Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mr. Brooks

Good Morning Readers

It is first light here in Western Oregon. The neighbor is a retired musican who made his living in the high tech world. He is in his 90's and raises chickens. He has one of the biggest roosters that ever crowed..... I love this time of the morning - so quiet and calm. For the better part of the last 18 months I have used this time for my college studies but right now, because I am only carrying one class, I find that I can devote a little thought and time to my long neglected blog.

I first learned of the world of blogging from a unique snowbird whom I met in Mexico and extended the hospitality of my family's home to. His advice about writing the blog was to:

Keep it short. Keep it very simple so that it could be understood. Keep politics out of it and never say anything bad about someone else on it. Well, for any long time readers out there you probably know that is not my style. I am openly opinionated and have used my blog musings in a candid manner that cuts as well as sews.

Well, today I dont have much to say about the insanity that has taken root in the 'leadership' of our beloved country. Anyone remember my piece on Health Care written 7 or 8 years ago? Did the Oracle of Aticama hit the nail on the head or what?

Sorry about that, I normally dont refer to myself in the 3rd person or the imperial we. So, how does the day of a single father raising 3 school age children start? Perhaps many of you out there can answer that. Of, course, raising children in todays digital, more socially accepting age is totally unlike any generation before it. Everyone knows that and if not then one has to have been hiding under a very large rock....... Most days for me start at 4:45 am. A few minutes dressing then to the kitchen and make that morning pot of coffee. The news is on and I check the weather. A force of habit heldover from the grinding Handyman days. While the jo is making I was the dishes - the hot water is good for my RA. The muscles in my hands have knotted into poorly strung steel bands from decades of construction. Take the compost out to the garden. Water the veggies. Grab that cup of coffee and head into the laundry room and do that 4 person dirty clothes load - first fill the washer then fold the clothes. I enjoy this simple task. In the winter months, for the last 40 years, I load and stoke the fire. In warm weather I burn yesterday's paper and it heats the hot water system for the morning use. By now it is time to give the kids the first wake up call. I have been doing this since they started school, some 15 or 16 years ago. Normally I would then make breakfast but recently that time now belongs to Mr. Brooks.

Mr. Brooks is our new puppy. He is a 4 month old Australian Cattledog/Border Collie mix. Smart, well mannered, loyal and protected. About as perfect of a dog as you could ask for. We go for a long morning walk together on all the trails here on the property I have created over the last 40 years. We go to the property lines, he sits and looks, I tell him to guard and we move on. Then up to the road where he sits, looks both ways, then we cross over the street and we walk to the local park. Mr. Brooks is a rescue dog and the kids and I looked for 5 months for him, going on saturdays to the adoption centers and looking in the want ads. Our previous dog, Ahab, died several years ago and we were not permitted to have another dog for some unknown reason until the parenting situation changed. Mr. Brooks is a friendly puppy and our cats, Ruby, Willow and Waddle still dont know what to make of him.

After our walk I make breakfast, give the kids the second wake up call, and then, during the summer months I take Kawena (who now prefers to be called Carter - who knows where she came up with that name but I kindly ask everyone to respect her right to be called what she wants to be called and afforded the dignaty of her individuality) to the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy where she attends the Summer Intensive Theater course. This is her 3rd summer doing this, 4th if you count her first summer at Sunset High. ( I have been a parent volunteer for the kids theater classes for 5 years) Then I go to work or class. Unlike construction the work that I do now is plesant and personally rewarding - working with the public at a small and very cool, old roadhouse. I have dozens of regulars and we always greet with warm genuine smiles. On Friday nights the joint has live music. My co-workers are the best. After work I pick up Carter and we go grocery shopping or run errands. Back at home I put in a few hours on the re-building of our little home. A slow but rewarding job. Then, on the weekends I take Thomas to his work (often with me) at the local 2nd run theater. Carter often comes with us, sometimes she stays home and works on her artwork and Francis (now nearly 21!) becomes the man of the house. Carter is also working up a couple of songs for an audition soon. Thomas just bought a little car and is now learning to drive - yup, you got it - I am teaching him. His girlfriend, a sweet caring and delightful young woman lives on the other side of Portland and I normally only have time to take him there on the weekends but he is good with that.

Of course, my day is filled with other parental activities as well but I always try to squeeze in my weekly tv show - every Saturday morning I watch re-runs of the amazingly well written western from the 50/60's - 'Have Gun Will Travel' mid morning.

Well, out of time. Mr. Brooks is ready to walk and so am I. I hope to share a bit of mine and the kids day often - I do it again for the pleasure of it, I dont get paid to write. I believe it is good for the soul. In the last year I have written more than 30 college essays and papers. (Perhaps I should write one on the innocent victims of character assassination) Who knows maybe there is a Blog 101 offered out there somewhere!!

I do not play poker and am not a gambler. One only need to ask any of our  family friends. I have been, however, active in local politics in both Aticama and in Portland as many of family friends (and public officials) will attest to. One such meeting comes to mind - the Ejido (governing body) of Aticama held an emergency meeting years ago to decide weither or not to sell a piece of beach property on a day that some friends were visiting our home. I was invited to attend by the ex Ejido president (a family friend who's passing I wrote of in my blog) and was invited to speak before the group.  A spirited discussion was held that was documented.

Actions speak louder than words.

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