Breathe And Recharge

We all have those big cities near us that provide the requisite amount of hub and bub to our lives. It’s almost impossible to avoid. The traffic. The crowds. The noise.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a solution to all that. Driving 15 minutes in almost any direction from the city center will find another frame of mind. You’ll find yourself in the land of Small Town USA.

A place where small shops still advertise with small signs above the sidewalk. Where quirky, not weird, is alive and well.

Where quirky, not weird, is alive and well.

A town where you can get a sidewalk hot dog, cross the street to wash it down with a beer at the pub then get something sweet at the panaderia.

For dinner there’s always the Indian Fusion place next door.

These towns are so much more that the storefronts and little traffic. It’s people walking and saying “Hi!”. It’s the small theaters. It’s the old, weathered brick and heavy wooden doors.

It’s a place that still feels good about a father and daughter dance. Or signs reminding you to make your reservation for the American Legion Crab Feed.

If that big city is a triple shot, caff, half caff, extra hot, no foam, soy latte existence then these small oases are the comfort food towns we all need to visit. If to do nothing more than take a deep breath and recharge.

It’s Really Not So Bad…

For many, Christmas is also a time for coming together. But for others, service will come first. – Queen Elizabeth II

Up at 0600. Showered and dressed. Going over the river and through the woods? No. Going down I-5 and over the Marquam Bridge to work. Yes, today I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to work on Christmas Day. Yuck, right? That’s what I thought last night as I was sitting in front of the fire after a wonderful dinner.

I walked through the NICU door and was greeted by smiles and “Merry Christmas” from people in the same boat as me. “Stuck” at work on Christmas when we just want to be home. We have tried to infuse the unit and hospital with holiday cheer for our patients and families. At the same time it has made us feel a little more Christmas-y. There are more smiles and jokes today.

It won’t take the place of being with the family for gifts and breakfast. Or playing with that new gadget. Or watching “Christmas Vacation” or “Love Actually”.
That’s when it dawned on me that it’s really not so bad.

Merry Christmas from TikiBear!

Turbulent Tuesday

Here it comes! The Pineapple Express! Officially it’s called a atmospheric river. And it’s as wet as the name implies. No matter what name it goes by it means warm, wet weather for the northwest.

Think of it as Chinook Winds including an ark building advisory. These have been happening since the region’s Native Americans have told the legends.

Streams and roads will flood. Believe it or not, there are still people that insist on driving through standing water. Keeps the police and fire departments busy but diverts resources from where they’re really needed. STOP DOING IT PEOPLE!

Tillamook Lighthouse today

We know it’s coming. We know it’s time to get prepared. Flashlights, battery powered radios and dry firewood to keep warm. We’ll get through this. Until the next one…next week.

Root of all…

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree

~Albert Einstein


Growing up I was taught that to understand diversity all I needed to do was look at a tree.

OK  Simple enough.  I was told that a tree has many branches that grow in separate and unique angles from the main part of the tree.  These branches can signify all the differences in the world but they always come back to the trunk.  The trunk was to symbolize unity in the face of chaos.

I want to take this little philosophical tale one step further, if I may.  I would like everyone to take the next leap with me.  Let’s take a leap DOWN!  The branches are connected to the trunk and seem to unify at that point.  But what of the trunk?  It cannot sustain the tree all on it’s own.  There must be something else.  That’s where the roots come into play.

Everything the leaf,  the branch and the trunk does is to feed the roots.  The differences in branch size, leaf color or trunk girth don’t mean a thing if the roots are not supported through the nutrients of decaying leaves and the self pruning of diseased branches.  Keep the roots healthy and the tree will live long and strong.

If the roots start to decay?  Then the tree will die.

We have to accept that we will all branch out from the trunk at some point in our lives.  We will all form our own branches of beliefs and values.  If we don’t, we become either an echo chamber for the latest craze (or crazy) or a fence sitter with no opinions except for those that seem right at the time.

We are voting on November 6th.  I urge everyone to take the time and effort to cast your ballot.  Believe in what you vote for and vote for what you believe in.  Don’t be strong-armed by the rhetoric that you feel the obligation to vote a party line.

Keep the roots of your city, county, state and nation healthy by feeding them the nutrients of an unhindered and  guilt-free vote.

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.

~Eleanor Roosevelt