A New Year Closes In…

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Well, another year is in the books in just a few days. A new year always seems like a rebirth to me… not sure why. Perhaps it is all of the “year in review” crap on all the news websites, or maybe it could be all of the threats of “resolutions” that always fail. I do tend to fall into that same routine to some extent – one of looking back and doing a little personal inventory on what has come and gone.

My caretaker gig here at the refuge ends March 31, 2014. Hard to believe it, but I will have been here a year and a half by that point. It has been an incredible last couple of years with a lot of changes. Many amazing things have happened and I have gotten to see, do, and learn so much since my journey started. It has been so rewarding and fulfilling and I am so fortunate to have been able to take this road.

Of course I have been thinking a little more about this gig coming to a close. It is sad to a degree, but I knew it would never be permanent when I applied for the gig. I will hate to leave my cabin and my position as the Caretaker. It will be strange to not see this beautiful place every day. It is strange to hear about your replacement and it makes you look at things differently, yet in a good way. It really is a closure. You look at the things you have done and accomplished, some changes you were able to make in your position, maybe see a few things you would have done differently, how the new experiences have affected you as a person.

As many of you probably know if you read my earliest blog entries, my original thought was to travel around and do various caretaker/campground jobs in a few different areas of the country, and maybe even Canada if it were possible. During those travels, I was going to take note of places I have visited and see if some of those could be considered as a place to stay when I got tired of the travel. After coming up here to this wonderful place to do my first-ever caretaker job, I have come to the realization that this area is someplace that could be difficult for me to leave. I really like what life has to offer here… the people, the weather, the crabbing, the friends I have made, the scenery, the mountains, the water… it really is a great place for me to call home. I believe I said before that I really did not realize the effect the water would have on me, and I think that it would be difficult to NOT be around it after having it. It is like the mountains when I lived in the hills in Colorado… I said I could never again live anyplace where there were not any mountains, and it kind of feels that way about the sea for me now.

I cannot say that “plans have changed” because there were really never any “plans”. Plans just get in the way of living. I set out last year to just live life, and I have been doing just that. Regardless of whether I stay around here or go someplace else, I do have to start looking around for my next opportunity. I have a couple of possibilities for now that I have to further look into, but I do have the next 9 months or so covered for now. I still have to consider options in case something happens and I do not get to become the island caretaker so I am keeping that in mind as I check around. One of the things I am beginning to look into is local, the other a few hours away. I do want, and plan, to stay in the northwest, however.

It makes it hard to move on when you find a special place. Colorado was, still is, and always will be for many reasons a special place to me. I never thought I would leave there… but I DID leave there. Up here it is a little more special to me, and those who know me and how I felt/feel about CO may be surprised to hear that come out of my fingertips.

It is all just part of this adventure I am on. It will all be fine.

A Happy New Year to everyone in the world.

Happy Holidays!

Just things, Uncategorized

Yes, I said it… my non-denominational seasonal greeting to everyone. Yes… I know what the holiday is, but I choose to say “Happy Holidays”.

I think way too much is read into things. There is enough room in this world for everyone to have their own beliefs, or even NO beliefs, if people will just accept people for being another human being on this tiny planet and respect their choices. If someone gives you a “Merry Christmas”, or even a “Happy Holidays” or a (and hush my mouth) “Season’s Greetings” so what? Take it at face value… they are ONLY trying to pass good wishes your way more often than not.

I wish you all a safe and prosperous new year!

Trip to South Dakota

Adventure, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

I went to South Dakota last week to see my youngest daughter graduate from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science… a huge milestone in a person’s life that no one can ever take away or minimize. I do have to say congratulations to you, Meghan. I am so proud of your accomplishment.

I flew into Denver from SeaTac via a commuter flight from Port Angeles, WA on Kenmore Air. For a long trip I would definitely do that again since it ended up being cheaper than parking for a week, ferry fares, and gas to drive. Plus, it was much faster.

