The Sun Has One Less Tree to Care For

I have to write this blog to be able to move on.  I need closure.  For a lost tree.
Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart
~ Candy Polgar ~

This feels silly.  How could I become so attached to a tree as to mourn its passing?  I've spoken to some about my feelings and I'm not alone.  I feel like I've lost a pet.  I always marvel at our relationships with our pets - how, in spite of their inability to speak, we still have conversations with our pets.  It's in their body language and their rudimentary vocalizations.  I felt my tree was a part of the family just as a pet is.  I had a connection with that tree.

I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees
as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion
to his respect for them.
~ James Russell Lowell ~

Part of my feelings stem from the way it became part of our lives.  It was planted as a very young tree that needed care and attention as any youth does.  It needed training as any youth does.  It needed food and water as any youth does.  But unlike people, when it became a teen is when it began to shine.

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

Eventually it grew into a beautiful mature adult that was a comfort to our family.  It provided shade in the summer, its purpose from its beginning.  It became the centerpiece of the yard.  It would become ablaze in the fall and the neighbors would take notice.  Cowbirds would perform their melodious mating rituals in its branches:  

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~ Joyce Kilmer, 1914 ~

When I walk past its stump now I can't help but feel something missing.  Something that used to apparently give me a feeling of security and companionship.  

I miss my tree...

Moving On...

Saturday was day 3 of our power outage. Things started looking up. The ice melted off the trees but the snow on the ground remained.

Saturday  was a nice day, cold but dry and sunny. The roads were clear and everyone took advantage of the improving conditions. Rick and I decided Friday that things had improved enough that we would drag a vehicle out Saturday and hunt down some internet, hopefully at the nearby library. Kevin had made plans to get his chainsaw and go hunt for firewood as any red-blooded Washingtonian should be doing the day after a big storm has passed and there’s windfall laying everywhere. So I suggested to Rick that he help Kevin collect wood and earn some for us. I had to wash dishes and figure out a way to wash my hair (that was supposed to be done on Thursday). So we had our day kind of planned.

Things got changed a bit but Rick and I finally got the kitchen cleaned and we got our showers and headed out. First we hit the library. They had internet and plugs to connect our dead laptops to but no wifi. The information desk said the whole system had no wifi but we went down to the Kent library to be sure. No wifi – system-wide. OK, where now? Starbucks? McDonald’s? Barnes and Nobles? We checked the Starbucks in the Kent Safeway – no seating. McDonald’s is right across the street. One plug, already occupied. But the wifi trak app that Rick has on his ipod showed that the Burger King next door also had wifi. I found a table there right next to the only outlet in the place – unoccupied! I asked the guy at the counter about using the plugs and he gave us his blessing.

So we grabbed that table and some lunch and sat there catching up with the rest of the world for about an hour. I slapped that last storm blog up and we finally felt we had our internet “fix” that we needed. We did a couple more errands and headed home.

The first thing I noticed when we got home was the full-size Bonsai tree was gone! I could see that corner of the house! Whoa! I kept looking around and the whole front yard was cleaned up. The limbs were even gone! We walked into the house, Rach was in one recliner, Shirley and a sleeping Elise were in the other. The there were 3 little boys in underwear jumping out from their hiding places. Kevin, Dane and Keith were hard at work out back, continuing the cleanup. Apparently when Kevin got the tour of the carnage he decided he would round up some helpers and take charge of the cleanup. He did a great job! It’s all still back there but it’s out of sight, my yard almost looks like my yard again. I gotta figure out how to dispose of the limbs, there’s a MOUNTAIN of them!

We've grown accustomed to not having power, having lived in a neighborhood prone to power failures for over 20 years. For about the first 4 days it’s not bad, evening time you barely notice it. I bought a rechargeable thingy that has 2 plugs. I’ve used it in the past for a lamp, once to watch Survivor and most recently discovered the best use for it – we’ve been using it to power a small DVD player to watch movies and recharge our cell phones. We watched 6 movies on a charge, I don’t know how many we could actually get out of a charge but it’s great to have something to occupy us in the dark. Our kerosene lanterns and candles keep the house sufficiently lit, the woodstove keeps us warm, the refrigerated food is in a cooler on the deck. We cook on and in the woodstove. Pots sit on top and Rick cooked a couple baked potatoes inside it. We BBQ meat. What finally gets difficult is when the hot water runs out and laundry needs to be done.

