Places You’ve Known All Your Life

The fun part of being on vacation in an area in which you grew up is that you get to go to places you’ve known all your life. Unfortunately, I am discovering that there are very few places like that left in Crescent City.

The same can be said about the town I really grew up in, which is Klamath. There is Indian Gaming everywhere, or more to be politically correct, Native American Gaming.

But I have never been politically correct.

The things that I did discover that were the same where places like Howland Hill Road. I used to run that road when I was in high school.

It looked the same.

My son was impressed with the road and the way I drove it. I think he was more impressed with the fact that it was such a narrow road and so bumpy because of all the pot­ holes.

When the road came out on Highway 199, we discovered the pick-up had developed a squeaking noise. I forgot that Howland Hill Road could do stuff like that to a vehicle.

Since I also forgot that this town rolls up its sidewalks on holidays and Sundays (both on this day) there was not much for us to do like visit a restaurant or a movie theater.

Plus it has rained non-stop, so I took Kyle over to see where his great-great uncle Peter Darby is buried. That really impressed him because he had no idea that he had relatives that helped settle Del Norte County.

As for the weather, it rains here all the time, or so it seems . I was raised in the stuff and I remember how I did  not enjoy it then either.

I told Kyle how we used to have to do our chores in this sort of weather and he got a sudden appreciation for the snow and plain old cold of Reno and Sparks. This is coming from a kid, who I have a hard time getting to wear long pants in a blizzard .

Kyle did make note that the Park and Recreation building has a better paint job than the current Del Norte High School. The Park and Recreation building used to be the high school back when my mother was in school.  That was in the 50’s.

Finally, I had planned to post some photographs of the various places we have seen and been, including the beacon emanating from the old Point St. George Lighthouse, but

I’ve discovered I had the wrong cable with me. How frustrating that is!

Plus I e-mailed a couple of friends, hoping to possibly visit with them before heading back towards Nevada this Tuesday.

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The Danger Between Horses and Rock-hopping

The sun broke through today and held its own for the majority of the time, at least long enough for Kyle and me to have a grand adventure between Crescent City and the town of Orick. That is where our travels started.

We happened upon a large herd of elk as they grazed and rested in an open field beside Highway 101.  I have always found it mighty strange how as a young man when hunting these creatures to put meat on the table, they were the most difficult animal to find, yet they know where protected ground is located.

That aside, I have always considered the elk to be a rather majestic looking beast, so I could not help myself when I saw them. I had to turn the pick-up around so Kyle could practice his photography for his upcoming Boy Scout merit badge.

I also had to play shutter-bug myself.

While I was working to create the perfect framing of two elk that I had selected to digitize, I suddenly heard my son’s panic voice calling to me, “Dad! Dad, help!”

I quickly looked over in his direction. There I found him in a frantic tug-of-war with a teenaged pony, which had a firm grip on his crotch. The horse was attempting to drag my kid through the barbed wire fence.

Luckily, the shorts Kyle was wearing were very loose in that region; else he would have been neutered for certain.

After racing over to save him by smacking the deranged pony in the beak, I could not help but laugh until I had to go pee. This was topped off by the fact that poor Kyle had to go behind a row of blackberry bushes to make certain everything was still attached.

It was.

We also did some beach combing. Kyle being a native-born son of Nevada has never grown tired of the ocean, even though it tried to kill him at Trinidad back in 2002 when a rogue wave caught him off guard.

This time we hung out at DeMartin’s Beach.

It was there that I discovered that I should have stayed in bed after all. Thank goodness for Kyle’s courage though because without it I’d still be sitting where I fell, sucking wind.

I made the giant boo-boo’ s of all boo-boo’s while ‘rock­ hopping.’  I looked up without looking to see where I was stepping.

And where I was stepping was a slope and nothing but air.  That led to a five and a half-foot fall, where I smashed my ribs into a rock and found it hard to take a deep breath.

When Kyle found me, I was still sitting there, shaking.

He helped me get up and climb back up on the rocks and towards the pick-up. He also made me laugh at myself, calling me, “Martini, shaken’ and not stirred.”

Death by Ignoring Civil Rights

My son and I are free-ranging this weekend along the north coast of California. We are staying in Crescent City at the Best Western across from the harbor.

I helped remodel this place back in 1983 or ’84 and I used to go to sea from the docks across US 101. The rooms are quiet and clean.

Kyle and I agree that the shower is the best though  We also enjoy the fact they have an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and a steam room.

Anyway, being here in the area brings back memories of a childhood well spent and of my parents, especially the final years of Mom ‘s life and the last day I saw her . It is hard not to think of her and draw some parallels to the Terri Schiavo case in Florida.

Mom had a living will drawn up for her medical condition, which was  being HIV positive. She did not want ‘heroics’ performed in the event of her death whether it was sudden or slow.

