Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Flying the Skies

I don’t do a lot of flying too many places though I hope so in the future. I find it interesting that takeoff and landings seem to take longer than the flight itself though I know it isn’t true at all. My flight to St. Louis was almost four hours long. It was a direct flight so did not have to catch another plane. So many flights these days are not direct especially to St. Louis. It is a large airport but many of the gates are not being used anymore. It is no longer a major hub like it used to be. There are only a few direct flights to St. Louis so I had to check between only a few flights. I don’t have a problem with non-direct flights though you have to be sure the schedule gives you time to get to the next plane. I find it interesting and frustrating at the same time where those in the front of the plane take so much time to get their luggage down and off the plane. It is like we are in a traffic jam which we really are. I and my mother sat in about the middle of the plane. The closer seats to the front were already sold when I got the tickets and that was at least three months in advance. I am sure those who have to catch another flight especially quickly feel the stress that is for sure. This doesn’t matter how long you have to wait for your next flight.

Our flight to St. Louis was midday from Seattle. I had to look to see what people were doing during the flight. I could see some were business people who were looking and answering e-mails along with other business related activities. They don’t all sit in first class. Other people were watching videos or doing other things on their computers or smartphones. Those like me when not observing others were reading books or magazines. If they were not doing any of these things they were sleeping. Of course that doesn’t count the ones who had small children on board with them.

The return flight to Seattle was an evening flight not so many were doing business activities like the afternoon flight. A good majority were doing some sleeping like I tried to do as well. I don’t generally sleep very well on planes. I saw some watching videos and other reading books as well. It is not like it used to be where you had only two choices in either reading or sleeping unless there was a good movie to watch. Neither these flights had a movie to watch unless you purchased a video. Things have changed for sure on flights. Meals used to be the norm as well. Now you have to purchase a meal. Looking at it from the airline perspective it makes sense. For one thing not everyone wants to eat anyway so they don’t have to have as many meals on board. They still give snacks and drinks as part of the deal.  

What I like to is the wheelchair assistance that my mother got on both flights. Those who pushed her were courteous and enjoyed taking care of her. At her age of ninety-six she does a pretty good job of walking if she has to only go a short ways but as you can imagine long distances would ware her out. She does a wonderful job of walking as soon as she gets her balance. I am sure even some of us much younger than her have balance issues as well. She is in a good mind to so she was able to enjoy the wedding at the fullest. It was great seeing family even though it was only for a couple of days. It is so nice that the airlines made it a wonderful experience to fly.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Am Back

I was gone for several days to St. Louis, Missouri for my nephew Ian’s wedding to his new wife Helen. We have now added a new member to the family. It was quite a wedding and celebration. The wedding took place in garden at the high school they attended and graduated from. The place they fell in love. They are actually a lot a like being very talkative and life of any party.

Speaking of a party the reception something else indeed; they had band that sang Motown tunes. I believe they were a real professional group. I would not be surprised if they came from Detroit. So it was a lot like a concert and when they took a break we were instructed to go outside to see a view. It turned out to be the most spectacular fireworks I have seen ever in my life. I have seen some pretty good ones before especially on Fourth of July but nothing compares to what happened that night. The reception took place at a local golf and country club. It was pretty nice and I would not be surprised if it was the best one in St. Louis.

There were toasts throughout the reception by those close to either one of the couples. What you find out is that they are a like in so many ways. Ian and Helen both are life of the party and at the same time very loyal to their friends and family. The best man and maid of honor both felt that they will be life time friends. It happened almost immediately when they met Ian and Helen.

My brother Jack who is Ian’s father had the first toast at the rehearsal dinner. He said that Ian and Helen are a lot alike so many felt that the chances of them lasting together were probably one in a million but they did not care because of the love they had for each other. Much of the time in their relationship they were hundreds if not a few thousands of miles apart because of the colleges they attended but they made sure to spend as much time together as they could. Regardless of what chance they had in a long term relationship they knew that they wanted it very much and would make it happen. You see that is the kind of people they are. Ian and Helen are both high driven individuals who will go after what they want and most of all what they wanted most was each other. They are both known for being the life of the party so together there will be lots of parties going on. What I saw at the wedding reception anyone in their right mind would want to attend any party they put on.

Another thing was their vows to each other. I have never anything more incredible. They really put me to tears especially Helen’s vows to Ian. Her last vow at the end she said that if at some point in their life together Ian had doubts of her love for him she would show him that love. It would not matter how small the doubt is. I found that to be incredible. Both Ian and Helen have a lot of talent and I have no doubt they will succeed at all they do.

I have a lot more to say about the trip and what I go out of it. Until next time best wishes.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Good Things Will Happen

 Sometimes it takes faith because circumstances don’t always make you think that good things will happen. We live in a world where life is not always fair. We may be born into a family that unkindness happens instead of love or our health doesn’t allow us to have a life like the normal person.

