Opening Comments from Bob
This Page: A few years ago I began to select my favorite pictures from the previous year and republish them in the January issue. Last year, I also included favorites from the traditional content. I continue that practice in this issue. However, there is also an eulogy to my wonderful mother passed on January 13. This issue is the last one for PJ Year 17. I hope you enjoy your walk down memory lane 2018.
DEDICATION to Fairy Casey Pendleton
(Pictured right: Mom in her fifties.)
We each come into this life with one biological mother and father. From birth on, the quality of that parenthood varies. For my three younger sisters and me, ours were stellar, both magnificent, loving human beings. Dad passed many years ago, 1986, and mom at the age of ninety-five on January 13, 2019. Nothing brings you an awareness of your mortality more than the passing of your parents, never to see them again during this lifetime.
Mom is the only person whom I know named Fairy. The story went that when she was born, her father said, "There is my little Fairy." Hence, the name stuck. Mom was born into poverty during the Great Depression and grew up as one of eight children. She never forgot those years of deprivation. From early age, she taught us the value of giving thanks for what we had, the importance of a spiritual life, and the responsibility to be positive contributors to society. In short, Mom epitomized the word LOVE.
Mom's smile was contagious, having never met a stranger. At her funeral many spoke of how her influence changed their lives. Being a deeply religious person she dedicated her life to serving God and humankind. She truly walked the Christian walk.
In her latter years, she suffered intense pain and multiple health issues. Due to my younger sister Pat who became her full-time caregiver for her final eight years and the ongoing support of her other children, she was able to remain at home. Even during her suffering she never gave up hope and the smiles continued to cross her lips. Similar to the journey she walked in her younger years, she continued to spread fairy dust until her final day. Go in peace, my dearest mother! I believe she was greeted with the words, "Well-done my good and faithful servant."
Each picture will indicate the month it was published.
February: Mauna Kea on the Saddleroad: This road shortens the drive time by over an hour from Kona to Hilo.
Pictured above is a morning shot of snow capped Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano which stands at 13,802 ft. Most
of the mountain is underwater. When measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is 33,000 ft., the tallest mountain
on Earth. Below is the volcano taken late afternoon.
February: Rainbow Falls, Hilo, is an 80 ft. waterfall on the Wailuku River. The falls are named after the rainbows
that are visible in the spray mist on sunny mornings.
Two Favorite Poems from Year 17
February: A Moment of "Why?"
Do you ever sit and ponder,
"What is my purpose?"
Why have I been given existence?
Was it by accident,
anonymous egg and sperm uniting,
Or is there a greater being
who put everything into motion?
For over six decades,
I have pondered.
at least for now,
the reason matters little.
Instead, the secret of life
and the way to the Infinite
is through love.
A life filled with love,
the giving and the receiving,
is the holy grail
to a life well-lived.
Comment: No comments.
Will We Ever Learn?
Do you ever ponder about war
and its futility?
The young in their prime
march into forbidden lands
only to return scarred
in one form or another.
in their sealed caskets.
Take a moment
to peer into history.
Germany and Japan,
once arch enemies
now close allies
and supplier of our cars.
the new “in” tourist attraction.
How can this be?
Leaders, and the power-broker
pulling the strings,
sow seeds of hatred and mistrust
convincing the masses
of righteous causes.
But look beyond the propaganda
and supposedly noble causes.
Ultimately, power and money
always serve as the root driving forces.
Woe to anyone
“There might be another way.”
Comments: No comments needed.
June: Taking a break on one of the ledges at Capitol Reef N.P.
August: Wildflowers abound in Albion Basin, Alta, UT
September: Thanksgiving Point Gardens
Click here to enjoy a short video of The Drums of the Pacific Luau held at the Hyatt Regency in the Lahaina area. (March)
Click here to enjoy this exciting group, 808ukejams.com, that meets every Thursday to Uke jam and enjoy song and hula–led by Jarret Delos Santos. (March)
May: Zion National Park, UT
June: Provo Canyon, UT
June: Capitol Reef National Park
July: Mirror Lake, UT
August: Wildflowers, Alta, UT
September: Thanksgiving Point Gardens, UT
May: A Reunion with Angela
In 1980, I was privileged to be awarded a teaching Fulbright to New Zealand. I was one of two American teachers selected for a year-long exchange to this marvelous country. I was assigned to Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School (PNINS) in Palmerston North on the North Island. (A normal school is like our university schools tied to a nearby college or university.)
