Tough Year ~ But one worth living!

You ever feel like you just need to vent? Like the enormity of what you are dealing with is so large, so profound that you are almost crippled with indecision? Like the plate you are given to hold the amount of stuff you can handle is of one size but the mean old lunch lady in her ill-fitting hairnet and dirty apron is ready to slop on another heaping pile of life, creamy style, suffocating and smothering all else you have going on until you just can’t decide what next to take a bite of? Me too!

Earlier this year my mother passed away, something that, generally speaking we all have to deal with? I am not saying that I am any different than anyone else or that I am special because I have experienced this particular phenomena, rather that I find myself asking the question, how do people deal with it? One day your mom (parent(s)) and you are talking and the next you are planning a service for her (them).

For me this was a mixed blessing. I HATE that I cannot talk with my mother any longer. Well, in reality I talk but she doesn’t answer any longer. I do find myself telling my mom about my day and how things are going, knowing she isn’t going to answer me but a part of me hopes that maybe a small part of my mind will snap just a bit and allow me to hear her voice in my head. I know that at that point I would be certifiable and classified bonkers and really don’t want that to happen, but I kinda wish there were a way without all the straight jackets, medication and rubber rooms – oh and great big neanderthal men that speak in monosyllabic idioms. So that happened. But I am HAPPY that my mother isn’t suffering any more. She had C.O.P.D. (this is one of many sites to read about it on) which is a terrible god-awful disease that can take years to do its nefarious work.

Then my sister who was my moms roommate got a bad infection in her right foot that spread to the bone. A really bad infection. So bad that she had to have it amputated. Once below the knee and later above the knee. While my sister was dealing with all of that and in no way able to figure out where to move to, my parents-in-law and I moved out the things of my sisters that we thought she would want post surgery.

After spending days and days going back to my sisters apartment to scavenge anything I think she might want to keep (or that I could sell for her) and then going to the hospital to be there for my sister, I found myself with time for little else. I spent about 6 weeks getting things in order as much as could be before I had to hustle to finish an audio-book I was working on. Oh, and I had to plan a service for mom. I did my best to work around everyone’s schedule. In the end, I was very happy with the turn out and the beauty of it. The Chaplain was very respectful and wove a wonderful eulogy together from the conversation she and I had and she and my mom had. My oldest sister could not make it because she was and is still under medical care.

Once I completed the audio-book and submitted it for review to the author, and my moms service was over, I went back to auditioning for other voice-over (VO) gigs. This can be really frustrating because you audition over and over and over and unless you get the gig it is like non-validation for what you are trying to be a part of. Like the little kid that tries his hardest to join the team but just isn’t good enough yet. I feel like that little kid right now. One thing about that little kid though, he never gives up. He will make the team.

Lately I have found myself attending a get together for like-minded people that want to work in the industry of VO but haven’t quite made it there yet. We talk a bit about what we have been doing and what has and hasn’t worked for us but by and large the most I get out of it is that there are others, like me, that are struggling just as much as I am with breaking into this industry. That’s actually a pretty big deal. To know that I am not alone in my struggles.

I guess the long and the short of this diatribe is that with all the things I have gone through this year, I may be a little bruised and battered but I am most definitely not broken. I come out the other side a little stronger and more resilient than I would have thought. And finally, I am not alone in these struggles. Not to say that I am unique, rather, MANY people struggle with the same or other equally important issues of their own. I think the biggest take away is that I have a great group of friends to lean on, family that I love and am especially grateful for my loving and ever supportive wife that has been there through this entire journey. I hope everyone is as lucky to have a support system to help them through the tough time with.

I believe that people are resilient and much stronger than can be given credit for. The adage, That which does not kill us makes us stronger (Nietzsche) is something I believe in after the year I have had. And the year isn’t over with yet!

Embrace life, make the tough choices, pursue your dreams and love without question.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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So much fun – So close to home

It was a great start - until I was ganged up on and scragged!

