Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thanks For the Good Times

What I can I say good bye to you 2016. It has been a good year most of the time. I will see if I remember today being the end.

Those we know that didn’t make it through the year we are thinking and remembering you. There is something special about you that we won’t forget. Our lives were richer because you were in it. We will miss you even though the calendar goes to 2017.

 I want to thank all of you who read my blog and google plus page I really appreciate it. Though most of us haven’t ever met I find it overwhelming that you take the time out of your busy schedule to read what I have written.

Hello 2017 we will see you starting tomorrow. For some it will be a change of jobs or moving location. In some ways I consider tomorrow just another day however I will know the difference when I have to write down the date.

I hope that the holiday season has been a good one for everyone. You were able to do the things you wanted to do. Whatever traditions you have for New Year’s Eve I hope it goes well to. This coming year we will be another year older and hopefully wiser. We have learned a lot in 2016 that we can step into 2017.  Our purpose and destiny will be even more defined this coming year. Our family and friends along with those we meet along the way will benefit from our purposes. We will make every opportunity a chance to help change lives. At least our lives will change in a good way.

I hope that our insecurities and faults will become less apparent in the coming year. Every day others will see us in a new light. The darkness that may surround us will look to come into the light. We will choose to be happier in the year ahead. We will take the challenges head on. We won’t accept defeat in whatever manner that it comes our way. We will be better people in the next twelve months than we are today. We will truly know what it is too be a champion. Though we may have some defeats along the way we have more victories. So everyone “Happy New Year”.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Two Days Left

We have two days left in 2016. I am sure there are those that really celebrate New Year’s and look forward to the New Year. I am not one of those people though. I usually stay home for New Year’s and consider it just another day. This year being on a Sunday my church will have a potluck that night. Nothing is planned for me on New Year’s Eve though however if something comes up I will do something anyway.

I know that there are those who set New Year’s resolutions but not one of those either. The closest is dedicating the year to become a better person along with what I did mention a couple days ago about pressing on and commitment.

The important thing is for all of us to make every day special and not make one better than another.  I do know most people who celebrate New Year’s because use it as a good excuse to party and drink. I enjoy parties however I don’t usually drink or very little.

I hope that everyone makes the best of these last two days to become better people and bring the New Year in with the right approach. Also enjoy your family and friends which I believe is the best thing to do anyway.  If you are starting a new job or moving this coming 2017 I wish you the very best too. May your dreams come true in 2017. Happy holiday’s to us all.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Home Town

                                         Gig Harbor Washington

It has been a while since I have written about my home town so I figured it was time to do so again.

I know that most people are happy about where they grew up and I am not any different. In fact I have to say that I am proud to have grown up in Gig Harbor, Washington and that I still live here.

I haven’t seen a lot of the rest of the country so I look forward to travel to see everywhere else. Gig Harbor is a small town around seven thousand now though it was about three thousand when I was growing up. There is a lot of growth going on right now which I am OK to some degree however I hate the loss some of the trees. In area that they call North Gig Harbor in the last year or so they cut down acres of trees to build a lot of homes. I am not sure how many homes but my estimate would be about 150. North Gig Harbor is now larger than the town of Gig Harbor is. When I was growing up all that area were trees with no homes at all. Where the homes are built and continuing being built each one is side by side without any backyard to speak of. I can’t imagine living there at all and they are expensive homes as well.

Where I grew up on the east side of Gig Harbor there are more homes now than back in the day. The homes are much larger now than they were then and very expensive to buy. You would have to be a millionaire to buy a home that is for sure. My grandfather bought the property about a hundred years ago and then my dad bought it from him in the 1950s. Dad sold it for a fair amount and now the value is at least twice the amount. The house I grew up is actually only about one of a half dozen that are still standing while the rest are newer homes. The family that bought our house has done some remodeling however the outside looks about the same as when I was growing up. The yard is what looks different with more of a beautiful grass area. The yard is hilly so not easy to cut.

There were a lot of boats around when I was growing up however there is a lot more of them as well now. Gig Harbor is a great place for tourists to come and walk around the waterfront. You can see my old house along with others across the harbor. There are little shops that you can go into as well. Each being unique to themselves along with restaurants and coffee shops; there is some construction of new homes in the downtown area but nothing like in north Gig Harbor.

I really enjoyed walking around the harbor well as rowing and sailing. Two of my best friends lived nearby as well so spent plenty of time at their places to.

Although we get some rain about forty inches a year I enjoy when the sun comes out especially in the summer, spring and fall. Disappointing now because we don’t get as much snow in the winter like we did when I was a kid; so far we have had only a trace this year and I hope some will come our way soon.

If you still live in the area you grew up tell those who have moved in how it was in those days. I certainly enjoy telling the stories and more will come I am sure as long as my memory stays intact. LOL  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pressing On and Commitment

I mentioned earlier this month that I believe that 2017 is the year we must press on besides living a life of adventure.

