Friday, September 30, 2016


For animals the largest and healthy ones survive to live another day. In some ways we humans are in the same boat. Not only we come out screaming we look and sometimes fight to make our place in the world. Often we are tested by our peers to see how we stand. It usually begins with teasing and can turn into bullying. I had experience in both areas. I was teased a lot in elementary school and by the time I was in ninth grade I knew all about bullying having a lot of experience in that area. I had to stand up strong to survive. I never really got into any fights because I stood my ground letting my opponent know that I was welling too. Most of high school I wasn’t teased as much and not being bullied. The prior experience kept me out of it.

When we become adults we deal with survival in a different manner and that has to do with getting a job along with keeping it. Not always an easy task either. Here we have some that try to bully us again or at least think too much of themselves. With our experience growing up we use that experience to use our minds to survive. Throughout this life of ours we have to continue to survive a world that may feel we have no place in it. Until our dying breath survival is part of us. Survival is what we can show others through our purpose and destiny. Giving encouragement to others is to let them know that they will make it. We may not call it survival in our terms but actually that what it is all about. Time to time I deal with depression and for me to make it through I must know that I can survive.

Although we may not think of it this way playing sports teaches us how to survive as well. Not only the actions of playing the sport but where we stand in the sport. Are we among the best, in the middle somewhere or we are not very good at all. Tough lesson for those who don’t care or not very good at sports; even those guys learn to survive. I remember playing any one of the sports in elementary school where I was picked near the bottom by the captains. I never really understood because most sports I was at least OK at them and some even real good. I was very competitive because I was upset being one of the last chosen. I guess you could say I went into survival mode. I had to show the other kids how good I was and that I would go out and beat them. Although I didn’t all the time I certainly showed them.

Another time of survival was in boy scouts where I got lost for a night in the Cascade Mountains. I was not smart getting into the situation leaving the scout troop on my own thinking that  I was going to find a short cut off the trail. This was a mistake I found out very fast and tried to find my way to the trail once again. I should have gone back but tried a different route. During the night I got bit by mosquitoes all over my body and had a hard time seeing. In the morning I could see helicopters that I figured were looking for me. My older brother Dick I found later wanted to go and find me. Not a good idea because he got lost several times hiking while this was my only experience since I learned from my mistake. Anyway I found a river so I followed it figuring this would get me back to civilization which it did. Again I was in survival mode and I didn’t want to die either out in the woods. So you see I am sure that we all experience a lot of times being in survival mode. We learn a whole lot and we live another day to tell it.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Driving the Washington Coast

                                         A view of Ocean Shores

                                           Westport Washington

                                           La Push Washington

                                           Forks Washington

It has been a while since I last visited the Washington Coast. I am showing a few pictures as well. The primary highway is 101 which actually go along the California, Oregon and Washington coast. If you have a couple weeks or so to travel highway 101 would be a wonderful way to go.

Growing up our family took several trips along the Washington and Oregon coasts. The last time I visited the area was going to Ocean Shores. A very lovely place to see; my cousin Jennifer and her husband Holt this year moved to Astoria, Oregon. Holt has retired and Jennifer is still working in the health insurance industry. Holt grew up in Michigan while Jennifer lived all her life in Seattle before moving to Astoria. Let you know that Astoria is the furthest city north on the Oregon Coast. The first city south in Washington is Westport. It is known for fishing and you can actually rent a fishing boat to go out into the Pacific Coast. Ocean Shores is very close to West Port. If you fly into Seattle to get to the Washington coast would be taking Interstate 5 south through Tacoma until you reach the state capitol Olympia than take exit 104 and drive highway 2. It is about a ninety five minute drive to Ocean Shores. You go through twin cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam get to the ocean.

Whenever we went to the ocean we would dig for clams and geoducks. I am not sure about anyplace else however geoduck is quite known in Washington State and taste very good. You can cook on the stove or an open fire.

Going north on Highway 101 you can turn inland to the Olympic Rain Forest and go to the Hoh River or Lake Quinalt. Just follow the signs when you see them. Having a map with you or gps is a good idea. The city furthest north is La Push. It is actually unincorporated and is on the Quileute Reservation. A place you should make sure to visit. Before La Push you would come to Forks, Washington actual town in the Twilight novels. You can take Highway 101 east from Forks that goes to Port Angeles. This is where you can catch a ferry that goes to Victoria, British Columbia. Before arriving in Port Angeles you will see Lake Crescent to your left. It is quite a winding road so always have thought it would be a great place to have a car race. I am sure some cars would land in the lake since you have to be careful when driving along the winding road. Continue east on Highway 101 you go until there is an exit for highway 3 that goes to the Hood Canal Bridge before arriving in Bremerton. If you stay on Highway 101 you would windup back in Olympia. Arriving in Bremerton you can take the ferry to Seattle or continue on to my home town of Gig Harbor.    

                                          Port Angeles Washington
                                          Below is the Hood Canal Bridge


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hello Fall Welcome to 2016

Spring was warmer than normal

Summer was very hot

Here in the Pacific Northwest we expected this year this way because of climate change

So Fall what are you going to do for us

Will you be warmer than normal?

