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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Time of Year 2 (Halloween)

Do you believe in the supernatural?
This post is an update to: Time of Year (Halloween) posted September 27, 2013
In my post on this subject I previously mentioned that I was surprised by the lyrics of the song Hotel California by the Eagles, and I quoted an interview by the Eagles vocalist, during a 60 Minutes Interview back in 2007 his answer was:  It’s basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and excess in America which is something we know about.
Well I did some additional research that included talking to a friend whom I consider knowledgeable if not worldly.  The lyrics that were most unsettling to me were:
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! "

After getting my friends interpretation I feel like I’m bordering on being naive (square).  My friend’s almost instant response was that the message was about being addicted to drugs.  My excuse might be that I don’t have or ever have had any addictions regarding smoking alcohol, or drugs, so I don’t identify with the dark lyrics.  I always maintain a cheerful outlook.  I was actually fooled in the last 12 months by someone that was telling me untruths with a straight face, and my wife pointed out to me not to be taken in by tall stories.  I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
The story I was originally going to post, was actually printed in the local newspaper, and was posted as a mystery with supernatural connotations.
The reporter’s interest in the story was that the man was local to our town but the incident had taken place a few miles away.  As best as I remember the story told how this man was driving in a lonely stretch of highway around midnight, when he saw in his headlights a beautiful young woman in her mid-twenties trying to flag his car down as if hitchhiking.  It was a warm summer night and he was driving with his windows rolled down.  When he pulled up she asked if she could get a ride to her house in the very next town, and as he was mesmerized by her beauty he couldn’t possibly say no.  She joined him in the front seat and they sparked a lively conversation that served to keep him awake.
When they pulled up to her house, she invited him in for a drink or a cup of coffee, and he was more than willing to spend more time with her so he followed her into the house.  They ended drinking and spending the night together, the next morning she served him a hot cup of coffee and they said there goodbyes.  On the way home he realized that he didn’t have his wallet on him, so he turned around to the address where he had spent the night.  To his surprise he didn’t recognize the house, because in its place was an abandoned house that was boarded up.
He flagged down a patrol car that was driving by and explained what had happened, and after some effort the police secured permission from the home owner to go into the abandoned house.  The interior of the house was the same layout and furniture in locations that he had described to the police officer before they entered.  When they entered the bedroom his wallet was lying near the foot of the bed, but it also was covered with the same cobwebs that filled the whole house.  The landlord who had accompanied the man and police officer into the house explained that the previous night was the fifth anniversary of the car accident that took the life of his tenant, a beautiful 27 year old woman that lived in and apparently haunted the house.
Some stories border on unbelievable, but this story was presented as a case that was still under investigation.  Do you believe in the supernatural? I personally have experienced some unexplainable situations, but I subscribed to the theory that if followed to the logical conclusion everything can be explained.  Having said that, I prefer to walk away fast, even if it means having doubt in my mind.  The best is yet to come….

Friday, September 27, 2013

Time of Year (Halloween)

The inside is covered with graffiti, most along the lines of "Lydia Lives."
Every once in a while different thoughts, senses and events come together to form the perfect convergence, creating perhaps more questions than answers.  I just returned from a vacation in Southern California, which reminded me of a song that I grew up with (Hotel California, Eagles).  I never really paid attention to the lyrics, but I did tonight and it surprised me how the message leads you to a dark place. Don Henley of the Eagles was asked about the meaning of the song lyrics during a 60 Minutes Interview back in 2007 his answer was:  It’s basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and excess in America which is something we know about.
Hotel California, Eagles
I started to relate a story that I read in a newspaper as a teenager but I got sidetracked when I located the story of Lydia’s Bridge.  Some non-believers, might call it hogwash, others yet may call it Urban Legend.  The important thing is, what do you think?  
Lydia's Bridge

