Category: Sablewing Blog

Memories: Remembering my grandfather

I have been posting some memories of growing up but thought I’d post on a different topic this week. I have been remembering a lot of things this week but they have to do with my grandfather, my mother’s father. He passed away this week, at the age of 96 and at odd moments I find I am remembering different things about him that happened or I heard while growing up.

My grandfather was born in 1914, in Colorado, the 4th child of 7 children. One of the children died in infancy, the other six all grew to adulthood. There was quite an age spread between the siblings, I believe my great grandmother had her last child at the age of 46 or 47. My grandpa never talked much about what it was like growing up at that time but from one of his sister’s memories and other bits and pieces here are some of the things he did while growing up.

  • When he was in his early teens he helped to build a par three golf course in the area because he loved golf so much
  • One time he supposedly decided to disappear for a few days and came back during dinner time. He sat down to dinner and the only comment was “Please pass the peas”, with no questions on where he had been.
  • He enjoyed being with his baby sister and she remembers him taking her swimming, on his back, in a pond that was by their house.

Not a lot of information about his growing up but all items that fit in with the adult he grew into. He loved to played golf and it was only in his 80’s that he had to give up the game due to problems walking. He also liked children. And he was definitely mischievous and a tease, fitting in quite well when playing with his grandchildren when they came to visit.

As he grew into adulthood I don’t know of many stories but I do know that he did some of the following.

  • He became an adult during the depression. He worked his way through college and medical school, finishing up medical school around the time the depression ended.
  • While going to college or medical school, he met my grandmother as he walked by her house each day. I believe her parents invited him in for a meal because he looked so underfed, or at least that’s how the story goes. These two were a good match, both having a love of sports and being active. Both golfed together until my grandmother had problems getting around in her late 70’s or early 80’s
  • While completing his residency for medical school he started a family with my grandmother. Shortly after finishing this he was called up to serve in the Army in World War II. He managed to father my uncle before leaving but didn’t see his son for two years while serving in the military.
  • As a doctor who valued life a great deal my grandfather talked very little about his time in the military. The only story I heard was of him being called out one night to try and treat someone who had been shot in the barracks by a sniper bullet. By the time he got there it was too late and you could see the regret he had over that.

After the war ended, my grandmother and he moved around Wyoming a bit until they settled down in a small town in the northern part of the state. He started a practice in the basement of his house. He would take payment of potatoes or chickens during those early years. Somehow he built up enough business that he was able to buy a building in the downtown and also buy equipment, including an X-Ray machine. Nowadays this doesn’t seem like much but the fact that he was able to get enough money to own these items was pretty impressive to me while growing up. He also did many different things for the small town they lived in.

  • He helped get a hospital and nursing home built to serve the two small towns in the area
  • He served on the school board for several years. He helped to get a swimming pool for the high school and the town to use
  • One of his proudest achievements, I suspect, was helping to get a golf course built. My cousins and I spent a lot of time out there with him and my grandmother. I marvel at his patience at trying to play golf while also riding herd on young children. Especially young children who wanted to drive the golf cart and who did not necessarily have top notch driving skills. I don’t remember the cart being driven into the creek that ran through the course but that doesn’t meant that some grandchild might have come close.

And in between all of this he ran a busy medical practice, performing house calls and raising a family. My mother remembers going with him to the hospital and stopping once at an accident so he could offer aid. He was always very service minded, sometimes to the detriment of his family, and always working to give back to the community.

Myself, it’s so odd to think of him not being here. He was such a solid presence that the family was built around. I have so many memories of him running through my head as I write this. Things like:

  • Playing with us when we were younger, roughhousing and almost breaking furniture, just like us kids
  • Teasing my grandmother just to get her peeved with him
  • Out golfing with his friends
  • Getting called away to the office or the hospital for some medical emergency
  • Listening to medical tapes in his car so he could keep up with the latest medical breakthroughs
  • Going to the elementary school in his 80’s to read to young boys who were considered hyperactive and needed some extra help
  • Helping him setup a computer for playing chess and writing letters in his 70’s and 80’s
  • Seeing him take college classes into his 80’s in order to keep his mind active.

