Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal August 2005

Our little man Kayden
Our Little Miracle, Kayden

August 31, 2005
   School starts soon. This is Liz's last year in high school. This is the last day of autumn and another new day in our lives. Yesterday was a blur. I got a call from my dad and he and Judith are doing good but are not sure when they are coming for a visit. I told my dad that he should hurry up because he is missing the best baby parts of Kayden's life. This part is over so very fast.
   We did a dinner and a movie night last night and sat around and watched a movie called Something Like Love, I think. It was pretty funny. Christina cooked dinner. I was busy doing, guess what? Holding Kayden. When Andie got home we switched and she got to sit and hold him. What a couple of saps we are. Josh worked on the CD of our jam session. Those guys really played some brilliant and spontaneous music. Jimmy and Jamie stopped by to pick up Jimmy's bass and say hi. It was a quiet night on the prairie. And now, it's off to see the wizard on this last day of August. Youth, what a time it was. I like this time of being the white haired village chief, even for this small village and even if I am not in charge
. It is good medicine.

 

August 30, 2005
   Liz went off on a date last night with a fellow named Josh. He paints houses, is a volunteer fireman, plays guitar and sings and was a worship leader at his church. He seemed like a nice fellow and has good eyes. As a father I often detect the predominately predatory wolf like nature of the boys and young men who call upon my daughters. Sensing the lack of genuine affection for the persons of my daughters precludes my appearing as a Mr. Rogers type character and puts me in touch with my ugly. It is refreshing to meet someone without guile in their eyes. Liz and I had a stormy start as we strove to have a conversation, clear up a misunderstanding and send her off on what turned out to be a great evening. She says I am hard to talk to but I am very grateful for her determination to stick it out with me. Josh was taking her to have dinner with his mother. Andie says "Any man who likes his mother is a good man."
   Josh and Christina arrived safely from Oregon but I was too tired to jam with Josh so I set him up and went to bed. He can play circles around me now. He has solid meter, a flair for melodic guitar solos and the gift of song crafting. I probably should have stayed up since I wanted to play so badly that I didn't really sleep very well. Andie did all the shifts with Kayden. I just peeked in on him this morning and used my phone to light up his face so I could have a quick look before I began working. I stumbled out into the living room around midnight and Josh was playing beautifully in the studio, Christina, Liz and Andie was watching a comedy about a salon with Queen Letiva. I mumbled some papa speak and went back to bed and the wonderful thumping sound of the puppy scratching herself. I wonder why I feel so tired.

Our greatest joy and satisfaction comes from the act of giving. Leo Buscaglia (Thanks Dale)

August 29, 2005
   We spent a lovely afternoon at the Antonsen's yesterday. Andie went to the Candle Show and I sat outside with Dale and his friends. We passed Kayden between Andie and I. He got several walks about the property. He truly loves his "Pontiac rides." Once again the weather people looked like big dummies since it was hot and sunny both Saturday and Sunday. Rainy and overcast was their prediction. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people in the way of the hurricane that is hitting Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. I still remember how harrowing it was when Chani and I drove through Alabama late at night in a torrential downpour. I think there were a few angels on the hood helping us out because I could not see past the water fall that was my windshield. We were on a highway with no shoulder and with concrete barriers blocking any chance to pull over. Semi trucks were blasting past us and I believe that was one of the longest drives of my life. We were saved for some thing, probably so I could be papa to Kayden. Who knows? I am glad to be here. It was great to have the time with family and friends this week and week end.

If you want to make sure your children's feet are on the ground, try putting some responsibility on their shoulders. Urgay Sasgootazmine.

August 28, 2005
   Kayden saw the moon for the first time this morning at 5:30. I took him out on the porch and leaned him back I my arms, he looked up, saw it and got real still. We had a quiet moment of reflection. I spent last evening in the studio with Josh and his friends Phil and Mike. We were jamming until almost 3 am when I called it a night. They played on until 4:30 am. It was awesome. Mike and Josh have a synchronicity that is inspiring to hear and watch. Phil Whitman added his strong and unique touch on keyboards and kept us on our toes taking the chord changes to new and surprising places. Josh made the guitar sing. He really is mastering the PODxt and all the sounds and effects it contains. We jammed with just the two of us for quite a while and sang Steamroller Blues.
   Saturday was long in a good way. We saw Chani & Chris off in the early afternoon, we were thankful they could spend a little time among the untattooed. Kayden's great grand mother came to see her beautiful boy, I played at Cafe de Paris and got to see my friend Kay. It was good day and I am looking forward to another one today.

