Thursday, July 9, 2009

Out of Town

So this is it for a while again. I'm going to be very very busy today packing and getting the van ready for this trip. We're leaving first thing tomorrow morning. That will one of the "Good" things that's happening for Shelly's "Only the Good Friday", as I'm so full of anxiety my stress level is tighter than a gnats ass stretched over a beer barrel! I'm just as excited as the kids. They were here last night and we celebrated Anna's eleventh birthday. I made them blog names and added them as co-authors of our new blog that we will use to report about our trip.

They got to choose their names, and I wrote pretty much what they said when I asked them about the trip. DJ is Socool, (So Cool), Anna is Janet, (Janet Jackson, who knew?), Lilly is Squinteye, (for Squint Eye Yoody, her Pirate name) and Barb is on board as Na, (That's what the kids call her). Of course, as commander of the ship, I keep my own moniker of Spadoman.

It's called Bonin/Spado Road Trip 2009. The kids already posted comments on it and now they are registered and can access the blog and post. We bought them pretty good quality cameras last Christmas. Barb charged up the batteries and checked their SD cards, so, they'll post pictures. In places where we don't have service, they can use the word processing program to write their story and cut 'n paste it to the blog later, Besides, that old Mac laptop will do triple duty as it will be playing DVD's, MP3's and used as our computer. Hope it makes it through the trip!

I'll be gone for a few weeks. And now I see August is shaping up to be a busy time with more travel. Many of you fine folks have made me feel really good about my future here on Blogger with your e-mails and comments on the post below this one. Thanks for that. Much appreciated, believe me. I get into these little funks now and again. Thanks for helping me through them.

Earlier this summer, when I left town, I posted a special story, usually a long one, for people to read when they are passing through The Round Circle. I'll just leave it be this time and tell you that I'll miss you and I'll see you back here later. In the meantime;

Peace is always in fashion, and I'll add some love in there along with compassion, honesty, openmindedness and the willingness to accept others as they are. We're off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting Ready for Another Trip

Just a nice picture of serenity to lead off the post.

I want to write, really I do. But I guess I am just too anxious about a trip we have upcoming and just can't concentrate. This Friday, July 10th, we are loading up the van and taking off. Mrs. Spadoman and myself will take the three oldest Grandkids with us and road trip to California via Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon and a couple of the beautiful National Parks of Southern Utah. Our destination is Los Angeles where we will stay at our friend's home in Redondo Beach.

Bubbling tar.

While we visit for about six days, we'll certainly get to ride in the boat and see some sites. Eleven year old Anna wants to see the LaBrea Tar Pits. I know where they are and will take her. Both my daughters will fly out to meet us there for a long weekend. Son-in-law and two year old Gracie will fly too. Gracie is just too young to do the road trip portion. Besides, she'd drive me nuts. Maybe it's because I'm too old for her to be with us on the road trip portion. LOL

At The Wall, July 2008.

Last summer, we traveled to Washington DC and the kids were at my side when I carried the POW/MIA Flag into the Nation's Capitol at the end of The Longest Walk II. We went to the Vietnam Memorial Wall and I pointed out the name of a brother who's name is there. We swam in the Atlantic Ocean and I promised a trip to the Pacific this year. I'm following through with my end of the bargain.

Kids in the Atlantic.

Youngest daughter Jayne will fly home from LA, and Alyssa, her husband and Gracie will join us as we travel up the West coast to Eureka and the Redwoods. We'll visit more friends there and then the additional passengers will fly home from San Francisco before the original car group heads for home. It will be a total of three full weeks away from home. I am blessed and fortunate to be able to do this with my children and Grand children. We never know when we will have chances like this ever again. Now is the time.

I will have the laptop with me, but I don't plan on e-mailing friends and running the usual routine while away. I intend on setting up a new blog before I go and post pictures and stories right from the mouths of the kids while on this special journey.
In fact, the blog is set up and you can find it either on my sidebar, at the top, entitled Bonin/Spado road Trip, or right HERE
I hope you'll join us now and again on our trip.

In Other News:

Yesterday morning, I wrote a post and after reading my own words, I deleted it. If you read it, so be it, if not, you didn't miss anything spectacular. The idea I wanted to get across was that I know of so many fine writers out there blogging and doing art work, creating stories, travelogues and poetry that there is no way I can get to them all on a regular basis. I feel bad as every one of you deserve the attention as your work is fabulous. I have a hard time trying to keep up and just admitted that I can't. I guess I'm asking that you understand that I want to read and comment every day but there just aren't enough hours to accomplish the task. Forgive me for this.

Check out the blogs on my side bar. So much talent and creativity. You won't be sorry.

I got home late Monday night from the sixth time I attended the Sundance ceremony. I saw friends that have been coming for years. I sat at the big drum and sang, helping there, as the same helpers that stayed up all night to keep the fire also beat out the dance rhythms and sang many hours each of the four days that the dancers were in the arbor. My voice was welcomed not because it sounded good, but because it was another fresh, not worn and scratchy voice, that could call out the first lines of the song and carry more needed vocables as the dancers could hardly hear, what by this time, had become whispers. I woke up whispering yesterday, but have regained my voice today. (Yes, I talked to myself, that's how I know my voice is back, HA!)

