• Into the Sun

    Driving starting in the mornings before the sun is up, have to shade my eyes from the sun. Yes, I am being cautious on the drive east toward the sun.

    January 6, 2012–On the way to visit my cousin Karen in Vancouver after leaving Portland, I went to spend one more night with Karen’s sister, Kristine. A brief stay, cleaned my van well. Karen and Kris live just four miles from each other, but the family had a falling out some years ago and these two do not speak to each other, a sad thing.

    A nice stay with Karen, ate too much though. Her husband Bill took me to visit Multnomah Falls today. I remember going there as a kid. A spectacular site, hope you enjoy the photos.

    From Vancouver it was on toward Baker, Oregon, which I spent some time at as a youth, I remembered nothing of the town. My older brother, Mike’s, ex-wife, Jody, lives just beyond Baker, spent the night at her house. In the afternoon her daughter Devon came over with her fiancee (that’s a French word meaning—fiancée) We prepared a nice dinner for all and I taught them to juggle, too. Devon and her French Fry liked their new skill.

    Here is history about my brothers you may not know. Some years ago my older brother Mike was involved in an auto accident and received a brain injury (I know well how that is.) Then, after that injury, about 15 years ago he was taking a bus from Baker down to Santa Fe to be with my sister. He was not in his right mind and for some reason he got off the bus and started hitch-hiking. He was on a major freeway and it was getting to be night. He was hit by a vehicle and killed. No one knows the circumstances of what he was thinking, but he is gone. The poor man who hit him pulled over and was so upset this happened; a terrible thing to go through–for both of them.

    Then, about five years after that, Mike’s only son, Josh, was with my younger brother, Gary, and they were off-roading (driving a truck in the hills that didn’t have a road.) From evidence, beer was flowing and seat-belts were not used, the truck overturned and they were both killed. This must have been awful for Jody to have to go through, first with Mike, then with their son, Josh. So, all of the Summers’ boys have gone through major accidents with vehicles and I am the only one who survived.

    The nasty storm was upon me

    In the morning I started driving early, you see, there was a storm on the way coming west to east, so I had to stay ahead of it. I’m glad I left early, I did see snow falling and it could have been treacherous driving. Right now, as usual, I am stopped at a McDonald’s writing to you through their free wifi connection. I have three days to cover about 1200 miles (2092 kilometers), which I could cover in one day, really, so I am taking my time. I was going to travel up to Yellowstone Park, but called and found out they close the park in winter. I spouse I could drive off-road into the park and have lunch with the bears, but, then again. The weather outside is cloudy and cold, not good weather for being a tourist. I will find things to do, you will see.

    Yesterday I almost received a virus, my AVG took care of it, though. AVG is such a life-saver, glad I have it, and it’s free. Makes me want to send in money for their fantastic program. What is in the minds of these people who put out these viruses, why the anonymous destruction? What could it do for them? Have to back this up on the Google Docs just to make sure I don’t lose it.

    THE PAIN—Have to walk with a limp. My left leg, the one that has pins in the knee, has been hurting tremendously. Centered on the knee joint, the whole leg is hurting. Makes it hard to walk, and stairs are punishing. Come to think of it, my entire body is hurting, perhaps because of the weather. I will have to be examined on my return. And, I had been feeling so good since the surgery, and did nothing to bring this on. I do not understand. Plus, my tinnitus has been greatly annoying me, never hearing silence can be disturbing. But, overall, life is fantastic.

    1-13—In Madison, Wisconsin now at MADFEST. Arriving in the afternoon, the juggling convention was to start at 5pm. I thought jugglers would be here early, no one showed up until right at start time. I thought I had the wrong college or the wrong date, had to check twice. Then they started showing up, many jugglers arrived for the opening night juggle. So many young jugglers, most of whom I have not seen before. The skill level was quite high, nothing like at my first conventions. I coached and helped as I could on that first night, as well as sold books. For Friday things run until midnight, so, of course, the guy I am staying with wanted to stay until that time. Having awoken at 3:30am, I am quite tired, yet I will make it. Running a paid workshop tomorrow at 9am on Saturday, should be up to it, I’ll let you know.