Less rain and higher temperatures

Since you have come in it has been about normal

When you come for a visit each year this is how it starts with very nice weather and the trees in bloom

We know though the wind and rain will come when you are on your way out of town

I know you want us to remember you before the return next year

I know we forget you sometimes because of summer and winter

However winter lately has not been the same though it did rain even more than normal last year

I like it when it snows in winter though doesn’t happen to often

You are my friend Fall that is why I say hello

I do remember you just like the rest of the seasons

No you are not the least of them

I love you as much as the others

Enjoy this year while you’re here

I promise that I will say good bye

I know we don’t have many holidays while you are around however I always do enjoy Halloween

Behave yourself this year on Halloween so the children can enjoy it

After that you can do what you want before leaving

Yes I promise to say good bye

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Be Content

To be truly who we are meant to be we have to decide on self-improvement and another area is be content. I know this is an area where I can use improvement in. I have to say being content equals being happy. Like other areas in our lives we have to decide that we will be content. It is nothing that will be handed to us.

If you are having problems being content the solution could be in changing your lifestyle or tweaking it a little bit. The problem is not in the lifestyle it most likely is that you don’t fit in the particular lifestyle. Not everyone does well in some of the life styles so best to find the one that fits you the best.

Personally I am in easy going middle of the road lifestyle. I grew up in middle class of Gig Harbor at the time. My neighborhood is now very high middleclass or rich whatever way you want to call it. My family was not rich my dad owning a drapery business that had its ups and downs along with my mother being a high school teacher however we did live on the waterfront with several sailboats of different sizes and a couple row boats as well. No matter the state of our family income we never had to worry about going hungry. My neighborhood friends a few had boats to and some did not. Most of them were middle  class as well though I never thought about whether anyone was richer than our family or not. I played organized baseball and basketball growing up with tennis on occasion. My friends and I played football at the local park on the grass field during our junior high years. Although life was not always happy for me I would say that I was content most of the time like many of the other kids in the neighborhood.

My life hasn’t changed a lot as an adult other than I don’t live on the waterfront and no boats. I generally spend money on things that I enjoy. I have to say that I am content most of the time though like everyone I can use improvement. The area I have the most trouble in is being single and having no family of my own. I find it hard to live a life that my heart really desires so I am not very content in that area of my life. I hope someday that this part of my life will change however I know that being content in all areas will make life a lot better off.

So you see I have to work on being content as well. I figure that I have to block out the areas that I struggle in especially being single. Knowing that I do have something to offer the world despite not being in a place I would like to be in. I realize it is important to keep my focus in the right place. Having a wife and family I hope does come but for now keep moving on in my life. If I don’t think about it as much as I have been than I hope it will happen. The most important thing about being content is not to worry about things especially those that have to do with your lifestyle. Enjoy what you have and move on in your purpose.

Monday, September 26, 2016


I believe we all need to spend some of our time during the day in meditation. I am not talking necessarily how the new agers meditate however we need to spend time thinking on positive things. I try to do that every morning when I go for a walk. I include that with praying as well.

So much in our lives negative thoughts come into our minds whether it is what we hear from others or the media; a lot of what we hear is bad news that we need to drown out. Also this is where hearing positive things from family and friends come in.

I believe a lot of those who are involved in shooting or terrorist attacks are hearing the wrong message. We all have the capability in doing evil things however we have been taught by our parents that there are consequences for our actions. Also the laws of the land tell us that there are consequences if we don’t obey. There are laws like the speed limit that many do not obey to the letter however you are caught than you receive a ticket. Also there can be consequences if you don’t stop on a red light or drive in the wrong lane. These laws are for our own well-being.  The thing is not everyone does what their parents have told them about obeying the law. Not all bad children have bad parents and vice versa. In the end you are responsible for your own actions.

I believe though that those who have done terrible acts that some of them may not have done them if they meditated on the positive. I have had bad thoughts over time and I believe that most people do however most have the conscience not to follow through with actions. We all have a choice whether to do the right or wrong thing and most of us always do the right thing otherwise the world would be even in a darker place. I know that some people do have mental illness that go out and do horrible things but I believe to that many have chosen to do the wrong thing at the same time.

Another thing I believe our lives are much better off when thinking about good things. A good thing to do is think about your dreams and what you would like to do in the future. Also what you would change if you have the opportunity to do so. I think about my friends and family along with love, faith and hope. I don’t think it is a cure all but I do think we are in much happier place when meditating. Just relax breath and think about the good things. This is especially good when circumstances are happening during the days that are not good either. Try it for one day if you haven’t done so before. Positive and good thoughts should be in your life more of the time. Oh yes you will have more good days too.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Being Excited About Travel

I know that there are those who care less about traveling while others really enjoy doing so. I am one of those who enjoy traveling though I don’t do as much as I would really like to do. If I am lucky I may take one plane trip a year however I hope that changes in the future.

My trip in August to St. Louis, Missouri for my nephew Ian and now his bride Helen’s wedding I found the plane ride quite interesting. The flight from Seattle to St. Louis is just a little over three hours however the takeoff and landing is such they feel like they are longer than the flight itself. Has anyone else felt that way when flying?

