Posted tagged ‘Patty’

Book of Life

May 5, 2015

Book of Life

(Birth-Death)

contemplation

 

Death does not matter, when it is here, I am not.  What matters is life and the chapters, characters and actions that make it interesting or of consequence.  My life has been full and interesting and, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed it immensely.  But I realize that I have been fortunate in where and when I was born and that, for a lot of people, life is a constant struggle filled with fear and suffering.  I guess that is what makes me a social liberal; I share John Lennon’s views.  ‘Imagine’ is my favorite song.

Patty says I’ve been dying for over 30 years and I guess she’s right.  I’ve accepted death all my life but it’s not a morbid preoccupation.  I think religious people are morbidly preoccupied with death.  I think the fear of dying and the promise of an afterlife is what spawned all the world’s religions.  As a kid I thought about dying and always assumed I wouldn’t last this long.  I imagine a lot of kids my age thought about dying, you can’t practice nuclear attack drills in elementary school where you hide under your desk or lie against the walls of the school hallways without giving it some thought. In the mid-80’s I experienced some chest pains and thought it was finally catching up to me so I put my vineyards on the market (I had two) because I didn’t want Patty and the kids to have to deal with them after I was gone.  When I finally went to the doctor I found that I just had angina, an inflammation in the lining of my heart, and it wasn’t likely to kill me.  But that was another chapter that ended and along with it a monumental change in the direction of our lives. 

So… back to the analogy of ‘The Book of Life’.  I’ve got a rough draft of the final chapter or chapters and I just need to fill in a few details.  We’ve prepared a living will and Patty and I are in agreement that we do not want to die in a hospital or a nursing home.  Patty says, “Just shoot me” but that’s not a plan at all since I don’t have a gun and I don’t want to spend my final days in prison no matter how much I love her.  Longevity is actually the prolonging of old age and death will most likely occur as the diminishing of quality of life and increasing frailty.  As I sit here at my computer writing this, Patty is at Volcano National Park in Hawaii working at eradicating six-foot thorn-bushes from the lava beds under a broiling sun.  She had to hike twelve miles with a forty-pound backpack and then sleep in a tent to get to an area that most people will never go to spend a week of back-breaking labor.  So, Patty is not succumbing to old-age even though it’s becoming harder for her to do the things she wants to do. 

In remembering the members of my family, all gone now except for a sister who is living with Alzheimer’s, that most terrible and horrible of diseases, I like to think they mostly died well.  I don’t know the details because in most cases I wasn’t there but, in my mind and my memories, they mostly died well.  My eldest sister, Edythe, died on her own terms and planned for her children before she left.  My sister Millie, who I think about more than anyone and had the greatest influence on my life, planned for her passing so as to make it easier for all of us.  I think that Patty and Millie epitomize what I think of as truly good people that are sort of Mother Theresa and Joan of Arc rolled into one and are the central characters in my book.  My sister, Dolly, died in Perth, Australia and had an interesting book that rivals my own.  The night she died we talked and she made me laugh; she was true to her character and left me with happy memories.  My sister Omie and my brother Pete were estranged from most of the family and I was unaware of their deaths until later, both suffered with depression.  My sister Ginny died with her family in much the same way that my mother died with her. Mom lived with Ginny before she died and Ginny lived with her daughter Cassandra before she died.

That brings me to my friend, Joe.  Joe’s brother-in-law, a right winger and a Christian, claimed that Joe found Jesus on his deathbed.  Having known Joe for forty-some years I find that hard to believe.  But I do know that Joe sometimes told people what they wanted to believe because he was a nice guy.  However, at his memorial service, his brother-in-law used the anecdote to proselytize and that was wrong in my book.  I don’t want that to happen to me or Patty. 

So, what’s the point of all this?  Am I just being morbid?  I don’t think so.  I think the point of this is what Chronospots is all about.  I want to leave a record of my family and my life that I wish my father and mother and siblings had left me.  I don’t want them to be forgotten when I am gone and I want anyone who cares, to know who and what I was.  It’s important to me because I wanted to know these things about those who were important to me.

Also, Patty has been gone for over a month now and I have time on my hands.

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It was a very good year~2014

December 25, 2014

  I’ve gotten a little lazy in the last couple of years.  I haven’t kept up my blog, Chronospots, as I should and haven’t put together a Christmas Card and family update as I have in past years.  About 30 years, I think.  So, I’m feeling a little guilty about that and decided that I would kill two birds with one stone and do this.    This being a years-end newsletter and a blog posting together. 

