OLD YEAR GONE, NEW YEAR BEGINS

So I have once again successfully completed another vacation. Sitting here in the Lisbon airport with a few hours to kill is giving me time to reflect on the passed year. My year begins with the ending of my annual trip to vegetate in Portugal with John. It is a time of reflection, regeneration and just plain whatever. This year’s trip will have a little different meaning for me as when I return, the following Monday will go under the knife for a new left knee. Am I worried about it, apprehensive or scared – not really. I am just put out at myself for falling apart.
You see, my whole life I have been fit as a fiddle, able to do what I wanted, go where I wanted to go and such. Now I find myself acting like the “old” guys I used to see coming to my hunting camps when I was a guide. Or the old guys walking down the street. I used to, well not really think about them, but I would in the back of my mind, without thinking about it, run through my head – “Boy, sure glad I’m not that old guy.” I got out of bed this morning in my hotel room and looked at the person staring back at me and I almost didn’t recognize him. I just stood there for what seemed like hours (actually less than a minute) wondering how I had changed into this old gray bearded, fat guy, instead of what I used to be. I remember back so many years ago, an “old” guy once told me: If you see something is life you want to do, then do it because there will come a day when you won’t be able to, and if you didn’t, you’ll look back and say, I wish I’d have done that. Well most of my life I have always taken that chance, gone out on a limb and tried something different. I look back and I have had a good life. I have had many great opportunities and gone ahead with them – it has been fun.
I got paid to do things many people pay to do. Being a professional guide was good. It was a lot of work. I remember so many good times, fun times. There were also many long days, hard work. Times where it was cold, wet and I wondered if it was worth, but that thought only lasted about two seconds – even on a bad day (which there never really were).
Growing up I used to hear: Join the Navy – See the world. Well I joined the Army Reserve and have seen more places in the world than I ever thought I would. Yes, may times it wasn’t that great vacation place, but many times I got to visit history, to see where history was made, to walk in the steps of men who’d gone before me I had only read about
I have meet people from all over the world. This morning I had breakfast with a former princess of Russia – Anastasia ( we laughed about that one). She was a beautiful 24yr old gal living in Moscow who have been in Lisbon for an international web seminar. She came from a small island in the northern Pacific, attended university in Moscow, went to work for Microsoft, but now has her own business. Before her I shared a cup of coffee with a great young man from Spain who had also attended the same event. He was great to talk with. Having the chance to meet and talk with people from all over the world lets me expand my knowledge and vision.
But the thing I am most thankful for is the beginning I had. My brother and I were adopted, and the people who wanted us were the best in the world. I was give fantastic values and a direction in life. I had a great life where I learned as a very young kid what hard work was and to accept responsibility. I learned early life wasn’t always a bed of roses and I wouldn’t always get what I wanted, but I would have what I needed. So many times our wants out race our needs and when it come down to it, our needs are very small compared to what we really think. I also learned after I left home, two things I never ask God for – a place to say and something to eat. God provides this for the birds of the air, so I knew and have always had faith these two things would always be provided to me. I may not have always had the best place to stay, nor the fancy foods to eat, but I have never needed.
So now I begin a new year, and it will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

HOW I SEE LIFE

John and I just got back from our traditional “dining out”. Once again a fantastic meal, but it is more than just the food. It is a great time for us to sit, enjoy a good house wine, superb food and no dishes to do(I always do the dishes here, but don’t ever tell my wife!!)
As we ended a fantastic meal, (all meals here begin with wine, bread and olives), John and I have had some great time for reflection. Even though we grew up in two different parts of the States, we grew up the same – same values of life. Something I have come to accept, I am a citizen of the world. In other words, I make due where ever I am.
They say home is where the heart is. Idaho will always be home for me, I will always miss the mountains, rivers, hunting, fishing, friends and family, but I also accept the fact I am where I am and there are also good things here as well.
There are no mountains in Denmark, to me hunting and fishing are way below second rate, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good things in Denmark. I have found many good things and friends there. In fact some of my friendships have let me to other countries and adventures which I would have never experienced had I not moved to Denmark.
John and I were beginning our last meal at a local place we enjoy going, not because the food is great, but the owner is always full of smiles and grace(but the food is fantastic as well). It truly shows she cares about what she serves and her customers. The food is worth waiting for(we don’t have to) and I I always insist we stop there at least a couple time when I am down.
While there we get to reminisce about army meals, those of the C-rat type. John got the earlier versions than I did, even though he was in Vietnam, he got many of the Korean war era, where I was graced with Vietnam era rats. Then I will never forget the dehydrated pork patties in the first MREs issued.
When I left Idaho it was December 1992, time stopped for me – music, TV, most everything American. To prove it, in 2013 I was driving from Nampa to Caldwell. Now I know that road is straight between, but I got lost! Half way between I didn’t recognize anything – I didn’t know where I was. Finally I came to the “out skirts” of Caldwell and I knew where I was. I was a little shocked, amazed and bewildered. I truly knew I didn’t belong there. So where do I belong?
I guess that depends on where my hat is hanging. I’ve got 25 yrs in Denmark now. Is that home – good question. I don’t consider myself Danish, I still have an American passport. When I visit John in Portugal I feel at home there as well. The first year I was here to visit, John took me down and I got a “Fiscal” number, which is kind of like a residence number. Today I wouldn’t be able to get one. But I am a planner, I never leave a stone unturned. I now have another option to my life if I so choose. I know my wife would never leave Denmark, but what if something happened to her? What would I do? Good question. In life we always need to plan for the “unforeseen” , the thing which might happen but probably won’t. If we go through life thinking everything is cut in stone we will be surprised, maybe get a rude awaking we don’t want.
I guess for me I will always be flexible, able to overcome and adapt. Almost sounds like I believe in evolution??!!

