Thursday, November 27, 2008

Petered out, or, be careful what you wish for....

And so we have come to the day of being Thankful, talking to family, being fat and happy....and the day before "Christmas In Kenai", the much anticipated show of the year. Being excited as I have been, I worked very diligently for the past month and a half, and more especially for the past 2 weeks, to make sure I was equipped, stocked and ready to go. And I am! However, not without hitches of which reach beyond my control, yet within my anticipation. As you know, besides being the Handyman and maintenance business guy that I am, I turn into Mr. Plow come winter. Snow plowing is the easiest hard work I have ever done! I mean, the cool thing is I am out "in it" which anyone who really knows me knows that I live for being "in it" when it comes to the elements. The heater in the cab is cranking, windows are usually down to see out the side view mirrors as blowing snow is always an element, especially when it freezes the minute it hits the windows....imagine snow freezing to the windshield upon contact! And you cant wipe it off with the windshield wipers!!! The stereo is going with the favorites, you find yourself soon enough in a zone with a big ol grin on your face, watching a wave of snow fly off the front of your blade, and the feeling of the final thrust as it explodes into the burm you've created...yeah! A thermos of hot cocoa is a plus, and I love making yellow snow everywhere my travels take me! Meeting up several times through the day and the comorodity with your other friends who plow, and conversing continuously with them via cell phone to find out what conditions are in certain areas, come help me I'm stuck, can you get so and so for me while your out in Sterling and yeah, I'll catch so and so when I get back over to Kenai for you... The flip side is a typical snow day starts at around 1:00AM and will sometimes ride through til 10:00PM that night, unless it continues to snow and then you only get a few hours of sleep before your up and out again at 1:00 AM to do it over again. By 10:00PM after that first run your eyes are caved in, your head hurts from turning your neck so much, like a 'Lazy Susan' at a free for all table food fest.... Then there is that feeling. You are standing in the kitchen drinking a glass of water and you feel your body gently swaying forward....backward....forward....backward, from all of the back and forth for the past 20 hours. But then the next day when you wake refreshed, and feeling somewhat hung over, you add up the coin for the previous days fare, and it is oh so worth it! So getting back to the point I was about to make, I have been really praying for the snow to fly. And so my prayers came true....oye. You see, the caveat has been "please snow, but don't snow during the two days of the show". Right. The call came in Tuesday night at around 8:00PM that we were expecting a dumping over night. Now the adrenaline is going, the excitement is mounting and you just cant settle in to sleep. Your up every hour peeking out the window to see "how much" like a little kid anticipating Santa's arrival. Before you know it it's 12:30AM and the alarm is going off. And so the fun run goes down. Fast forward to Wednesday night at around 10:00PM, I am home, eyes caving, body gently swaying, I still have hours of unloading the final kiln load, pricing and packing all of the new pieces, getting the tables and paraphernalia together ect, ect, ect. I just wanted to sleep. Bad. So Thanksgiving morning rolls around and I find myself sleeping in til 9:30AM, wonder why, and we have to be at our friends' for dinner at 12:30PM. I figure cool beans, we will be home early and I can price, pack, gather and load the truck. It will be a long day, but it's doable. Until I eat, and eat, and eat. Good food, good friends, good it's 6:30Pm and we are just rolling home. Hey, not to worry, I am only running on fumes as I am still tired, and have to do all of this in order to be up at 5:30AM Friday and off to Kenai to set up. All week I have watched the weather to make sure we would have no I have a definitive say in it...and that last blast came totally unexpected. But no worries, it is smooth sailing because as of Thanksgiving morning, there is no accumulative snow expected til next week. It's been a long haul but I can do it! Maybe?! I will be fine. So here we are, 9:30PM Thanksgiving evening, I am done with a little help from the family. Truck is packed, we are good as gold. And the forecast is now expecting 6 inches of snow by Friday night. The show, the snow....I am already petered out as it is, and can only say...."be careful what you wish for"... But the sick little monkey in me is saying 'giddy-up'! Interesting point to add. There will be the annual 4th of July fireworks display and festivities Saturday night in Kenai. We celebrate 4th of July here in November, because it is too light out to see fireworks on the 4th of July! Too cool, aint it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The three boneheads and a S.A.D. realization....

Wow, where has the time gone? In fact where did the year go?? Where to start? We have actually heard from a few friendly and distant voices of late. Our friend and live-in companion Michelle called and talked with Maryann today. She is well and apparently misses some of the perks of living with the lack of population and all of it's adverse effects on ones psyche! She is well and back in California....'for now'. Michelle has an admirable quality in her, and this would be the desire to roam and roll unturned I said, 'for now!' She has a home in Alaska waiting for her return. We also heard from an old client of ours who is wanting to come up and experience Alaskan fishing next summer. And last but not by a long shot the least, we heard from our long time and dear friends Ted and Patty who are also looking into coming up for a possible visit over the summer. So some excitement hearing from missed friends and the like. Marynn is savoring the taste of working from home. She has not lost her mind as of yet! But the days are getting darker and shorter who knows!

