Don’t Eat the Donuts!

I love donuts.

The woman behind the donut machine,

In Steele’s grocery in 1950’s Fort Collins, CO, 

Next to St Luke’s Episcopal church (my church) on College and Oak (I think),

Across the street from BPOE, the Elks club,

Watched the donuts drop in to the carrousel of hot lard,

Move half way around the track and flip to cook the other side,

And then continue the full circle to drop down the chute to be captured,

And frosted.

I delivered the Coloradoan newspaper to her home,

So she would give me a warm, sweet, mouth watering sample donut,

When I came in and she was cooking them.

Now I can’t eat them.

I have type II diabetes and am on a diet, having lost 26 lbs.

Last week we were in Wheatland, CA after the passing of my 37 year old grandson,

And near the Suites we stayed was Krispy Creme.

I can’t eat them either.

They have a similar way to cook them, in rows instead of a carrousel,

And like that other donut machine, they flip half way to brown the other side.

I just love Krispy Kreme’s.

Oh sure there are other donuts in my life, non edible and non enticing:

The spare tire in my Honda Element is just such a donut,

A small tire only strong enough to get you to Les Schwab to fix the flat,

Or better yet, to remain hidden under the back deck while AAA is called.

Remaining hidden is a good thing for donuts.

There is also a donut (hole) in my Medicaid, wherein I have to pay until I get out of it;

I hope Obama care fixes that.

Sometimes love handles that live around my middle are called a donut, now called muffin too?

I don’t eat them, but they are there due to some heavy donut bouts in the past. 

I used to stop at the donut shop in Hollywood, Portland, OR to get a bag of  donuts to eat on the way to school in Corvallis or Eugene,

Not Dunkin’ Donuts, the other one.

I’m paying for that now.

I never cared much for the boxed powdered Wonder bread/Hostess donuts,

Too dry, not fresh.

I don’t sit on a donut, though I have in the past when hemorrhoids got bad, a cusion of air, that is.

Anyway despite my digressions,

I still have donuts on my mind,

Hot fresh frosted cake donuts with sprinkles.

I have yet to visit Voodo Donuts in Portland, home of the donut with bacon on it?

– Small town boy

Grandpa’s field trip

This was the second field trip I have  gone on with my grandchildren.

The first was to a fishery with Dashawn, the third grader.

This trip was to a play at the restored Whiteside theater downtown,

With Angel, the first grader.

The teacher was confused when  I showed up. 

Had I checked in to the office computer that  confirmed that I was approved to volunteer?

Was Angel’s aunt Becca going to come?

Yes, no, and when do we go?

I must say right off that going with Angel is different than going with Dashawn.

There is much more touching, hand holding, and chatter. Chatter. Chatter.

So we got onto the school bus, eventually, having loaded two boxes and buckets of lunches,

And rode two miles to the theater.

I was not able to sit on the bus with my three charges: Bianca, Angel and Maecy (only three to a seat),

So I sat behind them next to Emma,

Who began to tell me all the people in her family who were dying or going to die.

Someone had brain cancer, an aunt had died last week, and the new born twins weren’t going to make it, etc.

Emma’s mother was in charge of the Whitside theater.

So we we’re dropped in front of the theater, en masse, two bus loads, plus others from other schools.

The hike up to our seats in the balcony was as far as my hike up Austen stadium to the 80th row at the University of Oregon.

We climbed three flights to the balcony, and I was beginning to feel faint.

I didn’t take  my charges down another flight when  we got into the balcony,

Choosing to sit halfway up on the aisle we came in on. The girls were fine with this.

Angel had my hand the whole way and held  it during the performance.

I dug out a bar I had brought to regain my energy, but it didn’t help.

My stomach felt queezy.

The play was great and we learned that girls could be swordsmen instead of princesses.

Upon leaving I received two hugs from Tavin, my grandson in kindergarden, who was also at the play with his mother, Becca.

After the play we walked three or four blocks to the gazebo in Central Park.

I had to stop and sit part way. My bloodsugar was plummeting.

And I had nothing to eat.

So the two girls (Maecy had been taken by another adult because she was constantly ahead of us) went to get their lunches which both had brought from  home.

I eyed them hungrily.

Then Alexandro came over by us, on the bench, to throw his lunch in the trash.

I asked if  he had finished it? He said no.

I asked if he would get it out of the trash can for me?

He was hesitant.

Another adult asked him what was going on and volunteered to retrieve the lunch, but I said no; I would do it.

It was a school packed lunch. It had an apple with one bite out of it, a P B&J sandwich (half eaten) and a bag of small carrots.

I was saved! Not only had I been  provided lunch but it fit with  my NutraSystems diet (having just lost 20 lbs).

The girls looked askance, and eagerly told anyone who would listen that grandpa was  eating Alexandro’s lunch which he  had dug out  of the trash barrel.