    The big show

    This afternoon I told the guy running the show that I had some good materiel together to be in the show (and I did), he said he may not have room and would let me know. He came up later and said the show was already full with acts. I didn’t show it, but I got angry and took it personally. I was thinking that he didn’t want me because I was not any good any more. I’m sure that’s not the case, but . . . I had even told myself, because of this event and because my workshops were not really filling up with people, that I wanted to get away from this juggling scene, thinking I didn’t really belong anymore. Then, as I was walking back to my table, a guy in his 20’s came up to me and said, “Mr. Summers I’ve had your book for years and it has helped me much, I always wanted to meet you. I feel so honored to finally meet you.” So, of course, this made me feel a lot better.

    Juggling 5 balls on the side of her body (I was quite impressed)

    On Saturday night I went to stay with Matti Lehtonen who took my workshop earlier in the day. Matti has lived and worked in the area for some time, yet he travels much. His family lives in China, though they are from Finland. Matti works for GE in the anesthesia division. Talk about a smart man, I loved talking with Matti. He speaks four languages—English, Finish, Manderin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese. We talked for some time about a number of subjects, it is so good to have an intellectual conversation. Matti says that he is going to try and get me over to China to speak for GE—I would love it, of course.

    The next night was spent, once again, with my old friend Paul Bachman. Like I have seen so often lately, he has a wife who is quite spunky and does much.

    The next day I woke up at 2am and departed—a long drive ahead. I decided to do the last 775 miles (1,247.2416 kilometers) in one day. The drive went quickly, not that I was in a hurry to get back. I wanted to stay out on my trip forever. I am already planning and hoping Matti will be able to set something up in China, I do want to spend time there. Back to “home sweet home”, not so sweet and I would rather be elsewhere. Spent my first day back cleaning up the house and getting things back in order again. I like New Zealand much, the people and the land, perhaps I will end up moving there?

    Now that I have returned my focus will be to work on that book (see www.kitsummers.com/bookoutline.htm), along with starting work on my future home (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYKqnq5uAuU), and I have to sell my house.

    I had gotten a call that my lawyer about that 2nd time I got hit by a truck. He had a check for me of settlement. He amount only totaled about $62,000. My lawyer took his 1/3 off the top, which most lawyers do. Of what was left $16,000 had to be returned to the state, who helped pay for my hospital bills at the time. Then there were various costs associated with the case. I ended up with about $24,000, which is not much, knowing that I may never be able to run again and be in pain off and on the rest of my life. But, like I wrote before, money does not really matter in life. We all will find a way to get by and get on with life.

    What I am thankful for is that all of this misery I have been through will be aimed at the book I would like to produce. Yes, I know, I keep writing about it, but now that I am back I will make the time. In life, so often people say, “I don’t have the time.” But, we make time for what is important to us in life. I will be developing and making it a daily habit to work on this planned book that will be aimed toward helping people move ahead in their life.

    Yes, the end of my trip. But, this blog, this blog will continue. I love making my life an adventure, something we can all do. My adventure will continue, you’ll see (how about you?)