Pressing on is not an easy thing to do at all. It takes commitment for us to do so. Another thing that is not easy to do either is commitment. Those that are married know how difficult it is to stay committed. Both sides have to be committed not just one person to allow a marriage to succeed. We know that in our society that marriages fall all the time and those that are still together continue have to work at it. This is the way we all have to act to commit to the purpose and destiny that we are meant to do as well.

Pressing on means that we do so against all odds and difficulty; there will be others who won’t accept what we try to accomplish however we still have to go on. We must be like those who train and run in a marathon. At some point the pain comes and we may feel that we won’t cross the finish line but we do know that we have trained for this and we must cross the line regardless of the pain.

So when others are treating you in a way that you feel in giving up it is the time to get into the next gear and finish the race. You will feel satisfied in finishing the race. It may take days for you to recover however you know that it is time to train once again for the next race. This is what satisfies you and is in the makeup of your life. You know that commitment is a must and you can’t go back.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Back and Forward

 Now that 2016 is coming to a close we can look back on the year and see what we learned. Are we better people than we were in 2015? Did we have an impact on others even in small ways? We should think about that for the remaining days of this year. I am sure that we can improve in 2017 however we have come a ways already.

The most important thing is to think less of ourselves and more of others. This is the true key of being a successful person. This does not mean that we think less of ourselves just more of those we have contact with on a daily basis whether we know them well or not. Also doesn’t mean that everything went well for us in 2016.

Most of us I am sure lost a close friend or family member in 2016. My cousin Bronwen died of cancer in August and two dear friends a week before Christmas lost their lives in a house fire in Italy. Neither of these I would have expected at the beginning of 2016. I am sure most of us don’t think we will lose specific people in the year.

Highlights of 2016 were the wedding of my nephew Ian and his bride Helen in August while my mother had her ninety-sixth birthday in September. Ian and Helen are spending their holiday right now in New York City with her parents. My brother and his wife Anne are in New York now after having Christmas with their other children. Mother keeps in pretty good health these days and is able to move along pretty well though a bit slower. Hard to know at this point how much longer our family will have her around for. She is the last of her generation in our family. She has some good friends that help out at her age. She astounds others who meet her with her charm, memory and whit. She has stories and poems that she will bring out at any time that are very funny along with telling about growing up in Canada during the depression and her work being a censor during World War 2. She has seen a lot during all these ninety-six years.

The country and the world lost at least three big names during 2016 with the deaths of Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer and most recent Zsa Zsa Gabor. The all touched us in their own way. All three I knew all of my life from when I remember things; Ali the great boxer, Palmer the golfer and Gabor the actress; what a three-some for sure.

Now we look forward to 2017. The United States will have a new leader at the helm in President Donald Trump. Sort of interesting to say those words; at the beginning of 2016 no one would have thought that except maybe Mr. Trump himself.  For some it will be good change, to others an awful change, and the remaining a wait and see approach. The next four years and who knows beyond could be interesting to say the least. As far as I know the United States has never had a president like we will have in 2017.

In my mind we must continue to become what we want to be. Our family and friends along with the possibility the rest of the world will need what we can give. We should recognize more the purpose and destiny in why we are put on this earth. At the very least we should make it fun anyway. Until next time enjoy the rest of 2016.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Boxing Day!

For those who may not be familiar with Boxing Day it is a national holiday on December 26 in England, Australia and Canada to name a few. The purpose originally was to allow those who had to work on Christmas to have a day that they could unwrap their presents.

A lot of Americans are not familiar with Boxing Day because it is not a holiday here. The only reason I know of Boxing Day is that my mother was born and raised in Canada and she observed the day every year. In fact she would have family and friends over every year for dinner. Included in the menu was spiced beef and wine. Usually guests were asked to bring something that would be snacks before the dinner. If you were invited over for Boxing Day dinner by my mother it meant that you were pretty good friends of hers. There were usually a total of ten people over because that is all the room that could be held at the dinner room table; so usually three or four couples were invited over each year.

Mother always considers tradition being very important and having Boxing Day dinner was on the list of traditions. She did this through her ninetieth birthday. She ended the dinner because she put a lot of hard work into it and she felt that she was too old to do it any longer. I asked her why not ask people over and they could bring the food. She said it was her thing and the time was up. I guess you can say a great tradition ended that year.

If you have never done anything on Boxing Day I think it would be a good thing to do starting this year and for many years to come. You can do something like my mother or just have friends over for a good time. The day may not have a lot of meaning to you however it is a good day to add on another holiday. Why not I say! I end here wishing everyone a wonder Boxing Day and good cheers.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas To All

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Those who do not celebrate Christmas because of religion or non-religion have a blessed day.

I always enjoy hearing what others do on this day because there is so many different ways to do so. My brother Jack his family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah because his wife is Jewish. This year he is spending Christmas Day at his brother-in-law so they will be doing both. My niece Leslie and her husband will fly to Minnesota in the afternoon to spend with his family. My nephew Ian is spending Christmas in New York with his wife Helen and her family. They were married in August so this is big deal now for Christmas. Like so many Christmas is spent at different locations.

