Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Will Meet You In The Morning

Dick Rice passed away one year ago today. I have lots of friends but Dick was perhaps my best friend. I first met him when he loaned mowers to the church and I used them back in late 80's as a volunteer at church. In fact one mower broke, and he came to fix it- never blamed me- just said it was the wrong tractor for that mower. We would transport that equipment between his house and the church, and we quickly discovered how much we had in common, and our friendship grew. We used to change light bulbs at the church, and he taught me how to change burned out ballasts. We would grade the church gravel parking lot. I would bounce ideas off regarding city council as he was a precinct chairmen and knew the area, history, and people better than I- but most of all, I could trust him and his wisdom. We served on church board together, attended the super oval races together, and would meet Friday mornings for breakfast together with other men; at first Jimmys and later the bowling alley. Saturday evening we met for dinner with our families-usually men sat at one end of table and women at the other. I could stop in anytime to visit, which I did so often- and "vent"- something men need to do. We worked on cars together, his snowplow and garden tractor, and we were members of The Antique Auto club together. We even took a cruise to Alaska together with some couples from our church a few years ago. He is only person who ever rode in my work snowplow with me one night who was not a employee. God has spared his life many times before, and I am so thankful for those extra years God gave him. He taught me so much about life by his example. He knew the importance of church and was committed even when we may have had minor disagreements or changes. He loved Jesus so much, it showed by the way he lived his life and often shared how Pastor White mentored him as a new Christian years ago. He loved his wife and family so much by his actions. He actually mentored me by the way he lived and his actions. Today is not easy- I know he is in Heaven and I will see him again.
He was not just my friend, I saw how he treated others and I think he knew almost everyone in town it seemed. I saw how he reached out to help others so often. I hope you can experience a friend like he was to me in your lifetime- that is my wish for my grandkids as well. As people grow up, they realize it becomes less important to have more friends, and more important to have real ones. A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else. They will let you vent but keep you accountable. I am so blessed, and so much better, because of Dick Rice. My mother taught me early on the importance of choosing good friends. Thank You Dick Rice for listening, encouraging, holding me accountable, and keeping me balanced in my life. Our friendship does not end today, in fact it grows stronger and someday soon, I can say as a songwriter wrote long ago, "I will meet you in the morning"......
A true friend...
-Accepts you as you are
-believes in you
-calls you only to say "hello"
-doesn't give up with you
-admires all sides of your personality
-forgives your mistakes
-helps you
-encourages you to try it again
-makes a difference in your life
-says nice things about you
-offers his/her support
-understands you
-tells you the truth
-never judges you
-explains things you don't understand
-walks by your side
-calms down your fears
-shouts if necessary, if you don't want to listen
-raises you spirit.
It’s hard to think that someday the two of us may not be
When those thoughts go through my mind, I stop and realize
All the things we have done and how you opened up my eyes
When I feel like I’m alone, you’re the first person that I call
The only one who knows how to fix everything and all
You came into my life and I knew it from the start
No matter what may happen, you would always be in my heart
I know that I can go to you with anything I need
You’ll help me through my toughest times telling me I will succeed
You have the two best shoulders for me to lean and cry on
Wiping away all of my tears until they are gone
You know all of my wishes and you know my dreams
Reminding me they’re not as far away as they may seem
You are loyal, kind, and caring, and I know that this is true
My world wouldn’t be as bright if I knew there were no you
If ever you need a friend to tell everything and all
I’m just a few numbers away, so don’t be afraid to call
If there were one thing to want from life, this is what it would be
To be as good a friend to you as you have been to me
I hope I made you smile when you were about to cry
I hope I comforted you when you wanted to just die
Our smiles and our laughter, our tears and all our sorrow
They mean just as much as knowing that we still have tomorrow
It is a gift knowing someone is gonna by your side
With this person, you will never have to hide
Looking at you makes me realize you’re more than a friend,
And that you will be there with me until the very end
To you I want to say thanks for touching my life and leaving your mark
With you I know I will shine, even when in the dark
You are always there to help me, guiding me through the bends
That is why you will forever be my true best friend
Finding a friend like you is like finding a pot of gold
Something that can never be bought, something that can never be sold

