Living - and already savoring - the Adventures across the backroads of western Idaho and eastern Oregon!

28 April 2011

Wooden Ships

Things worth seeing and touching, both for their power and beauty. It probably seems kind of goofy but I like old things like this, and others like old buildings and my old face in the mirror. Does that mean I’ve accumulated wisdom? If so, then why can’t I find the wisdom to save the energy to blog daily, like earlier this year? A wise man would conserve his energy instead of firing up the Hamster Wheel of Life the way I do.

Our lives. Kind of like wooden ships, ones that accumulate dings, scars and re-paintings. Not all voluntary either, though that’s neither here nor there since a wooden ship wouldn’t be revered if it instead was a sunken carcass or wooden flotsam. Reminds me of my blog post on similes and metaphors – “I am to a Wooden Ship” is a what?? I’m wiped out today so wisdom says ‘don’t guess’ in public!

Too bad nostalgia often breeds melancholy at those days gone by. Me, I don’t fall into that trap because those olden days often were tough and thankless. Look at a German castle, with its umpteen thousands of labor hours to build, let alone keep up after repeated predations of attackers, weather, tacky remodeling and poor design.

My inspiration today was courtesy Mssr. Crosby, Stills & Nash, circa 1970, in the legendary song Wooden Ships:

Wooden ships on the water

Very free and easy

Easy, you know, the way it’s supposed to be.


Stare at us

Even feelings die

We are leaving -

You don’t need us.

27 April 2011

Walking out on the Street

Hola! I welcome you back to my blog, one under-everything’d due to a maniacal work schedule. OK, my personal standards probably are the maniacal thing here, not my boss’ expectations. I work as hard as I expect others to do, so being wiped out is something that reflects my work ethic and value I place in what my employer does – take care of Grandma and the little brother you want to lock in the shed.

The ‘street’ to which I refer is around all of you, from MT to MD to AL. Today was National Walking Day or some such thing. Something about having a walking lunch instead of a working lunch. Did you do that? Yes, Lee, even Main Street Business America can take 30 to go on Walk-About in a late season Montana snow shower. The workday is done? So what – get out there now and do a lap. It’s good for you and whomever you take along!

Speaking of streets, please take a moment to walk on the Wild Stitching Side of my friend T. We’ll call her just T because the fame of her new Dixie Samplar Designs website, a truly awesome endeavor with a ga-zillion links to other stitching websites and blogs. She also shows pix of her new studio – simply Wow -- just like T! After 18 years, I can vouch for her character (and good taste in patterns and friends), so shop away! The link is: http://www.dixiesamplardesigns.com/2011/04/studio-reveal-aka-snap-heavy-postbut.html

20 April 2011

Angels working overtime

Camping can be a rush, a flop, or a mix of the exhilarating and the sublime. I’ll take the latter, thank you. Funny how rain can be a bonding experience, when my daughter Allison and I kicked back for over an hour in the car as rain came rushing through the area. We fortunately had just arrived at the campsite, so sitting there napping or reading was perfectly, actually. When you expect rain, in the field or anywhere in your life, I’d say you’re better prepared for it.

Melting things in a campfire, like glass, nails or whatever – what’s up with that? I wonder if some folks drag their knuckles up the hillside and feel most comfortable up where they can act like cavemen? At least I can say most state parks campsites I’ve visited are very clean, though I feel for the staff who might have to pick up that junk.

Recc's of the Week: Green Ridge SF in MD, the planetarium show at Frostburg State Univ., an artsy downtown Cumberland MD & scenic Sky Meadows SP in VA

Some traveling Wilbury Blues during today's bus ride to work: Flat-topped roofs … fake chimneys … faux wood grain in cars …. people in idle daily traffic blowing horns … why?! Somehow reminds me of that funny movie quip, “Chicks dig grey!” Sorry, that connection is much longer and more convoluted than today’s subject line’s easier connection to Rod Stewart’s song ‘Every Picture tells a Story.’

Speaking of which … today's subject line is a paraphrased title of a recent Rush song, chosen for its dead-on summation of how well the camping weekend went. When Plan A, B & C all work in some way, and you’re Jaguar’ing on all 12 cylinders, you know you chose wisely. In our case, /preparation/ campsite/meals/activities/weather/ice cream for lunch/etc. all worked out just fine. Hope those angels keep working for all of us, though overtime not needed, thank you…

15 April 2011

That Girl right next to Me

We need a new holiday to replace Hallmark Day – oops, I mean Valentine’s Day. We’ll simply call it “Thank You.” (that’s it – not even suffixed by “day," as I'll explain below).

Is there a holiday to celebrate the madness of having someone always in your head? Whose voice you hear out of the blue and then miss terribly when you don’t hear it live-in-person often enough?

