Wind Sick

Hey Kids,

The week drew to a close. The boat was cleaned, the appliances switched off, and the doors locked. It was sad to say good bye to our home and friend born of our adventures. It had served us well, ran beautifully, and had kept us safe.

The bow bobbing in the slip seemed to wave to us good bye.

And then the next adventure began.

High winds accompanied an incoming storm. One that nearly tore the kayaks from our rooftop and tilted the car so far off of its suspension with its gusts, our loss of traction alarm sounded. We had to turn the truck into the wind and wait out the high winds until the front passed.

I have never been so sick of wind as I am right now.

 

Post 3-141

My Crew

Hey Kids,

I have a staff. We are all just people with jobs. We trade our time and talents and get paid for it.

I like to think I’m one of the crew, another employee with my own specific duties. I start the day and end the day, just like everyone else. I’m just one of the “guys”.

ordinary

Ordinary Average Guy

Except I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing special about me. I’d be the first to doubt my abilities, my importance, and my book smarts. I’m pretty run of the mill.

But I am the leader of my small staff. They look to me to make sure their time gets turned into money. They look to me to watch for those things that are best for them. While they do their jobs, they expect me to do mine- make their jobs easier, valuable, and safe.

They come to me when they are troubled, mad, or disappointed. They tell me of their victories, their families, and their desires. They share their goals, their dreams, and occasionally their deepest secrets.

I console when family members struggle, get sick, and pass away. I offer advice when life delivers hard blows. I encourage when life puts up hurdles.

I’ve laughed with them. I’ve sat through tears with them. I’ve spoken at funerals of a couple of them, and hugged their grieving mothers.

None of these things make me anything great or special.

Except what an honor it is to be someone who is trusted to be part of so many people’s special moments.

What an honor it is to be given a second chance to be a dad once again.

 

Post 3-121

Doing Alright

Hey Kids,

Am I lucky?

I rode a motorcycle to work.

I have a job. It pays.

I ate breakfast this morning and Take-and-Bake Pizza for dinner.

I have a place to call home. It has a roof that doesn’t leak and an oven that works.

I own a phone and a laptop and a TV. More computer fighting power than what put a man on the moon.

It’s raining tonight- another kick to the dead horse called the drought (a good thing in this case).shapeimage_3

My bed awaits. It has covers and a sleeping wife and cat who love me.

Am I lucky? I don’t know, but you’d be hard pressed to conclude I have it rough.

I’m doing alright.

 

Post 3-108

Home

Hey Kids,

England. Scotland. Ireland.

France.

Sweden. Denmark.

I hear they’re all great places. I can only vouch for France.

I loved France and the French language. I even found a deep fondness of the French people. I ate their cheeses. I rode their trains. I regret I didn’t try their wine, but I hear it’s top notch.paris

Paris was everything they say it would be. The Eiffel Tower, the Metro, and the Avenue des Champs-Elysees are living art pieces. And the Lady of them all, Notre Dame, captured my eternal admiration from atop the right bell tower, watching the city bustle below on a sunny afternoon. I love that city. If you get the chance to go, do it.

So what’s with the other countries I listed? They are countries from where my ancestors came.

I know near nothing about them. If time and resources allow me, I hope to visit them all. They are my countries, my homes, and the lands of the people who gave me everything.

For whatever reason, they left those places. Given what they knew, their hope lied across the sea, over here in America. Better future for them. Better future for me.

So when I read an article, like I did today, that America is no longer within the top 20 preferred places from where to own a passport (tied for 35th); I honestly can’t think of any other place I would trade with.

I’m right where some people who knew better, left me.

 

Post 3-063

Thoughtful Flashback

Hey Kids,

Roughly 37 years ago, a young man boarded an airplane. That airplane took him to where few had ventured- north of the Arctic Circle. That crossing changed him for life.

I was that young man.

Little time passes between the lessons I learned there make themselves manifest in my life. Stories, sayings, memories. They all waft in and through my life like guardian angels directing my course. But sometimes, the recollections seem like distant, faint dreams where one wonders if it really happened at all.

It was a seemingly small gesture combined with minimal expenses such as a color copy, a little of some employee’s time to inscribe details, and a stamp. But the certificate sent to me by Alaska Airlines those nearly four decades ago, found itself back into my hands today. A certificate confirming that I had indeed crossed the Arctic Circle on the 17th of May, 1980 enroute to Kotzebue, Alaska.img_20170208_212308518

The deluge of memories returned. A remembrance of those things so important so long ago. I’ve never been able to return to the gold fields of the north, but that paper did everything but buy my return ticket.

That stamp has paid for itself yet again. Nice job Alaska Airlines, and thank you!