I believe sometimes we have to decide to make things right because everywhere around us is wrong. I am not saying that comes easy and that everyone can know that they can overcome the circumstances they live in. Many of the rich knew how it was poor because it was how they grew up living but doesn’t mean that all the poor can find a way to become rich. Some people are driven or have a talent or got into a place that circumstances changed. What we can do is to help those who need the help. Sometimes all a person needs is a helping hand or have someone send them in the right direction.

My life did not start out going the right way because of illness and getting burned. Only a few seconds my life could have ended or been in much worse place. I had to work out where things had to change because I would not have been a normal child where I could read and write. It took several years for me to become a good reader and writer. I had a hearing problem as a small child along with being burned at four years of age. The blessing was that I lived and I was not burned on my face which may have happened if my mother did not come quickly to put it out and my father driving fast to the hospital. Actually it began with my sister noticing that I was burning and shouting out to my mother. I have to say I was put into a loving family with good parents and not everyone can say that they have. Often bad things happen because children are not born into the right family or something may happen to their parents. Sometimes one or both parents die while the children are small. Actually any time during childhood a parent dies is a poor thing for the child. In some cases a child can still have a normal childhood but most times unfortunately it does not turn out that way.

What I see is that every new morning when we wake up good things can happen. There are times where we may have to decide that we will make those things happen though everything around says something different. I see children running; having fun and playing games though in my mind I wonder how that can be. I have seen videos where children in poor countries who do not know where their next meal may come from. They may even have little chance to become an adult because of starvation but they are still having fun and laughing. I believe that is a spirit that is built into each of us. The older we get the situations that surround us we could lose that spirit. Those of us who recognize where other people are at we have to take the responsibility to help those who are not walking that straight and narrow road to get back on the path. Not easy to do or to find but we must have the challenge to do so. Again all we need is a little bit of faith for good things to happen. This gives us a purpose and makes us to be champions. When you wake up in the morning say to yourself I am going to make a difference in this world no matter how things look right now. Helping others at the same time you are helping yourself. A time may come where someone else’s hand can help you; God’s blessings to us all. Amen!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Looking Forward to the Days Ahead

    Nephews Ian, Danny Niece Leslie and Brother Jack left to right
                                                           summer of 2013

This may look different than you may think. I am going to a family wedding that takes this coming Saturday. It is possible that I may not be posting something for a couple days however I hope to have some more material when I come back.

The wedding is a black tie affair so I will be in a tuxedo. I promise that I will share with everyone a picture of myself in the tuxedo.

The wedding is between my nephew Ian and his longtime girlfriend turned into fiancé. I look forward to meeting her family as well as seeing my brother, his wife and children along with my sister. We usually only see each other once a year so it is will a special time. This is the reason that I am looking forward to the days ahead. Of course I hope the memories of the occasion will be with me for many years to come. I still remember my niece Leslie when she got married and graduated from college just over seven years ago; time sure flies by that is for sure. She graduated on a Thursday at the end of May from Harvard University and the wedding took place on the Saturday after nearby Boston, Massachusetts. I had the privilege to give a prayer for the lovely couple. A couple years later I had a return visit to Boston to see her brother Robby graduate from Harvard as well. Ian who is getting married on Saturday he graduated from Harvard to and the youngest Danny will be a junior at Harvard this September. Both my brother Jack and his wife are graduates of Harvard so when Danny is finished in a couple years than the family will be full of Harvard graduates. It is nice to have a family that I can be very proud of as well as loving.

I look forward to seeing my sister-in-law Anne’s family as well. I don’t get to see them very often. It will be really nice to see them and find out what is happening in their lives.

Last Saturday the high school reunion I went to my classmates is so much like family although I don’t see them very often. We plan to change that where we will have a reunion every year. This is special especially when each year we are getting older. It is nice to talk memories and see where everyone’s lives have gone. This is what family is all about and what I look forward in the days ahead. Whatever you do with your life make sure those that are special to you that a bright spot is left for them each and every day. God bless you very much!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Get Over It

I feel like that I should lighten things up however right now though it feels to be somewhat serious at this same time. I am not sure what to write tomorrow but it will be different than this I hope anyway.

It seems to me some people take comments by others way to over board. What I mean is that relationships get broken over small things people say. I am sure a lot of people are not talking to each other anymore over the presidential election. I have heard where some who were close friends have blocked each other on social media and they won’t talk to each other at all. Of course people have strong opinions about whom or who shouldn’t be president. I have decided not to read anyone’s posts or comments about the election. It is likely someone out there doesn’t like me doing so but that is how it is for me. I am sure many may think that I am crazy not to vote for either the two main candidates. I have been told that if I don’t vote or go with a third party or a write in that I am giving the election to Hilary Clinton. So be it because I don’t feel enough to vote for Donald Trump either. The election is in November so I could change my mind.

There are other things I am sure that people breakup relationships over as well. I believe a lot is over picky little things. Also people do not listen to what the other one is saying. Often people get the wrong idea or believe the person is saying one thing while they are saying another. This is why the title here is get over it. Life is too short to allow words and conflict to end relationships.  Usually if I have a disagreement which doesn’t happen to often anyway I am over it the next day. We fester over it longer than discouragement and bitterness comes over us. I find that I have issues that are more important to me than ending a relationship.

