Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another night in my sleeper......

Oh boy, some people want to hear from me. Here I am! Wow, does life ever slow down? Just when I think I've got a handle on it it screams and runs!! Let's see, now ready to get married (yes yes again, shut up K8!) have the marriage certificate in hand. Fiance is off on a scrapebooking cruise in the caribbean seas with her best friend. Son will come home from Chile in a couple months. Will leave this truck just before Christmas and become a "kept" man (and part of the kept is taking care of her 40+ goats!). Will try substitute teaching in Sue's school so we will go to work together! Um, let's see, what else? OH! Daughter is well along with her second child, due the first week in April. First child, Kae, is really using the terrible twos time! Love it!! 

Really, really looking forward to a home life with a really wonderful woman. Her 4 kids and I get along great and her one grandchild loves me. One of the things I have always wished I could do is learn to cook with spices and herbs. Sue is NOT a cook so this works out just fine, she will be the cleanup queen! 

Truly, I feel so blessed at this time in my life. Wonderful family, now a wonderful new family to add in; Sue and I compliment each other and we have taken the time to really get to know each other (that is something new for me...). Great friends online; Geri, still hope to make it for that lunch date! Kat, some day I will just walk in your house! Judy, Sue and I will be cruising the US and hope to barge into your space sometime! 

Thanks, everyone! You're the best!  (pic of Kae!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mild meanderings (behind the little animals.....)

     Growing up in a small Idaho farming community in the 70's was great! Living/working on our family farm gave me employment from the time I could lift and carry irrigation tubes. I can remember being paid a quarter an hour at about 6 years old.
     It was an easy, safe time to grow up in. By foot, by bike and finally with our own cars we roamed as far as each mode would take us. We had farm buildings, hay and straw stacks, etc. to play in; we had friends living across the road to play with. We had TVs but that was mostly an evening event. We had to much fun outdoors, some of it safe, some not so safe! I remember digging many tunnels and caves, playing in the canals and drain ditches, riding our bikes for miles around. But we grew up with a confidence seldom seen in the youth today. We drove trucks, tractors and combines as soon as we were physically able and proved early on that we could be trusted and responsible. This work and play taught us to be safe, even when doing unsafe stuff!!
     Now, my teen years were quite colorful as it was the early 70's with all that entailed!! Wish I had some pics to share (I think) of the clothes we wore then! We listened to the rock of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Chicago, The Rolling Stones. We had black light posters, bell bottoms, harvest gold and avocado green and bongs. We said "far out!", "right on", "dig it", "gnarly", "groovy", and "let it all hang out"!!
      Drugs were an issue, and I still miss marijuana! But I realized that when I was under the influence of "maryjane" I might take anything else and quit all of it in my mid teens. Again, because most of us could be trusted we rarely let drugs or alcohol lead us to the crime much of our youth are involved in today. It was more of a social event rather than a way of life. It wasn't "cool" to be a junkie or an alcoholic.
     Even though my kids grew up in a small community and on several acres with chores and the like, and with NO broadcast or cable/sat. TV we still could not allow them the freedom I had growing up. But we did the best we could and our kids grew up always outside with their mother and I spending a lot of time with them in scouting, 4-H, camping, trips, etc. We had a lot of fun!
     Now I'm into a new way of life. Divorced and moved back to my hometown, driving long haul to pay the bills, and now with a wonderful relationship with a beautiful lady close by and her family to get to know and love. Life is good; it has it's ups and downs but with the right attitude you can weather anything and even find good in the bad. Love being around my Mom, brother and sister now, and having sooooo much fun with all my online friends!! You all are great and the fun is just starting!!  Right on!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canadian potato run 2010

For about 7 weeks we ran newly harvested potatoes from Oregon and Washington into Canada, to Taber and Vauxhall Alberta. Approx. 6 trucks running on the American side delivered bulk potatoes to Bonners Ferry, ID and met with about the same number of our drivers running the Canadian side. I say "about" because although many of us were permanent we had a few others rotating in/out. This is how it went.......

Most of the potatoes were from the Terra Poma Farms outside Irrigon, OR. We loaded by backing into a belt auger.......

.......then Miguel would load us up!

As you can see they dumped them raw into our trailers!

We had a young lady inspector who made out our Canadian bill of lading, Tina!

