Thursday, October 28, 2010


Some couples get married in the first throes of euphoria. Other couples wait a long time and make sure mature love works before they tie the knot. No way is the right way. Teri and I are taking our sweet time before getting married on 9-10-11. We are even taking long enough to establish family traditions -- before the wedding.

One example is the river walk. We enjoyed a river walk along the Umatilla in Pendleton on our first date, Oct. 26, 2008. A year later found us celebrating our anniversary in Bend, where we just happened on a great river walk along the Deschutes. A tradition was born. This year we had less time off from work and decided to go to Richland and the Tri-Cities for a river walk along the Columbia. It was terrific. Rainy weather was predicted, but we got sun bursts and even rented single-speed biycles for a 10-mile roundtrip. Later, we walked to a nice seafood restaurant with a river view for great food and conversation. The accomodations were great too with an upgrade to a suite with a harbor view -- for no extra cost.

Traditions are important, no matter if you are celebrating for the second time or the 50th time. The annual RiverWalk gives us something to plan for and look forward to. It gives us a chance to remember what is right with our relationship, and commit ourselves to another year of fun , learning and love.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ready for some football?

One of the many amazing things about Teri is she loves to watch football. She caught the bug from her mom, Helen, who gave her family generous helpings of TLC all year long. But when New Year's Day rolled about, it was her day off to watch football. No ifs, and or huge linemen's butts about it.

Teri roots on her beloved Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Oregon State Beavers of college ranks. She'll even occasionally root for Jeff's alma mater. the Oregon Ducks. With their high-powered offense, and No. 1 ranking in the nation midway through the 2011 season, it's hard not to dance around the house every time they score. In the Ducks' come-from-behind win over Stanford, we danced up a storm.

I'm already looking ahead to the next time we are lucky enough to share the same TV screen or, better yet, be at a Duck game in person. When Oregon scores a touchdown, I'll ask Teri to do the Duck Dance with me. It's easy to learn. Just let the inhibitions run free. Twist in circles like a little kid and raise both arms high in the air. Spin until you're dizzy and giggling.

Guaranteed, you'll feel 40 years younger in no time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Live well

There are as many different definitions of living well as there are people on this earth. But to me (this is Jeff speaking) "live well" means to be a Braveheart, not a Faintheart. It means pursuing your dreams because of what can be, not selling yourself short by thinking about the odds stacked up against success.

"Live well" is about looking for opportunities to give, knowing that the more we give, the more that will be given back to us. "Live well" is about choosing to be happy. As Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

"Live well" is also about making good choices about lifestyle. It's turning 30-year lifestyle problems into 30-year lifestyle solutions, about building good habits into each day, week, month and year and reaping over time the cumulative benefits. For example, taking lunch to work and having a good mix of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins with each meal or snack, grazing not gorging. "Live well" is a choice and an adventure that Teri and I share.


Teri and I both love Heart. Nancy and Ann Wilson rock. And we especially love their song "Mistral Wind" that refers to the "crazy dreamer." We both have a little of the crazy dreamer in us. At the same time, we've both been through enough heartbreak and challenging times that we have our feet firmly planted on terra firma. At first, Teri's propensity to be a crazy dreamer had me worried. But as I got to know her better, I began to see that Teri is also well grounded. We can dream, whether it is about a beach house or a European vacation, and I hope we keep dreaming until the day we die. It is a much better way to live than with regrets for what we did not do. But at the same time we can also be happy owning our own little slice of heaven and for the gift of just being able to dream together of what can and will be.