Friday, September 30, 2016

Please Don't Give Up Hope



   This week Hoonah has been rocked by another tragedy. A young man with everything to live for decided to end his life. It was so totally unexpected that everyone who knew him is in shock. He was a newlywed, with a beautiful young wife, he had a good job, had purchased a boat recently, was in the process of gathering firewood for the winter, and I understand even had a deer hanging in the woodshed. He was well liked by his co-workers and even though he was quiet, was always pleasant to talk to. He had a great dog that he loved,and I know he loved his wife. What could have possibly have caused him so much distress that he felt like this was his only solution? I would like to appeal to anyone who may have contemplated suicide, or perhaps is thinking that it would be a way out of your problems now, please, please do whatever it takes to get some help. If you're under the impression that no one will care if you're gone, let me assure you, when someone passes in such an unpleasant and untimely manner, there is a void that is created in families, in the work place, among your friends and acquaintances, and with the people you may do business with. Death always leaves a feeling of sadness, but a death by suicide leaves a pall upon an entire population of people. Folks start searching for reasons- is it something I did? Could I have done something to prevent this? Did I miss some clue? The anguish and the guilt, though undeserved, can be overwhelming. There was a time when I was going through a hard time, and I didn't think that the situation would ever change, and so I felt hopeless and thought that possibly it would be less painful to die than to continue on. Fortunately I came to my senses and realized that nothing in this world stays the same. It doesn't rain every day, nor does the sun always shine. Though things may seem hopeless now, they won't always be this way. Change is the one constant in this world. Hard times will eventually give way to better times. Keep in mind all the good things that have happened in your life. If you're gone, you won't see any more sunsets, or the people you love. There will be no more barbeque's with friends or fishing trips or nights of passion. The every day joys of life, a good meal, a hot cup of coffee, the feeling of accomplishment for a job well done will no longer be yours. Don't listen to the lie that would go through your brain, that you're no good, nothing is going to change, it's no use, no one likes me, life is just too hard. I would encourage you to grab a bible and turn to the book of Jeremiah chapter 29:11. God is speaking to YOU when he says, " I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." I know that the world is in turmoil. Life is evolving in ways that I would not have chosen; there are a lot of unpleasant things happening all around the globe, but if you're not here to make a difference, we're going to be left with one less person to help shoulder the load. We're all in this together. Please don't check out before your time. Let's find out what plan the Lord has for your life. It's a good one I promise. The word says, eye has not seen nor has ear heard,nor has it entered into the heart of man the things the Lord has in store for those who love him. You are important and your life matters. God bless you and keep you.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Painting the House




 I need to work on this really fast. I have something running in the backround of the computer that is eating up all my available allotment from Hughes net. Some days I don't even get on the internet and all 250 MB is used up. A friend came down and looked at it and thought that it was Windows 10 constantly updating. I don't know. Anyway, I have to hope for the best. this will either get done now or at a later date. Kind of like painting the house. I started painting last October when Jan was down visiting her mom. I got about half of one wall done, but that particular side is uphill and there is a large number of salmon berry bushes growing on the hill, making it extra difficult to work there. Of course I need to set up a ladder, which I don't like anyway, so I'm kind of hoping that a young man that I've hired to do the dirty work will figure it out.  I did manage to get the front and most of the back of the house painted this year, and as you can see, about three quarters of the other side done. I reached as high up as I was comfortable going on the ladder. As I've gotten older, I find that I really don't like heights too much. When I was young it wasn't an issue at all. I used to jump off of garage roofs and climb high trees just for the fun of it. Now I don't even like to climb much higher than the porch. We did get the one side done, although it doesn't show in the picture. I hired a young man who is fearless. That's one of the advantages of youth. You don't have enough experience under your belt to be scared yet. One of the disadvantages is that young people seem to be in a hurry, which when it comes to painting translates into sloppy. While he did cover the whole upper part of the house, he also covered the window and roof, the grass, the back porch, the steps and the concrete sidewalk. I'll probably have to climb the ladder and paint the window, which was something I was trying to avoid. If my friend Bob Pinard was here, he'd probably climb the ladder and paint for me, but I don't think that would be a very good idea either. He's older than me and has always had hearing problems which makes him unstable on ladders. He's fallen off of ladders or roofs at least three times that I know of. Probably more than that.He's a tough old bird though. To the best of my knowledge he's never suffered too much damage to his body. I've watched him walk down the street, and even on fairly flat ground he seems unstable on his feet, but he always gets where he's going without too much trouble. A ladder is a horse of a different color though. Speaking of colors, I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the color of the house. It's a little darker than I was expecting it to be. Or maybe brighter, I don't know. I honestly think though that when I painted the house last time, like ten years ago, it was a similar color and down through the years it just faded. One thing is for sure though, I won't be painting it again. When you get to a certain age, there are some things that you just say, well, I won't be doing that again. Hopefully it only refers to things like painting the house or going  to work at the job that you had for the last twenty five years. Getting old does have some advantages. You can only be expected to do certain things up to a point in your life. No one is going to ask me to help them load hundred pound bags of cement into their pickup trucks, or climb around under their house looking for a leaky fuel line. Of course no young ladies are going to be giving me the eye either, unless it's a look of sympathy or because I remind them of their grandpa. I guess there's good and bad with every situation. In any event, with any luck at all, there will be a few more sunny, warm days and I'll feel up to painting those areas on the house that I can reach with a long handled roller, and I'll be able to entice that younger fellow to set up that ladder and finish what I started. I hate to leave a project half done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Ship of Fools