The sky at 5:19 a.m. from the Spadoville deck, July 8, 2009, today.

And Lastly:

I'll leave this post with an excerpt from an e-mail I received from an old elementary/High school chum that I had as a friend back in the late 50's. early 60's. His name is Marc and we hung around together. He reminded me of some shenanigans at school and a conversation we had one day when he was over and we were sitting in the kitchen. Here's the excerpt:

I always remembered you as fun to be with, and quite mischievous. Do you recall our sitting in the very back of class, you on one side of the room, I on the other? We rolled marbles across the floor between us, flipped pencils across the room, and bounced spring-loaded bobby pins.

One day I was over at your home in the kitchen with you. You were trying to convince me that anything was possible. So, I bet you to (I think) jump through the ceiling (something like that). You were about to cut a hole in the ceiling with a saw, but I chickened out of the bet.

I wanted my blog family to get a glimpse of my past. Most of you have known me only over the past few years, and in some cases, only a few weeks. Marc knew me as a child and teen. I guess I was impressed to read his remark about the conversation in the kitchen as I believe I never gave up the idea that I could do anything and most of my life I did. I also wanted you to see what kind of a kid I was. I hope I still show the marble rolling, pencil flipping and bobbie pin springing side of me as I tease, flirt and generally try to have fun in life. Thanks for letting me share this with you. Thanks for coming to the Round Circle.


The sky at 5:20 a.m. from the Spadoville deck, July 8, 2009, today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Only the Good Friday, July 3, 2009

I miss seeing first hand the sunrise over the Great Lake Superior.

It’s Friday already. I was hoping to leave the last post up so folks can take a look at the neato video we shot while on a recent day trip up North. Oh well, I just mentioned it here, so go have a look if you want to, or if I’ve guilted you into it. I have no shame you know? And that’s a “Good” thing.

Speaking of “Good” things. I made a pledge to only post “Good” things on Fridays in honor of Only the Good Friday theme set forth by Shelly at This Eclectic Life. I think folks are reading it pretty regularly. I get a lot out of doing it as it puts a positive spin on things while writing it and while checking on the progress while it is posted.

I’ve had some “Good” things happen in the past few days. I was reading the comments on my blog post and found an entry from an old friend. He left me his number and asked me to call him and I did. Sure was great to connect. It has been over four years since we last talked. He is a younger man compared to my old salt. He was a boyfriend of one of my daughters. I think he wanted to be a boyfriend of two of my daughters!

Anyhoo:-), like my friend Batmo says, I talked with Drew, (his name is Andrew, but he likes to be called Drew Danger), and he is doing “Good”. It felt so “Good” to be remembered. Friendship is like that and is a “Good” thing. We mentioned the fact that even though we lost contact for a while, we can pick up right where we left off at any given moment.

Speaking of Batmo, or Betmo as she is usually known, she’s back from a trip to Puerto Rico. I e-mailed her and I want information about the food. I hope she had something good to eat that she can tell me about. A Latin recipe would be a “Good” thing. Maybe something hot and spicy to help break a sweat to keep me cool in these hot summer months.

Then again, it hasn’t been too hot around here this summer. Actually, not around anywhere I’ve been. That’s “Good” when it comes to the A/C running day and night and the subsequent electric bill, but the environment is changing rapidly and that’s not so good. I still want a new recipe. My blog friend Beth, over at Beth’s Blog, posts recipes regularly on her site. I’ve tried a few of them. I always wondered about starting a site with exchanges of recipes. I actually did start one a while ago, but I lost interest.

My idea was to write a story about making some dish, not just an ingredient list and instructions. I was telling about the trip to the store to fetch this or that to make the desired concoction. I had asked others to do the same. Maybe a concept that wasn’t ready in this time. That’s okay. I just cook and don’t write about it. It’s still “Good”.

That reminds me that going with the flow is a “Good” thing too. Accept what’s laid before you. Too much worry about the past is useless, after all, it is in the past and cannot be changed or altered in any way, shape or form. Worry about the future is useless as even though you may know what and how a situation might play out, there are so many things that can make it different, so why worry and stress. To keep my own self in a “Good” state of mind, I try to live in the now, so to speak, and do it One Day at a Time. Even One Moment at a Time if that makes it work better. That's how I stayed sane through the death of my old car.

Goldie, the newest member of the Spadoville stable.

Yep, the 2000 Ford Focus died while I was away. I was hoping to wait a while before having to replace it, but we found ourselves in many situations where we needed reliable transportation, so we bought a new car. It's another Ford Focus. This one is gold in color and has a stick shift, (rare, I know), and that's what we had before. We wanted another manual tranny, better mileage I think. That's "Good" too. For the environment and for the pocketbook.

