Tuesday, May 25, 2010

For Us, There Was No Better Time to Make the Switch

Our nice, comfortable SUV is now serving some new folks. After much consider-ation, we decided it was time to trade-in the nine-year-old Acura MDX and make the transition to a more fuel efficient automobile.

Pictured above is the “pre-owned” Toyota Prius we recently acquired that has catapulted us into the green age. I was fortunate to get an unexpectedly higher amount on the trade than I thought was possible, and that sealed the deal.

I wrote about the thinking which resulted in the transition to a hybrid in my column in last Sunday’s Kitsap Sun newspaper. To read it, just click here.

I finally had a chance to check the “around town” mileage today, and it came out to 47.8 mpg. At that rate, our monthly gas bill will be cut by just about two-thirds. I couldn’t be happier.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Enjoying Good Times With Old Friends

Our California friends of some 46 years, Ed and Darlene Wall, stopped by this past week for a couple of days while visiting the Pacific Northwest. They are both natives of the Bremerton area, and my wife and I are mostly Californians. So it seems a bit ironic that they now come to their old haunting grounds to see us.

Whenever Ed and I have a chance to be together, going fishing is high on the priority list. Of course you have to know that the odds of being able to CATCH a fish by just dropping in on a lake, are pretty long. Except for the “Koskela Guide Service.”

We started out at Blackmans Lake, located smack dab in the middle of the city of Snohomish, but had no luck at all. We then headed for Flowing Lake, about ten miles north-northeast, and it wasn’t too long before Ed was fighting a scrappy, young, fat rainbow trout (pic above). We didn’t have a whole lot of time, as we all wanted to drive up to Snoqualmie Falls in the afternoon.

I'm sure Ed is thankful for a competent guide service. To my chagrin, he almost missed the fish while watching a mother duck train her ducklings after I had provided the location, pole, line, bait and may have even baited his hook. Apparently, his mind wanders easily.

Above are Darlene, Ed and Kay Lynne whom I snapped at the Falls overlook. At this time of year, the water is really gushing as you can see.

Good times with old friends is a commodity you can’t purchase. It has to be developed. There were lots of laughs as we recalled several of the more humorous times we’ve shared in the past. Ask Ed sometime about “slippery rock at Donner Lake.” My side hurts from laughing when I think about it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Moms and Wives

In a parallel life to retirement and a part time work enterprise, I write a bi-weekly Sunday column for the Kitsap Sun, the daily newspaper in Kitsap County, across the Sound. With it being Mother’s Day, for today’s column I gathered some wisps about my mom and some recollections of the day that have all but disappeared.

You can read the post here, if you’d like.

With moms covered in the newspaper piece, I didn’t want this Day to go by without acknowledging moms (and grandmothers) who are also wives. Specifically that includes my wife, Kay Lynne, who, if you ask either of our sons (or any of our grandkids), is deeply loved and acknowledged as “the Great Encourager” by all of them.

So much is required of a good mother, and when one is blessed with a wife who is also a great mom, one is truly blessed. Happy Mother’s Day, KL.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A “Significant” Birthday for Kay Lynne

My wife has a “significant” birthday today. I’m not sposed to reveal her age, so I won’t, but here's a sneak clue: she had her first Medicare deduction this month from S.S.

Her first choice on very special occasions is always to be with family, so this morning we went to the Seattle Children’s Museum (with the son, daughter-in-law and grandson who live nearby) and then had lunch at Chinooks in Seattle’s historic Fisherman’s Terminal. The week following next we’ll repeat the celebration in Oregon with the son, daughter-in-law and three granddaughters who live there.

The pic above of the five of us was taken earlier today at FT, and one or two of the boats you see in the background you might have also seen in the extremely popular TV series Deadliest Catch on the Discovery channel. The few crab boats still here will soon be leaving for the treacherous Alaskan waters to search for and harvest King Crab for your next great restaurant or home dining experience.

Grandma is enjoying her day, and deservedly so. This matriarch is the personification of love, care and understanding for the Koskela clan. Happy Birthday, KL – all shmixtysome years worth! You are loved by all who know you!