I remember as a kid we would get up in the morning on Christmas to open presents and later go to Seattle to our cousins where we would open more presents. I really enjoyed doing that for sure.  Usually we opened the stockings while our parents were getting up. My brothers and I would go into their bedroom to wake them up. We would not open presents until they came out but were allowed to open our stockings that had some goodies in it. Some years I remember I found it hard to sleep so Christmas morning seemed to take forever to get there. In fact a couple times I had to keep my eyes closed because I didn’t want Santa Claus catch me awake so I couldn’t get presents.

Regardless of how you spend December 25 the most important thing is to do so with family or friends. My mother and I will be going out for dinner at restaurant. Not easy to find one because most are closed for Christmas. I hope that they are serving Turkey since that is the tradition I am used to. Just like Thanksgiving I enjoy a good Turkey dinner. I enjoy hearing to what others have for dinner this day. It varies as much as the rest of the traditions of Christmas. So again whatever your plans for this fine day may you be very blessed.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Silent Night

I heard several days ago that Silent Night was the most favorite Christmas song by those that were polled. I am not surprised at all. The church I grew up and my mother still attends St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gig Harbor, Washington Silent Night has been sung every Christmas Eve services since I can remember. It is the last song sung as well and the lights are turned off.

My dad never went to church most of the time even at Christmas time however he decided to one of the last years of his life. I had never heard him sing my whole life. Mother said that he used to sing in a local community choir but he came down sick around the time I was born and never sang again. During this Christmas Eve service he didn’t sing any of the Christmas songs but at the end of the service when Silent Night was sung he joined in and sang. I could not believe it and he sound good to me. I cried to myself because I could not believe my ears. This was the only time that I ever heard him sing. He never sang another song except Silent Night that night. Later on I told my mother, sister and brothers that dad had song that night. Mother was in the choir so she didn’t hear him sing. I don’t know why but maybe he was inspired by God sing to his son. I hope someday to have the answer. The words may have started out Silent Night my dad’s singing voice came alive. I am sure that many people have had experiences like that sometime in their lives. I have to say nothing like it and I think about every year at this time  and sometimes other times of the year. Dad your family misses you however thank you for giving me such a fine gift. I am sure you now are singing in the presence of the Almighty God.

Silent Night is a great song that millions enjoy singing every year. Be blessed by this wonderful song this year. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Guide Us To Thy Perfect Light

The last line of the chorus to “We Three Kings”; like those men we must look toward the Messiah of the Jews for great joy and peace. Being born in a manger as a baby was only the beginning. He was rejected by his own people because they did not recognize him as the Messiah however it was not their fault because it was the plan by God that he was to die for the sins of the whole world. This is the reason he came into the world was not just to lay his life for the Jews but for all mankind. All we have to recognize what he did for us and accept him as the Savior. It doesn’t matter what you have done up to this point and whether you did not believe until now. It is never too late to accept him as Savior.

The bright light that the three kings followed to find Jesus was only the beginning. Those men probably did not even know the real reason they came to see him. Their purpose was in part to lead everyone to the Messiah. I hope today that we all find the great light and Merry Christmas to everyone no matter your religion or lack of it is. You see becoming a follower of Christ has real no real religion it is he who you put your trust in. All you have to do is ask and you will receive. He will give you all that you need and forgive you of your sins.  Make this the best Christmas of all.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Three Kings

 For all of us that went to church as a child we know the story of the three kings or known as the three wise men. Also we sang in a choir or heard Christmas carols we know the song.

The story is taken place right after the birth of Jesus and it is written in only one of the Gospels the book of Matthew Chapter two beginning with verse one. The Three Kings came from the east. No one really knows where from actually however likely from Asia. They had seen in the sky a star that they followed. They wanted to meet the Messiah of the Jews. They brought gifts with them to give to baby Jesus however before arriving evil King Herod wanted to know where the baby was at so he could kill him so he ask the Kings to report back to him after they found him but they took another route home and not report to King Herod. It is possible that is how the name wise men came into the story. Herod was so upset that he had every boy at the age of two and younger in Israel killed. Before that happened Joseph the father of Jesus had a dream go to Egypt. He returned later to Israel when King Herod died.

I am not sure but I am not surprised if we started giving gifts at Christmas because of this story. I know that others have their own theories but this is a good own to me.

Whether they were Kings or just wise men we can follow their lives ourselves. We can look for wisdom and be wise under all circumstances. It is important to act on the thoughts or even dreams that we may have. It is important to act out our intentions. Not easy to do because I know that I haven’t always acted out my intentions.

If you have children I would read the story of the three Kings and sing the song to them. Continue enjoying your Christmas and the holiday season. Remember to have peace in your heart.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Good Will To Men

It seems to me that good will has lost the touch these days. Something we should do all year long and not just at Christmas time.