On certain rainy nights, where US 70-A twists around a sweeping curve that passes by an old, overgrown underpass, drivers will see a young woman in a white evening dress standing by the side of the road, desperately trying to flag down a passing car. If anyone pulls over to help the young lady, she climbs meekly into the back seat of the car and explains that her name is Lydia, and that she's just been to a dance and now she's trying to get home. She gives the driver an address not too far away, and he kindly agrees to take her there. The driver may try to engage Lydia in conversation, but she seems distracted and in a world of her own, so he just leaves her in a respectful silence and concentrates on the road ahead.
When the car pulls in to the address that the young woman gave, the chivalrous driver invariably hops out to open the door for her — only to discover that she has vanished.
Perplexed, the man goes to the door, where an old woman answers. The man explains that he's picked up a young lady named Lydia by the overpass who asked to be brought to this address, but she's no longer in the car. He wonders if she may have run out before he could open the door, and he just wants to know if she's safe and if everything is as it should be.
A faint, pained smile of recognition passes over the old woman's face, as she reaches for a picture in a silver frame sitting on a table by the door. It's a photograph of the young woman the man drove to the house.
"Lydia was my daughter," the old woman says, "She died in a car wreck by that overpass in 1923. You're not the first one, and I suppose you won't be the last. Every so often, her spirit flags down a passing driver. I suppose she still doesn't understand what happened to her. I suppose she's still trying to get home."
That's why the overgrown underpass near Jamestown is called Lydia's Bridge. Drive past it on a rainy night and you may see Lydia, too.                                                                   ~ Stories from the Piedmont                                                                        
The post I was originally going to write (also about a hitchhiker) will be written shortly, look for it soon.  The best is yet to come…

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bucket List Item #10

Huntington Beach California
#10.  I will vacation in at least two beach resorts in the States of Oregon, and California.
This post is an update to: Making A Bucket List (posted Monday, February 11, 2013
Warning: if a person loves the sun, sand and ocean, and is weak of mind, stay away from the California beaches.  Not so much because of the beautiful people that hangout there, but for what Mother Nature has to offer.  The feeling that you get from being out on the open air, walking on the sand feeling the Pacific Ocean at your feet is therapeutic at the very least!  Your mind begins to think on its own, and the first thought is how nice would it be to do this very same thing I am doing, at will.
The reality is that what I have in my home state in my neighborhood, would probably cost at least 10 times as much in Huntington Beach or any other neighborhood of similar standard.  To live anywhere else within driving distance would soon become boring if not a complete nightmare.  The amount of fatal or near fatal accidents I saw on the way to the beach alone (without consideration the total  number I saw within the week), would be enough to convince you to stay indoors and lock the doors.  During the short time we were there, there were in the neighborhood of 8 or more earthquakes registered with a magnitude of 3.2 or less, within 30 miles of where we were staying.
The bottom lines is that the resorts and beaches are beautiful, but I still wouldn’t give up my Pacific Northwest life for them.  Many years ago in a different lifetime, I lived in Santa Cruz, and often thought I would someday retire to live in Santa Cruz.  That is until a strong earthquake caused severe damage to the city.  Young people in today’s economic conditions can’t afford to rebuild, a person of senior age would be in an equally financial and emotional shape to respond.
Surfer Girl, Beach Boys
Enough said about the negative.  The period of time spent in the area between Sunset Beach and Newport beach was like spending time in God’s little acre.  I swear I felt younger by at least 10 years, I had fun driving around in a 2012 Camaro SS, listening to the music (perhaps a little louder than usual).  Eating seafood where it should be eaten, within stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean (at exorbitant prices I might add, an order of crab was $49.95).  I actually got to witness (not for the first time) the type of scenery that inspired the Beach Boys’ songs.  We actually saw people getting ready to play volleyball at Huntington Beach, surfing, roller blading, biking, swimming, strolling hand in hand, and just plain soaking in the sun rays.
I did promise myself that no other vacation to Southern California would be complete without a similar visit to the beach.  In love with the area, but still in control.
See other posting related to this trip: Guilty Pleasure ( , Guilty Pleasure 2 ( , Our Place in Life ).  The best is yet to come…

Bucket List Item #8

Scenic Snoqualmie Pass
#8.  I will participate in at least 3 family reunions.).   