 

P.S. I hope to soon tell some of those stories in a series of books I have mapped out. The working title is Inmachuk Confabulations.

 

Post 3-039

Kind Words

Hey Kids,

Today is a day to celebrate.

Not just because we were accepted into an ownership of a houseboat.

Not just because said houseboat is located on Lake Powell.boatonpowell

Not just because we will be on that houseboat on Lake Powell for hopefully years to come.

But because we have enough friends who are willing to say good things on our behalf to help us get it.

Now to learn how to pilot a houseboat.

 

Post 3-023

The Last day of the 50th Year

Hey kids,

Tomorrow, I’m fifty.

At forty, I mentioned that I was then half dead. At fifty, I don’t feel like that so much;  instead, I feel like I’m at the beginning of the best decade ever.

I feel healthier, even if I might not be. I feel happier, even though I carry a huge sadness. I feel like I have ever bit as much energy since I was in my 20’s or 30’s. Yes, 50 is going to be good to me I think.title-50

If for no other reason than I am going to make my 50’s good to me.

Punch the ticket, the ride is about to start.

 

Post #379

 

Life After Death

Hey kids,

Last night I reported on the death of my laptop. It may have been slightly exaggerated.

The screen is broke and the touch screen is still wacked out but life clung to the micro circuits.

My back up computer proved to be too slow to become updated, so I fought with the erratic screen to little avail. But then an old joke flashed through my stained brain.

“Doctor, my arm hurts when I move it like this.”

“Then don’t move it like that.”compangel

<<Rim shot>>

Everything appeared to work, except the touch screen.

So I disabled the touch screen.

Tada!

Fully functional traditional laptop. Old school.

And then to top it all off, I check the receipt to see how long I’ve had this machine. The date said January 2015, but more importantly I noticed the line item labeled Extended Warranty on the invoice.

What??!

I forgot, I paid for the second year of warranty which covers accidents. I might be covered after all.

Dead is not always fatal.

 

Post #377

Update on Uncle Harold

Hey Kids,

A quick update on the work I believe is owed to the headstone of Uncle Harold, killed in WWII.

We attacked the headstone with a turf knife and got the edges cut back some. I think some more might be needed but it was a good start.

We brought water and wetted the stone and added some simple dish detergent.

With a stiff brush we began to remove the years of over growth staining. It’ll take a few times and I’ll do some better investigation on maybe some better methods, but for now, I think the progress is good.

I’d be more than open to suggestions to help the process along.

11329966_772156879564101_2161782549950359240_n

IMG_20150531_164234_023 

 

Day 97

Birthday Week- Saturday

Hey Kids,

Saturday of my Birthday Week. Last day, I promise. All week I’ve been listing things I’m thankful for and things that make getting older worth the effort.

Saturday- My Faith.

Faith means a lot of things to different people. To me it means those things that I believe, hope, or count on deep in my thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It extends beyond the question to which religion you subscribe. It’s more than a set of do’s and don’ts. It’s the feeling of how and why.

Manti Utah Temple which some of my ancestors help to build

Manti Utah Temple which some of my ancestors help to build

I’ve been raised Mormon and I cherish the heritage that gave me. Beyond belonging to a group of people from a particular family or country, I belong to a history of people who chose to be together, who struggled together, and who put their faith in things beyond the conventional possibilities. I’ve been blessed with this association for my entire life. (Sometimes plagued, I confess.)

As a child I learned to trust the happenings around me. Persevere and move forward, better things await those that do.

As a teenager, I kept myself out of a lot of trouble (not all). Some that might’ve affected my life in undesirable ways.

I remember as an 18 year old, new to the construction site, I was designated to hold the weekly football bet money. Several hundred dollars were put in my trust, over the weekend, not because they knew me, but because they knew I was Mormon. It taught me to be true to what I claimed as my values in all times, especially when others counted on it.

My Faith took me to France and Switzerland and taught me French. A lesson I will never forget.

My Faith has given me the encouragement to carry on through in justices in the world. A belief that the ultimate justice would be based on how I acted on a day-to-day basis and not in a tally for tally, eye for an eye method in what was fair in the world. It gave me a compass.

My Faith has allowed me to ask questions, to challenge my own Faith, to dig deep for answers and when lines don’t meet, dig deeper, to relax when things aren’t perfect, and believe and hope that one day it will be.

I’ve stated a very big, private part of me in just a few sentences. I don’t mean to trivialize it but to just give a small glance into why I think it’s the growth of that faith that I look forward to as I get older. I wonder what questions I don’t even know how to ask yet.I fear and anticipate with hope to see what Faith has to offer in the future.

At least, that’s what I believe anyway.

Day 82