Another thing is that most of us do not have many close relationships anyway. If we have more than half a dozen close friends than we are more blessed than most. It is not as though we are not around a lot of people because I know in my case I am but most people I would call acquaintances. The close friends are those you know would be there for you when circumstances happen like being in the hospital. You would hear from the acquaintances with sympathy and making sure you are OK but the close friends are the ones who would come to the hospital for a visit no matter how sick you are. They would ask what they could do for you. These are the ones that you need to be sure that you do not let offense ruin the relationship. So if you are in the place where you have broken relationships go to them and apologize even if they are the ones who should. Other words we need to be the bigger person. This would be for the acquaintances as well as for the close friends. Again life is to short having regrets too.   

Monday, August 22, 2016

Our Testimony

We all have a testimony a story to tell the world. We do not have to speak it with our words unless we choose too. Our testimony is how we live. You see our lives speak the words for us. Other words it is how we live that others see. This can be either negative or positive that people see. The negative could be how you used to live while the positive can be how you live now. Of course if you are living negative now you can change your life into being positive. You see our lives are not over yet so we can change it to being positive right now.

I can tell you that your life can change whether you believe it or not. My life as a small child almost ended by being burned at the age of four however God had other ideas. If things were different whether a second or few I would not be here today to give you encouragement; God’s plan of my life could be for you to read today. I am not here to give you a great message to read just for you to know that our lives are more than we realize it. Many years ago I would have never known that I could change someone else’s life as well as my own.

Besides spending six weeks in the hospital with a burn on the right side of my stomach I could not speak English correctly until I was five years old because of a hearing disability. In the hospital the nurses could not understand what I was saying so my older brother had to interpret for them. When my hearing was corrected at five I was than able to start talking in English but my reading took a while for me to be like most kids. With this all I had to fight to know who I was in my mind. I have dealt with depression as well. I never took any medicine for depression because I had enough issues that I did not want to be labeled by anyone either. Through school I had to deal with attention deficit though in those days there was no name for it. Again I am glad that I was not labeled. I am sure happy that I did not grow up now because I am sure that I never would have become the person that I am today. Actually I may have but it would have taken longer to do so. I know that there are those who probably have a lot worse cases of attention deficit now than I did so I can understand where they will need to be given medicine but I think those would be extreme conditions.

So you see if you knew me way back in my early years and know me now I am a miracle. This is my testimony and you have one to whether you went through something far worse than me or not. So you see today you have a testimony whether you believe it not. You are speaking words of volumes without saying anything. Please believe it. In another way to say what we have heard over the years “pictures are worth a thousand words.” Please share this with someone you may feel could hear it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Being Foolish

 Talking at a reunion we realize how foolish we were back in our teens and twenties. We did some good things but many crazy things at the same time.

You would think the kids of today would learn from our mistakes but no many have down foolish things to. I do see some mature young people around today which seems more than in our time but really we probably had some mature young people too.

The young people that I see today who are mature have gone to college early and working at the same time. In my time there were kids that worked but only a few went to college early. The ones I knew who went early mostly skipped grades. I knew of only one in my class that skipped our senior year because she had finished her requirements and went to college however she had to get special permission to do so from the school board.

Another way to become mature at a young age has been through good parenting with discipline.  Of course today discipline is a bad word but I still believe it is the right way to go for a parent. It does not mean that you physically beat the tar out of your kids but you are firm with them. I was blessed with parents who knew the difference.

The sad stories that I have heard is about those I knew as a kid never ever did mature and their lives ended tragically or they are right now in a very bad place. Fortunately most of us matured and have lived a good life.

Some of the young people today do listen to their parents warnings but like every generation many have to go through the experience. We hope that they make it like we did. To become truly the people we are meant to be we must learn from our foolishness. Champions are not those just got that way they have all gone through the trials and come up on the other side. In fact champions are still working through because no one is perfect and must learn more lessons. The lessons of champions can move on to the champions of tomorrow. In fact the main job of champions today is to teach the champions that are coming up the ranks.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seeing and Talking to Old Friends

I am excited because today I will be going to a reunion of classmates from high school. I know that there are those who don’t care much for high school reunions but I certainly do.

Actually my class hasn’t had a reunion in years so I expect most of the ones I see I haven’t seen or talked to for many years including since high school. We have made our reunion a little different since it has been years. Not only will I see those from my class also some from the class year before and the class the year after. Majority of them I haven’t seen for sure.

Most of the ones I have seen from school I usually run into at a coffee shop or grocery store. It still amazes me though there are a lot still living in the area I have never seen them around town at all and like I have said before Gig Harbor is a small town so you would think I would see more of them.

I am sure you realize I don’t have relationships with these old school friends anymore except I do on social media. What I hope out of this reunion we will have more of them in the future and at the same time begin with starting new relationships as adults. Other words start seeing them on a regular basis. Since we do have common background and interests it would be nice to get together for coffee or dinner.

