Right now there is a law suit between this chain and the one that they purchased many stores from. Actually the one who was the seller sued the buyer over the inventory. At this point it is hard to know who will win the suit; however, buyer has a counter suit feeling the seller hurt them because they feel wrongfully were given a bad reputation by the seller to the public through social media. A week later they filed chapter eleven under bankruptcy laws, and were looking to sell off many of the stores they had acquired several months; however, they have now decided to close many those stores including the one here in Gig Harbor. Another part of the story is another store in Gig Harbor has closed down temporarily for about five months to do a remodel so in the area that had three stores running now will have one store until the remodel store reopens. So the store that continues to be open has had more customers because of the remodel store but will now even have more customers because of being the only store in the area opened.

So you may ask about the store closing why the bad reputation? They accuse the seller telling the public the prices at the buyer stores are higher than at the other grocery stores in the area. Before the buyer bought the store I seldom ever shopped at the store because I thought the prices were higher than the other two stores; however, it was where I went for the pharmacy so sometimes I bought a few groceries there when needed so when the grocery stores were sold the buyers kept the prices about the same as before so there comes the bad reputation. I am sure there are other reasons some people stopped shopping at the buyers store; however, the reputation of increasing prices was the biggest reason of the downfall of the store.

The reason I am bringing this all up because I am sure many people may not really care what happens with a grocery chain in the western part of the United States beyond the loss of jobs of employees is that at any time any of us can be given a bad reputation. Sometimes one person can say something about us that are totally untrue, and can hurt our reputation. Those close to us know the honest truth but the untruths and bad reputation could hurt us so much so that we may never recover from it. Also, there is a possibility that the untruths were put out there from someone that once was close to us so it hurts even more so.

I believe we all should be careful what we say about another person that could hurt their reputation. This is really true for someone who may have hurt us enough that we want to hurt them back, and we maybe even justified to do so; however, revenge is never a good idea. How we hurt another person could come back and hurt us as well. So what happens in business can happen in our personal lives as well. I feel we should never tell lies about another person; however, we need to watch telling the truth sometimes because it can hurt others as well. I prefer to live a life of peace.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Making Changes

In my previous writing I wrote about cramping our style. What we have to do unfortunately is make changes in our lives the older we get. It is not the easiest thing to do because so many things we have done for so many years. It is why I said cramping our style; however, the changes do need to happen.

What I find the biggest issue that has happened is the way things have changed over the years. At least in most of the good old USA; here in Gig Harbor, Washington the town has grown so much though it is still considered a small town, and it will always be because there is not a whole lot more growth. Growing up in Gig Harbor there was very few places that someone or a family could eat out. We had only a few restaurants in town maybe two or three so our family did not east out often. I am not sure we would have anyway; however, you would have to go into Tacoma to have a really nice meal if you did not want to eat at the local restaurants. In those days Gig Harbor had no fast food restaurants either; now almost every chain of fast food restaurants is in the harbor. It does not count the coffee shops that are in town. There is several coffee shops on ever block so these days easy to stop every day for something to drink or eat. Our family did not drink a lot of soda either while now it is a staple for every teenager or younger.

There are other changes that have happened in Gig Harbor besides having more restaurants. When I was growing up we had one stop light where now there are quite a few at least for a small town anyway. In those days we had a couple shopping centers primarily to buy groceries while now there are at least having a half dozen or more. I have to think about how many we actually have but I am sure it is close to ten of them. In about year another shopping center will be here. The thing about these shopping centers now they have a lot more than groceries; it is not all bad because you can buy clothes, and shoes. When I was growing up you had to go into Tacoma to buy those things. Actually it has only been in the last ten years or so these things became available.

These are only the beginning of change in our lives. We all know about computers and smart phones that have become so much of each of our lives. Our children and grandchildren have no idea what our lives were like without all the technology. I am sure our lives would have been different if those things were around in those days; however, I had a really good time growing up without them.

For all of us growing older we have to look at changes in another way as well. For those who have parents still alive they are now moving into nursing homes, assistant living, or we are taking care of them like I am with my mother. Most of them have downsized from a large home to a smaller one or an apartment/condo; however, their health does not let them move around as much. Of course, those changes affect our lives as well as theirs. The older we get us to have to make changes of downsizing, and likely into senior housing down the road.

None of this change is easy on any of us. For one thing most of us do not like change at all especially the older we get; however, the change unfortunately like I said before really does cramp our style but is necessary especially if we want to live for a long time.

I look at myself and I am taking prescriptions now like my mother has been doing for a while. I have to take them for my heart, blood pressure, blood clots, and kidney stones. What a way of life now. LOL. I have to change my diet whether I want to or not. Somethings have been easier to change in my diet than other things. It is difficult to do; however, I know it is a must if I plan to be around for another thirty years or so. Some of those who have died in my age group is they either did not look out for their health and make the added changes or they had bad luck. Some health issues like cancer or brain tumors there is not much to prevent them from happening. I am not a doctor or say I have any expertize in the medical profession so those things can’t be prevented. The best you can do is eating healthy, exercise, and hope for the best. Let’s make the changes no matter how much it cramps our style. Have a great weekend and great health. We can hope that we are all around for many years to come. Just laugh at those cream pies why we walk right past them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cramp MY Style

When we start getting older I find that there somethings that can cramp our style. Many things we can’t do any longer or do at a slower pace no matter the shape we are in. Also, we start hearing about family, friends, or old classmates that are no longer with us. It has been happening at a faster pace lately.

