Friday, October 30, 2015

A Scary End to October

I know this could be an unusual title depending on where you live and whether you celebrate Halloween.

This is where the title comes from is Halloween being celebrating on Saturday Oct. 31. It is a holiday like only a few others where you don’t get a day off from work. In fact, if you are working it is good time to wear a costume to work. I am sure many work places allow wearing a costume for Halloween. I have a feeling since this year lands on a Saturday most work places will celebrate today on Friday. I know where I previously worked they gave out prizes for the best costume, most creative costume, and the scariest costume; If you win all three than you have one great costume.

Here in Gig Harbor, Washington some of the kids still trick or treat in their neighborhoods; however the kids gather downtown to show off their costumes and have a very good time along with getting treats. This did not happen when I was growing up but it is a really good idea. I enjoyed wearing my costume to school as well. There is nothing better than showing your costume off. I am sure with a new Star Wars movie coming out this will a popular year for Darth Vader and Princess Leia costumes. We can say once again “The force be with you”.

We do find out that almost every year the costumes usually are based on whom or what is popular that year. I know when I was a kid I wore a cowboys outfit one year. It was the time of Bonanza and the Lone Ranger among the shows on TV. Of course, every young boy wanted to be a cowboy unless you are Native American that is.

I know that some people care to not celebrate Halloween at all because they feel it is evil. We do know that many costumes over the years have represented evil like witches and goblins; however, Halloween in itself is not a holiday that is supposed to be celebrating evil. In the beginning when Halloween was celebrating it was called “All Hallows Eve”. It was a celebration by the Christians to remember those who had died especially those who were martyred for the cause of Christ. Like most of the holidays of today it is no longer celebrating in its original form.

I know that there are some will say it is too commercialized, pagan, and it is for the satanic to bring out their agenda. This could be true; however, I see that we should all celebrate Halloween in the spirit of the holiday. Let the children enjoy their time, and if you must celebrate in the original manner if you are a Christian for those were martyred for Christ. Most of all be happy.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Enjoy the One You’re With

I guess you could say I am sort of on the same theme lately. Be happy, have the good times, and enjoy the one your with. I would say that all work hand in hand as well.

This week my sister is in town for a visit with me and my mother so I know I will be enjoying the ones I am with. This is truer today I believe than ever before. This month of October I am finding this more important than ever. I went to two memorial services of guys I grew up with, and then I heard about three others dying this month as well. I knew each one to one degree or another. One I knew better than the other two; however, I had not seen any of them since high school.

The one I knew the most we used to hang out in the library a lot during study hall and in the hallways between classes. Also, I enjoyed having good times during lunch in the cafeteria. We were not in the same grade so we never had any classes together.

One of the other guys was the same grade with the guy I knew the best of the three of them. I know I saw him occasionally around school but did not know him that well. He did seem to be a real nice guy though. The third guy was a senior when I was a freshman. He was on the varsity basketball team, and since I played some basketball myself I knew him in that manner. We played some pickup games with and against each other on occasions. His younger sister was in my grade so I knew him also as her older brother. I recall she had a younger brother too. I just heard about his passing on line through an old classmate that I graduated from high school with. She let us know that she lived next door for twenty years, and so she knew him pretty good along with his family.

So you see how important I feel it is to enjoy the ones you’re with because we do not really know how long they will be around. Of course, on the other hand we do not know how long we will be around either.

I do really enjoy the people I spend time with whether I see them almost every day, once a week, once a month, once a year, or I run into them at the grocery store, coffee shop, or library every so often. The memorial services I attended many of them I had not seen for many years either at reunion or in high school was the last time I had seen them. Many of them I know what is going in their lives because we are friends on social media; however, seeing these old classmates or friends it is much better in person. They have so much meaning to my life that I want to see them so many more times though they are not in my life on a daily basis. I especially like the fact they have thought of me over the years as much as I have them.

My sister and my brother I do not see as often as I really like because they live on the east coast but they are in my heart everyday just like my old friends, and cousins. Also, I enjoy those of you I have met on social media, and read my blog whether you do so a lot or once in a while. Though we have never met in person I still enjoy calling you friend. I do hope someday we will meet in person and enjoy being with.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Having Good Times

I really enjoy writing about growing up along with encouraging everyone. It is so nice to remember all the good times of the past and looking forward to making new ones. I believe everyone should write down all their experiences through life like I have been doing whether they publish on line like I do or for themselves. It is really nice for your children and their children to know what you have gone through in your life.

I have been trying to have my mother write down so many things in her life especially the early years before any of my siblings and I was born along with before meeting my father. I have written somethings about her life and I will continue to do so.

The important thing is what our parents and grandparents went through can shape our lives very much so. I know that many of them went through some hardships as well as having good times in the same way we have. In many cases they went much harder times than we have, and can really help us when we go through some ourselves. This really will really help our children and grandchildren too.

