Blue Angels Time again!

My family has such a wonderful history with the Blue Angels. Just last summer I got to take my family on an Epic Roots Road Trip, which had to include the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, HOME of the Blue Angels. They have been a part of my life since I was 5 or 6 years old…before they became really famous.

My Dad took me to see them practice at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego (well, the Marines will claim it now). There was no crowd out on that field on top of that giant mesa just east of UCSD in La Jolla. Just my Dad and me, up on his shoulders.

I’ve written about this before and I put the links at the bottom.

But I have a favorite Blue Angels story. Since it was just my Dad’s birthday, I will once again share that tale in his honor. Here it is:

Agnostic Angels

This is a love letter to my Dad, and a Thank You to the amazing, brave pilots who make up the Blue Angels.

It’s Seafair in Seattle and the Blue Angels are here!!!

When I was growing up, Angels were a surprising but recurring theme with my fairly agnostic father. He was one of the leastreligious and more unconsciously spiritual people I have ever known. Angels seemed to be everywhere in the things he did, where he took us and in what he showed us.

From San Diego, where we grew up, we went on many trips north to Los Angeles, the “City of Angels”, to ride the “Angels Flight”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Flight

He told us many stories of the “Guardian Angels” he had as a kid who helped him survive his completely unsupervised childhood.

Apparently he had several bizarre accidents and adventures…like tumbling off a mountain and landing halfway down on the only possible 11 inch ledge that could break his death-fall.

Another was a bicycle accident when the bare handle bar (the uncovered metal pipe) went through his upper chest off to the side, just missing basically everything!

Even as an adult, on a solo dirt bike trip out into the Borrego desert, he crashed and broke his collar bone, but managed to walk his bike into a small town for help.

In one of his last visits to me, he took a long walk in the dead of an unusually snowy Northwest winter, slipped and broke his ankle. He walked half a mile back to my house and, tough guy that he was, did not tell me until the next day what had happened. He finally had to because he could not remove his cowboy boot (which, it turns out, is exactly what stabilized his ankle for that 24 hours).

 

He claimed help from Angels for each of these events.

When he died, it was really no surprise that we received gracious assistance from the Hell’s Angels on the day of his Memorial.

Hells Angels logo.jpg

We bungee-corded my Dad’s ashes to the back of his lifelong Dream-Harley. (He didn’t get it until he was in his eighties.) Our caravan of family cars followed my best friend, Lee, on the bike out into the mountains East of San Diego to my Dad’s favorite little town called Julian.

We celebrated his life at his favorite restaurant and when we got ready to leave, I spotted a couple of real Harley riders, mounting up. I was wearing my Dad’s favorite Harley shirt so I walked right up to them and told them my Dad’s story. I pointed out the box of ashes on the back of my Dad’s bright red, flame-painted Sportster (with matching helmet).

I asked these two guys if they would consider riding along with my Dad (on his beloved bike) as we drove out of town.

They said “Sure, but we are not alone.”

Much to my delight (and the horror of my very religious relatives) we were escorted down the mountain by the two guys I talked to AND their friends. FIFTY Hell’s Angels followed us back down that mountain, in a practiced procession for any fallen brother of theirs; lights on, in two perfect parallel lines, peeling off one pair at a time when they were done.

So see? Lots of ANGELS in my life.

The Blue Angels entered when I was very young!

My favorite of the Angel Activities as a kid was this. My little sisters were too young, so Dad would take just me to Miramar Naval Air Base early on Sunday mornings, to watch the Blue Angels practice their soon to become famous stunts. He was very proud of being able to get on the Base and to show off what he claimed to be the planes that “he had built”. (My Dad was an aeronautical engineer who moved from Kansas to San Diego to work in his industry.)

I would ride on his shoulders for the “air show” and he would duck down when they flew over, as if they were actually flying low enough to be dangerous to this lone man with a squealing little girl on his shoulders. What an absolute thrill it was and my memories to this day are so clear, they are physical!

Though I struggled sometimes with the dichotomy of a Hippie Peacenik Flower-child being in love with fighter pilot jets, I have watched The Blue Angels through so many stages of my life.

In my 20’s and 30’s, before the trees grew up around us, the huge deck off my house was the favorite viewing place of all the single Mom’s in the neighborhood. We’d put on our bikini’s and pose on the deck, debating the safety of doing that…as if the pilots were actually going to look down at us each time they flew over!