What does good will mean to us? It should be that we treat everyone with respect and be kind to them even if they don’t agree with us or act the same way.

We are all passionate about something and others will not agree. We should be able to let that be OK. I am not saying it will be easy but we must allow others to have a difference of opinion. Good will allows us to have peace in our hearts as well.

Do we want others to treat us like we want to be treated than we must treat them in the same manner. This is true of anyone. I desire to influence others so I must have the tools to do so and good will is one of those tools.

You don’t have to agree with others however giving good will is a good way to get others on your side.

I know that I want others to like me as best they can so I must give them favor in that regard too. Just think about it I am sure you will come to the right conclusion. Peace man!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Peace on Earth

 With five days left until Christmas decided to do a Christmas theme beginning with Peace on Earth.

Many of us would love to have peace on earth. We hear out of beauty pageants the contestants answer what they would like and most cases they say “Peace on Earth”. So a question is why we not have peace on earth. The answer is there are those who don’t want peace because they have so much hate in their hearts. Those people say they are doing the will of God. The truth is the God of Christmas is not a hateful God. In fact he loves the world and the reason that he sent his son Jesus into the world to save it. Read John 3:16 in the New Testament of the Bible.  Those who serve a God that is hate are serving Satan who hates God along with his children who believe in him. He is a deceiver who is the God of this age. Someday Jesus will come back again and on that day Peace on Earth will reign forever. We must have the faith to believe.

In the meantime we must have Jesus in our hearts where peace reigns.  We will have times many of them where we have to fight off hate and the works of Satan. Our true purpose on this earth is bringing the love of Jesus into as many who will believe. Today is the day of our salvation. So let the peace on earth reign for evermore. Amen!  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Saddened Heart

Sunday morning I heard that a dear couple I have known for a lot of years died in a house fire. It was a shock to all their dear friends and family. I know how awful I feel it is not even close to how their family must feel.

What this shows me is that we can’t take our lives and those we know for granted. This is the reason we must treat each other with kindness and peace each day. I know it is not always easy but it is still a must.

Like this couple the important thing is to leave a mark on this world. Whatever way you can being a difference in someone’s life is very important. It can be just a smile or saying hello. Being faithful and a kind person can get you a long ways. Remember to give a good word so in case others don’t see you again. Celebrate your life with peace and a joyful heart. Our lives can be fresh air too. Peace out for now and many blessing to you.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Seven Days Till Christmas

We are now heading down the stretch run until Christmas. I have to admit that I haven’t done much Christmas shopping so far. I know it is getting late indeed.

I remember once where my brother Jack and I went out to the Tacoma Mall on Christmas Eve to get a present. I don’t remember who it was for and we got them. I do know we had all the Christmas shopping done except for that last present. I don’t recall either if it was one that I needed to get or Jack’s or both.

The important thing though is the thought that counts even when doing at the last moment. I have checked on line in a couple places to find presents. These presents are ones that have to be shipped since my family is out of state. I know that they will understand if they receive their gifts after Christmas.

On Thursday I was talking to a nurse while getting my blood taken. I mentioned that I had not gotten any presents and time is running out. She said that her family doesn’t do presents instead they go and have fun on the money they would have given for presents. I thought that was a very good idea though giving small presents would be nice to.

The important of Christmas is to remember the reason we celebrate it. Most of all the birth of Jesus Christ Our Savior; the second would be to keep the traditions whatever they may stay alive or start a new tradition.  I know when a child gets married that changes the whole dilemma of Christmas. Where you spend Christmas at now and change it every year. I know to that some get together on Christmas Eve with one family while Christmas Day with the other depending on the distance where the families are. The importance though is being together whatever day it is.

So go ahead and enjoy these next seven days of Christmas. If you still have to shop like me make sure you don’t pressure yourself. Another thing is sure to have eggnog each day. Again Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas to you and your family.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Hello I believe is the best thing we can do with one another. Some countries they greet with a kiss on the cheek and others with a hug. Whatever is the case I enjoy greeting other people.

When I go for my walk often a hello is all I get however I do feel good because the other person has acknowledged me. A smile is another way to greet a person as well. I feel bad when I greet another with a hello and I don’t get a response in return. I feel that I have no value in the eye of the other person. Of course I do know that people are going through things in their lives and can’t feel they can respond. I hope that at some point they were glad that someone gave them a hello and a smile.

Often when I am in the checkout line at the grocery store I will say hello to the person in front and back of me. Depending on their response I will get into some conversation with them even though it may last a minute or two. I believe we should all feel that others care for us.

Saying hello to another person could change how the rest of their days go. They could be having a bad day and you just saying hello could turn it around. I love places like Hawaii and Europe where people great as though you are a lost brother or sister.

