Friday, June 29, 2012


Haiku My Heart
June 29, 2012

Haiku My Heart is the creation of one of my friends here in Blogland. Rebecca pulls us all together to share each others company every Friday with this special feature. Check out more Haiku My Heart and consider participating yourself. You can find more and read the simple guidelines on her blog, recuerda mi corazon.

Bound up memories
Legacy of destiny
Catalogue of dreams
Here’s a story about friendships. The blog world is an interesting place. You meet many people and discuss and comment back and forth to each other about the subject matter we write and show photographs about.
So be it with many new found friends when I started participation in the original Shadow Shot Sunday which was head mastered by one named Tracy who resides in Australia, Brisbane, if I remember correctly.
From there, I found others and worked my way into Rebecca’s recuerda mi corazon blog, where this meme, Haiku My Heart started. I’ve been doing Haiku for over a year now. I like it and look forward to seeing the other weekly poets. It’s like waking up in the morning and knowing that today is the day that I’ll be meeting up with my pals over coffee.
It was on Shadow Shot Sunday that I met Paula. Paula has other blogsites. Molokai Girl and Molokai Girl Studio are just two of them. Feel free to go to the links to her sites that I have provided and look around.  She is known as Molokai Girl as her ancestry hails from Molokai, Hawaii, and from what I have seen, she is a wonderful photographer and artist. Paula is a very beautiful woman inside and out. She is an inspiration with her energy, artistic ability and creativeness. The effort she pours into her own life and community is incomparable.
In fact, I had the good fortune of meeting her, her husband and her son, face to face last year when I was in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. We talked on and on over lunch about the blog scene, the others we know, either from the blogs or from first hand meetings and encounters.
Paula had made a beautiful cigar box shrine that she donated to an on line auction to raise money for Oaxaca Street children Grassroots, an organization that helps children in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Her newest project, as I understood it at the time, was to have a life size model of the same cigar box shrine and have an invitational photography session. Her original model was a doll holding a Dream Catcher. Here is a story about this particular project right from Paula's Molokai Girl Studio Blog.
A photograph of the photography art subject holding a Dream Catcher

Paula asked me if I could make a larger sized Dream Catcher for the life size model to hold. I was honored to do so and created one for the project. Money was mentioned and discussed a little, but I decided that I would give this Dream Catcher to Paula. I was so honored to be asked to submit a piece and be a part of an art project that she was going to be involved in. My payment already came in the form of being asked to provide a piece of the Native American influenced folk art that I make.
Inside the back cover

I sent her the Dream Catcher. The photography session took place. I was invited to the opening of the exhibit and planned on attending, ( I even bought new shoes), but that was last December when I fell to the heart episode that almost did me in and provided me with my handy dandy  Medtronic Pacemaker.
I never attended the art show opening, but Paula sent me a few photos of the subject holding the Dream Catcher that I made. I felt so proud. She even mentioned it on her blog in one of her posts of that time period.

The empty pages in the book. Beautiful hand made paper, embossed with prints of  buffalo, arrows and drawings of natural examples of gifts from the Sacred Earth Mother

Capturing honor
Saving wordsmith packages
Only friends do this 

We talked about her making me something in return and I was satisfied and left it at that. I know how these things go because I am the same way. They get completed when they get completed. I would wait and once in a while Paula would mention “the book” she was going to make for me. I had seen some of the books she made. I was going to get one, some day. I never worried about it and in fact, it wasn’t even on my mind when this package came in the mail.
I couldn’t imagine what it was as I opened it. Mrs. Spadoman stood by, wondering what I had received in the mail. I assured her I hadn’t bought anything on line for my motorcycle and wasn’t expecting anything.
When the package was opened and the contents revealed, it dawned on me that Paula had finished the book and sent it to me. I was amazed at the beauty of the book itself. The tight binding on the leather cover. The pages were paper, hand made from pulp. The spirit of the buffalo was evident with fur and symbols of the great animal, my spiritual namesake, as my Indian name is Mashkoday Biizhikiins, in Ojibway, or Tatanka Ptecila in Dakota. In English, the language of my own ancestors, I am Little Buffalo.
Click to enlarge to see and read how the passages were arranged