It was a great start – until I was ganged up on and scragged!

Last week(end) I celebrated my 46th birthday and because it fell on a Saturday, I decided to take some liberties and do stuff all weekend that I wanted to do. It started off by playing some magic the gathering on Friday night (where I think I won only one game). Followed by brunch on Saturday late morning, then over to a friends house where we planned out some disc golf at a course called Lunch-time. The course is located at a church and their surrounding parking lot and can be played in roughly the time it takers to have lunch. For dinner I went out to one of my two favorite restaurants ~ The Takahashi.

The Takahashi

The Takahashi

Sunday was the Portland Marathon. My wife plays in an awesome band ~ The Power Pep Band ~ and they played 3 sets for the runners as they came by the 20th mile, where we were located at. Another thing I love about the Portland Marathon is that one of the people in the band and whose house the band plays at puts on a waffle-feed. They make home-made waffles with whip cream and strawberries and/or blueberries, breakfast casserole, little sausages, coffee, hot chocolate and orange juice.

After the gig we went over to my parents-in-laws home to make sure everything was as it should be as they are out of town on a grand cross-country trip to visit family. Having spent a couple hours at their place and making sure everything was okay and having Papa Murphy’s for dinner, we decided to head home.

It was a really great weekend for so many reasons but mostly because I was able to spend it with my wife and many friends.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Pier Park ~ Disc Golf

A couple weeks back a friend of mine purchased some new discs for golf and thought it would be a great idea to try them out at Pier Park. I agreed whole-heartedly, so we planned on a Friday outing since both he and I are freelance folk and have flexibility in our schedules. By playing on a Friday we could avoid the throngs of people that would be there over the weekend. Also we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves in front of too many people.

Pier Park is nestled back in North Portland and is actually an easy walk from my home. Having said that, we decide to drive since rain was on and off all morning and we wanted to save our legs for the game – yeah, that’s why we drove. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (Actually it is the truth)

I am going to try and place the pictures and our scores in some meaningful way that illustrates the course. Also, my buddy is only just getting into playing disc golf whereas I have played this course many times. All things considered I think my buddy did pretty well. All holes for this course are par 3.

NOTE: As always – you can click on any image to open it in full screen.

These were our scores for the course:

  • J 4 4 4 3 4 4 3 3 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 5
  • R 4 5 4 4 4 7 5 7 6 5 5 5 6 6 4 4 6 5



As you can clearly see, there is a theme for this course – TREES! Lots and lots of trees. Actually that is one of the reasons I really enjoy this park; there is actually a large place filled with trees that we get to walk through or picnic in or play basket in or if your feeling young and adventurous, skateboard in. The skateboard park that is pretty cool – if your into that sort of thing. Come on down and enjoy. Also, for you dog lovers, there is a dog park that is now connected by way of bridge over the train tracks on the west side of the course between holes 2 and 3 if you want to get your dog into some other dog business.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Labor Day Camping 2015

Disclaimer: I will tell you all now that the images you see and the text you read are likely, in most cases, not going to match. It’s like I have squirrels in my brain.

(As a was writing the post below I came up with this title and had to write it down before it was forgotten) I just thought of a new segment title that I am going to try and find something to write or talk about. It’s either going to be called Written in front of a dead studio audience or Recorded in front of a dead studio audience. On account of all the Dead…everything that is capturing the worlds imagination by storm right now.

(Written just 5 minutes ago) I wish there were some way to write the equivalent of this phrase that was always placed in front of the shows I loved to watch growing up like Happy Days – Recorded in front of a live studio audience…but as there isn’t any I can think of I will say this “I started writing this post about three weeks ago and just didn’t get back to it, until now.

Newberry Group Site A

Newberry Group Site A

This past Labor Day we found ourselves moving outside our traditional close to home (relatively) camping venue by staying at Newberry Group camp, roughly 40 miles south of Bend Oregon.

