When we say goodbye…


Another bell in the universe rang, and another soul received its gossamer wings.

As the universe welcomes back one of its own it also releases a new soul into the world.

Kind of like recycling.

Another family member passed away this morning.  He was very old,  pushing 100, a widower for many years,  and I’m thinking probably very ready for a long sleep  until the next time around.

Death is part of life. I just wish it wasn’t so incredibly painful.

A giant of a man has left our planet


My Dad died. I have no idea what I am going to do.  Breathing is hard.  Our relationship was complicated.  I am thankful we left on good terms. He knew I loved him fiercely and I knew he loved me.

I hope that was enough.  Rest in peace Dad, God knows you deserve it.

Chuck Engel Dad

Charles “Chuck” Lee Engel was born in Fargo, North Dakota on August 24th, 1936 to his mother, Leone I. McCrady (née Engel). Chuck passed away after a brief illness on January 20th, 2016 at 6:08 AM, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington at the age of 79.

As a young child Chuck spent much of his time in Fargo, North Dakota and Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and later moved to the Pacific Northwest with his mother, where he was raised in Tacoma, Washington.

In August of 1956, he met the love of his life Diane E. Kemp. On April 18th, 1958 they married in Seattle, Washington, settling in Belfair, Washington where they started their family. Always good with his hands, Chuck’s first job was working for Red’s Electric winding motors and began an apprenticeship as an electrician.

In September of 1959 Chuck was drafted into the United States Army and served our country for six years as a Telecommunications Technician with a tour overseas serving at USAG Baumholder Army base in Baumholder, Germany. After receiving an honorable discharge in September, 1965, Chuck returned to work at Red’s Electric until 1967.

Chuck’s career for the rest of his professional life revolved around fresh water irrigation systems, fresh water pumps, and the waste water industry. He was the regional manager of the West Coast Division of Hydromatic Pumps for several years in California and then later returned to his home state of Washington where he traveled extensively to Alaska, managing and administrating waste water treatment plants all throughout the state.

After nearly three decades selling, installing, and administrating fresh water and municipal waste water treatment plants, Chuck served as the Superintendent of Waste Water for Kitsap County until 1994, and then went to work for Familian Northwest, retiring in 1998.

He and his wife Diane lived on the banks of Lake Devereaux for 27 years before relocating to Kent, Washington in 2005.

Chuck enjoyed, photography, fishing, hunting, gardening, traveling and oh my goodness, he was an amazing cook. An avid reader, his interests revolved around historical novels and World War II topics. Chuck did a lot of volunteering for Senior Services of King County, driving senior citizens to and from various appointments, and could be found exercising regularly at the Senior Center and with his “Easy Breathing” group for patients with various kinds of breathing issues.

The center of his life revolved around Diane, his wife of 57 years. His children and his wife loved him fiercely, and fondly referred to him as “The Lion” of their family.

Chuck is survived by his daughter Marna Gatlin, and her husband, Manny Gatlin of Warren, Oregon; daughter, Lisa Carr, and her husband David Carr of Kent, Washington, and son, Cristifer Engel, and his wife Verlynna Engel of Wenatchee, Washington; three grandchildren, grandson, Joshua, granddaughter, Ashley, and grandson, Nicholas; and one great granddaughter Abigail. Cousins, Robert “Bob” Baker, his wife Vonnie, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and Mary Jo Kilde, of Battle Lake, Minnesota.

His mother, Leone, preceded him in death in 1970, his very special Aunt, Inez Baker 1981, and cousins Helen Lund, 2000, and Jean Ann Bassett 2011.
Per Chuck’s wishes there will be no funeral services.

Last but not least Chuck leaves behind his beloved Bombay cat, friend and companion “Thomas” of the family home.
A giant of a man has left our planet. He is loved so very much, and we will miss him every single day.

I don’t get it.


I have a specific set of values and philosophies I hold in regards to gun ownership. I feel as strongly about those views as my friends who have an opposite set of values. And that’s really OK because I respect their point of view even though I may not agree with it.

However what I don’t understand is that some of my friends ( not all ) who are at the opposite end of the spectrum regarding their feelings about gun ownership are hell-bent on lumping all of us who are gun owners in this category that we are violent – blood thirsty- war mongers. And that all we think about is kill kill kill.

That’s the farthest thing from the truth.