As I passed the book around the kitchen table to show it to my Grand children, my daughters and my wife, they opened the pages and started to read the small passages which seemed to be on every other page.
As they read them, out loud, I realized that the words were the words and excerpts from Haiku poetry or songs that I have written. Some were just sentences from the posts of my Round Circle blog. I started to cry.
I knew this was a very special gift. I received it, but it will be around for the future generations of the Spado family to have, a record of the patriarch’s words. My words, my thoughts. Someone was thoughtful enough to think that some of them were worth repeating on hand made paper pages of a beautiful hand bound volume.

I can’t say a big enough Thank You to Paula for this work of art of hers. I appreciate it greatly and will cherish it throughout the rest of my life.

This is a family heirloom that will be cherished in my home forever

Over the past month or so, I have received two other pieces from blogger friends. One that I won by random selection and another sent to me because I mentioned I liked the patterns of a series of paintings.
I will feature these in the coming weeks, complete with photographs. For now, as you have seen, I have scattered photos of the  buffalo book made by Paula Scott, the Molokai Girl. Photos are grand, but holding it in my hand, I can feel the positive energy that was used to put this together and the help it generates with healing of my soul.
Peace to Paula and all she holds dear, and to all

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Early on a Saturday Morning

It’s Saturday morning. Early on a Saturday morning. The first Saturday morning of Summer. Things have been so chaotic around here since March and haven’t slowed down one bit. Of course much of that is my own making. Maybe I’m trying to make up for the time I wasted in the hospital last November and December. Whatever it is, I’m living it, one day at a time.
Traveling is over for a while. At least taking specific trips to go places, like some people travel over vacation. I just drove a 200 mile round trip the other day just to exchange a tire I ordered in the wrong size from a motorcycle accessories place in Rush City, MN. I was home by 10:30 AM. To some, a 200 mile trip is a big deal. It's a morning drive for me. Remember, "The Windshield is my yoga" j spado
It’s not traveling now. It’s VA appointments, home remodeling projects, horse trading with motorcycles, friends visiting and relatives coming for the weekend. Throw in to all of that the Grandkids and spending time with them as they use the Slip N Slide in the back yard, fixing bicycles and riding my motorcycle between the raindrops, and it keeps me hoppin’.
I want to mention a blog friend from Arizona, Gemma is her name. She pens the blog Gemma’s House. She is an artist and a fine compassionate woman. She finds herself having some health problems and I want to make sure the word is out that another of us needs support by way of positive energy, prayer and good thoughts sent her way for a speedy recovery.

There are other friends and bloggers still dealing with family members and their own struggles with health issues as well. You have not been forgotten either. As busy as we seem to be, there is always time for a thought to be sent. Just look up at the Grandmother Moon, Grandfather Sun or the Star Nation and your gaze will see mine and the others. These are the focal points where we meet when technology isn’t enough.