Newberry Group Site A

Newberry Group Site A

A couple factors played into us choosing this site:


  • We weren’t able to book Cape Perpetua on the Oregon Coast
  • This was way different than anywhere we have been to before

Our usual camping trips are often from Thursday to Monday. Monday being the holiday in question. Since we were going to be near Bend for the holiday weekend my wife looked around and saw that Weird Al Yankovic was performing in Bend on Friday night. This was fantastic news; I have never seen W.A.Y. perform before but have listened to his music for nearly 30 years and this was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Look closely and you will see a very happy dog

Look closely and you will see a very happy dog

Most of our regular campers were unable to make the trip for various reasons so my wife and I found ourselves in a campsite meant for 25+ people with her parents and our three dogs. It was a little sad at first because we are used to catching up and hanging out with so many people when we camp.  Soon enough we got over it and made the best of our completely open camp site. The dogs especially liked it because we were backed up against a forested area behind us with no one around so we could let them off-leash most of the time and let them run around.

Could this be a bear print?

Could this be a bear print?

After arriving we set up our tent and brought all our gear into it that we needed i.e. sleeping pads and bags, backpacks with clothes and toiletries and dog bed. Once that was setup we set about bringing out the gazebo and setting it up, complete with walls to provide some protection against the rain should it happen to make an appearance or to block off some any wind that should stir only adding to the brisk weather we were having. Next came out all the cooking gear i.e stoves, pots and pans etc…

Weird All in concert in Bend Oregon

Weird Al in concert in Bend Oregon

After we got all set up, it was beer-30 and we decided to take a moments rest after the dogs had been walked and fed. While coming through Bend, we stopped at a local brewery/pub and had lunch and picked up some growlers of local tasty brew. This is what we had for our first before dinner drink of the night.


20150904_185751Our only neighbors at the time were some people that were in the next group site over that had a small hotel on wheels complete with external generator (it was the loudest thing ever heard in a campground since time began) and solar panels. There were plenty of kids on bikes and adults in big trucks. It was all good. At least they made it. The cold weather and threat of precipitation I think caused many people not to venture out for this weekend.




Camp-oven made cornbread – Yummy!


Chili I made 3 days before we went camping to go with the cornbread

The nights dropped below freezing (I am pretty sure of this) but I stayed warm in our sleeping bags in nothing but skivvies and socks (my normal camping sleep wear – my apologies if that was an overshare). My wife was not as fortunate to stay as warm as I. Her internal mechanisms were a little wonky and she did not stay as warm as I even with pajamas on.

Friday we made breakfast and lunch at the camp ground and then went into Bend for some much needed camping supplies at a local Fred Meyer and then on to dinner and a walk about to see what Bend had become over the last couple decades since I had been there last. I had an uncle live in Bend and remembered going there several times while younger to visit with cousins. I recognized nothing from this visit however. I am not surprised by this at all. We went to a place called the Rat-hole for eats and drinks. The food and beer were good. Afterwords my parents-in-law went back home (campsite) and my wife and I went to find parking for the Weird Al show.

Paulina Lake - Left Side

Paulina Lake – Left

Side-note: The supplies we needed were some propane canisters for our stove and a new french-press, as our last one broke on our last camping trip over Memorial Day and we had not replaced it yet. We also picked up a super awesome purple fuzzy blanket to keep us toasty warm at the Weird Al concert since it was beginning to cool down some.

Paulina Lake - Center

Paulina Lake – Center

Paulina Lake - Right Side

Paulina Lake – Right

Parking was super easy, there was a parking lot 2 blocks away that was free to park in! This NEVER happens in Portland. We parked and walked the 3 or 4 blocks to the outdoor amphitheater where the venue was located and took our seats. Since I have had issues with my sciatic nerve my wife purchased tickets in the seated area. We were about 12 rows back from the stage and nearly in the center. These were great seats.

The show was AWESOME! There were no opening acts and Weird Al completely entertained for 2 hours non-stop. Some old stuff and some new stuff. A really good mix. Probably one of my top 5 concerts of all time! We can talk about that list later.

