Part V

3/10/14 - Another winter is slowly coming to a close and I'm going to be glad to see summer's return again.  This hasn't been a bad winter at all (so far?) and we've only had one "snowstorm", and that wasn't much more than a light dusting that disappeared in a few hours.  Still, it will be nice to roll the bike(s) out again and do a little motoring around the Pacific Northwest again.

We had some sadness here recently - our dear friend and neighbor, Retia, passed away on 2/28 and will be buried tomorrow in the cemetery very close to the neighborhood.  She had been ill for a while, so her passing was not a surprise, but it's never easy to accept the loss of one we care for.  RIP, Retia - we will miss you.

I'm still involved with the Fire Department and enjoying every bit of it.  Although I'm backing down on the firefighting side, I have taken on a new role - Fire Commissioner.  I'm replacing one of the Commissioners who resigned a couple of months ago and will be finishing his term of office (2 years).  There is a lot to learn and I'm trying hard to get up to speed.  Meanwhile, I'm still participating on the firefighting side, attending meetings, and staying current with my EMT certificate.  This is busier than I planned to be in my retirement but I find the activity gratifying and enjoy contributing to the community.  Maybe when my two years are up I will learn to relax.......

The grandkids continue to grow rapidly and it has been a joy watching them develop.  Isabella is on the Honor Roll this year and I know Max will soon follow suit - he's a very bright boy.  Bill and Lauren have done a great job of raising them, and everyone comments on how well-behaved they are. 

7/19/15 - My entries are getting further apart!! 

There hasn't been too much to report in the last year or so.  Everyone is well, the dogs are still both with us, and retirement continues to be enjoyable.  We did make it back to Italy last September (see Trips) and that was great, as usual.  I am still involved with the Fire Department and am running for election to a full term as Fire Commissioner.  Although I dearly enjoy the job, I hate campaigning, so it has been a challenge for me to place signs, etc. 

The grandkids continue to grow at an alarming rate.  Izzy is now a teenager (13) and is very slightly taller than Teddie.  Max will hit his teens in about a year and a half, and he is smart and sweet as ever.  Two very good kids.

I bought a 2002 Goldwing earlier this year and then sold the 1993.  The "new" one has a bigger engine, sportier feel, and handles well.  I rode it to Reno about a month ago (Alan and I took a trip) and it did very well.  I'm still riding the Harley around the Peninsula, but the Wing shines on the long trips.  Also, I traded the '11 BMW 328i for a new '14 BMW 328d last year and have been enjoying the improved fuel economy.

We had another very mild winter this past season.  Only one snow, and that amounted to just 1/4" that vanished by late afternoon!  Now we are in the middle of our typically mild summer and the weather has been great!

I wish I had more to offer this "blog", but I've quit writing about every little thing that happens around here, and we've been fortunate to have no major catastrophes occur this year.  I'm hoping my next entry will have more of the same.

11/9/17 Good grief - has it actually been over TWO YEARS since I added to this?!! Oh well - checking the stats, it seems no one actually reads any of this, so it's no big deal. Regardless, I am going to attempt to quickly catch up on the past two years.

Pets: We lost Sandy back in December of 2016 and that still hurts. She was the best dog I ever had, but had deteriorated to the point that she was living in constant discomfort and confusion, so we made the difficult decision to have her put to sleep. A month or so later we adopted Chico, a rescue poodle from Mexico, and he has helped fill the gap left by Sandy's absence. I still miss Sandy a lot, but Chico is a wonderful little dog and his antics help ease the pain of Sandy's departure..

Fire Department: I'm still on the Board of Commissioners (won my election bid two years ago) and have about 4 more years to serve. It has been a challenge, what with difficult personnel and Departmental issues, but I still feel involved and hope I can contribute to making this a good, stable, and efficient Department. Meanwhile, I have been cutting back drastically on my Firefighter activities and have all but given up my bunker gear. After 10+ years, I find it hard to let go, although I do intent to continue my EMS activities as long as I can.

Travel: We have not been back to Italy in a few years now and miss our friends. We had hoped to go last summer and bring the grandkids with us, but that did not work out, so now we're unsure when we will make our next trip. Perhaps next September - we'll see. Meanwhile, Teddie travels back to Texas about once a year to visit her Mother and brother, and I do the same to New Jersey to visit my Mom and my sibs. Otherwise, we're very content here in Sequim.

Motorcycles: Since my last entry, I sold the '02 Gold Wing to Alan and bought a '14 Gold Wing at the Harley Dealer's. Later I traded my '13 Harley Heritage for a slightly used (200 miles) '15 Harley Road King. Finally, I bought a '98 Honda Valkyrie on a whim. So..... there are now 4 bikes in "Mike's Bike Barn" (don't forget the '77 Hondamatic 750). Been on lots of brief road trips, including our 2nd annual "2 Gen Ride" where Bill and I took the Harleys on the Cascade Loop. What a great time!

Airplane: After all those entries about getting back to it, I'm embarrassed to say that I STILL have not completed the little airplane. In fact, I've spent very little time on it these past several years and am beginning to wonder if it will ever be done. Seems like I always have another project capturing my attention these days. Maybe that's just an excuse; I don't know. Right now the bulk of the kit has been relocated from the hangar to the shop so it will be closer to work on. Also, I've rented out space in the hangar for a fellow to park his plane, so there's no room for my little Challenger there at the moment. Stay tuned for further developments (or lack thereof).

