It’s A Double Miracle !

Jennifer’s Daniel has a story to tell that will make you believe in miracles. Well, I’m going to tell it, not Daniel. He’s not here so it’s got to be me. It works best for me that way because with him in close proximity there’s always the danger that he’d want me to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. So, since I’m unsupervised I’ll just tell it like I remember.

Daniel is driving a 2003 PT Cruiser GT that has in excess of 170K miles on the speedo. During that time it’s had minor issues that were easily dealt with, making it a good commuter vehicle for him.

His commute includes windy, narrow, Cornelius Pass Road which always has wrecks on it. Missing them all is impossible. If you use that road on a regular basis you will eventually encounter a wreck, or be in a wreck. That’s just the way it works. Yesterday, though he neither encountered a wreck or got in one, he got a pretty good scare once all the possible horrible outcomes had been considered. The rest of the family was spared the bad news until it could be related as good news.

Amidst the teeming stream of vehicles rushing home from Portland to Scappoose and St. Helens, Daniel felt a shudder in the car that quickly became far more than a mere shudder. Fortunately he was able to get to the shoulder and out of harms way. Not knowing what was wrong, and wisely choosing not to attempt to drive it, he called me and I went to see how I could help. My initial feeling was that my AAA card was going to come in handy, and that turned out to be the case.

After calling for a tow we sat, talked, and listened to the radio for three hours before the truck showed up. During that time we were visited with one Oregon State Trooper and one Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy. The Trooper, seeing that we were OK, wished us well and left. The Deputy, however, put out some flares to warn drivers. It was pitch black dark where we were sitting so the flares were a great idea.

When the flares were placed the Deputy was walking back to his vehicle when a car whizzed by, well over the speed limit, with no attempt to move away from the parked vehicles. The Deputy said, “I’ll be right back,” then jumped in his vehicle and chased the guy down. It was a beautiful thing to see. True to his word, he was back in about 15 minutes, made sure we were still OK then went off into the night. Both of us were very happy about the visits from both the Trooper and Deputy.

We had the PT towed to my house so we could take a look to see what we could see before attempting to call the high-priced help. I got to bed around 12:30 am, way past my bed time.

This morning Daniel and I approached the PT with the intention of moving it into the driveway. Our attempt to push it was proving to be very difficult which caused us to look closer for the problem. This revealed to us the true nature of the miracle. The tie rod on the left front wheel broke allowing the left wheel to go its own way. Had this happened when Daniel was going down Cornelius Pass he would have surely left the road and plunged into the canyon because there’s no other place to go. The miracle is that it didn’t break then. It broke after he turned on to Highway 30 for the final phase of the commute.

A trip to the local O’Reilly Car Parts joint provided us with the second miracle when we discovered that the part we needed only cost $14.71. That’s what it cost to get it back on the road. Truly amazing, I’d say.

Other costs were time, effort, and extremely greasy hands. Considering the possibilities, the entire family was vastly relieved and none of us cared about that.

Daniel was safe. That’s what we cared about.

Now I can’t help but think about Jennifer because she drives those same roads on her commute, too. I may make myself crazy with all this unless I have everyone’s assurance that they’ll pray for all the commuters in the world no matter what roads they drive. That should cover all possibilities.

Thanks

Peeps Stash

Diane went to the pharmacy to get some new vitamins she read about, but they didn’t have any. So, she got Peeps instead. She stocks up during Easter sales, and any other sales that have Peeps, and stores them in a cupboard that only I can reach. When she has a need she must plead with me to get a box down for her. IMG_0362

She doesn’t really plead because she knows I’ll do whatever she asks me of me. Consequently, she always gets her Peeps.

Lydia’s 17! Already? … and other stuff …

Yesterday was Lydia’s 17th birthday. I know that’s true because I distinctly remember celebrating her 16th birthday about this time a year ago. Also, everyone was congratulating her on her 17th birthday making it even more clear to me. Here’s Lydia with her two best buds, Georgie and Ceirra.

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Lydia’s party was held at the tea house in St. Helens where we ate tiny little sandwiches with interesting innards (one with curry that tricked me into thinking I was eating egg salad), various flavors of tea (all very good), many kinds of desserts (all good), and great service. Georgie, Lydia’s good friend, who works at the tea house, sat at the table with us to ensure we had the best service. We did, of course.

Georgie in her working uniform. The British flag apron is significant because her Mom, Jacqui, is from England and that’s where Georgie is going to college after graduating this year.

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Maryssa, our only niece, has been tearing up the ball park with home runs lately. It all started when Diane and I were present at her game here in Oregon where she hit her first collegiate homer. A monster at the plate, she is.

Cedric will be leaving for boot camp mid April. He’s very excited about getting on with his life and a possible Navy career. We’re excited for him. Until he gets the call telling him when his departure date will be, he’s just hanging out …

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Actually, he’s grabbing some rest after helping monitor the task of hiding eggs for the little girls. It is Easter, you know. So, Happy Easter.