Having finally gotten my hair washed, gotten my internet fix, my yard cleaned up and now full service on my cell phone (I called my mudder to celebrate!) I felt much better than the last time I blogged about current events.

This morning we headed out before noon to find a friend that would allow us to recharge our portable power supply that provides our evening entertainment, since it ran out of juice mid-movie last night.  Then we, again, headed to find wifi.  Life at home was getting boring, we were ready for the power to be back on.

We ended up again at Burger King.  Covington had power on one side of the main drag and not on the other.  So we were again limited on where we could look.  This time we sat for 2 hours, the chairs were much cushier than the hard plastic benches we sat on yesterday, but the building was much colder.

We came home, had a visit from Rach and Tony, then Dane and Chelsea came over, Keith went out, life was trying to get back to normal...  We had to do dinner, Rick was preparing to go to work tomorrow so he got his shaving done while there was sufficient light, blah, blah, blah.

Then, while Rick was cooking the fries on the BBQ for our weekly fries-and-burgers-on-Sunday dinner, Dane, Chelsea and I were eyeballing the piles of broken tree bits - - - the lights came on!  We heard a HOOT! from out in the street somewhere and I noticed the neighbor's back porch light was on!

This was by no means the longest power outage we had, we had at least 2 4-day blackouts and one 5-day one, this was only 3.5 days.  But the emotional strain and work were much bigger this time.  It seems that, according to news I've heard on the radio over the course of the outage, ours was the worst hit area in this, our:



If you ask a person what is needed to have a good and happy life you’d get a number of responses. The majority of them, I would think, would revolve around material security. I think many people in this part of the world, anyway, would, by default, include going to college and thereafter having a better paying job. But is that what truly makes one happy?

I’ve heard scores of quotes from wealthy people regarding their feelings about being wealthy and, while it ensures that they’ll have everything materially that people would think would create satisfaction and happiness, it seems that, instead, it only causes a different problem – the fear of losing what they have. “The more you have, the more you have to lose” is a quote I remember hearing. Honestly, I think intelligence coupled with wealth may create a measure of happiness. Such as a person who worked to get wealthy vs the lottery winner. Lottery winners have a reputation for squandering their winnings, ending up in jail, or being worse off than before they came into the money.

People who live simpler lives, even some who’ve given up the fame and riches find more satisfaction from having only the necessary things. “Keeping up with the Joneses” creates stress, frustration and the new problem of fear of losing what they have. Or having to constantly upgrade their belongings to the newest and greatest. It’s a vicious circle that ultimately does not create happiness. Having what you actually need and only that relieves that stress and frustration, resulting in satisfaction and – something closer to happiness.

Money can’t buy so many things that are actually necessary to create a happy life: Good health, true friends, self-satisfaction and a clean conscience.

Recently Rick and I had a discussion that caused me to think deeply, to ruminate. I do that. I don’t discuss something and then instantly push it out of my mind, I ponder it, mull it over, discuss in my own mind whether how I’ve been thinking is the right way to think or whether maybe it’s foolish and I should change my thinking. This is what caused me to get to this blog. We had a discussion about whether or not JWs lifestyle was one that brought unhappiness. So – back to the question: What brings real happiness?

I hope my point of money not being the answer is made. It is definitely needed to sustain life but it isn’t necessary to make one happy. Sometimes it even causes the opposite effect.

I mentioned a few things previously that are needed to be happy, good health being the first mentioned. Money can help there but is not a solution. Good health is best maintained by a healthy lifestyle, meaning eating as well as possible and getting proper exercise. And avoiding doing things to ruin your health. That would include smoking, and abuse of drugs, alcohol and even food! While much of the world does not have the funds to attain the food that could be more readily available, much of that particular problem is caused by mishandling of products due to government or business involvement and greed. Food gets sent to places like Somalia but all the entities that are involved cause it to sit on the dock and rot, they can’t (or won’t) agree on how to handle the goods. The hungry just remain hungry. In this scenario money may actually be making the problem worse. Often it’s the greed or power of the entities that cause them to disagree and thus allow the food to sit. They won’t work together, they all want to be in control or be able to make a profit from the transaction.