    Signing off for now, with love>>>>>>Kit

  • Still in Oregon

    I must apologize, I’ve not kept up with this as I should. Need to return to making it a daily habit to add words. This trip has been fantastic, has added much to my life. I am already thinking about where I want to go next (China or Africa?)
    Kath’s house in Santa Fe
    12-22-11, Last night, here in Santa Fe, my sister and I went here:
    She had two free passes so in we went. Very Japanese influenced, a splendid place. There was a men’s dressing section and a women’s. As you go in they want you to shower and clean your body. After showering out the door I went to the outside and the cold–burr. Walking up stairs to an upper level I saw there were various Jacuzzi type pools to go into, one for women only, I went into the one for all. About six people in at the time, men, women and kids. My feet went in and I felt the heat, about 120 degrees. Slowly I got my legs in, it was quite hot. My mid-section was difficult, but eventually . . .  Then I went all the way in to my neck as I got used to it. There were people with swimsuits on and people with nothing on (and, yes we didn’t–but, didn’t what?)  As I was sitting there it was interesting to look out and see snow on the ground while in this hot water. Then it got too hot, had to sit out in the cold weather for a time–then back in to the heat–back and forth. My sister Kaylaa did the same.
    I was surprised, in the heat of the pool I could move my joints like I haven’t been able to do for a while. I stretched my legs, felt good. My arms were next, I was surprised at what I could do. Makes me want to start daily stretching and moving to help myself improve. This must become a habit. How about you, would you join me and make this stretching and moving a daily habit?
    Then we saw there was a wooden steam sauna building. This sauna was twice the temperature of a human (you do the math.) Difficult for me to breath in there, I suffered though. I count six men and women sitting. No one said a word, seemed strange to me. After I couldn’t take it anymore (the heat or the silence?) it was out to the cold I returned.
    After a couple hours of this heat, it was time to depart. So, back down the stairs I went. These steps were not situated well, kind of went on a curve, and the lighting was very bad. Not sure if I slipped or miss-stepped, I suddenly fell forward and my face, upper cheek, hit the railing, hard. Then my legs twisted under me as I rolled down five more steps. A man was there who witnessed the incident, he helped me to get to a walkway downstairs, then inside. That was the first time I fell like that, embarrassed and hurt I was. He asked if I was OK and I said yes (but I was not.)  After talking for a short time I went back outside. I stood on one of the pathways, no one around, and just started crying. Not in pain, I was thinking about my future and the changes I have been going through, both physically and mentally. I’ve felt off balance in the past, but never actually fell. The man who first helped me reappeared and comforted me. Then some people from the place came and talked to me. They took me into a back room office and filled out a form about what occurred. Finally my sister showed up. This was very traumatic for me to go through, something that will always be in my thoughts. Come to think of it, my walking has been getting worse, what will happen next?
    Although, even in this bad day, I did read this, enjoyed the words:
    “If you wear an antennae to a wedding, would the reception be better?”
    Dec 22–When I arrived in Santa Fe I looked on the internet to see if any jugglers were around.  I found the ClanTynker jugglers. I left a phone message and also sent email. Elijah gave me a call. He knew of me and we agreed to get together. Performing together is the whole family: Elijah, Sam, Rebekah, Adam, and Sarah Whippo along with Rebekah’s boyfriend Matt Connolly, I met with all except Adam and Sarah.  Elijah drove us to his brother’s house way out in the back hills, an exquisite area. Attached to the very nice house is a big room they built to practice juggling and the act, a perfect juggling practice place. I coached them some and gave ideas for advancement of the act, they all seemed to like what I advised.  Here they are, take a look: www.clantynker.com/
    And, catch them on Youtube:
    Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, everyone goes to this, as Kath and I did:
    We walked much. But, my left knee was hurting tremendously. In fact, I had to stop a few times to rest it. It was the same pain that has been traveling through my body. The pain comes on sharp, almost makes me want to cry. The city has a great celebration, many people out, would be a wonderful place to do a street show.
    After we packed up the rented trailer and her van, it was the long drive from Santa Fe to Bend, Oregon, her new home was awaiting. We left on Christmas Day, traffic was light, of course.  A four hour drive today, we drove to Durango, Colorado. Went to the home of a friend of hers; Heather is a cake chef and prepares an excellent dinner, too. On this trip I have eaten some superb dishes, top pallet pleasers.  I think Heather’s was my favorite so far.
    12-30-11–Now to think back to the days after my last posting it is hard to remember well. We arrived at the new home of my sister in Bend, Oregon. I do like her new abode, yet it does need work and improvements. She has two campers and a truck. I drove the truck to the free wifi connection at McDonald’s to use my computer.  Now, over time I have not liked trucks, twice I was hit by trucks and have seen some very bad drivers behind the wheel in trucks. But, I shouldn’t classify all as bad. But, it did feel weird to be behind the wheel in a truck. I helped Kath (whoops, her new name is “Kaylaa”, yet I have always called her Kath, so it is hard to change) with some projects to improve things. She is having fun making discoveries about her new house.

    Some photos from our drive from Santa Fe to Bend:


    My cousin, Keith, who I’ve not seen since the 1970’s, was in Bend to see a friend of his. Keith looks nothing like I remember of the skinny kid I know from the 70’s. Keith has worked as a supervisor or manager for road and highway building projects and has done quite well in the area. He, like many others I know, has gone through a devastating and difficult divorce. His daughters, who are 12 and 14, are with him, his ex-wife does like liqueur, not good for the kids to be around. Sad to see.