It's hard to put in to words the feelings I felt when people, virtual strangers as bloggers can be, prayed for my recovery and the well-being of my family in my hospital stay absence. I believe it does help. If for no other reason, you know that someone somewhere is thinking about you and hoping that you'll be okay and get through the malady. I send this same healing energy out to all that need it.
In the meantime,  I’m hunting for a new motorcycle later this morning. This afternoon, I’m finishing up some small details of a project we have going on at Spadoville. We’re building an old fashioned pantry and when I catch up on the last details of the framing, we’ll be ready to insulate and sheetrock the ceiling and walls tomorrow when my daughter and her boyfriend come over to give us a hand.
Another friend might be passing through town and spending a few days while he is traveling West into South Dakota for the Sundance. He works in construction and might help me build the ramp that would complete the deck project. And my sister from the Chicago area and her son, my nephew Michael, will arrive Sunday to visit for a few days.
Next week finds me loading up the motorcycle and delivering it to the new owner in Madison, Wisconsin. One might wonder why I’m selling one and getting another. That’s just how I roll when it pertains to motorcycles. If I had the room and the money, I’d have a stable full of ‘em and one would even be another Harley Davidson.
A week from tomorrow is July. We’ve had some heat and humidity here in the midwest, and some helacious storms too. A lot of rain. Have you heard about the floods and destruction in Duluth, MN? Google that and see roads washed out, cars in sinkholes and the Duluth Zoo needs help. Some animals lost their lives and many relocated after the eight inch rainfall. My heart goes out to the people of Duluth. I have some friends up there, but they are okay.
On the health front, it is good news to say that I haven’t gained any weight since I got out of the hospital last December and my blood numbers are vastly improved from a year ago. But I still struggle with diabetes, and what's really hard is getting used to having this machine in my chest and knowing that my fate lies in the hands of the people that manufactured it. It is under the skin, so I can't examine it and see if it was made in China. So far, so good. My heart still beats in a slowed down steady rhythm. I just get tired and can’t do much past two in the afternoon any more.
So, now you’re filled in. I have some tales to tell and a few tidbits to write about and will get to them soon enough. A friend and I exchanged artwork and the item she made for me is the greatest thing I have ever received from anyone! I also won a blog contest a few months ago and never mentioned it, all the while wanting to show off the artwork I won and mention the artist and show you more of her exquisite work. Then, there are more photos, videos and stories from the miles on the road this Spring. If I'm not careful, I'll be back on the road before I get to tell you about it all.

In the meantime, please remember our friends that aren’t doing their best. Take time to live in any one moment, or many moments if you can and choose to, and to gaze up once in a while and see what keeps us steady. You might even see a shooting Star, and you'll certainly meet others that hold the spirits of the heavens in their hearts. 
Peace to all

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Typical VA Hospital Appointment

A Wednesday morning interlude, so to speak, as I get through another week of being alive.

