Friday, August 31, 2007


"My bags are packed, I'm ready to go"

Not really, but in my mind they are. It normally takes 30 days to close on a house, so I have that month for the final preparations when the time comes. I am ready to run away from home.

Mom is moved in to a very nice assisted living home for the next month. She is in great shape and receiving excellent care and more attention than that to which she is accustomed from my sisters. Many thanks to them for their efforts - even if Mom doesn't show the correct amount of appreciation.

Have a safe Labor Day weekend.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A nice weekend

The weekend started by visiting Mom at the transitional care facility. She is doing so much better. The therapist takes her for walks in the hallway without the walker. She gets out of bed or her chair and heads for the wc without waiting for the nurse. She still needs help, but not the type provided by this facility. She's headed for an assisted living facility this week. They will provide meals and snacks, help her dress and bathe, but she will do more for herself and a nurse will not be available around the clock. This will be a private pay (no medicare or insurance) stay, so she hopes to limit the stay to one month. This will put her at the lower end of the expected healing time for her sternum (they said 8 to 12 weeks for complete healing). Her recovery, while seemingly slow at the start, is amazing. She is stronger and healthier in appearance every time I see her.

As for the house - no news is bad news.

I took my girlfriend (she likes this term much better - I don't get it) Carolyn to Sunrise Lodge on Mt. Rainier for her birthday. She's a cheap date. It's the only thing she said she wanted. We rode the Tourer up Highway 410 to the park and then hiked a few of the trails that start at the lodge. We found out we aren't kids anymore. It was a beautiful day - sunny and 84 degrees. One of those days that convince visitors to move to Washington. If they had been here the day before it was the normal gray, drizzly and 62 degrees.

Sunday was supposed to be spent moving my son's belongings in to storage. Who knew that Ellensburg rolled up the sidewalks at 5 p.m. on Friday? No storage offices open on the weekend! Amazing. Maybe they have their priorities in order for their own lives, but this is not convenient for the public. Since Ellensburg is a college town, it would seem that being open on the weekend would be part of a good business plan. He'll just have to arrange for the unit during the week (maybe with the help of his uncle Ross) and ruin his three day weekend moving his stuff.

Monday, August 20, 2007

As Quick Draw McGraw used to say -

"Hoooooold your horses!"

Seems the buyer has cold feet. We'll wait and see.

A good weekend

With the news that my counter offer on the sale of my house has apparently been accepted, my son starting his first real job since graduating from college and a very enjoyable visit with my Mother - my spirits are high. If I play golf well this afternoon, that will be the icing on the cake.

My son has a degree in psychology and had hoped to be accepted into the master's program at the university. When that did not happen, he had to scramble and look for work. His first choice was NOT to work in Seattle, but that appears to be where most of the mental clinics are located so that is where he will work (for now). He is nervous but I am certain he will do well. His commute will include a one hour ferry ride in the morning and evening for the time being until he finds a home of his own. Until then, I will enjoy his company.

My visit with Mom was uplifting. She seems so much improved. Recovery time from surgery at age 86 is lengthy. I wanted so badly for her to just jump up and return to her pre-surgery life style. There is always more patience required in real life than in dreams.

The realtor said that paperwork was in the works and I had hoped that when I returned home on Sunday that he would have had more information for me, but again I must be patient. I'll start packing anyway. Where did I get so many pens? Do I need to keep my tax return from 1977? I am learning to let go of "things" that I found important at some point in my life.

As for the golf, I've played in the same work based league for many, many years. My partner Steve and I have done fairly well over the years, but in this my last year we have a chance to win it all. Play tonight will decide the winners.

I am looking forward to a motorcycle ride up Mt. Rainier this weekend and a hike with a very special friend (she doesn't like this term). It is her birthday this Friday. Happy birthday cb.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another step taken?

My Mom had a good day today, and....

I got a reasonable offer for my house - hooray! I don't want to celebrate too soon. I could be two steps closer to hitting the open road. Of course I still have to put everything in storage, outfit the Minnie Winnie and develop a real plan on where I want to go and what I want to see first.

I mentioned that I enjoy murder mysteries by J. A. Jance and Tony Hillerman. Both of those authors stage their stories in the southwest - Jance in Bisbee, AZ and Hillerman in the Shiprock/Four Corners area. I'll never become a local (I don't think) and I'm sure that the real locals will treat me as a tourist, I still want to spend time in those locales.

Days like today are going to be hard to leave behind. A summer day in Western Washington can be amazing. As the 6 a.m. ferry pulled away from the dock, I stood in awe of the sunrise behind the skyline of the buildings, hills and trees of Seattle. The sunlight blanketing Mount Rainier in pinks and blues. Just beautiful.

There are so many sunrises and sunsets to see in this country.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Human Heart

A few things have to happen before I hit the road - I have to sell my house, I have to find a home for my cat and my Mother needs to recover from heart surgery.

I wasn't in favor of my 86 year old mother having the double bypass and heart valve replacement surgery. It wasn't that I didn't want her around for a few more years, but I was afraid of the quality of life following the surgery. I hope I'm wrong. She made it thru the operation just fine, her heart is working better than it has for probably 50 years (she had rheumatic fever when she was pregnant with me), all of the nurses and doctors say she is doing fine. I don't think she believes them. After 4 days in the hospital she has been transferred to a transitional care facility. It is a step above a nursing home and the plan is to kick her out in 10 days. She needs to learn to care for herself in those 10 days or she will end up in a nursing home - exactly where she didn't want to be. She has to get out of bed and walk, feed herself, dress herself, bathe herself - but first she has to get out of bed and walk. It is nice to see her family gather to support her - five of her six kids (I'm the youngest), a few of her grandchildren, even some of her great grandchildren have been by to visit. Two of my sisters have been great in caring for her, even before her surgery.

I hope for the best.

As for the cat - I found a great home for him, I just need to transport him to Seattle and hope that he doesn't run away from his new home. He's not really my cat, more like my roommate. I know cb will take good care of him.

There is an "open house" scheduled for Saturday - maybe the house will find a new owner, too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The first step of the journey

It always helps to know something about an author when you read a book, so I suppose a blog is no different.

I am a retired, divorced, 56 year old male. Being able to retire at 55 was a good reason to be a federal government employee for 30 years. Those 30 years spent at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA combined with my 3 years, 9 months and 4 days of service in the Navy provide a decent stipend (even allowing for a third of it to go to my ex-wife).

Now that I live alone (with the exception of my cat "Bogie") and with the kids grown and gone, there is nothing keeping me in Kitsap County. Yes I have lots of good friends in the area, but I don't see much of them since I retired. Most of them have retired and moved on, too.

Kitsap County is a peninsula. Only 18 miles from Seattle but a life style away. Travel off of the peninsula requires a lengthy drive or a ferry ride or use of a toll bridge. It wears on me and I hate to be held to the schedule of others. The feeling is akin to island fever (or cabin fever of those unfamiliar with island life).

So, I am going to leave and not just the county. I am selling the house, putting my treasures in storage and have purchased a 22' Minnie Winnie. My Honda Shadow A.C.E. Tourer will be going with me on a carrier attached to the rear of the RV. This isn't quite the same as the bus in which Jack Kerouac set out to see America in "On the Road", but the urge is the same.

I intend to head south to the sun like so many others. I'll visit my sister and her husband in Tularosa, NM first. Hopefully they'll let me use their home as a base for a little while as I explore the area on my motorcycle.

Through the miracle of wireless technology I hope to stay in touch with friends and family while travelling and "talk" to anyone that stumbles upon this blog as events occur.