As I think of all of the things he did in his life and how full a life he led, I feel that if I do even half of the things he did I will have lived a very full life. It will be hard to say that final good bye to him in a couple of days, so I want to share these memories of him to keep him alive in my heart for a bit longer.

1/10/1914 to 5/25/2010 – Rest in Peace to Dr. Anthony Rogers, who joins his wife Elizabeth Wilson Rogers, you will be missed by your family.

Early Childhood Memories – 5-7

Time to continue recording memories from growing up. These memories occurred when I was around the ages of 5 to 7, but there may be some overlap with memories from when I was older.

I thought I would provide a list of items that didn’t exist or were not used often during this time. It’s a bit amazing to think about everything that has changed as I’ve grown older. Here is a short list.

  • No home computers. Computers did exist but they were large boxes and only used in a few businesses.
  • No calculators, slide rules along with pencil and paper were used for large number calculations.
  • Black and white TV was still dominant. Most TV shows were still black and white but they had been filming in color for a a couple of years, I believe.
  • No cable TV. We got 3 channels using a big antenna on our house. It was a big deal when KPBS went on the air in the early 70’s in our area.
  • No 8 track tapes, cassette tapes or CDs. There were reel to reel tape players and record players. A stereo system, if you had one, usually had a record player and a radio. They were built like pieces of furniture with wood cases.
  • The US had gone to space but had not landed someone on the moon yet.
  • No VHS tapes or DVDs. If you wanted to see a movie you had to go to the movie house. And movies were not generally shown on TV, except for the Wizard of Oz.
  • There was still candy that you could buy for a penny. A childs ticket to the matinee was 50 cents, a small drink 15 cents and a popcorn was 15 cents.

When I was five we moved into the first house that my parents bought instead of renting. We had a backyard and one of the first things my parents did was to put a swing set for us kids. The back yard was not super great for kids as a lot of it was paved with stones that were uneven. During this year my brother must have gotten old enough to walk, I vaguely remember him walking around out in the back yard.

There were some neighbor kids, some boys, who lived next door to us. When we came home from school we would play various games. One of our favorite games was racing our tricycles. Back then kids in our area didn’t really start riding bicycles until they were 7 or 8 and it was a big deal to get a bike and to learn to ride it. No training wheels for us, you either learned to balance quickly or learned to live with being scraped up.

Our neighbors didn’t have a fence around their house so we were able to race our trikes around their house. We would race around and at first I would use my red tricycle that I loved so much. I eventually out grew that tricycle and I got a big blue tricycle for Christmas one year. I don’t remember what year that was but I remember how shiny and new my blue trike looked. And it had tassles hanging out of the handle which were totally cool. I liked to see how fast I could push my trike and make the tassles fly out in the wind. I don’t remember who won those races but I remember pushing from the back of my trike very fast in trying to win each time.

Our house did have a fence around it, with a gate at the front that could close out the driveway. I always felt like we lived in a castle because of our gates that we could use to close out the intruders that might invade. If the big gates were closed there was a small side gate that could be used to get in and out. The big gates were not closed very often but it was great fun to be allowed to close them those few times. We also had a flag pole in our front yard which was was also neat. I had only seen schools and other public buildings with a flag pole so our house seemed very special with that flag pole out front.

When I was almost 6 years old I started kindergarten. The class was for half a day and a room apart from the rest of the school. I remember we had to bring in our own towels with our name written on them to use for rest time. I didn’t understand why we had to put our names on the towels because we were told we couldn’t take them home at the end of the school year, not sure what they did with all of those towels. I don’t remember much about kindergarten, just that class was in a big room with lots of sunshine from the many windows in the class. It was a very bright, sunny place. We had an older teacher who was a year or two from retirement, I was envious of my brother a few years later when he had the young teacher who replace my teacher for his kindergarten class.