This post is an update to: Making A Bucket List (posted Monday, February 11, 2013 ).

There are a number of things that I am committed to, amongst the top 3 on my list, is family.  I won’t give it a definitive number because the other two are equally important.  It takes a core of things to make your life stable, and my three are what makes me who and what I am.  Since I no longer have my parents, and my wife was my support system when I did have them, it’s time to return the favor.  I love nothing more than to take my wife to visit her mother and family.  I honestly feel closer than just an in-law with her side of the family. 
This year we made more trips to visit her family than we ever have in years past.  The trip is normally a six hour roundtrip effort, but lately because of road construction over the mountain pass it has become more like a ten hour roundtrip challenge.  Our planning starts out by committing to making the visits, and it has been as simple as deciding on Saturday that we will travel on Sunday.

This year August and September were great months for family a get-together.  During August we had an impromptu get-together at my mother-in-laws house.  Whenever we give them enough notice that we are coming, everyone in the family gets notified and they all show up.  While it is a great time to see everyone, it’s also a time to realize how fast time goes by.  People that are now thirty, were being baby sat by my wife, not that long ago.  Those of you that follow my Blog know that I don’t mention names, so I won’t here either.  The family unit is very important, because if times get tough as it does sooner or later, you can simply circle the wagons, and survive with your self-sufficient built in support system.

During the month of August we also had a get-together at my first born son’s house also normally a ten hour roundtrip drive but also affected by road construction at the mountain pass. While a very nice scenic drive, it is best enjoyed at 70 miles per hour, and not in stop and go traffic.  My son is an excellent chef especially when it comes to grilling BBQ steaks.  We had a great time visiting with kids (grand children) that were getting ready to return to college (medical field), and even making new friends (semi-retired from the work force now concentrating in his love for art).  My son was in recovery from recent surgery so the visit had extra special meaning.
Within the last couple of days my first born daughter and I returned from a family reunion in Southern California.  We both had a great time moving around the gathering catching up with everyone that attended.  The get-together was so large that I felt compelled to ask for everybody’s attention at the dinner table and ask if anyone was threatened with bodily harm if they didn’t attend.  They all reacted with laughter, and some responded that not only where they there willingly but that they even prepared a favorite meal to share.  Once again I couldn’t help but notice how quickly everyone is growing up, and realizing their dreams.  Amongst the professions represented: An Airline Attendant for ten years, a Registered Nurse for about eight years, a rock star, lead singer with a popular rock band, project manager, construction worker, and there are the up and comers working their way up (some of the just mentioned successes started out with In & Out Burger not that long ago).

One of my favorite aunts couldn’t attend because she had just returned from a mini vacation so we surprised her by showing up at her work.  She let out such a big scream when she saw me that she scared the people she was dealing with at the time.  I love all my family members from the most recent arrivals to my step mother who is now 80 years old loves me so much that it makes me feel bad for all my brothers and sisters.  I don’t think she loves me because I am so great, I believe that 65% of that love is because I remind her so much of my father, whom she loves very much (he passed away 11 years ago). 
See other posting related to this trip: Guilty Pleasure