August 27, 2005  

 I love the quiet of Saturday mornings while everyone is still sleeping. Well, everyone except Kayden and me. I taught him how to grind coffee beans and make coffee this morning. I am getting good at the method of holding, cuddling and feeding him with one arm. But little ones grow so fast that their weight quickly becomes a strain on the back. The changing table is the place where the most interactive time occurs. The time when you are given the gift of a smile and a loving look; great tools for helping the human race continue. Kayden thinks he is a bucking bronco rider this morning so I had to take pause because you can't hold onto a little cowboy with one arm.
   Andie called to check on Gia last night, didn't get an answer and got worried and took me with her. She called, everything is fine. There was a really terrible accident on the news on the same road she was traveling so we were worried.
Last night Andie and Gia went to the farmer's market, or should I say, mini market. Andie told me again how happy she is to have her friend coming around again. We all love her a lot. After the market the girls ate Mexican food and brought me home an enchilada. I was sorry I missed seeing Gia but glad to see that enchilada. I am easily pleased in my old age. Since I didn't get to visit with Gia I don't know what she thinks of my dating service.
   Chani and Chris spent the night again and while I slept on the couch Chani and Andie battled it out at a game called Sequence. If you come through the front door of our house you had better be prepared to play Sequence with Andie. Well the cowboy wins. It is like holding some one who is doing that shark scene from Jaws when the girl is thrashing through the water, only without the water or the shark. He is happy, just wildly wiggly.

Make today to today. James Taylor.

August 26, 2005
  Chani came by last night and visited. She is looking great. We built a fire in the back yard and chatted about the perils of the world of tattoos, the horrors of bad bosses like the guy who owns Lynnwood Tattoo, and her experience at the Hotel International. There was not a whole lot of good news but still it is nice to visit. I think she is looking forward to going back to Alaska. She and her boyfriend Chris gave us vinyl prints of their artwork. It is amazing in its detail and blend of color.
  Shortly after I posted the entry in my journal yesterday morning I got an e-mail from my friend Dale introducing his friend Brian and asking me if I could arrange for him to e-mail Gia, introduce himself and get to know her on line. He included some specifics like no kids, no alimony, nice guy, no STD's, whatever that is. Just kidding. Having read the entry in my journal, he included a picture. Of course Andie suggested I start a dating service after I told her what happened. I don't think so. I really wouldn't have a clue about dating nowadays and I don't want to ever have a reason to find out. Anyway, here he is Gia. Is that 2,506 to chose from now? What is that saying, so many men, so little time. Once again, just kidding.

We finally heard from Terri in Ohio and I was so happy to hear she sounds as good as she does. She had lots of great ideas about ways to make money from home. We got so close to Terri and Randy in such a little amount of time. I hear of more friends breaking up and it is heavy on my heart. We all affect each other so much more than we realize, but we all make our own way in time, don't we. We do the best we can. Thank God for the people willing to love us, just the way we are.

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters when compared to what lies with us.
Yurgez Sasgootasmine

August 25, 2005
   I woke up to Freedom's music this morning and thoughts of the new song that Josh played for me the night before last. That is a good start to the day for me. I can feel the chill in the air and the approach of autumn and I get that feeling of being cheated by having had too little summer. I an not ready for the winter chill.
    I spent all after noon holding Kayden, walking and talking to him. Liz and her friend Robin were taking on line surveys about everything from what kind of Barbie they would be, to what super hero, to what kind of underwear they would where. These surveys were all for women, which I did not know, so they asked me a series of questions while I was giving Kayden his Pontiac ride. It turns out from the survey that (if I were a girl) I prefer to wear boys briefs, imagine that.
   Gia joined us for dinner and a visit on her way home from work. That was fun. It is always interesting to pass by and get bits of conversation. I heard her and Andie discussing dating and how it is done these days. I could not imagine. So it was explained to this old dinosaur that you place an add in the personals, like Yahoo or some other and explain what you are looking for in a date (I was not given any of those details). We all guessed how many responses she got. It ranged from my guess of 75 to Robin's guess of 2500. Robin was closer. Then Gia said 30% of the "single" people advertising are married. Wow, what a world we live in these days. I guess a tip for all you single people advertising in personals, send a picture if you want to stay on the list of possibilities. From what I gathered, more and more younger men seem to be interested in women with maturity and I imagine it works out well for both parties. It will be a lucky man who gets to spend some time with Gia. It is show time, good luck. I am so lucky and so thankful to have Andie because if not, I would most likely be a lonely tired old toad.
 
  Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.
   Know how to give without hesitation,
  How to lose without regret.
  How to acquire without meanness.
   George Sand 

August 24, 2005
   Gia stopped by last night to Andie's delight and they visited for awhile while I was recording with Mike. As I was walking into the studio Andie said "I need some of that rum for a recipe." I said "Sorry, this is band rum." I was joking but I think Gia was ready to take issue if I had been serious. "Band rum?" she asked. "Just kidding" said I as I creeped off to the studio two steps away. I love seeing Gia and Andie sitting together and chitty chatting. You can tell they have so much history, they look happy and they aren't hard on the eyes. Gia told Andie that Kayden is the luckiest boy in the world, he has three parents.
  Jimmy showed up with Jameson a bit later and we worked on Where Can I Find Love and You Wear A Mask. I have discovered it is best to work one on one with artists when recording. You can create a better flow and focus that way, especially in a rather small space. Mike and I work good together on the console.
   Josh and Christina stopped by for a bit prior to going to their last baby class. I leant Josh the POD again. He is sure writing some beautiful music. He, Kayden and I sat on the porch while Josh played some instrumental pieces. Kayden is fascinated with both hands when he sees a person playing guitar. He was studying Josh like he studies me. He was also looking back and forth at our faces as if to say "I can see you guys are related." He cooed and talked and sang the whole time Josh was playing. He doesn't like it when you tune the guitar and there was one piece that Josh played that he didn't seem to care for so Josh switched back to the previous song and Kayden was happy again. It was a good memory to keep: the guys hanging out on the porch together, the girls inside visiting. Peace in the house in the country with so much love to give.

August 23, 2005
   Early morning waking and wonderland at a new day and the silent approach of autumn. I heard from a singer songwriter friend of Andie and mine who now goes by the name of Serity. She is putting up a website soon for her music and for the music of other local artists. She also is developing a site to sell collectibles.  She was the first artist I recorded in the little studio when it was at the back of the house. She has some great music and a very unique style that has sprinkles of Native American musical influence. She has offered to have me as a featured guest artist on her new website when it is finished. That will be great.
    Yesterday afternoon was spent sitting on the sofa with the little dog on my lap and Kayden asleep on my chest. Well, that was late in the afternoon because Liz, Andie, Kayden and our puppy were stuck in traffic for hours. There is so much construction going on and with our sad highway system it doesn't take much to turn almost any roadway into a parking lot. Still, after they arrived home and as I sat and held my grandson I felt like an old warrior on a hill side watching the setting sun and forming a spirit bond with this new and beautiful arrival to the planet. Contentment was what touched my heart and Kayden looked pretty content too, dreaming there upon his Papa's chest.

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. Marsha Norman


August 22, 2005
   I was just working this morning on some lyrics from songs off my song list that I have forgotten. Liz looked up the lyrics to the songs that I have forgotten and e-mailed them to me. She also retyped my entire song list for me so I can start rotating songs again and adding new ones to the list. It is a big help that I really appreciate. Thanks Liz.
   Last night Andie and I had our anniversary date that Sarah Maria provided for us: two tickets to Teatro ZinZanni. It is a dinner theater and the evening includes a five course meal served over a period of 3 and one half hours while the most amazing performers demonstrate their incredible talents. What an experience it was! The food was excellent and the entertainment was outstanding. Many of us were on our feet giving a standing ovation to the performers at the end of the evening. It is described as "the place where Moulin Rouge meets Cirque du Soleil." What a wonderful gift Sarah gave us in that show. At the end of the performance Sarah showed up with hugs and a look of pure pleasure at the joy beaming from our faces. We did have a bit of a Rum Runner glow happening as well. The band was excellent and consisted of Piano, Violin, Drums and a multi-intrumentalist who played several reed instruments, percussion, an electronic keyboard harmonica and upright bass. They worked hard and the music and show was steady from beginning until the end. It was one of the most memorable evenings I have ever experienced. The performers were brilliant in the uniqueness of their talents from the Australian juggler to the twin sister trapeze artists. I highly recommend it. It was the best present in the world. Thanks Sarah.
   I also had two lengthy conversations with Freedom on Saturday and Sunday and he was kind and encouraging towards me, the family and he had many nice things to say about his brother Josh. It did my heart good to hear his words. He told me that when he asked Josh if he was ready to be a papa Josh said, "I am my father's son." It really touched my heart. I am proud of Josh and believe he will make a very good Papa. Freedom and I spoke of the time we spent hiking when he was little and the Native American songs I taught him while we sat on river banks. He thanked me for the gift of music. Some times when your heart is weary love will lift you up, dust you off and send you on your way.