I walked to school, it was not very far, less than half a mile to walk, although it seemed a long ways. I think the walk got longer in the winter, especially when those coldy, icy winds blew and I was wearing a skirt to school. I usually enjoyed the walk though, it gave me some time away from the bustle of home or school and time for myself to just think. I still like to walk and just think on different subjects in my life. All the kids walked to school and there was always a school within walking distance because of all of the kids. There were always a lot of kids about, being on the tail end of the baby boomers and all of that. Today’s neighborhoods seem so empty with all the kids in school or day care while their parents work, I’m not sure if we made a gain there for children.

Time to stop for a bit, more memories to come.

Early Child Memories – 3-5 continued

I had planned to write about memories from ages 5 to 7 but I remembered two more things from ages 3 to 5 so here they are.

The first set of memories is about a family reunion that occurred on my Mom’s side of the family when I was 3 1/2. The reunion was in Los Angeles California, at my great uncles house. He must have been doing very well as I remember walking in and being amazed at how big the first room was. I saw a curving staircase coming down with a banister that I really wanted to slide down at some point. Think of the entry way for the Beverly Hillbillies mansion and you will have an idea of what the front room looked like, at least the way I remembered it. I had seen some show or heard in a story about sliding down a banister so I wanted to try that. I don’t remember if I did slide down but I certainly remember wanting to.

The next memory from that trip is of being at Disneyland with a group from the family. I wanted to ride on several of the rides but the adult in charge kept saying no, I suspect because of the long lines. I’ve been told that we finally did get to ride something but I don’t remember that part, just how I wanted to ride something and how I kept being told no.

The last memory from that trip is from the motel room we were staying at. We were getting ready to leave and I was determined to make the bed because I had been taught to do that every morning. My Mom had told me to not bother, someone else would make the bed. I looked at her puzzled and at least pulled the covers up over the sheets. I felt I had to do something and that felt like a good compromise with my Mom telling me that I didn’t need to.

The other memory or set of memories is from preschool, which I attended when I was four. I sort of remember the first day of going into this big room, with tables that were my size. The tables had different things on them, like books or games. There was a big set of windows on the north wall that filled the room with a lot of light. I vaguely remember other kids being there but I don’t remember them very well. I remember the teacher, a lady that was probably in her 30’s, in a dress, with her hair done up. I remember being a little worried about being left but I got over it quickly. That seemed to be a part of my childhood, I never seemed to be too bothered to be away from home for sleepovers or traveling by myself.

The other memory of preschool is of a craft project we did. We were told about it early in the year and I was always very excited coming to preschool as I waited for my turn. The project was to build an airplane out of two pieces of wood and then paint it. As part of the project, when it was our turn we got to watch someone cut the wood and then we were allowed to nail it together. I loved to put things together and this would allow me to build something brand new so it seemed very neat. I also remember how it seemed to take forever before it was my turn. I now realize that since my maiden name started with S and that they were going in alphabetical order it was going to take a while to get to me but at the time I kept hoping at each class that it would be my turn.

Finally, it was my turn to go and get the wood cut. I remember standing outside and waiting as the man cut the wood for me. He handed me the two pieces and it was so cool to finally hold the wood. I don’t really remember nailing the wood together but I remember selecting the color blue to paint the wood with. Don’t remember what happened to my airplane but certainly enjoyed putting it together after the very long wait for my turn.

Early Childhood memories – 3-5

I thought I would try to write up some articles about my childhood and what I remember so that I could share them with younger people who have grown up in a very different time. This first article covers my earliest memories from a little before I was 3 years old to around 5 years old.

My earliest memory is from about two months before my 3rd birthday. I suspect the events stick out because there were a couple of things going on at the time. The first thing was my Mom being pregnant with my brother and giving birth to him. The second thing was that we were getting ready to move from Denver Colorado to Oklahoma.