Here’s a story for you. Another adventure at the VA hospital. I haven’t mentioned them in a while, but I still go to appointments. I’m still being watched over. I was there yesterday. I spent over half the day, getting there around eight in the morning and leaving the parking lot a little after twelve thirty in the afternoon.
It is wise that the VA tries to group many appointments into a day when you might be there for another appointment. Saves me time and saves them money. Since I am a disabled Veteran, I get mileage pay, called travel pay, when I have to get to the VA for services. Since there is no direct public transportation from where I live, I drive my car.
There is a van that is paid for and provided by the DAV, Disabled American Veterans. But this van leaves the county I live in, fourteen miles from my home min the next town over, at around five in the morning. The van returns when the last Veteran is finished with all his or her appointments. This can be 6PM or later. Then I would still have to do the 14 miles back to my house.
I can drive across the river into Minnesota and find a bus stop, then take the bus downtown to find the bus that would take me to the light rail station so I could ride the light rail. The Hiawatha light rail goes right to the VA facility, and being a disabled Veteran, all I need do is flash my VA ID card and get on the bus or train. Disabled veterans ride for free in the Twin Cities Metro Area. But this takes a long time and in winter, has me standing outside freezing my butt off or lately, practically dying from the heat and humidity or getting drenched by the thunderstorms that have finally found their way to the Midwest, making up for the dry spell of March, April and May.
So, I drive, negotiate the parking lot that is too small for the volume of cars, yet gigantic when it comes to walking upwards of a quarter mile, and drive around and around looking for a place to park. Even the far away remote lot is full. I can walk from the hinterlands and I do need the exercise, but I am disabled for a reason. Walking great distances is very hard for me. 
The entire parking lot can’t be handicapped parking, can it?
Anyway, I arrive for a 9 AM appointment at the blood drawing room. This is a newly remodeled room in the basement of the giant building. I scan my ID card and the screen tells me to have a seat and my name will be called. I find a place to sit down where I can hear the vampires, the people that draw the blood from the arteries in my arm. The room is so big, if I don’t sit close to the door where they come out and call your name, I can’t hear them through the din of conversation as Veterans and their spouses await their turn to give a blood sample.
Let me tell you a small tidbit of information about men when they get old. We tend to get up early, eat early and arrive early for appointments. Thinking that if they have a 9 AM appointment and they get there at say, 8:00 AM, they might get in and get it over with faster. This is not the case in the blood draw room at the Minneapolis VA. Your name is never called earlier than your scheduled appointment time. In fact, in yesterday’s case, they were 40 minutes later than my 9 AM scheduled time! If I get there after my scheduled time and they called my name and I wasn’t there, then I lose my turn and the wait is even longer. 
The old saying that you’ll hear is this, “Hurry up and wait”
That seems to be an Army thing and it starts the first day you enter the service. Standing in lines, wondering what will happen next is how most of my time was spent when I was in the military way back in ‘68 and ’69.
Back to the story. So I’m here, I get called, 40 minutes later than scheduled, then I have to wait for the results of the blood test to be sent to the clinic where I’m supposed to be at 10 AM. Of course, since they were late drawing the blood, the results were late, and as I sit there in the clinic, on time, waiting to be seen by the doctor, waiting for him to get the blood work results so he can proceed with the proper treatment and care, I’m eventually late for my next appointment which was at 10:30 AM.
Being the concerned anal retentive guy that I am, I went to the desk and asked the receptionist if I could call the next clinic and let them know that I will be there, but I will be late because I haven’t seen the doctor yet.
I am asked what the phone number extension is. I don’t know it, she doesn’t offer to look it up. I tell her it is in clinic 1L. “Which one is that?” she asks.
I tell her, “That’s a mental health clinic. It used to be the PTSR, (Post Traumatic Stress Recovery), clinic.” She dials and hands me the phone. I reach over the counter and have the corded phone stretched to its outer limits, all the while the cord brushing against and knocking out of kilter the post-it notes and papers that are strewn all over her work space. I apologize to an unsympathetic ear and a scowling facial expression.
The receptionist that answers the phone in clinic 1L asks me how she can help me, but first, there is a long message about making sure I hang up and call 911 if I am a threat to harm myself or if I am having a health emergency. I tell her I am in another clinic and that I will be late for the group meeting at 10:30 and just wanted them to know that I would be there, but that I would be arriving late.
She tells me that the group has already started and that there is no way she can tell anyone and that I should leave a message on the voicemail of the facilitator, who also happens to be my case worker in that department.
I get his voice mail, then another long message about harming myself and calling 911 before I get to leave a message telling him I will be late. But he won’t get this until after the group since he will not be at his desk until group is over. He’ll have seen me by then and know that I was late because I’ll be walking through the door late.
I get finished in one clinic, go check in at 1L and arrive at the group meeting. I apologize for being late and it is totally understood as all the other Veterans in the group have had the same experience numerous times as have I.
Group is over., A very good group by the way. I take my slip that verifies that I was there and attended all my appointments and get a number from a volunteer that is there to give Veterans a number, after I walk about a half mile from clinic 1L to the Travel Payment Office. There is one of those red machines that holds the numbers that hangs on   the wall, but we’re too stupid of a lot to go to the little red thing and get a number off of a roll of paper numbers which designates your place in line. The volunteer passes out the numbers. I see I am number 48. They are working on 32 right now. 
I wait out in the hall, standing along the railing, as the small waiting room is packed with other Veterans awaiting their turn. The center of the room is packed with folks in wheel chairs and mini scooters, like the ones you see advertised on TV.
While waiting, another Veteran starts to talk to me and is telling me his life story. He is volunteering the information like he was chatting up a hooker at the bar, telling me all about serving in the Army in 1956 after graduating high school. Degrading me because I am not yet as old as he is.
His hearing aid? Yes, he has one, and has been having trouble with it but the VA won’t even talk to him about it. I suggested that maybe they were talking to him and he just didn’t hear because his hearing aid wasn’t working. 
He didn’t get the joke, or didn’t hear me. (pun intended) I went inside the room and found a seat and waited for number 48 to be called.
I was processed. A procedure where the computer is used to verify that I was indeed the Veteran that had an appointment, and I attended it, and that I was eligible to receive the travel money. Then, a slip is printed out, initialed by the clerk and I go down the hall to the cashier’s window and wait in another line to show my slip along with my VA ID and get some cash for my mileage expense.
I can now start the long trek back to my car in the ocean sized parking lot and get on the road to go home, six and a half hours from the time I left home in the morning until the time I returned in the afternoon. Just about a full time job, being a Veteran. It can be frustrating, but I also realize the system is growing with the return of Gulf War and Afghanistan Veterans along with the aging population of  Vietnam Veterans and the few WWII  and Korean Veterans still around.
Technology exists to expedite all the lines. More people can be hired to draw blood, for example, so they won’t be 45 minutes late every time a blood sample is needed. Appointments can be scanned before and after a visit and the travel department just sends out the money. The communication system can be streamlined, but more people would be needed to answer multiple office lines in each clinic.
The VA just doesn’t have the money to modernize, streamline and hire more personnel. The system is taxed to its limits and I think they do a damn good job of holding it all together and treating Veterans to health care. In my case alone, I am thankful to be alive.
I am not fortunate to be disabled, but I am fortunate to have the care and a facility to go to when I need it and get excellent medical care.
Incidentally, I remember riding my motorcycle to a National Park entrance and showing my Golden Access Passport, an entitlement card that allows me to get into any National Park for free. 
The Park Ranger at the gate looked me over and asked me, “What’s wrong with you?” My friend, riding behind me, yelled out to the Ranger, “You haven’t got time to listen to all that’s wrong with him!” This diffused the situation immediately.
But I will tell you. Many might think I am totally healed  because I am riding a motorcycle and traveling. Yes, I am better than I felt during the last two months of 2011, but I am by no means healthy.
I wear a heart pacemaker. I am a diabetic. I have had two bypass surgeries and 7 heart attacks and episodes dating back to 1985. I have hearing loss. I have sight problems. I have numbness, tingling and neuropathy in parts of my body, sense of touch. I can’t walk far because of a problem in my leg muscles. I have lost almost all of my olfactory function. I can’t taste very well. My energy level is low and so is my blood pressure. My muscles and bones ache from the onset of arthritis. I have PTSD and many of the symptoms associated with it.
And I am one of the lucky ones because I am still alive and kicking. I see many on one of these outings to the VA that can’t walk, talk, drive, wipe their own ass or dress themselves. I am thankful for VA healthcare even though the process is somewhat a chore. So there you have it. A half day at the VA. 
Honor the Dead. Heal the Wounded. End the War(s).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life Blood of the Earth Mother