    Keith and I met up at my sister’s house and I drove with him up to Vancouver, Washington, he was on his way up to Seattle. I went to see and stay with my cousin, Kristine, who I’ve not seen in an even longer time then Keith. Kristine was ex-familyed (don’t know the correct word, can you tell me?) and has not talked to Keith, or the rest of her family in a long time. After some brief words with his sister, he left me off and continued his drive north.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!! As usual, I slept through the year change, not that exciting for me.
    Kristine has been divorced for some time (like so many of us) and has a son who lives with her. She also does a wonderful thing, she has been a foster parent to many kids who have come through her house. Currently she has three kids she is raising. She is strict, yet this is what the kids need and they love her much. She also works full-time selling real estate. So, her plate is often quite full. I taught her son Peter to juggle, which he did quite well at. Along with that, I taught them to make salsa, which they liked much. The time I spent with them for four days was delightful.
    My van, my van, had to retrieve my van. As you know from past words, I had left my van off at my sister Sandy’s house. Kris and I met up with Sandy and Tommy halfway and I was transferred to them. These two are not that much older than me, yet I was close to them at age 4 through 8, so, of course, they always seemed quite older. They met and fell in love at a young age, got married in 1964, and have been together since. They raised two successful kids. So, a marriage can work, yes? I enjoyed much my time with this lovely couple.
    This guy needs a shave, huh?
    Went around a couple days like
    this in the past
    Better with I think,
    what do you think?

    1-5-12–Good to be back behind the wheel traveling again in my van. North I drove back into Portland. Along the way I went to see Ben again at his juggling store (www.seriousjuggling.com) to let him copy the 600 juggling videos I had with me. The plan was I would meet up with John Cheek, my friend and neighbor from the 60’s. Like so many I have seen lately from my past, I would never recognize him on the street. John and I and his parents talked of memories of the area and the people.

    Arriving at the Cheek’s house, they were sitting down to dinner and invited me to join them; the shrimp tasted delicious. As with Sandy and Tommy, their marriage has lasted much time.  Married in 1954, they had 8 kids in 10 years. So, what I am saying, marriage can work, even with seeing all these divorces.  After staying the night I once again stopped by my old house to see what I could remember from when I lived there in the 60’s, not much in memory.

    Next, I went over to visit Teresa and her husband Richard.  As I wrote previously, Teresa and I were good friends back when I lived there in the sixties. The pasta dinner they took me out for tasted fantastic, thanks again. 
    Since it has been so long, I want to get this out to you, so I will stop here. Next I will be starting my drive back east. I want to keep this trip continuing forever, but . . . I must get back and sell my home.

  • Home again?

    Born in Portland, it was so good to return to the roots of my life. As I was driving along the freeway street names on signs came up that I remembered. You have to keep in mind that I was seven or eight years old when I was last here.  As I was getting closer to my old street I got so excited. On entering the street everything seemed so much smaller, I had to remember that I had young eyes at the time.  Then, I came upon my address and old house, still lodged in memory–5166 NE Wistaria Drive. I parked, got out of the car, and took a deep breath, home again.  I glanced up at my old residence, then down the street I walked, this street from my distant memory.  Looking to each side I saw houses that resided somewhere in my memory, hard to bring these memories up. Then I saw the long set of city steps that lead down to the street below that I used to play on with friends, once again, remembering them as being so much bigger. Trees still over-hung this pathway down. A friend from the old days, John Cheek, I had to go to his house and see if anyone there knew of him. I knocked and an older man came to the door. I asked of John, said who I was, and this man invited me in, being the father of John. We talked of old times and of the kids playing. Then his wife Helen came into the room, she seemed to remember me well. What a joy to see these people from my past and hear these stories. We gave John and call and the two of us talked for a time. I asked of Teresa Daly (we called her TD) and what she is doing now. Living next door, TD and I were good friends as kids, in fact, I’ve always thought of her as my first girlfriend (at age 7 or 8?) John said he would contact her through Facebook and let her know I was around. After giving them a copy of my juggling book and hugs goodbye, it was back onto the street to walk toward the house where I spent my youth.

    Was anyone home at 5166? I had to knock on the door and see. “Karen” answered the door and I let her know who I was, then she invited me in. Like I wrote before, everything seemed so much smaller then I remember, but at the time I was looking out through 7 or 8 year old eyes.  Into the living room, I remembered a table that used to be in the corner where I hid under one year waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas eve (I fell asleep and my mom took me to bed, missed the old man with presents.)  There was the fireplace that we often had blazing. Upstairs we went and I saw my bedroom, once again, remembering much bigger. I used to hate when I had to go to bed when it was still light out, being the summer and it was after 9pm. Was the apartment that my mom had built for gramma still in the basement? of course it was, just as I remembered. I saw right where she had the TV and used to love to watch wrestling and roller derby (in black and white at that time.) As I was leaving I saw the two Japanese maple trees that my mom had planted out front. What a joy and how comforting to come to this abode where I spent my youth.