The earliest memory I have is of standing out in a parking lot in the back of a U-Haul trailer with my Dad. He had been packing the trailer and I had come out after the doors were closed. I had a red tri-cycle that I really liked and I was checking with him to make sure he had packed it. Since I hadn’t seen him put it in the U-Haul I was worried that it hadn’t been packed yet. He reassured me that it had been packed. I then went up the stairs to our second story apartment. I vaguely remember the room, the only clear memory was of a clown painting on the wall, something with a black background, probably velvet, with a clown face. I remember being happy that I saw the clown picture because it was one of my favorite pictures. There was some old furniture, nothing remarkable to me since I saw it everyday. I have seen a picture of me on the stairs of the apartment and it matches  my memory of the red brick outside and the metal stairs going to our apartment.

My next memory seems to be a short time later or perhaps before, my time line is not clear. My Dad had taken me to the hospital to visit my Mom. She was in there after having given birth to my brother. My Dad took me up to see her but he had to leave me behind in the hall due to a no children visiting policy at that time. This was back in the early 60s and hospitals at that time and until the 70s/80s had very definite restrictions on visitors, even family. I remember missing my Mom but I didn’t feel too worried, more annoyed that I couldn’t go back with my Dad.

The next memory is of going with my Grandma on a train at night. I suspect it wasn’t that late because this would have been in October when it would have been getting dark earlier in the day. My Dad was with me at the station where we met my Grandma. My Grandma and I got on a railroad car and I expected my Dad to go with us. Then the train started moving, I looked up at my Grandma and asked where my Dad was. She explained that he was going to stay in Denver and that I would be staying with her and Grandpa for a while until my Mom and Dad came to get me. I just took that in, didn’t feel scared or distressed and that is the end of that memory. My Mom tells me that I stayed up at Grandma’s for a month and when she came to pick me up I barely noticed her since I was having so much fun with my Aunt and her friends. 🙂

The next memory is of arriving in a car in the town we were moving to. I don’t remember staying at my Grandma’s or the drive from Colorado or Wyoming down to Oklahoma. It was late at night and we had rooms at a hotel in town. I remember seeing the outside of the hotel and thinking how big it was. My next memory is of being in the room and thinking how neat the murphy bed was. I wondered if I could have a bed that folded into the wall someday. I have another break in my memory and then I remember the room being dark and hearing my brother cry and my Mom and Dad not being happy.

I don’t remember how long we stayed at the hotel, the next memory is of moving into an apartment across from a park. I thought it was very neat because there was a park right across the street that I could go to by myself. There were swings and a merry go round, all of the type of equipment that would never be allowed on a playground today. The merry go round had wooden seats on the outside and the inside had poles, similar to this picture. From a Google search I see another name for this is a roundabout but we always called it a merry go round while growing up. Anyway, I loved to run in circle in between the poles and pretend I was a horse pulling a wagon until I got dizzy, I suspect that such behavior today would get  a child dragged way from this horribly unsafe device where they might get dragged around in the dirt. Never had that happen but had a lot of fun. 🙂

The only other memory I have of this apartment is of drawing a mural in crayon on my bedroom wall of the mountains we had left behind in Colorado. We were in Oklahoma and even in the Northeast corner it’s pretty flat compared to Denver. I remember missing the mountains quite a bit and I wanted something to look at. My Mom dragged me over and had me help her clean the mural from the wall. I do remember wondering why she had me using my toy sponge and cleaner when I knew it wasn’t as effective as the adult stuff she used but I guess we got the mural off somehow. I also don’t remember much of my brother from this time, I was definitely not at a ‘thinking of others’ stage in my life. 🙂

The next memory is of a house we lived in on a street called Chickashaw, which we pronounced “Chick-a-saw’. It was a two story house with wooden floors and a big open space on the second floor. The second floor room was open with one wall of closet doors. I thought those were really cool because when you opened up one door it really went into a room and you could see all of the others doors down in a line. I had a big wooden toy chest in my bedroom that my Dad had built for me and it was big enough that I could climb in and hide in it. I believe we lived in this house for a year or so until my parents had saved up enough money to buy their own house.