My parents grew up in the 20s and 30s so they through the depression which was hard on most. My mother grew up in Edmonton, Alberta Canada while my dad grew up in Tacoma, Washington USA. I get a different perspective from both them. My mother’s father was a banker who had to deal with people trouble making payments, and he had to foreclose on many of them. Also, because of the family finances he had to work into his 70s before retiring. He died in his late 70s so he wasn’t able to enjoy retirement as long as I am sure he wished he could.

 My dad’s father worked for Tacoma Power Company, and he helped build Cushman Dam. He grew up in England, and he came to United States after finishing college. He first worked at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard before going to Tacoma Power. He had a successful career before he retired. Also, he died in his late 70s. He lived with my family when I was born until his death. His wife though died when I was thirteen months old so I didn’t get to know her at all.

Having parents from two different sides of the track as I would call it; my mother from Canada and my father from United States gives me a different perspective from other kids. I am sure the same goes for everyone else to some extent.

Here in Gig Harbor some of the kids I grew up with their fathers were fisherman and they had grown up in Gig Harbor themselves. In many cases their mothers were from Gig Harbor as well. They knew each other since they were children. There were others that families moved in from nearby Tacoma or came from other parts of the country. So we had mixed of families; however, there were no blacks and only a few other minorities like Native Americans, Mexicans, and Asians. Most of the blacks, and other minorities lived in Tacoma. Now there are more minorities; however, whites are still the majority by a long ways in Gig Harbor. I am not sure that will change any time soon.

Anyway back to having good times. I know growing up it was not always easy because kids always like picking on other ones. I know I certainly was picked on plenty of times. I am sure everyone has at one time or another even if they are the ones does the picking most of time. I am sure it has been going on since the beginning of time and will continue to the end of time.

My conclusion here is that we are influenced by our parents, siblings, and those we were our friends or maybe enemies when growing up we have to choose to have good times despite the circumstances that may come into our lives. We especially have to remember when things are not going so well for us.

I hope that I don’t sound like I am preaching at you I want to be encouraging. So have a good week and decide to have some good times as well.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Does It Really Rain in Western Washington?

I know it is a funny question to ask if it really rains in Western Washington. Most people think that it rains here almost all the time which is actually far from the truth; however, everyone here like that people really think that way so people won’t move here.

Recently I saw a survey that showed that in Seattle had about the same amount of people moving into it as people moving out. So other words the population hasn’t changed a lot; however, I would not the same for other cities or towns in the area. For instance, Gig Harbor where I live has doubled at least since I was a kid but I would still consider it a small town. The most recent population increase is in North Gig Harbor. I am not really sure whether it is in the city limits of Gig Harbor; however, it is becoming larger than Gig Harbor itself. I would say there was little population in that area ten years ago but now quite a few homes are being built along with a retirement community. I don’t visit there often except doing some shopping; however, each time I do visit there is more growth all the time. There are a couple grocery stores in North Gig Harbor, and another expected to be built as well. It is a nice area except that there is not real good view like in downtown Gig Harbor. You can’t see water or Mount Rainier there; but if you willing to see when you are out driving than it is OK.

I get amazed sometimes what I write when I begin this blog. So I now I get back to the rain. In August since we had very little rain I decided to do a search to find out how much rain we average every year especially I figured it was down this year. I found interesting that the average rain fall in Washington State is 36 inches a year while the national average is 38 inches. Seattle is a little higher being slightly above the state average but below the national average being at 37 inches of rain a year. So you see we don’t get as much rain as people think though I am sure it seems a lot depending on where you live. Of course, there are other places that rain a lot more.

Another look at rain fall that I found interesting is the Olympic Rain Forest which is north and then west of Gig Harbor. It takes about two hours to drive to the Olympic Rain Forest. I found that it rains over two hundred inches a year so it is a rain forest for sure, and gives an indication how much less rain we have.

Here we only get a downpour once in a while unlike Miami, Florida. Looking at their average rainfall it is over sixty inches a year so much higher than here. So why do people think it rains here all the time and not in Miami. The difference is that we do not have the sun coming out as often as Miami. Here the rain drizzles a lot and we have a lot of cloudy days unlike Miami.

Most of our rainfall will be happening over the next three months in November, December, and January so gives us an idea that we have more rain than we actually do. Another interesting fact is that Los Angeles has more umbrellas sales than Seattle even though they average less than 15 inches of rain a year. Something else interesting Seattle has more sunglasses sales than Los Angeles though they have more sunny days. I believe the reason is that we are accustomed to the rain while Los Angeles is accustomed to sunlight.

Many of the retired people here will be heading to Southern California and Arizona for the winter to stay out of the cold, rain, and the cloudiness. It is understanding because by January it is really easy to get depressed because of the rain and the cloudy days. I really enjoy the rain; however, it is even better when the sun comes out once in a while during the winter. The temperatures usually is in the 30s and 40s during the winter, and on some rear occasions will dip into the 20s or jump into the 50s. Last several years we haven’t had a lot of snow so generally you have to the mountains for snow. I enjoy when the snow comes even if it is only for a couple days or so most of the time. A lot of people here though don’t like snow because they find it hard to drive in it. I figure they should just stay home, and let people like me drive in it. We have a lot of hills as well so that makes it difficult to drive in it. I live where it is more level and near the highway. In downtown Gig Harbor there is three hills that are very difficult to drive in the snow so I pretty well stay away from that area.

