Disaster Strikes Ted’s Home

Ted’s House Fire 1On Monday, July 16, I had just arrived home from work at about 5:30 when we received a phone call from Debbie. She was in obvious distress as she explained to me that their house had just burned. At that point, the fire department were still at their house working to finish spraying down the hot spots.

Dad and I jumped into the car and immediately drove over to Maple Valley to get Zachary and bring him back to Toppenish. Ted and Debbie felt that it would be best for him to get away from the trauma while they get their lives re-settled.

Ted’s House Fire 2The fire began in the garage and moved up the side of the house to the upstairs. Everything in the house was completely destroyed, except a few photos that Debbie pulled off the walls of the living room.

Most importantly, though, everyone got out of the house, fine. Debbie and Zachary were the only ones home at the time. Since it was in the afternoon, they were awake and quickly alerted to the problem and able to get out.

As we left their house, Zachary let us know that he wasn’t forgetting to bring anything that he would need for the trip. He said, “I’m wearing everything I own.”

Please pray that God will surround them with his love and his comfort as they deal with this devastating event in their lives.

Golfing in a Sauna

Have you ever golfed 18 holes in 100+ degree weather? I did today. I don’t think I will, again. The only thing higher than the temperature was the humidity. It had rained earlier, along with the thunder and lightning, then the sun came out and turned the moisture to steam. I enjoyed the company that I was with, but the heat was miserable.

To top it off, I hit my highest score in 10+ years. OK, I lied. My score was higher than the temperature, too – way higher. (For those of you who don’t golf, high scores are bad.) My score??? I’ll never tell. I’m much too embarassed. I think I’ve bared my soul too much, already.

Fourth of July Celebration

Leslie, Austin, and I spent the 4th with some good friends of ours up in Yakima – Rob and Karen and their 2 young boys, Isaiah and Micah.

We went to a matinée of “Transformers”. I was pleasantly surprised with the movie and enjoyed it very much. It had lots of fast paced action from start to finish. It contained a good amount of humor and an interesting, although somewhat predictable, storyline.

Following the movie, we went to Rob and Karen’s house for barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs.

After some leisure time, we watched the fireworks displays in Yakima. Rob and Karen live up on the hill in Terrace Heights and have a great view of the city. Every 4th of July, there is a small fireworks display at the Yakima Speedway followed by a much larger display at the fairgrounds. Our view of these displays from the hillside was spectacular.

Visit From Special Family Members

Dad’s brother John and his wife, Joan, were visiting for a few days this past week. They are always a pleasure to be around.

Like Dad, Uncle John has a great sense of humor. There are plenty of stories, jokes, and laughter whenever John is here.

I enjoy getting to know Joan better with each visit. She is a special blessing of companionship for John and I’m so happy she has joined our family.

Happy Anniversary to Leslie and Me

On July 2nd, Leslie and I celebrated 24 years of marriage.

It all began here in Toppenish at the Assembly of God church in 1983. This young 22 year old man (barely) and a cute little 19 year old teenage girl made a lifetime commitment to stay with one another through better or worse. There has been lots of both and we’re still together. That’s more than I can say about the church we were married in.

We celebrated the event at Rusillo’s Italian restaurant in Yakima.

More Kart Racing

Leslie, Austin, and I just returned from the Horn Rapids kart racing facility int he Tri-Cities where we spent the day racing.

The day started off a little rough. We were slow getting going and arrive at track with barely enough time to participate in one practice session before the qualifying round began.

Then things got worse. While preparing the kart for the practice session, we found that our brakes weren’t working properly. After much fussing and finally enlisting the assistance of other more mechanically inclined friends, we were able to get the cart out on the track for about 4 practice laps.

It was critical to get a few laps in before qualifying because we had just put a new set of tires on the kart and they need a few laps to cure before they are ready to be raced on.

Austin qualified third with a qualifying time 1/10th of a second slower than the top qualifier. He finished the first heat race in 3rd place in a race where the top 4 drivers raced bumper to bumper from start to finish with absolutely no passing. They were that close.

2nd-place-kart.jpgIn the main event, Austin was determined to finish better than 3rd. He was all over the kart in front of him for 2/3rds of the race. There was quite a bit of bumping and rubbing between the two karts, however, parents of both kids considered the racing to be safe and clean. After Austin got past the other driver, he quickly put several kart lengths between them and finished in 2nd place.

This turned out to be one of the most exciting races that I’ve witnessed. All the kids had a great time (even the one that Austin passed).

Ground Breaking

This morning, the backhoes fired up and dug into our land. Once the excavators have finished their part, the building contractors come in to pour the foundation. From that point, they tell us we should move in after about 140 days.

Ground BreakingLast night, on my way home from work, I stopped by the property to see where the builders had staked out the site for the excavators to do their thing. I started pacing out the stakes, measuring the setbacks and the dimensions based on the location of the stakes. After pacing the front and the back of the house, I noticed that they had made an error and were planning to make our house a little trapezoidal. We made a quick call to the builder and had him re-stake it so the excavators would dig their hole the right shape.

We narrowly averted a big inconvenience. From that experience, I’ve learned that I should keep a close eye on the progress, because even the professionals can make silly mistakes.

This photo was taken at the end of the first day of work.

A Little Mariner Magic

Because I’m my Uncle Stan’s nephew, I have to post about the Seattle Mariners once in a while.

Those doggone Mariners have been a huge frustration this year. They can win 5 games in a row and get us all thinking that they’ve turned the corner to become a winning team. Then they’ll turn right around and drop 5 in a row.

Right now, they’re on a good win streak and looking like they can win another tonight. I hope they will go ahead and win this one for Stan and Gloria, who are at the game with Sterling and Jane, tonight. I’ve been watching Stan waving to me from inside the television.

Quick “How to Blog” Tutorial

Uncle Stan asked for some guidance on how to put together a free and easy blog. I spent about 30 minutes setting up a little “how-to” blog on Blogger.com on which I posted some simple step-by-step instructions to follow my exact steps.

Actually, setting up the blog took about 5 minutes. The other 25 minutes was spent documenting all the steps I took so I would be able report my steps exactly as they occurred.

Stan was the only one to ask for assistance in this activity, but if there is anyone else who is interested but didn’t ask, click here.