    Just a few miles down the road it was off to see Ben and the Serious Juggling store, see www.seriousjuggling.com.  With Christmas coming up and much being done, the store was sort of packed with stuff placed everywhere. Ben started his business small and has since grown his business into one of the best places to get juggling props and unicycles. We talked for a time and I see how busy he is, but, I can tell, he is doing what he loves, his passion. It is always good to see when someone finds their passion in life, seems that seldom happens. When you are doing your passion for a living life flows by so well and enjoyable. My passion was juggling, then it was writing books, then it was my family, then it was my salsa, next it will be writing that book I have told you of before. I must get on that and get it out there. So, find your passion in life, it will make your existence much better. Speaking of my past passion, it’s funny, come to think of it, juggling has been such a big part of my life, yet I was really a juggler for only about seven years. Learning at age 15 and putting in much practice in the first years, then my juggling ended when I went through my first accident at the age of 23, so, a dedicated juggler for only a short time. Who knows how far I could have gone with my juggling. Yet, I have kept with it and have found ways to help others to advance.

    Living near Portland is my sister Sandy and her husband Tommy. Sandy and I have the same father, Virgil, yet had different moms and grew up apart (you may not know, I was named after my dad–Virgil Carson Summers Jr, I am–nicknamed Kit because of my middle name) For many years Tommy worked in the tire business and did quite well.  Their house near Boring, OR is a great place. Much land and trees, with a pond on a stream and fish and ducks out back. Russell, their son, lives with them and will inherit this wonderful abode. Russell was born after I had departed the area and we had not met before. The first night with them (of two) we went to see their other son Wally, who I knew as a kid; so good to see him.  Sandy and Tommy used to take all of us out to the mountains and I have great memories of picking blackberries and searching streams for crawdads, which we ate later. Sandy is a darling and beautiful lady. So glad I was able to spend to spend time with them.

    Next was to Santa Fe, NM to help my sister move up to Bend, OR to start a new life. After leaving my van with Sandy and Tommy, I jumped on the plane from Portland to Albuquerque (do you know how to spell that?)  On the plane they offered wifi for only $5, so I had to. That way I had a couple hours to write to you and also to call people on the phone (sorry if you weren’t one I called.) I was amazed that at about 40,000 feet and going about 600 miles per hour I could talk with people through my computer. More transportation, from the airport in Albuquerque I hopped on a train up to Santa Fe. Being so far south, I expected warmth. In looking out the train window upon entering the Santa Fe area I saw white stuff on the ground. Because this city is so high, it does get snow. So, as you would know, the temp was down there.

    THE PAIN– As you know from past postings, I have been experiencing various pains coursing through my body.  I’m not saying this is just a little hurt, this is intense pain that makes me not able to move limbs. Each time this happens I do nothing to bring it on.  I read that pain originates in the brain, I’m just wondering what is happening in my brain that is bringing this on. The pain just sort of starts small and grows. This time it started on my right leg. Got to the point where I could hardly move the leg. The pain in the knee felt like I had broke it, and it was the one I did not have surgery on. Inside the knee hurt, then the tendons and muscles behind the knee starting hurting, much. I could not bend my leg. As this pain in my right leg subsided, the left started, the one I had broken. The pain here centered on the knee, and expanded. Yet, this pain was different, when I moved my leg in certain ways the bones in the knee cracked, so I know it was not just in the mind. That was over the last two days and this morning, getting a little better now. After that surgery on my shoulder and knee I had been biking and doing some running, without pain, I’ve regressed much since.  My sister thinks the pain is caused from my long and wonderful journey, in my brain the connections are finding new pathways to use. We know so little about the brain, I hope in my next book my research will teach many more about this thing we think with. Perhaps you know something about this pain I am experiencing? let me know what you know.

    A YEAR YOUNGER?–For the past year I thought I was 53 years old. We did the math and I am 52 after-all, so, an extra year to live, what will I do with that newly found time? Even at this advanced age, I still don’t feel that I have grown up, feeling in my 20’s still. I feel there is much for me to accomplish before my passing away.

    DEATH–Something that will happen to me, and you. Read this recently and it stood out for me: “Until you have done something to help advance the world, you should be ashamed to die.” Seeing these strong words I was reminded that this subject was always important to me.  I want to do my part to advance human life as I can. I think I advanced the juggling world through my books and workshops. Now I want to advance the rest of the world with that next book, or am I thinking too big?