 When it comes to long distance travel I would like to visit Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Africa to name a few spots. Whether I can afford it that is another story however I am sure that I can find ways to keep the cost down. Although I probably can’t save a lot on a flight depending on the carrier I should be able to save where I stay. There are different places to stay these days to save money especially if you don’t care where you sleep. One option I am think of doing at some point to see how it works is to stay in someone’s home in a city while they are on a vacation. I haven’t researched so far however I do know that there are sites on the internet where you can do this.

I remember back in the 90’s when I was in Germany visiting my brother Jack who was living there at the time for a couple years I met some college gals who were traveling on the train throughout Europe. To save money they would sleep on the train at night while going to their next destination. During the day they would see the sites in the city of destination and then board on again in the evening for the next destination. I found that quite interesting and I have wondered if I ever would want to do that at least once.

Another example I have a friend Mike who is an Army veteran and he goes to South Korea at least once a year along with China where his son is living and going to school. He takes a free flight from McChord Air Force Base in nearby Tacoma, Washington to South Korea and then a commercial flight to China. This does save him some money in the process. Also he goes to Germany doing the same thing. He actually lived in Germany twelve years while in the Army so he still has friends that he likes visiting. Every summer Mike likes to go back to where he grew up in Wyoming so he drives by car and has a tent trailer to stay in. Also he goes to Oregon and California where he has family. Recently he got a new job with the military where he just got back last week having gone through training. Today he actually leaves to do his job which goes for two weeks in different locations around the U.S.A. I am sure that I won’t see as much of Mike as I have however it is always interesting to hear his stories when he comes back. I find that quite a fantastic way of traveling.

Also I hope in the future to see more of the United States however there are so many nice places to see right here in my home state of Washington that I haven’t seen before or for some time so traveling here is a good place to start. I have mentioned before that the Cascade and Olympic mountains are only a couple hours’ drive from Gig Harbor and the ocean is not much farther so I can actually take some daily trips. Of course there are cities nearby that I can visit as well. So if you can’t travel to places around the world at least you should be able to in the places nearby. Can always go hiking and camping for a few days. So happy traveling to us all.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lighten Things Up!

What has been going on in the world with shootings and the Presidential election coming up in the USA along with what I have wrote recently I feel like we need to lighten things up too.

The world has gotten so negative in so many ways where I am sure people are confused and wanting to know answers. This is the reason that we must know that we have a purpose and destiny. We must have the answers to give others. What our purpose first of all is hope and faith along with love. The bible speaks of these three things and the greatest is love. In 1Corinthians 13 it tells us exactly what love is. It is quite interesting because I think we all have different definitions of what love is. Again love is more than a feeling it is something we decide to do. Living in love will bring the hope and faith in our lives along with happiness. Also when times get tough love can help us get through these times.

The hard part of love is losing those who we have chosen to love. I realize that grief works different in everyone. How I have grieved can be totally different than someone else’s. The key is to be there for those who we care for when they have lost someone so dear to them. Often is giving them a hug and maybe not say even a word. The grieving period can be different for each person as well.  In fact I am not sure we realize how long a period we have been in the grieving process. We could think that we are over it and we still might be in it anyway. The important thing though is to realize that even when grieving is over we still will remember them for the rest of our lives. There may be days we don’t think of them though I am sure we will a lot especially on the important days like their birthday, anniversaries and holidays. Those who are gone that were important in my life I think time and again. Those who real close I may think about for a few minutes every day or a week while the others it could be a month or year.

So it is important that we do lighten up despite whatever has been going on in our lives or around the world.  It is easy to get into despair but I believe we must lighten up and relax with those we know. Even those we don’t know quite as much to put on a smile and a happy face. This will allow us to focus on everything that is important to us.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Losing Weight

The older we get it seems like we gain weight and have to look at losing it which is not always the easiest thing to do. For many have been accustomed to the same diet for a lot of years and even when you try it is still hard to do. There are some diets that help out for a little while but people get right back to the same old routine and gain the weight right back. I have seen that in some of my friends.

I know that I am one of those people having problems losing weight. Right now I am somewhat maintaining the weight but I want to lose some of it. I do some exercising primarily walking everyday however I have to do more to lose the weight. My goal is to lose between four and eight pounds a month. I believe that is a reasonable for me to strive for. I am looking to cut back on the amount of food intake well as not easing some foods as well. I figure to if I lose the four to eight pounds less than the full month than I will maintain until the next month starts. I believe it is important not overdue the dieting either that can make me sick or is not good for me.

Right now I have an 8 ounce Americano in the morning however my plan now is to drink half that amount while at the coffee shop and drink the remaining through the day. Part of my problem is that I have water intake or whatever you call on my legs and stomach. I do take medicine for it however it doesn’t seem to work well so I have to do something else. Also the plan is to drink Ice Tea some days of the week as well which I feel should help. Whether this will actually work I will find out. Another thing is on Friday mornings I take my mother out for breakfast with some friends of hers and you know the kind of food they serve in restaurants. I have cut back where I eat poached eggs along with wheat toast instead of an omelet and bacon etc. This week though I am going with poached eggs only and then skip lunch or take lunch later in the day and have a light dinner. The key I believe is eating smaller portions along with cutting out some items all together or having them only once in a while. Another thing is cut back or get rid of desserts all together as well. Also I find that sometimes I eat something though a small amount before going to bed which I have been told is a bad idea so I am going to eliminate that too.