Then, there were the years I worked as a waitress in a fancy restaurant in the tallest building in Bellevue…sharing the panoramic viewing experience with my wealthy customers.

One of my favorite memories was when my small son and I watched them while we were zipping around Lake Washington on a friend’s Jet Ski right under them. What a high that was!!

Famous Move

And for almost 40 of these years, we kept the Blue Angels alive in our conversations during the rest of year. My best friend’s father, Colonel Louis Ford, was like a second Dad to me. He was a fighter pilot in 3 wars. And though he was respectful of the “Angels”, he clearly had a bias for the Thunderbirds! That made for some lively discussions, Air Force vs Navy pilots, between my two Dads!

Colonel Ford taught me about the concepts of Hangar Flying (the time spent in the hangar, processing mistakes and accidents) as well as “The Hole in the Sky” (an opening in the clouds) that a pilot sometimes had to find in order to survive. Talk about Guardian Angels….

Boys getting me autographs on my Blue Angel’s birthday t-shirt!

Now, I have 2 Grandsons, 9 and 11, and their Mom and my son have taken them to see the Blue Angels every year of their lives. This has been a great setting to share stories of my Dad, the wonderful Great Grandfather they never got to meet, a man who had a life filled with “Angels” and he passed them all onto us….

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For many years I went by myself to a tiny (and progressively less secret) park on Mercer Island shore, the Thursday and Friday prior to the big Seafair Air Show. On Thursday, from this little park on the water, you can watch the scouting the Blue Angels do each year to get the lay of the land. And on Fridays, you can watch a full rehearsal of the big show they will perform on Saturday and Sunday. You can’t be at this little park for the actual show as it becomes an emergency Aid Station on those days.

My ritual was always to go there early, get settled and then call my Dad….so I could be on the cell phone with him as the Angels arrived. That first fly over is an indescribable thrill! In that park, they fly in low and from behind you. Their approach is muted by the hillside and thick trees, almost silent until suddenly, they thunder over your head. It is kind of like walking up the path next to the massive, rolling Niagara Falls; totally quiet until you get past a certain point and then instantly it becomes a deafening roar of falling water.

Anyway, I would hold the phone up in the air and scream at the top of my lungs as my Dad’s Angels buzzed our shared location.

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No matter when or where I see them, I am instantly five years old again, sitting way up high on my Daddy’s shoulders when those beautiful Blue Angels scream by.

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I really believe my Dad witnessed that generous and spontaneous Hell’s Angel Memorial procession, and that he sees us watching the Blue Angels every year, from somewhere up there, through the “hole in the sky”.

Heaven Bound

original post written here: https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/08/07/agnostic-angels/

 

 

Yesterday, in typical Seattle weather, the Angels arrived for “scouting” day, flying in directly over our house.

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Though the weather this year may be disappointing for local SeaFair fans, it is great for Blue Angels fans who get to see the “low program”…thrilling, to say the least!

 

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(this last was apparently 2 cents worth from Lucy, the cat, who stopped by the keyboard when I left the room for a bit.)

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/01/19/silence-for-wpc-1-17-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/10/11/wordlesswednesday-10-11-17/

Cee’s Flower of the Day photo challenge-Hydrangea!

Ah, my FAVORITE flower, in all its colors and in all its life stages!

I have too many photos to choose from so I will post the pictures I just took this morning!

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Flower of the Day – July 5, 2018 – Hydrangea

SongLyricsSunday 7-1-18 Theme “Game”

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 7/1/18

Well, this word conjures up too many responses…songs with the word “game” in the title or lyrics but I just cannot post a song by Foreigner! It’s too easy.

I have been a Psychotherapist (that’s one word, not two or three) in private practice for 40 some years now. My original education and training was in Transactional Analysis, a pop psych theory made popular by Eric Byrne in his best selling book Games People Play

Games in this context are defined as Berne defined games as: “an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined,predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”  www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/

Given this definition, I’d wager that MOST songs are about “games”, in one way or another. In my music life, as far back as 1965, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, “The Game of Love”, (another one I just cannot post!), songs have been about one game or another.

So I picked two of my favorite songs, both about a bigger picture kind of Game.

One rings very true for my generation, not that it doesn’t apply to others, but we became so much more aware of this game. “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne.