I felt it was a life  lesson about those less fortunate that went “dumpster diving” for food.

I think there was divine providence here.

The girls wanted to play on the playground at the park, and insisted that I had  to go along with them.

I agreed, since my blood sugar had recovered and I could be human again.

They had a wonderful  time building sand temples, with dndelions on tlhem.

We got on the bus and returned to the  school.

I’m home now and resting.

Phew, what a day!

-Small town boy

Nothing to say

I have nothing to say to you.

I listen quietly for your voice. 

I clear my self tip to toe for what will come. 

Hush mind. Hush my heart. Body be quiet with your complaints. Spirit drop your expectations.

I am here at the end of the day hoping for a message to end the day like the one that I began with you this morning outside picking up the paper in my bathrobe.

Remember? We looked over the roofline hoping to see the rest of the moon, the leftover after its waning in cloudless skies.

The morning was breathless as I saw trees in the park allowing their bright yellow to be seen, as their green evaporated and they fell panting to the ground in colorful abundance.

Such a start to my day, our day.

I happily walked grandkids to the school bus with Tawny, my red golden Retreiver. She was happy.

I felt so good walking today that I continued past the park down Summerfield where all the new houses are complete or started, save one. Over half are sold and most of them occupied in houses not yet a year old. 

No birds, no redwing blackbirds, sang in the wetland next door to the new houses. To early? Too late? Come back after the rains.

The day has been filled with chats with my wife, and touches, and food fresh from the garden that is lowering my glucose levels in the morning.

Planes are heard outside my window tonight after the warm day, because the airport is only a few miles away.

My dog is tired of being thrown off the bed and sleeps by the door. She will join me later in the night and cuddle me off the bed.

I eagerly await  our new meditative time early in the morning. I expect nothing but I’m all eyes for what new thing I might see.

So since I have nothing to say, I’ll just say goodnight.

Thanks for today.

I love you

– Small town boy

Life Quilt row 3,#1 – the Tillamook Air Museum

After the other blimp hangar burned down with the hay stored in it, the Tillamook Air Museum was founded to show Naval aircraft as it was a naval air station housing blimps during the second world war.


Please note the clever background fabric Joanne found.

for more information on the Tillamook Air Museum and the history of the WWII Blimp hangars: http://www.tillamookair.com/hangar-b/

Other buildings that were once pare of the naval air station now house businesses.  We got cabinets from Trask River Wood Works (made with computer aided design, cutting, drilling and manufacture.) and my friends from South Dakota found a microbrewery here that I didn’t even know about last summer that makes  fruity beers (DeGarde Brewing Company http://www.degardebrewing.com)

Additionally Betsy and I did a 6k Volksmarch next door at the Tillamook airport. We got a blimp pin to commemorate.

 So coming from the south on hwy 101, stop at the Tillamook Air Museum before you go on to the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, the Blue Heron wine and cheese store and the Tillamook Creamery, all favorite tourist spots in Tillamook county.

– Small town boy

Life Quilt row 3,#1/2- Reach The Beach bike ride

My name is Jack, Jacquari formally.  I am Lloyd’s son.  He adopted me with two of my siblings in 1992.


That’s me on the right next to my brother, Teddy and my sister Ashley with her son Dashawn.  But I was older here than when this story takes place.


This memory is actually from three squares on the Life Quilt (Joanne, sorry about the stain) When I was 13 or 14 me, dad, and Teddy went on a long distance bike ride. Reach the Beach actually started at three different locations, depending on how many miles you wished to go.  We chose the starting point at Amity, OR 56 miles to the finish at Pacific City on the coast.

When we left Amity, Teddy and I were riding our BMX bikes and dad his touring bike.  He had our water and food and we had walkie talkies. So we left on the first leg to Sheridan, OR. What I didn’t know till later was that Teddy decided to quit the ride after a couple of miles and dad had to call mom and get her to pick him up. I didn’t know this because I was fixed on the ride, that is despite my ADD I was more focused on this ride than anything else in my life, ever! As an example of my distractiability and my willingness to put things off, I asked my English teacher at Da Vinci Middle School in Portland to give me an extra week for my paper on procrastination.

I quickly left dad behind, far enough behind that the walkie talkies didn’t connect us. I wasn’t thinking, I was just riding.  I rode right past the rest stop (with food) at Sheridan (11 miles) and kept going til I reached Grand Ronde (12 more miles) .

I saw mom for a sec and grabbed a bite and then. I was off. I told dad later that I could keep up with the others going up hill, but they got ahead of me going down hill. They (the other riders) nicknamed me “The Machine” I was to learn later when I finished. I also told dad later that I knew what he meant by the “wall” when you are so tired you can’t do the simplest task, so I just kept riding.

By the time I reached Pacific City (26 miles later) my reputation had preceded me and Cliff Bars, who were there giving bars to finishers, waited for me with a whole box!