Who doesn't love 'smores?

Who doesn’t love ‘smores?

After the concert my wife and I turned our phones back up or on and headed for the car. My wife had received a message from her parents telling us to be careful on the way back to the campsite because it had started to fucking snow! Super. No worries. We took our time and slowly made our way back to the campsite. The last couple miles was not only dealing with snow but with fog that decided that snow wasn’t enough fun for us to drive in at night on a largely abandoned road with no cell service available. I am sure glad we had the purple blanket we bought for the concert. If we got stuck out here and couldn’t make it back to camp it was going to be a cold night. Fortunately that didn’t happen and we made it back safely.

The next morning we awoke to a white wonderland…and everything covered in two inches of snow. This made the previous night the warmest we had because the cloud cover that dumped on us kept the heat from escaping. I know, it sounds strange but the clear nights were actually colder. Down into the twenties – 25 maybe.

We also were treated to a menagerie of prints left by the critters that were out at night and in the morning before we got out of the tent.

20150905_120215The next couple days we explored the surrounding area. We visited the worlds largest obsidian flow. Does this rock look familiar or is it just me? A portion of the Deschutes River and few other places that were near enough at hand to visit.

I personally think that this particular piece bears an incredible resemblance to this fellow.

Snow Miser

Snow Miser from The Year without Santa Claus (1974)


This looks like the Snow Miser to me





20150906_140021This year has been terrible for the west coast in terms being terribly dry and terribly fire prone with record numbers of fires breaking out and the severity of them. Because of this, we could not have a fire. So the question that begged to be asked was how were we going to make our ‘smores? Ha, my mother-in-law came up with the solution to that little picklement; she brought a camp oven powered by propane. Along with ‘smores, we had fresh-made cornbread. All of it was delicious.

At night we generally all cozied up in my parents-in-law’s trailer where it was warm. We played some card games but mostly talked and drank beer and stayed warm.


Can you spot the swimmers?

We also took short walks to Paulina Lake that we were camping near and explored. The lake was beautiful. From the waters edge we could see other campers along the rim across the lake at various other sites. We even managed to find a couple people crazy bold enough to take a dip in the lake. You can see them if you expand this pic to full screen.

With the weekend gone and the next day a regular work day for my wife, we packed up everything and went home. This is truly an amazing place to go. If you get the chance to do it sometime…just go. You will not regret it.

Peace be with you!

More to come…




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Stress Relief

Yesterday, a good friend of mine and I decided we would finally get to a fishing trip that we, up until that point, hadn’t been able to find time for all summer because of work and school and life and (insert anything that might take away from being able to go fishing – here).

  • Our destination – Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood – Oregon.
  • Our departure time – 4am
  • Our cause – to relieve stress while enjoying the outdoors with a good buddy

My buddy, we will call him Mr. Ohio State to protect his identity, and I at the last minute – Thursday afternoon – had the stars align and rushed out to buy licenses and any other misc. gear that was needed. Afterwords Mr. Ohio State retrieved his raft and anchor and last minute preparations were made for the following mornings outing.

Night came all too quickly and after a quick shower and going over all my gear that was neatly stacked by the front door, I went to sleep which was all too reluctant to embrace me. At exactly 2:22am I found myself wide awake and to my surprise, my wife was also wide awake. She asked me the time and after telling her tried to obtain a last few minutes of precious sleep. At 3am it was no use and I decided to get up and get ready. I turned off the alarm that would have went off at 3:30, grabbed the clothes I had laid out the night before and bustled out the bedroom as quietly as I could muster after a night of fitful rest and in total darkness.