Richard “Dick” Rice, 75, of East Wenatchee, died Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
He was a longtime resident of East Wenatchee and worked as refrigeration and maintenance supervisor for Cascadian Fruit Shippers, retiring after 43 years.
Survivors include his wife, Rosemary Rice of East Wenatchee; his children, Steve Rice, Rob Rice and Rosemary Lynne Rice, all of East Wenatchee, and Ron Rice of Mountlake Terrace; and his sister, Nancy Hanan of Enumclaw.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Wenatchee First Assembly of God, 1520 McKittrick St., Wenatchee. Concluding services and interment will follow at Evergreen Memorial Park. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Telford’s Chapel of the Valley in East Wenatchee.
Arrangements are by Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, East Wenatchee.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tiptoe Thru The Tulips

 The latest estimates from Tulip festival organizers are that the tulips will be in full blossom March 23, ten days earlier than normal. The festival will still technically kick off on April 1, but flower fields in the Skagit Valley will open before that to take advantage of the early season. The tulips last for three to four weeks. Toward the end of that time, the flowers don't look quite as nice, according to festival staffers. They say don't put off your visit too long. "We want people to come while [the flowers are] really, really pretty and towards the end of a bloom they aren't near as vivid and beautiful," said Verge. The tulip festival started in 1984. Hundreds of thousands of people walk through the flower fields during the festival every year. I would urge you to avoid weekends due to crowds.
Last year on April 11th, we went to our first Tulip Festival, near Mt.  Vernon. We left around 8;30 and headed west across Stevens Pass and immediately noticed traffic backups on I-5 approaching Mt. Vernon. We ate lunch at Arbys and the traffic got even worse on county roads- but we finally arrived at Tulip Town Farms and although there were lots of people, it was spread out and no more waiting. There is a 5.00 entry fee but a tremendous photo opportunity and lots of fun. Someone said within 2 weeks they will all be gone for this year, so I would encourage you to visit a Tulip Farm soon, you may wish to avoid the weekends for crowds/traffic. I added some photos to the Tiny Tim Song called Tip Toe Thru the Tulips. Tiny Tim sang this song back in 1968.
Q: What kind of flower grows on your face?
A: Tulips!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Making Memories

Life is about making memories. Four years ago today, we visited Disneyland with Darcie,  and grandkids- What great memories! Maybe that is why I enjoy putting photos into songs- it helps store memories?  Building memories does not just happen on vacations- build some memories today! We first went to Disneyland, with our kids, back in May 1987 but those photos are in a photo album and not a video yet.
Anyone who limits her vision to memories of yesterday is already dead.

Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.
My memories are inside me - they're not things or a place - I can take them anywhere

Q: Why do people go to Disneyland?
A: So they can get a little goofy!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Leavenworth Chicken Dance

Twenty Two and half years ago  I started work for WSDOT in Wenatchee. It really was a blessing; as we had just bought a house, our oldest daughter was a senior in High School, and Jan had just started her job- so transferring to Kent would have changed our lives greatly. Prior to that I worked for WUTC and was actually RIF'd, and had commuted to Kent for one month trying to decide what to do.  DOT has been good to me and I have worked with some great friends. My first winter was spent on Stevens pass working nights plowing snow. I love the variety of work we perform and our goal of keeping the roads open for you.
In 2004 I went to the Striping Crew full time in the summers, and continued to work in maintenance in the winters. I actually work for two different bosses (ok, 3 with my wife). It's great to have a job that you enjoy.
Today is my last scheduled day for work in Leavenworth! The 56 days and 14 hours overtime went by so fast and extra daily 44 miles are over. The crew has been so good to work with (Stevens Crew too) and they really work together as a team. My bosses, Paul Weddle and Tim Halverson, were the best.  I think our shed had the fewest hiway accidents in our section, the fewest employee accidents in our District and probably cleanest trucks/shop. I loved seeing Leavenworth and the Beauty in the Canyon everyday. Thanks both Day and Night Crews; ( Bruce, Ole, Devitt  and Marty)for the great Winter and wonderful memories. I have been told to start Striping Monday in Wenatchee at 6am.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Only Girl In My Heart