Unlike many reunions this one is more like family reunions where we are having a potluck. We are meeting at one of my classmates home that is on the waterfront on Fox Island which is about a twenty minute drive west of Gig Harbor. The weather is going to be one of the hottest on record around here in the 90s and those who want to can bring children and grandchildren to the reunion as well. While we talk and catch up the kids can go swimming and play games. In many ways it is more of family reunion than a high school reunion.

I know that some will be missing who wanted to be here but because of other obligations can’t. The main reason because of family reunions or vacations; I am sure we will discuss having another one at a better time in the year. So whatever you are doing this weekend whether it is a reunion of your own or a family outing or vacation have a grand time. It is amazing to think August is almost over and time to get back to normal life. God bless you!

Friday, August 19, 2016

When We Lose Someone So Fast

I mentioned the last time about the loss of my cousin and close friend Bronwen questions will start coming up. It may be part of the mourning process. Also takes time to get the answers if it does ever happen.

Previously I had mourned for the loss of my brother and dad. The situations were different even from Bronwen’s death. Although we thought she would stick around a lot longer because she is a fighter the short time of her leaving us was a blessing for her since she was in such pain. My brother’s case came totally out of left field since he was only thirty-eight years old. So the grieving time lasted a long time. My dad’s death was not nearly the surprise of my brother’s since he was older and had a heart attack a few years earlier. He died of a heart attack by the way. My mourning for him was tough because he died almost a year after my brother’s death. I remember crying out “I just got over my brother’s death”.

Bronwen’s death came quickly after being told that she was going to be sent to a rehab center after taking chemotherapy. No one expected that crone’s disease would come back and affect the cancer and chemotherapy. The doctor’s then said there was nothing more they could do for Bronwen besides making her comfortable. This was the sign she did not have much time left. I thought she had a few days or weeks but that was not the case. I was not able to see her before she went but she had known that I had seen her a couple weeks before and knew we had a special bond beyond being cousins. Her sisters let me know how much they appreciated the relationship that we had together. They were able to share stories and memories before Bronwen had to go.

I know that everyone involved in Bronwen’s life will have questions and not necessarily any answers. I can say that she is in a better place and she no longer has to deal with pain. This is the reason that is good that she went quickly was the pain which would have gotten even worse. For us that loved her it is hard on us right now but we have to hope that we will see her again ourselves in the future.

Bronwen never got the chance to take me out for lunch to celebrate my birthday. We did that several times in the past so I figure when it is my time to move on and I see her the next time I will tell her that she has to buy me lunch. Of course that will be after a big hug first and ask her what she has been doing since our last meeting in the hospital.

I know that we will never get the full answer to why she went so quickly but we can be rest assured that she is no longer in pain. I know that I will have other questions and I am not sure that the answers will be there either but I can say for sure I will miss you Bronwen. I am sure as well that you will be enjoying the party very much. The love that you were missing is now before you. I will continue mourning for you for a while and things will become better for me and your family but one thing is for sure we will never forget you.

The one thing I do know is that grieving is different for each one of us. I do not presume that I know what another person is going through even if they are in a similar situation or for the same person. If you are in the same place as I am today I grieve along with you to even if I don’t understand your grief. God bless you all!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Loss of Relative and Close Friend

Wednesday morning with her sisters and husband Hank my dear cousin Bronwen passed away because of complications. It is a shock to all of us in the Nightingale family so keep us in your prayers especially Hank who will have to make adjustments because of her loss.

Bronwen was more than my cousin she was a dear friend of mine especially over the last few years. There was a period of time where we were not in touch. Happens sometimes in families when you become adults; last year she visited me both times after I got out of the hospital for my heart procedure and then for removal of kidney stones. She was so kind and making me feel better. Hank usually came on most of the occasions though he did miss the one on the kidney because he had to work. Bronwen worked to however she missed some time because of her health.

In many ways this is a blessing for Bronwen because she has gone through a lot in her adult life being sick for a lot of it. Besides Hank she leaves behind a cat and a dog that she loved dearly. She is a year and ten days older than me so we are very close in age. Bronwen had a fiery personality and was not afraid to tell you what she thought. I believe her personality is what helped her fight and win her battles over her healthy unfortunately this time she could not overcome. The blessing she went quickly and is now in peace. I know that I will miss her kindness along with that fiery personality. She lived only about fifteen miles away from me the last year in Lakewood, Washington. Before that she lived for a long time in Puyallup, Washington which was not a long distance either. Growing up she, sister’s, mother and father lived in Seattle. I remember the times visiting their home especially at Christmas time. They would come visit us in Gig Harbor a few times every year. I remember the times at the small table at Thanksgiving eating turkey and stuffing. Also I remember the trip both of our families took by sailboat to Victoria and San Juan Islands. Along with everyone else she made it a fun trip.

So Bronwen fair well until we meet again down the road. Say hello to my dad and brother Dick along with your parents.  I am so happy that you are at peace.    

My beloved cousin Bronwen below  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hiking in August

                               Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles in the Olympic Mountains!

