November 26, 2013
When I heard department stores were opening up on Thanksgiving Day this year, I wanted to write a profound column about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. But to do so, I needed to double-check the actual facts about the original dinner party.
So I Googled “The True History of Thanksgiving” and was surprised by how much the “facts” differed.
The first hit links to a rather acerbic article that hotly posits that the first day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by Massachusetts Colony Gov. John Winthrop. Apparently, he actually called for a celebration upon the safe return of a hunting party after they successfully massacred 700 Pequot Indians. Not the history lesson I grew up with, and since the author didn’t list his sources, I cannot verify the veracity of his claims.
November 19, 2013
My mom died three weeks ago.
We were very close, and I feel like a part of my soul has died as well.
We went to college together, we held hands when we went places, we talked on the phone more than once a week, and we sent each other packages and letters on a regular basis. My mom was my lighthouse, my sounding board, my biggest champion and my greatest friend.
November 12, 2013
I first encountered Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” while working on an MFA in creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It became my fourth-quarter (end-of-life) philosophy:
“Do not go gentle into that good night/Old age should burn and rave at close of day/Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”
The Bible allots us “three score years and 10.” Even by my poor math abilities, that amounts to 70 years. So, at 71, I am in my bonus years. When I now hear if I follow a particular diet, take a particular pill or break a particular habit, I will live longer, I keep doing what I please, as an extended life now just means a few additional months in an assisted living facility, watching TV reruns and wishing someone would change my Depends.
November 5, 2013
While most surely welcome an end to another election season, I must put in a positive word about civics.
Of course elections invariably lead to combative, negative emotions that pit one camp against another, but I prefer to view the hallowed democratic activity as offering a chance to further a personal and community-driven dialogue.
A local perspective makes this sentiment all the more relative. Here in Issaquah, we had the chance to see two longtime community leaders stand up for their personal vision of what the city’s future should look like and offer their services to lead it there. An ardent and thoughtful voter must weigh those options against a future they want to pursue.
October 29, 2013
In the editorial above this space, I’m sure you will find our newspaper’s official endorsement for the next mayor of Issaquah. One of the two candidates will take office in January as the first new mayor in 16 years. With your indulgence, here follows my own personal endorsement.
For the odd-numbered months during their term of office I prefer Fred Butler, and for the even-numbered months Joe Forkner.
The fact is, not only are they both among the best and most caring people in town that I know, but they have run without a doubt the most gentlemanly, civil, respectful and considerate campaign in the history of politics ever.
October 22, 2013
One has to sympathize with Allen Anderson for what transpired Oct. 10.
The longtime custodian at Issaquah High School has regularly worn a camouflage-printed jacket and carried an umbrella into work. But this particular day, someone mistook his signature look for that of a mysterious gunman.
The high school and other nearby schools went into lockdown. When Anderson realized it was he who had caused the confusion, he told school administrators who advised him to turn himself in to the police surrounding the school.
October 15, 2013
I love October. Between the changing weather, the eruption of color and the settling shroud of Halloween, my appreciation of this month has grown exponentially over time.
It is a recent development and a remarkable one. Here: Let me remark on it.
About 11 years ago, I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a pretty severe case. Instead of the short daylight of winter, autumn depressed me the most. We’re not talking being moody and mopey. We’re talking straight up “can’t leave the bed because everything is eternally painful.” I had life-changing problems with school as I was just beginning college and it led to some pretty intense family issues. Everyone has their personal struggles.
October 8, 2013
With all the buzz about social media and its influence on our culture, it was time to face up to Facebook, especially since I read that kids are abandoning it because it has become popular with their parents. So, I finally opened a Facebook account.
(Actually, there was an account that bore my name a few years ago, started by some nefarious students, and I had to threaten Facebook with legal action to get it taken down.)
Since opening the account, I have made contact with former friends whom I had not heard from in 25 or 30 years and have gleaned a lot of news from relatives not normally heard from.
Then one day came a suspicious posting: “What’s her face” would like to be your friend. Along with the request for friendship was a picture of a cute little filly. I assumed she was a friend of one of my friends, trying to expand her universe of friends, so I confirmed the request.
September 24, 2013
Go places, learn new things on the cheap
Do you have a King County library card? At the low price of free, it’s one of the best values on the planet.
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a little kid. Oh, the lives and worlds I’ve escaped into. Books can do that.
I still have my first library card, which I got when I was 5. I also have my library awards from reading contests when I was a child. If they said read 50 books, I read 100. Ahh, nostalgia.
September 17, 2013
There is not what we would call an identity crises going on among the two- and four-legged residents of the humble Farrar household, but we could probably hit the nail on the head if our identities were described as highly flexible.
You will understand if I simply say that the cats think they are dogs or sometimes humans, the dogs think they are humans, the husband thinks he is a cat or dog or sometimes a wife, and the wife thinks she is a dog or cat or sometimes a husband.
Smudge, one of our three cats, always wants to eat what the people are eating. She enjoys rice cakes, fudge bars, olives, yogurt, vegetable soup and spaghetti.
Our dogs Bairn and Ilsa live on the furniture and watch TV with us, always “help” us read the paper, never let us out of their sight and don’t bat an eye when Smudge, Smokey and Flash walk around them rubbing their foreheads under the dogs’ chins.