Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Give life everything you've got!

We went to French's orchard last week to pick peaches to freeze. I love this time of year! Fresh peaches, apples, corn on the cob, watermelon.... It just doesn't get any better when it comes to fresh produce. I love a tree-ripened peach. Wash it well, and dig in. Don't forget a napkin!

As we were pulling in to pick, I saw this little twig of an apple tree among the other full grown trees. It was right on th edge of the rest of the orchard, stretching upward with all its might. It reminded me of a little toddler trying to be accepted by the older kids in the family and saying "I can, too!" As I looked at this little tree in passing, I realized it had an apple on it. I stopped to take a better look, and there were two full size apples on it, and one on the ground under it that had fallen off! I had to admire that tree. It put all of it's energy into growing those apples, even though it had very little to give to begin with. It would have been acceptable for that little tree to go a few years with little or no fruit. Nobody would have cared. After all, it was so small. But that little tree didn't let its size or any other obstacle get in its way. Go little tree! Go!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh, to be young again

I was at the club with Shelli playing tennis yesterday, and there were 3 older men waiting for their 4th to show up for doubles. They watched us for about 20 minutes, then when they were in the breezeway between courts heading out to play, one of them said "Oh to be as young as them again" as he watched us play. It was louder than he intended, so I heard it clearly. It made me think to be grateful for my youth, my energy, and to be at this stage in life. It also made me look forward to about 50 more years of tennis and life! I hope to still be playing at his age!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rachel's poem. Remembering those teenage blues.

Here is a poem Rachel wrote for school. I corrected a couple of minor things, but here it is and the picture she drew with it. It reminded me of how lonely the teenage years can be. How much those kids rely on others to make them feel accepted and "normal".

Sometimes I'm a shadow, sometimes I'm not.
My friends are here, but not a lot.
I feel kind of lonely, I do wear black.
I am a shadow, not very in tact.
I have lots of friends, but I don't always feel
like they're there, that they're not real.
I don't know why I feel this way.
I just do, that's all I'll say.
Not everyone's nice, life can be hard.
Sometimes my friends will leave me scarred.
I can be a shadow, I can be a light.
Depends on how I feel; sometimes uptight.
In this world, you're not always noticed,
it can't be helped. Not everyone cares.
The world is harsh, and I've been taught
sometimes I'm a shadow, and sometimes I'm not.

She's such a good girl, and it's hard for me to see her brooding one day, and happy the next. Fortunately she doesn't survive on her friends always being there. She's a little more independent and I hope it serves her well. I love her very much!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How does she do that?

Ok, it might embarrass Shelli, but I have to tell you about her playing tennis. She has always loved it (it's in her genes, really) and played in high school. I remember when I first met her, she was really into playing on the high school team. I thought it was a little funny because tennis was a total sissy sport at my school. It was ok for girls, I thought. Then I tried to play her. Well, I got beat pretty badly, but it made me want to keep playing. I have many fond memories of playing tennis in the summer until late at night. We'd play under the lights, bugs swarming, sweat beading, competitive but in love at the same time. The winner (and the loser) would get a kiss over the net, and the game would go on. What great dates those were.
Fast forward a few years (ok, like almost 20!) until now. Tennis has never left her blood, but she had to leave it behind to help raise the kids and keep me in school. There just wasn't the time or the money. Now we have a little more money, and sometimes more time. Last year we decided it was time for her to take lessons and join a league. I thought it was a good idea since I could beat her all the time and she struggled with her serve and forehand.
Let me tell you about who beats who now! IF I win, it's a long match and often ends in a tie-beraker. She has gotten so good I want to discontinue her lessons until I can beat her again! We got to play in a Valentines day tournament for doubles, and we had so much fun! She has helped me love the game, but I don't know if many love it as much as her (and her grandma!)

I tried to find a picture of her playing to post, but I'll have to take some. I don't have any yet! She is a great player, winning all of her matches basically, and keeps moving up in her women's league at the club! I am very proud of her, and happy she is doing something for herself that she loves! What a great sport, and a great player she is!

Keep it up Shlolly!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I love water, and what exactly IS a stern squirt?

I love being outside, and have a special love of the water. We are blessed with tons of water in this area, and some of my best times with my family have been on the river. We boat, swim, ski, tube, even pic-nic in the boat! We go for walks by the river, fish, skip rocks, camp, and many other things by the water. And.... we stern squirt! This is something I just learned to do in my little kayak. I have discovered it's called a stern squirt for two reasons. First, the stern is always your backside. This could be the back of the boat, or hypothetically your own backside. Now, a stern squirt is performed by paddling out of an eddy into the current, leaning the side/stern of the boat into the current which flips your nose or bow up into the air. If done properly, and you recover right side up, it's called a kayak stern squirt. If you blow it, roll upside down, and panic, it just might elicit another type of "stern squirt" for which you may need to dry-clean your dry-suit after the day! :) Check it out!