We had to weigh in on a truck scale and then weigh out, telling them each time how many pounds of potatoes we wanted them to load us with. Then it was about a 5 1/2 hour drive to Bonners Ferry where we would congregate to give our Canadian truckers the loaded trailers and we would hook to their empties for the return trip to Oregon.

 We met on this dirt lot actually on the grounds of the Idaho port of entry and what a dusty mess that was. There was a small truck stop there with store, restaurant and 2 small showers....all the conveniences of home!! It actually was the hot spot of the town, the food was very good and lots of town folk packed it up each night. I don't think there was a lot else happening in Bonners Ferry......

The potatoes were being harvested each day just as we arrived to load, brought in in farm trucks and backed into the building up to the machine to clean and load them into our trucks.

In the first pic you see a truck backing in; they would load into the large tank, then would be run through some cleaning belts, then would be cleaned again by the crew you see above. Ths crew would also pick out the larger potatoes as the spuds were on their way to Frito Lay to be made into potato chips and they were picky about size!

It was quite the project; I wish I had taken more pics of our truck drivers as I made some pretty good friends. We even had one buy a charcoal bbq and we bbq'd steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs while spending time at Bonners Ferry!! WOO HOO!!!'

Okay, due to popular request, I have located the BBQ PICS! And here they are.....

You can find fun in almost any situation!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Phil R.

Robert Philip Enoch Church. My father. Known far and wide (at least in Canyon County, Idaho) as Phil R.

Dad was a farmer. Period. Every waking hour was devoted to his farm. Oh, he did do other things, but usually it involved farming in some way or another. He went to bed early every night, up early every morning. It wasn't like he had to make himself do so, it was his life. And he excelled at it. He truly was a "farmers farmer". Sundays, birthdays, holidays; ask him about them and they were "just another day".

My two older brothers and I grew up on Dad's farm. He was our step-dad but the only dad we ever knew. Dad was from Old Missouri blood; that meant he was most definitely the boss and kind words were not part of the picture. He expected the best from us and when we gave that nothing needed saying. If we fell short he would let you know and how to correct it, sometimes harshly but once said that was enough! His way of teaching made you want to do your best, not just for him but also for your own pride.

So Rick, Scott and I were among the best. I say this with some pride but not to puff myself up but to honor my Father and his ways. It was common to hear people say if you wanted to know how to do it right, ask Phil R. He simply was that good, but usually if anyone devotes the time and effort he did, they would be, too.

Dad was very helpful to others, but wasn't very good at taking praise. One of our favorite stories; a new Simplot Soilbuilders field agent moved in next to one of Dad's places, and had a small pasture on his place which was overgrown. Dad was going by with a rotary mower on one of his tractors, pulled in and mowed that pasture down. The agents wife came out, knew who Dad was, and stopped him to thank him. Dad looked back at the pasture and said, "Well, now it looks like someone lives here!" and without another word went down the road!

In truth Dad was an institution in Wilder, Idaho. It was unthinkable that he would ever be gone. But, all things come to an end. Dad came up with pancreatic cancer in early 1995; He never would admit he was terminal and I think he was surprised at the end. But a few months later my Father was gone. At the time my family and I were living in Juneau Alaska and I hadn't been quite updated on just how serious it was. So I never got to see my Dad before he died. But I did do something during his illness I, nor any of us, had ever done before. I wrote a letter to him telling him how much I appreciated all the years we had together and all he had taught me. The thing I did different; I told my Dad how much I loved him. Dad had grown up taught that to praise someone or say I love you was a weakness. So affection was not part of our lives growing up with Dad. Looking back I can truthfully say I have no regrets on this issue; I know that my Father loved us so very much and am so grateful I was able to let him know it was returned before he left. I miss him so very much....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Something of importance....

The following blog is about our physical and spiritual wellness.