I went to the living room and greeted the cat, clothed myself and started preparing breakfast, which consisted of oatmeal with raisins, tart cherries, agave syrup and earth balance. Coffee was definitely needed and as I was also going to be making coffee for my wife who would be rousing herself in the next few hours to go to work, I was going to use a manual drip that would allow me to make large amounts of coffee, and as we has some pre-ground coffee left from our camping trip over Labor Day (I will tell all about that on another post and share pics) it made perfect sense… until I couldn’t find the filters for the drip. I probably spent 10-15 minutes of my precious prep time fumbling around searching all the drawers we had in the kitchen for them. Finally I gave up and had to use our method of making one cup at a time.

After weak coffee was made and having eaten my oatmeal that managed bubble over the top of my bowl in the microwave, I was almost ready to make lunch. I pulled out the bread from the freezer – yes we keep our bread in the freezer until needed – mayo and turkey. One sandwich, pear and home-made trail-mix which consisted of peanuts, almonds, coconut chips, dark chocolate chips and raisins – later. I was well on my way to being ready on time.

I managed to get all but one load of my gear moved to the front porch when Mr. Ohio State pulled up in his car. 5 minutes of loading and securing my home before leaving and we were off.

Just in the water after 5am. Mt. Hood looks glorious

Just in the water after 5am. Mt. Hood looks glorious

Traffic was negligible and we made good time to the mountain. We arrived a little after 5, I think and realized neither of us had brought flashlights to illuminate the raft so we could find all the valves through which we would inflate it. No worries, cars come with headlights for a reason! Fortunately Mr. Ohio State’s pump’s cord was long enough to reach the front of the car and we were able to fill almost all the compartments before we loaded the raft and moved it into launching position at the edge of the boat ramp. It was at this time Mr. Ohio State remembered that we also needed to inflate the bottom area of the raft. So out all the gear came and a quick journey to the car and fill later we were under way.

About the time we were filling the raft another vehicle arrived carrying two one-man rigs that had the individual slide in the center through the opening into hip waiters. It was completely sealed so the individual never got wet. This allowed them to float and propel themselves with their feet and most importantly, to get out into the lake where the lunkers (big fish) were and away from the edges where land-bound people fishing were to congregate.

The fog clings to the surface of the lake throughout most of the day

The fog clings to the surface of the lake throughout most of the day

After finally getting everything squared away with the raft and gear we parked the car, used the restroom one last time and set out upon the lake that was shrouded in fog. The dark was less so now and we could make out some features of the landscape around up and I knew where we would head once we launched.

Last time I fished here was two years ago and I did it from my kayak almost directly across the lake in front of a mass of reeds. That is where I intended to start the day off fishing. It wasn’t to last long however for no sooner had we dropped anchor than not one, not two, but three beavers were letting us know in no uncertain terms that we were in their space. I couldn’t understand why, their lodge from what I remembered was on the east end of the lake and we were no where near there.



After a period of time being circled by beavers who were displaying there aggressive posturing by slapping the water with their tails, we decided to weigh anchor and head away from where the beavers had successfully driven us away from. Closer to the den I knew to be at the other end of the lake!

As the light finally illuminated our surroundings enough to see around lake in its entirety, I could see that the beavers had been very busy indeed and had made a second lodge right where we decided to start out our morning fishing at. I would be cranky too if some stranger parked their car on my lawn and decided to fish before it was even light out. One mystery solved.

Other people get in on the action!

Other people get in on the action!

Unlike some other times we have fished at Trillium, this day started off fast and furious with fishing striking our lines immediately. I was a little surprised because the lake was last stocked a week before Labor Day and I thought it would be slim pickings. I was wrong! Almost immediately the fish were biting. I had my first fish caught and on the stringer before Mr. Ohio State had his line in the water. You see, he had brought 2 poles with him and was getting both set up properly before he started to fish. No, he wasn’t fishing with both poles at the same time. He had different set-ups so that if he wanted to change out of one he could and not take a ton of time to do it. Just reel in one line and stow pole A while grabbing pole B and preparing it with necessary bait and cast. Easy!

