HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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November 30, 2011
Poulsbo and Winslow, Washington State
Mike, the guy I am staying with... this will be our last night with him. Mike's has had a life long career as a property appraiser and lives in a beautiful house on the bay. When I wake up I see water with snow capped mountains in the distance. I've enjoyed my time with him and the fact that he left me in his house for a full day including overnight with our having never met before. The first night I stayed he was working an all nighter as a volunteer at the local crisis center. He's been a volunteer for the last thirty years. While home together it has not been necessary to engage in conversation. We just hang out doing our own thing, like roommates who know each other well and do not need to be in each others business. Mike is a deist. He believes the creator of the universe does not intervene in life so there are no such thing as miracles.
The road in front of Mike's house caved into the bay so there is construction going on from dawn to dusk. On the way out today I played for the guys working on the road. When Mo jumped off the truck after we were done the first thing he did was plop across the just finished new cement sidewalk. The guys were really good about it. I took Mo to the house outside water facet to clean him off before the cement dried on his paws and then we took a ride to the cities Public Works building to play for the rest of the cities crew. Poulsbo is an old Norwegian town. It is a tourist town but not very pretentious. I played in the center for a short while because I wanted a picture of it.
A short time later I felt a strong inclination to head for the city of Winslow on Bainbridge Island where I immediately began to connect with people until it got dark. Everyone seemed to know each other, it was all a lot of fun. The newspaper guy came and took a picture along with the website name from the truck anonymously... I wish media people who do that would be more fun and upfront and just come and introduce themselves. I'm giving them some news, it would be nice if they shared that back with me. I can feel myself losing track of my being in the media so I have no choice but to let go of caring about or knowing when it happens although it is fun(most of the time) to experieince what people have to say and see the pictures they take. Across the street from where I was parked I noticed local residents with dogs playing on a big lawn. It was an unoffical dog park and before we left Mo had a time of it chasing and running with other dogs.
On the back back to Mike's house I stopped to pick up a pizza. The journey just would not quit. Even in the dark and with the truck parked curbside, people approached us with curiosity. Here in Washington State people have been a lot like the people of Canada. They are super interested and appreciative although a bit hesitant sometimes to jump up and play. In the last two days I had four people interested in info about hiring me for business purposes as in promotion and local events. God, I hope I don't end up going back into making a living that way... did that, done that for twenty years on the truck before this journey began. I will work but only for top dollar. If I go commercial again I want it to be on a much bigger level, more significant, have a higher impact in scope, etc... Ha, I do not really need to think about all that because how much longer can my twenty five year old truck last? And the funds will soon be used up so... shit, I hate having to think about all that. In my mind, I want to get back to what has been working very well. That is the present moment. It serves no purpose, my life is proof for myself... to worry about a future that does not yet exsist especially when it comes to finances.
November 29, 2011
Bainbridge Island, Washington State
Creating music with temperatures in the thirties can be exhilarating depending on the environments energy. People can drive that energy... nature can do it... so can money, ha! It is back to urban traffic here in Washington State. There is lots of it along with aggressive driving even in the residential areas. The Traveling Piano ended up on Bainbridge Island a place where residents and random people ask if a stranger is lost or if they can help you when... they are really asking "why are you here and do you belong." I was just randomly, slowly driving around exploring. There were nice, cared for properties and I began to think about how I am still getting used to not having a home. I enjoyed my house and home and the feeling of ownership and all that entails. I enjoyed some of it. Still, in the present moment... thoughts that create a yearning for the illusion of familiar, safe and secure surroundings to run and hide in, feel all comfy and cozy in, etc... exist.
Mo and I found an excellent beach filled with lots of logs and big sculpture like driftwood. My one hundred percent most lovable puppy found a dead animal with a lot of nasty looking teeth to roll in. Mo finds the most rot! Later, while on top of the piano I covered Mo's paws with a set of gloves that were gifted to us in Yukon Canada a few months back. His paws get very cold on days like today. A lot of heat must escape through them. The paw mitts with the sweater kept him warm. Mo does not have a lot of hair to keep warm. You can see through his fur to his skin. I can tell when he's cold. How? He begins to shiver. I do not want anyone to think I'm dressing up my dog for fun not that there's anything wrong with that. :)
Within a minute of playing, a park steward showed up. I thought he was going to give me some trouble but instead he blurted out, "this is fantastic" and then began talking like I talk in a most passionate way telling me about his past life and how he wants to now... do something like I am doing by cutting the side out of his camper and putting a piano in it and travel around the world and, and, and... hahaha. You would be amazed how many people become instantly inspired to create a Traveling Piano journey for themselves and then begin to describe it to me in detail. When I began playing music as usual there was no one around and then about five people appeared in the general area out of nowhere. I watched in the distance one woman move slowly across the grass from the parking lot to the beach while creating the image of herself playing the piano with her arms outstretched, creating the music she was hearing. I should have stopped to take a picture of that but then she would have stopped her imaginary playing. Without question, she was completely lost in the experience. It just makes me laugh, how great!
