Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's been awhile since I've blogged. I'm watching the Mets game instead of reading, drinking a beer, kicking back. Jackie is in Jackson with Micah for a soccer tournament. Howie's buddy Jackson is going to sleep over - they've been together all day and they get along great. Howie had a flag football game at 8 am this morning. They played well - Howie had an interception, which is a word he probably didn't even know a few weeks ago.

The Mets suck. I figured they could be fun to watch, but they are pathetic, it's been a season of playing lousy baseball always screwing up on the fundamentals. Wright doesn't hustle home, Franceour tries to stretch a single into a double, and gets thrown out before Wright touches the plate so a sure run doesn't count. They have been figuring out new ways to screw up all season long. I should switch the game to the Rockies, but I like watching the Mets cause I know all the players. Marlins 9 - Mets 3 ugh.

So after flag football we did some chores around town, picked up giant boxes for Box City, then headed home.
Around 2 pm we headed down to the river to fish, to look for cool rocks, and to look for my dead elk, who was gone. completely gone, there was a stench but the elk was gone.

About 2 weeks ago I headed down to the river and approached one of my fishing holes. There was a giant bird sitting on the rocks in front of my fishing hole, when it saw me approach it took off giant wingspan, black and white wings, glided over the river, magpies and ravens following behind. In the water a dead elk, his rib cage opened up and cleaned out, antlers and head, hind legs in tact dead in the water. It was weird, there was an orange tag in its antlers, I am not a hunter so I wasn't sure what it was, but it was cloth, it was orange, it looked like a strap of some sort, it was definitely synthetic. The big bird, which at first I thought was a giant hawk perched itself in a tree. I continued up river and fished some more - I was unusually fishing dogless - Jackie had the dogs, I was alone. After catching a fish or two I headed back to the elk carcass and then to the tree where the bird was. I walked right under the bird, hooked beak, looked like an eagle, but it's body was not golden or brown, it was gray and black. I fished some more and then walked under the tree with the bird again, it took off giant wingspan, black and white, circled me and then perched again in the tree. I walked back home.

A week later I went fishing again, the dead elk was still there - head and antlers still there.

And then today, the only thing left was a stench... no bones, nothing I could see. Maybe in the woods somewhere the carcass was dragged. I think something was fishy here, but seeing the bird was the best. From what I understand the bird was an immature golden eagle. For whatever reason I didn't have my camera with me so no photos of the cool majestic eagle which I thought was an old eagle, but the coloring describes an immature golden eagle - maybe 3 year old?

So today, I was hoping to show the carcass to Howie and Jackson, but it was gone, but the boys had fun finding rocks, Jackson found a dead sculpin, some cool sticks, I caught a few fish which Howie and Jackson helped release. When we got back from fishing Andrew was looking to borrow a suit - he called me while I was standing in the middle of the river. He has the homecoming dance tonight which he's not going to, but he and his friends were going to go out for dinner and wanted to where suits. So I let him borrow my suit, I'm sure he'll look sharp though it's a little just a little big for him... We are practically the same size. Then I sat down to watch the Mets and decided I wasn't tired enough so I went for a bike ride to work my knee. Back at the house, Hannah is over playing with Jackson and Howie - it's now after 7pm I really should make us all some dinner.

Buddy just walked in and sat behind the door. Unusual spot for him, usually he would be up on the couch with me, getting in my way, but usually i don't have my laptop on my lap, I usually write at the kitchen table, but tonight I'm kicking back watching the Mets and blogging at the same time.

It's been quite a September. Gorgeous weather. Busy at the store with employee evaluations, and busy in the community with the new high school and some crazy relationship/marriage issues. Big Sky has finally caught up with the national averages and there seems to be a separation or a divorce or a marriage in counseling - a new one every other day.

Busy with Micah's Bar Mitvah year, meeting with the rabbi, planning ahead, thinking about the life of the spirit.

I'm just plodding along day by day, trying to figure out what I want to read, what I want to write, where I want to go. In the meanwhile, I take care of my family and my business day by day and spend a lot of time thinking. Looking for Mark. Spending time with Jackie, loving Jackie, loving Mark, loving Andrew, Micah and Howie and the dogs of course, Murray and Buddy and even the cat, Ziggy.

I've been reading the short stories of Shalom Alecheim and loving them.

just loaded some photos to remind me of all the fun we had this month. For Micah's 13th birthday after Rosh Hashana services we headed to the lower Madison and floated with a ton of Micah's friends and Kelly and Curly. Then a couple of days ago Jackie and I hiked with Denise to Golden Trout Lakes, fished a little and the bushwhacked to Eagle Head and then back down through Windy Pass. It was so clear and beautiful we could actually see the Grand Tetons. It was a wonderful hike.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Not sure why I'm blogging. My world is not centered. I'm very busy being pulled in all directions by work and family and trying to figure where I fit myself in. Life is good, but I'm feeling off, I went fishing last week and I kept missing fish. Caught a couple, but had a couple of fish just swallow, taking my fly, then taking off upstream like a bat out of hell and immediately break off, looking at my fly line I could see that my knot had unraveled...

