Sunday, August 21, 2005

Good Day...

Today we celebrated my Father's 71st birthday... His birthday is tomorrow, August 22nd. ...Yes, the day after my daughter's birthday... I called to let my parents know, my son and I would be stopping by for a visit. My Mom sounded weak. ...She has four more chemo treatments... She called me back saying she wanted to go out to eat. I told her, we could just visit, we didn't need to go anywhere, she didn't need to fix a meal, just enjoy our visit together. She insisted she had to eat, either way, so, if we wanted to join them at dinner out, they would like that. My Dad picked the restaurant, his favorite bar-b-que rib house.

As we pulled up into the drive of this restaurant... I noticed several black vehicles, loaded with antennas. They looked like something out of a spy movie. I joked, "...the President must be here!" We parked right next to one of four SUV's with Washington D.C. plates. The vehicle in the center of all these SUV's was a Cadillac limo type, with the same Washington D.C. plates.

It was the Secret Service... President Bush is due to arrive in Boise, tomorrow. There were five men sitting a few tables away from us, enjoying ribs, Idaho style! Things appeared very normal, the guys looked like normal guys off the street. They weren't dressed in uniforms. They left 8 x 10 photos of the President's limo, posed in front of the White House, for all the wait staff at this restaurant.

Here's an excerpt from our local newspaper:

"Before the president even sets foot in Idaho, an advance team of Secret Service will have walked every possible step Bush might take while he's here.

"They scout everything out so there are no surprises," said Ken Walsh, chief White House correspondent for U.S. News and World Report.

And then there are the image people who will determine where the president should stand and where TV and newspaper photographers will film so that Bush appears in the most photogenic light possible.

The Secret Service will bring its "war wagon," a van or SUV loaded with weapons and communications equipment. Close to Bush at all times will be the "football" -- the package of top-secret nuclear launch codes.

On Monday, the president and some reporters will fly into Boise from Salt Lake City, where Bush is scheduled to speak at the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference. Other reporters will charter a plane. A U.S. Air Force cargo plane will bring at least two limousines (one real, one decoy), and other planes will be used if needed to carry Secret Service vehicles, staff and other equipment, possibly including Marine One, the presidential helicopter that will likely take Bush to Donnelly because no airport near there can hanndle a cargo plane or Air Force One."

Just west of Donnelly, Idaho... The mountains of Idaho are absolutely gorgeous. The president will be staying at one of Idaho's newest resorts, Tamarack, on the Cascade Reservior.

The news is reporting that the president will be enjoying a couple of private days in the mountains to ride his mountain bike along the many trails at Tamarack.

Maybe this will be the next generation of Secret Service employees? Aren't they cute? Tamarack has miles of mountain bike trails.

I do hope the president has a good visit, here in Idaho. We have some of the most spectacular sunsets, I hope he gets to see one. By the way, I didn't vote for him, either time.

On another note... I called my daughter to wish her a Happy Birthday, and she answered the phone on the first ring! I about fell over in my seat!

She has rejected most every call I've made to her since Christmas. I didn't expect her to pick up the phone.

We didn't talk long, but she told me she was in Victorica, British Columbia, Canada, with her boyfriend. They took a ferry from Seattle for her birthday. I could hear the breeze in her phone, she said she was sitting on a park bench, listening to church bells ringing. She couldn't see a church, but the bells were beautiful. I asked her to take lots of photos and send some home, she said she would. I let her go, I didn't want to overstay my welcome.

Today... was a good day! I had dinner out with my parents and my son. I was able to talk with my daughter for a few minutes. I feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Baby steps in the right direction. Life is good.
Secret Service and Tamarack photos were copied from their perspective websites.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Baby! I miss you!

My daughter... She's all grown up now. Her birthday is tomorrow, August 21st. She'll be twenty-four years old. I can still remember, as if only yesterday, bringing her home from the hospital. Her daddy and I had baby-sat for many friends before the birth of our first born. Our home was a good 45 minutes from the hospital and on the way home, I remember talking about how this baby was ours, we wouldn't be sending her home after a few hours. We were so proud of our brand new baby girl.

Through the years... We did all the parental things, making sure our little girl was well rounded in life's experiences. Swimming, gymnastics, piano, Brownies and Girl Scouts cookies, private religious schools, public schools, holiday celebrations, sleep-overs, dances, cats and dogs, vacations to Disneyland, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, friends and family gatherings... The same most every other parent does for their kids.

Then they turn into Teens... By now, I had become a single parent of two children after divorce. A girl, 14 years old, and a boy, just 6 years old. We had been divorced two years and I had two "only" children, going in two separate directions. I did the best I could to keep some stability in the lives of these kids. When we lost our home, I stayed in the same neighborhood so the kids would go to the same schools. My parents lived 800 miles away, with all the rest of my extended family. So, it was us three against the world for a few years.