     I heard the following story on the radio this morning as I was driving on I-86 westbound:

    "It was during a family vacation to Yellowstone Park and my young daughter and I were walking on one of the many boardwalks that take you along the boiling pools in the park. As we walked along my daughter suddenly moved to the very edge of the boardwalk and began a precarious balancing act along that edge. It suddenly occurred to me that this was a perfect teaching moment. I asked my daughter if she knew what she was doing; she replied yes, balancing on the edge was fun. I then told her that her balancing act was putting her in possible harms way. As with most youth this did not deter her a bit as she assumed she could handle it. I then told her this was much like the people in the world who walked the edge of spiritual safety, barely on the path of safety and getting a thrill by almost being in danger, and not aware that one misstep or bump along the way would have them completely off the boardwalk. As this did not impress her I casually moved over to her and then gave her a slight bump that pushed her off the boardwalk onto the ground next to a pool. She was startled and looked around then quickly regained the path. She gave me one of those looks, and then I asked her how she had felt off the boardwalk? She thought a minute then said she was fearful of the immediate danger and also knew it was illegal for her to be off the path. I then explained this is what can happen it one treads the edge of their spiritual path of safety. If you walk on the edge be assured that Satan walks with you and when, not if!, the time is right he will give you a slight nudge to put you off that path. I explained to her that by her sure knowledge of the physical danger here in Yellowstone she knew to regain the path immediately. And also, hopefully, by her sure knowledge of the worldly dangers to her spiritual self she would also know that treading the that edge would also lead to a far more deadly danger. She thought this all over and as we continued down the paths I noticed that she no longer balanced on the edge but rather stayed to the middle in safety."

    I do not post this to cast any aspersions; nor do I EVER judge anyone else save myself. I find myself with at least one foot off the spiritual path of safety at this time in my life and know what I need to get back on that boardwalk! I hope that this message will simply make you pause and consider what is ahead in your life, both here and later.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Much better!!

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an
appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I
was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to
the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me that
 she had been therefor a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every
morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he
patted my hand and said,
'She doesn't
know me, but I still know who she is.'

I had to hold back
tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,

'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
With all the jokes
and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message.. This one I thought I could share with you.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

I hope you share this with someone you care about. I just did.
'Life isn't about
how to survive the storm,

But how to dance in the


We are all getting

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My life, such as it is.....

Here I am, sitting in my bedroom (sleeper) parked at the Pilot Travel Center in Laramie, Wyoming. I tend to forget that I have lived a most unusual life. In the view of the corporate world, I am a failure. Climb the ladder? I never even looked for it! Although I am that rolling stone I am happy and satisfied with what I have done. There are times in my life I wish I had not had or done, but yet even the bad times helped to create the good times.

Growing up on our family farm gave me the ability to work. My imagination helped me realize I could do "other" things. Even though changes were scary, I could never have simply stayed the same in the same place. I wanted each day to bring new challenges and opportunities. As soon as I figured out that I could be something other than a farmer I changed. I spent several years as a police officer, several more driving dump and log trucks in the coastal islands of southeast Alaska; more again as a director in a nursing home, one as a school janitor, another running a carpet cleaning business. Spent a year driving long haul in the late 80's, and the longest (12 years) as an industrial weigh scale technician. Spent another 10 years as a volunteer fireman and several of those years as an EMT. Now, do not get me wrong! This is not my greatest accomplishments.

That would be our children. Of course, anyone who has raised kids knows the most wonderful and the most dreadful times of life. We know the heartache of loosing a child at birth, and the thrill of knowing our kids have become wonderful adults. A great help in this was our religious beliefs that focused on the family, not the world.

Our world today wonders why we have such trouble with our children, why our economy is in shambles, why our crime rates are so huge. It really is quite simple. We have pulled away from "the family", have stripped "God" from our buildings, our homes. It is not so much a belief in a religion, or a God; it is the beliefs that these religions espouse; that of family, sacrifice, giving rather than receiving, loving your neighbor as you love yourself. We have become a selfish people in our utopia of life. If one were to study and understand the history of humans we would know what always happens when we get fat and sassy. Always....happens!

Think on a few years the children of our nation will be our leaders. Are you satisfied that they will be ready for this? Have we trained them to understand, to be compassionate leaders? Have the TV, the video games, the cell phones helped them to learn to socialize and interact together in such a way as to lead a nation? Have our kids learned to act on their own, or do they simply react to their surroundings? Have they been taught to be responsible for their actions, or have we, over and over, taught them to look for excuses, to blame "someone else"? Think about it.......