3/15/20 A couple more years have gone by since my last entry!  We're still hanging in there and coming up on 15 years since we retired.  Right now we're in the middle of the coronavirus scare and all the Washington schools are closed until late April.  There have only been one or two cases in the Clallam/Jefferson County area, but everyone expects that number to greatly increase.  We have enough food and supplies here at the house to isolate ourselves for a couple of months, but don't yet feel that is necessary.  Time will tell.

Relatives: Last year was a difficult one for Teddie.  She lost her brother early in the year and her mother later on. She is the last remaining member of her family and is now in the process of trying to get her mother's estate settled.  We will miss Bill and Euliah (Sam) a lot. 

Pets:  We lost little Gigi last September when her Cushing's Disease finally got to her, and that hurt.  I still miss the little girl very much but, fortunately, Chico is helping to fill the void by being his exuberant, affectionate self.  He's a wonderful little friend and we feel fortunate to have him.  Still, I wish Gigi had been around at least a few more years.

Grandkids: Max suddenly grew like a weed and is now an inch or two taller than me!  Izzy is a Senior in high school and will be graduating in a couple of months. They both have driver's licenses and I'm still trying to get used to seeing Izzy drive Bill's pickup around.  Great kids!

Fire Department:  I continue to serve as Fire Commissioner and have less than two years remaining on my term.  It has been rewarding, but I'm going to be ready to let it go when the time comes.  Meanwhile, I turned in my bunker gear some time back and am now preparing to turn in my EMT equipment and resign as a Volunteer.  It has been interesting and educational, but the time has come to hand the torch to the younger folks who can do a better job than me.  I know I'm going to miss it, though.

Toys:  Last year a friend and I drove down to Portland where I bought a new 2018 Honda Gold Wing.  Because of the weather, and other circumstances, I only have a little over 1,000 miles on it at this point, but hope to change that when spring finally arrives.  I sold my 2014 Gold Wing to a couple on Marrowstone Island shortly after buying the 2018.  It was a great bike, so I know they will get years of enjoyment from it.  Another toy to enter the mix was a Challenger 2 homebuilt airplane.  No, I didn't finish mine - I bought one that was put together about 20 years ago.  So far I've flown it 4 times and it looks like it will be fun.  It flies very differently then a conventional light airplane but I'm gradually getting used to it.  Finally, I added a 2010 Polaris Rzr 800 to the list a year or so ago and have taken it up the forest service roads a few times. 

12/19/21  It's been a crazy time all around for the past year or two.  The COVID virus has changed everything and shows little sign of letting up at this point.  Teddie and I have been vaccinated (w/booster) but many people have not.  New variants seem to pop up every few months and nobody knows when it will end.

My term as Fire Commissioner expires in about a week and a half.  I decided months ago to NOT run for reelection and I'm happy with that decision. It has been interesting, rewarding, and challenging, but it's time to pass the torch and let someone else take my place.  My last Board meeting in in three days.

I'm still flying my little airplane from time to time and now have about 80+ flights.  I finally got comfortable with it when I learned to not over-correct and to make small adjustments.  Also, I let my medical and my Basic-Med lapse and now fly under sport pilot rules (no medical needed).  At 78 y/o it's probably time for me to start thinking about backing away from flying altogether.

Mom is 97 now and still very mentally alert.  I was in NJ a couple of weeks ago and visited with her several times.  Her vision and hearing are almost gone but she enjoys spending countless hours doing crossword puzzles and playing online chess.  She recently announced that she was ready to move into a care facility so we are researching what's available.

Max and Izzy are turning into young adults right before our eyes.  Izzy is now 19, works at an auto parts store, and drives an old Chevy pickup with no mufflers.  She spends much of her free time hanging with friends and this has all been an adjustment for Bill.  Max will turn 18 in a few days and is still in high school. He plans to go to college for a couple of years and then will consider joining the service. 

Little Chico continues to delight us every day!  He is smart, energetic, and playful, and provides us with daily entertainment.  We were so lucky to find him on Craigslist.

I bought a new 2020 Tesla a little over a year ago and then traded it for a new 2021 model back in September.  EV's are the wave of the future, unless something better comes along.  I really hated to sell my 2014 BMW 328d but can't keep everything forever.

12/17/22  Another year gone by!

It looks like my flying days are over.  A while back I sold my Challenger kit to a man in Canada, and back in July I sold my hangar and airplane to a fellow here in Sequim. Probably just as well to leave the sport with no accidents, violations, or incidents.

As of a few days ago, Bill is officially divorced.  He has mixed emotions about the whole thing, but it seemed to be something that had to happen.

I bought a 2018 Ram pickup last week, so now the F350 is up for sale.  I kind of hate to get rid of it, as I've had it for 17 years, but it was time to get something a little more modern.  A few months ago Teddie bought a Jayco 116FBS travel trailer, so now we should be ready to hit the road come spring. Hopefully diesel fuel will be down from its present ~$5.40/gallon.

Little Ginger continues to amuse and frustrate.  She is such a cute, sweet little dog that it's hard to get angry with her, but she is giving us real challenges in the housebreaking area.  I'm reminded that Gigi took almost two years, but don't really want to wait that long for Ginger.

The grandkids continue to grow.  Izzy is now living with her boyfriend and Max is attending college.  They are getting more independent by the day and it's interesting seeing them mature into young adults.

Not much else to report.  Our health seems to be hanging on, and we have avoided COVID so far, so we feel fortunate for that.  We'll see what the new year brings.


Page last modified on 12/17/2022