    So, I’ve stayed with my sister for about one week, we will be departing for Bend, OR for her new home on Christmas day.  A longer then expected stay here, but getting work done on the computer.

    Every time I write this blog I have no idea where it will go. It ends up that I find many words to put together toward the end result. If you have any editorial ideas for my writing please let me know, I always want to improve myself.
    I do hope you make it a fantastic Christmas for you and your family.

  • Entering into Oregon

    Once again, it was very nice to see Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jon and family on my way up north. Along the drive up on I-5 I saw many brown fields and few cow grazing. As you know, in Australia and New Zealand it is spring-summer, so there I saw many green grasses, along with many sheep and cows (or, is it sheeps and cow?) I-5 north is quite a boring drive, should have kept to the coast, better views.  From being over in Australia and New Zealand I am so used to driving on the left side of the road. Yet, I have kept my car pointed in the right direction for the most part.  Many brown fields went by, starting the winter season is why.  As you know from past emails, I did not see many crops growing in NZ. On this drive up through central California I saw many thousands of fruit trees growing. Orange, tangerine, and many other kinds. Right now it is getting to be winter, so nothing is being ready for harvest.

    On the way I had to stop by and ate at  http://peasoupandersens.net/  When I was a kid we ate there every time we drove up from San Diego north.  So, I did it for the memories, and great memories of this restaurant.

    Spent a night sleeping in my van, found out later it was below 0 degrees Celsius, maybe 13 degrees Fahrenheit.–a very cold, cold night.  Thanks once again for the sleeping bag, Miguel. And, Aunt Ruth, you gave me that beautiful quilted blanket, helped to keep me warm.  I had parked at an entrance for a national park, very nice area.  I found out that there were people who lived beyond this gate, as the officer knocked on my window and said I couldn’t sleep there. He took my ID and had me checked out, surprisingly I checked out OK (well, I guess not that surprising.)  He lead me to another spot where I could spend the night. Somewhat warm enough, just hard to breath the cold air.

    The next day I arrived at the home of my old friend, Barry Friedman. Barry lives with his wife Annie and their son, Zed.  As I was getting closer and closer in miles to his home the mountains presented more and more wilderness and trees. Living in a great house in a wonderful location, this family lives in paradise. From anywhere in his house all I could see was trees and the wild, no houses or human building anywhere.  If you looked out far you could see the snow capped mountains in the distance.  Barry has been so successful in his life, I’m quite impressed. First with his juggling and performing, you can see him here with Dan (Barry is the taller of the two)

    And, beyond juggling, Barry has started a new business, take a look:  www.getmorecorporategigs.com

    Barry is tired of traveling, he should do quite well with this business helping performers. If you are a performer you should seriously think about working with Barry on improving your show and income.

    When I was with them it happened that Zed did his first street show. The town was having a Christmas celebration and 3 blocks were stopped from traffic.  The show was great, at 10 years old he is excellent on the unicycle. His first couple of shows went entertaining, people enjoyed. Zed was also happy about the money he made. Performing at the same location was Jeff Chroman, aka, Izzi Tooinski, look here: http://www.izzitooinsky.com/.  Jeff and I were together in San Diego when he started his performing in the 70’s, he thanked me for helping him get started with his first shows. So good to catch up with him what each of us has been doing.

    Being an entrepreneurial family, Barry’s wife Annie recently began this business–
    Looks like she will do quite well with it, could develop into the parent’s book, the sibling’s book, the friend’s book, the enemies book, and more. How about you, do you have a grandparent who wants a book?

    After leaving Barry’s I was off toward the coast, something I should have done earlier in the trip. Reaching 101, it was north I aimed toward the Redwoods National Forest. Some of these are trees live to be 800 to 1200 years old and grow 450 feet tall. I went for a walk on a trail and it was magnificent, signs of definition of the area were scattered along the trail. All around me trees were towering above my head. Ferns and moss were prevalent. I had forgotten that the US has forests and wilderness as nice as anywhere in New Zealand. You must watch this video, you will be blown away (that’s the first time I have ever said that, must be good.)

    Drove on one road that had a drop-off to the side of at least 100 feet–with no guard rail–a scary drive, like some I had found in New Zealand. Also, I drove to Klamath River Outlook, but the fog was so heavy I could barely see in front of the car. Yes, I took it easy and slow. More on driving, I drove north along the coast some miles north of San Francisco, saw many memorable gorgeous views of the ocean. I took the time to take it all in, something we all must do more often in life.