November 28, 2011
Port Townsend and Poulsbo, Washington State
The sun was out today! That felt very good. First thing, I sat in a chair to meditate. I said to myself, "stop trying to meditate, stop thinking about your intentions, just let all care go." That lasted about twenty seconds and then I had the impulse to reach for my list of possible people to stay with. The last name on the list was a guy named Mike in Poulsbo about an hour south who did not need any notice. I called him up and he was like... "well, I'll be real busy with work and the only thing I have going for tonight is my meditation group, so if you don't mind my not here you can come on by." I decided to skip going to the coast to experience more scenery. Alaska was enough of a nature treat for me... for now. It is time to transition into something new and different with this journey.
Before leaving Port Townsend I stopped to take a Christmas card photograph for Ellen, Susan's mom. Susan has been my host for the last ten days. People using the Traveling Piano for a Christmas card, ha! Friends also use the Traveling Piano for their social online profile pictures. That is very cool. I felt pulled to the center of Port Townsend to play a few minutes of music before traveling onward. As soon as I got out of the truck a guy comes walking up to say, "Danny Kean how are you doing!" It was a good facebook friend I have known for several years. I forgot he lived in Port Townsend. He's a meditation kind of guy, ha. I never before met him in person. Gary and I were meant to connect for the few minutes I was there. One other interaction... a young guy and his mother came up to me from Alaska. Just love those Alaska connections.
How cool it is that I can call on a stranger to ask if they would like a visit for a few nights from a stranger... and they respond enthusiastically with, "come on over!" I mean no one is being reckless... enjoying the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other... that is what the people I stay with have in common with each other. I am very grateful to be able to share my world of people... with all of the world. Mike jumped onto the truck to jam for a few minutes before it got dark. He didn't really enjoy it, he just wanted to be a good trouper for me.
November 27, 2011
Port Townsend, Washington State
The sun came out, I pulled the truck out of its garage, the sun went in, I drove the truck back into the garage and then... I created music real nice and all by myself for over an hour! Ahhh.... Candy came in to say hello for a moment. She owns the garage. Other than that I did the usual indoor stuff today. I'm leaving Port Townsend tomorrow and the only clue I have as to where I am going to go is... not North! No place colder... no, no, no. I'll be heading west, east or south. Ha, this unknowing can be nerve racking or fun... which will I choose? That changes moment by moment. Susan and Andy celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary today with dinner at a local restaurant. I surprised them in having a bottle of wine at the table waiting to help celebrate. When they came home Susan said don't worry about cleaning up before you leave tomorrow. Iv'e been using their guest apartment connected to the main house. Ha, that worked out very well!
November 26, 2011
North Beach and Beckett Point, Washington State
The sun was out for almost an hour even though the forecast was for rain. First, I played a little piano for Andy my host. Susan his wife had heard me play several times. Today it was for Andy. Afterwards Mo and I headed into town to connect with a musician who I was going to drive around while he played on the back of the truck. He blew me off, never showed up so I headed to North Beach because I heard the place was very scenic. On the way I passed the biggest pig I ever did see. He was coming out of his pig house. If there had been enough room for me to pull over on the road I would have treated him to some music.
At North Beach Mo needed two coats, I needed three. It was fun. Afterwards I drove along the coast in and out of streets looking for more lookouts of the ocean. I found an old world war two cement bunker built into the side of a mountain. There were cliffs that were way too easy to fall off... like a quarter mile straight down. From the graffiti at the bunker it would be safe to assume the war hut is now a party hut for adolescents. Once inside I found very cool looking gun windows. To look at the picture I took there is a little black dot in the ocean. That dot is really a huge rock with a bunch of birds sitting on it. We ended up at Beckett Point and I wish it had not been dusk as it was a perfect Traveling Piano spot. It was a small point jutting out into Discovery Bay with about 40 houses on it. Being only about a foot above sea level... well lets hope the sea waters do not rise. I met Diane there. She turned out to be a super rare Traveling Piano experieince for me. Why? When I arrived back to where I am staying I found a contribution from her on my website! Thanks Diane!!!
November 25, 2011
Fort Worden, Washington State
The sun came out! I headed over to a neighborhood house where two older ladies who play the piano and hold house concerts live. I pulled into the driveway with Mo on top of the piano and began to play. After about ten minutes, I was giving them time to get their act together and gather their thoughts... nada. We drove off. I wonder if they were hiding inside? Ha, we drove to the ocean. burr.... There was no one in the spot we picked until I began to play and then I began to wonder... wow, where did all the people come from? Some of the waves were nine feet high. People were saying it was an unusual sight indeed. So was the Traveling Piano!
A park ranger came by looking for ten bucks for the day visit to the park. Before I could blink an eye the guy sitting in the car next to me flashed a ten dollar bill out his window for me. I really enjoyed that. I thought about all those families with low income and children at ten bucks a pop. It angers me. Anyway, I stayed in the park until dark... I had to milk that ten dollar contribution for all it was worth! It was especially nice for Mo and I to take a short walk on the beach.
