Sunday, January 28, 2007

One foggy morning... Olympia, Washington.

This little port is the southernmost port of Puget Sound. Although it gets some commercial traffic it's normally a pretty quiet, uneventful berthing spot for pleasure crafts, live aboards and some fishing vessels.

Any commercial traffic that's going to use Olympia's port facilities has to pass by Everett, Seattle and Tacoma on the way. Once the skippers of those southbound vessels see what those port facilities have to offer and compare them to what Olympia has they normally opt to do business with the others in the future... unless, of course the cargo is truly "Olympia" bound.

Either way, I thought I'd take a little drive the other day just to slow things down a bit. I've had a heckuva lot on my mind and I just wanted to relax the brain.

I bumped around Swan Town, Priest Point Park and eventually dropped down to the West Bay Drive area.

One of my brother's, the next one up in age from me, used to work at a lumber mill along that road back in the 70's and early 80's. The mill has since burned, leaving nothing but a few pilings and a couple of dilapidated docks as a silent memorial to the once bustling business.

He pulled a lot of paychecks out of that place while it was up and running though... good, hard earned money. Blue collar greenbacks, for sure.

It was a bit of an odd, almost eerie feeling I had standing there looking at the pilings, docks and water where the mill used to be.

I remember I would drop by and visit him at night when he was on his break. We'd talk about the day, about getting a beer or two when he "got off" work... simple chat.

Empty headed, no clutter, unassuming...


Two brothers in their late teens, early twenties at the beginning of their adult lives...

willing to take on all challengers... fearless and anxious.

Afraid of no one, nothing... simply anxious to move forward.

Knowing that if all else fails we'll always be brothers, always be family. From the eldest to the youngest, me... always brothers, always family!

Shouldn't that be the family way?

Growing up together. Brothers, sisters, mother, father.

Each supporting the other... sharing, living, helping, protecting, providing... understanding?

We didn't have any "sisters" in our family... all boys, all brothers. Five of us altogether... and Mom and Dad.

We stood back to back on many an occasion and will do it again, I'm sure.

My eldest brother seemed to be that "protector". That person who was there to watch over me when I never knew it... never realized it... during those impressionable years. He never hesitated to intervene on my behalf... NEVER.

And now we have our "own" families, our "own" children, our "own" grandchildren yet, we're still bound by that familial bond. That brotherhood of sorts we've come to realize over the years as we "grew up".

That bond of bonds.

We know we have to fight our own personal battles, live our own lives... slay our own demons!

We realize life is truly like a "box of chocolates" yet, no matter what the odds, what the issues at hand, whatever the situation may be we know we're not alone... if we don't want to be. After all, isn't that what family should be all about?

And life moves on.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thanks for the invitation

Well well well! I like this. It is a good way to communicate in the family and Dennis, I loved your beach and snow stories and pics! I am going to try to think of a creative story and add pics also. It may take me awhile! But thanks again! Denise

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Opening it up a bit...

Over the years I've come to enjoy blogging. I enjoy blogging very, very much.

Blogs are like bridges. They span gaps, breaks in life.

They provide vessels, passages, avenues for all kinds of people to communicate to others everyday information that would normally not be communicated. Making seemingly simple, mundane activities parts of everyone's lives. Opening portions of our own private little worlds to others.

An exposure...

...a cleansing of sorts.

I've opened the blog up a bit.

This morning I sent invitations to Dad, brother Bill, sister in law Denise, daughter Kerri, son Justin, daughter in law Andrea and the wife to make posts to the blog whenever they get the "urge".

It's a great way to get other perspectives on things rather than to get it straight from me every time.

It's become obvious to me that this communication... it should be a "shared" process. It should involve others and their refreshing, impressive, overall view of what is happening in their own world as they see it.

Not just mine.

I almost blew it though... I almost lost everything I've had to date because of this "Google" blog takeover thingy. Wow. Now that would have been a bit irritating, at least.