I am probably one of the most peaceful people on the planet.

So this is what I don’t get- some of my friends ( again, not all ) who do not share my views on gun ownership verbally are some of the most violent people I have ever met. The hate, the threatening words, and the anger that comes out of their mouths is just over-the-top.

I really don’t get that.

Then again – I have a very different view of the world now after almost dying.

And I think I will save that story for a different day.

When the going gets tough…


I should utilize this site and write when shit happens instead of the other activities eating everything in plain site — you know what I mean?

ostritch head in the sand

And so this happens.  And when this happens —

THIS HAPPENS:

cherrycheesecake

As in I could eat an (have) entire freaking cheesecake to deal with stress.  It’s incredibly ridiculous, stupid, and makes me crazy that I have used that method to cope with stress.

This week has been b r u t a l.

Just absolutely brutal. It’s been one of those weeks where I have had to stop and say truly

whathehell

And then – of course you regroup and move on – yes?  Admit-tingly the moving on part is tough – and I am having moments when I just want to bury my head, cry, and push everyone away.

It will get better – but damn no one could have prepared me as a kid that being an adult would be so freaking complicated.

It’s apparent I have lost my mojo and so I need to get it back.

Like yesterday.

Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.


I see my friends writing their valentine day story about their loves…

My ( our ) story of course is a little funny.

I should tell you that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in our home – because we are firm believers that every day at our house is Valentine’s Day but I digress…

Many years ago I was a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t get enough of it. Cards, chocolate, decorations – any day to celebrate Cupid and love was what this girl was all about. Romance romance and more romance. I could’ve been a Harlequin romance character.

In 1995 I found myself separated after a very long and frustrating marriage – looking for a new start – in a new place – and I met a pretty cool guy. He was not like anybody else I had other met – he was smart, kind, articulate, and just different. I felt I had met someone I had known for a really long time.

So much to the horror of our parents we moved in together after not knowing each other for very long. And my logic was – that’s okay I’m not committing to anyone – and we both have the understanding that we put the brakes on regarding romance and just focus on living.

And live we did – we had so much fun together. My thinking was rightly so-
After all – life after divorce is difficult.

So – On Valentine’s Day in 1995 we were both sitting at our crappy little card table that was in the kitchen – as we were both very poor and this was the only thing we could afford. We were having breakfast and the doorbell rang. I got up and answered the door and a very nice kid in a suit asked me if I knew Tabitha McFeely and I said yes that was me and he said “you have been served have a lovely Valentine’s Day.”

I knew this day was coming because I really needed it to happen, however, it was still pretty devastating. I opened the envelope and it was the divorce papers being served to me by my ex-husband. As I turned the envelope over and over in my hands I said aloud well played, well played, well played.

As I am crying into my eggs and closing a chapter on a part of my life that I had invested over 10 years Zach was so very kind, encouraging, and really a great cheerleader to me. The peptalk he gave me was just great and I remember a lot of those words even today 20 years later.

We continued to eat breakfast and make small talk about what we were going to do that day –it was a Tuesday and I’m not sure why we were both off of work but we were.

The doorbell rang again and this time Zach got up and went to answer the door. And I could hear an exchange of voices – “Good morning, i’m looking for Zachariah Cunningham are you Zachariah? And then of course ” have a good day, happy Valentine’s Day, you’ve been served”

Zach walked back into the kitchen with his envelope which of course had his divorce papers inside looking devastated and honestly it was laughable. I then proceeded to parrot back the very same peptalk he gave me:)

And as we sat there trading war stories and showing each other our war wounds ( divorce papers) we said “fuck it” and we jumped in the car and went to Disneyland.

That was how we spent the very first of our next 20 Valentine’s Days together.

So we don’t celebrate this day- not one iota.

But we sure do laugh a lot on this day because that day 20 years ago was just too goddamn funny.

Dear 2015…


IMG_3461-0.JPG

I’m so glad you are here. 2014 was riddled with so much angst and uncertainty that for much of the year it was very scary.

In all fairness, 2014 wasn’t a total bust, however, I personally struggled and was unhappy for much of it.

So, as of today I am all “in” and embracing 2015 and hoping of all hope that this year treats me with love, gentleness, success, and kindness for me and my entire family – we all deserve a break.

Thank you 2015 for arriving, I’m glad you are here.