I was in the center of town before heading back to my temporary digs and stopped to get a newspaper because four people said they saw a picture of me in it. A couple of interested guys walking by jumped onboard. I learned a new song for people to play today. Its called thunder and lightening. Ha, bang on the bottom keys for the thunder and the top keys for lightning. Thats right up my ally. This morning I woke up thinking about what I want to do with my life. Everyday, it is necessary for me to go through that process. This morning I was thinking, "Is my work worthy for the world... and does it have to be?" Answer: No, my work has to be worthy for me... and if that is the case it will naturally be worthy for the world."
November 24, 2011
Port Townsend, Washington State
Rain, nothing new. Thankful the truck has the protection of a garage. I'm not really into the "what am I thankful for" Thanksgiving cliche speak. I am thankful everyday but... today my gratitude was usually strong for my dog, Mo. The bond we have together is most intense. Tonight my hosts Susan and Andy, their daughter Melissa, cousin Randy and a couple of neighbors shared dinner with me. A month ago a had a pang about going through this holiday (past yearnings and feelings that are not facts)... it was no problem. How nice it was! Before dinner I took Randy to the neighbors garage to show her the Traveling Piano and play a song or two for her. She lives in Seattle and soon I'll get there so we hopefully can hook up again with some of her friends.
November 23, 2011
Port Townsend, Washington State
Rain today... Susan my host, her mother is in an assisted living facility. I went to visit during their happy hour. As soon as I began to drive, blue skies appeared above. I was so pissed. The first day the skies clear and I had to go to indoors. I warned them that I was not interested in performing or entertaining and they said that was fine. I walked in the front doors and the concert arena of chairs were set up. I began once again to kvetch, "oh god, you got me performing..." I got over myself and had a most happy time with everyone. To my surprise I remembered a few ragtime and boogie woogie pieces from the old days.
Everyone was excited for us to be there. Mo sat on top of the piano, ha that was fun! I could have focused on how much the owners of the place were making off my free musical performance but choose to focus on how Susan and her husband Andy have been sharing their home with me, I was thinking about Susan's mom Ellen and all the new friends I made. Three ninety year old guys climbed into the truck to play around. I ate dinner with Ellen, Gloria and Thelma, two women in their late eighties and one ninety four. They kept excellent pace with conversation or was it me who kept pace with them. They all have dementia to a degree and I kept kidding them about it because I was forgetting more of the conversation and what was going on then they were. My complaining was all about fear. Every time I push through my difficulties my life benefits greatly.
November 22, 2011
Olympic Peninsula, Washington State
It rained all day. Ha, nothing new. I enjoyed staying in all day just me and Mo listening to online television and posting Traveling Piano pictures. For the last few months I got away from listening to television and news chatter while I work. Damm, I find myself falling into it again. Silence and working with the beauty of nature outside is so much better. DId you know that the US House of Representatives voted that pizza is a vegetable yesterday... again? In the eyes of the public school system, pizza is a vegetable. The people in the US have voted in representatives who could care less about childhood obesity and nutrition in favor of lobbied money for themselves and the fast food industry... So, I am not going to go along with that ridiculousness... even better, I'm reminded to just focus on my own health so I can share that with the world. Today's pictures are from Port Townsend a few days ago.
November 21, 2011
Gardiner's Bay and Diamond Point, Washington State
My mind has been thinking but not enough on any one thought to feel secure in any decision making. It is only going to get colder where I am and to see the amazing Washington State coast line... it is the rainiest season. What to do... go south? Chances for me to see this area of the world again... hmm. My life, the journey doesn't feel or see that in the cards. Am I transitioning into seeking a television show? Surely I need to sit down for a month and sort that out. Where do I settle down, how much money to spend, what are my comfort needs to work? Should I jump off the cliff so to speak and use the rest of what I have to go to another country with the Traveling Piano? I do need to settle down. Wish someone would come into my life with a nice house to use or sit for with a garage, internet and comfort. There is no question that I need to stop and stay in one place for awhile.
I looked into my GPS for a park and found Anderson Lake. I hiked a couple of miles to find the scenic lookout and lost the trail. I turned around and found my way back while deciding to get lost while driving. I ended up at Gardiner's Bay on a small boat ramp. As I began to play with no one around, less than fifteen "seconds" into the music five vehicles came out of no where. How did that happen? It was freezing cold but I did not care. As I drove on I found a most unusual area named Bandy's Troll Haven. it was full of large carved trolls, a castle, indian art and other things. I met one of the owners, we talked for a short while, exchanged some music, a few other people found us, a gril brought her guitar out of her vehicle to jam and the day moved forward.