My mother had her ninety-fifth birthday last Friday so she has been used to having the cramp in her style for some time. There no longer anyone in our family that is her generation around; my sister-in-law her parents are still around and they a little more than ten years younger than my mother. They would be the closest to her in age as far as family goes. She has friends that are still around in her age group but they are dwindling more every year, and her classmates from high school and college are very few left as well.

Another cramp for her besides health which is actually pretty good for her age is that she doesn’t travel anymore and now she is going to stop driving as well. She did both of them for so many years. Fortunately she has me nearby to help her out, and she continues to play bridge several times a week, goes to book club once a month along with a couple other groups she belongs to, and church each Sunday. It is nice she is able to have good relationships with friends she has had for many years though they are mostly younger than her. So the cramp is not totally out of her as of yet.

For all of us that are the next generation we are on the same road she is on right now. Like I said we start losing friends mostly of illness. For most of my friends in my age bracket they are able to enjoy grandchildren now. I don’t have the privilege of having either children or grandchildren so I can enjoy my friend’s children or grandchildren.

Like many of my friends and old classmates we now start dealing with health issues. I have lost old classmates in the last few years as well as my brother-in-law and a couple cousins too. This has come so quickly for all of us.

I have had some health issues over the last few years that have cramped my style for sure. I first had to deal with high blood pressure which is now in good stable contention and then two years ago with blood clot in my right leg. With medicine they are both in pretty good shape. Last year I found that I had a skipping heart; however, with the proper medicine it is taking care of pretty well to. This year I have come down with kidney stones which are not fun as well. I had two of them removed and waiting to take another out unless it passes on its own. Last month my legs were found to be swelling so I have to drink fewer fluids. A catch twenty two because I should drink more fluids for the prevention of kidney stones; however, I have to drink less because of the swelling of my legs. I am going with drinking fewer fluids because of my heart. The thing though is my legs are cramping a little along with the swelling though it has gone down. So you can see I am literally having my style cramping; however, I am not complaining because I can still do a lot of things like I have in the past, and I figure to that if I follow the same gens as my mother I have a lot of years left to give everyone encouragement and trouble using my voice with sense of humor and my writing here.

When I see the state of so many others I feel fortunate I am blessed in so many ways though cramping my style. So we must live within the new style of living. So let’s say “We won’t let cramping keep us down”.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Under the Weather!

For those who may not know under the weather means that you are not feeling well or you are a little sick so no big deal.

It is how I have felt the last couple days with an ear ache. I have been taking ear drop medicine and it has helped out a lot. I have been tired along with it and relaxing most of the time. Last night I got a good night of sleep after a couple nights not doing as well. I am sure most everyone who gets sick the nights can feel real long if you cannot sleep. Sometimes I get up several times in the night and walk around hoping I can get back to sleep.  I am not sure why I do that because it never works.

I am glad  at this time I can say I am under the weather because most of the time I am sick it goes for a week or longer. In most cases I have either the flu or a cold. When I get an ear ache like this time usually only last a couple of days thankfully.

When I was a kid I didn’t mind getting sick because I got to miss school. I felt being sick I could handle it for the greater good in missing school. Yes I was not a very big fan on school. I am sure first grade was when I missed the most time from school because I had the mumps, measles, and chicken pocks. I got those out of the way early. My mother really like the idea because I passed them onto my siblings. LOL.

Actually there were a couple times I didn’t like getting sick was in junior and senior high school. In junior high school I was supposed to be in a school play and I had to miss it because of my illness. I was disappointed in missing the play though it was not a very big part. Of course, I wanted everyone to see me on stage and who knows I could have been discovered. Ha! Ha! In high school I was sick if I have it right almost every just before Christmas break with a cold. I believe I may have missed our school choir concert in my junior year. I do know that I was sick during the Christmas break one year as well. I thought at the time why could have I not been sick the week before so I would miss school. I am sure the major theme is here.

At my high school graduation they always give out awards or acknowledge special students. Of course, I did not get an award or being acknowledged at all. Anyway, the point is that there was a student that was acknowledged for not missing a day of school for all twelve years. My thinking was something had to be wrong with her. I would have missed school at least one day a year even if I was not sick. Of course, she got applause by the parents and faculty. I shook my head with unbelief.

I found though when going to work it is a lot harder to take time off because of sickness. Like I said earlier usually I was sick for a week so I would go to work being sick. I am sure most people do the same thing even if you work for a company that gives sick leave. You do not want to look like a poor employee. The problem though you have especially in the winter time you are working with other employees that doing the same thing working while being sick. Every year they would come out with a statement in writing that it was important to take time off when you are sick so other employees would not get sick either. Though the statement came out each year very few would follow it.

