The Ocean

God is like the ocean.

Powerful, beautiful, and dangerous.

S/He ebbs and flows with lunar cycles.

One can stand at the edge and watch or enter the surf and feel the power, straining against it.

In warmer climes, one can swim in the salty waters, until one is  out of their depth, but stll able to stay afloat, because of belief in the ability to float and swim.

There are boats on the water, large and small, some fishing the depths, some transporting cargo to unknown places.

There are animals near the shore, birds, crabs, sea lions, and sand shrimp, all occupying there own niche, all a part of the oceans ecology.

Am I part of God’s ecology?

In the depths, where I can not see, live giant whales, sharks, fish, octopi and squid, and so much more: diverse in nature but adapted to life in the sea, each having its own part to play, each a part of the food cycle.

Am I part of the spiritual food cycle? Whom do I prey (pray) upon, and who preys (prays) on me?

The sea has been here before me and will be here long after I’m gone.

As I stand here naked before it, arms upraised, willing myself to resonate with its roar, I await the day.

Resistance is futile, harmful, and not in keeping with why I was made, not in keeping with my basic, fundamental nature.

Being open and working with the forces present allow me to ride the crest of the wave, to receive the power offered, and to live with a force stronger than my own and feed as my soul requires.

Thank God for the ocean and it’s abundance.

The ocean is great and reaches far away past the horizon to where others stand by it and marvel at its grace, beauty and power, my brothers and sisters on this globe,

A planet, when seen from afar, is notable because it is blue,

Blue because of the ocean.

Let me sail forth today, find the spirit of God, and fish for the sustenance offered me.

Let me be with other sailors riding the wind and the waves, going together on life’s journey today.

Amen

– Small town boy

Acceptance

I learned the power of Acceptance in 2005 while I was working on Kausay Wasi Clinic in Coya, Peru.

I was there with twelve others from Portland, Oregon, on a construction mission sponsored by  Northwest Medical Teams, to change a prison into a medical center in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Sitting on a plastic five gallon bucket turned upside down, I was working on a wall socket that had been wired in series instead of in parallel, causing all to go out if one went out, like a Christmas tree light string.

As I listened to our hosts, Guido and Sandy Del Prado, discussing next year’s mission to continue this construction, I had an epiphany.

I could fund next year’s work.

I had fortuitously invested in Microsoft at it’s beginning and had the funds necessary.

As soon as I thought this I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of ? Of what? Of love? well-being? of I don’t know what, but it was powerful, emotional, and wonderfully frightening.

I was being loved and all my sins (?), past indiscretions, worries, guilt, negative energy, and more, were melted away by this feeling.

I was stunned. I felt of a sudden the power of love (acceptance). I felt good could  overcome evil, not because it was good, but because love is very, very strong. Strong enough that it could melt me with just a little more given to me then.

Love isn’t creamy and smooth. Love isn’t being starry eyed. Love is a very great, misunderstood power in the universe.

Like the mythological story of the wind and the sun trying to get the man to take off his coat (which sun won by warming him, doing what the wind could not by blustering). Love simply accepts you. I felt it. I felt it accept me.

I didn’t know I hadn’t felt accepted until this event happened.

I now knew what Acceptance was and that I had to accept myself.

I felt like a hot dog.

I felt like the bun, the relish, the catsup, the mustard, and the blemishes when stripped away and I felt accepted, allowed this glowing inner self to be revealed and seen and touched by me.

I hope you will feel this Acceptance one day. It seems more powerful than, but including, forgiveness.

Can you accept what I’m saying?

Can you see that you are accepted, no matter who you are, no matter what you have done or haven’t done?

And ultimately, can you accept yourself?

There is no need for forgiveness, just a need to understand.

You are accepted for who you are now.

You are loved more than you can know, because if you knew it would overwhelm you.

God is love. Love is power. Acceptance is how it manifests.

Peace.

-small town boy

 

Life Quilt, row 5, #1 – bicycling the Oregon Coast

So many stories, so little time.


My first time on the Oregon Coast (Hwy 101) was during the first Cycle Oregon in September, 1988, right in the midst of my dissertation. 


I remember the strong headwind we faced out of Mapleton on the way west to Florence. I remember learning to draft (riding closely behind the rear wheel of the rider in front of you for wind protection and cadence).  Each rider took the front for a spell and then the leader rotated back to the end of the line. BTW coastal winds generally flow from north to south. Smart cyclists take that into account and travel north to south as we did.

After Florence came Sea Lions Cave, North Bend, and nightfall in Coos Bay.

then Bandon, Port Orford and Gold Beach.