It's hard to describe the joy and emotions 16 years ago when I first became a Grandpa and held my first grandchild ever. I remember driving to Moscow Idaho to see her from East Wenatchee, so many times. One of those visits was the weekend Princess Di was killed and on the news. Then we were blessed when she moved to Wenatchee and could watch her grow, so close to us. They have relocated across the mountain, but are so thankful she is only 2.3 hours away- closer than Moscow Idaho was. I have been so blessed and certainly am not the perfect Grandpa, (even got the date wrong on this video) but what a great honor and joy. She is building her own memories more and more- that is normal and part of life. Today is Graces 16th Birthday- she enjoys her privacy, friends, is a typical teen and ever so busy. I love to see her smile. Rather than make a new video- I would like to share an old one, sung by Steve and Annie Chapman called "The Only Little Girl in My Heart". I am not sure how Grandpas handle when their granddaughters start dating and someday marry-(it was hard enough as a dad,) but I am praying now for Gods will and trusting him for her helpmate. Happy Birthday Grace- You will always be the little girl in my heart...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Butterfly Kisses

Bob Carlisle wrote/sang Butterfly kisses for his daughters l6th birthday back in 1997. (she must be about 31 now?) The song was a hit when Dawn was getting married. Seven years ago I added some photos of Grace, but did not realize until four years, I put down the wrong date for her birthday. Now, with  over 9,200 views on Youtube, its too late to change it. It is one of my most popular videos on  Grace turns 16 tomorrow. What A blessing and joy she is.  I hope you don't mind if I post this video one day early and wish her a Happy Birthday since it is a big birthday- besides this year I am only posting 10 of my own videos per month. Seems only yesterday I held her in my arms, and then I blinked........where does time go?   

Saturday, March 7, 2015

It's a Small World

Robert Sherman, who wrote iconic songs for Disney such as "It's A Small World (After All)," Mary Poppins' "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," passed away in London at the age of 86 three years ago today. He wrote over 150 songs at Disney, including the soundtracks for such films as "The Sword and the Stone," "The Parent Trap," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocrats" and "The Tigger Movie." Perhaps his most famous song, It's A Small world,  was Written in 1964 at the behest of Walt Disney himself, the song was made for a ride featuring audio-animatronic children from all over the world. Disney asked for one song that could be easily translated into many languages and be played as a round, so the Sherman Brothers wrote "It's a Small World (After All)." I would like to post a video I made four years ago; in honor of Robert Sherman- It was four years ago this month that we went to Disneyland and I think I rode It's a Small World ride 2 or maybe 3 times with Caitlyn?
It's A Small World opened May 28, 1966 and is a 15 minute boat ride. It was refurbished between Feb and November of 2008. It features 437 characters. Jan first attended Disneyland with her parents in 1966 and remembers, It's A Small World, as a brand new attraction. (Disney has only one ride, all the rest are attractions- can you guess the ride?) I was able to borrow photos taken by Darcie and Jan to add to the photos I took and make this slideshow to highlight our May 17th day at Disneyland Park four years ago. We all need to remember that it is a small world after all, and to always see things through eyes of a child.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I'll Be Taxing You

Please call the legislative hotline to oppose the 12.2 Billion Dollar Gas Tax Increase this year; without a vote of the people and without the supermajority vote in Senate, as they voted to do this year. That 12 cent increase is a 33% increase just in gas tax-who knows how many other taxes they will raise, including the governors cap and trade tax he wants to evoke by executive order, that will increase gas taxes higher than this. It is easy for legislators to forget the promises of no new taxes, as well as the 30 car tabs we approved several times when in Olympia and no one calls with their views except the special interest groups and "contractors Association".  I can assure you just has I have managed without a cost of living raise for 5 years, the DOT can manage without a tax increase and the world will not end as they try to scare you with fear and doom. In fact most of that gas increase will go to special interest projects, interest payments, transit, trails and bike paths, rail, computers, King County; and does not address the millions of gas tax that goes into general fund through "sales taxes" it pays on all projects. The total maintenance budget is less than 10%.  Sure it would be nice for you to increase my wages by 33% as some think the gas tax should be increased by- but that is unrealistic- they need to work with what they have. Sadly, many people tune out the bills in Olympia until they are passed- then it is too late. Please stay informed and call your elected officials with your views- even if you  want more taxes or higher wage increases. Call 1-800-562-6000 during normal working hours. It only takes a minute of your time .