I am not complaining now for being under the weather because I know others who are far worse than I am. I have an old high school friend named Howard who has cancer. He has been struggling with the cancer for the last three months. He has some good days but a lot of bad days. So if you can along with many other please pray for Howard. I am sure each one of us knows someone is dealing with cancer or another very bad illness so I say that we pray for them daily even if we do not know their names. So everyone have a good week and good health to you always.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Watch Your Step

Yesterday while I was out walking I said hello to an older lady who was walking her dog, and the thing is I almost turned my ankle along with falling over because I was not paying enough attention. During the summer with good whether I can walk without thinking about what may happen; however, when the fall and winter come especially it is important to watch my footsteps. I would say a warning for us all especially those are getting older.

The thing to about watching my step is that where I was at if I had fallen down, and hurt myself badly there was really no one else around except the older lady. Of course, I have my cell phone thankfully so I could make a 911 if hurt badly enough. I would have to remember to do so as well. Sometimes in situations you don’t always think about your cell phone but it certainly help having one. In fact, it is the main reason I have one because I don’t use mine that often but it is always good to have in emergencies like falling down or your car breaks down.

Quite a few years ago I sprained my ankle a couple times playing tennis so the ankle is sensitive when I make a wrong turn with it. One of the times playing tennis my ankle sprain was so bad that I was on crutches for three weeks. I so wanted to continue playing tennis because of competitive nature but I knew I had to stop playing for those three weeks. When the three weeks were over I was back on the courts with more determination than ever. Amazing what happens when you can’t do something you really enjoy.

In another manner what we can call watching our step has to do with what we say or in my case what I write.  So often people say things they should not even if it is how they truly feel. This is really true these days with social media. I know that I can write on some issues that I feel strong about but I don’t because I don’t want to offend other people. Though I have the freedom of speech in the good old USA I and of course all of us can get into some trouble by our words. We have known celebrities who have lost jobs or endorsements because they said what they felt without thinking about the consequences. Even us ordinary people could lose or not get a job because of what we may say or post.

Right now going on, and we will probably get real tired of it all is the Republican debates. I am sure the Democratic debates are right around the corner, and then finally debates between the Republican and Democratic finals for the Presidential election. I know it so easy to criticize some of the candidate or maybe even all of them; however, I find that I won’t because the truth they are not worth it. I wonder if I have to watch my step just by saying it.  Like the well-known saying, “if you don’t have any good thing to say don’t say anything at all.” Actually it sounds like a good policy to keep.

My idea is to encourage others so if I am criticizing people than I am not do a very good job in encouraging others. So let’s watch our step. I enjoy telling jokes, and I make sure they are clean ones but I need to be sure that I am not offending any one either. It is a thin line when you are talking to an individual or a group about someone. It is always good to speak positive about another person. I know that if someone was talking about me they would with a positive light on it. I have had several instances where I was talking about someone, and just right after I finished they walked into the room. I was so glad that I was saying something good about them; I would have felt really bad if I was not.

So my encouragement to all is to watch our step so we won’t fall over, and hurt ourselves. Think about it especially when talking about others.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Driving You Crazy

Usually I write about being positive; however, once in a while you have to write about something that drives you crazy or at least makes you shake your head, and this is the time.

The insurance companies say that Seattle has the worst drivers around. Seeing some of the people who drive around Gig Harbor I can only imagine how people drive in Seattle.

Two of the local television stations are doing stories on traffic, and how it can get a lot better. I haven’t watched either one; however, one answer would be to get the bad drivers off the road. Just kidding we know that won’t happen.

I have talked to those who have lived and driven in larger cities like San Francisco who say that we don’t know how bad traffic can be. One thing I know for the amount of people living in Seattle and the adjoining areas the traffic should not be as bad as it seems to be. I see part of the problem is how those who designed the roads were not thinking correctly, and how the roads are made. On Interstate 5 you have cars entering and existing at the same spot. Not only is that dangerous and I am surprised there are not more accidents drivers do not know how to merge. So it slows down the traffic to some degree with merging. Another issue with it is that when one driver slows to lower speed the next driver feels they have to slow even to a lower speed so eventually everyone is driving about ten miles an hour or they are stopped. Now you can see why I am crazy about drivers; however, there is more.

Interstate 5 and the highways have what are called HOV lanes. They are lanes that only cars with at least two occupants can drive in. In theory it sounds good; however, here most cars have one occupant in them the driver. Though it would be nice to have more occupants in a car it just doesn’t happen around here no matter what the politicians think should happen. Just happened on highway 405 the state decided to charge drivers money if they are single occupant and want to drive in the HOV lanes. I think it is ridiculous, should get rid of the HOV and let everyone drive in those lanes. Of course, the state makes all kinds of excuses on why they should charge for single drivers.  My advice is too charge or a better term ticket those who are driving slow in the lanes that are supposed to be for those who are going the speed limit. Most of the highways and freeways have one lane of HOV lanes. I could say more about this but it isn’t worth it. LOL.

