Tuesday, April 18, 2017

a word on siblings...

 you had said something about teasing me all those years.  just to let you know, i have never, really never, seen that as having any lasting impact in my life in any negative way.  we were kids.  in truth if you weren't teasing me i would have felt weird.  teasing in siblings seems to be at some odd level how we show we love each other.   it was a known pecking order down the line in our family with 4 in the pecking order and 3 as mediators.
 other than to joke with others about kids being kids and big brothers being big brothers it doesn't come up.  it wasn't personal.  life was annoying at times, but other than bruises a few times and i'm sure some fingernail prints on you it was never cruel...probably more cruel on my side...Marie and i used to totally tick you off with our Tommy is a brat song....and i did grow my nails out so i could dig them into your arm in the heat of the battle.  i think i left some half moon shaped marks on you a few times.
 i've heard some pretty impressive stories of siblings that were super mean to each other.  for the amount on teasing there was a great deal more happy play i'd say that happened with us all.  we played a lot of board games...and yes those often ended with you tossing the board in anger screaming that we (joel and i) were ganging up on you.  we weren't but perhaps we were in a subconscious way, who knows  we had more games that ended normal than ended in anger.
 when i think of my brothers, at least the two of you i mostly have positive happy memories.  i know there were those times...but even those were pretty innocuous and funny looking back.
 lets see...really the worst of the brother induced torture included such items as sweaty post basketball brother deciding to give hugs.  smelly socks slammed into my face... pinning me down and holding a spit wad over my face....i'm pretty sure the spit never really ended up on my face...i could just be remembering only the good ones though.  then there is the stop touching yourself pokes....oh and the bended arm where the hair then gets rubbed in a circle until it knots.
 us three younger kids actually had a lot of fun together in the summers.  all that free time.  days spent on the beach, tide pools, beach combing, swimming.  the good far, far, far out weighs any negative. so many board games, yahtzee, life, sorry, nertz...watching tv late at night.  bennie hill, we watched a lot of tv and there weren't even that many channels then.  
 wish we had the tape from when we made up the songs about our stuffed cats.  was it Tim, Jim and Fuzzy?  can't remember. jim cat, the one with operations...
 i mean you did give Joel and i both chicken pox and mumps...we forgave you for that.
 i have many memories out at the pool at the Shurliff's.  swimming lessons at the Y.  you playing the sting so many times we all were about to break the piano.  you were really good at it though.
 so many kids now don't have sibling memories.  i think we learn so much from those sibling relationships.  it wasn't easy but it made me tougher than most.
 i look back and i'm amazed at the family dynamics.  we were 7 kids with just 10 years apart.  i have very few memories of the oldest two when we were smaller...waiting for them to wake up to be able to open christmas gifts.  we were our own little family.
 organized sports didn't totally take over life back then. really amazing how much free time we had in the summers to come and go and make up activities.
 life wasn't perfect looking back, but in the moment we had a pretty simple and secure up bringing.  that  means everything to a kid.
 as far as Dad, we probably bonked heads because we were more similar than not.  both stubborn, both honest to a fault.
 i had worked through those things from my childhood long before either of them passed.  i don't dwell on it....it's all just a part of who i am and what made me me.
 my best memory of Dad came years after i was all grown up and had left.  i was living in Ketchikan and they came up for a visit.  we took a flight on one of those small planes.  we flew to Misty Fjords and landed in a remote lake.  Dad and i both got out of the plane and stood on the pontoon.  it was the calmest and most peaceful i had ever seen him.  he loved nature, with 7 kids i suspect he couldn't get out into it as much as he would have liked. in that moment though he was happy..out there in that beauty on that pontoon.
 he said nothing but i really felt that day that he understood me finally.  he understood the decisions i'd made in my life.  after years of a struggled relationship with him...we had understanding.
 after that one Christmas he sent me a nice pair of binoculars.  it was the best gift they could have ever gotten me. it was symbolic of the understanding of who i was on that day on that pontoon.