Another idea I have thought about to is fasting once in a while. I have done that before because my stomach has issues sometimes and fasting helps out when I do so. What I am looking to do is fast one meal once a week or two. I would look at skipping breakfast on the weekend, then lunch and dinner. At some point fasting for a day or at least twelve hours; I am sure everyone at one point or another has been asked to fast twelve hours when having to go get blood taken. So why not do that a few times more often. These are my suggestions depending on how my goal of losing four to eight pounds a month until I reach my goal. At that point I will eat where I maintain my weight. I will let you know how things will go. The key though is that I don’t give up on this diet. Anyone else willing to try this too; one last thing though if you are someone who is in good weight and can maintain it. Depending on what you are eating I recommend cutting back on desserts at the very least. Why because what we eat is as important as our weight. Good luck to us all.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall in the Northwest

                                          Nice Cabin in Western Washington

                                          Hiking along the Pacific Ocean

                                          Butchart Gardens in Victoria British Columbia

Today Sept. 22 is the first day of fall here in the northwest of the United States. What I like here especially is that we have all four seasons of the year though because of global warming or climate change if you want to call it that the temperatures have changed somewhat here.

The last three or four years the winter has not been the same that I remember growing up. Now we don’t have as much snow as we used to get. It is not as though we had it really cold and a lot of snow like other parts of the country but we would sometimes get ten inches of snow at one time every two or three years. Now our snow fall is more like a couple inches and we may get snow a couple times a year at that too. Our mountains the snow fall are not much as we are accustomed to though last year we did have a pretty good snow fall. Down in the mainland we had close to normal rainfall last year while the previous couple years it was drier.

The starting of fall here is really nice most years and the temperatures are a little warmer lately compared to what it used to be. Though we do get some rainfall in September and October the majority of rain in fall comes in November just before winter comes when the rain usually comes down pretty good. Recently I have seen though it doesn’t rain as often in the fall or spring in that manner it seems to rain a lot harder when it does. On the positive side the hard rain only last for a little while in the day. Our normal rainfall is usually gentle and it seems like more rain than actually is because the clouds stick around most of the day. Another change in fall and spring is the sun comes around a lot more often now.

Weather wise the summer is the best time of the year however with climate change the temperatures are a lot hotter now than they used to be. The last two or three years the temperatures have often been in the high 80s and low 90s. This is really uncommon for the northwest. The temperatures usually are in the upper 70s and low 80s during the summer. I have heard that many other parts of the United States have gone through change in weather as well.

Although we do get some rain in the fall I still call it one of my favorite times of the year. In a way it is hard to say that because I like all four seasons here. It is so nice that the weather changes during the year though not as often as before because of the climate change. Though we do have some rain during the fall I still find it a great place to spend time traveling. I recommend people visiting the northwest during the fall. Not only is Seattle and the outlining areas so wonderful to see going to Mt. Rainier and the other mountains spots are real nice. Also the ocean in either Washington or Oregon is lovely to visit as well. You can take any ferry rides to the San Juan Islands and Victoria in British Columbia. The Butchart Gardens is always a great site to see in Victoria.

There is many other sites to see around both Washington and Oregon along with the state of Idaho. Hard to see in one trip so I recommend planning and taking several trips to the northwest. Of course you can’t forget taking a cruise to Alaska. I haven’t done one of the cruises yet however I do plan sometime for sure.

I find the northwest great place to live however it is wonderful place to visit as well. Come and enjoy our land. Let people here know how much you enjoy visiting. The turning of the trees is wonderful to see during the fall too.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Having Courage

 I have mentioned that part of my purpose in life is to encourage others. I believe it begins with having courage which is in the word encourage. The person who gives encouragement has the courage while giving or putting on courage to the other person. 

I do believe it takes a person to confront or talk with someone who needs encouragement. You may know the person very well or very little however you see that the person needs encouragement. They have lost the courage they once had because of circumstances so you help them to have courage once again.

I believe everyone at one time or another loses courage but can regain it through the help of others or themselves. Children often have to deal with courage when a bully confronts them or they are made fun of or teased by other children. I remember as a kid especially in junior high school or high school that I had to deal with bullies. I know it is not an easy thing to do however I would tell anyone dealing with a bully to stand tall and let them know that you are not afraid of them. Not easy to do but that does take courage to do so. This is especially true if you are confronted by several bullies. Actually I remember being confronted by a couple bullies. I stood up for myself and I fortunately was not hurt. It not only takes courage to stand up for yourself but to go for help to assist you. There are many avenues you can do to ask for help. You can go to your parents who I have to say takes a lot of courage to do so, an adult you know, and you’re older brother or friends. I recommend an adult to try first however that depends how urgent the need is. I found in my experience that bullies usually back down when you stand up to them but everyone’s experience is different.