I was looking across the bay water and saw a community in the far distance. On the way to find it I found the road decorated with Christmas balls for miles. It was obviously very unusual fun, a work in progress, large indoor Christmas tree balls randomly hanging high and low from the forrest trees. Back where I was staying Susan and Andy treated me to a chicken dinner. Their neighbors Candy and Gary called to say I could keep the Traveling Piano truck in their garage for as long as needed. In the city of Port Townsend there are an estimated five hundred wild deer roaming around. One of them sat and ate grass by the side of a road with Mo six feet away whining to jump out of the window to play with it.
November 20, 2011
Port Townsend, Washington State
The Traveling Piano Man is happy! I took a walk over to the garage where the truck is being housed, tried out the piano... it worked. Moisture has been the culprit as well as the cold. I drove it to the front lawn of Gary and Candy who have been sharing their garage to share the Traveling Piano. Afterwards I drove it over to Susan's house and played around a little but with her and Melissa, Susan's daughter. Before it got dark I raced into town. Ha, never thought I'd be jonsin' to create music in thirty degree weather but yea... I was really needing to get started in this town with some music.
My first stop was a food market where the manager and cashier were friendly to me yesterday. I just pulled up to the front doors and began playing while asking someone to call them out. No one came out. They must have been busy but about eight other people stopped by for some interaction. Everyone is gearing up for a Thanksgiving celebration in this town. I can feel the energy. The cold slows down my piano playing but it is still amazing i can move my fifty six year old fingers in the cold! I drove down town and parked on the street. First thing, a newspaper guy came by, put a picture on the newspaper facebook link with my phone number and within and hour there were several messages waiting... yikes! In the dark, cold wetness the journey remains strong, ha.
I drove back to my digs. Its really funny to me... when it gets dark I draw all the shades. It is like wraping myself in a small, safe, private cacoon. When I had a house I never even had shades to draw. I didn't care what anyone saw or who looked in. Andy, Susan's husband came home from a trip and we all had dinner. Both Susan and Andy have degrees in fisherey just like Asko my last host. Very interesting... Andy now retired from fishery volunteers in the community to help educate and restablish salmon habitations and swimming routes. They both lived in Juneau Alaska for many years. For anyone who hasn't read the blog much... the Traveling Piano was in Juneau last month. Mo has been enjoying himself quite a bit. Andy has two Belgian Sheepdogs that he does agility training with and Susan four Italian Spinone show dogs. They all have the run of ten fenced in acres of land. They are all big beautiful females. Mo, like I said is having a great time with all that.
November 19, 2011
Jefferson County, Washington State
The piano is not working. It is the cold, wetness, another inverter gone bad, a connection? Thankfully it is in a neighboring garage. The weather is cold and wet. I went for a ride to try and dry it out and tried other trouble shooting options. Don't have that much energy to deal with it not that I don't have energy. While milling around the city to do errands I found that Port Townsend has some interesting western victorian buildings. Bedtime came at 6am. Ha, I was planning on 10pm but I was working and dyslexia entered my filing system of Alaska Traveling Piano pictures and I could not leave it until I knew what I was doing. After all the work already invested there was no way things were going to get worse... better was the only option. I watched four movies on television while doing it all. That... I very much enjoyed even though they were all depressing movies like Leaving Las Vegas, etc... I am staying in a most beautiful place in the world to live without question! Gratitude comes to mind when I think of my friends who are sharing their guest apartment with Mo and I. The only other place I could stay up to until 6am and sleep in until 1pm would be in a motel and then still, sleep would still be questionable considering the noise of other guests, not to mention the expense. Feeling exhausted but safe for today.
November 18, 2011
Deception Pass, Washington State
I tried to wait until a sheet of slushy ice melted off the Traveling Piano tarp before heading out today. It was not meant to be, too cold. Mary my host for the last few days had two friends working at the Chamber of Commerce with birthday's so on the way out of town I stopped to share some fun. The piano would not work. I tried to troubleshoot for a good hour without success. Maybe it is too cold and wet. Mo and I said goodbye to Anacortes and drove to Deception Pass for a hike in the woods. Afterwards we headed for Port Townsand to meet an aquaintance of my friend Amy. She has offered her guest apartment for us to use.
Damm, we were on a huge open ferry for a half hour. It would have been super fun to have been playing the piano on it! We hooked up with my new host Susan who raises champion Italian Spinone dogs. Snow began to fall and Susan called her neighbor to ask if I could use thier garage for the night. I am hoping the equipment will dry out and that is the problem with the piano. We shall see tomorrow. I'm sick of troubleshooting and the piano and truck giving me problems. Part of me says head south the other part says I may never again be in this region of the country. I am told the cold weather, the rain and snow is very unusual for this early in the year. I'm loving the feeling of being alone in a small apartment as I write this.
November 17, 2011
Guemes Island, Washington State
The day started out with my receiving an email without a return address and anonymously... which is typical for such emails from people who feel entitled to criticize and point out character defects under the guise of being helpful. I wanted to fix the dysfunction and wrote about it for two hours until I realized the sun was out and I was wasting precious time ruminating over someone's disrespect for what I have to offer. One of the criticisms was that I forgot to ask what their name was. Sometimes it is difficult to accept that some people are pycho. To do it takes an act of grace. I took my host Pats suggestion and drove to the ferry to catch a ride onto Guemes Island off the coast of Anacortes and then the day began.