When I was in France quite a few years ago I was greeted with a kiss on both cheeks. It was primarily done by women so it made me feel even better if you know what I mean. People wanted to know about me and we went into good conversation. I don’t know French however I learned enough to say hello, good bye and have a good day. They especially liked the fact that I tried speaking their language. The problem many Americans when they travel refuse to interact in the countries native language. Their attitude is that everyone speaks English and that they know that I don’t speak theirs so speak English. It is no wonder that Americans are not liked everywhere.

Anyway I really appreciate the countries where greeting a person is important and those who greet me back with a hello and a smile. Makes me feel really appreciated and I have a place in the world. Thanks!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Lighter Side

Sometimes I do feel that I post serious stuff here to get us all where we can get to. I feel to that it is important to write about less serious things as well.

I have to be honest most of the time I know what to write however today not so much. I guess people would call it writer’s block. Anyway I will see what happens here.

For a small town the traffic in Gig Harbor is getting heavier. Right now I figure people are out Christmas shopping or in the evening going to a concert. Across the highway from where I grocery shop and go to my favorite coffee shop they are building a new grocery store. The grocery store that I primarily go to on this side of the highway will be moving into the new shopping center; another coffee shop will be going in there to. I am sure that I will check out the new coffee shop and the grocery store however I really like the coffee shop I go to. Also I am sure most of the people I see will stay at the same coffee shop. Since the grocery store will move no one knows at this point what or who will move in to replace the grocery store. One thing we all agree that traffic will be even worse than it is now. They are working on expanding the roads but whether that works enough we will see. If the traffic is heavy I will find another grocery store to go to.

Besides the grocery store and coffee shop the new shopping center will have a bowling alley and video arcade. More for the kids to do; since I have been a kid finding places to go has always been a challenge in Gig Harbor. I spent most of my children with my friends at the park or their homes or on the water. I never had a problem finding something to do. Of course now it is a new world.

I hope you all are having a good holiday season getting ready for Christmas or whatever that you celebrate. My mother and I are still in planning stages for Christmas Day since it looks like just the two of us. We will likely go out for dinner on Christmas Eve since the restaurants I have asked so far will be closed on Christmas Day.  Going to check on another today to see whether they will be open; in any case we will have leftovers from Christmas Eve.

We will check in on Christmas with my sister and brother to see how things are going at their places.  My sister will have both her son’s with her along with a girlfriend. My brother has most of his family with them. His middle son Ian and his bride will spend Christmas with her family in New York. I am sure my niece will spend part of the holiday in Minnesota with her husband’s family. My brother told me about a month ago that they may go to New York right after Christmas. It would be a great place to visit for New Year’s.

The weather is starting to get colder and be in the twenties this morning. I will see when I step outside. I can see that Mt. Rainier has gotten a lot more snow this year. I can see it from my place along with several other locations. I hope that we have some snow on Christmas but I am not keeping my hopes up. Anyway not only have a wonderful holiday season keep the lighter side up too.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Being Offended

This year on social media people feel so offended by what others have said whether it had to do with the Presidential Election here in USA or now Christmas.

The truth is if you are not in the majority you are likely going to offend someone. Actually if you are part of the majority you will offend others as well. This is how the world operates now.

Recently here in Gig Harbor my hometown a group that says they are against religion ask the city council to have a nativity scene removed that had been going on for a number of years. It came up this year because Skansie Park where the nativity scene was being shown in years past is being reconstructed so can’t be used this year so was moved to Donkey Creek Park. So the nativity scene was put under where the Christmas tree was put. What really makes this a controversy the group said they would sue the city of Gig Harbor if it remained there but the group is not local. In fact they are out of state.

The group I understand are made up of primarily atheists who I don’t know for sure but being told. I pointed out on social media that if it offends someone they don’t have to go see it. I sort of wonder why a Christmas tree doesn’t offend the same people as the nativity scene. Of course you could be on the side that the tree is a pagan tradition.  Anyway it makes me shake my head.

Someone noted that only 22% of the people really want the nativity scene so why have it then. I am not sure where they got their facts but a lot goes on in our country where those who are even less than 22% of the population get what they want. I am not saying that is bad but that is reality. This is why I am saying that someone is being offended and I don’t think it is a bad thing. I know it may sound weird to hear that from me but my point we offend people all the time whether we know it or not. Most of the time people won’t say a word about being offended and if they do take it as learning experience and move on. I am sure there will be those who offended by what I just said to. That is what life is like in our world today.

I am sure most of us want to be liked by everyone but the truth it isn’t going to happen. All we can do is be the best we can be. Encourage and love people. Not everyone is going to accept that either.

  I know the hardest is when family and friends that you are close to feel offended by what you believe and say sometimes. I know that there are those in my family don’t believe the same way I do however I still care and love them anyway. So if you get offended let the other party know that you don’t appreciate it but move on as well. We will be more happy about it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Being Lonely

All of us at some point or another feel lonely even when we are among other people; we want to feel significant and at times we do not. This is the reason in part to realize what our purpose in life is supposed to be.

Even though we know our purpose being lonely can happen anyway. There are times where we are isolated and other times we feel being in the desert.