The kids, big and little, all had a terrific time hiding the eggs (plastic ones with candy inside) then helping them find them. When that was done, the little girls got to hide eggs for the big kids. It was a great time. Lots of energy. The difference in the eggs is that the big kid eggs had money inside, not candy. Since Cedric is leaving soon for a paying job in the Navy, he gave the money he found to his sister, Lydia. What a guy.

Now, I’ll end with some pictures of all the fun they had, then I’m going to bed.

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This is the Blackwood Legacy gospel group from Nashville. They blessed our little church last Wednesday evening with a 2 hour concert that blew our socks off. These guys are terrific. If you ever have the chance to see the in person, do so, by all means. They are (left to right) Paul, Hunter, Rick, and Luke. Amazing artists.

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Jennie’s brother, Jeff, enjoying a cup of tea at Lydia’s party. The tea was pretty awesome.IMG_2971

Ceirra, Lydia, and GeorgieIMG_2975

A plate of food before it was rapidly decimatedIMG_2977

The girls, againIMG_3024

Gilligan and JennieIMG_3013

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This is, like, the best T-shirt ever for LydiaIMG_2981

More of the food. I must admit that I had my very first jelly and banana sandwich here and it was actually pretty good. Who knew? This is a photo of Diane’s hand headed for the plate to grab something.
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Gilligan in full sprint mode looking for eggs

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Little kids off to hide eggs for the big kids, Baylee in the leadDSC_4960

This is out of sequence, because I think it’s big kids hiding eggs for little kids.DSC_4957

Just checking to see if you’re still awake. I have no idea who this is, but he, or she, has pretty much hit the limit, I’d say. I suspect getting an MRI, should the need arise, probably won’t happen.

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Fall Ball, and Handicap Parking

Greetings on this rainy afternoon from St. Helens, Oregon. We had a gully washer this afternoon that rated right up there with one of the best we’ve ever encountered in our lives. Except for the one in 1976

Thankfully, all that rain happened just about the time we returned home from our second day of a two-day softball tournament in Hillsboro and Beaverton. The St. Helens Varsity team played two games each day. The first game yesterday was at 11:00 am which our girls won 8-5 (I think). The second game was played at 1:30 pm and it rained the entire game so the girls were cold and very wet. The other team all had rain gear so they weren’t bothered as much. That’s as good a reason as any for our girl’s 10-1 loss. It was brutal. Below are Diane (left) and Jennifer (scorekeeper) trying to stay dry. It didn’t work well.

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This morning the first game was at 9:00 am so we had to leave home at 8:00 am to get there in time. The weather was a bit better, just sprinkling a bit. That game got off to a good start when our girls rang up two runs in the top of the first inning. Then our opponents came back with 5 of their own before defense kicked in and finished the inning. There was no scoring in the 2nd, and only one by the home team in the 3rd making it 6-2. It stayed that way until the 7th when St. Helens got their bats working again and tied the game at 6-6. Our defense got 2 outs quickly, but the home team battled back and loaded the bases. The game ended when a bad throw to 1st for a sure out was dropped allowing a run to score making it 7-6. Still, it was a good game and fun to watch the girls rally back to tie it up.

We had to wait a couple of hours between games so we went to Panda Express to get something to eat. I’m not normally a fan of Chinese Fast Food, but this was pretty good stuff. We were in a hurry so Diane wasn’t too concerned about getting between the lines …

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The last game, at 1:30 pm this afternoon, was very different. Our girls won it going away 18-1 in five innings. It was pretty awesome and we’re proud of our girls. What made the two victories especially sweet is that all four opponents were 6A teams and St. Helens is 5A. The higher the number, the bigger the school. So, they really stepped it up and should have gained a lot of confidence.

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In case you can’t read the scoreboard numbers, the top row for guest is: 6 3 1 8 0. Pretty nice.

Now, about that rain storm in 1976 on Guam … it was in the form of Typhoon Pamela which dropped 33.7 inches of rain on us in three days. The official records report that the winds were only 150 mph sustained, for 18 hours, with no mention of gusts. What we on the island heard was 180 mph sustained, for 18 hours, with gusts to 220 mph. It’s more dramatic using our numbers. We went outside when the eye of the storm passed over us and experienced the eerie calm. Jeff was even wading in the street before the storm returned. We were without power for 9 days. A fun time was had by all.

That’s all I have for today except to note that our dogs, who were all alone for 9 hours today, were extremely happy to see us return.

March Madness has me in it’s grip!

Is anyone tired of college basketball yet?

Not me … as long as Oregon, my first favorite team, keeps winning.

My second favorite team is whoever beats Notre Dame.

My third favorite is Gonzaga.

After watching the boys play for a while I did some channel checking and found a Women’s NCAA playoff. I watch their games quite often and each time each time it kind of saddens me because they don’t get the attention the boys get. They play every bit as hard and make exciting plays, just like the boys, but it’s like the news doesn’t have a lot of time to talk about them.

So, no matter what you see and read, NCAA women are also part of March Madness and worth your time. I was pleased to see that my March 21st, 2016 issue of Sports Illustrated devoted six whole pages to the ladies. I’ve had the magazine for about a week, I think, and found it interesting that today is only the 19th. How clairvoyant they must be.