I recorded music on the dock and interacted with people for about fifty minutes while waiting for the ferry. The ship hands put me in the front of the boat so they could take pictures for me. We all really had a good time. Curiously, there was a car to my right and one to my left with women who did not look over once. One spent her time reading a book the other text messaging. Once on the island I stopped at the first store I saw, there are only two on the island. I drove around and meandered to a coastal spot where a really good piano player wondered by. It was as interesting for him to experience a truck driving by with a piano on it as it was for me to be on an island with only a couple hundred people and having a pianist find me... in that moment... in the one spot I picked to stop with the truck. Several other people found us and then I was directed to Mount Guemes where Mo and I hiked to the top. We witnessed a 270 degree panoramic view of the San Juan Islands. Wow! This was a major gift for my day.
For the return trip I played back at the ferry dock a bit even though it was raining. In Anacortes, Pat was going to his Chamber of Commerce networking get together so I joined up with him for some fun. The rain and cold kept the time short. Walking into the business atmosphere gave me the heebie jeebies at first especially having just come off the hike. I am still getting used to being back in urban environments and around dressed up people. It has been a nice transition because the people I have met here in Washington State have been easy going as well as progressive. I like it. Back at Pat an Mary's house I was treated Pat's use of a singing bowl he purchased while in Nepal. The people I have been staying with all throughout Alaska and Washington State throughly love where they live. It is wonderful to experience their appreciation and gratitude for everything they have in their lives.
November 16, 2011
Fidalgo Island, Washington State
Wow, nice... I slept till almost noon and then spent about an hour and a half all to myself alone in a beautiful house as I sat and ate a delicious salad with a cup of coffee while looking out at tall evergreen trees bending deep in strong winds and rain by the ocean. Then Mary came home and we talked for hours. It gets dark here by four thirty in the afternoon. Todays pictures are from two days ago. The one with the woman and child might be my all time favorite. The picture at full size it is just awesome. For dinner I was treated to delicious shrimp with cubed pumpkin and salad. A double tarp has been put on the Traveling Piano because the rain is driving down hard! Gail force winds are forcast for tonight.
November 15, 2011
About 11:00am I woke up and it was good. I got my deepest sleep between 9:00am and 11:00am. The sun was out but I refused to rush into the day. Sunny days have been rare over the last month or two. The house where I am staying was empty except for cleaning ladies and I wanted to give them a Traveling Piano experience but the piano was too wet and cold to work. Bummer... The nights are now below freezing. My old tax people called me today to help me with sixty bucks the irs is after from income in 2009. How much income can a person make in a year to warrant the payment of sixty bucks and they are wasting time on that when people are getting away without paying any taxes on sixty million? ...Irritation...
As I drove through mountains and farm fields and yards I found Mount Erie. The road up was as steep as it can get. With the slippery wet fall leaves on the ground I would have needed a four wheel drive if I did not have a stick shift. A guy named James in his late forties was getting ready to paraglide off the mountain and he needed someone to pick him up at the bottom so I offered. There is a need to know about the science of air movement in the moment to paraglide. As he ran off the mountain into the air I heard him yell, "weeeeee..." I did not know there was a difference between paragliding and hand-gilding. Paragliding is done with a parachute, hand-gilding is with a structured vehicle. The reward for my good deed was for the piano to work when I got back to fiddle with it. We headed to another lookout named Cap Sante. There we played and talked with people way past dark.
Anacortes has stimulating art around town. When I turn a corner in the truck I keep thinking that I am seeing people but it is really painted wood cutouts on the walls of buildings around town depicting photos of life in Anacortes over the past century. I've mentioned several times now how I am now in love with and have a newfound passion for mountains. It comes from the experience that seems the same as when I saw my first opera or began enjoying country western music. I had to be in it, with it, experience it first hand in its environment to understand and know... experience leads to love and respect for me. Back at the house Pat and Mary decided to invite a few friends and family over for dinner and of course we all did the Traveling Piano thang. By the way, the Traveling Piano is on an island off the coast of Washington state.
November 14, 2011
Today I played for bread. In the old hippi days that might mean money but today it was really bread! When I was on Chuckanut Drive last week I met a woman owner of a bread shop who told me to stop by when I got into Edison and pick up a loaf that she would tell the workers I would be coming. Ha, I did and had fun outside so much that I forgot to take a picture of the small town which had character... I'll need to go back just for a picture if I can. While driving through beautiful farm fields I came across a bunch of swans feeding. I was driving to Anacortes, Washington to meet Pat and Mary my new hosts. I surprised Pat outside his work and he and a few other business owners came out to jump on the truck. What troopers! Before it got dark I made it up to a high lookout for the sunset. I had a bad headache all day and felt stuffy but meeting new and interesting people kept me going.
