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One of the hardest things in
this life, for me to do,
was leave for duty with the US Navy,
and not look back at you.
My defensive move, I'll
swear on this day,
was to keep walking;
not looking your way.
It is strange how certain
things stick in your mind,
when you are leaving
and will be gone for sometime.

There was a time, so many years ago, when a change of careers presented itself.
This change was triggered by a series of events.
I was working for a retail establishment and had accepted a position as Operations
Manager, in Los Angeles. We, my wife and two children were living in Redmond.
The children were in junior high. I would fly to Los Angeles on Monday and return on Friday.
Working in Seattle on the subsequent week and then alternate to Los Angeles, etc.
I began looking for houses and found some very nice places but the commute was an hour in the
morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon, if there were no problems. Well there were
always traffic problems.
I had moved many times, as a child and the one part I envied was not going through the
schools, from grade one, through high school, with the same set of friends.
Based upon the time I would be spending travelling to and from work but more importantly
on not wishing to deprive our children the opportunity to fulfill my desire when in school,
I opted to resign from my position. Now, after this long preamble here is where the Office
comes in.

I was hired by a High Tech company in Bellevue, in the Customer Service Department, believe I
was the 49th employee.
This Company was a pioneer, using Ultrasound Technology, developed by the U of W, to develop
equipment for Cardiology and Neo natal scanning. It was a fast moving Company that
had very little Standard Operating Procedures, in written format.
That was one of my assignments to produce a Return document so the Company could
track all the different equipment units in our Customer's facilities.
The other assignment was to develop a Service Contract that could be sold to
our Customers. I worked with an outside, Law Firm and we developed the "boilerplate"
we needed in the document. It was a success and Service Contract Income became
a great source of revenue for the Company.

After work, many of us would adjourn across the street to an establishment with the
name, "The Office". That was a nice thing as if we arrived home late, we could always
truthfully reply when asked, "Where were you?" Why I was at The Office.

Your avatar
Carl • 03/26/2020 at 03:33PM • Like 1 Profile

Your "Office" story made me laugh. I had a similar experience in California. In my case the name of the establishment was "Jacks Office" Actually, there was a senior person in the company called Jack, so that establishment played a similar role as did yours. I enjoy reading your posts.

I started High School in Seattle at O'Dea.
My Mother wanted to return to her roots,
to be close to her Mom and Dad.
We packed up our furniture, shoes
clothing and books into a small truck.
We headed East to Ellensburg.
My Father had attended a small High School,
West of Ellensburg. He was going to build
a house and so we moved in with his
parents and great grandpa May.
I enrolled at Thorp or THS, a
High School, of approximately 41 students.
There were 14 in my class which at the time
was a large class but a shock to me after
being at O'Dea, an all boy school of
approximately 200 students.
My English Composition teacher, had
also taught my Dad. I recall that she was
a stern but a fair taskmaster.
Quite different from the stern, Religious
Brothers, teaching at O'Dea.
The enjoyment I had at THS were many.
Many new friends, dances, holding Student
Body Offices and most importantly playing
sports. We did not have a Football team but did
have active teams in Basketball and Baseball.
I lettered for 3 years in Basketball and Baseball.
In those days, I was average height for a Basketball
guard. Baseball, I played 3rd base, 2nd base and
pitched. Not much of a fastball but I could throw
a lot of "junk", screwballs, curve ball and slider.
Great memories, great times with great lifelong

Many years ago, in another time a friend of mine
was making a trip out of town. He took along an
empty suitcase, a big one.
He flew to Medford to visit some of our units.
He stopped at a Discount Store, where an old
friend was the Manager.
My friend, Harold, I'll call him Hal grabbed a
cart and went down the aisle. He told his friend
we had a toilet paper shortage in Seattle.
He loaded up his cart and as other shoppers
came by, he told them of the TP shortage in Seattle.
Those customers and others, immediately cleared
out all the known supplies of the TP in that store.
My friend arrived home the next day. Took his
suitcase into the bedroom, put it on the bed, opened
it and called to his wife, Donna.
"Donna" he said, "come in here and see what I have."
Donna went into the bedroom and Hal said" Look what I
have." His wife replied, "What's this?"
Hal said "You told me that you couldn't find any toilet paper".
She said to Hal, "I told you I couldn't find any Blue"
And so it is said that it doesn't take too much talk to
start a run, (pardon the pun) on toilet paper.
Not the same as what happened here, but at the time
when Hal told me the story, we laughed.
Keep your chin up, we will get through this terrible period of
time of our life.
Wash your hands.

A narrow ditch, perhaps three feet wide,
meanders; through a Rancher's field.
I'm not sure how deep it was
or how fast the water moved.
I remember, years ago, fishing
in this ditch, just a few times each year.
I never told anyone about the location,
until years later.
Generally a fisherman is reluctant to share
fishing locations, not even with close friends.
I was that way. I would tell those that asked
a general location, omitting much detail.
I would catch 3 or 4 Brook Trout,
10 to 14 inches long, fat from the rich
food supply of the irrigation ditch.
A great memory for me.