August 21, 2005
   Sunday again and it is another sunny day. Liz is off to the lake and Andie is feeding Kayden who is growing so fast that we may have to add on to house to make room for him. We are doing the clean up routine between the outside and the inside of the house plus I am working on sound and recording equipment. How to fit all this gear in this teeny tiny space? That is the question.
   Last night was great at Provinces. Jenna and Kim rocked and kept the place happy. I got to try one of Kim's Rum Jello shooters. One of those goes a very long way. Dale and Mary were there at Provinces and Manolito played his melodic, percussive and joyful style of flute. We eased into the evening using my Boss Loop pedal as I played and recorded three guitar parts and we were off and running. About an hour and a half into the show we broke into Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breathe and the place went absolutely nuts. I got the whole thing on tape. I was writing drum parts on the fly on my ancient Drum Machines that I refer to as Tito and Eddie. We need that percussion for Latin Jazz Rock. I just had a thought, I hope Christopher made the ferry from Kingston in time last night and didn't have to wait in line until 4:30 am. I was thinking about that when I packed up. I should say we because John Belanchie helped me pack and he was awesome. I was so tired and it was so much appreciated.
   The crew from from the party in Marysville was there. Dave and Jackie and the gang made up a big part of the audience. These people are so much fun. I love Mary. She is a kick in the pants. She is the best thing that has happened to Manolito in a very long time. I know he is kicking around the idea of moving to Mexico. Well, just let me say, we want to go too. We want to go. I don't know about moving but visiting, I like that idea a lot. Thank you all so much.
    I am going to continue to bring out the old tape machine and start recording again. I recorded all weekend. That will humble a person out right now and lead directly to forming a practice schedule. Recorders don't lie. I sounded so much better last night than I do on that tape. What happened?

August 20, 2005
   Sleepy eyed Papa feeds the baby one handed and Kayden gets cuter by the minute, right before my eyes. This morning he has been talking and smiling. He wakes up happy because of all the love he gets from Andie during the night. He has Liz cooing over him all day, no wonder he is a happy guy. The only draw back is that it is hard to get a good pull on a nipple when you are smiling. He sleeps with his eyes half open sometimes, like now, and then he just starts laughing. It must be his funny looking Papa.
    Last night at Provinces was excellent. It wasn't a Delivery Boys or Three Shades of Gray crowd, but the people who were there were great. Dee Roberson and Kelly Fossi both sang with me. Since it was lightly crowded, Kelly, who is the bartender, was able to get off work early and join in the fun with reckless abandon. Of course I left my camera at home once again so there is no incriminating evidence. Dee is such a character in her shortie short shorts and her vivacious personality, she always turns some heads. My friend, Aaron Ewing, who is deaf, came in with some friends and they were busy signing at the table where they were sitting. The guys at the next table said " Hey, we don't speak Japanese. Slow down so we can keep up." They was a quick discussion in sign to assess the situation and a friendly gesture was exchanged. Aaron went to the bar bought two shots and came back to the guy and handed him one. The guy said "What's this"? Aaron said "Drink the f***ing thing." Everybody laughed and the evening went continued with the same light hearted craziness. Shaker Boy Dale sat with Andie and Gia and kept them company for the little time they stayed. They were both tired and Andie works today, Gia has a wedding. I told Andie that it was quite a while to be away from her grandson. Gia said "Thanks for reminding her." I think it is must be so wonderful to have a friend that you have been close to for as long as those two have been: friends forever.

August 19, 2005

   I did just two shifts with Kayden last night and I am a mess. I don't know how Andie does it. My plan was to sleep in and be all rested for the double duty tonight but that did not happen. I guess that is the way it goes. I already feel like the day is getting away from me. Chani and Chris stopped by to visit and borrow some camping gear and that through me off in time. I was glad for the visit though. Now I have to scramble to go set up my gear. My buddy Aaron is covering for me today so I don't have to do my normal nutty Friday with two gigs. Thanks man.
   Got a little blue this morning but I know I will shake it pretty quick. I found a nice sight for Dar Williams lyrics today. Kelly wants to sing some of her songs of the Miracle of the Rain CD. There is one about being a parent that brings tears to my eyes when I try to sing it. The One Who Knows is the name of it and it really says it all about the love you have for your children. "When you ask how far love goes, when my job's done, you'll be the one who knows."
   It is a glorious day. It figures that Dave and Ann, who called me out to play their party on the water on Tullalip are bringing in a whole entourage Saturday night to see the band, the band that won't be there. But Dale and I will be and that is quite a combination. It is just ironic with all the talk about the group they are coming when most everyone is busy. I have played music with Manolito longer than anyone I still play with and it is always an honor and an inspiration. I am looking forward to Saturday and the heavy lean on Latin jazz. I am also kind of looking forward to laying back and playing solo tonight and revisiting some old songs. Enjoy this beautiful day.

August 18, 2005
    Change, something that is inevitable. Could you imagine sailing into the darkness of the open ocean in the days when maps showed the earth was flat and monsters lurked at the edge of the world and the sea fell into an abyss of space? That would require lots of rum for the crew and courage for the captain. Now more changes are coming my way and I am uncertain how to proceed or which of the many byways I should take next. It is time for a major change though, I know that. I asked Andie why she thinks it is that I seem to hook up with K-mart's instead of Nordstrom's. I worked in an industry I loved, Scuba Diving. It was long hours, low pay in a micro managed work environment. I talked to a friend who eventually went to work for our competitor and he said it was the difference between heaven and hell. Yet I stuck it out for 6 years, a glutton for punishment I guess. Why is that?
    What if you could change 5 mistakes you made in your life? A mistake could be defined as actions that you took that hurt you or others around you. What would they be? Now I could wile away a rainy day pondering that question, but we cannot change anything in the past, we live in the present moment. We can practice preemptive behavior which is simply thinking before taking action. We can learn from our mistakes and have the courage to move on, to accept the humility of our human condition and do the best we can. If something doesn't work, fix it. That is a change that would be good.