( , Guilty Pleasure 2 ( , Our Place in Life ).  The best is yet to come…

Monday, September 23, 2013

Guilty Pleasures 2

Huntington Beach
This is a follow up Post to Guilty Pleasures posted on September 20, 2013: ( ).
 My last post ended as we were halfway through our mini vacation.  Everything nice that could go right, did.  How often can you say that about vacation that was pretty much spur of the moment, not totally unplanned the destination was moved in the last two weeks prior to take off?  The original plan was that my daughter and I would travel to Texas for a week so I could do research on a book I am writing (our own family’s story as seen through the eyes author “me,” working title “East Lincoln”).  The plan was established in the spring of this year.  The schedule was based on my daughter’s availability.
  • Tropical Storm Warnings!  A low-pressure area in the Gulf of Mexico has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical system in the next five days, according to the hurricane center. “Regardless of development, this disturbance will likely spread heavy rains over portions of eastern Mexico and could cause life-threatening floods and mudslides over areas already impacted by torrential rains during the last several days,” Jack Bevin, a senior hurricane specialist at the center, said in a forecast.
Our Texas destination would have taken us to Brownsville and Corpus Christi Texas, right in the path of the tropical storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico.  Fortunately I had previously taken on some research for my book in the area of interest.  Due to the possible storm and the more than 100% humidity that accompanies such storms, we chose to move our destination to Southern California, and turn it into a mini vacation with alternate goals to be accomplished. Refer to Making a Bucket List posted on February 11, 2013 ( ).
The most serious objective was to relax, and enjoy, we purposely stayed away from all the typical tourist attractions (traps), Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, and San Diego Zoo, etc.  There was no specific timeline other than a family reunion on Saturday.  The rest of the time was more like, let’s see what we decide to do once we wake up.  I did have a secret agenda but didn’t share it with anyone, and wasn’t concerned if we couldn’t make it happen.  On my agenda, was to experience for the week driving a muscle car so I could get the feel for what it might be like to own one for the rest of my life. Another part of my hidden agenda was to spend serious time at two or three beach resort areas, so I could experience it, and meet another of my bucket list items.
The two days that I had secretly set aside for the beach resort visits were 94, and 84 degrees respectively.  On the day that turned out to be 94 degrees I mentioned to my daughter the idea of going to the beach, and while she liked the idea, she didn’t like the traffic we would have to drive in to get there.  We had pretty much decided to cancel when the housekeeping head of our hotel knocked on the door, to check our room’s service needs.  After a short conversation, she left and instinct kicked in.  I followed her down the hall and asked her if she lived in the area, she said she didn’t but was familiar with pretty much all the area of Los Angeles.  I asked her what beach areas were nearby, and how long it might take to drive there.  She looked at her wrist watch (it was around 10 am) and she said, if you take off right now, you will get there in about one hour, and you won’t get a better day for it.
I immediately told my daughter to get ready because we were going to spend time on the beach. Less than one hour later we arrived at Huntington Beach, and spent the rest of the day playing in the sand the water, and the piers from Sunset Beach to Westport Beach with Huntington Beach in-between.  It’s a good thing the rental shacks were getting ready to close by the time I got up the nerve to go surfing because I was ready to surf with the sharks (not).  Some less stable people lose their minds at the experience and start thinking about moving to the area.  Not me I realize that paradise vacation can only be paradise if you don’t live there.  If you move there it becomes the place where you toil, and worry about everyday things.  My wife taught me that when we first got married many years ago.  We ate dinner at the beach in Westport where an order of crab was $49.95.  We left the area after dinner (dark), and it still took us more than two hours to drive what had earlier taken about 50 minutes.
I can’t describe all the fun we had and all the things we did in one posting, but shopping, family reunion and driving a 2012 Camaro SS the whole time was part of the experience.  I couldn’t have planned it better if I had planned it.  It was an even better experience to get home to the family I love and missed the whole time I was away.  My first born daughter and I definitely bonded while on vacation.  The best is yet to come…..