My dad told me later, “Now we know you can finish what your start. But the path must be obvious and your motivation high.”

When we got home my dad bought me a bike with gears, a touring bike. Later we rode it on the Pioneer Century (PWTC ride starting in Canby, OR), and from our house in Portland to the beach house (96 miles).

(Thanks dad for writing this for me)

– Small Town Boy

Taking kids out to eat

Taking kids out to eat requires finesse.

The right restaurant, more often fast food,

And the right play area,

And, as a bonus, the right machines


While my kids are satisfied having a couple quarters for the Dino eggs,

The champion of the Animal House is my son Teddy, now 25.

In his day not only could he get his favorite stuffed toy (often Yoshi)

But he would stay and get toys for younger kids who hadn’t mastered the machine yet.

Play areas have come and gone:

The outdoor play area with a tall slide and foam rubber mat on the ground at Burger King in NE Portland;

The ball pits at McDonalds,

The tubes to slide in, but NOT climb up in; 

The arcade at Farrels Ice Cream;

And more.

Now Papas Puzza in South Corvallis has the last visages of those great play places and my kids fav is our evenings respite.

This place is saved for special occasions:

Birthdays, school events, coupon days, and days when dollars spent go to regional charities,

And when mamma needs a break.

Kids instantly recognize these events for what they are:

Opportunities to get them tired and in the other room playing.

Angel made a bargain with me, if I would give her a quarter to play the machine, she wouldn’t ask for more.

That didn’t satisfy her and she got her own dollar (from the bookcase somewhere) to spend on herself.

I am happy to get a salad bar salad (lots of anything) and a couple of pieces of their pizza because “they’re not really hungry” and rush off to the play area.


-small town boy

Dinner

The evening meal, in my house, was supper.

Dinner was the Sunday mid-day meal,

Or a special meal, like Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving dinner in my mother’s family, the Lanes,

Was an extravaganza, one of two family gatherings,

The other being the Fourth of July.

In the early fifties, after my father’s untimely death,

We returned to Colorado from Coleridge, Nebraska,

And received a 1936 Buick Victoria, which had belonged to my great aunt Alice McAnelly,

And given to us because we had no vehicles.

My father owned three vehicles, a jeep, a Modle A Ford and a Chrysler, but as he left no will they were sold off and mone was put in trust for the children.

Mother called the car Vickie.

We had to stop half way to Lakewood on the way to Thanksgiving Dinner to refill the radiator after it overheated and blew off steam.

(Later, I had an accident when driving it age 15 and drove through a stop sign.

Vickie had trouble with her transmission as her sisters had, so that was the end of her.)

But I digress (a trait of my vascular dementia, I get distracted)

Thanksgiving Dinner was at my Uncle Emmet’s house,

Though we were sleeping elsewhere usually, at Uncle Clark’s or Uncle Howard’s.

All three of my mother’s brothers lived in Lakewood, CO.

The big excitement of the dinner, the Thanksgiving gathering, 

Was the candy centerpiece Emmet and his family made,

Which was usually hidden under a dish towel till time to reveal it.

I remember chocolate log cabins made from Tootsie Rolls,

White divinity snow, marshmallow rice crispie footballs and more.

Not all of these were made on the same centerpiece but occurred on other Thanksgivings.

One year, upon the reveal, we were told the candy centerpiece was a “Kosdoon.”

We didn’t know what a Kosdoon was and conjectured that it was some kind of rectangular mine shaft?

Later the family admitted that it was supposed to be a windmill,

But it had fallen over! They made up the name Kosdoon to cover for the accident.

My grandfather, Albert Lane, sat at the head of the table, and carved the turkey,

After honing the carving knife with a steel that matched it in the handle.

Mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, jello, carrots and celery, and more, 

Ending with pumpkin pie.

(I subsequently attempted to make a candy centerpiece when I moved to Portland and was invited to my Aunt Margaret’s in Kent, Washington, but I was unable to make anything remotely similar to the great Emmet Lane masterpiece.)

Dinner to me means family.

Dinner means sitting down to the same big table with a beautiful table cloth, and a kid’s table nearby.

Dinner means food and tradition and family.

Dinner is more ceremonious than supper.

Let’s have dinner, OK?

Lunch

I’m having difficulty eating lunch and writing,

Angel, my 6 year old great granddaughter is curious,

Why do I want to write about lunch?

Because I wrote about breakfast, I say.

Lunch has always been PB&J, carrots and apple or orange,

At least that’s what I took to school for my lunch.

Because it was a stable diet it did not require decision making early in the morning.

My bike was stolen from my house because I went back inside to get my lunch.

It was a Cannondale touring bike that I had toured the Gulf Islands with.

The bike I used all my graduate credit payoffs from my doctorate at U of Oregon.

but let’s not get distracted, we’re talking about lunch.