To start off, Patty and I went to Hawaii and Oahu last November (big surprise) and had a great time.  We actually left the end of October and got back about mid-November.  Then we went back to Maui and Oahu from February 7th until March 3rd.  We did our usual whale watch thing with the Pacific Whale Foundation and had about 2 ½ weeks at the Ka’anapali Beach Resort and then about a week at The Hale Koa at Waikiki before catching a hop home.  The only fly in the ointment was that we flew over on Hawaiian Airlines and left our car at Travis AFB because we were coming home on an Air Force cargo plane.  But they changed the rules on us and since we weren’t flying out on a hop, we weren’t able to leave our car in short-term parking and had to leave it in the BX parking lot instead.  We were gone a month and I worried that something would happen to the car the whole time.  We had talked to the Security Police about it and they said they couldn’t promise anything but that it should be OK.  I worried about it anyway. 

 Happy Hour @ Ka'anapali Beach Resort -2 IMG_3873

Patty@ Ka’anapali Beach Resort        

 IZ on the Bose, Mimosas in the jug  and Jack’s toes  waiting on  the sunset  

Then, in April, Patty went to Salt Lake City with some of her genealogy buddies and had a great time talking about and searching for dead people in the Mormon Library for a week.  Patty has proven 17 ancestors that served in the Revolutionary War so far.  She has another 5 in the works.  She is the Registrar for the Crater Lake Branch of DAR and is also a member of The Mayflower Society.  I guess she’s shooting for her own regiment in the Revolutionary War. 

She got back from Utah and spent about a week with me before heading to Seattle on the 18th of April where she spent some time on Patos Island getting it ready for the tourist season and also spent some time with Susan.  She came home on the 24th.  It seems like she can only take me for a few weeks at a time.  I can understand that and I don’t blame her.  Who wants to be around an old man in his 70’s?  I wasn’t that easy to take when I was in my 30’s.  

Patos 2 2014

Anyway, we went to Kala Point on one of our quarterly weeks on May 9th and had a good week there with pleasant weather and then hurried home to host The Magnificent Seven which is(are?) six of Patty’s Springfield High School classmates from the class of ’62.  (That’s 1962.)   We had a great time with them and took in the Oregon Cabaret’s production of the SHS 10 year reunion.   Also drank some wine and beer (what a bunch of hosers!)

Best @ Caldera

@ Caldera Brewery Restaurant (Vicky is missing)

 

 

 

 

 

Patty went back to Hell’s Canyon with some of her Forest Service friends from May 30 to June 9th.  They had to boat in from Idaho on the Snake River and spent about a week building trail and cairns.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Again, she was home less than a week and then left for The San Juan’s again.  She spent another week working on several islands including Lopez, Patos and Shaw. 

 Patty has volunteered with The Children’s Festival in Jacksonville for several years and this year she dragged Samuel along with her.  He went because he needed the Community Volunteer hours for graduation but when he got there he found some of his friends and classmates so I think he enjoyed it.  I know Patty liked having him there to help out and I understand he was a big help.

On July 31st Patty drove down to Reno with the Magnificent Seven to celebrate Vickie and Lyle’s 50th Anniversary and enjoy Hot August Nights.  Patty caught a ride in her brother Scotty’s ’69 Camero. 

Reno 2014 3 Scotty's Camero

 Back to Patos for another week of clean-up and frivolity.  Again, Patty took Samuel with her and again, I think he enjoyed it even if he was stuck with Grandma and her friends. 

 Patty & Sam  2~ Patos, Aug 2014 Gang of Orcas Patos Is.

Patty & Sam on a paddleboard

Gang of Orcas @ Patos

 

 

In September we were visited by Tom & Sheryl Cray, a cousin that Patty didn’t even know until they met up online looking for mutual ancestors.  As a matter of fact, Patty has found quite a few cousins that way.  They flew out from Chester Iowa where Tom is the mayor and owns an insurance company.  We took them to Crater Lake and to the Oregon Cabaret.  Then, at the end of September, Patty flew up to Seattle to meet Susan and start their third European Adventure together.  As usual it was meticulously planned by Susan and all Patty had to do was show up.   They started off in Venice, just a few days after Clooney’s wedding so they missed him.  I’m sure he was disappointed but c’est la vie. 

Venice selfie 4Canal in Borano

Selfie on the Grand Canal                                   Canal @ Borano

 

From there they went to the Loire Valley in France where Susan had booked some fantastic accommodations and a hot-air balloon ride over the valley.

Balloon over Loire Valley   OK, that may not have been where they stayed but it was in the neighborhood.

 

 

 

 

 

They finished up in Iceland before heading home.

Blue LagoonBlue Lagoon

 

 

 

 

When Patty got home from Europe, we hung around for about a week and then we went back to Kala Point for a week and got back the first of November.  The thing that was special about that was that the fall colors were at their peak on the peninsula while we were there and they were just peaking in Ashland when we got home. 