As you would expect, the exchange was life-changing. My world views were broadened, and friendships were made that have lasted a lifetime. During the year, I became close with many of my eleven and twelve year old students. Several remained in contact with me for many years. But this vignette is primarily about one, Angela. I remember vividly one day asking this twelve year old about her life goals. Without hesitation, she said, "I plan to become a model." On one occasion, I took a picture of her eating a smore, her first modeling gig. That slide became part of a presentation that I gave to various groups upon my return to Ohio. I always related the story that she planned to become a model.
Fast forward to five years ago. To my surprise, Angela friended me on Facebook. As we messaged back and forth, we agreed to meet should I be in Australia or she in the U.S. About a year ago, Angela said she would be spending five-weeks touring the U.S. Thus, we set a time. When she and her family were in Las Vegas, they would drive to Zion National Park, and Jan and I would make the four hour drive south.
Though thirty-eight years had passed, we immediately recognized each other. Along with Angela was husband Barry, her mother Natalie, and youngest daughter Katie. We spent a wondrous day touring the park via the its bus system along with enjoying a reunion lunch at Zion Inn. Yes, Angela became a model and still models part-time in Australia. She recently earned her MBA and currently works at a university..
In the end, I was honored that she wanted to have a reunion and the opportunity to catch up on the life of what was once a twelve year old student. I was pleased that she still remains a beautiful human being and truly enjoyed meeting her family. A teaching career offers many such reward!.
December: Take A Risk
Many of us prefer the status quo, be comfortable and minimize taking risks. For after all, there are many things out there that can kill you or upset our daily lives. In a sense, we like to build a cocoon around ourselves to protect us from the unknown. Sadly, as most discover, we are not always successful as unannounced health or financial issues arrive at the most inopportune times. I learned early on that taking risks usually enrich life. However, with age I find myself less likely to take them.
Recently, I stepped out of my comfort zone. While I tried to find someone to accompany me on my venture, I received "no" for a variety of reasons. Thus, with a bit of trepidation, I signed up for Robert Peng's weekend qigong course at a location called 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley, CA, a place I could barely find on a map. Thoughts such as "I won't know anyone there." or "What happens if I have a health issue." or "I have only read about Master Peng and know little of his qigong style." or "I am not as young as I used to be. Will I be able to handle the physical aspects of the training?" or "Will the snows be so bad through Parleys Pass that I couldn't get to the airport?" These were just a few of the thoughts that led up to the day of my departure. If I could, at the last minute I wanted to cancel.
While I realize to many of you, this venture appears to be rather safe and non risk taking, but for me I was taken out of my comfort zone. In the end, the adventure was fabulous from the place I stayed (See recommendation below.) to the course content. I learned so much about health options for improvement to simple techniques to deal with daily issues to exercises that are low stress on the body. In short, I foresee more workshops with Master Peng, who by the way has led a very fascinating life.
Once again, I reaffirmed a lesson that I learned long ago, taking a risk offers opportunities to enrich life and sometimes allows us to take a leaf forward into the unknown but one filled with glorious rewards.
As you enter this New Year, I suggest you set a target to take a risk, not necessarily to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro but perhaps a baby step outside your comfort zone. A new, richer world may wait you!
Favorite Recommendations from Year 17
Grandma's Coffee House: Doug Court, who was visiting us
for a week on Maui, enjoying a light treat at this delightful place
in Kula, Upcountry, Maui. "Grandma began roasting and blending
Maui Organic coffee in 1918. It wasn't long before Grandma's house
became the place to go for a cup of coffee and to "talk story". It is
now four generations later and coffee is still in our family." Of course
Doug had coffee along with the treat. By the way, the pastries are
1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA
many of you know, I have been a tai chi instructor for a decade. During the last months I have been immersed in qigong, the perfect complement to tai chi. This ancient art focuses on energy (qi) and healing. I decided to attend Master Robert Peng's workshop in early December. It was held at 1440 Multiversity, an upscale retreat center in Scotts Valley, CA. In the vignette you read about the workshop. However, in this section I am focusing on the facility where it was held. The ascetically, gorgeous campus is geared toward ecological friendliness. My room for the three days was not fancy but comfortable. The automatic lighting system was at first intriguing as the environmental wisdom became clearer. The mostly organic meal options were fabulous! Any taste preference was available from vegan to carnivore! If you are into yoga, tai chi, qigong, other mind enriching options or if you want to simply get away and do some hiking on the nature trails, I suggest you check out 1440 Multiversity. Below are pictures of the dining hall and a night shot of some of the walkways. By the way, the campus is hilly; expect to burn off a few calories. (December)
Please take a look at the gift page.