One of the best was in Lucerne, Switzerland.

My daughter Ashley and I were touring Europe with a group of black middle school students

That my ex-wife had organized. My daughter is black.

Although I had been enjoying lunch with other parents on the trip,

This day, in Lucerne, Ashley spent the day with me and we had lunch together!

I love her for it.

I never had lunch at home when I was in school.

My mother was a home-ec teacher in Loveland, 13 miles away.

I had lunch when we lived in Boulder because she moved there because my brother and I attended UofCO,

but I made it myself, mom was teaching at two Jr. Highs and taught geology too because there were not enough home-Ed classes.

When I flunked out (flunking 10 semester hours, 5 calculus and 5 qualitative analysis in my chemical engineering major)

I worked as a laborer for Mr Gibbons who had been a Seabee (construction battalion) in the Pacific during the war,

I packed a lunch of hearty food for a working man.

If I’m going to eat junk food it is often at noon. McD’s, DQ, KFC, and all the rest of the alphabet,

so instead I try to eat salad.

I lost 30 lbs on a plant based, no processed food diet, after my Neuro-psychiatrist told me to

(Using “Forks over Knives” video on Netflix.

I lost my diabetes meds, my blood pressure meds, almost all my meds.

And then I gained them back. Now I’m back to where I was.

I should eat better lunches.

I’ve got breakfast down.

My wife is cooking dinner fresh from her garden.

So lunch is my downfall,

And snacks.

– Small town boy

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning: Raisin Bran and pressed coffee.

Breakfast yesterday, the same.

Breakfast tomorrow: Bare Naked granola and pressed coffee.

Breakfast in Hilo, Hawaii: fruit smoothies with fresh pineapple, mango.

Breakfast in Paris: espresso and croissants.

Breakfast in Dario, Nicaragua, red beans and rice.

Breakfast in South Africa: a full English buffet with bangors.

Breakfast in Calca, Peru: Peruvian coffee, and ….? I forgot.

Breakfast in Mexico City, Mexico at the dumps, OJ, …. I forgot.

It is a good thing I’m trying to remember these early morning reposts because with vascular dementia I might not remember tomorrow.

Breakfast at Rawah Guest ranch in northern Colorado: Pancakes (leftovers went to the braying donkey on the kitchen steps), OJ, and eggs.

Breakfast in Coleridge, NE: Cheerios (to get the western town on the back of each box)

Breakfast with my children: pancakes, eggs and bacon, every morning!

Breakfast camping with Boy Scouts: burnt pancakes.

Breakfast hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Logan bread and Morning Thunder tea.

Breakfast on Cycle Oregon: Pancakes and eggs provided by local people.

Breakfast on Great American Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River, brauts and beer (not really, but at some meal each day)

Breakfast in the military: ( I wasn’t actually in the military but I was in the AFROTC at U of Colo and traveled with the drill team) SOS. “Take all you can eat; Eat all you take.” “Edible garbage and non-edible garbage”

Dorm breakfast: oatmeal

Mother’s breakfast: scrambled eggs and toast.

Breakfast at my daughters: find your own cereal or go get doughnuts and coffee.

Breakfast on the road: the Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s and coffee.

Number of people at breakfast: one.


–Small town boy

Leftovers

The carcus is in the soup kettle, along  with vegetables,

To make turkey soup, turkey enchiladas, and sandwiches.

The feast was yesterday, a fine meal with a friend and family.

My daughter complains about not finding homeless to feed,

It is cold outside at this time of year, as night freezing.

Many people are, metaphorically, leftovers.

Some are left over from previous wealth,

or at least sufficiency,

and now unable to provide the minimum for themselves.

The guy who bought my SilverWing motor scooter,

though now owning his own home and semi outright,

had lived in a cardboard box previously.

The woman friend, mentally and physically disabled,

lived on the street and in the bushes for weeks on end

and suffered brutality from her boyfriend and the police.

Alchoholics, mentally challenged, special needs abound

among the leftover people.

We lock up many of them, drug related, misfit, and ill prepared to

defend themselves against our outrageous onslaught and vindictive nature.

Leftovers who don’t attend school try to find a place to fit in

without an education given  freely to those apparently entitled,

smart, rich (comparatively) and trauma free.

Sometimes leftovers don’t appear any different,

Sometimes they are leftover from organized religion,

Sometimes from love,

Sometimes from war.

When you see a leftover, take them to the feast,

a feast of turkey and all the stuffings,

a feast of love and prayer,

a feast of friendship and kindness.

Make a soup of the leftovers, keep  them warm and let them blend with you and yours. Watch the flavors come out, aroma therapy.

The leftovers help you fully appriciate the life you live in isolation from them.

And, they will love, instruct, and enrich your life too.

Bless you.

  
– Small town boy