Haiku My Heart
June 15, 2012

Haiku My Heart happens on Fridays, every Friday in fact. See more wonderful Haiku from wonderful people at Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon blog.

Broiling ocean wave
Creeping up to lick the sky
True blue foam and sun

So much has been said about the visiting of friends, playing of music, eating in restaurants and riding of motorcycles. I haven't mentioned the Redwood Trees or the magnificent Pacific Ocean that I found when I arrived at the West coast. Visits to and through the Rocky and Sierra Mountains, Great Plains, Great Basin and miles of desert that had to be crossed to get there as well.

This scene is at the Pacific Ocean. It was a perfect day with bright sun. The fog bank was staying way out off shore. Tide was coming in and whipping up a froth on the black sand beach. The sky was bluer than blue.

Clip on all photos to enlarge and see fine detail

Water licks the sky
Foamy cover at the beach
Black sand blue sky sun

There is no way I would get out to the end of the land and not visit the water, Mother Earth's life blood. I washed my crystal in the foamy edge where the water comes and meets the land beneath my feet. I then let the crystal dry in the bright sun. This is said to rejuvenate its power.

The crystal I carry in my pocket

I took a few stones from the water's edge, all rounded at the edges and none larger than a fifty cent piece. I envisioned a small tower or inukshuk I might make from these small rounded pieces of mountain.

