Monday, January 28, 2008

Sweet Tasty Powder...

It was supposed to be a "light snow year" up on Mt. Hood. Well, somebody LIED!!! That or they forgot to tell Mother Nature this... I got the 10x pass this year thinking I'd put it to good use. So far that's 5 trips up into some great snow days.

Yesterday was unfreakingbelievable! Light, fluffy powder everywhere. The base is around 137" and there's more that was dumped last night. Last time I was up, it was a wet, heavy snow. Not bad since it slows you down, but wet sucks. But yesterday... wow... the kind of snow that when you carve a perfect turn, the light powder poofs up into your face as you carve your way down the mountain. It's been a banner year and the snow level is absolutely amazing!

I live for days like yesterday. Powder like that puts a perma-grin on your face like nothing else. It's up there with puppy breath and puppy licks. Speaking of which, my awesome neighbors just got a Mastiff-Sheppard mix. Porter is his name and he's one cool pup. He's going to be huge, perhaps even bigger than fatty. Although 154 pounds is a touch challenge for the young Porter to reach. I have faith in him. Lilly has no idea what to do with puppies. She wants to play, but she can get out of control too quick. All 10 week old Porter wants to do is air-hump everything... lol

What do you expect for a dog named after a dark winter brew???

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And so another chapter closes...

January 23, 2008, 2:30 PM (PST): Fred Smith passed away today from cancer. In less than 2 months time, his life went from the normal 6 day work week to hospital trips to hospice care at home.

I've come to learn one thing. Hospice care means you will die soon. For some, it's best that it's sooner than later. That means they can't really do anything else for you but make you comfortable.

In the end, I realized that this was just the way it was meant to be. Fred married my mom, they gave birth to me, they got divorced, I was adopted by my step-dad, I grew up, we saw each other once again, we talked a few times, and now he's gone. Once upon a time I was angry with him. Then I realized that he did the right thing for me. I like who I am and I'd be different if he was more a part of my life. That much I am certain of. I feel... something, just not sure what that is. My heart goes out to Jason and Brian. You shouldn't lose your young (62) father at their age. They were close to him, Jason more so than Brian. I'd like to believe that Fred did that to make up for his regrets.

I really don't care about the "truth" of what transpired 35 years or so ago. It doesn't matter. Recent actions speak volumes. Back then you legally could not be a part of my life, that was signed away. You had your chance to be a friend, and that just didn't work out. We're the same, yet very different. He was happy with his life, so I can't compare my life to his. I've accomplished more in 20 years professionally than he did in 40, but that really doesn't matter. It doesn't make me better than him because that's not what he was about.

One thing that I've learned in life is that it really is all just about being happy with who you are and what you are doing. I'm driven to "fix" things. I work hard and I play hard. I've earned that much.

Like it or not, you're in my blood. I'm glad your suffering is over and that it went quickly for your sake and for theirs. I'm sorry that they didn't have the time to really prepare for this, but life is funny that way. I lost Dan in the blink of an eye... and that took time to recover from.

I love my wife. She is my anchor. I know this wasn't easy for her since it's only been a year since her father passed away. At least now there are no more dad's to die...

The year will get better from here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

26 days...

26 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. I just had to say it...

It's hard to focus on other sports when I know Spring is almost here, rings will be delivered, and the madness will start all over again. The only thing that will distract me is selection Sunday in a month from now.

Mmmm... March Madness in High Def.

And yes, we will be going to a game at Fenway this summer. Even if it kills me.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Surviving the end of 2007

What started out to be a relaxing and quiet end to the year made some interesting turns right at the finish. My wife had some late night pains last Saturday. After a few hours, she realized that she needed to go to the ER. That was a good thing, ended up she had gall stones and they had to do emergency surgery Sunday afternoon. New Years eve for her was in bed early (after getting released from the hospital late that afternoon) with a couple of oxycodine. She's doing much better a week later, but needs to take things slow for a while.

I made the commitment to run the Eugene Marathon. I'm excited about it. The course basically lays out the trails and roads that I ran on 20+ years ago when I was at South Eugene. I wanted to do a race down there last year, but held off since the one I wanted to do was a tough course (Butte to Butte). This is my homecoming. In some regards, this is more special to me than Boston. This is where the next Olympians will be chosen. Eugene is the true birthplace for running and this race is in the footsteps of legends. The spirits of Pre, Bill and Tom McChesney, and Bowerman are all along this course. The likes of Salazar, Chappa, Decker-Slaney, Manley, Dillinger, and a host of others past and present ran these roads and trails.

Now, if I only could get my hands on a SEHS Axeman singlet...

Footnote: Quick update on my birth father. Seems like the years of working in the auto environment has caught up to him. He has cancer, most likely caused by exposure to asbestos brake pad dust combined with second hand smoke, gasoline and diesel exhaust. They say he may have a few months with treatment, but I'm still thinking that it's going to be more like a few weeks. I made my peace with myself, that's all that matters to me.