I've had this blog up and running for over two years and almost had everything slip away. Slide off to cyberspace somewhere never to be seen again.

Instead, I had the blog revert back to the "old format". Watch out for that Google conversion thing.

So Dad, Bill, Denise, Jacob, Justin, Andrea, Kerri, Jackie... come on over, cross that bridge and post your thoughts. Have some fun with the blog.

I'm challenging you to post your thoughts, have some fun...

...share what you can with those who like to read and want to know.

Take us with you wherever you go and most of all...

...Have fun!

Okay, Change 462...

I just found the feature that allows me to review the comments posted before they're posted to the blog so that's the way I'm going to go.

I don't like censoring anonymous posts but let's face it, some need to be trashed.

A personal disagreement is one thing but when people want to use this as a stage for rants, tirades and profane insults against me or anyone else who frequents this blog... well, let's just say...

...THAT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! At least not here, not if I can control it.

If there's a problem you have with me write me an email ( or call me, I'll be more than happy to give you some time for a chat. If it's with someone else I'd suggest offering them the same courtesy.

So, whatever the problem is get it out on a one on one with me or get over it.

Enjoy your day everyone. Sorry for the little side trip.

No more anonymous posts...

Sorry. I'm not going to accept anonymous posts on this blog anymore. I've always felt that anyone should be able to post their comments to the blog if they want. I've never had any real heartburns about that...

...until recently. Until an individual started posting comments not worthy of reading.

This is a somewhat "G" rated blog and I intend to keep it at or around that level. It's better for everyone all the way around.

Unfortunately, my anonymous friend seems to think it's a forum to express hatred and contempt towards me and my family. I'm not going to accept that.

The ip is a non-referring ip so I really have nothing but an empty source to look at when I try to identify who's doing the posting. That's alright though, I'm fairly convinced I know who's involved and am taking steps to remedy the situation. There's been some rather awkward and challenging moments in our lives around here the past several months so I'm betting our anonymous friend is one of two people associated with some of those events... depending upon the event depends upon who anonymous truly is.

Either way, by going with the "no anonymous" posts I'm requiring those making comments to at least have some identity... which would give me a place to start, at least.

Sorry, but this stuff isn't appropriate.

Maybe on another blog, another time, another day... but not here.

So, simply use your yahoo nick or any other nick you might have when posting. Thanks for understanding.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Catching up...

I don't know how I overlooked our annual trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon but I did.

All of us... Andrea and Justin, Kerri, Andrew, Bailey, Hannah, Reese, Jerry and Sharilyn, J and I and 5 dogs headed for the Oregon coast the day after Christmas for a couple of days. We all met at the beach house we've rented in the past. We had a ball!

It was stormy but fun.

Isn't that what stormy weather does? Makes things exciting, mysterious, on the edge... fun?

On the first day there was a pretty major storm blowing in. Andrew, Jerry, Sharilyn and I headed to the beach as soon as we unpacked. J stayed at the house with Reese while Andrea and Justin went into town to get some things that we all forgot to bring. Kerri, Bailey and Hannah were the last to arrive.

With the wind blowing as hard as it was Andrew almost blew away. The seagulls did...

...and we continued to play on the beach. Starved of common sense, us the adventurers... adults and children alike playing on the beach, taunting the ocean.

The angry spray was cold. Icey rain flew laterally as the wind pushed it, pelting our faces like needles.

We traveled along the beach for a bit then decided it would be best if we returned to the house before one or all of us were swept to sea by some large, freak wave. Those rogue waves the Oregon and Washington coasts are so well known for during these types of winter Pacific storms.

When we arrived at the house Andrea and Justin had returned from town. A fire was burning in the fireplace, everyone was safe. We all relaxed, let the rush of the Christmas holidays slow to a crawl. Some of us sipped wine, all of us talked, wound down and enjoyed good company, taking it all in.