Mr. Ohio State had just managed to get his line in the water when I got a couple hard strikes on my line before I set the hook in fish #2. As soon as I set the hook the fish did breach the water and I must say, it was awesome! I have caught many a trout in my day and rarely do they jump out of the water. I mostly do bottom fishing with power-bait. Maybe fly-fishing is different.

The one that DIDN'T get away!

The one that DIDN’T get away!

I reeled in the fish and for the first time in a while I spoke the words, “Get the fishing net ready!” Mr. Ohio State was on the ball and was ready when the fish got close to him was scooped up quickly. I couldn’t believe my eyes, this fish was a monster. Not like a South Park monster fish with three eyes, but later in the day when I weighed and measured him he turned out to be 16 inches long and weighed almost 2lbs.! That would be my biggest rainbow trout ever! I was so excited. I am not a trophy fisherman and rarely do I seem to be in the right place and right time to land such a specimen such as this but I was that day.

The sun makes it first appearance of the day

The sun makes it first appearance of the day

As the morning grew lighter we were inundated with fog all over the lake and surrounding trees. It was spectacular! Oregon is a wonderful place to live. I feel fortunate to have such beauty just over an hour away.

Soon it appeared that Mr. Ohio State was going to get skunked and I would limit (5 fish) before even caught a single fish. It was not to be however and soon M.O.S. had a couple fish and I arrived at 4 before things slowed down a little bit and we decided to move.

We didn’t go too far, a hundred and fifty feet maybe. We set the anchor and resumed our beloved activity. A couple more times we were told by the beavers that was their place and they wouldn’t hesitate to railroad us right the hell out if we got too close to either of their lodge again.

Our catches of the day

Mr. Ohio State’s catch of the day

By the end of the day which was marked by no nibbles by either of us in 20-30 minutes, I had limited out and Mr. Ohio State had 3 and we were satisfied. It was just before noon.

My catch of the day

My catch of the day

We loaded up the car and made our way back to the city and our every day lives once more having staved off the crazy for a little while longer.




Peace be with you all!

More to come…

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Well Needed R & R

This past Friday a buddy of mine and I decided to shoot a round of disc-golf. I think that I had only played once this year and my friend hadn’t been since my bachelor party – 6 years ago!

We met at my place in North Portland and walked over to Pier Park, one of the best disc-golf courses in Portland – in my humble opinion. The weather was cool and slightly overcast with a possibility of thunder storms later in the day. So basically it was perfect.

Our walk over was pleasant enough and we talked about a new game of 5th edition dungeons and dragons we had recently started after our epic 4-year campaign of 4th edition ended having obtained 30th level!

Once at Pier Park, we stretched, used the rest room and made ready to take our turn behind another couple of guys who were busy chatting and almost looked like they were waiting for a third to show up. They said we could go ahead, so we did.

The day was as great with lots of other people tapping into the same the same data-banks to retrieve the idea of shooting a round. Along the way we were almost clubbed by a rogue disc and started a conversation with several pairs of people we were allowing to play through. One pair really liked my buddy’s hat he was wearing and that started of a 10-15 minute conversation. It was really very cool and reinforces my ideas that we are all basically good and enjoy similar things.

I leave you with these lovely picture20150814_112315[1]s of some of our course.

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In Loving Memory – Anna Bernice Nutt

Anna Bernice Nutt, born on May 25, 1940, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2015 surrounded by family at Legacy Hopewell House Hospice.

Anna Nutt-small She had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Even though I will miss my mother indescribably, I am not saddened at her passing. This is a horrible disease that robbed my mother of her breath and ultimately her life. In the last few years of her life I saw her struggle more and more as it gained a stronger foothold on her health until finally it overwhelmed her.

Seeing a person you love robbed of the very thing that gives life and not be able to do anything but watch helplessly and utter words that offer no comfort is heartbreaking. When she finally had passed I could only feel that her suffering had ended and she was finally at peace. For that I have no regrets.