True friends. What is a true friend? I have a funny saying: “a true friend is the one that will take your fish”. The fish spoken of are the ones that are left in your fish tank when the rest have died and you just want to get rid of the tank. Another saying: “a true friend will help you move” (more recently amended with “a really true friend will help you move a body”, um, no). “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” is a pretty good one. Basically, a true friend is one that will go above and beyond to help you out. They’re self-sacrificing and have your welfare in mind. They want to be sure that you’re safe and secure. They’ll stop you when you’re about to do something stupid that will eventually cause you unhappiness.

The next item on my above list was self-satisfaction. What causes one to feel satisfied about themselves? It wouldn’t be to cause others pain. Rather it would be the opposite. A person feels good when they make others happy. “There is more happiness in giving then there is in receiving”. Every parent understands this concept. When we decide to bring another person into this world and their life, including their happiness, is in our hands we get great satisfaction when it happens. Who doesn’t love a happy kid? Who wants a miserable one? Sometimes the training of a child causes them temporary sadness, but in the long run they’ll be happier if they know how to treat others and be a respectable person. It’s kind of like paying it forward, we teach our children to give, then we’re happy and they’ll be happy. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Another saying that leads to happiness. Although that one works better if everyone had the same understanding of how happiness is created by kindness and generosity.

The last on my list is a clean conscience. This one goes overlooked by many but goes hand in hand with my last subject of self-satisfaction. We’re born with it, the only beings that are (no animals have a conscience) but it has to be trained, just as a human has to be trained to be human. It is meant to prod us in the right direction, to know right from wrong and cause us pain (which makes us unhappy) when we choose to do wrong. There are people who may have caused their consciences to be callused, damaged or nonfunctioning and therefore don’t feel that happiness from doing the right thing. They may feel happiness from doing bad and causing harm. They are the deviants and we shouldn’t look at them as examples of how doing those things can make us happy, it only does that to damaged people. Being damaged isn’t part of being happy.

By nature all people know these things. There is a certain amount of training involved but that doesn’t mean it’s not natural. It’s natural for humans to walk upright on 2 feet, but if they’re not raised by another human, if they’re raised by a creature that walks on all 4’s, they’ll grow up walking on all 4’s. But humans are not meant to be raised by other creatures. Humans raise humans, dogs raise dogs, birds raise birds and each species teaches the next generation how to correctly be that species.

There is an additional motivation for doing good, feeling self-satisfaction and having a clean conscience that some overlook: Accountability. We have parents, employers, government authorities, all these demand our obedience. We are accountable to them. In the long run we gain happiness by doing the right thing according to the powers that be. Some things are unfair, difficult, costly and don’t create happiness but respecting the position, doing things correctly, having guidelines to follow and following them, all create a good feeling. Accountability. Moral issues that have no lawmakers to govern right and wrong fall into a different category, there is no tangible authority to govern that. Persons believing in a higher power, one that cares about what we do, wants us to be happy as we do our children, and never condones cruelty or wrongdoing, have an advantage over non-believers or those who venerate a cruel higher being: Accountability.

In the world that we live it’s very hard at times to obtain happiness. The world is not geared toward the behavior that brings it. In fact, often it’s actually bent in the opposite direction. The world pulls one into being materialistic, which does not bring happiness. It tells us to be selfish: “Me time”, “Do it”, “Watching out for number one”. Everyone embraces these sayings that are simply propaganda meant to get people to spend money, they are made up and broadcast by greedy big business. They are not meant to create happiness except to the business owners who think that the money they make is where they’ll find happiness. Buying the best and newest shoes or cell phones brings only brief joy to the consumer.

In a nutshell, I guess you could say, happiness belongs to good people. It’s intangible and can’t be bought.

So - be a good person and be happy!

The BAD Storm!!

I wrote this blog on Thursday, the first day of our power outage and the day most of the carnage took place in the yard. Since I wrote it things have begun to improve, mostly notably, my mood. We have things happening, I got a shower and washed my hair. The ice has melted and some of the trees mentioned in this blog have shown some promise. 