At the end of November we headed south again to catch a flight back to Hawaii.  We had a week booked at Bellows AFS on the windward side of Oahu and then a week at the Hale Koa at Waikiki

Patty @ Bellows 3 IMG_4216

Patty catching the sunrise @ Bellows AFS

Honolulu Hale (City Hall)

 

 

 

Well, that’s the year for the super self-indulgent Ware’s.  In past years, the Card/newsletter has been mostly about the rest of the family.  We’re getting selfish in our old age.  However, we are extremely proud of all our kids and their accomplishments so bear with me for a little longer. 

Traci is very busy as an Educational Assistant in the Ashland schools and libraries.  She seems to have all the work she wants and is in constant demand.  She keeps very busy with her crafts and scrapbooking and is totally devoted to Samuel and Gabriel.  Rene has a full schedule at Southern Oregon University and works weekends on Master’s Programs off campus and out of town.  During the summer he teaches Master’s Programs at Copenhagen Business School and usually gets in a lot of travelling too.  Sometimes he teaches in Guanajuato,  Mexico.  This year they are all travelling to Naga City to visit family after he gets back from Denmark.  Samuel is planning on pursuing an engineering degree at Oregon State University so we’ll be rooting for the Beavers (except when they’re playing the Ducks (we do that anyway).  And Gabriel will be in his Sophomore year at Ashland High School.  He’s very close to becoming an Eagle Scout and still helps out at the Medford Train Park during summer weekends.  I’m sure Patty will be after him to help out with her volunteer activities now that Samuel has escaped her clutches. 

Susan and Kai are both still working at Microsoft (and I hope they always will be since I think it’s the greatest place on the planet to work).  I don’t know what they do but it’s very technical and complicated and they’re always going off somewhere on business.  They’re both Program Managers which doesn’t explain anything.  Kai’s actually with CompuCom Systems, Inc. but that’s under Microsoft.  Of course Kai is also heavily involved with several bands of a totally eclectic mix.  The Bucharest Drinking Team, The Debaucherauntes, Shiplosion and this summer he toured the East Coast with a group called DAMA/LIBRA.  

That’s it.  Thanks for sticking with me through this long (sorry) posting.  If I’d been more diligent about posting it wouldn’t have been so long. 

Dead People and Mountains of Salt

October 24, 2013

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything in Chronospots and I’m feeling really guilty about it.  It’s not that nothing is happening but rather that I’m getting lazy For instance, Patty’s sister Tammy is visiting and they’re on a road trip to Roseburg today to meet with family members but I stayed home.  As I did yesterday when Patty, Tammy and Traci went downtown where Reese Witherspoon is filming the movie “Wild” and has the downtown and plaza area in a stir.  Can you imagine tying green leaves on trees in the plaza for a movie scene?   They had to blow the yellow, orange and red leaves off and tie green leaves on to match the summer season for the scene. It’s supposed to be Ashland in the summer of ’95 when there was a tribute going on for the recent death of Jerry Garcia of ‘The Grateful Dead”.   

I really like this time of year in Ashland and this is a really great year.  The weather is perfect in the 70’s and the sky is clear with a light breeze most of the time.  The fall colors seem especially good this year and the leaves are just starting to fall.  This is the time of year I enjoy walking downtown and through the SOU campus and Lithia Park to see the fall colors.  I don’t think there’s anywhere that can beat it except maybe the Smokies in a good year.  Of course, I’ve never been to Vermont. 

Patty and I are going to Hawaii next Monday.  We’ll fly over on Hawaiian Airlines and plan to try to catch a hop back from Hickam AFB.  We’ve got a few days reserved at Volcano National Park and then a couple weeks in Kona before going to Hickam and trying for a hop back to Travis AFB.  We had a scare last week when the lodge at Volcano National Park notified us that they were closed because of the government shutdown but there shouldn’t be a problem now (I hope).  We’ll be back about the 20th of November if we can get a hop on a cargo plane.  If not, I guess we’ll be stuck in Hawaii for awhile.  Oh well…

 

We were in Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago.  Patty wanted to look for some more dead people and so we left kind of on the spur of the moment.  When Patty starts thinking about dead people she gets really excited.  We spent a couple of days in the Family Research Library right in the heart of SLC across the street from the Temple and next door to the Museum.  It takes about eleven hours of steady driving to get there.  It took a little longer to get home because we stopped for a couple hours in Lakeview to watch the Ducks game at a sports bar.  But I noticed something that I’ve never thought of before on that trip.  As you’re driving into Salt Lake City from the west you pass the Bonneville Salt Flats and these mountains of salt they have next to the railroad tracks.  I guess the salt is sold commercially.  But the thing that puzzled me is that, as we were driving into town it was raining.  If it’s raining, why are there still mountains of salt? 