Today was our first day of employee evaluations. We had three meetings, for the most part all went well, but I was immediately greeted by some ridiculous gossip shortly after the meetings, not worth writing about, but something I will need to deal with tomorrow...

Yesterday we went to Yellowstone National Park with Howie, Micah and Micah's friend Mike. We headed to the Firehole where Jackie and the boys went swimming while I talked to Chad from Bridger Water, one of my store vendors who happened to be there with his wife and 2 boys and saw me and said hello. We talked for quite awhile, then after he left and the boys were done swimming, well actually before he left the boys took my fishing rod and headed down the Firehole. Eventually I caught up with them, took them further down river - there were a bunch of tourists fishing, and tried to give them some pointers. Micah caught a fish and then with everybody there I caught one too. It was fun down there, but just a bit too crowded for me. We then went to Fountain Paint Pots, which is a walkway near some of the really amazing thermal activity of Yellowstone. The Paint Pots look so otherworldly from another planet - gurgling, bubbling white clay, quick sand. Then onto the geysers, Clepsydra Geyser which is pretty much always spouting off which is next to Fountain Geyser. Jackie noticed the group of geyser gazers who wait around, watch and record the geysers as they go off. A woman on a bench told us that Fountain Geyser usually goes off every 5-7 hours and should be going off soon - it was already 6 hours since the last eruption. So we decided to wait. Micah and Mike had no patience and ran off and disappeared. Jackie, Howie and I sat around and watched the sunset and all the people walking by. It was somewhat relaxing and a test in patience, especially since the other boys where just gone. After about an hour of waiting, I saw one of the gazers go to his walkie talkie and tell the other gazers who waited at an outpost a little further up and away that he could see the water rising and sure enough seconds later it started spitting, spouting and erupting. It was like a fireworks display. Pretty cool, I took lots of pictures and a couple of videos. The amazing thing about Fountain Geyser is that it goes off for like 40 minutes, we stayed for quite awhile and miraculously Mike and Micah finally showed up and got to see it shooting off. There was a very nice couple - retired school teachers of teenagers who were very empathetic of the runaway teenagers. After the geysers we headed to West Yellowstone for Chinese food. And then it was time to head home. It was a wonderful day, unfortunately early on in the drive Jackie and I had a fight - she thought I took a turn too fast and I didn't want to hear about it. So it was a relatively quiet tense ride home, as was the rest of the night after we got home. And then today was the first day of employee evaluations. And then tonight I had a fight with Andrew who couldn't help himself from interrupting me and talking back, so it was a bit tense after dinner tonight as well, though we did have a spontaneous family meeting to talk a bit about bed times, limiting electronics, school and stuff. Everybody seemed a bit tired and out of it. Micah slept till 1 pm today, but it was still earlyish bedtime for all the boys tonight. And hopefully me too.

Quicksand! On Saturday Jackie and I finally had some spontaneous alone time. We took the dogs and our mountain bikes to Taylor Fork, parked the car and rode up to Cache Creek where we hiked down to the small narrow creek and I tried to fish while Jackie hung out and wrote. I caught a fish right away, a small native cutthroat, but then again I kept missing fish, would get bites, knew where the fish were, cast right to them, had bites, but kept missing the fish, and I think it was me. My timing was just a bit off, setting too quickly, I think. It was beautiful down there, peaceful, few other people if any. It was a good ride as well, lots of uphill, but I was able to do it and I think it's very good for my knee. Oh yeah, the quicksand, after catching the first fish, I hiked a bit upstream to another hole, I stepped down into the shallow shore and immediately sunk into the mud about calf high. I almost panicked, yelled Jackie once, but realized I wasn't going to sink anymore and slowly worked my feet up, being careful not to lose my sandals. I got out washed off my sandals in the creek, and kept fishing, but like I said I kept missing fish. After fishing for awhile we headed back on our bikes - rode back to the car, tried to fish some more, but just enjoyed wandering around the Taylor Fork. Didn't get home till close to 7, had to retrieve Micah and Howie from the West Fork. I made dinner while Jackie retrieved the kids, fed the dogs. We watched a movie that night, it was a very good day.

Then came Sunday and then today, Labor Day and I worked.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dad called tonight wanting to tell Howie that the price of gold was over $1,000 an ounce. I was surprised to hear that was why he called because I never heard Dad discussing the price of gold with Howie, but I guess Dad told him about the $20 gold coin he gave him which I keep in our safety deposit box, and I guess those coins are made with 1 ounce of gold.