But not THE tree.

This has been our “interesting” winter weather week, we usually have one every year, maybe more but usually at least one. We’ve had a drier than normal winter thus far. December was cold, highs barely reaching 40. Then January hit and was pretty nice, mild, temperature-wise. Last weekend we finally had a chance of snow. Some areas got a few inches of snow. We finally started getting flurries Sunday. Monday started the scare, some snow on and off all day. Tuesday snowed more regularly all day and some accumulation started, about an inch if I recall. Yesterday, Wednesday, started with snow early on and we finally had about 6”, but it was raining teeny, mist-like drops most of the day so it wasn’t fun to play in. Then this morning I woke and saw that the power was out. I threw open the curtains on my French doors in my bedrooms like I always do and saw this:

This tree WAS the centerpiece of my back yard. I knew it was vulnerable because it grew in the shade and was somewhat spindly for a 20 year old 25-30 foot tall tree. But I never saw a tree fall apart so thoroughly. I’ll be replacing it with another maple of the same type, “Autumn Flame”. It’s a beautiful medium-shade tree that turns screaming red in the fall. I miss it already. I even cried.

This is one of, if not THE worst ice storm we’ve had since I moved to Washington back in 1985. We had storms in the past that coated our trees with ice and broke the tops off trees, mine included. Topping trees is not always a bad thing, though. THIS storm is doing way more damage, it’s taking the trees completely down, piece by piece. It’s noon, still raining and still freezing outside, so the ice is still forming and pulling more trees, branches, bushes, everything down. A branch high up in a tree breaks off and as it falls takes all the lower branches with it, the wood is all very brittle and has no resistance, every needle and twig has nearly an inch of ice and weighs a ton.

Besides my maple I lost the redbud also in the back yard most likely. It has a split trunk that is now twisted open since the limbs all splayed out. My large, old lilac is getting thinned, many of its “trunks” are broken. A mugho pine that I’d planted near the mailboxes and should have been removed is now gone. My birch out front got topped, as well as the funny, struggling pine right in front of the boys’ bedrooms. I’ve referred to that as my Bonsai tree. Full size bonsai. It got topped as well, we’ll have to see if it will remain, it might actually look better now! I have an old alder out back with a tire swing hanging from it. It lost all the limbs on one side and just a few minutes ago a fir fell and took off the top and some limbs on the other side. It might survive but it may be pretty dang ugly! We’ll have to see. The fir by the road has only dropped a couple limbs, one RIGHT on Keith’s car, as far as we can tell there was no damage. Seriously, these limbs are HEAVY! It could have damaged his car!

As I sit here I continue to hear cracking trees and falling limbs. It’s still raining and still freezing. This must be the monsoon that hit my folks on Kauai and dumped so much rain. It’s not that we have a lot of precip, it’s that it’s so warm it isn’t freezing on the way down. It’s only freezing as it lies on what it’s landed on, hence the ice-covered everything!

It can stop now! Please?!?!?

What! Another Baby?!?!

That's right folks! When you have a large family it just keeps right on getting bigger and bigger!

There is once again another Sizemore in the world, thanks to Denny and Heather this time. They have an adorable little boy and now the family is complete - Hunter has a little sister.

The doctor was monitoring Heather and the unborn Taylor and determined that she was growing fast enough that they should hasten the birth a tad. Hunter was 9 pounds and we all figured he was a couple weeks late. They didn't want a repeat of that. So Heather was scheduled to go in a be induced on Tuesday the 3rd. I had taken a sub job at Olympic Middle school to fill in for office workers that were planning to attend a coworker's mate's memorial service on Friday so Tuesday worked just perfectly. Then Tuesday morning the doctor calls Heather and informs her that they're gonna reschedule the induction to Friday at 5AM, no doubt better timing for the doctor - not for Heather! She was ready to go on Tuesday!

So they headed to the hospital and I headed to work. But my brain was at the hospital. So when things got chaotic (as they always do at middle school especially) I had a harder than normal time staying on task.