We have had some rain this month of October after having little since February. I and may others finding it a very welcome change though the days of sun have been nice as well. Now though I can say let the rain begin, and the sun we will see you around once in a while and for sure in February.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How is Your October?

I am sure everyone has had some good days, and not so good days this October. Two weeks ago I had to attend two memorial services of guys that I grew up with, and I heard last week the passing of another. I was happy to see old friends and classmates; however, I wish the circumstances were different. What really showed is that life is short and unpredictable along with us making the best of everyday.

October brings shorter and colder days. Here in Gig Harbor the sun rises around 7 am now, and the sun sets around 7 pm. I have to note is when we do have sun that is. We have some still real nice days like yesterday when it was warmer and the sun was out most of the day. On the other hand the rain, wind, and cloudy days have returned as well. It is nice to see the leaves change color, and the grass is back to its familiar green color.  We have had little rain since February the return of it has made most here very thankful and glad. I am sure when next February comes we will be wishing for more sun again. What is expected is another mild winter though with little snow expected; however, we can hope the mountains will have more than last year. This will be the third I believe mild winter in a row. Makes me wonder what kind of winter we will have when it is no longer mild.

If you an avid baseball fan like me October means the playoffs, and the World Series coming up. The Seattle Mariners had a very disappointing season especially when most expected a very good season. In fact, most experts and non-experts expected them to make the playoffs, and possibly play in the World Series. The Mariners did not make the playoffs for the fourteenth straight years as we have been reminded, and the general manger plus the manager have both been fired along with most of the coaches. The team has let go other personnel, and retained some as well. During the off-season we expect a change in some of the players. There will be some released, and others trade away. The Mariners have hired a new general manager, and a new manager should be named in early November.

Of course, October means that football is being played as well. On the high school level the season is more than half over, and playoffs should be going on in November while college football has one month to go before bowl games happen in December and January. October means basketball will be starting, and we can’t forget hockey has already begun especially for our Canadian family and friends.

October means everyone getting ready for the holidays. Halloween is coming up at the end of the month. I know that some celebrate Halloween while others don’t care or believe in it. Here in Gig Harbor parents can take their kids downtown for celebration wearing their costumes. Some kids still go out trick or treating; however, I have not seen many doing so the last few years. It all depends on the neighborhood you live in. I remember really enjoying going trick or treating. I do not remember now what I was wearing at the time except I know one year I went as a cowboy.

Halloween also means carving a pumpkin, and the beginning of having pumpkin pie. Now with lattes you can add pumpkin or egg nog into your drink. So it all means to us the beginning of another holiday season with all the traditions included. I enjoy seeing the little children wearing their costumes, and getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. For our Jewish friends it will be Hanukkah. I can’t forget the Muslims, and the other religions who will be celebrating the holidays in their fashion though I am not so familiar with theirs.

October we thank you for another wonderful month though we do go through some struggle. The most important thing is to be thankful for each day we are able to open our eyes, listen with our ears, the beating of our hearts, and taking every breath. Also, let everyone we meet that we are glad that they are still around.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Speaking of Canada

 When it comes to Canada there are so many wonderful places to see. Of course, there is Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and the capital of Canada Ottawa.

When I was twelve our family took a trip for the summer across Canada and into eastern USA. We saw many of the beautiful places in Canada during our trip. You can read three of my early writings in this blog about the trip.

I have been back to Vancouver several times along with Montreal, and Ottawa. Only once to Toronto actually twice but I don’t really count either because the time was spent in the airport on the way to and back to Paris. They are all lovely cities to visit.

My mother grew up in Edmonton, Alberta but I only been there once as a baby; however, I look forward to visit there someday in the future. My cousin Christy has all three of her sons and spouses living in Edmonton right now so I would look forward to seeing them. My mother has been back several times primarily for college reunions as she went to the University of Alberta. When she went to college she was able to walk to school from her home. The house is no longer there and the location of it is now part of the college parking lot. The last time she visited Christy’s youngest son Brock showed her around the campus as he works for the university after graduating. The campus and Edmonton are much larger than when she lived there.

If you come out west Victoria, British Columbia is another wonderful place to visit on Vancouver Island. Most people living in my town of Gig Harbor usually go north to Port Angeles, and take the ferry to Victoria. It is easy to get around by foot or bus. Also, you get to Victoria from Seattle.

Two really lovely places to visit in Alberta as well are Banff and Jasper National Parks. I visited both places as well as Calgary on the trip across Canada. They are both lovely places to go if you have the time.

If you a good amount of time I recommend driving the TransCanada Highway because there are so many lovely places to see on the way. It is the highway we traveled through Canada.