So closer to home here in Gig Harbor; last week two drivers that were in front of me making a left turn into the same shopping center I was going into decided to turn quickly in front of an ambulance that had its lights flashing. The first car I was surprised to some degree but OK even though illegal; however, the second car went to which surprised me even more, and left very little room for the ambulance. I am even sure the ambulance driver had to put on his break a little bit. He could have caused an accident and for sure was illegal. All the driver had to do was wait no more than ten seconds before going. In fact, I would say less because I didn’t have to wait ten seconds before I turned behind the ambulance. Of course I shook my head with unbelief.

A couple days later a car was coming out of a side street onto a main corridor. Just like the case of the ambulance he just missed the car that was coming toward him. Again why could he not wait for ten seconds before going? I guess driver’s time is more important than the possibility getting into an accident and causing bodily damage to the other driver or himself.

Another issue that is even more upsetting or at the very least makes me shake my head is how people drive in the shopping center. I am not sure about anywhere else; however, in Gig Harbor drivers don’t pay attention at all. I have to drive defensively at all times in the shopping centers because a lot of other drivers do not stop. If I am driving straight passed the McDonald’s other drivers coming off the right where they have parked either come way out to see or they don’t stop at all. It is like they don’t think anyone else is there. It is so bad that I believe it happens each time I am there.

OK now I have finished telling you my frustration, and it makes me a little better too. So now you be careful if you come to Western Washington and drive. So I end this with have yourself a wonderful weekend.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Going For a Walk

This morning while going for a walk I thought about how important do so beyond getting exercise. Of course, getting or staying in shape is what we should do; however, there is much more we can do with walking.

I have mentioned the Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor before, and last week the park department worked on it cutting down some brush so the place looked so much different along with the fact the trees and the brushes still there look like the fall colors. I believe it is so good to see your surroundings while you walking. I know some people walk the trail and don’t really spend the time doing that instead are walking a fast speed, and in many there are those who walk in pairs or more while talking. It is so easy not to notice the surroundings because I have to admit that I don’t look often myself and I usually walk by myself.

Another thing I think is good to hear the birds or the wind like I did today. The first half of my walking I did at very high pace; however, I decided to walk slower the second half to enjoy all these things. I didn’t in this case because of the time; however, I could have spent more time doing so to get the full benefit out of the experience. Of course, here in Western Washington we have so many beautiful places to watch and view. Also, I make every effort to say at least to each person that goes by me, and depending on them I may talk to them as well. This is easier when they are going the same direction than I am. This morning there were to ladies were going at warp speed so they passed me by on the first half; however, they were willing to slow down a little so I could talk with them for a minute. I believe any time we can talk with another person no matter the amount of time even if only a few seconds will benefit both of us.

Since I do walk most of my time by myself I take the time to think about things as well. I guess we could call it meditating. I find it quite satisfying for doing so even when I am thinking about to write here on this blog. In our lives we can get so stressed out sometimes that meditating can relax us. I know that some people do that when they are in a yoga class; however, it can be good this way as well.

I do see some on the trail riding bikes, while others are running or jogging. Personally I think walking is better than either those to activities but it depends on the person. It was something that I thought along the trail this morning. Running I believe is better than jogging. Of course, I am not a doctor or a physical therapist but I would think that jogging would be harder on your knees or legs. It would all depend on how you jogged. If you glide in the same manner that many runners do than it would be OK; otherwise it pounds down. The one thing I do like what a lot of joggers do is listen to music. I believe it is another way of relaxation and releasing stress. In our society especially at work it is so easy to stress out now. We have so much technology that you would think us out but it really makes us more stressful. Though I believe walking is the best of the three I still think doing any of the three activities of walking, jogging, and running is better than doing nothing at all.

I am looking at discipline where I will work at eating less, and exercising more. Besides my walking I will try to do more bike riding as well. Again there are so many beautiful places to see here in Western Washington where you can bike. So many more places are setting up trails like Gig Harbor. The whole thing I find is that we have to make every effort to do so. It is so easy to slack off and make excuses as well. In the end our lives are so much better with less food and stress. It seems those things go hand in hand. We will have a better, healthier, and happy life.    

Monday, September 14, 2015

Turning to Fall

Here in the northwest it is turning to fall though it won’t be official for another week. The temperatures on Friday and Saturday you would not have guessed about being fall because it got up to eighty degrees.  It was a record for amount days over eighty in a year; they say on Friday it was the fifth time had reached so this year, and never had happened before. I am not sure how many days we had over ninety this summer; however, it is a record as well. Most of the days that hit the eighties are during the summer. The average temperature during the summer is in the low seventies though this year I am sure it hit either the high 70s or low eighties.

Anyway the temperatures this week should be in the sixties with some rain. I expect more sun to come out before September is over. When October arrives we will be seeing less sun during the rest of fall and into winter.