And the other, more of a universal game currently being played by too many humans on our planet! “They’re not Here, They’re Not Coming” by Don Henley. (There is some sad irony in the timing of Henley’s song, released in July 2001….)

Both songs are great musically. Just don’t miss the message!

Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdHg4QEmBvk

with lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq25ZJwZJzU

Lyrics

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-oh-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned, into the road I’m on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind

Songwriters: Jackson Browne

Running On Empty lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

ArtistJackson Browne

AlbumRunning on Empty

Released1977

GenreSinger-songwriter

NominationsGrammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

And

They’re Not Here, They’re Not Coming by Don Henley

https://www.lumsvids.com/vid/006-they-re-not-here-they-re-not-coming/

(Only video I could find of this song but it really plays like a trailer for X-Files…what a dark and violent TV Series….that I loved every minute of…)

https://genius.com/Don-henley-theyre-not-here-theyre-not-coming-lyrics

From the Arizona desert
To the Salisbury Plain
Lights on the horizon
Patterns on the grain
Anxious eyes turned upward
Clutching souvenirs
Carrying our highest hopes
And our darkest fears

They swear there was an accident
Back in ’47
Little man with a great big head
Splattered down from heaven
Government conspiracy
Cover-ups and lies
Hidden in the desert
Under endless skies

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No time for heroes, no place for good guys
No room for Rocky The Flying Squirrel

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
Turn your weary eyes back homeward
Stop your trembling, dry your tears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

Would they pile into the saucer
Find Orlando’s rat and hug it?
Go screaming through the universe
Just to get McNuggets?
Well, I don’t think so, I don’t think so
It’s much too dangerous, it’s much too strange
Here in a world that won’t give Oprah
No home on the range

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No authenticity, no sign of soul
The radio won’t play George and Merle

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
‘Til we put away our hatred
‘Til we lay aside our fears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my sister
They’re not here, they’re not coming

To this garden we were given
And always took for granted
It’s like my daddy told me
“You just bloom where you’re planted.”
Now you long to be delivered
From this world of pain and strife
That’s a sorry substitution
For a spiritual life

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No place for sentiment, no room for romance
Bring back the Duke of Earl

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
Turn your hopes back homeward
Hold your children, dry their tears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
‘Til we put away our hatred
And lay aside our fears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

 

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A Face in the Crowd for WPC 2/21/18

A Face in the Crowd

This might be a stretch. But if you happen to be a regular reader, you might be getting the idea that I am kind of a Rule Bender in a quiet-ish way.

This week, first came the Weekly Photo Challenge. I searched and thought and plotted to find or take a great Face-in-the-Crowd shot. I had the same weird internal ethical debates I always have about taking photos of strangers without their permission…even a face in a crowd.

Then my grandsons invited me to watch a movie. We watched Okja, an odd little Korean film. (Trailer down below, but it’s full of spoilers…better to watch unprepared, in my opinion.)  By the way, Common Sense Media says 15 years plus, and though my grandsons are 12 and 14, I agree. My oldest one kept saying “one minute you think this is a great kid’s movie and the next it’s really, REALLY not!”

I will tell you that while watching it, I couldn’t help but thinking about the Weekly Photo Challenge Theme….which made me start thinking in a whole new direction.

I love animals and I tell you what, it is getting more and more difficult to eat anything with a face. I have been mostly vegetarian for almost 50 years…no red meat of any kind during that time and only the occasional fish and poultry…including Salmon of course ( I DO live in the Northwest after all) and Turkey on Thanksgiving!

With this movie giving me a new way of thinking of the face in the crowd, I remembered an experience a few years back that left me both in awe for the beauty of it and a kind of disgust and guilt for the fact of it.

On a repeated vacation to San Diego, the place where we stay has this massive Koi Pond. For a quarter, you can feed the spectacularly colorful fish.

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They were beautiful and I suppose there is value in sharing that contained beauty with people if it heightens their consciousness about our cohabitants on Mother Earth. (Don’t get me started on the two sides of the whole Zoo Debate.)

But it was also an example of a pitiful and frightening feeding frenzy.

There was this one fish-face that caught my eye. I kept my eye on him so I knew it was the same one over and over. His face kept appearing midst the fevered quest for food.

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Maybe it was that he was so huge and that made me wonder if this had been his whole life, battle after crowded battle for tidbits of man-made cereal nuggets.