Funny thing is, these wonders, rocks, trees, plants, animals and water are all around us. I seem to see the big view more clearly when I travel, yet I also see it in my own back yard every day. When the sun rises, when it sets and the time in between. Even the darkness shows me special wonders in the sky, and within reflections, I see shadows and glistening nearer the ground.

I believe the steadiness of nature is what allows the other stuff, like music and bike riding, to happen. It is this steadiness that tempers all of what mankind is doing as it goes on constantly no matter what we try to do to encourage or discourage it.

Much Peace to All

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"I've Got Your Back"

The date on this archived story says 2006. I was looking through an old file folder of articles and posts that I have on an external hard drive. I remember writing this and I remember who the blogger friend was that sparked the original post. I looked for it in the pages of my blog, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe I never posted it. I just don’t know right now. But I do know that the friend that lifted me up is still around here in 2012, and has been a friend and available for years, to listen, offer advice and speak to me about her own trials and tribulations. We have each other’s back, so to speak.
A sunrise, like in the photo below, is always a good place to start anything. The day starts with the sun and goes on from there. I will start this repost today with a sunrise in hopes that someone might get something out of hearing the revelations about Depression and loneliness. Take what you might need and leave the rest.

Steam rises over the hot spring pools at Crystal Crane Hot Springs, Crane, Oregon, 05/2012

WOW! What a ride! This week is only half over and it’s been filled with so many things happening. The worst was when the week started and I was fighting what I thought was a cold. I went to the hospital emergency room and was tested for Influenza. They said it was negative for flu. Then they tested for Pneumonia with an X-ray and took three vials of blood.
I was sent home with no diagnosis except I must have a bad cold. Monday, I get a letter in the mail from the hospital telling me that I have Influenza and how to deal with it and how long it will stick around. The worst is over. I still have a little cough and I feel pretty run down, but that’s what they said it would be.
Right after those first five days which I was told were the roughest as far as symptoms are concerned, I fell into a pretty bad depressive funk. I felt uneasiness about something, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I was restless. Restless to the point that I was tired and went to bed, but could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned for a couple of hours before I just got up. I watched TV, I went to the computer, I laid down on the sofa then repeated the triangle routine twice more.
As big and fat as I am, I never eat at night. I am not a refrigerator raider. I do all my gorging during daylight hours for some reason. I got through the night without a bite to eat or a lick of sleep. I went to the Black Cat and had a cup of green tea. I’ve replaced most of the cups of coffee with green tea. I got a lot of advice from many friends to drink more green tea. I lasted only twenty minutes there and I returned home and collapsed on the sofa. I did get some rest, for about 2 hours is all. Then, up again, uneasy, restless still.
I kept busy until my four O’Clock commitment to stand in Downtown Ashland at a Peace Vigil. I don’t know what I did, but I had another short nap, less than two hours, before I woke up to get the bundles of clothes wrapped around me before I met the cold wind off Lake Superior.
When the Peace Vigil was over and I got home, I felt much better. I felt relieved. I answered some e-mails and went to a meeting, came home and had a simple supper, watched a little TV then went to bed and slept all night long.
In one of the e-mails from a friend, she sensed my uneasiness and probably the presence of depression within me. She made some quick, to the point suggestions and ended the note with the words, 
“I’ve got your back”. 
She sent me a You Tube of an inspirational song about someone who is telling a friend that they will be there for them when they are needed. She sent me Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
Im on your side. when times get rough
And friends just cant be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
“I’ve  got your back.” 
What a powerful statement. In Vietnam we’d say that to each other as we pissed by a tree or anytime one’s rear end was exposed, figuratively or literally. When I thought about this simple phrase, and the writers ease in which she stated it, I began to think.
When I was feeling low and depression was keeping me from normal brain function, I laid there in my funk. I was hopeless, powerless. I accepted my condition and did little to try to change it. I had tools. I knew what dialogue should have been going through my head, but it wasn’t happening. I stayed in the funk. I reached out to a select few of my friends and in a round about way asked for help, but the real agenda was hidden within me. Other friends caught the brunt of my wrath as I misconstrued what they said as an attack on me personally.
When I read, “I got your back.”, I was so overwhelmed with warmth from a friendly cyber voice that I realized that there are others in the world that have my back. I began to think about my Grand kids. The new born allows me to hold her in my arms. My spirit melts when I am able to do so. The other three all put their arms out and slam into any part of me that is in front of them and they hold me. They have my “back” in their arms and their hearts. My daughters, my wife. Some friends, too. Each of these experiences, at one time or another, has shown me or proven to me that there are others that love me and will have my back if I was in danger of anything, or simply needed a hug or an ear to talk to.
Why do we let our mind overtake the power that each of us has, power of thinking that can transform our depressive thoughts into positive joyful ones, to end the suffering? I don’t know. Thinking positive can help us get rid of the negative without so much struggle and suffering, but we must learn to think this way as a normal way of thinking of things. For those suffering with depression from whatever, positive thought is the best antidote for the evil demons that talk to you in your head. My problem is I just don’t know how to start doing it. I’m powerless.
I went to a friend’s Blogsite today. She wrote about Depression and BiPolar disorder and how it might make a person act and think. She hit it dead on. I realized then that I’m not alone in this. Others have problems, too. Others have taken the challenge and deal with the same demons and have had some success in keeping them at bay.
I’m not alone like I think I am. I’m not a wretch. The only one who gets drained of energy is me. It doesn’t have to happen if you steady your brain and accept the truth. You know the truth. Use it. Tell yourself the truth. Don’t let the lies eat away at you by believing yourself, believing that no-one cares or that there are no friends.
Lesson learned. With a little help from my friends. Which, by the way, is another good song.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Paul Simon Art Garfunkel 1969
When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
Im on your side. when times get rough
And friends just cant be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
When you're down and out,
When you're on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
Ill take your part.
When darkness comes
And pains is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend
Im sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Last Chance Recap Story and Photos