Right now the biggest adjustment going from summer to fall besides the kids going back to school is where it is already getting darker earlier around 8 pm and the light coming out about 6:30 am. I know for me it is an adjustment because during the summer I feel getting up early in the morning and going to be later. Now I feel getting up later and going to bed earlier. Of course, for those have to go to work early it is quite the change. The thing is it will continue to get darker earlier and less light for the rest of this year.  In October at least the clock will be moved back an hour to help out.

What I do like about living in the northwest is that we have all four seasons. This year it is better than ever because we had so many hot days. I like the sun being out; however, I like the temperatures being in the seventies and eighties being much nicer than the nighties. I am glad it is becoming fall so we can have some needed rain. When winter arrives though I will be like most wishing the sun would come out more frequently.  The issue is not how much rain we have in the fall, winter, and spring is how many cloudy days we have. At some point we become very happy when the sun makes an appearance. Whether we have a lot of rain or little during these coming up months we have a lot of cloudy days. So you can imagine how tough it gets after a while. On the other hand it makes summer a great time of the year.

The last couple winters we have had very little snow. We had it snow a couple times with maybe two inches but the snow did not stick around long. Actually when we get snow even a good amount of it usually doesn’t stay around long because the temperature rises up to the high thirties and low forties. I remember though as a kid we had a lot more snow around in the winter. It usually happened right after Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I was in fifth grade we had a real good snow storm on the last day of school before winter break. In those days they called it Christmas break. We were let out of school that day early because of the snow. It was probably the only day in school that I wanted to stay because we were watching the Heidi movie with Shirley Temple. At that age there was nothing better than to watching Shirley Temple; however; I am sure when I got home, went out in the snow the Heidi movie probably didn’t have so much meaning. At a later time I was able to see Heidi all the way through.

Anyway fall is arriving and I will make the adjustment to darkness. Though I was not a big fan of school I did enjoy going outside to play in the fall. I was able to see my friends more often in the fall than during the summer. Of course, the same was for my enemies. Just kidding! We would go to the city park and play football after school. It was good time even when it rained and I got really muddy. There is nothing like fall.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11, 2001 A Day We Remember

On this day in 2001 we all remember as Americans know where we were when the planes crashed in to the two twin World Trade Center towers in New York. 

In our lives there are days that more than the average day. Events happen that we don’t forget and that was one of those days. I woke up about 6 am and turned on the sports radio station that I listened to everyday for at least several minutes, and they said that they interrupting normal programming because one of the towers had been hit in New York. Like most Americans I was shocked so I went to my television to what was really going on.

Within a few seconds of turning on the television another plane was crashing into the second tower. It was so unbelievable to see something so awful happening live on television. In fact my thought beyond the shock I felt that I was watching a movie and not the news. Of course, we all know what happened after that with plane in Pennsylvania, and the heroes of the passengers who died but saved many people in the process, and then the Pentagon.  Nothing in the United States had ever occurred like that before where someone from a foreign land attacked us. It basically was the day war against terrorism happened.

So many people lost their lives doing what they had been doing so many days before having no idea it was going to be the end of their lives. We have seen people die in plane crashes before but nothing like several thousand people at the same time. It was like a large earthquake where many people have died. It changed the lives of the United States along with those who had loved ones that died that day. Though I didn’t know anyone myself personally that died that day it was like I did lose a brother, sister, aunt, mother, father, or cousins. All our lives were changed that day.

There are events that we don’t remember any longer or they just not part of our everyday lives but that day changed how we should think. Until terrorism is beaten around the world we are still in a war even if we don’t feel it every day. Since that day in some ways with other events that have happened in the streets of United States in many ways we are fighting against each other instead of the true enemy. As brothers and sisters we should really stop taking out anger against one another, and instead embrace each other. This is the day we should remember the true war is still fighting on and we can’t forget it. We can only hope that someday the wars will end and we will be at peace. Let’s stick together as brothers and sisters.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Another Loss

On Tuesday September 8 I heard about Rex who I grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington with who died in northern California from drowning. I first met Rex in first grade class and we went all the way through twelfth grade together. He was quite the character, and he was always into having a good time. Also, he was a very good athlete, and played on the high school tennis team.

It was quite the shock to hear about his passing especially since I made a post on line to him last Saturday. He was about to start another season of catching scrimp after having a short vacation. He had been out most of the summer on the boat he made his living on. No one really knows what happened to him. He was reported missing earlier by a fellow he worked with on the boat. I guess we will never know exactly how he died; however, everyone in Gig Harbor won’t forget him. His dad actually was one of the many mayor’s Gig Harbor has had over the years. When his dad was mayor it wasn’t really a paying job like it is now. I am not sure if it was even an elected position back then. I am sure what years but probably late 50’s or early 60’s. Rex told me a few years ago the mayor job paid $1 a year, and the city still hadn’t paid his dad that $1.