If you want to know more about courage I would go to a veteran who has fought in a war. That is where courage really comes in. Actually for all of us who have had to deal with discouragement we are in a war in ourselves. This takes courage to overcome or ask for help as well.

Whether you believe it or not we are actually in a spiritual war everyday of our lives. There is a spiritual being called Satan or the devil that is after our souls and if he can get us in any fashion he will. He knows us very well especially our weaknesses and he will go after them all the time. This takes courage for us to fight him off. Still the courage we have most is to ask others for help. Let someone we know that we trust very much that we are dealing with discouragement and they will help you put courage back on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What Makes You Happy

I have said before being happy is a choice and not a feeling however we must decide what makes us happy. This has to do with our jobs as well as what we enjoy when not working.

I am amazed when I hear about those who are not happy with their job and they have been working the same place for many years. I know that often people stay at the job because they make good money and will get a nice pension as well. In this case they have to decide to find a way to be happy on the job. I know it can be stressful to when a job isn’t what you enjoy at all. I am sure most jobs even the ones you don’t like have good aspects to them as well so I would focus on the areas that can make you happy if the plan is to stay with that job.

I believe the area of life that should be the happiest is our family life. I know to that at times things at home can be hard to deal with as well. Like I have heard several times is not to take your job home with you. I am sure at times that is where stress and discomfort at home can happen because of work. I am not saying it is easy but I know those who decide not to take work home with them. I am not sure whether that is a good idea or not. I believe couples should talk over how each of their days has been. Keeping things inside of us without sharing with others especially those close to us is not good either.

Another thing if it is hard to be happy at work when the weekend comes I believe it is a good idea to get away once in a while. Sometimes as a family and other times as a couple; the most important thing is do what you think will make you happy.

We have to remember that life is really short so the more we can choose to be happy the better off we will be. Even the job you enjoy once in a while can be difficult so it is important to keep a positive attitude as well. Since we are here to make a difference and having a purpose being happy has to be part of the equation. I am not here to say that I have all the answers about anything even being happy but we must do all we can to do so. Next time you go to work even though you believe the day will difficult be happy. Start the day by smiling at your co-workers and laugh especially about those things that are going to difficult. End here wishing you a great day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Going Fishing

What most of us enjoyed as children was going fishing with our fathers whether we were boys and girls. One gal I grew up with in school she still fishes today because of the time she fished with her dad. She now fishes with her grandchildren and goes to Alaska almost every summer when she comes back to the northwest to see family and friends.

I spent most of my fishing on our dock in Gig Harbor. My dad showed me how to fish and then I spent more time by myself on the dock. I mostly caught flounders and bullheads. Another gal I went to school with that I saw a couple times this summer after not seeing her for many years we talked about a lot of things including fishing. We laughed over the fact that she caught flounders and bullheads too. One of many things we had in common growing up in the Gig Harbor Washington area. She now lives in England and comes back to Gig Harbor every summer. Though she lives in England she still feels Gig Harbor as home. So many of the children I grew up with feel the same way about Gig Harbor.

Most of the time with my dad was spent on one of our sailboats. He loved sailboats a lot ever since he was a teenager. Although he was not a big baseball fan like myself he did coach my little league team one year. Other kids on the team still remember my dad coaching the team. They all thought he was a great coach. He would take me to some minor league games as well.

Whatever our memories were growing up dad was always part of it. Also mom had her part to play as well. For most of us if dad could not come to see us play usually it was because of work so mom came to be sure a parent was there to watch.

I haven’t fished for some time now though still in my memory I think of dad while I sit on the dock. Though dad is no longer around either he is always in my heart and we are fishing, throwing the baseball around or out in Puget Sound sailing. Thanks a lot dad for the memories.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Keep Our Minds Intact

Today is my mother’s ninety-sixth birthday and she keeps moving on with a mind that is still intact. Unlike many her age she is able to remember things pretty well even go back to her childhood growing up in the Depression and what she did during World War 2. She is an inspiration for everyone that knows her. Whenever anyone meets her they are surprised that she is ninety-six now. She does walk with a cane but moves pretty good for someone her age. Late last year and early this year she fell because of her balance. She had to go into emergency for some stitches but came out as a real trooper. She is able to walk steady though slow after being sure that she has her balance. She wants to be sure not to fall again. We would all be lucky to be where she is at in life. Don’t know how much longer she will be around because of her age but it is a privilege to see her and take care of her each day. When someone ask her how she is doing she usually says that I woke up this morning so I know it is a good day.

Reasons that her mind is still intact is that she plays bridge at least twice a week, does crossword puzzles, still reads and watches some television. Also helps that she has a good social life more than most of any age. She has sayings for most every occasion that you can think of. She has picked them up over the years. Many of them are small poems from long time ago and they are funny. She doesn’t talk a lot except when she is in groups she feels real comfortable in. For instance I take her to a breakfast group on Friday mornings. It is a group she used to play water volleyball with at the YMCA. She no longer can play but she enjoys their company. She will let them know to if she is in conversation and she gets ignored. She will speak up louder and repeat what she is saying. On the other hand when she has her hair done neither her or the hairdresser will say a word to each other until they are finished. I find it really amusing. She says that they have nothing to say to each other.