I was working on little projects given me by the office staff and getting text messages from Denny, Rach and Shirley updating each other on the labor status. Finally it was nearly noon, time for the staff to leave for the memorial and it was just about go time for Taylor's entrance!

When the group got back at 2 I informed them that my granddaughter had been born at 12:30. They all told me to get out of there! "Go to the hospital and see your new baby!"  Yay!

Taylor had been born at 12:18PM on Friday January 6, weighed 8lbs 6oz and was 19.25" long. Good sized girl!

Hunter had been so intrigued when his cousin Elise was born back in August, we knew he'd enjoy his little sister. It's so amazing to see the relationship between siblings begin so soon. He couldn't stop looking at her and touching her. When he wanted to hold her we propped pillows behind his arm. Then when a family friend was holding her he brought the pillows to be sure she could hold the baby right too! He kept pulling her little stocking cap down and adjusting the blanket she was wrapped in so it wasn't in her face.

Rachyl has started a tradition - she takes the older siblings shopping while the baby's being born. She lets them pick a gift for the baby and mommy, then when the baby's born they get to go meet the new family member and share the presents! Nice tradition, you're a good auntie, Rachyl!

There is a strong resemblance between Denny's 2 kiddos, but so far Taylor doesn't share Hunter's dominant feature - his large lower lip.

I think they'll be very happy siblings - welcome Taylor Sue!

What iThink About My New iPhone

We've all had it happen - we've been SO anxious about getting that shiny new toy. It may have started back in the "Ronco" days. Apparently Ronco is still around (after some sales and bankruptcies), sometimes better known now by the name Popeil or blah-blah-O-matic. It was presented to us as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now THERE'S something to be excited about!

Nowadays it's our tech gadgets. We see them (here Rick would say "Ooh! Shiny thing!") come out on a daily basis. GPS, laptops, smartphones, notebooks, tablets, DSLR cameras, hands-free can openers, and the list goes on... (go ahead, add to the list!)

A few months back Rick and I decided that we'd like to combine our cell phone and iPod that we carry around everywhere and just get iPhones.  Easier said than done, though, because they aren't made to work on our phone carrier, T-mobile.  So we'd either have to buy them and hack them ourselves or buy them already hacked.  The terms are "jailbroke"- free to accept different software and "unlocked"- free to accept various phone carriers (using software that the phone doesn't accept, hence the need to "jailbreak" first).  After a month of research and finally buying a beat-up iPhone dubbed "iBrokit" to experiment on we determined that our best bet is just to buy them already hacked.  Rick found a pretty sweet deal on a pair of 3GS, one white, one black on Craigslist for sale in Tacoma.

We were pretty excited.  The shiny new toy.  Chelsea came over and said "Can I touch it?" then gingerly touched Rick's that was sitting delicately cradled in it's box.  Ooh, shiny thing indeed!

The camera takes beautiful pictures and videos.  The phones work perfectly.  The iPod aspect was exactly as we knew it to be.  Bluetooth, wifi, voice controls, all the bells and whistles.

As I set mine up I looked for some things offered in my 5 year old Nokia phone with lousy camera but still a camera, voice, video, wifi (actually, I don't think mine offered wifi but Rick's did, a couple years newer), games, radio.  Pretty nice phone but not the whiz-bang gadget that Apple makes.  One of the features that my old phone, and pretty much every other phone out there, offers is "Profiles".  These are the settings that are designed for use in different circumstances.  I only used normal at home and nearly everywhere, silent at meetings and one I created strictly for sleeping (it works well at work also, when I need my phone to be discreet but not necessarily silent) since my Utah-displaced brother started sending me angry texts in the middle of the night so I needed to make text alarms quiet enough so to not disturb my sleep but still leave the ringer loud enough that it would wake me in case of someone's emergency.

Hmm, I can't find it.  So I google it.  I guess they don't come with Profiles.  There's a program out there that's supposed to help create them, not very stable it sounds.

Last night Rick realizes there's no capability to take and then send a picture.  Google it.  Gotta go into the settings and make it ready to send MMS (multimedia (voice, pictures, video] messaging service).  That takes about an hour to figure out and get the phone to recognize.  These pictures seem so big, they aren't sending completely, or correctly, where can I change the camera settings?  Google it.  I can't change camera settings...