And that’s a “Good” thing. I hope you have a “Good” day today, and everyday. I hope peace finds you. I’ll send positive things out there. Grab them if you see them, they’ll be “Good”.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Solon Springs Water Run

Summertime fun at Lake Sissabagama near Stone Lake, Wisconsin.

Sitting at the computer this morning, I glanced outside to see an overcast day. Not the sunny 75 degree affair the NOAA told us about last night. The weather forecast changes rapidly, especially the long term deal where they look at what will be happening, meteorologically speaking, for the next seven days. I take another look at the NOAA and see that the rain that was expected for the weekend, a slight chance, (20%), of precipitation is cancelled and there is going to be sunshine for the next week!

While on the motorcycle ride, I came up with a new way to look at the weather. I want to start a new trend in my own life and not say things like “Bad” or “Good” weather. It will be what it will be and I can do nothing to change it. I came away from the two weeks of riding actually liking the idea of riding in the rain. Not every mile of every day mind you, but that it is okay when it happens and I can enjoy it. So maybe some days I’ll have a little more of a challenge to do what I was planning to do. Say like Monday when I took the older two Grand kids and we went to fill water bottles with spring water up North near Solon Springs, WI.

A cloudy overcast day was at hand on Monday here in the Northland.

The day was blustery and cloudy. Cool for a day late in June. These are the days that are usually hot in the morning and hotter later in the day with humidity enough to make you drip while standing in the shade of an old oak tree. But Monday was cool and windy and when we got to the spring nearby the Upper Lake St. Croix in Douglas County, the kids were bummed as they were hoping to take a swim. There is a boat launch and a picnic area and the spring is located right smack dab in the middle of the place. There is a sandy bottom and an area right next to the boat dock that looks like my Grand kids wouldn’t be the first ones to take a dip.

Anna flipped off her flip flops and waded out into the water. “It’s warm!”, she exclaimed.

The wind made the 65 degrees feel like 50 and the water, warmed from the sun of the days before, was warmer than the air temperature. DJ checked out this fact after he took off his shoes and socks and rolled up his pants legs. It was only a moment later when they decided that the weather be damned, they came with me to help out with the water bottles and go swimming. So they did. DJ went back to the van and changed into a bathing suit. Anna followed a millisecond later.

The map shows you just where Douglas County is in Wisconsin. I live about 100 miles South.

They frolicked around in the water and jumped off the boat dock after checking the depth of the water near the end. The wind blew and they stayed in the warm water instead of exposing themselves to the arctic like blasts. It started to rain a bit, just a drizzle. I moved to a vantage point under a large pine and saw the sappy pine tar dripping from a few places. Careful not to lean against the sticky life blood of the balsam, I stayed dry as the kids swam. The wind picked up and I started getting wet. I asked the kids to come on in and that the swimming period was over for this trip. They came in out of the water, shivering, grabbed their towels and headed for the van.

They changed into dry clothes and asked me to take them to Tremblay's candy store in nearby Hayward, WI, a tourist town filled with people from Chicago.

I hesitated an immediate answer, but didn’t say “No”.

I decided to take them and let them each fill a bag with candy treats as long as they also filled a bag for the other kids left at home. They certainly agreed and we took a route through forest and lakes that I sighted as a place to come back to and ride the motorcycle through the twisting curves and undulating rises and falls of the two lane.

After spending almost $40.00 on bags of candy, which included the biggest malted milk balls I’d ever seen that I bought for myself, we headed for home. The kids had helped me get the chore of filling water bottles done. These five gallon plastic containers weigh in at about 40 pounds when full. Since I had nine of them and more bottles and jugs of various sizes, I was counting on some kind of help from them to get them filled and loaded into the van. They came up with a real novel idea, on their own, and it was of the greatest of help for a tired old man like me. Watch the video and you’ll see how they managed to save me a lot of work. Our water bottles were filled, the kids had swam and we had spent valuable time together as a partial family.

The kids had no rules this day. They could talk about pee and poop all they wanted with no reprimand from Papa. They got to swim as they had hoped and go to a candy store and get whatever they wanted, including the three inch diameter jaw breaker that Anna started gnawing on as soon as she returned to the van. How could anyone say the weather or any part of this day was bad?

In my past, I dreamed of days like this. Me and the Grandkids, just hangin’ out, havin’ fun and playing. I was powerless for quite some time against doing such a simple pleasant task as this. The brain waves fought me at every turn. PTSD did that to me, made me think that way. And now, I was able to do it and rid myself of the anxiety and fear and just be alive and living in a moment, this moment, this wonderful moment, feeling loved and needed and wanted and worthy.

There is no bad weather.

This video is a little over seven minutes long. It is like watching a home movie. This one is from my home to yours and features a couple of my Grand children with voice over by yours truly. It also will show you some of Northern Wisconsin’s beautiful scenery. I hope you watch it.

Peace to you all, peace in your hearts and your lives. Peace all around you. And if it is hard to find or to see it, then the power and energy to make it be for yourselves.