In eastern Canada there are a lot of places you can visit besides Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa. In Quebec you can go north to Gas Bay, and in Nova Scotia there is Peggy’s Cove. Another really nice place to visit is and around Moncton, New Brunswick. If you have time would be to visit Newfoundland, and Prince Edward’s Island. Of course, you have to visit Niagara Falls.

I have to say though wherever you visit in Canada you can’t go wrong. I hope to travel again either by car driving TransCanada Highway or take a train. Be exciting more than flying.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Family In British Columbia

I have to say that I am very blessed to have the family that I was born into. I not only speak of my immediate family but my cousins as well on both sides.

I believe we should cherish our families very much; but I do know not everyone has the kind of family that I come from. I don’t see any of them as often as I would like. Most of my family are scattered all over the globe especially my second or third or whatever. So I have relatives in France, England, Australia, South Africa, and Canada that I know of anyway. You can see that I could do some traveling and stay with relatives.

My first cousins on my father’s side all live in Washington State while on my mother’s side live in British Columbia, Canada. They are the ones that I will write or speak about today. I will mention the other ones at another time.

I have three first cousins all by Uncle Bob and his wife Aunt Joan. Like most of my first cousins they are older than me. The oldest Rob lives in the eastern part of British Columbia, and he has two grown sons. He works in real estate but should be retiring soon like his two younger sisters. He spent many years living in England before returning to British Columbia. The one trip I took to England I was able to visit him and the family on the weekend. They lived way out in the country so he had a long commute while working in Oxford. The house and the area lived in was very beautiful. The boys were young at the time so they probably have little remembrance of me visiting them. So with that time in England Rob has a British accent mixed in with his British Columbia accent. I would say he sounds very distinguished. Rob is about a month and half older than my sister Barb, and makes him just over eight and a half years older than me.

The next one in line is Susan who lives in central British Columbia north of Williams Lake near what is called Big Lake. She and her husband David have and run a large ranch over two thousand acres with cattle, horses, logging, and growing vegetables. Susan is a retired school teacher while David once worked in British Columbia and Canadian government. So they lived in Ottawa, Ontario the capital of Canada for a few years, and still have friends back there as well my sister Barb. Susan is about a year and half younger than Rob. She has three sons, and the two oldest have a business together. She and David have five grandsons I believe and a granddaughter who is the oldest. Susan was so excited when she was born since they had only boys and so does Rob as I mentioned and younger sister Christy. Susan and David have done some traveling to Europe like they did earlier this year and to Mexico as well.

Christy is five years older than me and her husband is David as well. Like Susan she is a retired school teacher, and so is David. Their home is east of Williams Lake about a thirty minute drive. Also, they have a second home in Arizona where they spend November and early December usually before returning to British Columbia for Christmas holiday with family along with skiing. Again they return to Arizona in late February until late April. March of 2013 I visited them in Arizona for a week, and went to four Mariner spring training games. David is a big baseball fan like me so he goes to several spring training games every year. Christy sometimes tags along as well. She is involved in pottery as well which she does back home in British Columbia too. While down in Arizona they took me to my first hockey game as well. Being Canadian of course they are big hockey fans. When I was ten and Christy was fifteen she spent the summer with us taking care of my brothers and I while my mother was away taking some college courses at Lewis and Clark College. So we got to know Christy quite well that year.

Growing up they all lived in Vancouver, British Columbia while Uncle Bob worked for one of the local newspapers. Now they are all country liven people. Most of British Columbia is a lot like Washington State without a lot of people not counting Vancouver area. So we visited Vancouver quite often to see our cousins.

Uncle Bob and Aunt Joan had property at Lake Sheridan in British Columbia. We visited the lake one year right after school was let out in June. I don’t recall whether Rob, Susan, or Christy were there, and I was in my early teens.  My brothers and I had our first experience water skiing. It took me several tries to get up, and the water was still very cold from the winter snow fall. My older brother Dick his experience skiing was very funny because he did not want to stand up being afraid that he would fall over during the ride so he went around the like on his rear end. I have to say quite the funny site.

So like I say there is nothing like family, and I think about all of them on both sides almost every day. What a joy to be part of this family.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Be Happy

In this age it seems though people are having a hard time being happy. I am sure most are looking to find happiness. One of the most popular songs a few years ago spoke about being happy, and include the words don’t worry. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

When it comes to marriage so obvious most are not very happy at all since the divorce rate is around fifty percent; also, means that current marriages are not so good either.

Regardless of our family situation while growing up even the best of us did not always feel happy. I know plenty of times I certainly did not; however, the whole thing about being happy it is a choice. You may be thinking well your life is good while mine is not so good and it is easy for you to say. I don’t think it is easy at all.

My life has not worked out exactly the way I would really like it to be; however, right now I am working on making that change. I am single so I know that I am not an expert on marriage at all but if you are unhappy in your marriage my recommendation is to do something about it. I am not necessarily talking about divorce but to speak to your partner if you have not already, and tell them you are very unhappy and something has to be done. The situation has to change especially if you have children involved. I am sure they can sense that either or both of you are unhappy. Also, does not help the children because I am sure they are not happy either.