November 13, 2011
Often I have stayed with Unitarians. Asko my present host is a Unitarian so today being Sunday, I went to worship with him this morning. I rushed to get there right when the first service ended so I would have a half hour before the second and... before the days cold rain began! "Quick, get the tarp off the piano and people onto it while there is time!" A ninety four year old woman was lifted up into the truck to play. God, I love when that happens. This churches congregation was the biggest Unitarian congregation I have experienced to date. I sat in the back corner to be more of an observer than anything else. There was major diversity and every age group. The appearance of the people looked like a congregation at a catholic mass. I usually think of Unitarians as relaxed hippies who are liberal activists. Ha, not really well mabe a little bit. I was thinking how weird it was that adolescents and young adults in their twenties were in church without obligation, expectation or habit but because they wanted to be there.
I purchased new sneaks for the first time in a couple of years. With all of the walking and hiking I have done they were needed. I thought, "fifty bucks, thats a tank of gas." Then I got a tank of gas and next some flea and tick preventative medicine for Mo... all together a hundred and sixty bucks spent fast and easy. I went and visited a weekly music group in Custer where musicians go to eat and jam on Sundays. They had a piano inside so after a few minutes of playing in the dark, cold, damp night air I headed indoors. I have really enjoyed staying with Asko here in Washington state and learning about his life and have especially appreciated how he has negotiated the way he lives to make it as comfortable as possible for Mo and my stay.
November 12, 2011
Lynden, Washington State
There is not to much happening with the cold and rain. Slept until 11 am, did a few hours of usual work and then hung out for most of the day with new friends. I think I am going to start putting into a list my discoveries about the different people and places I've stayed... with no names attached of course. People would like to know if I ever had any unsavy or wierd experieinces eh? Like with who, how, about, when, where, why? Hahaha...
November 11, 2011
Fairhaven, Washington State
I created today's moon picture an 11:11pm on day 11 on month 11 in the year 2011. Ha! It rained, was windy and cold today. Lots of Alaska pictures were created and posted on the website while I sat and asked Asko questions about his life as he sat across from me. In the late afternoon the rain stopped and we took a long walk on train tracks along the water. A mile long frieght train passed as Mo had his first roaring, speeding, screeching train experieince. We stood still, he sat still and was really great about it all. He did not freak out. Once nightime came a major hail and snow storm hit for about fifteen minutes. This was the first official winter weather to land on top of the Traveling Piano. I try not to think about it because there is nothing I want to do about it. The full moon today really made me crazy. I didn't feel the moon the last few full nights, tonight... wow!
November 10, 2011
Skagit County, Washington
I'm really glad I have pictures because sometimes at the end of a day I have no idea what happened because so many things happen! Asko my host joined up with me today. First, we went to meet his friend Wendy who is a piano teacher, community activist and organizer for all things good. We took her by surprise with our visit and she was a good sport about it all. Another person driving by stopped and joined us. Afterwards we headed into the center of Bellingham because I wanted to introduce Asko to Brenda who I stayed with last week. They around the same age and both enjoy being social so... they had a sort of tete-a-tete on the sidewalk while I facilitated Traveling Piano experiences for a wide variety of passersby. I mean it was a little of everything including a real live peacenick, street kids, business people, brothers having a reunion after fourteen years, college students, little and big kids... there were two mom's from Idaho with their daughters in town to check out the local university. I drove all four women around a two block area while they played and sang for themselves. Can we talk fun?
Later in the day Asko took me for a walk on a boardwalk in Fairhaven. It is a beautiful place on the beach. As we were leaving a family was pulling in a crab trap from the water with a bunch of crabs in it. They all ended coming over to the truck to have some fun. A few crabs had their claws at the piano keys but just could not get a grasp of what to do. As we were about to leave a nana with her grandson from the neighborhood came running up to us. They had major interested energy and nana really stretched out of her box to bang on the keys with her grandson. Almost dark... a police car drove down the hill with a spotlight looking for trouble and then a firetruck came down the street. They stopped a block away and then left. From my experience in upscale neighborhoods like I was in, a craby neighbor called both the fire department and police about a disturbance... the piano banging, I just know it... I'd bet a couple hundred bucks on it and the best part is that we were done so there was nothing to be done. Hahaha... that makes me laugh so much at the type of people who complain instantly without investigating anything. We were in the spot less than fifteen minutes.
November 09, 2011
Skagit County, Washington
So... some negative thinking has been entering my mind like how sick I am of dealing with people. Ha! Yes i said that. No one in particular, no one person triggered it and in fact it has nothing to do with anyone else except me. I've been feeling a little tired like I need to stop for a while and don't know whether I am having feelings that are not facts or what. Still, It seems I must constantly resort my priorities and realize that I must give to and interact with people whether I like it or not because the bottom line is that I enjoy people. To enjoy people is to enjoy myself. The sun was out today and it was fairly warm, very fantastic for sure. We drove Chuckanut drive along the coast and about half way down stopped at a perfect pull off spot high above the water with an open view of the San Juan islands off in the distance. That was a very nice visual akin to being in Alaska. Behind me were wet cedar trees and oh how I love the smell of fresh cedar trees.