I haven’t seen much of Rex over the years like many of my classmates but he will be always remembered in my heart. He isn’t the first to die in my class, and I know many more will go before my time I think. The thing is none of us really know how much time we have on this earth. It is the mystery of it all, and we must make the best of it we can. I hope to be around another thirty years or so to make a difference in other people’s life. It is what I have called our purpose or destiny. So I have to say Rex made a difference in many people’s life, and that is what is best thing of all, and everyone will remember his smile most of all, and how he was with the ladies. He could charm them a whole lot. I which I had that same talent; I do to some degree but I am too nervous or shy to do much about it. I can flirt too some degree; however, it is usually with women especially the younger ones that I figure I have no shot with anyway. A woman that I am interested in would be where I stand like a statue. Of course, if I knew they were interested in the better.

When you think about someone you know passing away regardless of the circumstance it does put some fear in you no matter how much faith you have even when believing that when you die you will go into the presence of God.  In my mind not knowing the time when I will die. I believe I will be around for a whole long time because I do believe God has a whole more for me to do but the question is still there.
So in the end let’s do what we can do with the time we have.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September in the Northwest

It is September again which means that most everyone is back to their regular routine with kids back in school.

Here in Western Washington and the northwest the weather is usually still like summer during September. In fact, this weekend the temperatures are to reach eighty degrees. A lot of mornings it is overcast during the month but today the sun is already shining.

September is one of my favorite months because the sun is shining still most of the time but the temperatures are a little cooler around seventy degrees which is more to my liking. We do get a little rain in September but nothing like it does in the fall and winter. This year since the summer was hotter than normal and very dry it would be nice to have more rain this month. I am sure I will regret saying that in November but it is the truth. I would prefer for the rain to happen in the night when sleeping and I don’t care what the weather is doing.

I do see it is start going toward fall with it getting darker at night. Right now it is getting dark around 8 pm when only a few days ago it was 9 pm or later. I am sure I will see the trees and flowers changing color soon as well.

The children being in school now, and the weather nice it is actually the best time for visitors to enjoy our area since they don’t have to worry so much about crowd. The traffic will be heavy during rush hour both in morning and at night; however, if you are willing to get up early or wait until 9 am to get out and about it is perfect to be here.

The mountains already have had a little bit of snow this year which is much better than last year since we got only a little bit of snow. It is hard to know what kind of year it will be for snow this year so the mountains are a very good place to visit. Going on the ferries is a good idea as well. Nearby we have the Bremerton to Seattle ferry that I took with family in early August where you can walk around the Seattle waterfront, and go to the Pike Place Market. The Space Needle and the other sites around it are pretty nice to visit as well. Also, you can journey up to Anacortes, and take the ferry to the San Juan Islands. It is so much nicer now because you don’t have to wait for the ferries as much as you have to during the summer.

Here in Gig Harbor you can walk around the waterfront which is very nice and if you want to rent a kayak and go out on the water.  Port Orchard and Poulsbo are two other nearby towns that are very nice to walk on the waterfront and visit little shops as well. Like in the summer there are still so many nice places to visit in the area. Of course, you will be able to see Mt. Rainier looking its glorious self most days.  It takes about two hours to drive up to the mountain as well.

In my mind September is the best month to visit and have a really great time. I would bring some rain gear just in case it does rain a little or a lot. Oh before I forget the Washington State fair is going on right now as well in Puyallup. It is great places to go as well as long you don’t have a problem seeing a lot of children. Each school here has a free pass for the kids to get into the fair. I really enjoyed going to the fair when I was a kid. It didn’t hurt that we got out of school at lunch time either.

So if it isn’t this year I would make a plan to come to the northwest next September or some year anyway. Many blessings to you.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

It's Time to Fight

You may be wondering what I am going to say with this title and I can understand that very much I would be wondering the same thing. Here we go.

I believe we should be thankful for our lives whether they have been good or difficult. Of course, we all go through ups and downs through our lives. Some people would call them trials teaching us something or building character in our lives. This is all true where we have had times of much blessings and other times when we think why me? This can happen because of health issues or circumstances that may be out of our control.

I believe no matter how good things are going now or not there is always a part of us that is dissatisfied. This is why it is time for war. I have been blessed in many ways and I have gone through trouble too. My life though has not exactly been the way I would have planned it. If it was up to me I would be married and I would have kids. You may say it is up to Herb but my response would be it takes two to tango. I have never found the right person to spend the rest of my life with. The love of my life, my soul mate, or whatever title or name you put on it; there have been women that I have liked and women that liked me but they never seemed to come together at the same time. It is not that there was something wrong with them or maybe even me but for my life I want love with passion. Other words, I don’t want to live with the status quo.