I am sorry if I sound like that I am scolding you it is not my intention, and not the way my plan was when I figured to write this. So let’s put a smile on our faces and be happy.

 My intention is to encourage each other to be happy. Our world has so much unhappiness in it along with stress. So many things going on in our lives that we worry about things as well; I don’t have all the answers but we must make choices to change things. I know that for some that it has to do with their job, and for others has to do with money. Most of the time both of those goes hand in hand. I know my last job at the end was so tough I felt that I could not even make one mistake so I was so stressful. I enjoyed talking with customers; however, I was feeling my days were number and I was right only stayed a few more days. Nothing worse than going to a job that when you get there you can’t wait to go right back home; I felt that way for several weeks until the job was no more.

I believe the number one way to start to be happy beyond making a choice is to put a smile on our faces no matter the situation, and find someone to hug. Smiles and hugs I believe are two the best medicines we can have along with some good fun and laughter.

I really hope this helps you out if you are going through some hard times whatever they are. Until next time enjoy the rest of your week. At the very least don’t worry, and smile.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Why Gig Harbor

I am sure almost everyone wants to know how and why every town and city got its name. So Gig Harbor would not be any different.

Many of the names here in Washington State are Native American, and those like were named by either Captain Vancouver or Captain Charles Wilkes. In the case of Gig Harbor like some of the other local places were named by Captain Wilkes. On one his exploring travels in 1840 he found his way to Gig Harbor. There was a heavy storm and wanted to find shelter; however, his ship was unable to come into the harbor because the entrance is not very wide and not very deep either. If it wasn’t so busy you could easily swim from one side to the other on the entrance. So Wilkes anchored his ship outside the harbor, and went into the harbor with smaller boats called gigs. In 1841 Wilkes published a map for at that time the area was part of the Oregon Territory. On the map he named the harbor he had visited Gig Harbor.

There were other towns and cities that he named on the map along with Mt. Rainier, and Puget Sound. They were named after two men who accompanied on his exploring.

In 1867 was when Gig Harbor became settled first by families from Croatia. When they came being fisherman along with boat building, and logging. My Nightingale grandparents came to Gig Harbor in the late 1910s. My grandfather came here after growing up in Birmingham, England and my grandmother from Nebraska. My grandfather first spent a little time in Canada on the way here. He started working first at Bremerton Ship Yard and then went to work at Tacoma Light Company where he worked on the construction of Cushman Dam.

My dad was born in Seattle but grew up in Tacoma. His brother and sisters were born in Bremerton. While my dad was growing up my grandparents had a place in Bremerton along with the home in Tacoma. In the 1920s my grandparents purchased property on the east side of Gig Harbor. In those days most of the inhabitants on the east side had cabins like my grandparents, and only spent time in Gig Harbor on some weekends and during the summer. Before the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built in the 1940s the only way to come to Gig Harbor was by ferry. The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge went up in May of 1940 however went down in November of 1940 in a storm called Galloping Gertie.  My dad was living in Gig Harbor at the time in the cabin when the Galloping Gertie happened. Actually he told me he had been on the bridge that day only a few minutes before the bridge collapsed.

Now there are two Tacoma Bridges the second being finished in 2007; however, the first bridge that was there by itself for many years finished being built in 1950. So during the time between Galloping Gertie and building of the first bridge the ferry went back into business so my dad returned to living in Tacoma while still coming out to Gig Harbor on the weekends.

When I was born our family along with my grandparents lived in the cabin. Shortly after my younger brother was born my dad worked and added onto the cabin into a full-fledged house which is still standing today. On the east side of the harbor most of the homes that I knew growing up are no longer there they have been replaced by larger homes. There are only about four or five houses that are still there including our old house today. All the rest were torn down replaced by new houses. Also, some more houses have been added over the years as well.

Though most of the homes were being lived in year around when I was growing up there were still some that were used only on the weekends and the summer. Now almost everyone lives there all year round.

When the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built in 1950 more people came out to live in Gig Harbor and the smaller communities nearby. At that time there were several small grocery stores around in those small communities. Most of them are still in business today.

Anyway now you know more about how came about and got its name. I find it real interesting to find out how towns and cities were named. One last fact when I was growing up we did not have street names until around the time I graduated from high school in the 1970s. Though we never moved our address changed like four times while I grew up. The street names in Gig Harbor are all named after those early settlers.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Proud Son