Although it is not always easy to be my mother’s care giver I enjoy it most of the time. She is not demanding and always says thank you. I think it is so nice that she says thank you especially when more people around her age are somewhat bitter in their speaking.

So now I say right here “Happy Birthday Mom”. It is real good that she is still around with her mind intact. I hope to be so blessed in the future.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Doing What We Know

Regardless of who we are the way we can help others is doing what we know. I sometimes I wondered why people who do certain things in their spare time are the same things they do for a living. For example I have known mechanics work on friend’s cars on the weekend after spending the week working on customer’s car. The main reason is to help their friends who can’t afford to take their cars to a mechanic to fix. In these cases the friend will pay for the parts and they are saved on the labor. That can be quite the savings for sure. Hopefully if you have had a friend do something for you in that manner you will do something for them that you may know.

We all have talents even those that we do not use as part of our occupation. We should help those that can use our talents especially those in need. Some projects can be big as well as small so what we can do is find friends that have the same talents we have and share in the load. Though we can help others over and over again we can’t put them in a position where they feel every time to come to us for help even though we have no problem in helping them. In another way I call that sharing the load.

Some time ago a couple friends of mine and I would help others move whether to another home or a few items to another location. It was very satisfying to help those who had no one to help them. If you know someone that needs help to move or with things around the house take a weekend once a month to help them. This is especially true for single mothers who have no friends to help. I have heard instances though where those who seem to be needy take advantage of others as well. Before helping someone who seems to be in need and ask for a lot of help whether they have family in the area. If they do it would be important speak to a family member that you have concerns for them and why they don’t help out. Of course there are times where certain talents where few people have that an expert has to come to assist otherwise the family should help first.

Another area that people have concerns about are the elderly who no longer can drive. I have that with my mother where I drive her to her appointments, bridge, church and other activities. Often she is able to get a ride back home from the activities and there are friends who are willing to pick her up as well. As her son I feel it is my duty to take her whenever possible however the friends don’t mind do so now and then because they know that I do so most of the time while I have heard of families that seldom take their elderly parent out to an appointment or activity which is really a shame. I am not here to make someone feel guilty but it is a good act. Also if you have the time I recommend doing the same thing for someone who lives nearby as well. This would only be if the family is not close by.

Again whatever we can do for those around us makes us a better person to. We should do as much for our fellow man as possible. Be kind and generous in all that we do.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Being Our Own Person

I feel no matter what is going on in our lives the most important thing is that we have to be our own person. Not what others want you to be but what you truly are.

I am not saying that you have to be selfish and do whatever you want. We do have to consider other people and allow them to be themselves as well. I know as a child I was told to be quiet a lot and to keep my voice down. I understand now that there were places that I needed to be quiet and consider others person space however at the same time being loud is part of me. I don’t talk loud all the time because I do consider where I am and others feeling but I should be able to express myself just like everyone else should.

I know as a child I probably had attention deficit though they had no name for it. I am sure there are children that do need medication for having attention deficit but I do not think it is necessary for everyone. I was not a child that got out of control and needed to have something to calm me down. I wonder now how many are actually given medication when it is not necessary. My early years of life I did not talk very much because I had a hearing problem; whatever I said was not understood by others except my older brother Dick who knew what I was say and he let people know what I was asking for. The problem I had was that I could not hear and they found part of the problem I had wax in my ears. When I was five they took the wax out of my ears and I started talking properly. Since I did not talk until then I started talking up a storm and in school the teachers did not understand. All they wanted me to do is talk less and not so loud. I wonder how much that hurt my growth in expressing myself.

Even today talking a lot is part of my life though I try not to talk so loud. My voice can be heard loudly in a room where people are talking softly so wants in a way I am told to lower my voice which I understand now.

I am not sure what schools have now for students of all kinds however everyone should have the opportunity to express them in the manner that makes them comfortable. Those who have attention deficit in the manner that I should be able to talk in a group of other students; take an hour every day where students talk with other students that are like them. I would recommend this for students to that do not talk very much as well. Not that I am saying that they should change themselves and talk like me but able to express to others how they feel. There is a possibility that those who talk little because they are not given the opportunity to talk especially in a forum that they would feel comfortable in.

So I think it would be great even at work that those who are alike can spend time together as well. I remember once when I was going to community college an instructor broke everyone into four groups. He asked each student a question concerning the kind of person they were and then let each person know what each four groups were and go to the group they felt that they should be part of. I went to group A which were those who talked a lot and enjoy joking around. After spending a half an hour together the teacher said to everyone that each group did exactly what they meant to do. Also he said that many groups in school or the workplace have at least one person that fits into each one of the categories and it is a good thing. Having a group that everyone has the same personalities most likely nothing would be accomplished.