Though we don’t feel this way when it is happening it is actually a good thing because we can relate to others who are going through the same things we are.

I especially feel this way during this time of the year and when I am in a big crowd of people. Small groups I don’t feel that way as often especially if I do know the people.

So when I am lonely it means that I am in a battle and in depression at times. It has happened so often that I am familiar with it.

I believe now the important thing is to find other people that are dealing with being lonely. I do know that everyone feels that way now and then. The key is to find them when they are lonely. I believe that we can share our loneliness with each other; a good way to meet a new friend as well.

Being single I know it is easy to become lonely however I do think that married people can be lonely as well. It can be the reason that couples sometimes break up because they no longer communicate. If you are married with problem like that I would make sure to communicate with your partner no matter how unwilling they are. If you have lost the spark I believe that you can get it back all you both have to do is try. Also remember that your partner is not your whole life either. Be sure to have a friend; one of the same sex that you can talk to each other. The other one could be going through the same thing.

Encouraging each other and meeting together can be your purpose in life. I don’t think it will totally take away loneliness all together however can make it happen less often. Best of luck in all your relationships. God Bless!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Visiting Bellingham Washington

                                         City of Bellingham with Mt. Baker in background

Last Friday we woke up to snow in Western Washington. The first time for us here in Gig Harbor; a lot of the area had a little snow the Monday before. On Friday we had one inch to four inches depending where you actually were.

On Monday December 12 Bellingham and the county of Whatcom where it is the largest city in the county had more snow where the rest of us did not have any snow. The mountains and ski resorts have been getting a lot of snow this winter so a good chance to get out skiing.

Bellingham is in the north part of Western Washington about twenty miles from the border of British Columbia and Canada. It has a population of around eighty-seven thousand and is the home of Western Washington University.

There are several options going into Canada from Bellingham. You can go straight north on interstate 5 and cross into Canada at Blaine or you can get off in Bellingham and go east for several miles to enter into Canada. I have done both depending on the traffic over the border.  A lot of citizens of British Columbia come down to Bellingham to shop depending on the money exchange at the time. Also the gasoline prices are less in Bellingham too. Usually I stop in Bellingham to get gas when going to British Columbia. I have cousins living in middle of British Columbia so when I go see them I go more east to cross the border.

I have a lot of cousins who live in the Bellingham area so we have a family reunion in one of the parks in Bellingham every couple years. Most of my cousins are second or third or whatever. My only first cousin still living in Bellingham is Jim Harrison.  He grew up in Bellingham and decided to stay.  He told me a few years ago that the house our great grandparents Nightingale is now a historic site. They along with several other relatives are buried in the Bellingham area. My grandfather Richard Nightingale settled in Tacoma coming from Birmingham, England around 1909. He had a sister who settled in Bellingham and that is where all those cousins come.  

Jim’s mother my Aunt Emily lived in Bellingham after becoming an adult and getting married. Besides Jim who is the youngest she had a daughter Peggy who lives in Oak Harbor close to her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Also had a brother Pete who passed away six years ago; his widow Cindy along with their daughter Xica, husband Josh and four children live on Samish Island which is a small island south and west of Bellingham. They have a lovely view at their home. I am sure there are bed and breakfast places people can stay at in Samish Island. They have a son Chet who lives and works in Seattle.

Mount Baker is the closest place to ski and mountain hike near Bellingham. I recommend visiting Bellingham whether you are going to Vancouver, British Columbia to the north or Seattle, Washington to the south; a great place to visit a park or one of the lakes in the area.

Growing up our family visited Bellingham and Vancouver at least a couple times a year since we had cousins in both places.  I remember visiting Aunt Emily’s farm in Deming Washington which is a little south of Bellingham. Most I remember is the bull they had in their barn. I wasn’t very old at that time. It was before she moved into Bellingham. One year my brother Jack and I decided to run away. We thought it was a good idea at the time however we didn’t have money or food so we were gone for a couple hours before returning. What upset us was that no one noticed that we were missing. Talk about being disappointed. Another of the stories I remember well from childhood.

Remember to come and visit the wonderful world of the northwest.

Monday, December 12, 2016

We Can Do It

I figure that our theme for 2016 should be titled “We can do it”. Although I am sure most of us are not where we feel we should be however we are closer this year than last.

I hope that more of us will be doing our purposes next year.  I title our theme for 2017 “Pressing on in our lives”.  This way we not only believe in ourselves we are doing all we can do. We are helping others to discover their purpose and destiny along with our own.

The most important thing to realize is that we realize it is OK when we do some stumbling. Every true champion has a set back at some point or other and it is fine. We will learn more from the setbacks than we do from all our successes. Yes we will have success but the troubles we go through will make our lives better as well. The importance is to learn from our failures as well as the successes.

This could feel like hype but it is not true. I am not an expert by any means because I am at the same place as everyone else is if not a little below.