    Everyone should live their life as if they were writing a blog like this. It makes you want to experience great things, makes you want to “make” things happen to put into the blog. Also, it puts things into memory better. Writing to you like this makes my life better. Although, can’t get much better, having a great time.

    Next up on the drive, a visit with my uncle Don and aunt Betty Ann.  Have not seen them for many years; hard to figure out when was the last time. Right now they are in the process of moving into a new home. All the kids are out of the house (7 kids, a big family), so they are down-sizing. I saw the house, they are putting in everything new–from paint to floors to appliances–should be very nice when the home is complete. In their 80’a like my mom, retirement time.  Uncle Don was so gracious to get me a room for the night at the motel, very nice. After raising her 7 kids Aunt Betty Ann started selling real estate some years ago and has done very well and became the best land seller in the area. My cousins Kyle and Mary Ann stopped by the next day. After so many years I hardly recognized them. Both have families, wish I could have met their families.

    Heading up into Portland next. I want to get this off to you now.  Of course, there will be more postings soon.

  • My last days–And back to San Diego

    Yes, the subject name for this email for this email sounds pretty daunting, yes? Some of you wrote in to say something after my last email, thank you for that.  Yes, I feel loved once again. Right now, while in the air, I have time to write, so I will, many words. If too many words, sorry, I am writing for me not you.

