Posts Tagged ‘friends’

My Mom’s Blog

May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, in remembrance of you on this day!

Just a photo or two or three and some music to honor my Mom, that’s all.

A few notes about the music and photos. My Mom was buried in Liberty, Texas. I was able to honor her with a visit in 2015. The bird is the Varied Thrush. It represents my beautiful Mom, because I couldn’t find a good picture of her to share with you. The music is totally random but music that I thought was appropriate to express my feelings about her. The Glen Miller piece was from her era. He died in 1944. She died in 1964. Listen at your leisure to the music as I did when I was putting this together.

It was good to visit Mom's grave.

It was good to visit Mom’s grave.

Glenn Miller: Big Band (swing)
Stevie Wonder: You are the Sunshine of My Life
Norman Greenbaum: Spirit in the Sky
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Varied Thrush

Lion King soundtrack: The Circle of Life
Vangelis: The Tao of Love

I miss you, Mom!

Birthday Blog: 2017

February 23, 2017

Another birthday, another year, I won’t tell you my exact age, but I’m right on the line between “baby boomers” and the one before that, which Tom Brokaw calls the “Greatest Generation”. But this blog isn’t about me; it’s about and for my folks.

Blogger disclaimer: I wondered in the past about social media, about very personal information, Uncle Jack’s favorite chili recipe notwithstanding, actually I thought it was very tasty :), or other more intimate information. Being a private person, it didn’t sit well with me, telling the world those things that should be reserved only for the person who is sharing or for their family and close friends. Breaking through that shell of privacy, in this blog post I’m sharing very personal information. It just seemed appropriate to say it after all these years, as a tribute to my Mom and Dad.

Don’t Ever Take Them for Granted

Taking parents for granted is not something anyone should do. When they’re around, you should appreciate and cherish them. My Mom and Dad have both been gone a long time, my Mom in 1964 and my Dad in 1985. When I hear people talk about their parents, no matter what the context, it makes me think of my own parents.

First, and most important, they were good parents, in all the ways parents should be good parents – disciplining, education, providing a home, and more. On Sundays (and other days), my Mom always had dinner ready on time. With my Dad, it was doing stuff like hunting and fishing, which we did a lot of. I had many wonderful father-son “bonding experiences” with my Dad.

Rites of Passage

Pow, the loud sound broke the silence of the cold morning air. My Dad had driven us out to one of his favorite spots on the deer lease, called “Devil’s Hollow”. The lease, a big ranch probably 500-600 acres, was in the Texas hill country near Mason many hours drive away from our home in southeast Texas. All layered up to ward off the sub-freezing cold, we trudged up the hills with our rifles until we found a good spot behind a scrub oak tree. I got settled in to wait, and my Dad left. The viewpoint was great with a clear view across the draw and to the left and right. I was about 14 years old at the time. I had my hand warmers going and my multiple layers of clothing but was still cold. Soon a nice 8-point buck stepped out about 90-100 yards away across the draw. I took careful aim with the scoped rifle and shot him through the right shoulder. He took a step or two and went down. I stayed in place behind the scrub oak, and the “buck acres” started (see note). Basically, the shakes, it happens to hunters, athletes, etc. after something exciting just happened. Another buck materialized on my left, possibly a trophy buck, within easy shooting distance, but I missed (too much excitement). My Dad, who had barely enough time to get down the hill, came back to help me. We went over and field-dressed the deer and packed him down the hill. My first deer, it was a great morning for a young kid!

Note:  OK, “buck acres” is a colloquial expression, hopefully I spelled it correctly, but deer hunters are familiar with it. I couldn’t verify it online.

One of my big regrets in life is that I didn’t do more of the “man thing” with my son when he was growing up. Oh we’d set off rockets, take the skiff out on the lake to fish, and stuff like that, but that was about it. All Dads should be aware that once those years are gone, they’re gone. If you’re a Dad, don’t mess up, and I’m not excluding daughters, spend quality time with them too.

A Belated Eulogy for My Dad

I don’t remember my Dad ever saying I love you, but I don’t begrudge him for that because I know he loved me. I loved and still love you, Dad. So this is my belated eulogy to you, Dad, perhaps to make up for the shaky knees and quavering voice that I had at your funeral service in 1985, reading some Bible verses, and wanting to say more. This is my testimony to you 32 years later. Rest in peace, Dad.