Another importance is to have faith in ourselves as well as others. We are here for everyone we meet regardless how they may feel about us. We may get rejected but there are those out in the world that will believe in us. Spend us much time with those who believe in us however do not let those who reject us not be part of our lives. About those who do reject us is for them not to have influence over us and keep us on our purposes.

Most of all purpose and destiny makes our lives fulfilling and exciting though not always feeling great but in the end we will receive our reward. Remember to keep a smile on your face for all to see. God bless you.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Talking On the Phone

Although I keep up to date with family via email and social media like most people these days it is nice to be able to talk on the phone the old fashioned way. I enjoy hearing their voices.

Every Saturday unless something comes up my brother Jack and I talk on the phone. He isn’t on social media though we do email important things like pictures. What is nice about the phone is the personal way of communication. It is good to talk and joke on the phone. Hear the laughter out of each other. Also we can talk more about personal things as well. When we talk he generally is out on errands or walking the dog while I am at the coffee shop or making my daily walk.

This Saturday I got the privilege of talking with my sister Barb as well. She actually talked with our mother for several minutes before the phone was handed over to me. We talked about how things were going and plans for the upcoming year. She has been busy at work however it is now slowing down for a little while anyway. She is going to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. She probably is going to spend the time around her house. Her two sons will be around for Christmas. They are both keeping busy as well.

Barb works in a law office as a paralegal. She has been doing that for more than twenty years. She started with the firm as a secretary and then worked her way up to be a paralegal. She just got off a case which she didn’t mention what had happened but it was time consuming. Her firm specializes in patens and copy writes. She really enjoys the work.

I asked her how much longer she will stay at it because she is at retirement age. She told me that the plan is to retire at the end of 2017. She has plans to move from Quebec. She has lived there a long time and really enjoys it. I wish she lived a bit closer but that is how it goes. At least when she retires when she will now visit it will be for a little bit longer I hope. One of these days I will make the journey to her home as well. It has been a long time since my last visit. She has a very nice home and the area is very nice too. It is somewhat like Gig Harbor where it is a small town however is close to the big city. She works in Ottawa, Ontario the capital of Canada. She usually rides the bus to work though she does have a car. Her son Ken lives in Montreal so she drives there when she visits him. Her other son Connor lives in Ottawa so he is more convenient. Of course we all know that we don’t necessarily see family very often that is close to us as well.

The holiday season is a good time of the year to hear from family and those who are nearby or travel a distance we are able to see. I hope that you are able to see as much family as you can this season. Oh yes don’t forget to talk with them the old fashion way on the phone. God bless you all and happy holidays.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Being Kind

 I find that most people I meet still are kind. Of course it could be where I live as well.

We hear so much negative through the media it is hard to think that people are kind anymore but I really do believe that most still are kind; however it could be where I live and other places in the world the people are not.

Another thing though I believe we are kind people will be kind back to us just in the same way if we are not kind than they likely will not be.

I find though that people get offended really easy these days. This can happen over even the little things. The reason I say that is I have heard people talk about being offended. When they mention what they have been offended about I am thinking really over something so small. I truly believe some people are offended over even small things is that they are passionate in what they believe and if another person doesn’t agree with them they get upset really easily.

Although there are things that I believe in strongly I still try not to let others who have a difference of opinion get the best of me.  My biggest weakness is when someone directs themselves with their opinion about me. Other words they talk about me in a negative way and not what the subject they are talking about. Fortunately that doesn’t happen a lot so I don’t get angry often but when I do watch out. LOL.

What I have found though that hasn’t changed a lot is when people talk about others. Many are still unkind when they talk about someone who isn’t in the room. Other words it is easy to talk about someone in a negative way when they aren’t around. Also this happens when they make fun of another person. It really makes me wonder if they speak the same about me when I am not around. I believe it is best to be kind to everyone at all times even when it is not easy to do so. In fact I would have to say we are mature when we are kind to another when they are not kind to us.

So let’s be kind to others even though they may not deserve the kindness. A great way to act going into the New Year; we can do it with a smile. I am sure this will make our lives better too. I know I certainly enjoy kind words that people speak to into my life. Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Make Life Easier

I believe that we can make life a lot easier than it has been.

It may be a battle to do so however we have to decide we want to.

It all begins with us. Often we have been accustomed to things being tough and listening to others.

I know it won’t be easy because as much as I try things don’t seem to get better however I have to decide this is what I want.

Making life easier will take faith and trust. This is not often what we are used to neither.

I believe that making life easier not only begins with us but those we surround ourselves with. We need people in our lives that will encourage us as much as we encourage them.

A smile on our face I am sure will help us out as well. Removing stress out of our lives will help too; however our friends will help us the most. The important thing is to have the right friends. Often in the past we have had friends that have not been the ones that have helped us out. Also those we could call enemies that would continue putting us down has not made life any easier.

What just came in my mind is that we should look at ourselves in the mirror when we wake up in the morning. We can speak to the person in the mirror and say “You’re good”.