So this is where the fighting comes in. Whatever is on our hearts that we want bad enough we should stop feeling sorry for ourselves or think I guess it is not really going to happen? I would call it a lack of faith on our part. We may feel that we are not good enough or we don’t deserve it so why try anymore. I now say the day is over for this kind of thinking, and let’s go to war for it. Let’s fight to the finish with every breath we have until we get it or die. Oh come on Herb you say we have to fight to the finish and we may die trying. Yes because this how bad we want it. If you don’t fight for it that means that you don’t really want it enough. Oh come on now Herb. Hey I am saying this as much to myself as I am saying it to everyone else. I know it won’t be easy because whatever you want bad enough to fight for it won’t be easy.

I know that some of us may give up during the fighting and decide to die. At this point I may be one of those; however, I hope that I am not. Go out get on your fighting gear and let the best men and women win. I hope this fighting won’t last long because I hope we get what we are fighting for. Go Team!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Opening Our Hearts

Every day we have the opportunities to have our hearts opened. Each person that we meet whether they are someone we see almost every day, once in a while, or new our hearts are opened to them to some degree or another.

These opportunities are not only open our hearts for joy but hurt as well. In some cases a bit of hurt comes in along with joy. What I mean is that those who I haven’t seen in a while bring joy; it has been some time along with hurt because you wish that you could see them more often. Those people I used to see them a lot and considered them close friends. Circumstances changed because they no longer go to the same church, work, or they moved. You feel hurt because you wish that you had stayed in contact whether your fault or theirs’s. Sometimes you lose touch even. There are some situations you feel awkward because of the way they left. I have found that in several situations. In time though the awkwardness goes away and when you see them the situation is a lot better. In fact one of you made the move to get together once again after so many years. This is when joy and sadness comes in the situation; however, you are really happy if you reconcile and you once again see each other more frequently than once in a while.

There are times where we all to some point or another we close our hearts off in certain situations because we are either bitter or we don’t want to get hurt again when situations like that comes up again; however, over time the bitterness or hurt goes away. This should occur with forgiveness; we should never hold onto bitterness and hurts for too long. It doesn’t do us any good at all.

This whole thing of opening our hearts and then getting hurt starts at a young age. In my life I had a girl that lived just down the road a little bit, and our mother’s would take turns taking us to kindergarten. I don’t remember a lot about that time of my life but I am sure she was my first friend. Her name was Polly; anyway her father died because of illness so her mother decided to move with Polly and her older brother before second grade. I was heartbroken because she was my friend and by the way she was really cute. We even kissed some on the school bus in first grade so now you can imagine how I felt. It was not the end of the story though in high school Polly moved back to town and I saw her at school. In fact we were in the same swimming class; however, I was too nervous and shy to talk to her except to say hello. Polly was no longer that cute first grade girl she was now a beautiful young woman. It was not the end of the story she switched to the private school my younger brother was going to. Every day I asked him how Polly was even if he didn’t talk to her. If the opportunity came I even went and picked him up so I could see Polly. My heart pumped really hard each day thinking about Polly. It was joy and sadness at the same time. I am sure everyone has gone through something like that in their lives.  Continue the story of Polly some years later my cousin Jennifer was visiting and told me about a woman she met in Seattle who I should meet and that was Polly. I had lost track of her but now I knew she was living in Seattle so what do I do next I say to myself. I got the nerve up to call her and I told her who I was. She screamed with unbelief that it was me. My heart was in such joy because had not forgotten about me. So I went up one evening to Seattle had dinner with Polly. I told her everything I just mentioned; it was such a good time though I have not seen or talked to her very often since. I have to say this may be time to contact her again. I believe she is still living in Seattle. Regard-less of time there is nothing more than the first person you feel in love with or at least had strong feelings for you never forget your Polly.

I keep my heart open even though I know the chances are that I may get hurt; however, that woman who I am longing for may come my way soon. She will be worth every second of heartache. I know every person who is in love and married for a long time knows what I mean. So everyone keep your heart open, and blessings to you.

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's September School Begins

It is amazing to think summer is over and the kids are back in school.  I am sure most people remember their first day of school regardless of the grade. I don’t remember mine very well.  In fact, it has been a while since being in school I only remember somethings in all those years.

What I remember most is that beginning of the school year I was wearing new clothes and a haircut. I don’t remember exactly what I wore but I do the haircuts in the elementary school years. I am sure the boys remember the haircuts more than the girls though I am sure they do to. Very short hair was quite popular in those years, and I am sure most boys like my brothers and I were not that fond of them we just figured that is how it was. It would have been a lot worse if we were the only ones. Throughout elementary school our mother would cut our hair, and she only knew one wait to it. She did not on purpose cut our hair real short it just happened that she way where she would cut one side and then even out the other side. Since it didn’t work to well she kept going it until we had little bit of hair left. I can laugh about it now but it was not so funny at the time.

When I entered junior high school things got better as far as getting our haircuts. I would not call it long but our hair did get a little bit longer especially when mom decided it was time go to a real barber, and she was no longer in the business. Harrah! We never had another haircut done by our mother. My hair became longer when I became a senior in high school since it was the fashion by then. Actually I was one of the first kids to have longer hair in school that was not considered a hippie. I got a little static by my brother and other boys but they followed suit before the year ended. Now I am able to have my hair cut anytime and any length I want. Well sort of since a job requires to keep it looking good anyway. I look at the kids today and most of them have it short but unlike in my time they seem to like it; however I am sure they don’t have it cut by their mother.