I began to record some music... by the way... I have not mentioned on the blog for a long time that along with the blog and pictures everyday, I also post improvisational music... everyday since 2006. Amazing... Check out a piece of me playing music off the coast of Washington State today... November 9, 2011 ...back at Asko's house I am sooo... allergic to his cat. Part of me says I can't stay but the other part says I must because Asko has been so hospitable. I want to have time with him. He introduced Mo to Chase the Laser Light on the Floor Game Play tonight. Mo went wild for it. Asko has the distinction of being the first Finnish person ever to have a University Degree in Fisheries in this solar system in fact the first two degrees ever. The degrees are from the University of Washington, the oldest college of fisheries on the western hemisphere and by far the most famous. I am talking about a degree in the study of fish!
Tonight Asko took me to see a small intimate concert of two local musicians called the Gallus Brothers. They play arcane Roots Music, pure American in several genres. They were great! They inspired me musically to want to "play" more rhythmically. Also, I am getting a feel of how people live here in Washington State. It is an experience I cannot describe but know. Also, I often talk with people about money, today with Asko. How people live concerning money constantly amazes me. As every person I find unique in sprit, looks and behavior...so it is with how they think about, use and experience money in life. Its crazy to me I could write about it for years. Anyway, for hours today people filtered through the Traveling Piano one to three at a time. Older single people, families having troubles and using a beautiful day to get some relief, bicyclists, musicians, people on road trips, wanderers and local neighbors.
November 08, 2011
Well I moved on today to meet and stay with Asko a sixty something year old Finnish guy. He has a cat that would have attached its claws to Mo's face if given the opportunity. I'm dealing with people who live in cold houses! Ha, everyone in Alaska as well as Washington so it seems likes to stay cool! How much of it can I take? Dealing is so worth it to meet and stay with such interesting people although I don't know about my cat allergy. I took an allergy capsule for the first time in a long while and I hope I will be able to stay here with that. Asko is a most welcoming friend and has made it clear he hopes I stay for a few days. I'll find out tomorrow morning if I can... if I am still breathing. I went with Asko to a meeting he attends here in Fairhaven to experience a very urban and progressive crowd. His son Brian stopped over to help me connect to the internet and jumped onto the piano for a minute while he was here. My goal is not to think as much as possible. Part of my brain wants to shut down, another part wants to shut down the journey, another my life, another keeps creating possibilities, another knows what I need to do, want to do and can do. The part that is "doing" has no idea what that is.
November 07, 2011
Today was rainy and cold. I spent most of the day creating and posting pictures to the Traveling Piano web galleries while feeling afraid. Check out the BONER THE DOG link to the left of this page. I posted to the Mo, Me and Mo, and Alaska links. Some days I really dislike the fact that I must "do" ... and I mean "do" anything. Gratitude is missing I guess. The goal for me is to stay connected to the world and enjoy doing that. This entails choosing and deciding everything... by going inside myself to find and discover what to choose and decide. Why should that be difficult or not amazingly fun? All... of my motivation has to be created and usually it almost always feels like it needs to be created by me. Grace... facilitates and carries through my abilities. Passion was given to me as a kid but not motivation. It is what it is.
November 06, 2011
Birch Bay, Washington
I am not sure where today went, do I need to care? About four in the afternoon I thought I'd had better get out for a walk so we drove to the beach. I was walking along the water trying to resist going back to get my camera for the sunset. It was no use I had to go back becuase it was just so beautiful I wanted to share it. By the time I reached the truck I new I had to express the visual through music. That led to a small, significant exchange with a bunch of friends who were camping nearby from Vancouver. Mo got to play with thier dog for a short while until he ran into the street. My dog is such an adolecent. When he is with me is behaves. As soon as he gets with a dog his on age he's like, "lets go be bad together."
November 05, 2011
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Being so close to Vancouver, British Columbia Canada while here in Washington State I could not resist checking it out. I knew there would be problems with the boarder police as with the last two times concerning Canada but I wanted to go through the hassle anyway. My friend Brenda has dual citizenship and I went with her in her car. Taking the Traveling Piano I knew would be a huge hassle so I didn't bother. They did a visual strip search as in I lifted up my shirt and pant legs etc... for them. They asked the usual inane questions like, "why would you sell your house to fund a journey" (ans: why not) "why would you go back to the united states" (ans: because its my home) etc... and then they went through all my papers and fucked up my camera to the cost of forty bucks because I had to purchase a new memory card from whatever scanning they did. They also messed up the camera settings. Why the hell would they unscrew my lens filter? I knew they did because they left lint inside when they put it back on. Anyway, I could go on all about that but the bottom line is that Vancouver was everything I had heard about good and more amazing then I could have imagined! The nature of a city as acceptable as the mountains and seas? It took a little getting used to being once again in a super city like New York, Paris or Te Aviv... places I've been to in the past but in a short time I was loving the stimulation as much as I do being in nature.