Postcards From Paradise
June 10, 2012

These photos are from places very dear to my heart. See the postcards from others at recuerda mi corazon.

I'm still trying to catch up with posting photos and tidbits about the traveling I’ve been doing over the past month or so. If you include the quick run down to New Mexico in mid March to pick up my motorcycle that was stored there over the Winter, I've got almost 10,000 miles in by June 3rd. I'm home for a while now, and although very busy with home improvement projects and spending time with the family, I want to post some stories and photos of my travels.

Gill's By the Bay in King Salmon, near Eureka, CA

While in Northern California, I went and visited some old haunts. No trip would be complete without breakfast at Gill’s By the Bay.  Gill’s is a friendly little shop on Humboldt Bay at King Salmon. King Salmon is the name of the area where I once owned a mobile home. A lot like Jim Rockford’s place. (James Garner played Jim Rockford, a private detective who lived in a trailer home on the ocean somewhere in California in a TV series called The Rockford Files)
The trailer used as a movie set for the filming of the TV series "The Rockford Files"

I used to walk to Gill’s as it was less than 100 yards from the front door of my trailer home in King Salmon. King Salmon lies just South of Eureka, CA. It was quite the mecca for sport fishing of the mighty King Salmon that once were plentiful along the rugged Northern California coast.
Pelicans, enjoying breakfast and giving a view to Gill's patrons
When I owned the trailer, it looked a lot cleaner than the photo that I took last month shows. I didn’t have boarded up windows. Not only did the new owner board up the windows, he painted the others with white paint. It is now a white tomb, completely enclosed. Might he have an enormous light bill for what grows inside? Maybe so. The Grow-Your-Own is part of the economy in that part of the country.
My old 1955 Kit Executive as it looks today

My trailer was a 1955 Executive 50 foot mobile home made by the KIT manufacturing Company in Long Beach, CA. You may have seen one exactly like it if you ever saw the movie “The Long Long Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
The gentle waves within the harbor at King Salmon near my old mobile home.