I have quite a few different memories of this house, including my fourth birthday. The birthday stands out because I got a baby doll that I had been wanting. I still have that doll, which has had a lot of wear, it was certainly one of my favorite toys growing up. I also remember my Dad playing with his matchbox car set that he had gotten for my Christmas. The cars were supposedly for my brother but since he would have been two months old at the time my Dad gamely took on the challenge of testing out my brothers toy. Years later my brother and I got together and got a match car set for my Dad for Christmas then promptly opened up and played with it while he watched. Our revenge for the gift he got my brother so may years before.

For the younger people, I don’t remember that we had a TV, I think we got one later after my parents had bought their house. We had a couple of small radios, I think, but I don’t remember listening much. I had lots of picture books but I don’t think I had started reading comic books yet. There were certianly no stereos, computers, calculators, cell phones or other electronic devices that we take for granted nowadays. I’m sure the phones were the rotary dial type and you leased it from the phone company. We played outside a lot because Mom usually wanted a break from us noisy kids. Playing inside was for rainy or really cold days or if we were sick. We pretended a lot and I had my baby doll and a few other toys but not a lot.

When I was about five my parents found a house they could afford to buy. I remember when we looked at the house and I met a neighbor boy there. I thought he was fairly nice and he would be fun to play with. That turned out to be optimistic but it was certainly a positive experience moving into our new house. We had a big back yard, with no neighbors behind us and a big woods that my brother and I would explore when we were older. I don’t remember moving into the house, just that we were living there and that it was a neat house. The entire back wall that faced the woods was big windows so we had a nice view in our dining and living room.

That finishes up my memories from age three to five. There are some more events in there but not anything too outstanding to me anyway. I do remember on other thing, my Dad had a red Chevy and I thought that was the coolest car ever, with the red color on the outside and even on the inside on the seats. I think it was a Chevy Impala but I’m not positive of it. I do have a photo of my Dads that shows the car, if I dig it out I can update later.  Will try to continue these later on.

Reunion Pictures

Just got back from a family reunion for my Mom’s side of the family, decided to post some pictures for viewing.

Whole Family

Whole Family, with face making

Rogers Siblings

My brother, sister and Mom

2009 – Year of the Annoyance

Well, the year 2009 has gotten off to a quick start for me and it was quickly apparent what kind of year it was going to be. 2008 was definitely a year of transition for me and a lot of other people I know. A lot of change going on and most of it was for the better.

Now, 2009, it’s shaping up to be a bit different. Basically 2009 is shaping up to be, well, annoying. First off, I felt I had to work on January 1, a day most people take a holiday for. I did only work a half day but I still had to work. And as part of my work I bought a laser printer for the company I am part of and brought it into work and got it setup. It had a few glitches but since I was printing two sided documents I didn’t think much of it. Little did I know that I had gotten a printer that really didn’t want to work much. While I was on travel the next week my partners tried to use the printer to actually print out some technical manuals as reference for our new employees. Unfortunately the printer’s idea of printing was to stop every few pages and require someone to press a button before it would continue. So instead of one person actually getting other work done they had to stand there and push the button. Which I heard about the first two or three days of my travel. I eventually got another printer that worked better and we were able to return the first printer and get a full refund but it was, welll in a word, annoying.

The next annoyance was on the day I flew out to Detroit. I was running a bit late but going out to my car I wasn’t too worried since it was early in the morning so there wouldn’t be much traffic and I could make up for lost time. As I got out to my car I noticed that it looked like my windows were damp from the fog overnight so I figured I would wipe off the windows before driving. So I tried to wipe off the windows. The moisture didn’t wipe off, it stayed there and it felt really cold. I suddenly realized it was ice, on my windshield, in San Diego. Guess what most people in San Diego don’t have in their cars? If you guessed ice scraper you now understand my problem. I will say that my Hertz card made an excellent substitute for the amount of ice I had to scrape off that morning.