                                                                Upper Lena Lake

                                                        The Elwa River

                                                            The Hoh River

                                                Quinault River goes into the Pacific Ocean

Four years as a teenager I hiked in the Olympic Mountains during the month of August. It was planned that way from the very first one on. I was a member of a local Boy Scout troop and our plans each year was to go on a fifty mile hike in the Olympics.

I am blessed to live between two mountain ranges the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. We did only a few small hikes in the Cascades while doing these long hikes in the Olympics. I am not sure why we chose to hike the Olympics more than the Cascades. I expect the likelihood that there are more fifty mile trails in the Olympics than the Cascades or at the very least not as steep.

Mount Rainier that I can see every morning looking east is the second largest mountain in the United States so I expect that the trails are harder to hike than the Olympics.  One thing I do know is that the Olympic Mountains are very beautiful. I can see them on a clear day looking west on highway 16.

In the spring we would take at least one short hike to get ready for the fifty mile. I remember my first hike was to lower Lena. There are two trails one to lower Lena and the other upper Lena. Very popular for Boy Scouts to hike because it is only about three miles though the hike is high as I recall. Lena Lake is a very beautiful spot to visit like most of the Olympics. My first experience with it being steep and raining I would not call it the best but what judgement can I have at thirteen years old. Despite the experience I kept going on hikes.

Three of the fifty mile hikes were along the Hoh, Elwa and Quinalt rivers that are all very good to hike. Though there are spots that are steep there are some level areas as well. I remember meeting some interesting people along the way as well.

I remember one year the scout troop took a short hike where we could see Mt. Olympus a very beautiful site. My older brother Dick was in college and he brought a couple of his roommates from back east to see the northwest for the first time. They hiked the same trail we did except coming from the other end. So we traded car keys at the middle of the hike so we did not have to return to the beginning of the trail. The other scouts were picked up by their parents on the other end.

There are more stories and memories I can tell about maybe at another time. There are many trails that can be hiked in both mountain ranges. I recommend doing a search on line for them both. You can order books and maps that shows the favorite trails to hike. I know that you can have a really good time.    

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Going Beyond

Right now the Olympics are going on in Rio. All the participants in the games regardless if they win a medal or not are all champions; they are the best at what they do in their country. The odds of any of them going to the Olympics are quite amazing.

I always enjoy watching the Olympics to see the sports that come around every four years that we can see. It is exciting to see those who get a medal. There is a story behind each athlete even those we never hear about. Each one has been working getting to the Olympics most of their lives. Some of them are there for the second or third time if not more. This shows how focused and determined they are to be the best at what they do.

This is what we should be doing whatever is our job, purpose or destiny to be the very best. We should focus on what will get us to where we need to be. Just like these athletes we all have something to offer to our family, friends, city, country and the world. We are champions in our own right. We may not always feel that way because of the circumstances but this is really true. No matter how long it takes four years or a life time we should be determined to get to where we should be. We may never win a medal but we may win a life which is as good. So whatever your talents or gifts go for it with all that you have with a smile. A lot of people may not take notice however those you do help will be appreciated.



Monday, August 15, 2016

How About the Weather

                                           A glorious day!!

 I am sure every place in the world has stories about the weather over the last few years. We certainly have here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

This weekend we had hot temperatures on Saturday of ninety degrees and then cooled off slightly on Sunday to low eighties. Like many days in July and early August the mornings have been overcast. In fact we had rain a couple times the first week of August which is uncommon for here. There has been mostly days where the sun has come out but not until around three o’clock in the afternoon. So summer has only been felt a few times this year. It is very unusual to have clouds in the sky in July and August.

Last year we had record temperatures during the spring and summer. I am not sure how many times but we had a lot of days where the temperatures were in the 90s. I know a lot of places where the 90s happens a lot but not here in the Pacific Northwest. Most years if it hits the 90s it is maybe once or twice. Our temperatures usually hover around the low 80s during the summer.

I remember in August when my brother got married we had a little of rain before the ceremony and a little after. Fortunately it did not rain during the ceremony. It was planned as an outdoor wedding. Where the wedding happened though we could have moved it indoors if necessary; really glad we did not have too.

The last three years we have had a lot of mild winters here without any snow to speak of. 2014 and 2015 the mountains did not have a lot of snow either so the snow pack was very low both years. This last winter though we had record of rainfall while the mountains had at least the average of snowfall which was very welcomed. Not only for the snow pack but the ski resorts enjoyed the return of snow. The previous two years skiing was at a very low level and I am sure the skiers were glad to get back to skiing.

I am not sure of the reasons why the weather has been different over the last several years then what we are accustomed to now going back and forth. I guess you can blame it on global warming or El Niño or maybe the weather goes in cycles; whatever the case the weather here has been unusual to say the very least. We do have times where the weather can change several times a day but that doesn’t happen during the summer. Now that I have just said that it will happen.

I have to say though that I am not a big fan of ninety degree weather. I prefer the high 70s and low 80s myself. I wear a hat most of the summer to protect my head. Also I put sun screen on when I plan to be outside for a long period of time. I am very fair skinned so I need to be protected from getting sun burned. On the bright side (sorry about the pun) at least I am not as bad off as when I was a kid. I really had to be protected from the sun back then. My mother put sun tan lotion on me almost every single day of the summer. I have to say that I did not enjoy the experience.