Yesterday I went fishing with the dogs, just me and the dogs across the highway from the house in my usual places and I must have missed a dozen fish. I'd hook them and they would break off. One fish sucked down my fly and just took off like a rocket downstream and unraveled my knot and was gone. He was big too, I'm not sure how big, but he was big and fast and strong and my knot was probably a bit weak, though I did catch a smaller fish with it on the previous cast. That happened to me again later that night with a different fly, I caught one fish and then the next one just bit the fly right off my line, again when I looked at my line I could tell it just unraveled. Earlier in the evening, I saw a tangle in my reel so I decided to unwind and undo the tangle and rewind, now that I think of it I did this twice last night. Both times as I'm standing on the bank, quietly unwinding my reel and undoing the tangle, ospreys flying by looking for fish, or a hawk hunting in the meadow on the other side of the river, suddenly Buddy would run past me hooking my line in his paws and causing a huge mess. The second time he did this after finally getting him to stop running I yelled at him to Sit! and Stay! and he miracuously listened and sat there until I was completely done fixing my reel and fishing again.

It was beautiful, sunny, warm and quiet down at the river last night. I ended up catching a few fish, but for the most part I missed them, I'd hook them and they would shake off, or I would set too soon, or I would do something wrong. So this time the big one definitely got away.

I wanted to go down there again tonight, but I never made it. Today was an interesting day - a different kind of work day. I walked the kids and the dogs to the school bus stop with Jackie. Then when we got back we took a bike ride to the second bridge in Porcupine. Good exercise for my knee. I am going to try to do that ride everyday. It's always beautiful and peaceful back in Porcupine, and since it is now off season there is no one usually back there. Then when we got back home, we made coffee and we both sat at the kitchen table with our computers and our work - I was working on employee evaluations, a hard thinking task which could use the quiet of home. Jackie was working on her birthing class. Lauren was working at the store today so it was a good day for me to work from home and relax a bit. Got some Mark and Jackie time even if we were both working. I ended up heading in around noon, had phone messages waiting for me, one from Deborah who I called back and left a message and then I had some other calls to make and work to do.

Deborah called me back right away, she needed a favor, she was looking for a just breathe bracelet. I had mine on and I had ordered a case of Orangina which I had meant to bring her yesterday. She is starting chemo on Monday again as long as her crud goes away. I told her I was planning on coming over today and visiting her if that was O.K. and she said right away would be great, so I did 5 minutes of chores, then skidaddled out of the store and headed over to her house. When I pulled into the driveway and got out of the car it started to pour rain, it was one of those 5 minute showers. I grabbed the case of Orangina, she had the door open with the dogs there to greet me, David and Emma. I put the case of Orangina on her kitchen counter. And I took the bracelet off my wrist and put it on hers. I sat down to talk and we ended up talking for like 3 hours, I didn't leave until 4pm ! A trucking company guy came by to take back a rug she needed to return because it had a hole in it. I helped her wrap it up in visquine and the driver took it out. We just talked back and forth the entire time. She told me the other day she was so dehydrated that the ambulance from the fire department came over and she took 4 bags of liquids. That is very dehydrated. She actually seemed great, trying to psyche herself for round 3 of chemo. The damn cancer just keeps coming back. She figures she has a few more fights left in her. I will need to stay in touch with her.

I went back to the store and did a little bit of work, then went to the bank and walked around the Thursday Farmer's Market. Talked to Kelly and Curly who had a booth, and some other vendor friends including the people running the market. I was on one of those talking rolls. For some reason they tend to happen more when Jackie is not there. It was just a day of lots and lots of talking. Got home to a full house. Ever since Andrew got cut from soccer we seem to be having a lot more family time, family dinners with other friends - tonight it was Andrew's friend Grant and Hannah from next door. A very nice meal.

And then Micah and I made Banana Bread, and then after the bread came out of the oven we all took a family hot tub. I haven't been writing much, but I decided I needed to start trying to write more often again, maybe not every night, but I feel like if I wrote every night I would have more to say. I get tired or lazy in trying to fill in all the missing days of this journal. I've been taking pictures, maybe I'll post some with captions, maybe not. I was going to have my usual helpings of ice cream and veg in front of the t.v., but decided to write instead. I'm going to try to quit ice cream for awhile, it's somewhat of a challenge from Jackie...

My friend Margy's husband Jim had a double bypass heart operation a week ago and Margy e-mailed us on Monday with the news. He's doing well, but it is still a major surgery and he's home in Alabama recovering. And so is Margy.

My 83 year old Uncle, my father's brother in law Donald had some kind of minor heart attack a week or so ago while he was vacation in East Hampton, somehow my cousin got him home to Washington DC and my Dad told me today he's doing much better today than he was a day or two ago. He has been talking to my Aunt Joan who just told him what happened a couple of days ago, at least a week after it happened.

I have all of these people in my prayers. I am very lucky and pray to stay this lucky and hope I can share my luck with these dear friends and relatives and hope they all have speedy recoveries.

I wonder why I missed all those fish yesterday....

I did catch a big rainbow on a small stream last Friday...