My tormentor is myself left over from yesterday. Deepak Chopra

August 17, 2005          Happy Anniversary Andie! I love you.
   Another year has rolled around since that sunny day at Love Stock when we were married in the Church of What's Happening Now. I think we are going to renew our vows and do the whole thing over, probably next year. It would be nice to be somewhere like the Caribbean or Mexico. It seems like forever and yesterday all rolled into one that we have been together. We both think of all we have been through, we look at this new little person in our lives. We visit the grown ones who are on their own now and making their way. I love when we gather as a family and share time, food and music. Josh and Christina draw closer to parenthood with each passing day. God bless them on their new adventure. Andie and I are still fast friends after all this time. It is good to see her spending time with Gia. They look so natural chatting away with each other like old friends do. I cannot imagine what it must be like for Gia to be without her Frankie. She is a strong soul like Andie. I am glad Andie and I are still granted time together to help each other grow, to share the day to day of life. Another year and I am still a very lucky man. Yes I really am.

August 15, 2005
    It is another summer day. I get so hot but it is so cool. I am working around the yard today and cleaning up brush. It is a slow job but will pay off in the end. It feels so good to be cleaning up around the place. Liz, Andie and I all worked together on Saturday and got a lot of clean up done. It looks like the old county dump in our driveway and will until I can load it all up in some thing and take it to the real dump. We will be having a garage sale next weekend. We don't have a garage, but we do have a lot of junk. It will be good to see a lot of it going away.

   Chani and Chris are supposed to come for dinner tonight. Josh and Christina are too but we are wondering if they are going to show. I think the plans were tentative but it would be nice for Andie to Know. Liz and Sarah went to Wild Waves for the day and probably won't be like until many hours after dinner.

   Do I mind the heat? No. I like the sun. I feel something stirring awake inside me after a few days of warm sunny weather. It is like a part of me that is sleeping and that needs the sun to awaken. If so, I say wake up keep and stay awake before the weather changes.

   

August 14, 2005
   Waking up to a cup of Starbucks Breakfast Blend and listening to the baby monitor to see if Kayden will stay asleep. I hear him waking back up now, darn it. He loves his little pooh song that plays on his hanging toys. He is talking away to them right now. I don't think he is going to go back to sleep. Nope, I am holding him again. Sleep is not his favorite thing.
   I caught the last few songs of Danny O'Keefe's concert last night. What a writer. What a voice. He had an amazing accompanist who played harmonica, dobro, mandolin, clarinet and guitars. I was shocked to see the stadium was empty and there might have 50 people listening. It is a terrible venue because you can hear the band in the beer garden loud and clear from the main stage where Mr. O'keefe was playing. The funny thing is that Aaron Stadler, the MC, came up to me afterwards and asked me if I would be interested in being the closing act on the main stage next year. I said that I specialize in playing to empty seats so why not? They don't want to draw a crowd because it takes away from beer sales in the Beer Garden. Wow. The whole percussion section of my band was at the show and they are Mike Daily and John Matthews along with their wives and our friends Kathy and Dale. It was a good show. I was with my beautiful bride and her lovely friend Gia. Straight home we went from there as I got old when I wasn't paying attention.

August 13, 2005
   I made a late night drive by Rob's house to visit Freedom after my gig at Cafe de Paris. I rarely go any where after a gig but I really wanted to see him again before he and Natalie left. It was quite the gathering with Josh, Christina, Amishaddai, Tawny, Rob, Brotherhood, Calm, Tenzin, Clarity, Jim, Kate and more. The kids were running around like crazy. Freedom spent a fair amount of time off with Kate, while Josh, Jim, Mish and I jammed on an open D tuning. It was fun. Josh has that middle eastern scale pattern down. Jim has one of those machine that dirges out a D chord like a harmonium. It is great for running scales and for practicing tablas which is how Jim uses it. That was such fun. Josh also played on Give Us Free. I was very happy for those moments. Christina being the designated sober person played poker on Jim's lap top except when the music was really going, then she listened. All those voices were raised in Freedom songs as I made my way toward the door through numerous hugs. Those young men have some great footage of their concert at the Crystal Ball Room. They are ready for world touring, they just need a business manager to bet them going in front of new audiences. I will make their next show. I know it will involve canceling one of mine but so what. It will be worth it. It was good to be a part of the gathering of spirits. There is talk of buying a large parcel of land to share with the many families. It could be good. I look forward to the next time we are all together.
  Andie, Kayden and I spent a few hours at the Taste today and we are going back with Gia before I go to Cafe de Paris. It was way too hot and crowded and every year we wonder why we go and ever year we go again. I hope to see Danny O'Keefe tonight after my gig. We will see how it goes.