I have always enjoyed the spring and fall as my two favorite seasons of the year; summer does come in pretty close to. As a kid summer was number one for sure because I could do almost anything I wanted and I was not in school which was the best thing.

Although winter was last as far as the seasons go I enjoyed when we had the times when it snowed and we were not in school. The many days when it rained that was not fun at all. I had to find a way to get outside between the drops.

So wherever you are right now enjoy the weather and the day. We can’t complain too much because we are still here. Put on a happy face.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Places To Stay Around Gig Harbor

                                     Gig Harbor Washington great small town on the Sound

I was thinking yesterday since I will be going out of town for a few days about where people can stay in and around Gig Harbor. The questions to decide where to stay includes how big of a group you have and what you plan on doing when you’re here. Also a nice view is good as long as it is not too costly.

When I was growing up here there were not a lot of choices to where people could stay. The best choices at the time were to stay at a hotel or motel in Tacoma which was a long ways off. There were a couple hotels in Gig Harbor that I knew about anyway and they were OK especially for couples. If you were a family Tacoma was the better choice for sure. If we had visitors though who wanted to stay over for a few days we had enough room in our house anyway so no big deal. My cousins though were primary visitors.

Where I live at now though I don’t have a lot of room however one or two can stay but more than that no way. My brother and his family visiting last August stayed at one of the hotels right by the highway and it is no more than five minutes away from where I live. The place is called the Inn of Gig Harbor. It is very nice place to stay and for a family it is really good because they have a suite for several to stay in. Also they serve breakfast in the morning. There is a Best Western which is pretty nice as well and similar to the Inn of Gig Harbor. Either place I would recommend and I would check on line to see who has the best price.

If you like to stay down by the waterfront of Gig Harbor there is a couple of Inn’s as well. One of them is across from Skansie Park while the other is at the head of the harbor just down the street from Anthony’s Restaurant. Let you know there are a lot of good restaurants around Gig Harbor as well. If you like to stop for coffee there are plenty of coffee shops as well.

Besides hotels, motels and inns there are several bed and breakfast spots around Gig Harbor if that fancies you more. So I recommend going to any travel sites that you are familiar with or do a search on places to stay in Gig Harbor. I certainly know we welcome you. The time of the year of course is important as well. Summer time the cost is a bit more and Gig Harbor is pretty nice mostly anyway in the spring and fall. You can do the same thing checking out for other places in the area. Of course Seattle has all the national hotel and motel chains. When you stop by Gig Harbor there is a possibility that you may run into me especially in the early morning when I go for a walk around the waterfront. Enjoy the rest of your summer.  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Reading Psalms

Whether you are Christian, Jewish or other I recommend reading the Psalms out of the Old Testament. Psalms can give you inspiration and if you love poetry it is the best around. I read five psalms a day. Not only inspires me but many of them say what I am thinking. The words allow me to meditate on them all day long as well.

I read the New International Version most of all and it is really good however if you have the King James Version then I recommend reading psalms that way because the words are so beautiful.

Like I say that I read five psalms a day. There are a total of 150 psalms and because we have 30 days in most months it works out that way. Give you an example what I do is on the first day of the month I will read psalm 1 followed by 31, 61, 91 and 121. Each day would follow the same formula. The hardest Psalm is number 119 because it is so long you may want to throw it into your reading on multiple days.

Another book in the Old Testament you can read on a daily basis that works out is Proverbs. Again this is outstanding poetry once again. There is thirty-one chapters of Proverbs so as you can see one chapter a day works out. There are other books in the Old Testament that is written in poetry form as well. For example the Songs of Solomon which is eight chapters long so you could figure something out with it too. The books of the Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah are written primarily in poet form too. So you see if you love poetry the Bible is really great to read. If you have never read the Bible before and you have thought about doing so I believe this is a good way to start.

Regardless of your beliefs I believe everyone can get a lot out of the Bible. If you are not sure what version to get I would ask someone at a Bible book store or a friend that you may know that reads the Bible. Like I said I primarily read the New International Version since it is easier to read then the King James. Anyway get started and enjoy.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Before There Was Modern Technology

In the 1990s I decided to go back to school because I knew to get a job in the market then I would have to learn about using a computer for work. I enrolled at Tacoma Community College where I majored in Business and got an associate’s degree. When completing classes I got a job but not one that would use the skills that I went to school for and actually qualified to go back to school once again with help of financial aid. So I went back to the same school and got a degree in computer science. Many of the classes had the same requirements as the business degree so I did not have to go as long a period getting the computer science degree.

When I finished the computer science degree I went to work for a startup internet provider in 1999. So I was on the ground floor of the new craze called the internet. The company did not stay in business so I had to look for another job which took me a little while but I got a job doing customer service for a cell phone company that was the other new craze.

When I was in school going for the degree in computer science one of the classes I took was in multimedia. I had to setup an email account which I did through Hotmail because our homework assignments we sent to our teacher through email. At that time not many people were into email as of yet. We were the first class at the college to do the email thing to our teacher.