So let's end this on a lighter note. Here I am, back driving long haul all over the United States. Although I would rather be at home more, especially now that I have a girl friend (easy, it will stay that way for quite some time!) I love driving these large trucks, and once again constantly changing all the time. My life! I think I'll keep it.....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Class Reunion; A Great Time!

In the summer of 2007 Wilder Idaho had a 5 class reunion at our small park. We had a bunch of people show up from the classes of '71 thru '75 and it was a great time! I was not suprised that we didn't get a photo of everyone together; the classes tended to group together and no one thought of it. This first one is of my class:


Now, this was not the usual look we had; we were not the most attentive bunch and it took a bit to get us this way. This is more like us:


Now, my class was always one to be on the move and busy with stuff, usual stuff that would get us in trouble. Not much different here as all the other classes sat around in chairs and casually talked over the good old days. Not us guys! We stood in a circle and laughed and roared and told stories for quite some time!

There were a total of 24 that graduated in my class. Wilder is a city of approx. 1400 people, a farming community. The ones that showed up, especially the guys, were most definitely the movers and shakers of my class (um, again that means the ones that got into the most trouble!).

This next photo was the the ones who stuck around to the bitter end. It was really a wonderful time, I moved around and talked with most all that were there. It is so funny, I was in the class of '75 and back then most of these people would not have given me the time of day but on this day we were all equal and so happy to see each other! We will do this again!

Friday, January 29, 2010

One of those down times

 Sitting in central Tennessee in the middle of an ice storm, not able to get down the road toward home. Of course I really don't have my own home any more as I kinda screwed that one up, too. I've always figured I was a pretty good sort of guy. So why is it I cannot find the right women to be with forever? I've tried 3 times. I always thought those people who have been married/divorced multiple times had something wrong with them. Maybe I was right.

Good Times, Bad Times....

(reposted due to a problem with the original)

At the moment I am sitting in the Portland Airport waiting for my connecting flight to Eugene. This has been the worst week+ of my life; my daughter, Jesse, lost her husband Joshua in Afghanistan on January 3rd. Their daughter, Kadence, is just  15 months old. I am on my way to Joshua’s funeral in Roseburg, OR. As a father, how do you help a daughter who has lost the love of her life after less than 2 years of marriage? Their marriage had just gotten to that wonderful stage where both were losing the “single” attitude and melding into a truly wonderful family. I do not blame Joshua for his choices, he was Army when he and Jesse re-found each other. I am so grateful for Josh and all those who truly put it all on the line to defend what we all enjoy each day. He is a hero and we must remember that always.

My daughter is doing much better than I could have hoped. She knows her future is now nothing of what they had planned, but is ready to make the changes necessary to carry on. There will be those times when the burden will almost seem to much, but she knows this and has had the training to continue on at those times. So I guess I have already answered my question; what is a father to do? I have already done it with the upbringing we gave her. Now I can just be that support at times she needs me, and know she is strong and will prevail.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Family and Friends; They make the difference!

In this world it is so easy to find fault, to complain, to be angry. When horrible things happen you just want to strike out, to punish someone for the wrongs done. But then, out of the bad things come good things. This is a photo tribute to friends and family who have stepped up to make the difference in our family tragedy. Without them this would have been unbearable, but when you are surrounded by so much love you can prevail.....

This is, of course, just a few of the people who helped us with being there, but dozens if not hundreds of others helped in bringing an overload of food to us, babysitting and simply emailing, phoning or writing to give us support.

Thank you all so much!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Family antics

Well, after my latest marriage failure, I am now living with my mother while employed as a long haul truck driver, driving most of these states. This works well for mother; she loves me around for awhile then gone for a couple of weeks. I spent 20+ years away from my mom and now I have the chance to catch up. When I come in she and I always end up at the kitchen table talking for quite awhile, sometimes for hours. Most of what we talk about is family, and the hi-jinks that have taken place!

One of my favorites: Dad was out with his friends (some drinking involved). Mom always took the scrapings from supper and threw them in a pot to feed to our current dog the next day. That evening she left the pot out on the kitchen table.

Mom went to bed before Dad came home, but later heard him come in with his buds. At one point she heard Dad say, "Yes, she is a pretty good cook" and for a moment wondered what they had gotten into to eat. Then it hit her: they had tied into the greasy, fatty supper leftovers! We have told that one over and over, and never tire of laughing about it!!