I lived in New England for two years. My first winter was spent in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, my second winter in Maine. Both winters were brutal. I was cold all the time. Nor’easters or down’easters were common. I survived the blizzard of ’78. One storm was so bad we couldn’t open our apartment door because the snow drifts were too high. We had to climb out the window and dig out the snow so we could open the door. Another time, we lost power for days because the ice storms had stripped the power lines and trees. The damage was horrific. But the world was sparklingly beautiful. It was during this time that I fell in love with the poetry of Robert Frost. His words evoke imagery and meaning with powerful poetic device which transcends place.
I no longer live in the east. Yet the seemingly simple home spun lessons of the New England poet stay with me. The words resonate in my western surroundings in spite of their New England sensibilities. Frost’s poetic imagery transcends time and place. The inspiration I found in the New England woods is also to be found in the Wasatch Mountains.
STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING
by Robert Frost (an extract)
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow…
…The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
by Robert Frost (an extract)
…He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours”…
I try to live in the moment, as much as possible; yet, many of the moments I live in become memories and the moments are gone. I would like to hold some of those moments and return to them often. Other moments, I am glad, have become memories. Some memories I would like to fade, except that I learned much in those moments and the experience shaped my life. Still other moments have faded and only return with sense memory–the smell of baking bread, the metallic taste of anesthesia, a favorite song, a familiar breeze, a majestic sunset or the troubled sleep of repeated dreams.
I haven’t been good at capturing them. Often, when I try, the moment is lost.
Nevertheless, I thought I would share my top ten list of Moments from 2015, at least, the ones I captured. Be sure and check out the hyper-links to past blogs.
10. Western Caribbean Cruise
Anytime my wife and I can get away, it’s a good moment.
In January we went on a Western Caribbean cruise–Mexico, Belize and Honduras.
I never thought I would enjoy cruising; however, I was pleasantly surprised. The food was good. The company was friendly. The entertainment was fun. The weather was great. The water was warm. The snorkeling was incredible. And, we explored ancient Mayan ruins. Cool.
I grew up in Seattle. I love the city. I love the scenery. I don’t like the rain.
When I was growing up, my parents used to tell people who were coming to visit that if you wanted to see the sun you should come to the city during the last week of July or the first week of August. It rains the rest of the year. Now, my son and his wife live in Seattle. We came for a visit–the last week of July, along with everyone else. It was fun and crowded.
Seafair week is amazing. It took us three days to get home flying standby. Next time we’ll buy tickets.
Located in South-central Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is a geologic wonder. We spent a night and a day in the park this summer. It was transformative. It would be hard to visit the park and not be changed in some way. However, the change may be so subtle that you won’t notice it for a millennium.
Anne and I spent a week in Aruba. It wasn’t enough. I now know why the Beach Boys sing about it. If you have a chance to visit the friendly Friendly Island, don’t miss it. You will create some amazing moments.
In August, my first full-length novel, Death Comes at Night, was published by Black Rose Writing. It was a challenging and rewarding process. I would get up early and write from 5:30 am to 6:30 am. My goal was to write at least one page per day. It took me about a year-and-a-half to write the book. It took longer to get it published.
You can buy the book online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Check out my book Facebook page. Buy my book, PLEASE. If you do, I’ll sign your copy next time we meet. And, if you like it, I will write more 🙂
My daughter Carrie graduated from the University of LaVerne with her bachelor’s degree. I am so proud of her effort and accomplishment. She finished her degree while working full-time, getting married and having a baby. Congratulations, Carrie.
3. Chloe Graduates from High School and goes to College
My youngest daughter Chloe graduated from Lone Peak High School this year. She is a bright and talented young woman. I’m so proud of her. She started college at Brigham Young University this fall with a scholarship.
The downside is that she no longer lives at home. The upside is that she often comes home to eat and do laundry.
My son Ryan, the one who lives in Seattle, was married in the Portland, Oregon LDS Temple in the spring of this year to Sheri Dougall. We are thrilled for them both. They are a wonderful couple. We love Sheri and welcome her to our family.
I have been an athlete all my life. I make an effort to stay in shape. So, when I started getting light headed during cardio workouts, I went in for a physical. The doctors thought I may have a clogged artery. They ran some tests. My arteries were clear and my heart was strong, it just wasn’t beating right. They thought they could fix it.
No such luck. Instead, they installed a cardioverter defibrillator. It’s kinda like having a combination insurance policy and time bomb in my chest all the time. It keeps my heart from going too slow. If my heart beats too fast, and out of sync for too long I get shocked.
I have to admit, I don’t like it. I can feel it all the time. I went to the heart Doc last week for a checkup. It is doing it’s job. I’m not. I need to change my lifestyle. I don’t want too, but I guess my life depends on it.
So, my number one moment of 2015 has to be my heart surgery, even though I was asleep for it. I do remember the before, and I look forward to living the after.