I urge you to call your legislator at 1-800-562-6000 and oppose the transportation tax increase- it would increase gas tax by 11.7 cents a gallon (12 cents actually and a 33% INCREASE IN THAT TAX). This is even higher than last years increase request that was barely defeated last year. The new state tax would put our state at  49 cents a gallon-that tax alone is twice what I paid for gas when I started driving. It would put us as the highest gas tax in the nation according to the 2012 chart.  The special interest groups are spinning this for their benefit, calling it an investment and claiming you will not notice it? I can promise you the tax, if passed will not come down. This tax is separate from the Cap and Trade Tax that they want to impose as well. If passed, you will pay several times both in your tank, and in increased transportation costs.

Washington currently has the 7th-highest gas tax in the nation at 55.9 cents per gallon, according to the American Petroleum Institute. If an 11.7-cent per gallon increase is approved, that would move Washington to 67.6 cents per gallon -- second behind Pennsylvania at 68.9 cents per gallon.
If the increase were to be applied Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular in Washington would go from $2.72 per gallon (6th highest in the nation) to $2.83 per gallon (3rd highest).

Along with the gas tax increase, the revenue bill would also increase car-tab fees by $15 more in the program’s first year and then by an additional $8 in 2022. The classified skill examination fee for obtaining a commercial driver’s license would increase from $100 to $250
 History of Gas Tax
                         1991 increased to: 23.0¢/gal                        
                                               2003 increased by: 5.0¢/gal     2003 New Rate: 28.0¢/gal
2005 increased by: 3.0¢/gal
2006 increased by: 3.0¢/gal
2007 increased by: 2.0¢/gal
                                              2008 increased by: 1.5¢/gal    2008 New Rate: 37.5¢/gal
                                                 2015 Increase by 11.7 cent  a  gallon--- unless you stop It!

This is a transcript of what our elected officials discussed to pass this. I do not know if they had a super majority or not- it is crazy to even think it is not a new tax,  let alone to not let the people vote on this big tax increase......
Democratic Sen. Annette Cleveland asked Lt. Gov. Brad Owen if the proposal to raise the gas tax requires approval of two-thirds of members based upon a rule change made on the first day of session.
The rule change, which was passed off the floor by the mostly Republican Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, includes a clause that would require bills with a new tax to get a two-thirds supermajority approval of the Senate before advancing to third reading.
Republican Sen. Curtis King responded to Cleveland’s question by saying he believes the gas taxes in the package are “existing taxes and therefore would not fall under that guideline.”
Following a break, Sen. Joe Fain told members the Senate will hold off on the transportation package until Monday to give Owen time to make his decision.
(update- Owen now claims they do not have to follow that rule even though they voted it in on themselves. Tim Eyeman has come out with an iniative to address that issue that you will be asked to sign- I already received a sign up sheet)
Update; July 2015

The Legislature passed a $16 billion transportation gas tax revenue package. Taxpayers in Washington state will pay about $13.60 in state and federal gas taxes every time they pull up to the gas pump for 20 gallons of gas. It will be the second highest gas tax in the nation when it is fully implemented. It isn't just the gas tax either - we will see weight and license fee increases, and this plan falls disproportionately on the residents in rural areas who commute long distances. The Federal Government now wants to increase the federal gas tax by 15 cents a gallon on top of our present taxes. The Good News: The state gas tax does not start until August lst.  The other good news, Cary Condotta and Brad Hawkins voted against the gas tax in Olympia- Thank you Representatives for listening and your wisdom.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

American Triology

I am reminded of what a beautiful place we live, every time I take a  Vacation! Two years ago today we arrived home from our last cruise. We flew into New Orleans and had 2 hours  before we could board the ship and a 2 hour tour after the cruise of New Orleans, to visit that city. There is a lot of history and beauty there- and of coarse the tour guide was proud of his city, but I still prefer North Central Washington! I have always said I like most about work striping is the beautiful country we see- from Canadian border to below Othello and from other sides of Stevens/North Cross passes to Grand Coulee and east of Moses Lake! Wow- and we get to travel at slow speeds to enjoy it.   In 1972 Elvis sang a song called American Triology. I added some photos of our trip- but I think my next vacation video will be of our own North Central Washington. I think most of my striping "work wsdot" labeled videos already show off North Central Washington. We are blessed and I hope you include North Central Washington in your vacation plans this summer.