August 12, 2005
   I placed three calls to Freedom last night but he was out so it looks like Tuesday was the day for visiting. I am glad I went. It was good to see Natalie and Sebastian again. Rob and his brother sang several songs together and Rob accompanied me on the songs I sang. Christina held Kayden quite a bit and has that expectant mother glow about her. Freedom's keyboard and bass player, Dan, has a dog and that dog and I share a mutual disregard. The dog seems determined to eat me and I am determined not to let him. I think he is creepy. I understand the special relationship a person can have with a dog, even when the dog acts like an ass to other people. I fed him some steak to distract him from his desire to dine on me. I apologize for not remembering the dog's name. Something in our relationship makes it difficult.
   Andie experimented with sleeping last night and let Liz have a long over due turn taking care of Kayden through the night. I checked on Liz this morning and she was feeding the boy and looking like she had been awake for about a week. I teased her and said now you know how Mama feels. I think she has him sleep during the day and having her watch him at night will be the best cure for that situation. He likes his Pontiac rides when I get home. It is hard on Andie's wrist to carry him because he is becoming a bit of a fat boy. He is two months old and his weight has doubled. We are going to get him a basketball so he can start working out otherwise he will soon be the size of a boxcar. Who will give him the Pontiac rides then?
  I was sharing some of my feelings about Josh to Christopher. I was talking about how much I love him and how much I wish I could understand or get past the block that seems to be between us. He said this:
"He has an old soul and is just beginning to remember stuff. It's even tougher when you live half your life before you start to remember."
That makes a lot of sense. Andie reminds me daily that it is not always about me. I didn't necessarily cause the gap between us. I so want it to go away. Let's play and have some fun.
   Here is the update on Kayden as reported to my sister Maria in e-mail:
   He is a piggly wiggly and it is hard to hold him with one hand.

August 11, 2005
  This used to be the craziest weekend of my life when I was working in the scuba diving industry. I don't even give it a thought any more and that is so good. We would work 18 hour days with no over time of course. Salary means cheap for some people. Those days are gone and I am glad. This week end of the Taste of Edmonds is here and we are not playing. Dale and Kathy want us to go to see Danny O'Keefe but I am not sure. It seems just bizarre to not be playing. Maybe it is a preview of what is coming, time to move on and out of Edmonds. When I looked at the little pop up of the Fickels and I and read how Andie and I were stoked to move to Florida in two or three months it made me miss the excitement that came with those plans. Next we are planning to tear down the home and build a new one and we end up with a shed and a yard that looks like a holocaust hit and we are not any closer to having a new home. Maybe we will build a shed with a loft and move into that for a while. Yea, right. Well, Freedom is staying in town until the weekend so I am going to go and see him again tonight I hope. I really enjoyed the time. I could see him looking deep into my eyes to see if I am still in here. I am not, mostly. I am not. Still, there was a few minutes I felt like I was and it was good. It was good. Probably a lot of these feelings come from being tired.
   Andie's cousin Bri called and we talked about how she is going back to school to be a teacher. I admire that so much. She is working full time, going to school full time and setting goals to really improve her life. I could see Andie teaching too. She loves children. All you have to do is watch her hold Kayden and that fact is obvious. She looks like she has died and gone to heaven. He looks pretty happy too.

August 10, 2005
   This morning has been tough, baby will not sleep, Sears repairman is coming to fix the dishwasher and Patrick's mom has been calling for him. I got to spend last evening playing music with Freedom & Rob. Jimmy Culler showed up late and played too. Josh stayed outside and didn't interact musically at all. That is a shame because he is so good. He was probably just giving space to Freedom and I. Who knows? That was the only cloud on a wonderful evening. I am letting go of the hope of he and I playing together, it is not his thing. Perhaps someday.
    Last night was a special gathering time and it was filled with much joy. We did some sing along songs and some Papa and Freedom songs. It was fun to sing harmony. I am laying low today as I do not feel so good. There is a nasty bug going around the neighborhood. Watch out for it. Signing off from sick bay. Papa G

August 9, 2005
    I got my wish last night with Chani, Josh and Christina all in the house on the same evening. I did take a cat nap in the middle of their visit but I am old and I get to do that. It was good to see Chani at the house and listen to her and Josh talk about the hell that was Snohomish High School and the fact that so many people they knew are burned out and still at the party. Christina held Kayden for awhile and was very loving and so was Josh. Chani is afraid she will break him. Liz was out, as usual, until after Chani had left and it was time for me to go to bed. Joy. Joy.
   We are going to see Freedom at Rob's house for a minute tonight. I am going anyway. I don't know how long I will stay but I at least want to say a quick hello before he flies back to Sedona. He was here for Brotherhood and Calm Israel's wedding in Eastern Washington. As usual, he is in and out but at least this time I should be able to give him a hug and say peace.
   I heard from Randy Fickel today. It is great that he is keeping in touch. He is a good friend who is too far away but I hope we can get together soon. Take time for fun while you are running around doing that to do list.