YA EVER JUST WONDER?

Do you ever wonder “Why”? Being down here in Portugal, my mind has had ample time to vegetate. I have thought back on many things – for instance: Why do we need to know how long ago and why the universe started?
On the boob tube there’s a program on the National Geographic channel I watch about this subject. “They” tells us many millions of billions of years ago all of a sudden there was this BOOM, the big bang which started the world. From what I gather there are lots of people who have been given lots of money to figure this out, but what for? Why is this information important to you or me? I mean, who could really give a rats behind how the world started?
Now I grew up in the church, I have faith in God and I believe God is responsible for the creation of the world and everything here in. In accepting this, people don’t have to spend so much money, hire so many people to figure out how the universe started, we just accept it for fact. Now if you read Genesis 1:1 and 2, King James version, it reads: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
To me this sounds like the beginning of the universe and we didn’t have to spend so much money to find this out. The thing with we people our thinking is so limited. We think in terms of time, and guess what? – God is not limited.
I wonder if the high powered guys learning about the big bang ever wondered if it was God who allowed the “big band” to create the world. Ask any of them they can’t tell you where the big bang came from. Ask any of them if they believe in Newton’s third law of Motion – For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So tell me what was the action which caused the big bang? I bet they will look at you with a blank stare, not knowing how to answer it.
I remember as a kid being taught God created the world and everything in six days and He rested on the seventh. So tell me, how long is a day to God? We really don’t know. Ya think it might be something like a hundred millions of our human years?
We can’t deny the existence of the dinosaurs, we got the bones and such to prove them and how many millions of years old are they, When the Bible was written back in those days, they didn’t know how to explain many of the things we look at today and are able to explain through science.
The other thing science can’t explain is “How did life start?”. Well it just started they will say. They will talk about the spark of life, but where did this spark come from? I like how they explain how water came to earth by comets and such, yes this is practical. I have seen how they explain how the planets were formed, water came to the earth (evolution), but where did the spark of life come from? Where did the seeds for plants come from? Here we got them stumped.
I guess what I am getting to is: the more science tries to prove the start of the universe, our planet and lives, the more they are proving God did what the Bible said he did. All you got to do is point out Newton’s third law, and ask them what caused the big bang – after all, in their own thinking, nothing just happens.

VACATION REFLECTIONS AND REALITIES

It’s midday Monday, over half way into my vacation, so thought it was a good time for a little reflection – seeing how it is raining today and we can’t get out to do some of the things we planned.
It has been great. No vacation last year as I had an arthroscopic surgery on my right knee about this time last year. So I began into this long drawn out process of getting knee replacements as both needed it. I got screwed out of an operation last year because a stupid doctor has his head stuck up his third point of contact. My doctor and the surgeon who did the arthroscopic both were amazed he wouldn’t do the replacement. So after a summer of knowing pain personally, I will get the first one done this coming Monday, waiting until next winter to get the second one done.
The area here where John lives went through a fire last year. Much of the area around here he lives was burned with many families losing their homes, getting out with only the clothes on their backs. As we drove through the town of Serpins, a year later one could still see the scars remaining. Luck have it, Serpins was not destroyed, but many villages were. Serpins was lucky as much of the town is back to normal, but you can see many of the cork trees are black, yet they are hearty enough to survive, while most of the pines, and other species are standing dead, only to be later cut down for firewood or pulp. As we drove around the area I could see the surviving corks with their black bark but nice green leaves.
John was lucky, the fire burned up to within a hundred meters or so of his village, it was stopped because one of the villagers who is retired was able to call in a few favors and get enough support to stop it. It was tough as the village is on a slope and the draw below them had a chimney effect, pulling the fire towards them. He and along with many were evacuated while the wrath of the fire raged through the country side. Many who lost everything had insurance, while the majority didn’t, having to start again from virtually nothing. From what I have read and talked to the people around, it is once again all about the money involved in timber, mainly eucalyptus which is a very oily tree and every year sheds its bark leaving piles of this oily substance lying all over the forest’s floor. Large industrial forests have sprung up of eucalyptus because it is a fast growing tree and the pulp and paper industry want it for their products. It would cost vast amounts of money for the forest floor to be cleaned according to local and national laws, thus many believe the fires were not started by natural causes, read the below article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4626896/Portuguese-fire-started-criminal-hand.html
Whether this can be proven or not, there is a lot of blindness in the government in complying to laws.
Normally I don’t get too much into political subjects in my blogs, but as it has directly affected lives of people I know and many around them, I felt I needed to say something.
Well by now the sun has started to peak out a bit, so will get out and try to do a couple things. I will be leaving this great vacation place Thursday morning, headed for Portugal, to play 18 holes of golf, if the weather is permitting. Then back to Denmark on Friday, winding up some business on Saturday and then Monday, I start to become the bionic man (I wish).