With clothes though luckily was another story. I was able to pick the clothes I wanted at least to some degree anyway. Until high school jeans were out so had to wear nice slacks which were fine with me; the only problem had to be careful when playing outside. I had to be sure not to mess them up and not get them dirty which were a problem for sure. Jeans would have been better and practical. When I got home from school the slacks went and the jeans came on. Other than that the slacks were just fine.

Like I said there are not a lot of things I remember about school. The few things I do remember is being sent out into the hall way for talking too much and loud along with the girls of course.  I would never forget about those cute girls in school. It even included the years I would say I didn’t like girls. I confess those years I liked girls and I am sure most boys did. I am sure it went with the girls as well. I am sure they liked the boys as much.  In fact talking with some gals I went to school with now say it was on their part too.

When I was in school I mostly liked recess and study hall when high school began. In high school I went to the library almost every single day not to study or check out the books but study and check out the girls. Also, I would go in the section of the library where you could read newspapers, magazines, and talk as long as you didn’t talk to loud. Of course, that was not me. I was usually shown the door of the library each day for talking to loud. I have to say the librarians took out all the fun being in the library.  It sort of became a game with me and the librarians on how long it would take to be kicked out. With my sense of humor there was a lot laughing going on in the library so I am sure it had a lot to do with it as well.

Another class I liked was choir in high school. I really enjoyed singing and of course there were a lot of pretty girls in choir.  I never did understand why more boys were not in choir. I guess they just didn’t like singing.

So I have to say these were the good side of school. The rest of school I didn’t like at all. It was tough when other kids didn’t like you very much, and you were not one of the popular kids. So kids enjoy what you can in school. You will be there a long time. Most of all is be kind to the other kids though I know it is not always easy.   

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Remember the Good Times

When it comes to losing those you have known died and close to you it is so important to remember all the good times.

Most of the close people to us have hurt us in some many or another over the years but I believe the good times outweigh the bad times. It is easy to hold onto those things that hurt us; however, it is more important to forgive them. I am really sure those who have hurt us the most we have hurt them in some degree or another as well. Other words you could say there is a thin line between love and hate. I know myself it is much better to remember those good times.

When you come to our parents see probably all think things were better than how they turned out. I was really blessed to have really good parents. I know not all people have been blessed in that way. We can say we choose our friends but we can’t choose our family, and there is so much truth to that. I know in many families there is abuse whether it physical or emotional abuse. I have to say it never happen in that way in my family so that is why I can say I was blessed.

How each of us relate to our siblings can be as different as we do with our parents. I am blessed in that manner as well. My brothers and I had the usual squabble that most brothers have but we loved each other very much and never had any bitterness against one another. My older brother and I were so much different from each other like the difference of night and day but we did have mutual respect for one another as well. I thought he was smartest person I have ever known, and I have to say I have known a lot of smart people. Being smart though did not make him perfect at all. He had his failures mainly how he related to other people. He could not relate to the normal person in the social gather; however, he never once that I know that he looked down on another person. He may have been one of the most humble men I have ever known as well. It may sound like I am writing in past tense which is true because he died in 1992, and I miss him every day. It is not as hard as it was when I heard he died in 1992. He was thirty-eight years old and he was not in bad health as far as we know. His death was ruled that he died of natural causes. So his death was a total shock to us all.

Back to my parents like I say they were pretty good parents though far from perfect as well. The trouble I had was when I was growing up my parents would show us love but seldom told us they loved us. I am not sure what my brothers and sisters thought of it but I know for me I could have heard the words “I love you” as well. My dad though shortly before he died he told me those words. I know I will never forget that day for the rest of my life.  My mother told me earlier this year that she knew they never said the words though they meant it by showing so. She admits it was a flaw in their parenting; so it was also nice to hear from her as well.

I can’t forget about my sister. She was eight and half years older than me so I have few memories of her being a kid. I know I was that annoying little brother at times. I loved to talk a whole lot and I know it drove her crazy at times. It would have been nice if she had been a little closer in age but I still have to say she was a really great sister, and she turned out to be a very good wife and mother.

In the end of this I have to say it is never easy to lose a loved one whether in the family or a longtime friend. I figure how a person reacts or mourn over the loss so close to them can be different than for another. I have never talked to my sister or younger brother over the death of my older brother or father. I have no idea their feelings or how long they mourned for, and in my mind it doesn’t really matter. I am sure someday we may share that with one me. Also, I can say even though I have lost a brother and a father how another person feels or mourns can be so different then my experience.  I would never say to another human being that I understand what they are going through; however, I will be there for anyone who is going the experience of a loved one. I may be wrong; however, it is how I feel. So I could say not to say a word but just be there and don’t give any advice especially about how long they should mourn for.  The importance is to love as many people as you can. Love makes the world go around. Peace!