Usually we work as children to be the best we can be so our parents will love us and be proud of us.
Today I want to say that I am proud of my mother. On Sept. 18 she turned 95 years of age. This week our local paper did a story on my mother and Ginny Smith who turned 96 about their birthday party at the Tacoma Narrows Airport restaurant. Ladies from Bon Appetite that my mother belongs celebrated and gave honor to these two lovely ladies; a helicopter pilot took the two for a twenty minute ride. When my mother got home she said that she had the best birthday party ever because she took the helicopter ride. She told me that she could see far as Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The weather was really nice so I am sure she could see a long ways that early evening.
Seeing her picture I am sure it is hard for you to believe that she is 95 years old. Also, let you know she does not act like it either. She does walk slow and uses a cane most of the time; however, she does get along better than most people ten years younger or more. Around the house, and where she needs to walk further she does use a walker as well. When she is in the grocery store she uses a grocery cart primarily to keep her balance.
Last winter she came down with the flu for almost a month along with an injury to her left leg. Up until this week I took her into the wound clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma. She now is feeling very good, and hopes not to return anytime soon with another injury. While having the flu she did come down with depression because she was unable to do her normal activities like going to Bon Appetite, book group, and playing bridge. She now has recovered and does those things on a regular basis. When she was depressed she talked about dying but wanted to see my brother, his family, and my sister. She wanted to stay around long enough to do so. I could understand her feeling though I had never seen her feel that way before, and talked to her about not letting the thoughts to get her. That period lasted for about two weeks, and since that time she has not talked that way again. She had a great time with my brother’s and family visit in August, and looking forward to my sister’s visit at the end of this month. Now she feels that she can stay around for a while. Who knows maybe she will make to one hundred years old in five years. I would not put it past her at all; however, none of really know how much time we have left.
I am a proud son because she makes it every day, and looks forward to any new adventures like the helicopter ride. Her mind is in pretty good shape as well. Sometimes she forgets what day it is but that is sort of normal especially someone her age, and being retired. She plays bridge at least twice a week, and reads books still which includes for her book group. She was driving up until just after her birthday. Mostly she was driving during the day time on short outings while at night her friends would pick her up for her activities. I know it was not easy for her to give up the driving of her car but it is the best thing for her and everyone so no one has to worry about her.
I know it can’t be easy for her since many of those around her age, and my father is gone to go one but she does so faithfully. Though we haven’t always had a smooth sailing relationship I can say it is the best right now. People say I am a good son taking care of my mother; however, she has made it pretty easy most of the time. There are those times like in all relationship; however, they are very infrequent. Any way Mom proud of you and look forward to see you stay around for a few years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Always Friends

This week I am going to memorial services of two students that I grew up with here in Gig Harbor. One passed away in an accident while the other died of cancer. It is so sad to think of two guys who I knew growing up are no longer with us.

I don’t feel that old yet to lose anyone that I knew growing up. I understand about losing someone who died in an accident because that happened even when I was in school, and early adulthood but someone dying of cancer is something so much different. I have had some health issues so reality sets in that things like this can happen, and none of us know how many years we have in this life but when it comes to health you think more like in your seventies at the very least. Five years ago I lost a cousin, and my brother-in-law to death in health issues so it does come to mind but I hope it happens very infrequently.

To say all this is that at the memorial services I will see quite a few people that I grew up with, and I realize now though I have not seen many of them for a number of years they are friends for a life time. I have been out of school longer than I was in school but I still think of them all still as friends. We will talk about the good old days especially the two friends no longer with us. I will find out about each one that I can get to what they have been doing since high school, and about those who can’t be there.

The most unusual thing is that we are all much older, and everyone looks different some more than others. I am sure in one manner what they were like when we were growing up, and now they are now today.

My graduating class we have had only a couple reunions so most of them I have not seen for many years. I hope to be able to get some of their information so I can keep in touch with them. A couple of ladies I did have a mini-reunion last April which was really nice. We talked about events that happened in our childhood some I did not even know about, their families, and what they are currently doing. Also, we talked about some others who we knew including those who are no longer with us.

I find very comforting to talk with others I knew and their stories; however, I wish I could spend more time with them, and that we would be part of each other’s lives.

I feel so fortunate that the two guys that I am going to their memorial services I saw in the last couple years. It was so nice to meet them as adults and to know them in a new way. I was on social media with both so I had some idea about their lives but meeting in person is so much better.

I believe it is so important that we keep in touch with those who are our friends whether we do only so often. One of the reasons I go into the coffee shop that I attend so I hope to run into some friends from a long time ago, and catch up with them. Actually there are some I see a few times every year; however, I would like to see them more often. I really am a person that enjoys having friends, and in my mind spend as much quality time as possible.

I find strange or maybe weird whenever I go to a party as soon as everyone is finished eating the party is over. It is like OK we finished eating so time to go. I am sure in other cultures or countries it is not the same. So I guess we have to talk a lot before the food comes because when the food is eaten time is done. I guess if you haven’t figured it would yet I am a social butterfly who enjoy everyone’s time.

I am going to enjoy everyone I meet even those who are my first time friends mainly because we do not know how many more times we will see people. I know I will never see these two guys again in this life but I hope and plan to see a lot of them in the next life. Anyway enjoy your friends even those who you have known your whole life but you have not seen them in a while.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Another Chapter

In many ways we are like a book. Every day or at least every week is like a new chapter.

We can make the chapter very exciting if we want or not. Of course, other people who come in and out of our lives will make how things work out.

I enjoy writing to show at least part or some of my life. Whether I am writing about the past or the present; like I have said before we each have a purpose and a destiny if we choose to follow through.