I loved Gill’s for a cup of morning Joe. There was always some activity going on. Boats entering and leaving the docks or clammers on the bar at low tide. The pelicans were regular visitors as well as a great view of Field’s Landing and the lumber activity going on there, complete with tugboats and barges filled with logs.
The Hangtown Fry

One of the specialties at Gill’s was the Hangtown Fry. What is a Hangtown Fry you ask? The story goes like this:
In the town of Placerville, CA, over 100 miles away from the North coast city of Eureka, three men were hanged on the same oak tree at the same time. It was known as Hangtown before it became Placerville.
The Hangtown Fry is a story about a miner that struck it rich. He went into a small eat shop and wanted the most expensive item on the menu because he had been eating beans for the past few months and was sick and tired of beans.
The cook told him he had eggs. These were expensive because in those days, they were very hard to ship without breaking them. He also mentioned bacon. It was expensive because it had to be shipped from the East. He also said he had Oysters that he could bread and fry. Since they were a delicacy, they were expensive too.
The miner said he’ll have all three and the concoction was made. The Hangtown Fry was invented. I’ve had it here and there throughout the years, but Gill’s is the best in my opinion.
 A plateful of eggs, done fritatta style, smothered with fried onions and well-done green peppers, topped with three large Humboldt Bay oysters, two slices of bacon and served with Gill’s signature fried spuds and sourdough toast. Oh, and home made plum or peach jam in little jars!
The Eel River Cafe in Garberville, CA

Another place I had breakfast, not on the same day of course, was the Eel River Cafe in Garberville, CA. The similarities to the local Dish and the Spoon Cafe where I have my morning java when I am home in River Falls are the presence of the holstein cow and holstein cow colors of black and white.
Wallpaper in the men's room
This is a photo of the wall paper in the men’s room. Like the Dish and the Spoon, they have quite the collection of cow memorabilia and black and white accents throughout the store. Good food at each as well.
Powerful breakers coming in at Centerville Beach, Ferndale, CA

No trip to the North Coast would be complete without visiting the ocean. The pounding of the great sea on the black sand is a very cool spectacle. There are a few places to surf, just a few, and not too many sheltered enough for a swim. These waves are enormous and the sound is incredible. I did pick a few rocks and filled my pockets.

The rugged Northern California coast

I met with two beautiful people from my past. Nikki and Maggie. Nikki lives near Portland, OR but was visiting Eureka at the time I was there. Maggie lives in Eureka, but hails from Minnesota. I met them both during the Longest Walk II in 2008. Nikki is an editor and writer for Spot Magazine out of Portland, while Maggie is busy taking care of her newborn child, Margo.

Maggie, on the left, with Nikki holding Margo at Ramone's
These two are just a couple of the many great friendships I made while on that walk. It was great to catch up with them and visit at Ramone’s Bakery and Cafe in Old Town Eureka.
Ramone’s has some wonderful baked goods to enjoy with coffee, but I opted for a freshly toasted delight at Los Bagels, right down the street.

Los Bagels is the marriage of mixed heritage, but I am not sure if it is husband and wife or Mother and Father, one being Jewish and the other Mexican. All I know is that they have the best bagels anywhere and they celebrate Los Dias de Los Muertos while all the while having Dreidels for sale on the counter. 

Sounds like all I did was eat and sit around drinking coffee. That about sums it up when I wasn’t riding the motorcycle or in Hal’s studio playing music. I did have time to get the car washed at a fundraiser the Fortuna High School Band, of which Hal and Ellen's Grandson Bryan is a member, held to raise money for their trip to San Francisco over Memorial Day weekend to play at the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the Golden Gate Bridge.

This young enthusiastic gal scrubbed every bug off that front end by hand!

One of these days I’ll have some spare time and I’ll get some of the stuff we recorded on the blog via YouTube. My friends are great musicians. It will be worth the wait when I finally get to edit the audio and video.
In the meantime, thanks for your time spent here.
Peace to all