And last Brookings. 

Well, that was not actually my first ride along the Pacific coast. That ride occurred in about 1983 when my son John and his two friends Maureen and Leslie camped at Cape Lookout (see above) and then rode the Three Capes scenic route in two days.

It was then I first saw what would become our beachhouse in Terra Del Mar. When we returned from the trip a letter was waiting for me. Bike Gallery, where we had gotten parts in preparation for the ride, had drawn my name and I got a free Brookstone touring bike.

I would ride this road from Tierra del Mar to the top of Cape Lookout and back often as a training ride.  When I rode across Wisconsin, each day someone would say, “Wait til you get to THE hill!” None of the hills compared to this climb.  Initially with John and friends we had to walk our bikes over the top, both ways.

It was 100 miles from my home in Portland to the beach house in Tierra Del Mar, but there was a shortcut.With the advent of Max light Rail in the Portland Metro area it made riding to the beach much easier. By taking your bike onto the MAX train from Lloyd Center to Hillsboro you chop off 24 miles, urban miles, with hills, on a four lane highway.

Then by riding the backroad from Hillsboro to Forest Grove and Banks to US 6 which will follow the Lewis river you can climb 7 miles and go down 24 miles. The shoulder is nice and the traffic is not bad.  Jack rode with me after he got his new touring bike. Then it’s a short 20 miles to Tierra del Mar.

Side note: my great grandson found a giant spider in the house!


A western Hobo Spider, not toxic.

Life Quilt row 3, #1 1/2 Reno, NV

The plan was, and reservations had been made for renting a Harley from Eagle Rider Motorcycles in Reno; that’s how I got this tee shirt.

But plans change.


After a great week at Silver Legacy we decided to take the tour of the new downtown Reno on Segues (the two wheel vehicles you see above).

But plans change.

(Betsy) I’m not good at balancing two wheel vehicles, ok? But Lloyd wanted to do it and I said ok. We watched training videos, practiced, and signed lots of papers protecting those who rent the segues.

We weren’t more than two blocks from Silver Legacy, riding down the sidewalk, when my left wheel went off the sidewalk and I was thrown into the street

The EMTs were very nice. They took me to St Mary’s hospital only a few blocks away and then continued to check on me whenever they came back to the ER.


(Lloyd) I and the other two continued on the tour. We rode along the Truckee River, stopping from time to time to see the urban development.

A few moments later the right wheel of my Segue dropped off the sidewalk and threw me down. Fortunately I only act scratched my elbow.
We had planned to fly back to Oregon, but plans change.


Betsy had four breaks in her tibia plateau and wore a long black splint. She wouldn’t fit on the small Horizon jet we had come on.

So we rented a Ford Edge, a roomy SUV crossover, and drive home to Corvallis.

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

Life Quilt row 2,#2, PWTC

PWTC (Portland Wheelmen Touring Club) holds the Pioneer Century ride in Canby, Oregon in the spring.


I didn’t go on any of the regularly scheduled PWTC rides in my neighborhood in NE Portland (because they rode too fast for me) but I rode the Pioneer Century often.  It was a training ride for other century (100 mi) rides, specifically the Seattle to Portland (STP) 200 mile ride in July.

http://pwtc.com/node/939

The STP rides from Seattle to Portland, and the last time I rode it we started at a University of Washington dorm and the first miles were underground on the express lanes of I-5 freeway.

https://cascade.org/rides-major-rides/group-health-stp-presented-alaska-airlines?gclid=CjwKEAjw34i_BRDH9fbylbDJw1gSJAAvIFqU7tfvmdpg40MO0Qsh0esuBHxQvaZzpCv7R93MuXaRdhoCaOvw_wcB

I’ve ridden the STP three times.


This is the Bike Sat ‘R day, a recumbent fold up bike with under seat steering (USS) and a short wheel base.  This is a picture from a ride in Wisconsin, but you get the idea.

http://pwtc.com/node/939

After my son Jacquari’s  heroic ride 65 miles to Pacific City (on Reach the Beach ride, seen later in this life quilt.) on his BMX bike, I bought him a bike with lots of gears and took him on. The Pioneer Century. He had nine flat tires!  He learned how to repair a flat in spades.

– Small town boy

Life Quilt, row 2,#1, Old Sacramento

Cory and George took Betsy and me to the sternwheeler Delta King on the Sacramento River for Father’s Day June 3, 2012. I bought this tee shirt after in Old Sacramento.


Note the appropriate background? You rock, Joanne.