  I went out fishing on Sunday. It's something that I seldom do. However, the season is about to end, and this time of year there are frequent storms that pass through, making fishing somewhat dangerous. Unfortunately, most of the fish being caught are over at Homeshore, an hour and a half run across Icy Strait. The winds have a tendency to blow west or east in the strait and it can be a pretty miserable ride at times. Anyway, there was supposed to be another storm coming on Monday, so I went fishing on the only day that I had when the weather was good, if you discount the fog which was thick and lasted until after three that afternoon. While I was trolling around in the fog, keeping an eye on the radar and GPS, I heard a voice on the VHF radio calling for a boat named The Ship of Fools. I'm not real sure why anyone would call their boat by such a name, but it takes all kinds to make up this world. As I mentioned before in a previous post, I thought  the name on one boat being paged on channel 16 was the Wafflehead.  It wasn't. It was the Bufflehead. I still contend that the Wafflehead would be a more memorable name, although not nearly so much as The Ship of Fools. For a few years during the summer, back before everyone had cell phones and just called each other  to let their buddies know where the fish were, the VHF would always ring with the sound of a captain calling a boat named The Pickle Jar. Again, it baffles me why anyone would call their boat The Pickle Jar. Maybe it was green and had knobby protrusions all over the bulwarks, I have no idea. I once ran past a dilapidated grey troller that was fishing down in Kakul Narrows, near Salisbury Sound, close to Sitka. The boat was in dire need of repair or replacement, and it was aptly  named The Pits. Getting back to The Ship of Fools though, I started wondering, what if that were a charter or outdoor adventure outfit? Perhaps Knucklehead Alaskan Adventures- would you dare to go on it? If Ship of Fools was the mother ship, would there be sister ships, like The Barge of Dummies or The Raft of Buffoons? Perhaps the outfit would have a reputation for running aground on well marked reefs or finding itself in the middle of a pod of Humpback whales as they attempted to bubble feed. It's hard to say what grand adventures a person might have on such a vessel. No doubt it would be memorable. You could buy a T-shirt or cup at the souvenir shop that reads I chartered with Knucklehead Adventures and lived to tell about it! It would be a real conversation piece. You could mention being too close to a glacier as it started to calve, or being stranded on a mud flats surrounded by hungry brown bears waiting for the tide to come back in. I've had my share of close calls, perhaps I should be the one to start Knucklehead Adventures. I guess I can't make Ship of Fools my mother ship, that name is already taken, however Skiff of Incompetents might work. I'll let you know if I decide to pursue this. Meanwhile, keep  your life jacket on and the bear spray close at hand.