"You know what they say about good intentions? Hell is paved with them."

My father used to say this. I've heard it all my life in one form or another.

I'm a procrastinator, that's true, and I always have good intentions, but I hope it doesn't earn me hell.

What can I say? It's been a busy summer.

I've been to Portland last weekend and am going again this weekend. Todd, our oldest son and his girl, Sarah, and her sister Jessica, and their mother, Mary, and I went whitewater rafting on the Salmon river in WA., just across from Hood River.

That was really fun.

All of us.

Jess, in front, left side Sarah, right side Todd, left side Mary, and me with the green sleeves. And our guide in back.

The last time I went down a river like this was 12 or 13 years ago. I hadn't really planned to do it again... but there you have it. I didn't procrastinate long enough and had to wiggled into one of those ridicules looking wet suits, and booties and had a cold, wet, fun time. It was great!

The river had mainly class 2, 3, and 4 rapids. Todd and Sarah went down the big scary one, a 14 foot drop off rated a class 5. The rest of us begged off and were set ashore and walked down and watched them come over. They went completely under, but popped right back up.

We all got back in and finished the trip.

Even though the rapids were fun and it was a hot day, and getting splashed with cold water was a relief now and then, my favorite were the lazier slower times, when you didn't have to paddle and could look around. (Did I mention how sore the muscles you seldom use are at the end of this three hour ride?)

Most of the Salmon River is the remains of an old lave tube. So the rock formations were interesting and the flora and Fawne were beautiful. Especially the escaped cows from a nearby farm, that had moseyed down to the river for a drink of cold water.

The guide was a crack up, he kept telling us these outrageous stories, then he'd say, "Well, not really, I was just making that up, but..." and he was off again. We got tired of saying, "Really?" It became more like, "Really!" Or "I don't believe a word you say!"

"Do you write?" I ask, after the story about the Squirrel Bridge, "You should," I said, "You're a natural born storyteller."

He said he did write, actually, when he wasn't on the river, which he grew up on, (if you can believe that). His parents were river guides also.

The memory of this day of fun with family and friends will be with me for a long time, the sore muscles only lasted a few days. I'm ready to go again...well, maybe in a year... or ten. Maybe in a kayak, with no rapids, just a lazy float. Smile.

Toby, our youngest son, had to work most of the weekend, so I'm going back to spend time with Toby and Lisa this weekend.

I'm taking the game Settlers of Catan, maybe we can just have a quite weekend, go to Forest Park and walk the dogs, Sophie and Sasha.

That would suit me just fine, now that the aches are gone.



"There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Lewis Carroll

I had to laugh, even though I'm thinking of children in general, my nieces in specific, this quote also makes me think of politicians and corporations. They ask us to believe impossible things all the time. (And we do.)

That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what is motivating them and us to believe impossible things. The greed factor is still so high in the U.S. right now.

But that is not what I want to talk about this morning.

I choose to believe the impossible in a different way. Like writing a fantasy poem for my nieces. (Which you will find on my poetry blog.) Or writing anything that doesn't consist of facts only.

One would think that believing in anything fiction would certainly encompass the impossible, but facts don't always hold the truth, and sometimes fiction, impossible fiction, has more truth embedded in it than, "Just the facts, Mam, just the facts."

But if we didn't believe in impossible things, we would never write anything, or create anything, or discover anything or invent anything. Soloving the impossible is the lure to the human heart and mind that keeps us moving forward.

I just talked to my brother, Lee, this morning. They are back home now and relaxing from they long journey.

It was so good to see them. And I'm believing the impossible when I say I'm going to see them next year.


This is what half of 340 books looks like. They all came in today.

How fast the time goes. I had to run a few errands after work and fill the gas tank and by the time I got home it was eight o'clock.

Kent, the man who works for me at the Bookmark is down in Ashland with his daughter, who has cancer. He will be there for a week or two. I know what that worry is like as Duncan's sister also has cancer, they are both doing the treatments.

Because Kent is out of town, I'm working on his Mondays and Tuesdays for a couple of weeks. I used to do this all the time. The six days a week thing, but I can tell you, having three days off in a row has spoiled me. Duncan has been working seven days a week since January and I work for him at his store once in a while, but I know I just couldn't do what he's doing for such a long time.

I need my crash days.

We had a spectacular lightening show here last night, along with a beautiful sun set. These are some of the pictures from my new camera from our back deck. I'm still learning how to do the focusing and figuring out what settings to use. I thought the colors in this one were really pretty.



"Time is the longest distance between two places."
Tennessee Williams

After Lee, Brenda and the girls left that Monday morning I went to Sun River to the book store there and bought a couple of Enya CD's and a blank book. I had lunch and eventually went home.