Bit of Humor
A bit of laughter is healthy for the soul
At 8 p.m. one night, a pilot who had run out of fuel made an emergency landing at a top secret government base. He was quickly surrounded by security and taken inside to be interrogated. The interrogation was grueling because they wanted to make sure it was an unplanned landing and he was not a spy.
The interrogation lasted all night. At 6 a.m. they refueled his plane and let him go with his promise never to return. Four hours later he returned and landed again. Security met him on the runway. They asked him why he had come back.
"I know I promised never to return, but I brought my wife and now you have to tell her where I was all night."
July: Exam Time
An eccentric philosophy professor gave a one question final exam after a semester dealing with a broad array of topics. The class was already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board: "Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist."
Fingers flew, erasers erased, notebooks were filled in furious fashion. Some students wrote over 30 pages in one hour attempting to refute the existence of the chair. One member of the class however, was up and finished in less than a minute.
Weeks later when the grades were posted, the rest of the group wondered how he could have gotten an A when he had barely written anything at all. His answer consisted of two words: "What chair?"
October: Wall Lake, UT
October: Fall on way to Wall Lake
December: Midway, UT
If you have comments, recommendations, or suggestions for the PJ, please e-mail them to email@example.com. While I often cannot print everyone's, I personally respond to all. (When editing the comments for publication, I often eliminate the paragraphing to save space.) .
(February) "Another excellent journal! Love your new book cover, congratulations on finishing it!" - Poet K.C. from Portland, OR (Ed.: As always, much appreciated! I look forward to seeing your finished book. I am sure it will be outstanding.)
(April) "Loved the vignette about the ceramic horseshoe! How true it is that money cannot replace love in our memories and treasures. . . . Thanks for publishing the journal." - Doug from Galion, OH (Ed.: How true on your initial statement. Thanks so much for your comments.)
(May) "Bob, Thanks for the powerful and crucial question, "Will We Ever Learn?" Wouldn't it be nice if instead of giving a quick "yes" or "no," we would really engage in a discussion of how to put an end to war, since almost everyone says they agree that it is an evil thing? It makes the discussions between North and South Korea both timely and vitally important." - Jim from Mt. Vernon, OH (Ed.: I appreciated your comments. I believe this poem was one of my best. Jim is quite a writer in his own right.)
(June) "Enjoyed the vignette A Reunion With Angela–what an interesting reunion that must of been! You certainly had to of left a favorable impression with her as a young girl. Goes to show you the impact a good teacher can have on their students.
The pictures of Zion are great! Makes me remember our trips out West. They were good ones!." - G.L. from Cincy, OH (Ed.: As of now, you were the only comment this month. I greatly appreciate it!)
(September) " Your vibrant pictures of the wildflowers made me realize just another reason that Utah is a favorite state. Add their beautiful red rock formations, and Utah speaks to me of the beauties of nature that bring peace into our lives if we but take time to notice. So happy to hear an indication in your poem that you too believe that perhaps there may be others beyond our earth. Open to all possibilities" – Bev from OH (Ed.: I am glad you enjoyed the pictures and the memories they generated. I appreciate you writing.)
(November) "I continue to read and be inspired by your publications. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world. A gifted mind with a heart of gold. Thank you!!." – Denise from OH (Ed.: I really appreciate your gracious comments. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is reading my monthly epistles. Such comments as yours and the ones appearing in this month's section inspire me to continue.)
(December) "It has been a long age since I have written to you, and yet I assure you, I keep contact with you as each Journey is published.
Your grand babies has grown up so quickly! It is so amazing just how fast time can fly by. . .We have had a welcome respite from the flooding rains and strong wind storms that have been the 'norm ' for Vancouver. Today the sun shone, the birds sang and blue sky was overhead. . .will bid you a very fond fare thee well and a Very Merry Christmas, to you and yours!" – Steffanie from Vancover (Ed.: Wonderful to hear from you again!)
(December) "Thanks for the journal for Dec. I totally agree with “taking a risk” I’ve lived my life doing that. I’m still doing it only at a slower pace. LOL. At this point it’s one day at a time. Hope all’s well with you and yours. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!" – Billie from Galion, OH (Ed.: I couldn't agree with you more. Some of life's greatest gifts following taking a risk.)