Posts Tagged ‘memories’

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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What Happened at Crystal City (Part III)

May 30, 2016

First Things First

In Part I, there is a picture with the caption, “What is It?”. Maybe you weren’t fooled ..

It was merely a garden ornament masquerading as a miniature planet (somewhat earth-like).

The Power of Love (from the Back to the Future soundtrack)

What’s the Big Deal?

OK, so what, the federal government decided to imprison a lot of people against their will because they might be a threat to America. That seems reasonable and justifiable, right? Obviously, not the power of love.

I had to think about what all of it meant to me after I started reading Jan Russell’s book, which as I said before, is really quite interesting and revealing. Note the following passage from her book. Go to Amazon if you want to snag a copy.

“By August 1945, the machinery of internment implemented during the run-up to the war in December 1941, was already being taken apart. Already many of the fifty-four internment camps  operated by the US military and the thirty camps operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service had shut down. The camp at Crystal City, the only family camp, was still open, but with a reduced population That summer 2,548 Japanese, 756 Germans, and 12 Italian internees were left.”

The author estimated that there were approximately 6,000 internees incarcerated at Crystal City during its six years of operation. It was officially closed on February 27, 1948. I had just turned three at the time and was living in Texas.

In her preface to the book, the author talks about the 120,000 Japanese (62% of them American-born) who were forcibly evacuated from the Pacific coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She also talks about the executive order signed by President Roosevelt, which permitted the secretary of war to arrest and incarcerate Japanese, Germans, and Italians who had been declared “enemy aliens”.

Just an aside, as you mull over the previous two paragraphs, I want to comment on the effort and methods used to write the book, which author Russell describes in detail in the sources and notes. As a writer, I thoroughly appreciate the effort it took to compile the information. Interestingly, another book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, also involved internment during World War II and was very well-researched and written and also relied heavily on personal interviews.

It Is a Big Deal!

The answer of course is yes, it is a big deal. I may do more Crystal City installments, after going through the book in more detail and gaining more insights into how I feel about what happened and how I should respond. OK, it was just plain wrong, all of it – there, I’ve said it. Am I going to recommend to others how they should respond? No, it’s up to each individual to make up their mind how to respond.

Back to the Future Main Theme (City of Prague Philharmonic)
A Quick Tour of Washington and Yamhill Counties in Oregon

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Celebration of Chris Weaver’s Life

March 16, 2015

Chris_Weaver_2015

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them . . . but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:7-8)

I first met Chris in California when I was visiting the Weaver’s in the early 70’s. I had met his sister, Sandra, my wife now, in Texas where I lived. I soon discovered that life in the fast lane was the norm amongst the Weaver clan as Sandra and I did our best to use as many of the California freeways as possible visiting her five brothers.

Here’s a favorite quote from Hunter S. Thompson that I think describes Chris Weaver’s life as well as any words can:

  • “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: ‘Wow, what a ride’.”

Another favorite quote from Nelson Demille’s book, Up Country:

  • “The journey home is never a direct route – it is in fact always circuitous, and somewhere along the way we discover that the journey is more significant than the destination and that the people we meet along the way will be the traveling companions of our lives forever.”

It’s a comfort to me that Chris will always be a traveling companion in my life as well as in the lives of many others. It was a real honor knowing him.

About Chris Weaver

Chris was the middle child of 6 and spent his youth in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he attended Ottawa Hills High School. Joining the Air Force in 1965, he served as a military police officer and retired as Sergeant in 1969.

On June 28, 1969, he married his sweetheart Carol Ann Tengesdahl with whom he spent 48 wonderful years. They moved to Minneapolis and on October 21, 1970 welcomed their daughter Tammy into the world. In 1971 he graduated from Brown Institute majoring in Radio Communications. Later that same year Chris moved his family to California to work with his father, the legendary Eric Weaver, in the motion picture industry. On December 3, 1974 they welcomed their son Christopher Weaver II into the world.

In 1980 Chris began his career with LMI. Due to his U.S. government top secret security clearance and a Diplomatic Passport, he went on to travel the world – China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, Africa, and many more amazing places.

He had a very colorful and exciting life spending months abroad installing top security rooms for governments and large industries. Chris had a way with people, he knew no stranger, and made many friends across the world, most of whom he remained in touch with until his passing.

After many years he stopped traveling and started working out of his house as a project manager. He loved being home and close to the family. He soon joined a dart league, and in usual Chris fashion, he excelled at darts and making lots of new friends, eventually playing darts with his son as a partner.

He was an amazing father, husband, and soul mate, father-in-law, uncle, brother, son, and best friend to many! Chris brought laughter and joy to those he touched. He was a force of nature and will continue to be loved beyond belief. . . .

Baby Chris

Baby Chris

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Chris at Home

The Weaver Gang

The Weaver Kids

The Weaver Kids in Oregon

Sandra, the Boys, Eileen, and Aunt Julia

The Whole Gang

 Parties and Celebrations

Chris and David

David, Chris, and Doug

Chris and Ric

Chris and Ric

Chris Jr. (CJ) and Josh

Chris Jr. (CJ) and Josh

Farewell to Eileen

Farewell to Eileen

Eileen's Final Resting Place

Eileen’s Final Resting Place

Yours Was an Incredible Journey, Chris

Yours Was an Incredible Journey, Chris!

Chris was Well-loved.

Chris was well-loved.

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Harry’s Run, Part I

December 28, 2014

To me running always seemed like a perfect metaphor for life, you start here and you finish there. I remember running with Harry Deans in the summer of 2001 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He and his wife Beth, my sister, would rent a condo there every summer for a couple of months to relax and enjoy the sunshine. They invited me to come visit, so I drove over from Oregon. I had a good time with Beth and Harry bumming around Steamboat, going up to the mountaintop and into town to shop. I had known Harry for years since he and Beth got married, and we got to visit more often when we all lived in Houston. After I moved my family to Oregon, our visits were much less frequent, but it was always fun to go back. I remember flying with Harry on one trip. I had flown into the Denver airport, and we flew to Cheyenne where Beth and Harry lived at the time. I thought he was a very good pilot.

This is Part I about Harry’s life and is intended to introduce some thoughts about him and his passing on December 22, 2014. In Part II, I hope to include more about Harry’s life and to include remembrances of Harry from family and friends. I will say that my own remembrances of Harry are good ones, and I’m glad that he was part of my life. I’ll miss him.

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