The service that was held for my mother was beautiful and spoke about that kind of woman my mother was despite her childhood and upbringing which was fraught with many troubled times. I want to share with you the kind words that the Chaplain who had befriended my mother in the last few months of her life spoke at moms service, followed by a poem I read at the service which you will have the option to listen to.

Military Honors Ceremony –
This is a flag folding ceremony and the playing of Taps, provided by the US Military for the almost 4 years my mother served in the Army. (The two young men that performed this were the most respectful and polite servicemen that you could hope for to deliver this honored service. My thanks go out to them.)
I would like to welcome all of you today as we remember and honor the life of Anna Nutt. My name is Sue Garritano, Chaplain with Legacy Hospice Services.
Let us quiet ourselves with a brief moment of silence and prayer as we begin this service of remembrance.
Opening Prayer
Gracious God, Source of Strength and Infinite Compassion, we turn to you now in a spirit of hope and healing. We ask that you would fill our hearts with peace that we might receive comfort and grace to help us through this time of loss. Let us know that you are with
us. Let us trust that You are for us. Let us experience the mysterious and sacred power of your love and light among us.

In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.
Reading of the Eulogy
Anna Nutt was born May 25, 1940, and passed from this life on May 17, 2015, just 8 days before her 75th birthday. Her early years were very difficult; she grew up in
various foster homes, without the care, nurture, and guidance of a loving mother. As a young adult, she spent three years and eight months in the US Army as a
clerical and administrative aide. She became an army wife, and later the hard-working single mother of four children, Michelle, Corinne, James, and Lenny. She often
held two jobs to make ends meet, including 17 years for the county as a clerical worker, as well as several years in the D.A’s office. Despite her heavy workload, both in the
community, and at home, she managed to take her family on camping trips to Bend and Mt. Hood. Anna loved the outdoors and the beauty of nature, especially flowers.
James described his mother as “just a nice person…she always had a kind word… She was excited about everything” in her kids’ lives, and lived vicariously
through their travels and experiences. She was a very thoughtful person, and loved life. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, and crafty things, such as knitting and crochet;
crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She loved to read; particularly romance novels and murder mysteries. She was not a wealthy or materialistic person. Instead, she
invested her life in her family, and enjoyed the “fruits” of her labors through her children. She would say, “You’ve got a choice in what you do with your life, and how you
treat people.” Anna was very private in her spiritual beliefs, but
shared with me her personal Christian faith. She described herself as “a quiet person,” and presented as very thoughtful and reflective. Her spiritual philosophy was well-summarized by the plaque that hung above her chair: “Family is where life begins and love never ends.”
Anna had two special Bibles, and appreciated prayer. She never pushed her beliefs upon her children; rather, she encouraged them to pursue their own spiritual paths. In her season of decline, she expressed some anxiety about what was to come, but stated that
“74 years was a good, long life.” She had very few regrets; but, one was that she wished that she could have been a home economics teacher. The second one was that
she had always wanted to return one day to Hawaii. But, Anna accepted her place in the universe. Her greatest spiritual legacy is perhaps her unswerving support and
encouragement to her children. She became the kind of mother she wished she would have had, and was always there for her family. “Family is where life begins and
love never ends.”
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 12-13
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil?10 I have
seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made
everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity
in the hearts of men [and women]; yet they cannot
fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I
know that there is nothing better for men [and women]
than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That
everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all
his toil—this is the gift of God.
Pastoral Reflection
The writer of Ecclesiastes was a sophisticated, wise person, one who had lived through much, one who had come to learn many things by experience and by
listening to the wisdom of others. This writer had a huge appreciation of the divine view of human happiness. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under heaven.” The writer did not pretend to know the larger purposes of God or the ultimate meaning of human existence, but posed many questions
about what it means to live “under the sun.” Yet verses twelve and thirteen give us the bottom line: “I know that there is nothing better for men [and women] than to
be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.”