    With two days to spend in Christchurch until my flight out, I walked much and saw various things. The destruction from the earthquake is pretty severe. Many buildings (why do they call it a “building” when it is already built?) are still heaps of rubble. Cracks in the sidewalk and street are abundant. On and on I walked many kilometers. I went to McDonalds to check my email on their free wifi, nothing from you. Then, it was on to Hagley Park. I had been to this park at different times; a nice place. I had seen that this big park had various parts hidden away where I could put out my sleeping bag and snooze for the night (thanks again for the bag, Miguel.) You see, because of the loss of the money I had things are getting tight and I need to save, plus, it would be a fun adventure to sleep out in the park like a homeless person. Come to think of it, my house is up for sale now and I could be truly homeless soon.
    As I was walking through the park I saw a group of tents, the Occupy Movement was in town. I talked with some of them and it was difficult to see what their main objectives were. In my travels I had seen a few different encampments of this movement. Were they getting any results from there demonstrations? What did they want to change? Was this just a bunch of men and women who like to camp out in the city? In talking with a few of them things were a little confused, but sounded like their major gripe was the payment difference between the top people and the workers, a fair gripe. Yet, it seemed more like these people liked more to camp-out then to apply themselves toward the cause. Rather than just waiting for someone to come up and talk, they could approach people on the street and in cars to get the word out.
    Mike, an American, had been living in New Zealand for a number of years. He had gotten fed-up with the US and how things were run. He is not really a part of the occupy movement, just kind of hangs out with the movement sometimes. Because it was cold and I didn’t really want to stay with the occupy group in a tent, I asked him if he had a spare couch I could occupy for the night, he graciously said yes. Living in a nice place, we entered. Two rooms of the house have many books, he has a massive library. A smart guy, a new friend is met. He told me he had most of these books shipped from Chicago, where he is originally from. Mike is working as an environmental engineer, yet had time off now. He drove me to parts of Christchurch that had extensive damage.  Huge boulders blocking the road, many abandoned homes, people with many losses. Last night Mike learned to juggle, seemed to like his new skill. Thanks much for the ride to the airport, Mike.
    Right now it is 7pm, Mike left me off at about 5pm.  I’ve been reading and writing this to you. Before I came I looked on a map and there is some park land near the airport. My flight is not until 6:45 tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to ask Mike for a ride here that early, so I had planned to lay out my sleeping bag away from the airport at the park, but I think I will just stay up all night until I get my flight in the morn. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    It ended up that I stayed over-night in the airport. I met Teresa, from Germany, who was also staying the night until her flight tomorrow. We sort of supported each other in this. There were some couch like things that we got some shut eye while laying out, but guards showed up and said we couldn’t lay there. They showed me another location where people where sleeping on the carpeted floor. I laid down and slept for a time, probably got two hours last night, tonight is the flight to the US over-night, I expect I won’t sleep much then, either. I’m sad that I will never see Teresa again in my life. Like I wrote, people come into and out of our life so much, I want to remain friends with all, sad to say, it won’t happen. People fade out except for the memory.
    I figured out what must have happened to that envelop with about $3000 in it. On the last day in Queenstown I had ask the manager of the hostel if he would lock up my suitcases while I went for a walk. I believe he had seen me when I got money out to pay for the room. He seemed like a great guy, I even taught him to juggle. Before that time I had taken that bag everywhere with me. Later when I saw the envelope was gone I traced when I had gone earlier and also asked him about the loss, he said no he didn’t know what happened to it. I can’t trust anyone anymore (except for you, perhaps.) In the future I will keep all my important stuff in a waist belt and have no worries anymore. It’s so sad that there are so many people who will take personal items from you, something I could never do.
    And now I am writing to you from 33,000 feet up, since I’m no longer in a foreign country, I no longer have to use the metric system, but that is a much better way to measure. I just discovered something that made me quite angry. I had a small bathroom “kit” (no, not me) and I noticed it was missing. When I went through US customs while in Australia she took everything out of my bag looking carefully for ??  She ended up putting my toothpaste in a clear plastic bag and handed me that. I didn’t see that she kept the bathroom bag, she didn’t care. Yes, I will hijack a plane with a small tube of toothpaste and a four inch toothbrush. I hate idiot people who don’t think and just do—like the cops who took me away to be put in jail. She could have at least told me she was taking it. Now there is no way to go back and retrieve it, boy! Yes, I will be able to put another together, but this loss I am taking worse then the $3000 gone. Yikes, they’re all after me (I hope you aren’t, though.)  I try and do the right thing and all is get is this junk.
    Something else I was embarrassed to tell you about and wasn’t going to.  Recently at a place I was staying at I had my things laid out in the room I was in. I’m fairly certain I had my camera with me there. I am not certain, but there was another guy staying there. He’s a good person from what I could tell, even taught him to juggle, I would never accuse him of . . . but . . . it’s like I have a sign on me saying, take from Kit, he’s easy. And, hope you can tell, I am not stupid, I am careful with my stuff. I guess I just have to be extra precautious. The thing is, I trust people. Perhaps you can straighten me out, there are more good people in the world then bad¸ yes? just look at you.  I’m feeling like I want to build my tiny house on wheels which will have solar for electric and a rain water collection system, then park my new home in the mountains and live away from people for a time (of course, you are welcome anytime for a visit, I will have a spare bed.)
    Right now I am watching a movie while flying at 600 miles per hour.  In this movie a man is falsely accused and jailed. Seeing the jail cells, seeing the prisoners all dressed the same, understanding how it is to be in there. Being in jail was the very worst month of my life. Seeing those people in jail made me so angry. The time I had to spend there was so damaging to me, I can’t begin to explain. Much punishment for my body, much punishment for my mind. This is a life-long thing that changed my thoughts about life and the future.
    As I write I get angrier and angrier. Of course, my broken family comes to mind. My daughters are not connecting with me. Still never heard a good reason Mary Ellen left me. She closes up and will not communicate in any way with some people (actually many) who she deems not qualified to be associated with her any more. So, I am on that list of non-communication, never imagined I would be. I just don’t understand people sometimes, she could, at least, be friendly with me. Also, I thought I had a friendship with Carter and then he turned against me, that was a very strange thing for me. As I wrote before, people come into your life and go out of your life, I just sometimes wonder why, perhaps you can explain to me . . . ?
    Just asked and was told the flight is not even half way yet, already many hours flying. It’s funny, I am not at all tired, even with no sleep last night.  For me it looks like I will only get a couple hours sleep in 60 hours, curious on how it will feel, I’ll let you know.
    Battery life is getting quite low at this point, I will have to complete this later. Funny how the word “complete” means finish and also the entire essence of something. The English language needs to be re-written, it is so complicated and old. With computers we could design and construct a language that would be much much better.
    So, they allowed me back in the US, again. Right now I am charging my battery while typing to you. I miss the Australian and New Zealand accents, now it is Mexican and Americanish accents I hear. I am finishing this up at my mom’s now.

    Today in San Diego I went to have a Mexican lunch, about three bucks. Usually in America I am used to $2 to $5 a meal. In OZ and NZ I was paying $10 to $15 (New Zealand dollar) a meal. So, big difference.

    Write you again soon>>>>>>Kit