So accept people for who they are and accept yourself for who you are. I know it is not easy in either case because those who are different from us for whatever reasons it is not an easy thing to spend time with them. I enjoy spending time with all kinds of people and learning how they tick along with where they come from. I am sure there are those who I talk to may feel uncomfortable where I come from so if they don’t seem to be interested I stop. Fortunately at some degree or another people do feel comfortable around me especially when I use humor. So open yourself up to others, be who you are and not worry what they think of you. If we learn to listen other people may actually find out that they like us.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Being Significant

I believe all of us at some level want to be significant. What is life like if we just go through the motions anyway? Being significant is another part of having a purpose. Like I have said earlier we must have a good attitude and I truly believe feeling significant helps us have that good attitude.

Primarily being significant is how other people feel about us and what difference we can make in their lives along with others. I don’t think it is something we have to think a lot about however hearing a thank you or I really appreciate you goes a long ways in feeling significant.

I believe feeling significant and again I think it is more than a feeling like many other things in our lives we have the choice to decide in our minds that we are significant. Actually I believe being significant goes back to our childhood. If we have parents and other adults whether aunts, uncles, friends of the family and teachers always giving us assurance than we will feel significant in the same manner we are told negative things than we will feel insignificant. I believe teachers take a big role in our lives as children because we spend so much time with them besides our own parents. Other kids can make us feel insignificant or significant as well depending on whether we are popular or not. A role of a bully can bring us down and not make us feel good about ourselves. I believe that has a lot to do with ourselves as well. Some kids are more sensitive than other kids however I believe everyone wants to be accepted. When you are told over and over again that you are not good at something you will believe what you are being told. This goes into adulthood as well. I find that over and over again in my mind what I was told during those childhood years were not the truth.

These days’ children more than ever have to be told how significant they are. Social media for one thing can shout out to kids that they are not significant. Those of us who have struggled through heartache ourselves can reassure the children of today. I believe it is not only the responsibility of the parents but we can all assure them. I don’t have any children however I can look at every child that I see and make sure they are being encouraged. Not only this shows them how significant they are it also shows us how significant we are. So I hope when you wake up in the morning and then when you go to sleep at night that you have been shown how significant you are.   

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Indian Summer

                                   Vashon Island and Pt. Defiance Park Tacoma Washington

                                         Owen's Beach in Pt. Defiance Park

When September began and the kids had to go back to school it rained. Now we are in the middle of the month the temperatures are in the mid to upper 70s. Here in the northwest and Puget Sound we call it Indian summer. It is where the sun is out and feels like summer although fall is about to arrive along with the temperatures not hitting ninety. Other words it is the time of the year I really like a lot.

This may only last a few more days since it forecasted to rain over the weekend. Poor kids they have to look outside seeing the sun shine while in their classroom and they are looking forward to the weekend where they may have to deal with rain. On the other hand I remember as a kid the rain did not bother me that much unless there was a downpour than I had to wait for it to end. Yes kids are resilient if they have made up their minds what they want to do. Of course they have to deal with parents who may have other ideas about being outside. I fortunately had parents that said I could be outside as long as I was careful and wearing the right protective gear. Sometimes I go outside without telling them to. Yes that was the kind of kid I was. I did what I felt like doing as long as I could get away with it.

The only downfall during this Indian summer it is getting darker sooner around 8 pm. So you want to enjoy your wonderful day you must get it done earlier unless you don’t mind being out in the dark. Like I say it is the best time of the year as far as I am concern. So in Western Washington vacationing here is a good idea. Not only is the weather nice and not too hot with little rain once in a while the children are in school so the sights are not overcrowded. Tuesday I was driving south on Soundview up from downtown Gig Harbor and off to the left was majestic Mt. Rainier in all its glory with Pt. Defiance Park and Zoo/Aquarium in front of it. A great place to visit by the way during the day when the kids are in school and further left was Vashon Island which is a great place to visit. You can take a ferry ride from Pt. Defiance which is about twenty minutes long. If you have a bike it is a really great place to visit and ride for several hours before getting back on the ferry for your return. In-between Vashon Island and Pt. Defiance in the distance I viewed more of the Cascade Mountains. What a view seeing that sight which I do frequently.

Besides the temperatures being the seventies it is nice to feel a breeze that is not too cold. Of course you can wear protective gear for that to if you feel necessary. I feel so fortunate to live here especially this time of the year. I know that October is coming up and then the raining season. I hope that we get some snow this December. It has been a few years since we have gotten more than just a couple inches of snow. I am sure we could get a good amount of snow this year if we don’t have another mild winter. I hope it is more than a dream. I will keep you posted. So come and see us here in Western Washington. Again you can enjoy a wonderful Indian Summer in September.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Being Dissatisfied

I am sure for many dissatisfied seem like a negative word. It is in many ways however we should be able to use it in a positive way. Playing sports I found that being dissatisfied was a way to being a true winner. You look at teams that win championships the main reason they are able to is because they are dissatisfied and are driven to a higher level. Other word just winning does not satisfy you. It is why people and teams go further.

I know playing tennis in my younger years I knew that I could win most of the time but I had another level that I wanted get to. I never got to where I wanted to however being dissatisfied made me a better player. Just let you know the level would have been playing professional and winning a championship like Wimbledon, the French Open and U.S. Open however only a small percentage make it there but that is what kept me dissatisfied.