Partner In Crime

Theo aka Daddy Big Bucks
Do you have a four-legged friend that means the world to you?  I hope so, because there’s no better feeling than to know what unconditional love is.  His name is Theo, and he gets professional grooming more often than I do.  He is a great looking Toy Poodle that like all Poodles doesn’t shed.  He is a 10 pound muscle bound little guard dog.  He senses when someone pulls up to our driveway or approaches our front door.  He might not be big enough and physical enough to literally protect my life, but he gives me more than enough warning for me to protect both of us.  With Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson Theo and I can stand back to back and take on the world.  This little guy is so special to me that I hope, that if one of us has to part this earth, I hope I go first so won’t have to miss him.
I buy puppy pads for him for overnight so he won’t have any accidents, and I often get criticized because I maintain an inventory of as many as three boxes of three hundred count each.  Same with his food and treats, I tend to overdo it with the stocking of inventory.  That part is not because I spoil him, after all he doesn’t even know where I keep the stash, but merely because like everything else the product always runs out at the most inopportune time.
Of all the members of our large family he definitely has his favorites.  He loves my daughter and her husband, one of my sons and his wife are also definitely favored, other than that he hangs out with me when we have company.  He is always happiest when he is near me inside or outside the house.  I recently went away on a vacation to Southern California, and he missed me terribly.  My wife told me that whenever she returned home from work he would stay near the door expecting me to come through the door at any moment.  At night he would lay down facing the bedroom door as if knowing that I should be coming home at any time.
My vacation’s purpose was to visit and otherwise stay in close touch with the California branch of the Family Tree, while there I fulfilled a couple of Bucket List items (see Post dated February 11, 2013 ).  While the getaway was relaxing and fun, I missed my family back home and my partner in crime.
Theo Does Christmas
My wife, children and grandchildren understand that I was going away and coming back by a certain day, but all Theo knows is that I come home every day and he can take that to the bank.  Unfortunately he hates to travel by any means other than his own four-legged power.  The only time he gets in the car is when he goes to get groomed or to the veterinarian, and he trembles the whole way.  I sit him next to me to make it easier on him, but it only helps so much. I go out of my way to schedule some play time in the back yard or put on his leash so we can go for a walk to the park (he loves that).  Everyone in the family knows Theo very well, and they are aware that he is my baby, and they have to play nice with him.  He is loved by all. He definitely even gets wrapped presents at Christmas and dresses for the occasion.  The best is yet to come….

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bucket List Item #5

Bucket List Item #5

#5. I will acquire a classic muscle car.  (I cleared it with my wife).   

 This post is an update to: Making A Bucket List (posted Monday, February 11, 2013 ).  I have many friends that still have their favorite muscle cars, but I finally took a close look and noticed that the ownership is not like the first time (around) ownership.  The cars are either in the garage or otherwise in storage.  They only come out for car shows or car rallies.  They are definitely kept out of sight during the winter months (at least in my neck of the woods).  I thought I would be a different kind of owner, I would use mine for every day shopping, or just plain old pleasure driving year round.
So I drove around for the most part of a week around Southern California in a new bright Yellow Camaro SS.  The most powerful engine they make for Camaro, every available option from sunroof, to special wheels, the information you need as a driver is projected on the windshield, extreme quality sound system, and more power than an old hotrod like me should ever be able to get his hands on.  One time too many I remember telling my passenger, "I feel like an astronaut getting into a space capsule," even than it didn't sink in.  The car is a challenge waiting to be made to anyone on the freeway trying to prove that his car is better.  Maybe you can imagine the restraint that it takes not to accept the challenge.
At this point I have proven all I have to prove.  After all not only am I driving a very powerful car but I know how to handle it.  I will vow down to this car in the area of notices and good looks.  Every where we went people took notice and actually talked about it.  I had one young man about 9 years old, step out of his fathers pickup truck at a gas station to tell me that I was driving a very nice Camaro and that he had seen it in the movie Transformers.  I was so proud that a young child would go out of his way to compliment my ride.  Other than the compliment the majority of notices were on the freeway, where drivers would pull up and rev their engines to challenge me.  I would just nod my head to acknowledge them, and wave at them.  The Highway Patrol also noticed me and would give a glance my way on the freeway.
Somehow I felt like an old gunslinger that has changed his life and doesn't want to be tested anymore, but I am not sure that I wouldn't react to a challenge down the road and take on the young whipper snappers, and their effort to take on the great Kahuna.
Of course I am being silly, my resolve is strong not to misbehave as I did when I was young.  However, my thoughts of how I would handle my future muscle car is defective, my original plan never took in consideration the three young granddaughters that accompany me everywhere.  I am more like a butler to three princesses.  I can't predict the future but If I could, I might predict a new minivan loaded with all the bells and whistles maybe even a built in vacuum cleaner.  The best is yet to come….

Bucket List Item #4

Bucket List Item #4

#4 I will go fishing on opening week 2013.  (I haven't fished since I was very young and living with my parents on the farm).