So, as of right now, there are a number of things that we're having to get used to, actual shortcomings in our shiny (Ooh!) new iPhones.  I'm sure, in time, we'll figure it all out and we'll love them.  Like when I sold my Camry and got my toaster (xB).  I LOVED my Camry.  It took a while but now I LOVE my toaster as well.

My School Essay

This one's for you, Melinda!

Melinda's been nagging me to share some of my school stories since I began working as a substitute office employee, which is nearly a year ago now. I guess I should jot them down before they completely evaporate from my little haid.

My first assignment was at Chinook elementary school up on Muckleshoot Hill. I quickly took note of the kids coming in to the nurse with a tooth in their hand. It seems that kids losing teeth is a daily occurrence at elementary schools. At the end of the day we had a little girl waiting in the office to be picked up by her Grandma. Sitting there bored, she finally announces "I have to live with my Grandma - my mommy and daddy are in jail"!

My next assignment is on Lea Hill in a slightly more affluent neighborhood. It was snowy but everyone still went out to recess. The girls still play on the bars as they did when I was in school. There was a group of about 3 girls twirling and suddenly one pipes up "I'm a stripper!". Then another one, apparently a one-upper in the making, yells "I'M A PROSTITUTE!"

At that same school I notice one kid being addressed by another of the "playground police" constantly, being sent to "the wall" for numerous offenses. Just before recess ends a small group of boys come to me with one bleeding from the nose. The troublemaker is following close behind while the group is all telling me that he did "it". His defense? "He hit my foot with his face!" Um, yeah, right...

I overheard a pretty amusing conversation in the staff lounge at Cascade Middle School late last year. There were 2 other workers eating their lunches, both women in their 60s I'd say. They chitchat about the usual stuff then one asks the other where she got her tatoos! I know they're in vogue right now but it still seems odd to hear about Grandmas getting tatoos!

More recently I was working the attendance office at Auburn Mountainview High School. I get a call from a parent who's been online looking at their child's attendance and notices an absence from one or two periods has the excuse "doctor appointment". He says his daughter did NOT have a doctor appointment and that I need to correct it. I go to the student's file and find that she did have an appointment - at "Planned Parenthood". I assure him that she did have an appointment and he replies "I suppose it's one of those that you can't tell me about". Yes. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when that girl got home!

Most recently I worked a week at Olympic Middle School. The school has improved a lot since I worked there last year, much cleaner and more organized. Turns out they were getting ready for a move. This time I was there for most of the week just before winter break. It seems that there is an event of some sort nearly every day at every school. Pictures, assemblies, "reptile man", fire drills, field trips, etc. The last day before a 2 week break promised to be chaotic. And to make things worse there was a xmas assembly scheduled for the last couple hours before school let out. Thursday I overheard the principal being reminded that the school had not had their mandatory monthly fire drill yet, there was only one day left in the month. So I knew we'd be having a fire drill on Friday. We had the fire drill at 11AM. We got through lunch and were just getting ready to start sending classrooms to the gym for the assembly when we heard coming over the walkie-talkie that sits on the desk in the office someone asking whether Olympic had implemented a lockdown. It had not been addressed to anyone at the school, it was a conversation going on between 2 other people on our bandwidth. I think one was the school district's very own rent-a-cop, Officer McCluskey (she's actually a real cop). All ears perk up. "Are we under lockdown?" someone (probably the principal) asks. Yes. We had about 8 students and 2 parents in the office with us. One parent boogied before everything got actually LOCKED. And the kids were told that this was NOT a drill...

So I got to experience a lockdown. All windows are closed, blinds or curtains pulled shut, other glass covered with paper. Doors are locked. The kids in the office are instructed to sit on the floor behind the counter or in the hall. And we wait. About half an hour.

That's not a very long time unless you're locked in with a group of scared adolescents. The reason for the lockdown never even made it onto the news, apparently someone shot off a gun a couple blocks from Olympic and Pioneer schools and both had to go into lockdown.

I'm sure there were more stories that I've just forgotten. And there will be more to come. I'll just try to be more diligent in getting them out - in a more timely fashion!

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.