1 Peter 1:24: “For all men are like grass, and all their glory is like flowers of the field, the grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

A Belated Eulogy for Mom

Her passing was more than 20 years earlier than my Dad, in 1964. The details of her personality and her life are not totally clear in my memory, but some things stand out. I mentioned her dinners (we used to say “supper”) were consistently on time. On Sundays after church, as I recall it was usually roast beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans. My love of cookies comes from my Mom – she’d make peanut butter cookies with the impressions made with a fork and homemade tapioca pudding, yum! The house was always neat and clean.

I’m going to quote from an old letter (January 21, 1959), just an excerpt, which I think speaks volumes of what kind of person my Mom was:

“Dearest Elaine,

How are you? I’m so ashamed of myself for not writing or calling. I think of you many times a day and pray that you are adjusting yourself to your aloneness. No one can know what you are going through until they go through the loss of their loved one. I do feel that you and Edwin had something within your own lives that few, few married people ever find. It seems very ironical and sad that mortals cannot express themselves naturally and freely. I have never learned to show or let others know how I feel.”

1 Corinthian 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Liberty, Texas Memories

Interestingly, in 2013 I went back to Liberty for my 50-year high school reunion. Besides seeing my friends that I hadn’t seen in a half century, a couple of other notable events happened. Going to a pep rally at the new high school and a Friday night football game was a real treat, and it seemed like I was back in 1963 (Back to the Future) sitting in the stands cheering for the team (they won). But more importantly as planned, I went to see my Mom’s grave site (pictures of both my Mom’s and Dad’s grave sites are below). I wanted to decorate the headstone and found the red flowers at a store in town.

The other thing that I had planned on my trip was to go see my old house. I knew that it was still there because I Googled it before I left Portland. As I zoomed-in in Google, I was kind of amazed to see it after so much time had passed. One day I drove over to the house. It had a For Sale sign in the yard so I called the agent to see if I could look at the house. She made a call; I went over, knocked on the door, and was greeted by a friendly face. The woman living there went to high school with my younger sister, which at the time I thought was an amazing coincidence, but you know Liberty is a small town. That and good ole Texas hospitality might have been the primary reasons why I was able to visit my old home so easily. Walking in the front door, I experienced one of those serendipitous moments, like I was time traveling back to my earlier life. The furniture and decor were different, but the floor plan was the same. I walked past the living room straight into the kitchen where my Mom prepared all those meals for us. The door to the garage was on the right, more memories of pickled snakes and of freshly killed deer hanging from the rafters waiting to be processed for the freezer. Not my Mom’s favorite place to hang out. We took the stairs to see my sisters’ bedroom and my brother’s and my bedroom at the end of a long hallway. This was the same room where I had to repaint the walls and ceiling in one corner because of a disastrous lab experiment with my new chemistry set, a Christmas present.

I’m going to wrap this up with pictures and music.

Links to previous blogs about Liberty, Texas:

Growing Up in Texas

Pep Rally and the Game

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young: Our House

 

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Merry Christmas 2016

December 26, 2016

What Happened to 2016?

Update: I forgot to add quotes yesterday, which I’m doing now including the Christmas quotes link at the bottom.

I like this next quote because it reminded me of an incident in my life at my home in Texas. I got a chemistry set as a Christmas present and immediately set about using it in my bedroom. While experimenting with mixing various chemicals, I decided to heat a test tube and forgot to take the stopper out. I wasn’t hurt, but I had a nice painting project repairing the ceiling and walls in the corner of my bedroom.

John Vane
At the age of 12, my parents gave me a chemistry set for Christmas, and experimentation soon became a consuming passion in my life.

Read more John Vane quotes if you’re  interested.

Back to the Future (main them from Back to the Future soundtrack)

I watched Back to the Future again (for the umpteenth time) the other day. It’s definitely in my top 10 list of favorite movies, heck maybe even top 3, along with Raising Arizona and Predator. Further back in the list of favorites would be James Bond movies, especially the ones with Sean Connery (You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger, etc.). I noticed how young Michael J. Fox looked in Back to the Future. Of course the movie was made in 1985. I suppose it’s that aging thing, something about being relative to your own age makes a person react in a certain way. The music too is a big part of my favorite movies, Huey Lewis and the News in Back to the Future and John Barry in the Bond movies.

Coldplay: You Only Live Twice

What’s Your Point?

Someone close to me reminds me when I get off track or “excessively verbalize” – yikes, that’s not common wording, but I suppose it’s appropriate.