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That thought made me incredibly sad. I mean, Koi can live for up to 200 years! And these guys had already been trapped in this resort pond for 35 years that I know of.

It just felt wrong.

I don’t know any resolution, or if there even needs to be one. I mean, I raise Giant Leaf Bugs and keep them in a terrarium for their entire lives…my rationale being they live almost a year longer in my captivity than in their native wild. My cats are strictly indoor cats for the same reason…longer lives than if they ventured out among the hawks and coyotes in my area.

Anyway, this is my Face in the Crowd post for the week.

I’d love to hear what you think.

 

5 Interesting Facts About Koi Fish from https://www.sweeneyfeeders.com/5-interesting-facts-koi-fish/

 

1. Koi fish originate from Japan and represent love and friendship in Japanese culture.

 

2. Most koi fish outlive their owners, having a lifespan of 200+ years.

 

3. They come in a variety of colors, not just orange. They may appear orange, yellow, white, red and black.

 

4. Owners who received their koi fish as a gift are believed to have good luck.

 

5. In Japan, koi fish are often passed down from generation to generation, as a family heirloom.

 

 

SongLyricSunday 2-18-18

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 2/18/18

Normally, a song immediately pops into my head when I read the theme for the week.

All I got this morning was Earth Angel by the Penguins from the 1950’s. Not the right mood for me today so I kept thinking and finally gave up and Googled. I found a U2 song I thought I had never heard of. Since I am a huge fan, I couldn’t wait to hear this new (to me) song!

Turns out, it is Peace on Earth combined with my all-time favorite U2 song by this amazing group, and I have not only heard it before…I even saw it on TV the night this version debuted….right after September 11, 2001.

AND, I have even posted this exact song before. Not in the context of “earth” but rather about power and escaping danger. It’s a song I have used in my practice for years, especially to inspire someone working to extract themselves from domestic violence.

Featuring Dave Stewart and Natalie Imbruglia. From the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon, which aired live on 35 broadcast and cable networks on Friday, September 21, 2001. The original versions of both songs can be found on the 2000 album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

There is a lot more about this song here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_on_Earth_(U2_song)

Lyrics

Peace on Earth

Heaven on Earth – we need it now
I’m sick of all of this hanging around
Sick of sorrow – sick of the pain
I’m sick of hearing again and again
That there’s gonna be peace on Earth

Where I grew up there weren’t many trees
Where there was we’d tear them down
And use them on our enemies
They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

And it’s already gone too far
Who said that if you go in hard
You won’t get hurt?
Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth

Tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth
No whos or whys
No-one cries like a mother cries
For peace on Earth
She never got to say goodbye
To see the colour in his eyes
Now he’s in the dirt
Peace on Earth

They’re reading names out over the radio
All the folks the rest of us won’t get to know
Sean and Julia – Gareth, Ann and breda
Their lives are bigger than any big idea

Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth
To tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth

Jesus in the song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won’t rhyme
So what’s it worth?
This peace on Earth
Peace on Earth —

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/u/u2lyrics/allthatyoucantleavebehindlyrics.html#05

 

Lyrics

Walk On

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no – be strong

Walk on – walk on
What you got, they can’t steal it
No, they can’t even feel it
Walk on – walk on
Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly – only fly for freedom

Walk on – walk on
What you got, they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it or buy it
Walk on – walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on – walk on

Home – hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home – I can’t say where it is, but I know I’m going
Home – that’s where the hurt is

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on

Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind

All that you fashion – all that you make
All that you build – all that you break
All that you measure – all that you feel
All this you can leave behind

All that you reason – it’s only time
Love in a fever – no, not mine
All that you sense – all that you scheme
All you dress up – all that you seem
All you create [fades]

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/u/u2lyrics/allthatyoucantleavebehindlyrics.html#03

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More Variations from ChosenPerspectives 1-24-18

Variations on a Theme

Contrails

I love them. When I see them, something confusing happens in my cells…as if there is a part of me that remembers a time when a cloud was just a cloud. Yes, sometimes it could have resembled a buffalo or a face, but it was just a cloud, no geometry involved

There was no one up there drawing perfectly straight lines across the sky…..

 

Can you imagine being Native to our country and looking upward to Father Sky only to see views like these?

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And what if you saw one of THESE?? 

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