I, on the other hand have stumbled onto the realization that I may well be suffering from the ill-effects of S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Yes, I think the lack of light may have finally nipped me in the ass! I have started to feel as if I may be losing my mind and have been having the yearning urge to go to Hawaii or someplace sunny like that. In fact now looking back on it it is starting to make sense when I was younger with those long weeks of fog and dreariness in Stockton. Maryann has pulled through as my savior though. No, not to worry as she has mail ordered me a "happy light". Now apparently these light boxes have come a long way and now they have them as desktop decorative models. So me and my "happy light" will be spending some time together this winter, and hopefully I will not succumb to the relenting feeling of isolation and remorse....during the next 2 long and dark months! Maryann is talking to her mom in the other room right now, stating about how the lack of light has not gotten to her yet....yet!

Then there is the senseless acts of foolishness. You know, when you do stupid things, as we all do, you will almost always regret it. But it sure does feel better when you aren't the only dummy in the crowd. It started out last month when our friend Mike, who works at Maryann's lodge, pulled a 'California stop' coming from the lodge out onto the highway and got pulled over by Alaska's best. And surprisingly he wasn't let off with a warning, but a ticket. Now, me being the friend that I am couldn't help but feel for the guy. I mean, you are just going through your daily motions and then all of a sudden those red and blue lights, which are really kind of fascinatingly pretty, are in your rear view mirror. And the State Troopers here are very cordial and polite when they approach your vehicle. They always introduce themselves and ask you how you are doing, before they tell you why your being pulled over. How do I know this? Because being the friend that I am and feeling bad for the guy, I pulled a boner of a move two weeks later coming back from Anchorage in a rental car. Only I did one up better than Mike. Oh, I couldn't let him be better than me! I was doing 75 in a 55 zone. Shocked? Imagine that ol familiar feeling of my heart falling into my ass as I watched the Trooper coming at me and realized what I was doing! Mind you, the speed limit had just dropped from 65 to 55 less than a mile back.....I just missed the sign....stupid dummy me! So Mike walked away with a 2 point ticket, and me a 4 point ticket which the Trooper very considerately lowered to a 2 point by saying I was only doing 10 miles over the speeed limit. And if that dont just beat it all. Now, imagine the grin on Johns face when he walked in that night and saw my ticket glowing on the counter. "And here dad is always telling me to slow down", thought John. And I have to give the boy credit where credit is due, because a week later when he got pulled over in Kenai, he was in fact doing the speed limit. But being the sore loser that he sometimes is, he had to out-do Mike and myself by getting a 6 point ticket....whoa.....for following too close to the person in front of him, slamming on his brakes in icy conditions, and almost causing an accident! I think they call that reckless driving, eh John?! Good thing for John, he had a kind officer as well and lowered him to a 4 point ticket, because at 6 points it is mandatory court appearance and suspension of his license. He was even nice enough to call me at home at 10:30PM to tell me what my brilliant son had just maneuvered. And so we have the three boneheads, who had to support the local and state revenue, in a rather foolish and uncanny manner. Poor traffic school instructor who is gonna have to deal with us 3 jackasses!!

On a shiner and upbeat note, if you remember last year about this time, I was writing about my demise with the big "Christmas In Kenai" craft bizarre. Remember, I was scheduled to sell pottery there the day after Thanksgiving and the kiln took a crap just days away. That spawned me to buy a new updated and more reliable kiln, to which I have had very favorable and exciting experiences with since. So today ended a 10 hour glazing frenzy to begin the 2 glaze fires over the course of the next few days, that I will have to perform in order to have pottery ready for sale the day after Thanksgiving at the "Christmas In Kenai" show. Yes I am giving it another go! And this happens on the heels of a successful run two weeks ago at the Soldotna Bizarre I did, as seen in the photos. Sales were pretty darn good, and out of it came a gallery owner who has asked me to display pottery in her gallery, and as well, the continued request of the Soldotna Senior Center to sell pottery out of their gift store, which I have already displayed and am doing now. As well as good sales, I was shocked to have taken a 1st place ribbon on a teapot set I made and a 3rd place ribbon on a small vase! I had entered 3 pieces into the jurried show the third being the green bowl behind the vase which although it didn't take a ribbon, did sell before it was displayed! But just the excitement of so many avenues coming out of one show, was an honor. And another step closer to my dream! So I find myself busy preparing for the next gig and one more before Christmas at Maryann's former place of employment, as the hotel is having a Christmas Bizarre and has asked me to participate.

John came home tonight and was glowing. He is now certified in CPR! One step closer to his dream!! Upon finding out the good news, Cherokee promptly and on cue rolled over 4 paws to the ceiling playing dead. John wasn't interested in giving the dog CPR.....good thing Cherokee was only running through a crisis training scenario.... So there it is the latest and greatest, another month gone by, one more month closer to officially qualifying for the PDF, 27 more days to the darkest day, continued success in the pursuit of dreams and one tired Greg! Stay tuned as we find out whether or not the "happy light" will save me from spiraling into the dark abyss of yet another Alaskan winter...... If you look into my eyes you can kinda already see the twisted look of....