 mostly, people know how i feel on things.  i make no secret of it.  i'm not one to gossip...you will hear stuff from me before you will hear it from someone else really.  i tend to be a bit blunt about stuff.  Dad always was as well.  he didn't play the games, he lived an honest and ethical life.  that can make it tough to move ahead in business and in church leadership at times as well it seems.  i'm like him in that as well.  many times in life, folks would rather hear a lie than the truth. they'd rather you sugar coat stuff than tell it true.
 still, like him i never could play the games even if it would have made life easier or made me more successful.  i have to live with me and my choices.
 we spent a great deal of time on road trips, beach of course and at church events.  when you consider the hours we spent together very few were actually in battle.  i wouldn't have my nickname if you guys didn't love me.  i do recall the ever evolving nickname.  bb guns, guns, snugs and eventually jugs came into play.  we struck a deal and i accepted all except jugs.  that seemed to have been respected.  of course, times have changed and i remember you guys being up here at the museum and you called over to me "guns"....suddenly i recall a lot of anxious looks from other patrons and security guards.
 mostly what i wanted from Dad was time.  he worked hard though and time was limited.
 these are pics from the Iditarod restart in Fairbanks.  still lots of dog pictures to share.  i'll just toss them in on occasion.
 puppies still have some energy despite lots of walking today.
 final Monday walk of the season.  no bear sightings.  til next year....we'll still hike, just have to vary it up a bit time and place. trail was pretty sloppy out there today.
 after that i headed to Bass Pro for some individual on leash dog training. Ivy did stellar.  she is such a pleaser..of course, her jumping does continue.   makes me nuts. Tusker was a bit more distractable in the store.  he's not all that focused.  ready to chase at all times.  he did fine though....they are way better than they were a year ago.  i was putting Ivy through her paces and this lady was watching, she looked impressed.
 this guy has a shiny new sled bag and it's packed.
 later we hit the dunes so the pups could run around with my friends dog.  Leo is pretty active.  he had them beat.  i find my labradoodles vary from my labs in that they pace themselves where labs just go til they can't go anymore.
 in between that i did get out into my yard and even raked a bit in the area where the snow has melted back.  slowly i'm getting my yard back.
 liked the shadows of the dog teams.
 such cute faces
 yesterdays post was more about depression i think.  how other things played into that for me which helped my brains narrative ring more true.  for sure there was a period of depression in those pre-adolescent years and adolescent years....
 didn't even get into weight gain in my teen years and how that went for me.  i did have a conversation eventually with my Mom about that one.
 the culture i grew up in was one that seemed to promote this goal of perfection.  many in our culture in general put up a facade of having perfect lives.  then those lives are posted on social media appearing to be perfect.  the thing about reality is that it tends to catch up to those who try to fake that perfect life.
 friends and i often talk of these people you see that seem to have everything and you assume that maybe they have family money or their partners have much better paychecks or something.  how are they affording all of this on pretty much the same wage as you.  you think overtime maybe?  it usually doesn't occur to me that people owe as much money to creditors as they do.  it can be pretty surprising.  i remember families that i thought were the ideal breaking up or one that ended up in jail for white collar crime...done to keep up with the lavish life style they had felt obligated to live.  keeping up appearances.
 not bad people, just bad choices based on the life they wanted you to believe they had.  the life, they wanted to believe they had.
 back to work tomorrow for three.  should really work on my to do list tomorrow. setting up the appointments...can't stand making appointments.  i think that is because i hate obligating myself to the tasks of life.
 will have to get at it all though.  stuff catches up on you.

 it's after 1 am and the bed is calling me.
 did finally stream "Hidden Figures" tonight.  really excellent.  always amazing what people had to endure in those days.  how many really smart people are not given the opportunity to excel?  what vital things could they have done that could have saved lives or amazed us?
 having an educated and healthy population just seems pretty critical.
 different people in government have different priorities.
grateful for:  A.  siblings and sibling games...so happy i had a bunch of siblings to experience life with.  the good far outweighed the bad for sure.  B.  conversations and comments.  C.  clouds

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