Playing soccer, in an Over 40 League,
was fun for me and good exercise.
Playing, as a defender, at that time,
I was told, I was good in the air. Or in
layman terms, heading the ball.
High balls were mine.
The ball was passed by an opposing player,
to a space ahead of me. I jumped
to use my head to move the ball out of reach
of the opposing player.
A collision with a teammate's head, happened,
at my eyebrow.
I stood there, dazed, confused and wondered
how come there was blood dripping down my
nose to the ground.
I walked off the field and a teammate took
me across the street to the Steele Lake,
Fire Station, where a EMT put a bandage on
my eye brow. I finished playing the game,
as we were playing shorthanded, with less than
eleven player. I made sure that I did not do
any more head balls.
I was riding with a friend and I dropped him off
at his place and then proceeded to the ER,
at Evergreen Medical Center.
The staff handled me in their usual fine fashion and
after 7 stitches, inside the cut and 8 stitches outside,
I was sent home.
I enjoyed playing soccer and did so until I was in my 50's.

I want not,
not one little thing,
except to be near you
to feel your warmth
and hear your heart beat.
The slowness of your breath
remembering when I would caress
your lovely shoulders,
lying next to thee.
I miss you my darling,
your lovely smile and glow.
Yearning for days, now gone,
when conversation was a joy.
Not the same on this day.
No! Not anymore.

It was after WWII was over,
when I was quite young.
I remember that my teen
years were in play.

My father worked for Todd's shipyards
on the Duwamish, in West Seattle.
After the war was over, he was laid off
and purchased a bar, The Looking Glass Tavern,
on 45th, West of the Blue Moon.
It was quite the watering hole for the returning
Veterans. Wine and beer could be purchased
but beer was the beverage of choice.
A small place that was close to UW.

On Sunday mornings, after church,
I would go with my father to help clean up.
I can still smell the sourness of spilt beer.
and the stale smell of tobacco.
I wasn't very helpful but my father would
let me sit at the bar. Closed on Sunday due to the
"Blue Laws" in effect in the City.
My father would pour me a Coke and I could have
a pickled Polish Sausage. I remember how that tasted
when washed down with a Coke.
I do remember the good time with my father,
when he owned The Looking Glass Tavern.

At some time that next year my mother decided
she wanted to move back to the Ellensburg area
where many of her sisters were as was her mother
and father. My Grandpa worked for the Kittitas Valley
Reclamation District, East of Ellensburg, but that
is a different story.

Many years later, I was on an adult soccer team
and we were playing at the Soccer pitch by Green Lake.
I told my two friends that were riding with me
about stopping there for nostalgic reasons.
It was no longer The Looking Glass Tavern but had a
different name.
I approached the door and it was exactly like I
remembered, Bar to the left, Booths to the right.
No Coke this time so I ordered a beer and a Pickled
Polish Sausage.
The sausage tasted like it was all grease. One bite
and then I washed it down with beer.
The taste? Yuck. Maybe I needed a Coke.

Standing by the campfire,
so many years ago.
Trying to stay warm,
when it began to snow.
The hiss of snowflakes
into the flaming fire.
The flickering shadows,
across the ground
so white with snow.
Smelling the smoke,
now on our clothes.
Banking the fire,
going to our tent,
into our sleeping bag,
trying to sleep
until dawn
of a Winter morn.

What's it like to lose 200 pounds at home and completely change your life? This most recent post features a Q&A with Shandon Smith. It explores Shandon’s decision to have surgery, her experience, the ways she’s made sustainable changes, and the surprising non-scale-victories she’s experienced.

Out to dinner last night.
She ordered a Caesar Salad.
When it came, She said,
"What is this?"
Her memory is no longer there.
After we had finished
She said, "Did you know my Mom?
Did you know my Dad?"
I replied, Yes I did and
they were very nice people.
Then she said to me,
"Tell me about your family?"
I told her about what I knew,
Realizing she no longer knows
Who I am.
Her memory loss continues to
to slip away, much to my dismay.

Our life is a shamble,
at least it is to me,
for we no longer talk freely.
You speak words, yes you do,
but there the same words,
that you say, over and over again.
Every few minutes you will say,
"I liked that place,
what was it called?",
not recalling anything
I'd told you before.
My patience has become strained,
as I repeat my answer again.
I do not say I told you that before.
Reminding myself, it's not
her fault, not in any way,
while I continue to see you,
slowly slipping, slipping away.

I'm incredibly humbled to have been included in this series on Honest Chatter.

I'd been following Melody on Instagram for some time before we finally met at an event. She's as beautiful on the inside as she is in her photos.

To be surrounded by people like this fills my heart with such joy.

Writing can be hard,
so what can I say.
I had a stroke
on Martin King Day.
A minor one, he spoke
as I listened readily.
I saw half a word
in the paper I read.
The diagnosis was a TIA,
no damage, on this day.
When I asked about
what should be done
if another one came?
He said call Nine, one, one.

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