Giving Thanks

For life and love, for family and friends... I'm thankful every single day. But on this special day, it seems fitting to also collect my thoughts and give thanks for the things that make my life complete.

So, here goes: For my dear husband of nearly 35 years, for good health and prosperity, for sisters (and sisters-in-law), for the most beautiful place on earth to call home, for old friends (and new friends), for the wee red car in the garage and loads of twisty roads to drive it on, for a huge family of four generations to keep me young, for towering trees and blue water, for nearby mountains covered in snow, for a tiny old cabin at the side of a lake, for the company of cats who love unconditionally (as long as you feed them), for hardwood floors and antique china, for nieces & great-nieces & nephews & great-nephews, for a laptop computer so I can write this blog, for good wine and a cellar to keep it in, for chocolate, for the orchards and pastures that surround my home, for rediscovered family, for long brown hair, for trails to walk on, for scenic beauty to photograph, for a wonderful old farmhouse to come home to every night. I'm sure there's more... I may need to keep updating this!


Dude... learn to drive!

I headed out in the dark this morning, pausing at the end of my private road and looking both ways on the county road. Usually I have the road to myself, but when I saw lots of pairs of headlights, I slammed on my brakes just as a Mazda Miata passed my driveway (and 3 other cars) in a no-passing zone.

There's a reason for the double yellow no-passing zone here--there are many, many blind side roads and driveways, and it's not safe to pass here. And if you're a tiny sports car, you need to be extra careful.

If I'd pulled out just 5 seconds sooner, I would have hit him head-on, or he would have run off the road to miss me. And trust me... he'd have lost either contest. A choice between a heavy SUV and a 6-foot drop off into the trees is no choice at all.

I hope I scared the hell out of him, and he'll drive more carefully. I also hope he doesn't belong to my Miata club.


Twenty Years

Today was Flow's celebration of employees who have reached significant service dates. In the (more affluent) past, these were held monthly, with breakfast pastries and coffee, and a chance for each manager to thank people individually. This year, they decided to hold a single celebration for everyone.

I admit to being skeptical at this approach, but it was amazing. The three who celebrated 20 years with Flow all came from Engineering, and it was pretty cool standing in front of the crowd with Kate and Sean, whom I've known and worked with for all of those 20 years. The manager who thanked us was from Manufacturing, and to have someone completely unfamiliar with my individual contributions stand up and thank me was unexpected, and very satisfying. When he told everyone that if they needed to know anything about our products, way back into the 1980s, they should come and talk to me and people applauded, well... I don't think my current boss could have done as well.

After the celebration, I stood and talked with another Flow old-timer. He celebrated 25 years today, and we both took note of those who are no longer here. A lot of our friends and fellow workers have moved on, or retired, or have been told they're no longer needed. As I found comfort in knowing that others value my contributions to the company, I also was saddened by the loss of so many Flow friends.


The ocean in winter

We spent the weekend at Pacific Beach, with four of our close friends from our Miata club. The Miatas got to go, too... and we even got some top-down driving. The forecast for the coast was for rain, high winds, thunder and lightning, and some potential flooding caused by high tides. Nice time to be on top of a 100 ft. bluff!

We walked the beach, looked (in vain) for sand dollars and glass floats, Dave flew one of his stunt kites, and I took loads of photos. We checked out a cool new community, which looks like an Eastern seacoast town full of interesting architecture. And we enjoyed the fireplace in our cottage, ate wonderful food, sampled a lot of wine, and played Phase 10 and 31 into the wee hours.

On the way home yesterday, we drove down the Ocean Shores peninsula and walked on the beach along the harbor. Then we drove around the harbor to check out the Westport Winery, where we learned that we missed the flood by a day... on Saturday the seas were so high, they crashed over the bar and washed into town.


Losing faith

I learned something new yesterday. Loss of faith in another person, especially someone you trust and like, is devastating. It's hard to believe that I've not crossed paths with this particular hardship in the past. Maybe I have in some slight way, but never like this.

This loss of faith occurred when I learned that this friend would stoop to anything to win an election--lie about past accomplishments, slam candidates running against his 'dream team,' and present incorrect information as the truth, which convinced people to vote in a certain way. He crossed an ethical line, violating the club's bylaws by interfering with an election. Does he care? Not so you'd notice. No remorse (not even when he got caught in this underhanded, unethical behavior halfway through election day).

This disrespectful and unethical conduct was directed toward people who considered him a friend. That's bad enough. But this man is a teacher. What do you suppose he teaches his 5th graders about the election process? Do whatever it takes to win, don't worry who you hurt or what lies you tell, don't worry that you're breaking rules. Win, win, win... that's the important thing. Would you want your kids to learn from this kind of person?