For Anna’s family and friends, we offer our deepest
sympathy. We know that when such a lovely person
dies, she leaves behind a cavern of loneliness. None of
us can fill the void left by the loss of a loving mother. But
it is comforting to remember that Anna left behind her
love and what I call her “spiritual footprint,” her legacy,
impression, or impact on those she has left behind.
“Family is where life begins and love never ends.”

Poem: read by James Nutt

With my mom, who was my only guiding light, I can share no more fears
From a disease that was her companion she did succumb after many years
Like the rocks against the crashing waves
She remained stalwart each and every day

Finally she has left this earthly place
To dawn a suit of heavenly grace
No longer tethered to her old and frail form
She watches over us as we all begin to morn

I am convinced that her energy is still around
Though her feet no longer touch the ground
The tears they come of fond memories long past
And thinking that no new ones with her makes me gasp

How we say our goodbyes are up to each one of us
If you were to ask her she would say not to make such a fuss
It’s hard not to cry when I want to talk to her and can’t
She didn’t even get to see me and my wife ballroom dance

The memory of her face I know will fade in time
But the goodness inside her will always shine
When I look upon the faces of my sisters and brother
I know that they carry with them the best of my mother

I didn’t appreciate the life lessons bestowed until she was gone
But I recognize them now and know I should thank her a ton
The strength of her character even in the toughest of times
I see more clearly now though can’t do it justice in my rhymes

Her honesty and quick smile and always having a kind word
May seem disingenuous coming from others but not ever her
Her excitement when from the coast I would bring salt water taffy
Or the long ago stories she told where we both ended up laughing

Her belief in me was unwavering even at my craziest dreams
To open up a game store was within reach to her it all seemed
Her empathy for my injuries always caused her concern
As any good parent would feel when body parts I would burn

As a new chapter in my life unfolds without her country wisdom
I try to fashion myself a little time to reflect on how to overcome
The obstacles I face each and every day as she once did
And hope that some of her strength inside me is hid

She supported my writing and loved reading my blog
Even though at times it must have been a terrible slog
She commented on my poems whenever she would take a look
And loved the idea of me compiling them into a book

For once and all my mother has shed her mortal coil
To no longer walk upon this earthly soil
Doesn’t mean that she will be missed any less
As the years go by I am sure I will have regrets

Of the things I wanted but couldn’t share
Not that it matters because she always cared
She was proud of my achievements regardless how small
And made me feel like I was 1000 feet tall

The reading of this poem gave me cause to rehearse
For the last words I heard my mom say are its very last verse
They are simple and from a mother to her son
Those words she spoke to me were “Go have fun”

It can also be listened to by clicking this link –
Committal (blessing of urn)
Into the hands of merciful God, we commit Anna Nutt, into her blessed rest of everlasting peace, joining her loved ones who have gone before. We also commend her
spirit to the loving care of the everlasting God, into life eternal. And now may the Lord bless her and keep her, may the Lord make his face to shine upon her, and be
gracious to her, and may the Lord lift up his countenance upon her and grant her peace.
Closing Prayer and Blessing Let us pray. We thank You, God, for the gift of
Anna’s life and for the legacy of her love. We feel a profound loss, yet a deep peace in knowing that she has been released from her suffering and can now rest from
her struggle. We ask that you encourage each of Anna’s loved ones here today by reminding them that, even as they now mourn, they can be comforted by Anna’s
loving impact on their lives.

And now praying the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
Closing Blessing;

“She is Gone”
You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind; be empty and turn
your back,
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your
eyes, love and go on. -David Harkins

May Anna’s life and legacy of love continue to bless you
and bring you comfort, joy, hope, and peace. Amen.

I would like to close with a few pictures that were shared at her service for those not able to attend.


Family PortraitMom is Class A uniform

Mom's Graduation

Mom in younger years












Please take a moment out of each day to think about the people that you love and let them know it. It doesn’t always have to be those words, although that never hurts, but instead call them up or visit with them. We are given such a short time to spend with the people we care about, best not to squander it.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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