Everyone looks at their life in a different way. In book form you may think of yourself as a mystery or science fiction. Whatever way you see yourself doesn’t change that you have a very good purpose in this life; it maybe being a parent, or something to do with your job. What is really important we can affect other people around us whether positive or negative? I try to be as positive as I can be. I know that some people are more people persons like I am while others rather spend more time alone. I think it is good to be either way. If you are one that prefers time alone I still believe you can have an impact around others when those opportunities arise just be open it. I am not asking to abandon who you really are just let other people in once in a while. Also, I believe this is important for those who have been hurt especially emotionally. I totally understand because I have emotional scars from the past but I try to overcome them as best that I can.

Speaking of the past later this week I will be attending two memorial services of guys that I grew up with. Neither one were my best friend; however, I did spend a significant amount of time with them when I was a kid. I feel bad now that I did not spend enough time with either one as an adult. I am really glad though that I was able to see both them in the past couple years and I did know what was up with both through social media. They much different from each other like night and day; however, I enjoyed a lot of laughter with both of them growing up. There were some kids that gave me trouble growing up but not in the case of these two guys.

So when I go to the memorial services I will be seeing a lot of people who I have not seen since high school. I look forward to seeing them now as adults. I hope that I can be able to find out about meeting up with some of them more often in the future. They both will be like reunions; however, I wish were in better circumstance. I will be thinking about them both a lot this week leading up to the memorials. Like I said they were both different guys so the memorials will be different as well. The first one will be at the Yacht Club in Gig Harbor while the other will be in a local church.

Especially when I was growing up Gig Harbor everyone new everyone else pretty much. Of course, I knew some more than others. I to know that there will be some at one or the other memorials; however, there will be some like me who attend both since many people knew both.  I look forward to seeing all these people though I wish were under better circumstances. I will enjoy hearing about old stories. I am sure some will be those I have heard before while others will be brand new to me. Also, finding out what they have been up to since high school will be interesting as well. I will be filled in on the chapters I do not know about.

I am sure next week after I have attended both memorials I will be changed inside, and I will have old friends who will become new friends again. I find it interesting that some of these people in my past have been still living in Gig Harbor while other live somewhere else. I do find it interesting that even in a small town like Gig Harbor often I do not run into those I grew up and still living with; however, I have met other people who moved here, or either older or younger than me who knows those same people. I find it always fascinating to find out who knows who.

I have an interesting story where the coffee shop I go to almost every day they are expanding the shop coming up in January. The coffee shop will be twice as big as it is now, and they will be adding new things like a fire place. The current coffee shop will be torn down as well in the inside anyway so it will look somewhat different. Anyway one of the guys who will be doing some of the interior work I grew up with, and I have not seen him in years. I expect that I will see him at the first memorial service this week since the deceased, him, and I went through school all the way from elementary to high school. Throughout the school years some new students came through and some other ones left primarily most of us new each other at least junior high through high school since some did go to a different elementary school.

I hope you enjoy another chapter in your life this week, and think about those you grew up with, and you do not see now. Maybe find a way to hook up with them if there is a chance. Remember in many ways they were like family. I hope not to lose any more in the near future anyway.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Another School Shouting

Here in the northwest there was another school shooting this time in Oregon at a community college that was not far from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

It really reminds me of the other school shootings around the country in the last decade or so. This is especially true with the school shooting only about an hour or so north in Marysville, Washington over a year ago.

I am not sure how the guns laws are in other countries are like compared to the United States. I am sure many of the countries have much stiffer penalties for the use of guns. The gun laws here are setup state by state so Washington and Oregon can or may have different laws from other states. I understand Oregon’s law is pretty much the same as Washington’s. Last year in Washington we had a vote to make it harder to purchase guns by having stricter rules on checking the personal id’s of those who buy guns; other words how laws abiding the purchasers are.

 There is a strong group of people who are for everyone to have the ability have guns, and each time a situation like this happens they come out saying guns don’t kill people it is people who kill people which is a true statement. Like this young man who killed nine people at the college before being killed himself was known as being mentally disturbed. Actually that is the major problem that most shooters are known for being mentally disturbed. I don’t have a real opinion one way or another about having guns or the gun laws; however, I do feel laws the mentally ill have to be stronger. I understand the parents of the shooter knew he was mentally disturbed at the very least but nothing was done about it or if there was not to the extent should have been taken care of.

I see this is the main issue that we need to be aware of the mentally ill and have a lot more safeguards to give them help. The laws about guns I see unless they are totally taken away and not available to be purchased or seen those who are mentally disturbed will find a way to get a gun no matter if they have had one or not. Just this week the father of the shooter in Marysville was sentenced for illegal purchase of guns and it is how his son got hold of the gun to shoot his classmates.

The shooter in Oregon was an adult so he would be responsibility for his actions; however, in the case where the shooter is not an adult the parents should be found accountable for the actions of their child. If this were the case than the chances of school shooting would or should decrease.