Today was a beautiful one in our part of Oregon. I should have been golfing but chose, instead, to help my friend Randy install a stair lift in our church so those who can’t do stairs can make it down to the basement for coffee after church. If never had the opportunity to try picking one of those things up, just trust me … they are really heavy. Thankfully, Randy is young and strong so he took the end with the motor.

Getting it installed, and making it work, was a magical feat since neither of us had ever done something like that before. Making it more interesting is ensuring all the little safety switches work. There are a bunch of them and we didn’t have any instructions. I suppose that we probably wouldn’t have looked at them if we did, but it would have been nice to have a book handy, just in case. A couple of minutes before reaching the point where we were going to take the safeties out of the equation, we figured them out.

Now it’s time for bed. There are more BB games tomorrow and I need to be rested so I can artfully change channels just in time to catch the good plays.

Please! Make it stop!

Everywhere I look, or listen, it’s all about politics. I know, it’s that time again, but it’s all so … so … predictable. All the candidates slamming each other because the one speaking has all the answers and they share them so eloquently. Mostly in politician-ese.

Like this …

After Hillary won Ohio today I was listening to the radio, my favorite talk show, and she said like “… we are going to win this and in January I will be sitting in the White House making decisions that will affect a lot of people …”

That’s pretty close to a direct quote but if it isn’t, the meaning is there. By that, I mean it means nothing. Yes, she’s going to make decisions that will affect a lot of people but omitting what even one of those decisions might be about tells a story, don’t you think?

Pretty typical statement using a lot of words to say nothing.

Interesting how Trump slam-dunked Rubio in Florida.

Through all of this I hear a steady dialogue about how the FBI is still considering charges against Hillary regarding her emails and that if she’s elected she might take the oath of office from her jail cell. Interesting visual … hand on Bible, hand in the air reciting “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” In reading that I was struck how every president who’s taken the oath is given an “out” in the part that says “..to the best of my Ability, …”.  Guess whenever they make a mistake they can fall back on that and say, “well, I did my best.”

Though I’m really, really tired of hearing all the rhetoric, from all the candidates, I’m really curious to discover how it all turns out. If Trump wins things will be very interesting.

The Wind Gets Stonger …

The leaders of our country, and those who aspire to lead, are causing the promise of wind storms by local weather people, and I’m pretty sure these same leaders, and wannabes, are in some way responsible for all the terrible weather related events that are tormenting residents of our Mid West. I haven’t figured out how they’re doing it, but I’ll figure it out eventually.

Regarding our wind issues, I think it’s pretty clear that all the hot air being expelled by the politicians have encircled the globe and are assaulting our west coast with a vengeance. I’m not talking just along the coast. Nope. It’s going to be nearly hurricane force winds for half of Oregon and Washington, top to bottom. I’m not worried because, after my little fake tarp garage blew over twice, I dismantled it. When the weather improves to the point where it’s essentially not needed, I’ll reassemble it. Maybe this time I’ll find a way to anchor it to the ground even though there will be no campaigning this time next year. Our big election will be over in November and we’ll have 4 years of blissful silence, and maybe better weather.

Seems like I heard, a long time ago, that in Japan, political candidates are only allowed to campaign and advertise two weeks before their election. Since I wasn’t sure if it’s true, but think it should be for ALL elections everywhere, I looked up ‘stuff’ on the internet about restrictions on Japan’s political campaigns. You can see what I found here. I’m sharing it because I’m not sure what it says. I think it prohibits political activity, except for the right to vote,   while serving. Perhaps someone out there can clarify what it says. I want it to say that politicians in office aren’t allowed to campaign during working hours and I want that to become true for the US, too.

No! Wait! I forgot that I’m descended from royalty and will be running for King as soon as I work out all the kinks. I’m against campaigning during working hours, which isn’t a problem because I don’t have a job. How convenient is that? I can campaign all the time. Now all I need is a campaign fund. I’ve actually already started one with money I’ve been saving for years. It’s a little rabbit bank I keep on my dresser into which I put all the quarters I receive in change for purchases. All the other change goes into an empty 1 liter Dr. Pepper bottle in my closet. The quarters don’t fit is why they are stored in a different place. I think I have may $37.86, or thereabouts. It’s a start. Please DO NOT send me money. I’m going to do this on my own. Just like Donald.

The only obstacles that may prove difficult are my two older brothers. Using current rules of royalty, the older brother, Jim, has first dibs. If he abdicates the throne is open to Jack. Then there’s me. So, one of these days you’re going to be working for either King Jimmie, King Jackie, or King Jerrie. I think all of them sound pretty cool, for king names. Depending on which ever one of us takes the throne, you’ll also have either a Queen Donna, Queen Wynette, or Queen Diane.

I just added that about the prospective queens so you’ll know who’s really in charge.

Gotta go before I get in more trouble.

Before I do that, however, thanks to all of you from around the world who take time out of your day to visit me. I’m always amazed when people do that. Especially those that come back again. Most recently, someone from Brazil has been checking me out many days in a row.

So, hello, there.