So I ended up being a bit late to the parking garage and then to the airport and had to stand in longer lines than I had anticipated. At least the flight went well and I got into Detroit okay. However, the ice scraping was just the start and I was deifnitley scraping a lot of ice in Detroit. And not just in the morning but in the evenings when I headed back to the hotel. And not thin ice one morning, it was a thick, almost impentratable layer that I had to chip off. I finally remembered some of my cold weather experience that I’ve tried to block out and turned the car heater on to blasting, which helped. Of course when one of my partners joined me in Detroit on Wednesday it warmed up then and he didn’t have to scrape ice off in the morning or not as much ice. And he was complaining about how it wasn’t cold enough while I was shivering away. At least I had been able to get a pair of thermal underwear for this trip so I wasnt’ too cold but still… I lived in Wyoming for five years, lived in Oklahoma growing up and I’ve had enough of winter for a while.

Anyway, back to the annoyance, the next major annoyance has been a tooth. Part of a crown chipped off right before the new year and I wasn’t able to get into a dentist until after I got back from my trip. The dentist was willing to be low key on the tooth repair but my tooth chose to not cooperate. Turned out there was a hole in the crown and the tooth underneath was rotting out and needed to be yanked. The dentist did a good job on the tooth extraction but of course it is annoying to need a tooth pulled. And there have been problems with the temporary bridge that he put in until everything healed up. I have been back several times to either have my bite re-adjusted or to get the temporary re-glued in. Right now I’m very happy that I’ve had the current temporary in for over a week and it seems to be holding. Now, just hold on until the middle of March and the first part of April, sigh.

So those are the major annoyances I’ve had so far this year and I suspect that the annoyances will continue on. Not anything that is overwhelming by itself and something good comes out of the occurrences in the end but still… I could really do without these things. I have been thinking of labelling years in my life based on a ten year cycle that I seem to run through. If I were to name the cycle it would be the TASH cycle, for my full set of initials and would consist of the following years. I start in the year 2 since I was born in ’62. The digit correspond to the last digit of the year.

2 – Year of Good things – Hey, I was born in a 2 year and in looking back my 2 years seem to have good things happening in them
3 – Year of Inner Focus/S**t Happens – The 3 years tend to be challenging for many different reasons. My first 3 year I almost died and according to my Mom my behavior changed a lot. And my son came close to dying in a 3 year and as a result I learned a lot. Good things usually result from 3 year actions and aren’t usually quite so drastic but it can be hard to live through at the time.
4 – Year of Inner Building – Not a very dramatic year but a time of just getting along, nothing overly bad, nothing overly good just meh. ALthough my sister was born in a 4 year and that was a pretty good year but most 4 years are a lot quieter.
5 – Year of Prosperity – In these years I tend to do well in finding financial improvements. For example, I got a job in 95 out of the blue when my family really needed it. Now if I can just use this knowledge to plan ahead for 2015. 🙂
6 – Year of Testing – There is usually some kind of learning experience I go through which tests my limits in some way. My first year of marriage was in a 6 year as an example.
7 – Year of Consolidation – After all that testing I spend time consolidating what I learned and making use of the knowledge. As an example, 97 was the first year I was webmaster for our company website after spending a year working on internal sites.
8 – Year of Transition – Just been through one of those, although it was at the extreme end of the scale. Mostly good events but it can be a challenging type of year to live through
9 – Year of the Annoyance – See above description.
0 – Year of Character Building – Yet another year that is challenging to live through. As an example, my son was born in a 0 year.
1 – Year of New things – In these years I am busy trying something new and trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing. Examples are my first year of college, first year in a commercial company after working defense for many years, my son’s first year.