I would love to hear opinions of those who read this blog especially those living in other countries, and how your gun laws work. Also, how effective are the laws. Thanks

Friday, October 2, 2015

It’s Friday

It is the day that everyone waits for. At least those who do not have to work on the weekends; when Monday comes around and the weekend is over most can’t wait until Friday.

I can understand the desire for the weekend because we can relax some of the time, and rest over the work week. Some jobs are just hard at demand, or not very enjoyable. I believe those who have what we probably call a career enjoy their jobs much more than those who are working where they are getting by pay check to pay check. In fact these jobs feel so negative a good part of the time. My last job especially near the end felt so stressful that when I was driving to work I could not wait until I was able to go home. I liked the part of dealing with most customers; however, the politics, and feeling those above me were looking over my shoulder all the time. Near the end of the job I knew time was close I would no longer be there and one mistake be my downfall which is what happened. It certainly not the way to enjoy your job; I am sure everyone has gone through it at least once. Some quit before being let go and others like me hold on. Actually I was due a vacation so I was hoping to enjoy a little time off before returning but that was not the case.

I am not saying all this to discourage anyone over their job. In fact on the contrary I want to encourage each person to enjoy their jobs to the fullest that when the day ends they feel they are in the place meant to be. Our lives should feel we are doing our purpose and destiny. We feel so good on Friday that the weekend we can actually do things around the house, and enjoy our families; when Monday’s come again we look forward to another week of fulfillment. This is how I feel about writing this blog several times a week. I hope to be able to write something good each and every day. When I finish this post I start thinking about the next one, and possibly the one after that. There are times where I have several writing ahead, and other times where I may have just one.

I enjoy the writing knowing that others are enjoying reading this as much as I do writing it. So enjoy Friday, and your weekend before another Monday comes along. I feel we should enjoy each day almost like it is our last although there are challenges always along the path. Life is so short to miss out on happiness and joy is hard on each of us. When you are at work appreciate each of your co-workers; I did up to the very end of the job. I have to say though I don’t miss some of the job I do miss those who I worked with. I know some of them have moved onto bigger and better jobs. So I end with have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Welcome to October

 I am sure we are all surprised that it is October already. The year seems to go by so fast, and the older we get the faster.

Now that summer is over and fall is here starts festivals, and parties along with Christmas shopping and all.

In Germany they have what is called Oktoberfest. It is great time to celebrate especially if you like beer, women, and dancing. I spent one year in Germany during October when my brother Jack was living in Frankfurt for a couple years. I had a good time enjoying the really great time of year. I am not really much of a beer drinker but I enjoyed it anyway. The beers were much larger than I was accustomed here in Western Washington so I drank mine slowly so I would not get drunk.

While I was in Germany that year I took the euro rail so I could see as much of Germany as possible. My first stop was Berlin which I spent a couple days in. It was exciting because the time was right after the wall came down so I was able to visit the site of the wall. I enjoyed reading about the history of the wall, and being able to go into East Berlin as well. On my way back to Frankfurt I stopped in Munich as well. They had a very good transportation system so able to get around really good. The highlight though was to go visit the Olympic Stadium. In my mind was imagining being there for the two Olympics. Just like Berlin it was a wonderful city to visit. Of course, most of all I enjoyed seeing where my brother, his wife, and two children at the time lived and spending time with them. I was in Germany for two weeks after having two weeks in England.

Here in Washington State there are a number of places that you can enjoy Oktoberfest at as well. The most well-known place is Leavenworth which looks very much German. I have never been there during Oktoberfest but I have in December before and during Christmas. It is really nice to see the snow come down and enjoy walking the streets in the snow. Usually I found myself going into shops for several minutes to get out of the snow. They have a lot of beautiful shops to visit, and great Germany food just like you are in Germany.

The first time I went to Leavenworth or family drove by car taking Interstate 90 east. It is not far from Wenatchee Rain Forest, and Snoqualmie Pass. It is a very nice drive there though you may have to watch for snow in the winter. The second time I went to Leavenworth a group of about twenty of us took the train which was very nice ride as well. Early December they set up Christmas lights. This second trip was when they did that, and I enjoyed so much because of the snow as well. I had never felt Christmas like that before.

As far as Oktoberfest Leavenworth has activities throughout the month of October with food, singing, and dancing so if you are in Washington State this month I recommend going. All you have to do is search Oktoberfest, and you will find a link to Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest site. Anything like Christmas in Leavenworth I am sure it will be a grand time. They bring in bands and dancing from around the country.

In Seattle and the rest of Western Washington there is Oktoberfest parties all over the place as well. So if you enjoy Oktoberfest or want to try it for the first time there is no problems find a place to go.

I will be looking forward to end of October as well since my sister will be coming to town the week of Halloween. I am sure we will be drinking several Pumpkin Latte’s during the week among other things.  Of course most of all October leads us into Thanksgiving and Christmas; time for shopping of presents for all the little ones.

Personally I try to watch what I eat this time of the year which is really not to easy. I would say it is the reason why we have the New Year’s resolution in January to exercise and lose the weight we put on in these three months. Wherever you are enjoy October to the fullest. Yeah!