‘Heroics’ she concluded meant CPR, rescue breathing, ambulance services, or defibrillation. The most she desired was medication to easy the pain, oxygen to help her breath as it became more labored and food and fluids.

When she did pass on, this is all she had.

My father was another case. He had no will at all and when I got that call, I hopped a plane to get to his bedside in Oklahoma the following day.

I helped my step-mom in making the decision to remove him from the ventilator which was the mechanical device breathing for him. This is something we both knew he would not have wanted.

This leads me to this thought; the difference between life and death in a hospital care situation is the mechanical devices place on or in  a patient to keep them alive.

Terry Schiavo is able to breathe on her own without the need of a respirator then that is God’s will. Withholding fluids and food is man’s will.

When her body is ready to die, it will. It doesn’t need any help from the courts or  guardians.

Starvation and dehydration is painful. It isn’t used by prisons as a form of punishment anymore because it’s cruel.

And I am certain that you have seen pictures of starving people, especially kids, bellies bloated like sick balloons from malnourishment.  That is starvation!

Not pleasant at all.

Finally, shame on those persons not brave enough to step up and step in for her. This includes the hospice workers, her doctors, and law enforcement officers, officers of the court , judges, legislators, the Governors, the President, you and, me.

The last time I checked the constitution says everyone has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  This should have included Terry!

A Day Along the Trinity River

For me words are hard to come by when it I see the Trinity River that flows beside Highway 299. The water is a translucent green in some places and then boiling and raging mad in others with breath-taking whitecaps.

This is framed by walls of rock covered in trees, brush and cascading torrents of’ mountain streams. Sounds like some sort of travelogue, I know, but even after having driven this road for years I love its twisting and turning .

I enjoy the view of a wild river caught in side its rocky banks and I can’t help but pull my pick-up off the side of the road to explore. Kyle and I don’t get to do very much of this anymore these days as have been laid up with this stupid back injury.

But today I am refusing to let the hurt interrupt the desire to see what is hidden just over the edge of the river bank.  I will pay for it tonight, but for now I am having fun.

The water is cold, very cold as I had expected. I only waded into my calves, but Kyle got as far as the bottom of his thighs before he decided it was time to get out.

We watched a group of rafters glide down the Trinity. Maybe next year we’ll do that.

Along the banks I point out the tracks of deer and a raccoon. It’s where they came to the river’s edge to get a drink.

I showed Kyle that something frightened the deer because it made a large turning movement with its hind end. The marks were deep in the sand.

Re wants to know how I can tell all of this. I spent a couple of minutes explaining.

On our return to the pick-up, Kyle decides to climb up a shale embankment. The rocks slide under his feet and without warning he tumbled down the 20-foot or so that he climbed.

He wasn’t hurt as he sat there, laughing and saying, “That was cool.”

Unfortunately, he ripped up his already half-dead sneakers. They no longer have a sole connected to the rest of the shoe.

It’s time we head on to our destination. We’ve had ourselves some fun today.

Where Did Christ Go When He Died?

With Easter time upon us I figured know would be a great time to bring this subject up. Here is a question that had bothered me for so many years — jus’ where did Christ go when He died?

Finally I decided to use my talent for research, analytical skills and a wish to seek the truth to find some solid answers. Let me share my biblical investigation with you.

In Luke 23:43, Christ was speaking to one of the two criminals who were crucified with Him. That criminal had asked Jesus to remember him when Christ entered into his kingdom.

Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (NIV)

Christ’s Spirit went to be with His Father in Heaven. But Christ’s body went to ‘the heart of the earth.’ It’s the wording of the scriptures in Matthew 12:40 that points to what happened, “..so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (NIV)

Jesus  did not go down to the ‘heart of the earth,’ as the Son of God, but rather as a man.

Jesus can do this as He is the both the Son of God and the Son of Man! This is not to imply that Christ did not suffer a separation from the Father.

Evidence supports the fact that the separation occurred at death and as being momentary but none the less agonizing as it reads in Matthew 27:50-51 (NIV) , “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of’ the temple was to:rn in two from top to bottom.”

The tearing of this curtain was God’s way of showing man that there is no longer a barrier between Himself and man. This also appears to be the point where Jesus’ godly existence was separated from his human existence so that he could join His Father and ‘escort’ the criminal into Paradise.

Now that I have presented this let me close with Luke 1:3-4, “Therefore , since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seems good also to me to write an orderly account for you…so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

A Biblical Worldview

Tonight, I attended a meeting about my son’s school which is called Legacy Christian. I ended up losing my temper and storming out of the meeting because of financial stupidity on the part of the parents.