 This post is an update to: Making A Bucket List (posted Monday, February 11, 2013).  I was standing in line at my local bank branch when I exchanged greetings with a friendly man standing in front of me in line.  He was about as nice a man as I have ever met, he immediately invited me to drop by his house on the lake for fish opening season 2013.  I explained that I had not fished since I was a teenager living on the farm.  He offered to provide the equipment and even to bait my line for me.  All I had to do was buy my State required fishing license, and show up.  Well I did show up and spent a half day hanging out fishing from his boat dock (I could tell you about the one that got away but you would expect it).  
If there is any other novices reading this post the following are instructions that apply in the State of Washington.  If you reside in a different state the rules (laws) my be different but i'm sure similar.
· According to the WDFW, at least 300,000 anglers typically turn out for the first day of the lowland lakes season, which remains open into the fall. Although many state waters are open year-round, the April opening marks the start of the state’s most popular fishery.  To participate, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2014. Licenses can be purchased online at, or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit
· Freshwater fishing licenses cost $29.50 for resident adults 16 to 69 years old. Seniors 70 and older can buy an annual fishing license for $7.50. Children 14 years of age and younger do not need a fishing license.  April really marks the start of the new year for fishing, hunting, and a wide range of outdoor activities                      
I never intended to re-ignite my long ago forgotten interest/skills in fishing, while it was fun, I may or may not return to it next year.  This item was just a safe item that I wanted to do and it didn't take a big stretch of imagination or money to make it happen. After all I am very familiar with the well-known saying:
"Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day, teach him to fish and he will drink beer for a lifetime."  The best is yet to come….

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guilty Pleasure

Guilty Pleasure
 I am a self assured very confident individual.  I don't like second guessing my self.  To second guess myself means that I made a questionable decision.  I think things through the first time around.  I don't mind visiting the past but I don't attempt to wish things had been different.  My guilt this time around comes from having beautiful young granddaughters that miss my absence so much that they get sad when the subject of grandpa comes up.  My wife says that whenever the youngest granddaughter gets in the car, she looks at the driver seat and asks about grandpa.
The pleasure part is spending time with my first born daughter.  Visiting siblings and their families (about every two or three years).  The other part of the pleasure is not having a definitive schedule (agenda).  The whole trip is being handled just like my real (retired) life.  I do things when I am good and ready, but everything that I want to do gets done.  Along the way I've met some very interesting people:  I went to a favorite breakfast restaurant that my wife and I discovered the last time we were in the area together (the service is just as good as I remember, and if possible the food is even better).  When I told our waitress about our history with the restaurant she treated us very special.  Later my daughter and I discovered a Mexican Foods Specialty Grocery Store. The store was a typical full size grocery store just like Albertson's or Super Safeway, with a bakery, deli, tortilla factory etc., you can't possibly find a better equipped store in Mexico.  We toured every isle of the store as a child tours a toy store.

While at the store I met man and woman waiting for a fresh fruit smoothie.  As is my nature I struck up a conversation with the couple in Spanish.  The lady said to me that it was good to see someone else with a health habit of eating or drinking my veggies and fruits.  Somehow the conversation came around to how she was older than me, and I said I real seriously doubted that.  Then I said to her that I wasn't in the habit of asking a lady for her age, but I said if I may inquire how old are you.  She was 81 (even showed me her State ID), and the man with her was her 62 year old son (I swear both looked in their 50's with a full head of hair). 

The staff on Alaska Airlines have been magnificent, the Hertz car rental company also magnificent, we are definitely getting the VIP treatment.  Our California family is treating us like guests of honor, and showing their love for us.  It’s a good thing I don't like to take advantage or we would move down here in a heartbeat.  The weather is summer like.  One day was 94 degrees, and today is 84 degrees.  Perfect weather for the beach areas that we visited recently.  The only things that are still adverse around here are the traffic bottle necks on all the freeways. A trip any were can be double or triple in length if you don't pick the right time for the trip.  I have seen three very bad accidents, where I suppose fatalities were likely, but I always say my prayers before starting any trip, and so far so good.