Just a quick assessment and review of a ten year cycle that seems to run through my life. Now if I can just get ready for next year, the Year of Character Building, sigh. I’m ready for a 4 or 5 year, thank you very much. 😉

On Celebrating Holidays in a Non-Standard Household

Today  is my birthday and I am reflecting yet again on how holidays in our household are not celebrated in the standard storybook fashion. For starters, I like to tell people my age is 0x2E and I’m looking forward to turning 0x30* in two years. I am taking the day off but stopped by work today for a visit and spent a frantic few minutes helping out in getting some network problems straightened out.

For my present from my husband I presented him with an order form several weeks ago for two nightshirts from a small company that I like. The shirts came in, and I promptly grabbed one leaving the other one for him to wrap. I finally got him to wrap it tonight and had fun telling him what surprise it was and how it was exactly what I wanted. We did go out for dinner tonight so no one would have to cook and that was a nice change.

When we got back from dinner I baked my birthday cake, with everyone in the household asking when it was going to be finished so they could go to bed early. My Mom is here visiting and suffering form jet lag due to a 3 hour time difference, so she has been ready to sack out by 9:00 in the evening, if she can hold out that long. Meanwhile, my son is clearing a space in our living room/my office/spare bedroom so we have space for a Christmas tree and is busy setting up the artificial tree and the lights.

I finished up the cake and had a very off tune Happy Birthday sung to me and I opened my presents. All in all, it was quite a lovely birthday and I’m kind of glad I don’t necessarily have birthdays and holidays quite like other people do. I certainly end up with better stories to tell. Just don’t ask me about my 16th birthday. 😉

*My age in hexadecimal, definitely a comp-sci, techie type of joke.

Reminded of an Old Dream

I was reviewing my site recently and reminded of my dreams that I had written down here. However, I didn’t find one that I had thought I had recorded so thought I would add it in now. The dream is related to an experience I had that I talk about some in this blog entry. However, before I had that dream I had the one I describe below. And I found my original diary entry for the dream, so I will just transcribe what I wrote some 17 years ago. I do have some comments on my interpretation of the dream now that I’m older, which will follow my notes.

May 1991, San Diego
“In my dream I was in a classroom surrounded by pictures and I knew I was in an art classroom. I could hear a voice lecturing but my attention was drawn to a table in front of me. A potter’s wheel sat on it with a striking clay pot sitting on the wheel. It was made of different colored clays and was very ornamental. I could tell that the pitcher had been thrown on the wheel and I could see that the artist had chosen to not smooth the coils but allow them to show.

I looked closer at the pitcher and I realized it was imperfect. There were holes where the loops had not joined and I could tell it would never hold a complete pitcher of water. i was saddened by this and then I could heat the lecturer’s voice describing it and the flaws. As the voice continued it said “While there are flaws it is not the fault of the container but of the creator.

I woke up with a good feeling because I realized while I may strive for perfection and fail it is not my fault so long as I do the best that I can. I can only perform as well as I have been made.”

For me, it was an interesting experience to find this entry and read my original thoughts on my dream. It did give me quite a bit of comfort at the time when I needed some hope to hold on to. However, I have a different interpretation of the lecturer’s statement now that I’ve gotten older and have hopefully built up some wisdom. Maybe anyway.

I now have what I feel is a gentler interpretation of that last statement. At the time I think I was putting more blame on my creator, god or whatever higher force you might believe is responsible for how things go. However, I now strongly feel that I also had input into the path my life has taken and that whatever flaws I might have are ones that I chose to have in this life. I strongly feel that I made choices for experiences I felt I needed to have in order to learn the most that I could while I am here on this Earth. A lot of those experiences have been painful, embarrassing and have lingered on with their effects as I’ve grown older. And yet, I don’t find that I want to go back and subtract any of those experiences out of my life. What has happened is what has made me the person I currently am who is sitting here typing in these words. I wouldn’t necessarily want to go back and repeat any of my less than optimal life lessons but I don’t regret them.