Returning to Colorado was odd in a sense. I have been gone over a year and it was a strange familiarity in being there again. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to visit anyone, but my main reason for being there was to drive up with my bro Rich to see graduation anyway. I will have to make a trip back specifically to see people and hang out for a few days.

It was a great trip and we lucked out in many ways. There were no travel problems, no weather issues, and no drama or bullshit. I was able to get a great deal at the Super 8 in Spearfish for all of us so that worked out very well. We ate some good food, went out for a beer or two, and got to see some cool sights.

Meghan took us to the wildlife sanctuary she volunteers at, and it is pretty impressive what they have going on there. There are animals there ranging from birds to lions, wolves to pigs. It is a cool place, and they do good work. Here is their website if you would like to take a look, buy a shirt, or maybe even send them a donation – http://spiritofthehillssanctuary.org/.

My parents drove up from Kansas and it was good to see them, but I have to say… those two are a handful. HAHAHA! It was good to see Rich again as well. We had a good time, and he let me stay at his house and got me to and from the airport. Meghan’s boyfriend Michael whipped up supper one night and did a fine job and I am glad we got to hang out.

I am proud of all of my daughters. They are all doing what they want to in their lives and enjoying themselves doing it, and that is what it is all about. I love you all!

Here is a link to a few photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnflaherty/sets/72157639033232623/

Irony

Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

I type this entry on my iPad as I am sitting here in SeaTac waiting to board a flight. The irony is that as I use my tech to update my blog, I am people-watching and everyone is so consumed by their electronic devices. People walking along and not paying attention to where they are walking as they are listening to music, typing on a tablet or laptop or even their smartphones. They are so oblivious to everything and everyone around them. I type a few words and stop to look around at the silliness.

It is interesting what we have become as a society. We do not even know what is happening around us anymore. Yes I am typing away, but I am still looking around and not totally sucked into my own little world while I type this blog entry. Take the couple sitting next to me, for example. He is sucked into his laptop, while his wife is sitting there with a disgusted look on her face while he is checking his e-mail and screwing around on his laptop.

It is difficult when tech makes life so easy and it is so easy to use (if you don’t use Android devices, that is). My boarding pass is on my phone – no need for a physical copy. I do love my technology, but I do try to not let it rule me. Is it difficult? Yes, but sometimes I do not answer my phone, messages, or e-mails because, well, I don’t wanna. I have learned to enjoy a meal at my leisure, and sometimes I wait hours to return calls or messages. I like the fact that it can give me my calendar, contact info, reminders, notes, music, and info I need to access when I cannot wait. Oh yeah, it is for communicating too.

It is really pretty simple. Just treat your device like a home phone. You cannot answer your home phone when away from home, so why must we feel the need to answer any phone any time?

I have already ranted about people and their damn cellphone calls in public so you know how I feel about that already. I am not seeing (or hearing) much of that for the most part.

And THAT is a damn good thing.

New Song Project

Just things, Music, Uncategorized

Well, this new song project – as yet untitled – is coming along. For now I call it a “song project” as this first part I am working on is really several songs and bits put together into one song as a sort of “concept album” that I have had the idea of doing for a while now. It is an ambitious project and it is pretty involved doing it since it is quite complicated to assemble it like I want. It is far from perfect, but right now I am just experimenting to see how it is going to turn out without putting in even more work on it. I am also having to figure out how to do some things in my software that have changed with the last update and using some other things in it that I have not used before.

I am also somewhat pushing myself and my skills more technically on everything – software usage, production ideas, playing of instruments, different vocal style, etc. It is really interesting to see how this is all coming together and I think it may possibly surprise listeners. It is MUCH different than the other songs I have posted on my SoundCloud page.

Just looking at the songs I have done both with John and by myself, I count at about 20 songs that I have recordings of. Many (probably most) are complete, and I have many others that I have ideas recorded by not finished; I just record ideas and save for a rainy day.

I may post some of it when I get a sense of completion of it. I will just have to see how it turns out and go from there.