As I was helping Patty by looking through some of her family archives from Atlanta Georgia from around the time of the Civil War (“The War of Northern Aggression” as they put it) I found a 15 page speech by a Representative given on the House floor supporting slavery.  I also found a newspaper from Atlanta from right after the Civil War during Reconstruction that was filled with inflammatory articles and stories that resembled some of the ridiculous things you might see from today’s politically motivated media.  I guess we’ve always been easy to sway and eager to have our worst fears realized.  But the thing that I found so interesting about this is that it was interesting.  I remember that history in school was anything but interesting.  We do a really poor job of teaching in schools today.  I think it’s because everything is scripted to avoid being politically incorrect and to avoid lawsuits from parents that want their kids brainwashed according to their beliefs.  Anyway, reading that speech in favor of slavery didn’t influence my thinking at all but it was electrifying.  For instance, he pointed out that, had the South known that the North was going to attack slavery, they would never have signed the Declaration of Independence and that the Constitution protected the importation of slaves until 1808.   If history was taught without the political bias and propaganda it could be really interesting.  Of course, it is written by the victors so you would have that bias but I think it would be better than the boring and useless subject that I had to suffer through in school. 

I’m hoping that I can somehow post a family tree for Patty’s family that reflects the information she has gleaned from all her research.  It seems to me to be the perfect post for Chronospots since this is primarily meant to be a family history blog for everyone.  She is concerned about privacy issues and so I haven’t posted anything yet but there should be a way.  Maybe I’d have to start with grandparents that are already gone but that seems to take away much of the relevance to today’s descendants.  The twigs and branches of the tree show how we interrelate to everyone.   I guess we’ll work it out. 

 

 

The Thrifty Drug Store Caper

August 15, 2009

The Thrifty Drug Store Caper by Jack

It was a dark and stormy night…well, actually it was a sunny and hot day like it usually is in Fresno. Must have been about almost 30 years ago. Emmy was driving her Oldsmobile station-wagon (the get-away car) and along for the ride was her mother, Erma, Billy and Traci, both 10 to 12 years old, Patty and myself. Come to think of it, Susan must have been an accomplice too, where else would she be? That Olds was as big as a bus. We had gone to the Thrifty Drug Store in Selma which was one of our regular haunts at the time. Emmy or Patty wanted something, probably a pattern or something totally lame like that.
I was expected to take care of the kids and they had spotted some of those mechanical toys that businesses placed in front of the store to capture kids quarters. They hopped on the spaceship or horse or whatever and I started feeding quarters. One of the machines didn’t work. It took quarters all right but didn’t do anything. So, I went into the store and told a clerk about the problem. The clerk was unsympathetic and said I should call the person who put the machines there. I said it was their responsibility since it was in front of their store and plugged into their electricity. We weren’t getting anywhere so I asked to speak to the manager.
I cooled my heels for a time and by now Emmy, Erma and Patty had come over to see what the commotion was all about. Typically, Patty told me I should forget it but Erma seemed to agree that it wasn’t right. I didn’t need much encouragement since I felt outraged that this store would condone ripping off little kids (who rides spaceships in front of stores?).
The manager finally showed up and we immediately got into a heated argument. When I saw that I wasn’t going to get satisfaction, I walked over to the candy counter and picked up a piece of candy. I said something like, “Take this out of what you owe me”! Then headed for the door. Emmy and Patty had already headed for the car with the kids and Erma in tow. The manager followed me out yelling something about shoplifting and calling the cops. As we left I saw him writing something on a piece of paper.
All the way to the Adair’s house I was on the receiving end of a steady barrage of tongue-lashing from Patty and concern from Emmy about illegal activities. Erma tried to defend me and I don’t know what the kids were thinking. Anyway, we got to the Adair’s and were unloading the car when a police cruiser pulled in and wanted to know who the owner of the car was.

Fred,Emy,Patty & Erma

Fred,Emy,Patty & Erma

Apparently, taking a candy bar from Thrifty’s was a major crime in Selma and required an immediate response from Selma’s finest. I don’t really remember how this situation got resolved but I imagine Patty and Emmy must have dealt with it because I didn’t end up in jail. Left to me I would have probably escalated the situation into some kind of stand off with the cops since Fred generally had an arsenal handy. And I had right on my side, after all. Come to think of it, that must have been the CHP since Adair’s lived in Fowler and Selma cops wouldn’t have jurisdiction.
Anyway, this is the story Billy remembers and suggested I tell. Must have made an impression on HIM! I hope he learned from my example to stand up for yourself and not to take shit off anybody!


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