Monday, March 3, 2008


1.two of the same sort considered together; pair.
2.two persons considered as joined together, as a married or engaged pair, lovers, or dance partners: They make a handsome couple.
3.any two persons considered together.
4.Mechanics. a pair of equal, parallel forces acting in opposite directions and tending to produce rotation.
5.Also called couple-close. Carpentry. a pair of rafters connected by a tie beam or collar beam.
6.a leash for holding two hounds together.
7.Fox Hunting. two hounds: 25 hounds or 121/2 couple.
–verb (used with object)
8.to fasten, link, or associate together in a pair or pairs.
9.to join; connect.
10.to unite in marriage or in sexual union.

Lately, I have been noticing that the people we hang around with, correspond with, and generally admire are some of the neatest couples. We have some new blog friends (Travis and Camille) that reminded me of when we got married (15 years this year, dear - I won't forget our anniversary) and what a cool thing it is. Marriage isn't the easiest thing, but it is the greatest. A recent re-acquaintance of mine who is in his 50's and still single said it best while kayaking and talking about our wives "letting" us go and kayak now and then. He said "any relationship, even a somewhat restrictive one, is way better than being alone." Very true words indeed. So, to our friends, Benoits, Hickmans, Halversons, Cains, Wibergs, Rawlins, Robinsons, and so many others,to the couples who are making it, and making the world better together than they could on their own....thank you! You inspire me, and make me smile about all that's good about being together. And Shelli, thanks for being there through EVERYTHING! Home is where my heart is, even though my hobbies may take me far from there at times. p.s. wanna play some tennis while you still have the flu? Maybe I could win this time?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I fell off a 16' waterfalll!

I happened to be in a kayak, and it was a bit scary, but after the first time it wasn't so bad on the following 2 times.

I'm in blue/yellow with a blue helmet and red PFD, and a little black kayak. What a thrill! The best part was how I submarined that drop. Not the best form, but it was kind of fun to disappear for a second or two, then pop back upright and catch my breath! Who's ready to go with me?

Monday, February 11, 2008

So, you think your'e in pretty good shape?

Ok, for those of you out there who think you are in pretty good shape.....think again. And, if you would like to get in better shape.....think about this guy to your left. I had heard about Dean Karnazes in Outside magazine. I knew he was an amazing runner, and knew he had this book out. I finally bought it, and WOW! It has inspired me to get off my butt and get to work. This guy truly is an amazing piece of human strength and, no other way to put it, ENDURANCE. I am not saying we should worship this guy, but I think it's safe to say there are few if any athletes out there EVER that hold a candle to this guy. Check him out at www.ultramarathonman.com and see for yourself. Buy the book. It's worth every penny. Well, I gotta go. Time to go for a run!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

to the 1980's

This week I got a call from an old friend, inviting me to go see the new Rambo movie. In his voicemail, he reminisced about how we were so into those movies as young teens. We all had our own "Rambo" survival knives with the compass in the handle, and pretended we were survival specialists on boy scout campouts. I laughed out loud as I listened to his message, and thought fondly of those times. Then, I began to feel veeeerrrryyyyy ooooolllldddd. I had to pinch myself when I thought about how 1980 was 28 years ago. How kids that were born in 1990 (the year I graduated high school) will be graduating from high school this year. How kids now when they "dress like the 80's" for school are really like us "dressing like the 50's and 60's" when we were in high school. I am like totally an 80's child, a stud, buffed, rad, totally awesome, and whatever other words we used to describe ourselves as cool. I don't have a mullet, wear a white glove, or acid washed shredded jeans, or have "tight buns in 501's" anymore. I don't listen to Van Halen and jump everytime the song says to, I don't use the words stoner or jock. I don't wish I had a black Firebird with a little sliding red light on the grill, or drive a Ferrari 308 GT like Thomas Sullivan Magnum, and I don't swing my head around and pretend I am playing a jamming guitar solo, but I am still a product of the 80's. What a great era! Come on everybody FEEL THE NOISE!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

snowboarding with the kids

I took Rachel and Tanner snowboarding to Mission ridge ski area near Wenatchee. It was their 3rd time boarding, and they were able to use their very own boards for the first time. Tanner is doing GREAT at his carving and turns. He even rode a low rail at the end of the day! I was so proud of him. Rachel keeps a good attitude up, but is resistant to learning her carves. She is so funny, because she bruises her tailbone in the first 10 minutes of boarding each time we go, and then it bothers her the rest of the day. Solution? Stop falling down, Rachel! :)
It was great fun boarding with just me and the kids. I enjoy being with them, and now that they are growing up, they are really fun and interactive companions!