I can’t guarantee things will get better right off the bat however more often we do what is right will make life easier.

Another thing we can’t do is compare ourselves to others. I know that we have heard that for years but have we really listened. I think not.

I hope this helps all of us make life easier. Think positive along with the faith in ourselves and God.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Very Good Morning

 I have to say getting up each morning is a good thing. We should be blessed with a good life and it starts off in the morning.

 My mother being ninety-six years old is thankful she wakes up in the morning which does make a lot of sense at her age and we should all feel that way.

On Wednesday morning I really enjoyed the time. After getting my mother up and running (slow walk) I went to my favorite coffee shop. Although I got my drink Americano with white chocolate I primarily go to see people. Like me some are regulars and then I have a chance to see new people as well. I like it especially when I see someone that I haven’t seen in a while. Also I consider it entertainment as well. This is where paying $3 for a drink is worthwhile to me. It beats going to a movie though I do that once in a while.

Anyway on Wednesday two ladies in their low 30’s I would guess came in with each other of their young daughters. I really enjoy seeing children in the coffee shop and sometimes I am able to chat with one. The place was pretty full so hard to find a place to sit. I was sitting on a stool right by where we pick up our drinks. The two ladies decided to stand however their daughters sit next to me on stools. The two little girls are two and three and a half. I found that the mothers have been friends for seven years and the two girls are very good friends as well. The three and half year old watched out for the two year old who sat next to me. I talked to the two year old mostly since she was next to me though I knew she would not say a word back to me. I talked with her mother as well. The other mother went and talked with a couple that she knew.

The two year old looked pretty serious at me when she first sat down. I said to her mother she must have trouble with strangers when first meeting. She said a little back to me. She felt more at ease after talking with her mother.  After a few minutes she starts smiling which was a good sign. Both little girls were having chocolate milk. I knew the two year old was comfortable with me when I rolled my tongue and she did the same thing. The other little girls also rolled her tongue.

Actually the two year old has her birthday next week. So when they left I wished her a happy birthday and a merry Christmas along with the mothers. I have seen them in the coffee shop before just the first time of interaction so I look forward to more conversation the next time they come in.

I now look forward to meeting some other little children. I don’t have any children of my own so it is nice to enjoy other’s children. So you see a good morning indeed. Let’s see what happens today.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Let It Snow

I have to say that I was disappointed on Monday because everyone in the Seattle area seemed to have gotten snow except us in Gig Harbor. They didn’t get a lot of snow however that was what I would have liked to seen. Most places had less than an inch of snow but the kids were excited to see the snow though the parents probably were not.

On Thursday the weather forecasters say we will get anywhere from one inch to six inches of snow all depending where you are at. Although the six inches sounds good I will take the one inch if it means we get some snow.

Last week talking with a friend of mine Kathy that we had a possibility of snow coming she told me in the thirteen years that she has lived here it has only snowed a significant amount one time. So she doesn’t believe we really have winters around here. So I conceited that we have three and half seasons here in Western Washington. They did say about a month ago that we would have more cold temperatures than normal year along with more precipitation however they did use the word snow at all so we will have to see.

I remember three occasions we had around a foot of snow in one dropping. When I was in fifth grade the last day of school before Christmas Break we were watching the movie “Heidi” starring Shirley Temple when we asked to get on the school bus to go home because snow was falling and they expected about a foot of snow. I believe it was the only time I was disappointed in leaving school early. I did see the whole movie on television later on so I did find out what happened. Of course when I arrived home the disappointed was gone since my brothers and I were able to play in the snow.

Another occasion was when I was nineteen years old and it snowed on the day after Christmas. It was a pretty amount of snow though I am not sure if it reached a foot. I was going to Technical School at the time so school was out however I was in the radio broadcasting class so I had to go in to put the radio station on the air. I had trouble getting out of our drive way however I did make it in though I was a few minutes late.

I do remember a third case where I was working for my father where we were in nearby Port Orchard when we had to leave around noon because the snow was coming down pretty good that day and we had to go up a very high hill. I was driving a van so we made it up the hill unlike many others who had trouble.

The hills are the reason that most people in the area don’t really want to have snow falling. It is hard to drive in many places even with a little snow though ice is more the problem. Fortunately where I live there is no hill so I can get out pretty easy and I am close to the highway as well. The grocery stores are close to the highway for most of them so I can get to them pretty easily. The major problem is going into downtown Gig Harbor because the main roads are on hills so even if you can get down it is harder to get back up again. I have driven in snow in Minnesota and Quebec so I have more experience than most around here. The problem I have found that most people drive no more than twenty-five miles an hour which is a problem if you are going up a hill. I give myself plenty of room between me and the other driver so I don’t slide on the road. Of course there is still no guarantee I will be successful but a better chance and making it on most occasions.

Anyway I hope that I will get a chance to throw at least one snow ball on Thursday if not I do hope the chance does come sometime this winter. Anyway enjoy  your winter whether snow or not.