I was kinda getting off track, my main purpose, as I recall, was to say Merry Christmas, but I always like to throw in some pictures and music. Another thing on my mind was to mention that I’m running again (the slide show follows). For those who missed the late 2016 summer of my not running, I’m finally back. Adios to “the boot”, sayonara chump, good riddance, etc., etc.

Willie Nelson: On the Road Again

Pictures from My Recent Run

This area below isn’t terribly far from where I live in Oregon. By the way, the brown and white animals are alpacas, not horses. I also saw plenty of raptors and one dog, an untethered German Shepherd in someone’s yard, but he wasn’t interested in me.

I’m not running very fast these days, but it’s great to be out on the roads again.

Joe Cocker: Feelin’ Alright
Canned Heat: On the Road Again

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More Music and More Pictures and More Quotes

Just a few more pictures, selected at random, I do like taking pictures. and some music, then I’m done for this go-round, except for a whole bunch of Christmas quotes that I added.

Chicago: Wake Up Sunshine
Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music

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Harry’s Run, Part II (the Finish Line)

January 24, 2015
Professor Harry Alexander Deans, born June 17, 1932, died December 22, 2014

Professor Harry Alexander Deans, born June 17, 1932, died December 22, 2014 

“. . . and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)

About Harry Deans

Harry was a man of tremendous kindness. Though quiet by disposition he never failed to provide a big smile and hug, usually with a heartfelt chuckle. He was a man of powerful intellect and commitment that preferred being in the background unless you needed him, as still water runs deep. There is no doubt his daily example of unconditional love will live on within his family and never be forgotten. We will miss him so very much.

  • “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.” (Psalm 39:5)

Harry was born on June 17, 1932, in Dallas, Texas, to parents Herbert and Marie (Cooke) Deans.  Harry completed North Dallas High School before attending Rice University at age 16, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees. He pursued and earned his PhD from Princeton University in Chemical Engineering.  He was an outstanding student and a Rhodes Scholar.

  • “Then Jesus said to his disciples: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” (Luke 12:22)

Harry spent most of his lifetime mentoring his students. He joined Rice University as a professor where he was awarded the most prestigious Brown Award for teaching at spring graduation in 1974. After 25 years, he joined the faculty at the University of Houston in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering for eight years. He spent three years at Exxon Production Research in Houston before moving to a tenured position at the University of Wyoming for his last twelve years.  He was recognized as Emeritus when retiring to University of Texas in 2000. Harry was known in the petroleum engineering field as the inventor of enhanced oil production techniques.

  • “. . . that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” (John 3:15)

In addition to his professional activities, Harry was known to his students and colleagues as “Daddy Deans”. He enjoyed his young family with Karolyn, losing his son Sam at age 6, fostering Laurie’s interest in science, assisting Daniel in building his airplanes, urging Melissa to enjoy reading, and sharing his wit with Andrew, a standup comedian. Harry married Delora Elizabeth Deans on January 1, 1975, in Taos, New Mexico. He was “daddy” to Gregory Buckles who followed him to Rice and to Deborah Buckles Kimball, a national sales representative. He always supported daughter Catherine Marie in her artistic vocal endeavors.  His twelve grandchildren have found him to be a remarkable model and constant supporter of their interests.

  • “. . . but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Harry was a member of the Episcopal Church where he served as an usher and greeter. He maintained an interest in reading, music, skiing, hiking, and being outdoors enjoying nature. His love of flying flourished in Wyoming where he piloted the Scary Hairy Airlines with his Bonanza.

  • “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death,” (1 John 3:14)

He will be fondly missed by his wife of 40 years, Beth Deans, residing on their mini ranch in Georgetown, Texas. Harry is survived by his wife, a sister, two daughters, two sons, a step-son, and a step-daughter and their families including twelve grandchildren.

  • “The grass wither and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Tributes and Remembrances

Tribute, son Dan, Sunday, January 18, 2015:

It is a true honor to stand here this afternoon and share remembrances of my Dad, Harry Deans, and we truly appreciate all of you giving of your time today to be here, thank you for your grace. On behalf of his current wife of 40 years, Beth, his first wife 17 years, Karolyn, his children Laurie, Sam, Greg, Debbie, Melissa, Drew, Cathie and his 12 Grandchildren Kayleigh, Paige, Nicole, Collin, Cameron, Jonathan, Alex, Will, Daniel, Elizabeth, Tristan, and Matthew, and his sons-in-law Mark, Bill, John and Jim, and daughter-in-law Cathy, it is a privilege to share remembrances.