The first thing I noted was the fact that the board of directors asked to change the wording of the schools mission statement. They used, ‘Biblical worldview,’ to open the first paragraph of the second part of this statement.

I pointed out how Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV).

Using the two words side-by-side is an oxymoron.  And I don’t care if other educational institutions use the same phrase or not.

A solid Christian school cannot be ‘biblical’ and have a ‘worldview’ at the same time. What I saw was the school board and parents wish to conform to some common model to help them benefit from the upcoming plans to have the school accredited.

This mission statement also included the direct idea that we as parents are the first educators in our children’s lives.  The school, meaning teachers and administrators are second in this equation.

This is something I have believed in for a very long time.

It is one of the reasons I think the public school system is failing as it is these days. That means I am actively participating in my son’s education.

However, with that said, I also wait to be asked for my help. I don’t like to just show up.

I helped with a gold panning class once and my son ‘s teacher asked me to grade papers one time. However, she got them done before school was out that day so my help wasn’t needed.

As for everything else, I help my son with his schoolwork as much as possible. This includes assisting him in researching reports and making dioramas. And I will admit that I am overwhelmed by his math .

So I do my very best when it comes to my child’s education therefore what happened next at this meeting was what really caused me to lose my cool . It was all over the idea of parents participating by volunteering in their children’s education.

The idea is that the Legacy board wants us to pay for the privilege of participating in our kid’s education.

The way it works is that if I don’t volunteer or take part, I have to pay a fee for not volunteering or participating. That’s on top of paying tuition of 39-hundred dollars a year for my boy (which is going up!)

What made matters worse is that while I stand-up to speak in public meetings, (the right way to conduct one’s self in such an arena) I was still standing when the moderator cut me off and started talking. I still had the floor!

This is the guy who said that the meeting was following the ‘rules of order.’ I guess that they were his rules.

His rudeness led me to my losing my temper because I found his overbearing and egotistical action too much to handle. No one was willing to call him on this. Nobody had the courage to tell him that he was wrong for interrupting me.

That was left to me!

Instead, I felt compelled to defend my right to free speech , my pocket-book and my son’s biblical education.

After being shouted down by other parents, some thinking that I should be speaking not only about my son but their kid’s as well, I walked out. I refuse to speak for others who are present but unwilling to speak for themselves.

I was absolutely livid from the very idea that these idiotic parents cannot see that this is simply another ploy to extort more money from them . My point is simply this; If we are to be more Christ like in our everyday living and we are the first and last educators in our children’s lives, we shouldn’t need a fee to get the job done.

I know I don’t need another one in my already stretched budget! I am sorry that I lost my temper; I just simply have little use for people who are willingly led like a ‘ox going to the slaughter.’ (Proverbs 7:22)

The ‘Front Porch’

First day of spring my aching arse, too! I slowly rolled out of bed this morning hoping to see a little extra sunshine than we had in the last couple of days, yet I was sorely disappointed.

It was snowing!

Of course I have been in Nevada over twenty-years now and I know that I should expect nothing less than the strangest of weather—when it comes to weather. I can recall enjoying a 90 degree afternoon in July 1986 when the weather suddenly turned.

Before 1500 hours, the Reno and Sparks areas were blanketed in over an inch of snow. Fortunately by 0800 hours this morning, the snow had stopped falling and the sun was struggling to find its way from behind the cloud layer that hangs over our end of the Truckee Meadows.

Still I felt that uneasy surprise snow falling on this, the first day of spring. Then I decided I had better pull myself together and get ready for church.

It is also Palm Sunday after all. I usually attend two separate churches each Sunday because I like both of them.

Sparks Christian Fellowship is the first church I attend starting at 0900 hours. That way by the time services are finished I can make it over to the Journey for services there.

Now since nothing started out right this morning I should have been aware things were not going to go as planned.

At SCF, I sat down in the back row and was treated to a nice presentation about a new ministry that the church is offering. It’s called ‘The Front Porch.’ I was blown out of my seat for a few seconds just because of the name of this newsletter and their new ministry.

I could hardly wait to talk to Quentin, the pastor who presented it because I felt I was finally in the right place at the right time.

We have exchanged e-mail addresses and I also gave him the address to this site. When I left I felt extremely happy.

It was at the Journey where things really took a strange twist. Our worship leader Bo and his wife Carol just had a baby last week and due to some medical issues were unable to make it to church this morning.

That left Jim and Sue scrambling to put together a last-minute worship team. Pastor Jerry asked if I would join in and I hesitantly said yes because I can hardly sing in the shower let alone in public.

Yet that is what we did, screeching and off-key, we sang our songs of worship making a joyful noise unto the Lord. None of us have been struck down and therefore I believe that though we were terribly off pitch, God was pleased with our attempt.

The rocks of Jerusalem couldn’t do any worse, believe me.