Life was hard... Idaho is not easy on single women. The wages here are barely above poverty when trying to support a family. I found it difficult to keep a job, for the first time in my life. There were times I didn't know where our next meal would come from. I remember attending my son's teacher conferences, late that fall, when he was in 1st grade. The teacher had asked me something and I just broke down and cried. She must have been an angel because next thing I knew, the City Police were at my door with food and gift donations that Christmas. Those days seem so far away, but they were just in the last ten years.

Somewhere along the way... My daughter lost respect for me as her mother. It was more than the normal teen thinking their parent knows nothing. When she turned 18 years old, she left without letting me know where she was. Then within a year, she moved from Boise to Seattle. I remember feeling so lost, so helpless... How could I be a part of her life, living so far away? What if she met someone special and wanted to get married, have kids, how could I be a part of this? I never, ever dreamed I would live life without my daughter, my only daughter. I always imagined our lives would be entangled with each other; family dinners, movies out, shopping, crafts, baking, and just hanging out together. I know, as a young adult and mother, I spent a lot of time with my parents, stopping by whenever I could, calling and talking with them several times a day. We went shopping and camping and just everything together. I don't believe it's possible to have this with my own daughter, and I never saw it coming.

Divorce happened to all of us... My daughter was affected by this divorced as much as I was. She was just 12 years old when I left the kids' father. I do not know if I could have done anything different than I did. I do know, I did the best I could for both my kids. They were always my first consideration in my decisions. I can only hope that someday, both my kids will understand I did the best I could for us.

My adult daughter... She has every right to her own life, her own opinions, her own way of doing what she does. I do not understand her distance, her withdrawal from me. It hurts so much. She has been living so far away from home for so long now, I don't notice the pain so much. When I stop to think of all the time we've missed being together, all the moments we'll never have, the memories we are missing, it just kills me.

I love my daughter with all my heart... I know she loves me too. Someday, I hope whatever is keeping her from me will go away and she will find happiness in our relationship. Happy Birthday, Baby. I miss you.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

From Las Vegas to Warhawk...

My guy arrived in town on his way from Portland, Oregon, to Las Vegas, Nevada, about 1pm, Saturday. We are about halfway between the two cities on this route. This would have been the perfect trip for me to have hopped onboard and traveled on with him to Las Vegas. He was to turn right around after he delivered there and reload for Portland again, coming right back through our home town. Perfect!

We planned
to drive down Saturday and have all day Sunday and Sunday night to play, and drive back through Boise for a night's sleep, Monday night. I really wanted to go! I haven't been anywhere all summer long!

After trying to get Monday off work without success, I decided to suggest he stop at home and we go to some local attractions. There was the Night Fire, jet fueled cars, out at Firebird Raceway drag strip, or there were a couple of interesting planes at the Warhawk Air Museum. We could have gone to the local 1/4 mile roundy-round track to see stock and mini races. There's the Idaho Shakepheare Festival. We also had three Netflix movies to watch that had arrived throughout the week. Dinner out, and we would be good.

We decided to see some airplanes out at the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, Idaho...

We got there just in time to see this B-25 load up with civilian passengers, fire up and take off for a half hour ride. People could sponsor a ride for $300 each.

I think it would have been fun to ride inone of these! What an experience!

Also there, at the museum, was a P-40 that was in the movie "Pearl Harbor" starring Ben Affleck.

Once in the air, both planes did a fly by for the audience below.

Here's another P-40...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Just Thinking...

It amazes me how each and everyone of us touch others' lives in some way. Everyone we meet, everyone we talk with, everyone we see, affect us in some way. Sometimes we do not know how we are affected by these encounters until later, sometimes we never do realize the affect of another person on us. It's all amazing to me.

A week ago, one of our fellow Journalers experienced a great loss, her sister and nephew were killed in a horrific Interstate auto accident. I have not been able to stop thinking about this horrible accident, and the huge loss to so many lives that were touched by these two beautiful people. I understand our friend's family members were innocent victims of this terrible ordeal.

My guy is a long haul driver of one of those big 18-wheeler trucks. It's my guy's greatest fear, that someday he might be involved in a fatal accident. I think many driver's have the same fear. My guy is a good driver and books five to eight to ten hours on the road, everyday. That's a lot of hours behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, not all drivers behind the wheel of these huge, 18-wheeled trucks are safe drivers. Some should not ever be allowed to drive such vehicles, maybe not any vehicle. The laws that allow these drivers to drive such vehicles need to be re-evaluated, to weed out the drivers that are at higher risk to be involved in accidents.

I read about another fatal trucking accident last week... this one was in Maine. The truck driver in this accident was just 32 years old, and he had more than 42 moving violations on his record and was driving with a suspended license! Something needs to be done!

Nothing will bring our friend's family back. And, I cannot imagine the pain of her loss. My heart and soul go out to our friend, and to my guy... who brings groceries from one part of our country to another, praying he has a safe journey home each and every trip out.