I like big, more, most all, everything, etc... I enjoy extremes. Small cities are nice and suburban areas are, ugh... give me a big, clean, bustling, diverse city any day! Parks are nice, vast areas of nature... yes! A foot of snow is nice and two inches of slush is ugh... give me three feet of snow! Of course not on a day when I want to create music on the Traveling Piano. So, the day was spent with Brenda showing me all her favorite and sentimental spots. We walked the streets a bit and ate at a Korean restaurant run by a bunch of young kids. Where we sat I was able to watch them all work as a team which was amazing. We ate things like eel, jellyfish, hard boiled eggs wrapped in pumpkin squash with a hollandaise type sauce and other things that I did not want to know about. The food in one of the dishes kept moving like it was alive. It all tasted fantastic! The population of Vancouver is thirty percent Chinese. Combine that with all the other Asian ethnicities in the city and Brenda said it was over sixty percent! Who knew? Not me.
November 04, 2011
Blaine and Bellingham, Washington State
After dropping my old computer off to fedex for the return, finally I am working again on a working computer, I headed to a bakery for a cinnamon bun. I was not especially in a good mood when another customer showed interest in the Traveling Piano and then the day began... with a good mood. The female cook came outside to play some boogie woogie on the piano and then the customer played. When I first took the cover off today there was water inside the truck bed which was curious until I remembered we were in a foot of snow yesterday climbing in and out of the truck. I also cleaned the truck body today. The truck has been parked underneath a tree where an owl has been sitting every night to poop.
Brenda my host got me a ticket to a Led Zeppelin tribute band at the Mount Baker theater for tonight. She is a volunteer usher there. I was looking forward to seeing a show in this awesome theatre and Led Zeppelin is one of my all time favorite bands. The concert was like sitting in a grownup student recital. I wanted to give the guys playing some acid! No matter, I had a good time. Before the show I had an hour to kill so I pulled the truck into a parking space on the street and Mo jumped ontop and then some very fun people stopped by. The guy in one bunch would not get onto the truck to play unless I joined them. A first! It felt very inclusive all around. Another guy jumped up to play then a guitar guy happened by and then some dancing in the streets began.
After the concert I forgot where I parked the truck. After walking around the city for about fifteen minutes I stopped a lady police officer to ask if she happened to see while driving around... a truck with a piano in it parked on the street. She took my name and cell phone number and then drove around looking for it while Brenda and I walked. After about five minutes I got a phone call, "found it" and then of course I had to play some music for her while two groups of people stopped by to get their picture taken with her. A friendly police officer she was. I really appreciate police officers who are helpful, respectful and friendly.
November 03, 2011
Mount Baker, Washington State
Today, Brenda suggested we check out Mount Baker as there might be sun. It was about an hour and a half ride, a big area for lots of snow, skiing and photography. We went from crisp, wet and green to over a foot of snow. That was very much fun. There was no one around so I pulled up to a gate where the road was closed and as soon as I began to play skiers with their dogs appeared. They left and a snowboarder appeared. It went on a few more times and I had a lot of fun interacting with people and enjoying their synchronistic and spontaneous find. Of course everyone got onto the piano for a picture.
Next, on the way down the mountain we stopped at Nooksack Falls, a major temperate forrest environment, full of ferns, water, moss, rays of sun filtering through huge evergreen trees… we took a small local road to try and ride back up the mountain to get another viewpoint. It was a one lane road, luckily only one car passed us on the way down and it was at a turn off. Before we reached the top the snow on the road got too deep and we got stuck. Luckily, I was able to maneuver the truck to turn it around and get down. Brenda was not concerned and wondered why I was so uptight because if I had failed she said that she would have taken over.
November 02, 2011
Ferndale, Washington State
Becky came to visit today. She is Brenda's daughter. Both Mo and I enjoyed her and we all spent a short time on the Traveling Piano. I'm feeling out of sorts. Too much trying to get things together like my bank changed their website so trying to get the correct info to sign on... hahahaha. The computer, resolving issues to get my software running, my truck registration via online, all crap. The only thing that matters is my dog, the Traveling Piano, fun, friendship, respect... need to put my health into that mix. I created music in Brenda's driveway by myself for awhile. That felt good along with interacting with Becky.
November 01, 2011
For five hours I was on the phone trying to figure out how to move my data from my old computer to the new one. Whats new, not computer hassles. Afterwards Brenda my host took me to a casino buffet near the Canadian boarder for a two dollar buffet with a bunch of old people using walkers. Everyone was sneaking in for the two dollars with the usual cost being five dollars. I snuck in for two, ha. It was frightening to think that I am not far behind all those people in age. We drove along the boarder. There was a three foot ditch and a road, on the other side that was Canada. That was crazy and then to watch the boarder police drive by... At night Brenda got me to watch a DVD of music videos from the seventies when I used to party harty and well... I'm feeling really weird and old!