And I have a different view of the pitcher itself, it’s purpose and usage. While the pitcher may strive to be ‘the’ perfect pitcher, due to it’s flaws it cannot fulfill that function. However, it can still work and it can fulfill other purposes such as holding flowers or being a piece of art that brings a bit of beauty into the world. In the same way I have had this idea of how I should be but my life has led me down to being a very different person than my ‘ideal’. But I’ve come to realize that there are other paths that can be followed and just because I don’t fit others ideas of normalcy doesn’t mean that I am somehow wrong or flawed, perhaps just different.

I hope this writing helps bring comfort to those who need it as much as it comforted me so many years ago. Now, to try and remember that other topic I wanted to write about, “Pondering Ponderables Ponderously”, except that I forgot what I wanted to write about, only remember the title. 🙂

2008 – Year of Transition

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for quite a while, figured I should take a shot at getting it done before 2008 finishes up. So far 2008 has been a year full of transition, for me and many of the people I know. And it seems to be a common theme that I’ve noticed when talking to people, even the economy and the US government is going through changes and transitioning to something else than what it was before. Has all of this change, this transition, been easy? No, not really, but then growth into a new stage of life usually isn’t.

For me, my big transition was moving from a job with a company I had been involved with off and on for the last 15 years to being a partner in a small business. And of course those people are also experiencing a transition in their life, especially since my partners primary experience is with working for a business and not running a business of their own. The experience has been a roller coaster with some very exhilarating moments mixed with some scary ones. And the smallish pot of gold is now showing up for us, we have gotten a couple of good size contracts under our belt, we have a pretty solid cash flow for the next 18 months and there is strong interest in the services we can provide. So overall a good transition, with some pain on the way to a happy ending.

In my family, my Mom and sister have moved down to Florida and they are enjoying warmer weather. A friend of mine is transitioning to a very different way of life and is feeling much more comfortable with herself. Other friends are changing jobs, changing their lifestyle and finding another path to take in their life’s journey.

Unfortunately, not all transitions are so painless. One person I know has a son who is slowly dying from a genetic disorder that was just diagnosed this year. I’ve just recently gotten involved with a gaming group that was going to be meeting regularly for a D&D session for the next few months. Sadly, the dungeon master for the game passed away in his sleep two days after the first game. The group, including myself, was hit very hard by this, as this fellow was a very interesting, intelligent fellow with many interests and a lot of life experience. I am very disappointed that I won’t have the chance to get to know him better. And the friend who introduced me to the group is dealing with the loss of his friend of many years. Transitions like this seem like something to be avoided and I must admit that I would have preferred to avoid some of the pain I’ve gone through since the beginning of the year.

And yet, without these transitions, these changes, I would not have the potential to grow and become a better person. I’ve had many insights into my personality this year, found some strengths I didn’t know were there and worked on reducing some weaknesses of mine. If this had been another year, just like last year I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have this self growth. So for the long run, I’m glad I’ve gone through the experiences I’ve had. But I am hoping for a slightly quiet year next year. 🙂


First Impression, Wrong Impression

I recently had a couple of encounters where I offered ‘expert’ advice on small business management and IT support to a couple of different people. After talking with these people and some follow up conversations later on I realized that these people already knew the facts and were very polite in not handing me my head during the initial chats. Well, that will teach me. So I will work on not making an assumption of ignorance and that I am duty bound to try and educate someone who may already be a lot better educated and experienced than I am. I will plead to being overtired and feeling overworked when these situations happened. Getting a new business going tends to be a bit draining. However, I know it’s not necessarily pleasant to be on the receiving end of expert advice when I feel I already understand the topic. Next thing to work is not assuming I am a complete expert on most subjects known to (wo)mankind but that’s a topic for another blog, maybe. 😉