Do we need a holiday to commemorate the times, all too often, when the dreams at 28 become real closer to 48 because she’s in my life, filling the emotional potholes and flying rational cover over my life’s dream-filled loony flight path?

Wouldn’t I burned by my own lucky star if she weren’t there to temper the promise of a quick win into one that will be there for lots of future days? [Answer here is emphatically Yes]

And, how would I walk the straight mile if she wasn’t looking at the hourglass of life and reminding me that some things need doing now, some are overdue and some shouldn’t ever happen (tho TMM might wish he’d gotten a tat a long time ago in a different life)?

As if any of this is up to me or that I’d wish it so. My heart, soul & lucky star tell me I won’t get burned in life if my new holiday 'Thank You' is a 24x7 event that keeps on turning it on! Puppy love it isn’t – serious love for serious times it is…

14 April 2011


If you do one thing, just one, during your free time today, read this article. Caution: it’s heart-wrenching in a way everyone, especially a parent, can imagine only in a nightmare. But so very inspiring and enlightening, at least to me:


12 April 2011

Oh, to be a ‘Jim’

Today is dedicated to the James I know, those who keep it Turned On. All character traits and impressions below are purely my own, but I hope those ‘in your Life Orbit’ also see them:

To careen like Jimmy P., he of wry wit who can bring a warm smile into his soggy flooded basement, connect everything in seven steps to the band Genesis, and who since SUNY Oneonta ’84 has proven to be one of the most inscrutable witnesses ever on the human condition.

To lead the daring expedition like Jimbo C., he who looks the big & bad trees up and down -- and promptly brings them down; he who can see through the BS and come out the other side clean, and whose heart & mind are righteously focused and thus – along with his dedication to Ms. Lynne – make him an inspiration to modern men.

To laser the Light Fantastic like James T., he who ponders the Big Ideas and boils them down to size, who probably can taste the power of the band Rush, and who deftly tackles workplace challenges with a courtliness far more mature than his years would let on.

To get out of bed like Old Man James W., he who just turned 40 and didn’t look back, whose character holds what wacked-in-the-head guys like me wish for, and who cranks the heck out of Life’s Grenade Lemons as he casually makes lemonade out of life’s tough challenges and apparent set-backs.

08 April 2011

Good Words after Camping Out

My friend, the Arkansawyer Man, camped/hiked/mused with me over three days. More on that later since this post is only about his Insight. It's one that - in a good way - stopped me in my tracks:

“And the getting away without getting too deep is a good therapeutic thing to do, isn't it? It doesn't make the problems disappear but it helps you find solid ground inside so that you can go back to the storm a little more grounded....”

07 April 2011

Of Friends and Friendship

I’m sad about a friend who’s just been diagnosed with cancer. With God’s love, and our prayers, we can hope for the best, as is my nature. Life seems to be an uneven never-ending continuum of joy-to-despair, so we should try to handle this too ‘in stride’ since it’s our reality.

I dedicate this moment to her and wish for the best. She is with a Good Man, one of the best I’ve ever known, so my sadness is tempered knowing he, the positive thinker, will be there for her. That we each could be touched by such compassion, faith and hope everlasting. So, I encourage each of you today to reach out to someone in need and be there for them...

06 April 2011

And they call him, “J. Ramon“

(aka “Rrrrrrr-amon Patel returns” … no, that makes no sense except to a couple of you, sorry, but how else to be light-hearted about my inexcusable Absence from the Ether?!)

What gets folks all fired up to use their middle names as their nom de guerre? I could run around being Ramon, with the emphasis on the second syllable (raMOAN). Gotta roll the R of course. The downside to that idea is I’d feel like a playboy in Monaco but more like the Chevy Chase shiny white dress shoes version. Not attractive so I remain Jose.

Duality. Today’s Thought de Guerre. This living in the sticks and working in the city truly is a duality of mind and matter. No understanding it either. You get up in one world, with its own ways of being (social dynamics at the bus line, commuter driver norms, etc.) and arrive at World Two, DC’s figurative twin towers of political stateliness and Federal employee efficiency. A woman on the bus pointed out this dichotomy and she’s dead-on. Too bad I couldn’t do something profitable with these anecdotal observations.

We could throw in one more thing, the spirituality and epiphany of the bus ride -- call it living in your mind. But that’s something like ‘tri-ality’ and MS Word dictionary says that word doesn’t exist. So there you are, there we go from one world with its foibles to another with its miscues. Quite funny (if you’re me)!

And then there’s Arkansawyer’s world, in which anything can fit into a Ford Focus and go anywhere. More amazing than duality, maybe more like “derring-do’ity.” That’s what I’m talking about, baby!