So for us all who want to be champions in whatever area of life we are in along with achieving our purpose and destiny being dissatisfied is part of the game. Of course to those we spend our lives with and those we plan to help us achieve our purpose and destiny they will not see that part of us. Actually this is the great part of being dissatisfied going after what may satisfy us without others knowing. Let you know the true secret is that we will never be satisfied and that is OK in my book. Oh yes it does not take us away from being a humble person either. Another thing other people may never need to know that we are never satisfied. Another great thing about it and we don’t have to be focused on being dissatisfied it is just a part of us. So if you have thought being dissatisfied as a negative thought or action turn it around and make it a positive thought or action. I believe most of the successful people who changed the world were dissatisfied people. No matter what you have done up to this point in your life you can do even more because your life is not over yet and you haven’t achieved close to what you can. This truly makes champions and people of destiny. Look forward to your next chapter of life.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Seeing Seattle

                         Lake Washington and Mercer Island  with Paul Allen's boat on the right

                                            Lake Union between behind the trees

On Last Saturday I went to my cousin Bronwen’s memorial service in South Seattle. It was so wonderful hearing stories about her that I had not heard before and those that I had from long ago. Also seeing her sister’s Lorna and Jennifer along with her husband Hank; there was a nice crowd so I did not talk to them as much as I would have like to but that happens. Also there was a nice turnout of my other cousins who were Bronwen’s as well. Got to see cousins from her mother’s side of the family too; I had not seen them in many years. I enjoyed meeting a few friends that she grew up with as well. She was a special cousin to me and it was so nice to see all who loved her as much as I did.

The memories brought back to me were the trips our family made to Seattle several times a year especially during the holidays and the summer. Also the times Bronwen and her sisters came to Gig Harbor for a visit along with going to Bellingham to see our other cousins. My cousin Jim still lives in Bellingham. He looked well and he designs landscaping for people in the Bellingham area. His sister Peggy was there as well and she now lives in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island about an hour and a half drive from Seattle.

My drive to Seattle takes about an hour depending on the traffic. The hardest part of traffic is going through downtown Tacoma on Interstate 5 because of construction. They are in the process of adding a couple more lanes to make it five lanes each direction so the construction bottlenecks in that area. I find it hard to believe that people can stand it driving through every day to commute. It will be very nice when completed but right now has to be frustrating.

Anyway back to my story the service was in South Seattle at a dear friend of Bronwen’s named Scott house. It was a little bit crowded because more people came than what was expected but everyone was able to fit in. Besides the stories we heard there were three scriptures read along with singing a couple songs that included an original version of the Lord’s Prayer. Bronwen’s sisters along with her cousins led the singing arm to arm. The service was a little unconventional however I have to say that Bronwen was unconventional herself. One of the major reasons we all loved her.

It had been quite a few years since I had been to South Seattle. I have driven Interstate 5 by there on many occasions but never stopped there. Scott’s house was very nice and I would say likely was built in the 80s. Looking east you can see Mercer Island with Lake Washington and seeing north is Lake Union which I have shown a couple pictures from Scott’s house. In fact the boat along the shore of Mercer Island belongs to co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen.

Most of my trips to Seattle has been to downtown where the Space Needle is and going to the waterfront to visit the Pike Place Market. Two places hundreds of thousands visit each year. Usually I go both places taking the ferry from Bremerton. The Seattle Mariners and Seahawks have their stadiums not too far from the waterfront. You can walk or take a taxi ride very easily.

On the North side of Seattle is where the three main universities are. The University of Washington you can see and go to on the east side of Interstate 5 while Seattle University and Seattle Pacific are on the west side. They are not far from each other and the distance to the University of Washington is not far either. So if you are a student at any of the three colleges and you have friends at the other two seeing them can be very convenient.

There are a lot of neighborhoods that are very interesting to visit throughout Seattle where you can eat all kinds of international food. My cousin Jennifer who lived in north Seattle until recently when her husband Holt and her decided move to Astoria, Oregon which is on the coast; visiting their home in north Seattle they took me to a Greek restaurant. It is not very big but it is elegant. All over Seattle not only other international restaurants there are plenty of places to get seafood as well. Seattle being on the Puget Sound the availability of local seafood is easy to come by well as getting salmon from Alaska. Whenever I am eating at a restaurant whether in Gig Harbor or Seattle I make sure that I have a cup of clam chowder; most restaurants have clam chowder on Friday’s however the ones that specializes on seafood you can get anytime.

The greatest thing I like to see coming back home going south through Seattle is the bright lights at night. It is quite the sight to see. If you a visit and want to go up the Space Needle you need a reservation usually in advance having either lunch or dinner. Otherwise you can go up to the top and see a view all around. You can see Mt. Rainer to the south and the San Juan Islands to the north along with seeing all of Seattle.

Visiting is always a treat for me although it is an hour drive I only go a few times a year primary with family. I have fine memories growing up and seeing Seattle. There is so much to see in Seattle so takes several days to see it all.

So Bronwen we miss you however we can’t wait until that day we can see you again.