Tag Archives: Grown children


The first time in a long time, I really felt like writing a Christmas letter. Looking back, there were so many landmark accomplishments in 2017, we don’t even need to talk about toils, trials and setbacks.

For location, location, location, you can’t beat sleeping in a beautiful place whether in the company vehicle or your own camp worthy conveyance. Here’s a sampling of my favorite, beautiful, sleeping in the car locations:

Ouray Colorado

Notom Road just outside Capitol Reef

Moki Dugway near Muley Point

Williams Arizona near the Grand Canyon Railway

Bluff Utah for a star party

Dixie National Forrest

The main difficulty with sleeping in the company vehicle lies in remembering to transfer all the necessary items from your own, perfectly outfitted Subaru, into the company car while still leaving room for the merchandise you are delivering or the event you are supporting. I spent the night in the company vehicle four times in 2017. I matched that number in my Outback. Though smaller, my Subaru has lots of little niceties- things like curtains, a sleeping mat, a fuller range of hiking gear.

You make discoveries when you sleep in a car – whether the company vehicle or your own. You acknowledge things like:

Burrrr it’s cold. All I really want for Christmas is a zero degree, down sleeping bag.

I spent the first two and a half months of 2017 at Natural Bridges National Monument where I am pleased to say I hiked all the trails. On March 15th I arrived in Page AZ. I waited through a long hot summer in Page for a chance to really get out and hike and explore the area. With temperatures often breaching 100 degrees, all hikes had to be completed before 8:00 am. While I waited – not so patiently – I swam in Lake Powell every night after work just to lower my core body temperature to a comfortable state.

September temperatures slacked off enough to start seeking beautiful trails. In October came reward in a big way for a tedious and difficult summer. With my daughter, Andrea, I hiked the South Kaibab Trail into Grand Canyon, stayed the night at Phantom Ranch and hiked out the next day via Bright Angel Trail.

In November I got the serendipitous chance to drive to Kanab and spend a few hours with son Philip. Also in November, I spent a weekend near Torrey with my brother and sister-in-law. There have been scattered trips to Grand Junction to visit family, friends, son Kevin and grandkids, though not enough to satisfy my parents.

I continue to write and make music-mostly for my own fulfillment. A few more experiences are in my inspirational arsenal and a few more guitar chords under my belt.

I wish you a Merry Christmas 2017!

In the coming New Year, I wish you the healing tonic of getting out in Nature. Nature is beautiful. Nature heals. Nature is God’s gift of love to those of us who are unable to find solace in the arms of a human lover. Whether you hike, bike or drive; camp, glamp, or pamper, I wish you Beauty – and the Great Outdoors.

Sipapu Bridge largest of the Natural Bridges
Sipapu Bridge largest of the Natural Bridges
Lake Powell from the air
Lake Powell from the air
Andrea heading down the steep and multitudinous switch backs of the South Kaibab.
Andrea heading down the steep and multitudinous switch backs of the South Kaibab.
Me smiling at Bright Angel Bridge
Me smiling at Bright Angel Bridge


This fabulous decade

Remember the days when you went to a photo sitting, waited two weeks for the proofs, chose which you liked and waited 10 more days for the prints? I had a birthday a month ago and I’ve been waiting on the proofs for a few weeks.  The proof that I really am older and the proof that this next decade will be even better.

Somewhere along about the age of 40 I realized that every time I approached a decade marker I got a second wind.  I was curious to see if that would happen this year as I completed yet another decade.   Looking back; this has been a fabulous decade!

During the last 10 years I ____________________________________________

  • Completed a bachelor’s degree graduating magna cum laude
  • Saw my daughter graduate high school
  • Watched my youngest son graduate high school and launch into the adult world.
  • Cheered as my daughter graduated college
  • Completed a manuscript for a children’s book and saw it all the way to independent publication
  • Actually got paid to write – every penny counts
  • Got to interact with four grandchildren
  • Travelled by train to San Francisco and Seattle
  • Packed all the necessities of existence in a Subaru and moved 1000 miles solo
  • Taught classroom music fulltime
  • Taught piano for enrichment
  • Completed a women’s fiction manuscript which will probably never see the light of day
  • Got paid to play the piano
  • Took in as many events, travels and concerts as time and money allowed
  • Hiked all the trails of Colorado National Monument
  • Returned to retail store management and found I loved it

And now, I am beginning to plot and plan how I can see more National Parks, hike in more beautiful places, make more music and write publishable manuscripts in the upcoming decade.

A fabulous party

For the first time in 60 years, I planned my own birthday party and paid for a live band – just because I love music and I love raising young musicians.  This is how the band looks…

…but not really how the band sounds. iphoto correctly guessed my generation when it automatically chose the audio.

The band?  They are indie innovators and accomplished musicians. In reality this is how the band sounds 

These musicians? They are my children.  My greatest accomplishment was raising them to adulthood and allowing for or providing for as much music in their lives as possible.

Kevin, Philip, Andrea
Kevin, Philip, Andrea

How do you know your children are all grown up?

When your children are infants, you are their 24  X 7 lifeline; providing nourishment, shelter, clothing, a comforting shoulder; teaching them everything from how to walk to how to chew their food and get along with siblings.

By the time they start school, they can dress themselves, make a sandwich, maybe even sort laundry and tidy their bedroom.  You pray to God you will give them everything they need, every opportunity to be all they are meant to be.  Out of your own resources you give every last tidbit of time and talent you can find.  Sometimes they chafe at your involvement and sometimes they beg you to do more.

They go off to college.  You hold your breath. Did you do enough for them?  Will they be able to make wise decisions alone?  Will they turn out to be responsible adults, or stuck in endless, dependent childhood?

There were times they followed in your footsteps, but now, their stride has lengthened and they taste success and adventure beyond the map of all you were able to accomplish in your youth. 

How do you know that your children are truly grown up?  They begin to reciprocate.

  1. You go stay with them, instead of them living with you.
  2. They provide YOU with musical instruments and give YOU lessons.
  3. They invite you over and cook breakfast (or dinner) for you and clean up after.
  4. They give you helpful advice and insight – vocational, relational, educational – and    encouragement.
  5. They are avid and adamant about band / music practice – more than even you were.

Thanks Kids!  You make me feel successful.  You are all grown up.