Saturday, August 12, 2017

Time to Travel

In recent years, I've been pretty limited on my ability to leave town and vacation in general.  Mostly because I've been spending time with my love ones in their final months.  Something I wouldn't change for the world. But now....my life is different and I don't have that same responsibility.  I've decided to make the majority of my expenditures "adventures" rather than things.
My son Morgan was awarded an artits's residency in Leipzig, Germany for three months.  Well how could I pass up the opportunity to go visit him.   So, Bill and I have booked a viking cruise on the Elbe River.  It's starts in Prague and will end in Berlin.  We'll stay a few nights in Berlin, he'll fly home and I stay and visit with Morgan for a couple more days in Leipzig.  I'm so excited to see some new sights.   This will be in the fall and I haven't completely finalized the dates. 
  Image result for elbe river cruises



Prior to the Germany trip, I have plans to visit a friend who is renting a house for the month in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Bill and I will fly in to Mexico City and take a premium coach into San Miguel.  That will be about an hour ride.  My friend has been there many times and has a lot of cool expeditions planned for us during the week, plus nightly rooftop happy hour.
Panoramic view of San Miguel de Allende

In August, we'll take a week in a rented house in McMinneville to try and experience the solar eclipse......along with everybody else. That should be exciting because Bill's family is travelling from Murietta, Ca and Ashland, Or to join us.  

But...May 26th I traveled to Japan and saw a part of the world that was remarkably different then the USA.  Noticeably cleaner, safer and more efficient than my homeland.  Courtesy and respect were the norm. Actually, the countryside was a lot like Portland, Oregon with Japanese style architecture.  My sister and I travel to many cities. Countryside and metropolitan.  My favorite stop was at the Peace Park in Hiroshima.  Extremely moving and the recovery the city has made is pretty awesome.  I rang the peace bell.  Wish I could ring it again today!


Possibly the best part was being with my sister for an extended amount of time without spouses and kids.  We have never done that before and it was pretty nice.  







Wednesday, February 1, 2017

WOW, just wow...

I am posting because it's been so long....
I've had a year that can only be called "something".
Then to add insult to injury, my country, USA is the laughing stock of the world and soon to be the target for ISIS, Mexico and even Australia.  Wow.
There is a huge difference between running  business and running a nation.
A business deal involves the "business" man negotiate for the best deal for him.
Diplomacy is bringing people together and when you're done, everyone feels good about the results.
The world is full of "alternate facts" and ugly behaviour
Women are fed up at this male ego blanket spread across our nation.
Among the hate and discension are countless examples of love and support showing up all over, despite the leaders of hate espousing otherwise.
We will survive and rise above  this primitive, tribal thinking.
I'm counting on it.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day, Dad

WAYNE A. GUMM
March 30, 1930-May 5, 2016

Poem for My Father’s Ghost
--Mary Oliver
Now is my father
A traveler, like all the bold men
He talked of, endlessly
And with boundless admiration,
Over the supper table,
Or gazing up from his white pillow—
Book on his lap always, until
Even that grew too heavy to hold.
Now is my father free of all binding fevers.
Now is my father
Traveling where there is no road.
Finally, he could not lift a hand
To cover his eyes.
Now he climbs to the eye of the river,
He strides through the Dakotas,
He disappears into the mountains. And though he looks
Cold and hungry as any man
At the end of a questing season,
He is one of them now:
He cannot be stopped.
Now is my father
Walking the wind,
Sniffing the deep Pacific
That begins at the end of the world.
Vanished from us utterly,
Now is my father circling the deepest forest—
Then turning in to the last red campfire burning
In the final hills,
Where chieftains, warriors and heroes
Rise and make him welcome,
Recognizing, under the shambles of his body,
A brother who has walked his thousand miles.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Just in time...

My quilting gets me through another crisis....