I want to first give God the glory, and to thank Him for sending His son Jesus Christ to be the propitiation for our sins.  There is no gift greater than that, and I am completely certain in God’s sovereignty, over this sad loss to our family, and to all other situations – He reigns over Heaven and earth, and I am grateful for the saving knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Harry Deans was a loving husband and a father, he was a caring teacher, a brilliant engineer and researcher, and he was an avid outdoorsman and adventurer, and more importantly, he cared about his family, friends and students, and that point has been made quite clear given the outpouring of wonderful comments, stories, and care that we have experienced over the last several weeks.  We have been so blessed to hear how Pop affected others in their life journeys, and he seemed to do so in a quiet and humble way.

Pop was brilliant, I used to tease him that he had a 2000 lb brain, and that he had a beautiful mind.  He was the first engineer I ever met, and along with many others that he taught, I was inspired into my career because of him. He was always patient in explaining to us how the process worked, and describing his work. We had no idea how complex the process of oil extraction was, and even that there was a need for enhanced oil recovery, but Pop was a giant in that field, and has done a large service to the world in advancing the technology of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

He was inventive, with more than 15 patents that I am aware of, with one of the most important process enhancements being the single well tracer test that has made such an impact on the oil and gas industry.  He has been featured on the National News, been around the world, and has passionately worked with many colleagues and scholars to advance the state of the discipline in enhanced oil recovery.

Pop was extremely confident, and could be very stubborn as well; He was so very sure in everything he took on.

He was a tactician – he always tackled a problem very methodically. He identified all boundaries, and solved the problem deliberately.

My Pop was creative and artistic, which is unusual for someone who had such a technical talent. He had the unending ability to tell stories and generate plots and intrigue on the fly – everyone one of his kids coveted the famous bed time stories that he told about the internationally known child agents George and Alice.  We all looked forward to bedtime, because Pop would get us tucked in and sit there and till we fell asleep telling us rich stories about the adventures of those two.  And it did not stop with us; he carried on that tradition with his grandkids. He cared about his kids and grandkids.

Pop loved music, but not just any music, but all kinds of classical, and was very passionate about classical music. He would sing along, whistle, and you could just see the passion in his eyes and his face has he was enjoying all kinds of music.  Again, I am convinced that several of us, including my sister Cathie, myself, my son Collin, and several of Cathie’s kids along with others inherited that passion for music and for making music.

My beautiful wife Catherine pointed out that he had a love for food, and was passionate about dining well. She does not ever remember him eating fast food, and while I can’t confirm or deny that, he was constantly giving me pointers on my ordering etiquette, like the time I wanted a hamburger in a Chinese restaurant.  That was not allowed….

Pop was sporting and enjoyed many sports, especially baseball, football, basketball and golf.  He took time to throw the baseball with his kids, and to attend their sporting events.  He loved to hike in the mountains, and climbed many peaks.

He had a love of airplanes, from building models to flying. I spent a lot of time in the air with Pop, and he was my inspiration for learning to fly and for the love that I have for all things in air and space.

I have much more I could say, and would continue, but interest of time I will close with two scriptures. James encouraged us to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” I am choosing joy this morning in remembering our Pop.  Also, the author of Hebrews wrote:  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  We are only given a finite amount of time on this earth, and given that we don’t know how long that is, I am encouraged by my Dad’s life and I am hopeful to affect as many in a positive way while I am here as he did.

Thank you for the opportunity to share today, and Pop, I love you with my whole heart, and I am grateful to be your son, as I know your other children and grandchildren are grateful as well. In the wise wise words of Job:  “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Remembrance, brother-in-law, Bernie:

Life happens, people we love leave, sometimes suddenly, and we don’t have a chance to say goodbye. It’s tough. The next best thing is to remember them in moments of laughter or having dinner with them, or talking, or walking. Maybe it was a kind gesture, a thank you, a word of encouragement, or a thoughtful gift. Think about the cascade of goodness that resulted from their influence. How many of us would regret a life of positive influence that we experienced, or being able to say, ‘see my son or my daughter or my spouse or my friend, I was there for them when they needed me.’ I think I can honestly say that Harry Deans was a person in my life who I’ll always remember for his positive effect on me and for the others whose lives he touched.

Our home

Our home

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Max and Molly

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Socializing at home

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Socializing in Steamboat Springs

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King of the hill

Celebrating together

Celebrating together

Relaxing by the lake

Relaxing by the lake

Harry, Circa 1960's

Harry, Circa 1960’s


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