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Swedish Proverb


August 8, 2005
   My buddy Jimmy Culler showed up unannounced on Saturday morning and proceeded to tie down and cover a trailer loaded with recycling and garbage. I was having my coffee when he greeted me at the front door and said it is time to go. What a guy. He had planned to go hang gliding after our dump runs but instead called his son and took him and his buddy ( who does not have a father around) to the river for the day. They were playing video games and Jimmy said "You need to be outside." Over the years I have seen Jimmy do a lot for other people without batting an eye or expecting to be rewarded. He is a good guy to know and to have as a friend.
   I got a note in the Guestbook from Maria. Liz was very sweet to sign in and send some love to her tired Papa. It is a funny thing to me that with CD sales and traffic count that more people don't sign and say hi. Life is go, go, go. I am glad that Provinces is a week out. I thought that it was this weekend. We are making progress on clean up. We, as in Patrick mostly.
   I am looking forward to seeing Josh and Christina tonight. We get to see the ultrasound of our new grand daughter. Chani is here but laying low and I am beginning to wonder if we will get to see her anymore before she returns to Alaska. I hope so.
   I just popped open a page in the Gallery with a picture of the Fickels and Murats and read the plan to move to Florida within four months. Oops. Well that came and went, didn't it. It came but we didn't "went", we stayed. I have the beach in my heart and in my mind's eye, but I really do love so much about Washington. It has been home for so long.

August 7, 2005
    Another quiet morning is greeted by the cooing of our dove and the soft sound of baby's slumbering breathes, A sleepy household rests after the frolics of Saturday night. We had a relaxed evening with Jason & Blu, Patrick , Andie & me. We attempted to empty our wine rack while playing cranium and hearing tales of St. Thomas and telling tales of Cabo San Lucas. A good time was had by all.
    Kayden and I have spent a couple of hours in the studio this morning. He was helping me check the rewiring but shied away from talking when I tried to record him. It could be he fell asleep out of boredom. Listening to Patrick and Jason discuss programming was probably having the same effect on Andie and Blu Last night. We listened to the CD I made for Sarah of instrumental guitar and the boy wonder went right to sleep. Now I need some Starbucks.

August 6, 2005
   It is another lovely Washington morning. It is a perfect day for Sea Fair, the racing of the hydro planes, the fight of the Blue Angels and all those boaters on the lack. My gig got canceled so I actually have the weekend off and I am pulling the early shift with Kayden and that means one hand typing. An hour and a half later he is sleeping and so is the rest of the house. I like the quiet of the morning when everything is still. It is a good time for writing. I spent last night cleaning up the studio and rewiring everything. Now I have to see if I hooked it up right for recording. That will be fun. It is a more clean up around the house and out in the yard weekend.
    I have been thinking a great deal about old friends for whatever reason. The past will come into play if only to cast shadows on the ceiling as we lay back and dream our present dreams.
    Having Patrick here reminds me of all the time I spent in Europe and I long to return. It is true that we live in dangerous times for travelers. Ah, to be contented for a 5 week vacation on a ranch in Texas, 5 weeks of vacation while your country is at war. It is nice to know our leader is so empathetic to the plight of Everyman and Everywoman. But it is a glorious new day and one more day to be alive on the planet. One more day to draw closer to home and to He whose name should be mentioned, Jesus. Soak up the sun or the shade and breath in the new day.

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step
into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things
shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you
will be taught to fly. - Edward Teller Thanks Andrey

August 5, 2005

   How do we get things worked out so Andie can stay home and take care of Kayden? That is the question. I think it is important to her to have some time and I am determined to find a way to do it. I think we ride the possibilities like waves and at each crest another choice seems clear. Then we dip down again and come up a top another wave with still another view. Given the course building a shed has taken, we will not be going down the road of building a new house, at least in any hurry. We are back to patch it up and continue, leave it be (not a good idea) or start looking for an alternate living situation for when and if we reach the point of tear down and rebuild. If Patrick continues to move forward with clean up we will have a lot of different spaces in the back part of the property to hang out in and enjoy. It is very cool back there and we will be putting up a gazebo where we can lounge, read, visit and play music. Lounging is my specialty. The trampoline is back in the woods surrounded by ferns. It is quite comical to see Liz bouncing into the air off what looks like a bunch of ferns and bushes.
   I took an order from someone in San Francisco for the CD Gone To Yesterday. I hope they like it. I always wonder about the people who order music. I am always grateful, both times.
   Kayden thought it was play time at 4am this morning. Yesterday he wanted to be walked by his Papa. I refer to myself as the Pontiac. It comes from the line in the movie Crossroads, "If you don't have no Pontiac, you ain't no man". I put his back to my chest and one hand across his chest, the other forearm under his bottom ( that is his car seat) and off we go. He likes to hold my index finger. It must be the gear shift. Serving as motor car is one of my fondest memories with all my off spring. I just wish I could have seen their faces as they took in the new world around them. The reward is the silence that comes with the drive. No matter how fussy they are, once they crank up the Pontiac and pull out into the yard, all is well in the world.
  