I began quilting when Alex got sick. I am not very good at sitting around doing nothing.  I needed something to do that I could put down quickly to help him when he needed help. One of my co-workers had made a quilt for my psuedo granddaughter Aurora, and then she made a quilt for Alex to use during his chemotherapy.  It was really fun choosing fabrics and I've always sewn, so I thought I would try my hand at quilting.  I've finished 6 or 7 quilts so far.

A few months ago, we found out Aurora will be getting a baby sister.  Oh boy, another reason to make a quilt.  The fun begins, looking through the photos on the internet, wandering through the fabric stores, cutting, sewing, ironing....even bought a new iron that you set flat and it raises itself up from the ironing board surface. May 7 was the deadline, or as some would say, the baby shower. During the month of April, my dad seemed to be getting weaker and I would take my sewing machine and hang out with him and sew.  Finally the last week of April,, I finished the quilt, took the photos and rolled it up for presentation at the baby shower.  Within a few days, my dad ended up in the hospital and sadly, died on May 5.  The quilt was sent to the shower without me, but got word today that it is gorgeous and very appreciated.  Excited for the new arrival~Evie, in June.




Monday, February 1, 2016

Synchronicity or "Whatever"

A funny thing happened to me last summer.  It was towards the end of summer when the dread of fall was beginning to hit.  I've never liked fall.  I always become melancholy as the hot, dry days of August start to get a wee bit cooler in September.  But now, since 2013, my melancholy is full on sadness.  Fall marks the time of year my oldest son died.   On this particular day in 2015, I was missing him very much.  Dreading the "anniversary" of his death, but basically, just wanting to talk to him and see him.  I got into my car to go somewhere and the radio came on as I started up the engine. The first words I heard out of the radio were "Everybody's gonna miss somebody, at least once a day."  It immediately drew me in and I listened to the whole song.  I completely related as it was about all of us living our lives and encountering various bumps in the road.  Losing the people you love, having bad things happen, etc.  But, the overarching message was to appreciate everyday, because you don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I enjoyed the song and it made me feel a little better.  The tune was sort of reggae.  I went about my business and returned home.  

Same day, I was cleaning my bedroom and had the radio on, absent mindedly listening.  I heard the DJ say, "To win, text #### to ####"  so I did.  I had no idea what I was entering.  No idea what so ever.  Got to work the next day and I received a text from the radio station.  Reply to confirm your tickets.  Wow!!  I won.  Logged in, confirmed my identity and found out what I'd won.  Two tickets to Michael Franti and Spearhead.  Hmm, never heard of him, but it was at Edgefield, one of my favorite places to see concerts.  In fact, during the last concert I had seen there we found out there was something seriously wrong with my son. He'd called me to tell me while I was at the concert. I haven't really had the desire to go back there.  Well, it had been almost 2 years, I needed to do something for myself.

The day arrived and my incredible friend of 35 years accompanied me.  A beautiful summer night,and an outdoor venue.  Good food, good beer and good music. As it turned out, Michael Franti is the man who wrote the song I heard in the car that day when I so desperately missed my son. The song that comforted me and brought back some wonderful thoughts of my son and how much I love him. Franti had written the song after he found out his son has a life threatening kidney disease. A disease that will change his life and may even take his life. Franti came to the understanding that the only thing we can control is how we react to the world around us.  A lesson that hit home with me in the fall of 2013. 

                                                    ***Once a Day*** 


No no no no you never know what the world's gonna show you,
It ain't up to you.
You always think it's gonna happen to another person,
And it's never ever gonna happen to you. 
You got your friends, you got your money,
Got your family, got your honey,
You think you got a million days.
But then life comes along
And it knocks you right down to the ground and that's why I say,

Everybody oughta hug somebody, at least once a day.
And everybody oughta kiss somebody, at least once a day.
Everybody's gonna miss somebody, at least once a day. 
And everybody gotta love somebody, every day!

                                                                     ~Michael Franti

Thank you Alex for sending this message from where ever you may be....miss you...every day

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy 2016 !

Gratitude

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.

It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.

We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."

Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)