Though I’ve been in sternwheelers in Portland, Salem, St Louis, and New Orleans, I’ll have to say this was a great treat from Cory (my eldest daughter) and George for Father’s Day.

 Picture by Cory

Betsy and I had a great day.

 Picture by Cory

The Delta King is a restored sternwheeler in the Sacramento River that docks in Old Sacramento and is now outfitted with a wonderful restaurant, The Pilothouse Restaurant, on its upper deck.


As you can see, it is also a hotel!

While eating lunch the Delta King moved down river. The sights were similar to Portland, bridges that can be raised.

Cory’s pictureCory’s picture
After the tour of the Sacramento River, and lunch, we walked among the stores in Old Sacremento.


This is where I got the Old Sacramento tee shirt as a memento of Father’s day on the Delta King and Old Sacramento with my wonderful daughter and her husband.  Betsy and I had a wonderful time and this tee shirt is doing its job here on the Life Quilt to remind me of these moments.

Cory’s picture
-Small Town Boy

Life Quilt, square 5, Elmo

Elmo isn’t really my tee shirt, he belongs to Betsy.


The Elmo costume isn’t mine either, I just found it as I was putting my Bike Friday fold-up bike into its suitcase for transport to Burning Man 2015 in Black Rock Desert near Reno Nevada.

2015 was my year to go to Burning Man with my friends Joy and Ben in an RV we had purchased together.

But as I was getting my Bike Friday ready I remembered that I needed an “art bike”, one that was decorated or costumed and the Elmo costume fit the bill just fine.

The playa was not kind to the Bike Friday, Elmo, or any of the other things I brought. The alkali dust sticks to everything.


But I rode it everywhere and soon Elmo and I were beginning to be seen. I got the name, “Bare Necessities.”

​​
One day as I was leaving the Semper Fuego theme camp where we were living, friends shouted, “Lloyd, look!”

And there on the street was an art car dressed as Elmo. I followed it to where it lived, only a block away and introduced my little Bike Friday Elmo to the big Art Car Elmo.


My little Elmo was so happy.

Now the Bike Friday is back in the suitcase and the Elmo costume is in the costume suitcase.


Till next time?

– Small town Boy

Life Quilt – row 1, square 4 – Northwest Medical Teams, Part 2, Ben in Peru

My memories with NWMT are linked to three men that went with me: Wild Bill (Mexico), Ben (Peru 1), and Jeff (Peru 2).

Coya, Peru

This Northwest Medical Team (NWMT) construction team went to Coya, Peru to make a prison into a medical center in Coya, a small town in the sacred valley of the incas about an hour and a half from Cusco in 2003. It turns out that the prison in question was a prison for run away horses, but you get the idea.Most of the men on the team were experienced in construction, in one form or another, except for me, a teacher, and Ben, an attorney.


At this point in the process we were working on infrastructure: sewer, water, electricity and building renovation. Our in country people were Sandy (from Portland and retired from USAid) and her husband Guido (from nearby Calca and just retired from US State. the had a home in Calca and in Miami. Guido acted as translator for President Reagan when he visited the president of Mexico. They met in the MexicoCity earthquake.

Our team coming over the pass from Cusco.

The Peruvians were surprised and confused as to why a maestro and an abogada were doing the manual labor. We explained that we didn’t have the work skills the others had. There was one attribute that Ben had over others (beside the fact that he spoke Spanish because his mother wwas from Spain.). He was tall.


We worked and we ate and we went to markets and we saw the Sacred Valley and Manchu Piccu. But something special happened (before Ben got sick in the Lima airport while passing through customs) and it happened here:


We had each taken our turn trying to rewire this plug (The Peru team had wired it in series, like a Christmas tree lights, so. If one went out they all went out).  While I was sitting on the bucket that you see Ben sitting on, I overheard Sandy talking about next year and wondering how were they going to find funding which would include a $2,000 Ophthamological microscope.  So, I’m sitting there and I think, “I could fund that project!”  Microsoft had been good to me and I decided to share the earnings with the Kausai Wasi clinic in Coya, Peru.

Suddenly I felt overridden with a serene calm that accepted me, despite my sins and warts, and made my soul feel validated to a degree that was both wonderful and frightening. Frightening because I felt the real power of love, I believe it was the Holy Spirit.  We hear that love can trump evil, but until then I had no idea about the real power of love. Holy cow!

When I returned to Portland I talked to my wife and then NWMT about funding the next trip.  They asked why and I told them of my experience. They said “and the microscope?” I said yes.  I wanted them to negotiate with Sandy andGuido and set the price, then money was transferred. Boy howdy!

– small town boy