Children need your presence more than your presents. Urgay Sasgootazmine

August 4, 2005

   I got a call yesterday from my friend Peter. He has a PHD in partying. He invited Andie and I and any musician friends we want to bring (he mentioned Ron Llinas) on board a huge yacht for Sea Fair. The boat will be tied up in the VIP section of the log boom and the word is that it is a party! Now wouldn't you know that I have two gigs already this weekend. I think I had better make a few calls and see if anyone else is interested. The owner and host of the party is a former member of the band Dick Tracy. They were around in the Banana Brothers days. Software technology forced him into early retirement now and there will be two fun filled days on the lake on his yacht. I guess I wasn't that surprised when Andie didn't seem excited about one of the perks that Peter mentioned; lots of bikinis. Now there was a time when I would have jumped at the opportunity (to play music that is). But this morning when I was holding my grandson at 4am and trying to keep him calm while I heated a bottle, and after I changed him and laid him down in his crib, I took my back packer guitar and sang him to sleep. I thought to myself: man have you changed. I know it would be fun as it was when Peter invited me to Roger Fisher's house to jam with him. I did have a good time. I know I would enjoy playing music with a new friend, especially if some of the band was there too. But I think I am too old for all that heat and all those bikinis. I guess I settled down when I wasn't looking.

Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.
Laurence Sterne Thanks Dale.

August 3, 2005
  Good morning. I discovered last night that Josh and Christina came by early. I was disappointed they didn't leave a note and I didn't get to visit. Our family is full of extremes. We seem to see each other all the time (as in living together) or almost not at all. I just got the one visit with Chani so far. I miss everyone in the family who is not here. Life pulls us down the road towards the horizon, if we don't drag our feet we will miss the view. We all have our cares and concerns that we deal but the time taken for friends and family is the best time of all. Kindness shared makes for a life that is blessed. I am thankful for friends who reach out and help, who share their feelings, who take the time to listen and who make some time to have fun with me. That's the icing on the cake that is this life.
Slow down you move to fast. You've got to make the morning last. Paul Simon

August 2, 2005

   I am waking up slowly today. It is funny when I am watching Kayden I can picture all of my children way back when they were tiny and vulnerable. It is a warm fuzzy feeling. Their reluctance to bear off spring makes me question what kind of papa I have been. I was good at this part any way and my heart is full with love for them in their grown up versions of themselves. Yesterday Kayden heard me talking when I walked into the room and he looked over at me and smiled and said some loving words in baby speak when I asked him if he wanted his papa to hold him. Andie and I are walking around like love struck dummies but we have waited a long time through some serious loss for this time with a grand child. I think it is smart the way some cultures have the grand parents raise the children while the young couples get their start in life. We all hopefully mellow with age and are probably more prepared for the challenges of parenting when we are older. We are in such a hurry in our society. I'll tell you one thing, when I am holding Kayden and he is snuggled up under my chin with his little hands on my chest, I am a rich and happy man.


August 1, 2005

  It has been summer all week. It has been so hot in our house. Patrick has reclaimed about 1/8th of an acre of land back from the blackberry vines. There are some nice cool spots towards the back of the property where we have hardly ever spent any time. I am starting to envision a new house standing on the lot. It is a good vision to have. If you can see it you can achieve it. Days are filled with Kayden and work and music. Liz is enjoying summer while we seem to be spending more and more time parenting. Hmm. Kayden Anthony... We have a lot of things to work out in the very near future. It seems at least one of us feels care worn while some of us are care free. It is all about balance, so they say. The weather has been gorgeous though. I played a party out on the reservation from some really nice people. They have a view of the sound and also of Mt. Rainier. It is stunning. It was Jimmy Buffet theme night so I island rocked out. Unfortunately I did not have mosquito repellent and I counted 18 bites on just my left forearm and hand. I feel like I was dipped in itch powder. I am supposed to play up at 1000 Trails this weekend but I am going to cancel that gig. If I don't get West Nile from my last outing I would rather not push my luck further. It is a new month already. Can you believe it is August? Here we go.

Tension is who you think you should be.
Relaxation is who you are. Chinese Proverb

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