Another class I took had to do with web design. Our final group assignment was to create a web page for a business. I remember one of the other groups created a web page for a real estate company. No real estate company had a web page at that time and of course now they are all over the place.

When I went to work to do customer service for the cell phone company at the time people had basic phones along with PDA’s. While working there is when smartphones came along which most people have today.

So we go back before the 1990s where we had no personal computer or cell phones. We think now what can we do if our computer or smart phone is not working correctly. This is what I call modern technology because then we had none of this. Large businesses had their large computers and pagers but no personal computers or cell phones.

I remember back in my days growing up we did not even have a calculator. We had to calculate the old fashion way on a sheet of paper or in our heads. I remember when the calculator came out and they were so expensive that I did not even buy one. Now if someone uses a calculator it is on their PC.

What did I do before PC and cell phones? If I wrote a letter that was not done by pencil or pen I did on a typewriter which was slow for me since I had not taken typing at that time. Something else I did when I went back to college.

I am sure we all remember the days of pay phones. It cost a nickel to use one. When I came back from a basketball game I would call my parents where I was left off at the local shopping center to come get me. I did not want to pay the nickel so my parents would hear dead air I think or a busy tone maybe. They knew that it was me on the other end to come get me. It was the only times I used a pay phone. Now you are lucky if you can find one anywhere. Of course if your cell phone is dead you ask someone to borrow to make a call no problem.

In those days we did not even think of modern technology because it wasn’t around. We played games the old fashion way. In many ways life was so less complicated. The kids of today have no idea unless their parents haven’t given them a smart phone. At some point they get one so the parents can get hold of them.

I like the modern technology however I miss the good old days as well. When I go out of town in two weeks I will have my cell phone with me but no computer so likely I won’t be writing here for a few days. Of course most hotels have computers so if I have time early in the morning I may shoot off a post to everyone to let you know that I am alive anyway and how thing are going especially if something interesting happened before or on the flight or after. It would be interesting if all of us would shut down our computers or cell phones for a day once in a while. Call it a mini-vacation for us and the device. Maybe the best way to do that is going hiking where there is no cell phone available. In the meantime enjoy your modern technology.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Let the Sunshine In

I know it is a famous song that was song by the fifth dimension in the late sixties however this is how we really should feel letting the sunshine into our lives.

This is a reason I like music so much is that a lot of songs can make us feel good at the same time explaining where we are at in our lives as well. Also a reason I write poetry sometimes so I can express myself in a small way instead of writing out a whole story.

These days it seems that we allow things and people to get the best of us. So I believe we should let those closest to us in as often as we can. Other words they are the sunshine in our lives. I always like seeing those who I knew in my youth because they know who I really am. I do have friends that I have met since being an adult however there is something about those from a long time ago even if I don’t see them very often. The most important thing is to be around those that we feel comfortable with and we can share our feelings. We know that they will be with us no matter the situation.

No matter what age you are I suggest that you around those that make you feel special as much as possible. Those who bring darkness instead of light into your life to stay away from them as much as possible; however it is important to keep them in your life as long as you can’t let them bring you down. You may have to let them know that they affect you in a negative way and for them to be a regular person in your life they have to change. Neither you nor them it is not good to use each other as a crutch. This is especially true if either or both have a substance abuse. It is important to be with those who can help you get through the situation and come through to the other side. In the end it takes tough love sometimes. It is better to be around old friends who may have had the same problems but came through the other side. They know where you have come from and will love you where you’re at.  

I have heard about where a lot of people in my area of Washington State get depressed because of the weather. I know that I have had to deal with depression but it has to more with circumstances for me. I know that during the late fall and winter with all the cloudy days people can feel depressed and there are those who have to deal with allergies as well. I have learned though that it is important to rise above everything which brings the sun in especially into our hearts.

I am sure we all have heard the words “stop and smell the roses”. This is another good idea for us. Take our time out of a busy schedule and enjoy the roses along with other plant lives. Also would not be bad to enjoy them with your dog. Our lives are short so what we can do to make things a lot better than we are better off.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Telling My Story

What is so nice about writing is able to tell my story to as many people as possible. I want to be able to encourage others that their lives can change as much as mine has over the years. My life is not perfect by any means and not exactly how I would really like to be.

I am single so it does give me some free time however I would prefer to be married or at the very least in an ongoing relationship. I believe having children would be a blast to. I know having children is hard work as well. I am not living in a dream world when it comes to kids but I am sure most of you that have children feel most of the time they are worth it.

Being single does give me free time but at the same time makes life lonely to. I am not lonely all the time because I do have family and friends but still it would be nice to have someone that I know loves me. She is my friend and we can hug when I especially need one. I hope in the near future that special woman will come my way. I do believe that I am a special person for her to. I am not writing this for dating or others being sorry for me this is just where my life is right now.

In the meantime I know my purpose and destiny is to encourage others along with hope. Some may call it my calling as well. It doesn’t really matter what label is put on but we all have a reason to be here besides getting up in the morning, spending the day working or whatever and then go home at night. We get up the next day and repeat the same thing though it feels that way some times.