Throughout the evening the storm continued to blow. The lights flickered, the walls creaked, the windows shook.

On the last day the sun came out. The ocean and beach turned into an entirely different animal.

Calm, tame, blue...

...almost like another season, another time, another ocean.

Almost, but the air was still crisp, the wind cold.

It was deceiving.

People came out of their homes and walked up and down the beach.

Two days prior we were the only souls walking the cold, foamy, wet sand looking along the high water mark for any "treasures" that the storm surge might have washed up.

Now, the ocean seemed to relax a bit... still very cold but relaxed.

And the sky was flawless! Blue and clear.

J and Chief took a short jaunt to the surf's edge, watching the tide roll in.

Until it was time to leave, to make the long drive home... cross the covered bridge.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It snowed...

...upon the ground last night!

I know, I watched it fall!

But when I opened my curtains wide

it wasn't there at all!

I wrote this poem years ago when I was in school. Probably in the mid 60's. Yeah, I think it was somewhere around then.

Either way, that always seemed to be the case! It would start snowing at night and my brothers and I'd watch the snow fall through our bedroom windows, the lights out so we could see better.

We'd stare into the darkness pressing our faces against the glass trying to catch glimpses of those snow flakes as they floated to the ground. We could never tell how deep the snow was getting, just that the ground and trees were turning whiter and whiter... which was good enough for us... that meant the snow was getting deeper by the flake!

We'd go to bed content that the snow would be there in the morning. But when we woke up the snow would be nowhere in sight!

Those snowy nights were some of the most frustrating memories I had as a child when it came to our Washington winters.

I like the snow. I always have.

So when it started snowing last night I didn't expect much.

Andrew did... and I relived a bit. He went to bed excited. I went to bed wondering how I was going to explain the wet morning grass.

When we woke up... well, let's just say the snow hung around a bit.

Andrew and Chief got right out there in it. Andrew wasn't quite sure how to make a snowball but after a little bit of coaching he mastered the art.

It wasn't much snow. Maybe a couple of inches at the most but as the day wore on it got to become pretty good "packing" snow... if you know what I mean.

Andrew and Chief buddied up all day in the stuff, coming indoors from time to time for some hot chocolate and a bit of thawing. Then when warmed, dried, recharged and insulated they'd charge back out, brave the elements and try a stab at making "snow angels"... well, at least Andrew did.

Chief... he wasn't too sure about this whole "snow angel" thing but he surely enjoyed watching as Andrew did his thing.

And what else happens in the snow? Well, it just isn't a real "snow day" unless you build that snowman or two.

Andrew started small. He rolled and rolled and rolled the ball of snow.

He was patient! Determined!

Chief wanted to help but wasn't sure how. He'd try to nip the ball of snow... unsure exactly what Andrew was trying to do with it. Thinking Andrew wanted to play.

But as the snowball grew... it gained size and shape it all came to pass. Chief watched as Andrew built a living, breathing snowman!

Andrew packed it here, smoothed it there... chopped it with his hand... grooved the joints out with his fingertips.

He was the creator! The father of this snow... "person"!

And Chief stared in awe!

After Andrew completed his first live snowman he tried to get the little guy to chum around with him and Chief.

Andrew offered up his skateboard and hat!

He and Chief tried to help their newly created friend up onto the board...

...onto that bone breaking, skin scraping, tooth chipping piece of plywood with roller skates.

But Frosty would have nothing to do with it. Nothing at all!

Nope, Frosty wanted a more timid, laid back friend. Not that he had anything against Andrew and Chief...

...not that at all. He simply wanted a companion that was a bit more errr, well quiet and inactive like himself.
Someone sooo much like himself.

Creator Andrew (and Chief) went back to work.

Rolling, packing, poking, prodding, grooving, chopping... doing it all over again until...

...VOILA!! Frostess the snowgirl was born!

And so goes the story of the night the snow fell in Olympia...

...and hung around a bit the day after!