"An American Trilogy" is a song arranged by country songwriter Mickey Newbury and made popular by Elvis Presley, who began including the song as part of his regular concert routine in the 1970s, thereby making the song a showstopper. It is a medley of three 19th century songs—"Dixie", a blackface minstrel song that became the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy since the Civil War; "All My Trials", originally a Bahamian lullaby, but closely related to African American spirituals, and well-known through folk music revivalists; and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the marching song of the Union Army during the Civil War.[1]Over 465 versions of "An American Trilogy" have been recorded by different artists.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Too Much To Gain to Loose

One year ago today, I lost a special Friend when he went home to his Lord and Maker.  Its been a tough year in loosing so many friend this past year, probably over 18 from our church, and just last week Frank Smith went home.
I first met Rick Klinge in the late 80's when he moved to East Wenatchee and worked for Douglas County PUD as a fish biologist. He lived just up the street from us, We attended same church together and our families quickly became close- even closer when his son and my daughter were married, 17 years ago. We made numerous trips to Moscow to see our children in college and to welcome our first grandchild. We had Bible Studies in his home, and he served on our church board. He was not only a special friend to me, he was a super grandpa and great father to his two boys. He was only sixty two years old and had been healthy his entire life.  He was a long distance runner and enjoyed climbing many of the mountains in Washington State. Jan and I climbed Mt Adams with him.  In 2007 he began to slow down. It took eight months to receive a correct diagnosis that he had AL Amyloidosis, a bone marrow disease. Because his heart was so compromised, he received a heart transplant in Sep 2009.  He also had two stem cell transplants (Feb 2010 and Dec 2011). He was on hospice for 10 months and these last few months he kept so busy researching his genealogy, painting, his blog, (   and just few days before he passed, I spent over an hour visiting with him. I know I will see him again in heaven but that does not take the pain away. He was so positive and encouraging, most of all he knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and I believe he had too much to gain to loose right now because of his trust in Jesus Christ. I hope all my friends can say they are ready to meet Jesus and "they have too much to gain to loose"...

Richard William “Rick” Klinge
September 6, 1951 ~ March 2, 2014
Richard William “Rick” Klinge, age 62, died on March 2, 2014, in Wenatchee, WA. He was born to Richard and Cecile Klinge on September 6, 1951, in Seattle, WA. Rick grew up in Seattle, attending Shorecrest High School and the University of Washington, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Fisheries in 1974. In 1973, he married his first wife, Susan Gill. He moved to Forks, WA in 1975, to work as a Fisheries Biologist to reduce logging impacts on salmon streams for the Hoh, Quinault and Makah tribes until 1990. While in Forks, both of his sons, Derek and David, were born, In 1982, he took a side track in profession and attended the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO, where he received a Masters in Biblical Literature in 1984. He was ordained with the Assemblies of God in 1986, and pastored for three years at Clallam Bay Assembly of God in Sekiu, WA. In 1990, he took a position at Douglas County PUD as a Fisheries Biologist, where he worked until May 2009. While there, he oversaw fish passage at Wells Dam and provided guidance to the District on fisheries issues of the Columbia River. He was proud to help establish a salmon protection program for Okanogan sockeye in British Columbia with the Canadian fisheries parties. In 2004, he married Rosaline Dahlin. Rick always said that Rose taught him a lot about life and family. Rosaline and Rick compressed a lot of living in their short time together. In 2008, Rick began to experience troubles with his heart. He was diagnosed with a bone marrow disorder, AL Amyloidosis in February 2009, that eventually took his life. The joy of Rick’s life was his grandkids. Rick also enjoyed art, classical music and the outdoors. He completed 12 marathons and climbed several of Washington’s volcanic mountains.
Rick is survived by his wife, Rosaline; two sons, Derek (Dawn) of Kirkland, WA, and David of Seattle, WA; step-son, Nicholas Dahlin of Albuquerque, MN; and two step-daughters, Andrea (Michael) Jones of Puyallup, WA, and Lanette (Marshall) Sanders of Puyallup, WA; nine grandchildren; a brother, Joseph of Las Vegas, NV; and a sister, Helen (Dave) Mandley of Seattle, WA.
Written by Rick.”