No matter how perfect and enjoyable this trip turns out, both my daughter and I are looking forward to our return to everyday life, and our loved ones that miss us and that we miss.  My daughter will return to her high strung daily routine in the medical field, and I guess I will return to my life of leisure (ho-hum, every day is Saturday except Sunday).

This mini vacation is half way through, and I will write one more post on the subject in the near future.  The best is yet to come….

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Place in Life

Our Place in Life

Is your life one that requires you to travel out of town for work?  I spent 27 plus years doing that exact same thing in my career.  Week after week I would pack my bags for travel that lasted most of the week.  While I missed my family, I had the comfort of knowing that I was doing it for them.  My children were ok with it because mom was always home at the end of the day.

I bring the subject up because as I write this post, I am in the middle of a mini 4 day trip to Southern California.  There is no guilt trip leaving home as required for work, but leaving home for time off to visit family, comes with a ton of guilt.  I've never ever had the feeling that I had to get away from home, because there is nothing better than a fun and happy home.  My biggest joy in life has become spending time with my three granddaughters (three, four and seven years old).  On the other hand I haven't visited with my siblings in near 3 years, and as you all know time waits for no one.  My nephews and nieces, are growing, and growing so very fast.  One of my nieces just turned 30 years old this weekend (she was 27 years old the last time I saw her).  One of my brothers just got married this last weekend, and I missed it all together.  I'm not looking for justification to nullify the guilt feelings, of being away from home, but bottom line there is value on all the options and reasons.

There is a couple or three things that weigh in today that weren't a factor ever in the past.  My three granddaughters, enjoy spending time with their grandfather (me), I've been known to color on coloring books, watch the Disney Channel, Calliou, Lazy Town, play at putting puzzles together with the three year old, sing songs like Old McDonald Had a Farm, and Itsy bitsy Spider, all these from sun up to sun down, without a break.  My granddaughters have been known to pass up a chance to go to Chuck E. Cheese, to stay at grandpa's house instead, etc., etc.  Well the day I left on my four day trip, my seven year old granddaughter cried because she missed her grandfather.  My four year old granddaughter was quoted as saying, "I'm going to miss my grandfather when he goes away, I miss him already and he hasn't left yet!"

I always try to find the silver lining in every negative in life, and I couldn't help but draw a parallel between being away temporarily in an avoidable trip, and the real and forced departure, of leaving this life.  I've always had a cavalier attitude about death and dying.  By that I mean:  when my time comes, I am ready and prepared to go, no regrets.  That is until this lesson came up.  I knew that my wife and children would miss me, and so would my brothers, and sisters, but I had always hoped that they would celebrate my life instead of mourning my passing.  I come to the realization that my brothers and sisters have a bigger stake in my life than I realized.  I am the oldest of my father's children, and by unanimous vote also the one that looks most like my father and is most like him in every expect including mannerism, voice, and attitude.  My siblings and their children loved my father so much that since he passed away (10 plus years ago), all of their love and focus has been redirected at me.  A very high and possibly unearned honor, but certainly an honor that I will work hard to be worthy of.

I underestimated, how much understanding and love my little granddaughters have for me.  It makes me sad to think that I would leave a void in my little girls precious lives.  I am planning on not going away with short notices on planned trips and I plan to work even harder, at staying healthy, and not taking any chances that might endanger my life.  I also know how much my wife loves me and what I mean to her.  I'm making this commitment equally for my wife and children, and all my loved ones.  I knew I was loved and well thought of, but i don't believe that I understood my place in the family.  The best is yet to come…..

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What’s the Answer?