Today is one of those days where I have to take my mother to several of her appointments plus she meets up with a couple friends for lunch which they call the lunch bunch though there is not much of a bunch left anymore. I have an appointment myself while she is at one of hers so I will leave her off go to my appointment and return to pick her up again. During that time I look forward to seeing whoever comes along so I can hello at least and who knows a lot more. I will get some time in at a local coffee shop along with my daily walking. Usually I go walking in the morning when it is nice and peaceful however today it seems to be a bit later. Actually it is nice to have a day that seems different than most of the other days. With my mother I am her caregiver or in other term her chauffer. She does appreciate it because she always says thank you and she lets her friends know too. I do get free time besides early in the morning. At least twice a week she goes and plays bridge. It is a good thing because she gets in her time socializing with others along with keeping her mind intact. Certainly something we all need to do. Also she has a life monitor at home so when I am out and about she is able to have contact if she gets in a case for an emergency. This helps both of us feel much better of the situation.

So you now know more of my everyday life as well as what I have shared about my past. I recommend for all to write whether it is a blog or just a journal. Sometime down the road your family will like to know more of your life story.  Until next time keep your smiling going. God bless you too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Looking Up

Every morning I wake up I am so thankful that I am still here.

When I go to sleep at night I amazed that again that I am still here.

There is peace in the morning and at night however I wish there was more in the day time.

I look up because I know that you are looking down on us. Though we do not deserve it you still love us anyway.

Most of us do not even acknowledge you each day unless there is something that we want from you. Of course, that is who you are being here when we need you.

We live each day thinking what love is however we do not really know love at all. For us love is selfish and what we can get from it while in the end love is giving not taking.

Again thanks for looking down when we do not always look up. You continue caring for a world that does not return the same love.


Monday, August 8, 2016

One Year Ago

 There are certain events that happen when you realize how the time goes by so fast. Last August my brother and his family came out for a visit. They were here to see my mother and I plus their son Ian had started work at Microsoft in June after graduating from Harvard. Ian’s girl friend at the time Helen followed him here and is working at Nordstrom. Now she is his fiancée and they are getting married in nineteen days. So I may not do any writing for a few days around then unless I can find the time to do so. When returning I will have some pictures and tell about the wedding along with everything else we did.

The weather is different as night and day from a year ago. Last year we had record high temperatures being in the 90s and this morning it raining. While my brother’s family was here we took a trip to Cushman Dam on the Hood Canal. It is about an hour and a half drive from Gig Harbor. We went north to Bremerton and then west through Belfair another small town. Belfair is about half way to Cushman Dam. The dam was built in the 1920s and our grandfather Richard Nightingale was chief engineer on the project. We made a stop on the way a little past Belfair for lunch. On the way back we stopped in Hoodsport which is only a few minutes from the Dam for ice cream. Of course a good trip has to include ice cream.

We spent a day relaxing in Gig Harbor however my brother, my niece Leslie, her husband Daniel, nephews Robby and Danny along with myself rented each a kayak. We spent two hours of time going around Gig Harbor. It is a really nice way to spend time viewing the Harbor. I recommend when coming to Gig Harbor during the summer to rent a kayak or take a boat ride.

On another day we drove again to Bremerton and took the ferry to Seattle. We spent time on the waterfront. Everyone except me took a ride on the Ferris wheel. I wasn’t feeling 100 percent and wanted to be sure that I did not get worse riding the Ferris wheel. We walked to the Pike Place Market and spent several hours there. We met Ian and Helen in the early evening for dinner after they got off work. It was the first time for mother and me in meeting Helen. We celebrated mother’s ninety-fifth birthday which is actually in September. Leslie gave mother a calendar for a full year from September 2015 through August 2016. She put on everyone’s birthdays along with their pictures. Mother feels so blessed by the calendar. At the end of the evening Mother and I took the ferry back to Bremerton. My brother and his family drove back not taking the ferry because Robby had a flight to Peru that late evening so they dropped him at the airport and said good bye before heading back to Gig Harbor.

The trip was not as many days as we would have liked seeing them however how long  a trip would be to be satisfied though we enjoyed every minute they spent time here.  I can say the same for the trip to the wedding we will be gone for five days including the flying. It will not be long but again it will be memorable.

Today I will be meeting a gal I grew up with and went to school. We saw each other three weeks ago for the first in so many years since high school. This maybe the last time we see each other before she returns to England where she lives most of the year. The time spent she has been at the house she grew up in. Her parents are both gone now however she owns the house. In twelve days I will be going to a high school reunion that will include the classes before and after as well as mine. So I most likely see students that I went to school with that I have not seen since I graduated. I believe reunions and other times when you see former students and classmates are very special to me. Though I enjoy the friends I have today there is nothing as special as those you grew up with. They are the ones that have made me the person I am today either positive or negative if you know what I mean. Of course I will write about it as well.

I am sure in another year I will think again how fast the time as gone by. So much happens during a year but the memories does make the time go by fast. Have a wonderful and joyous week. Until next time!