I began to play the small pocket flute I bought at the Summer Festival down town a few weeks back before they came and got out the blank sheets of flute tablature and started writing songs for the girls. I haven't felt like doing that for a while. So it felt good. I wrote the first song, "Once Upon a Time" and really liked it. So I did another, "Little Acorn".

I decided I'd try for 8 or 10 and make an album for them. (I have Garage Band) It has spurred a whole new series of songs. Over the years I've been playing the flute, Native American, I've made about 50 songs. A few of them pretty good, most of them mediocre at best. But I love playing and making new songs. And I think these are some of my best. So far I have five new ones.

The album will be, "The Silver Oak Tree". "Forever Oak", "Seat of Dreams" and "Branches and Roots", are the other three so far.

The weekend after they were here, Todd, our oldest son brought his girl friend Sarah home to meet us. They were camping in the area and spent one night on our back deck.

Sarah is a horticulturist. She works at a food co-op, and when she saw Duncan in our back yard pulling weeds she went out and joined him. "These are my favorite weeds," she said as she pulled them along with him. They talked about gardening and other things. When he came in, he told me, "I don't want to jinks this for him, but I really like her. She's great!"

After what he went through with is first wife, Todd and Sarah make a very sweet couple. They are crazy about each other. She is a more open and honest person, more down to earth, and loves the same kinds of books, movies, and activities that Todd does, and I never see her roll her eyes at him over something he says or does.

It was really good to meet her. It's good to see them happy.

They went home and this weekend he is back for his 20 year high school Reunion. He's a very social person and he's having a great time talking to old friends.

I want to get up to Portland soon to see Toby and Lisa, our other son and his wife, they are talking about moving to Oklahoma where she grew up. Her mom is very ill and Lisa owns some land back there, and they want to spend time with her mother. I hate to see them go so far away from me, but I also see the pull.

I bought a new camera after Todd and Sarah left. Still trying to read through all the instructions. It's a couple of steps up from my little Kodak that has been doing some wired things lately.

Anyway, change is coming. I'm going out to meet it!


The Silver Oak Tree

"As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious."
Will Durant

A couple of weeks ago my brother, Lee, who lives in Ft. Meyers, FL. came to visit. Lee is 6 years older than I am, I'm the baby of the family. Lee and his wife, Brenda, and their two little girls, Rachel and Riley.

It has been 8 years since we've seen each other. Rachel was only one the last time I saw her. I've talked to the girls on the phone on a number of occasion and sent them things over the years, but it's nothing like actually being with them.

It was great to see all of them. Be with them, even if it was for such a short time.

They spent an evening with our sons in Portland before coming to visit us in Bend, Duncan and I, and my in town brother, Dave, and then they went off to see our other two sisters down in the San Francisco area.

Uncle Dave and Riley. (and his hound dogs)

Rachel and Cotton.

Brenda and Riley.

While they were here we had a great time, though. Us adults talked, and talked and laughed a lot.

The girl are somewhat shy. Rachel is a reader, and read three books while they were here. Riley watched, Spirited Away", and "My Neighbor Totoro." Rachel watched and read.

Everyone got to pick as many books from my store as they thought they could fit in their suitcases for the trip home.

I have a small space under the stairs, my prayer room, and the girls were quite taken with it, and were going to spend the night at our house while their Mom and Dad went back to their Motel room, but at the last minuet Riley got scared of a giant mosquito eater bug and fled out of the house just as they were leaving. So Rachel stayed and slept in my prayer room. Kids love small spaces. It's about a five foot cube, give or take a bit in one direction or another.

They all came with me to church Sunday morning, Lee and Brenda Co-Pastor a church in Florida, the same church I attend in Redmond. (18 miles North of here) He saw people he knew from years ago, it was a great visit for everyone.

When we came home the girls and I and Brenda went out to our back yard and planted an acorn from my sons yard in Portland, we don't know if it will grow here in the high desert or not, but we're hoping, and watering it. It commemorates their visit. It was sprouting already.

Someday, maybe it will look like this.

They were headed for Crater Lake the morning they left and I lead them out to Lava Lands, about 12 or so miles south of Bend. A butte that used to be a volcano. A cinder cone now.

When we first got there at about 9:30 am the chipmunks were out in full force. So cute. There were signs everywhere saying don't feed the chipmunks and squirrels, but obviously people had been, as they would come right up to you, stand up on their hind legs and lean on your pant leg. The girls were waring flip-flops and were afraid the chipmunks would think their toes were peanuts.

Lee, Rachel and Riley walked around the rim, while Brenda and I took pictures of the munks.

Munk catching some shade.

Lee and Rachel. Riley and Brenda in the background.

If it takes us 7 or 8 years before we are all together again those girls will be grown.

Somehow that just made me cry. It's sad when family is so far apart and money and work don't allow for more time spent together more often.

It makes me cry just thinking about it. It was hard to say good-bye.