What’s the Answer?
You have heard it said many times.  It happens to everyone sooner or later.  I know that I have had my fair share of head scratching occurrences.  The answer lies somewhere in the depth of our subconscious or does it.  
Have you heard the most typical explanation for our dreams:  The subconscious is playing out things that we have done or plan to do?  Once in a while I have found myself in a place where I know I have never visited before (even in a different State where I have never been before), and yet I experience a feeling of familiarity.  Is it possible that we have lived a different life?  I am not convinced that we have, but I am not so sure that I would discount the probability.
I have also experienced dreams where I will meet someone and later have a feeling that in fact I have met that person or location where the person lives.  Read the following information from AJ McClary:
So have we all had past lives? Yes, we have. Here are some interesting findings I have discovered about reincarnation:
  1. We usually do not remember our past lives. Before reincarnate here we go through amnesia. This memory loss of the conscious level prevents us from remembering our past lives because we are all given the opportunity to a fresh start. Well the conscious memory is not there, the memory of all of our past lives are stored in your Akashic Record—which can be accessed through your subconscious and super conscious minds.
  2. We are still affected by the karma. You can never escape your karma. While you may not remember your past lives, our circumstances are deeply affected by the choices we have made in the past. Feelings buried alive never die. Trauma stays with us at a subconscious level. As we are born into newer families, we work out our karma, we create new karma, and we learn and evolve.
  3. You chose to incarnate here and have designed your own chart. As difficult it can be for many of us to admit, we create our own chart. A lot of people argue “Why would I choose this life?”, But from what I have found through my research, we did choose this life. We chose our parents, we chose our lovers, and we chose our children. We have contracts with all of these people, and we choose to incarnate with them to learn, grow, and evolve.
  4. There are energetic anomalies that follow us from lifetime to lifetime. We can get pretty damaged as we incarnate. Everything from entities and attachments, interferences energies (such as addictions), blocks (such as chakra issues, vows, & miasms), and programs that on repeat in our lives—all can follow us from lifetime to lifetime. Energy clearing is an excellent way to clear away a lot of these anomalies. ~AJMCCLARY (AJ McClary is a skilled practitioner on the spiritual subject)
 Interesting subject:  Have you ever greeted someone with, “have we met before?”  The best is yet to come….

Friday, September 13, 2013

Stable Life Style

Stable Life Style
What are different types of life styles?
  • Answer: Lifestyle usually reflects an individual's attitudes, values or world view. The different types of lifestyles include general, income or occupation based lifestyles, military lifestyles, sexual lifestyles, musical subculture lifestyles as well as lifestyles based on recreation.
  • Additional Answer: The different types of lifestyles are living an actualizing life, living to fulfil one's dreams, striving to possess wealth and fame, living to achieve the unexpected, experiencing life moments, making up new situations and struggling to survive. These lifestyles characterize an individual's personality. They stem from the individual's original or imparted way of reasoning.
If you are close enough to me you would know that I despise change.  I love continuity, but I am smart enough to realize that few things in life can remain static.  Someone that isn’t close to me might think that I procrastinate, but in fact when it comes to inevitable change in my (our family life) I make my moves ever so cautiously.  To an outsider it may look like I am dragging my feet.  However, due to my deliberate decision making process I can proudly claim that I can count in one hand the number of times I’ve regretted a life changing decision.
My post this time around is not so much about the type of lifestyle as it is about comfort zone within a lifestyle.  As a perfect example somewhere in the process of getting to this point in life, we (my wife and I) very carefully selected the Pacific NW as the place to raise our family and eventually retire.  I won’t brag about the positives the Northwest offers, I’ll just list a few of the negatives that we can live without:  No massive or frequent earthquakes, no tornados, no hurricanes, no Florida style sink holes, and no flash floods.
Especially as you near or enter the golden year’s portion of life, we can’t afford the rebuilding of our home, or other loss of property and life that goes with the negatives mentioned above.  I enjoy a certain level of comfort in knowing that there are certain things in everyday life that I can count on to be predictable.  I have always believed in leading by example and fortunately for us, all of our children also live in the Northwest. 
One unpredictable future change is that as we get older, we need to be more aware of our surrounding when we are out and about.  It seems that it doesn’t matter where in the world you live, the mature citizen is an easy target for criminals and opportunist. I also have a solution for that, I will travel more often with my two bodyguards, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.  After all I’ve earned the reputation of being a marksman.  The best is yet to come……