16 October 2012

Wedding: Richard and Vella

Almost 10 years after our oldest was married, our oldest son married his sweethart on 6 October 2012 in Palatka, Florida.
Vella's family had once owned the place where they were married. The Rodman Plantation.  It is now the original home and 6000 acres used for weddings, retreats, hunting, etc.
Palatka is in northern Florida between St. Augustine and Gainesville.  Vella was raised in St. Augustine and her dad's family is from this area.
The only one of our family not able to attend was Richard's older sister, Anneka.  Of course there was a bit of "justice" in that since Richard was in Portugal when Anneka was married in 2002.  Still, she was sad not to have been there.
Lori and I flew down to Orlando and drove up to the wedding site.  We had to leave Wednesday evening, overnight in Seattle, fly all day to Orlando, overnight in Ormond Beach and finally on Friday got to Palatka.  (Travel from Alaska is always an experience).
Although there were lots of thunderstorms while we were there we were blessed not to have a drop at the Plantation the day of the wedding.... since it was outside.
We got to meet Vella's family, including her sisters, brother, her dad, and 2 grandmas.  And a few others I have no chance of remembering.
Meg and Charles got to participate in the wedding party.  Richard also had 2 old friends, David and Matt, while Vella also included her 2 sisters, Sarah and Amy.
The wedding party had barefeet during the ceremony(as well as most the time too), which was cool, but exposed them to chiggers.  They all itched for several days.
Lori and I left Sunday evening after getting Meg, her boyfriend, Brian, and Charles down to Walt Disney World for a short stay.  We still had to overnight in Seattle before making it home on Monday.  A quick trip for a 4 time zone change.

21 June 2012


We are in Hawai'i. Maui to be more specific. Kihei to be even more specific. I'm here for an optometric conference, but we brought our oldest, Anneka and her 2 kidlets, Samantha and Corban. Our youngest daughter, Meg, joined us too.

We stayed in Kihei at a condo complex where we have gone 2 other times.  Location is great, price is right, close to the beach....  This time we got a two bedroom unit.  It was also within a couple of miles of my conference in Wailea.  Thanks to a great job with great benefits part of the trip was paid for.

Lots of time was spent on the beach.  We were right at Kamole I.  Samantha the 4 1/2 yr old loved playing in the sand and being covered in it.  Aunt Meg and Sam made quite a team.  They built sand castles, buried each other's legs, let the waves wash over them.  Thanks to Meg, Sam did a lot.  Grams, Gramps, or Mom couldn't get her in the water like her aunt could.

04 June 2012

A Long Time Ago..... In a Blog.....

I just looked at my blog and discovered it has been about 2 1/2 years since I have posted anything here.  Wow.  So, the question is whether to catch up or just start anew and do some flashbacks....

So to start with here are the Hart as presently constituted.  Anneka and Mike are in Wyoming with our grandchildren so that leaves Lori, Charles, Meg, Richard, Vella(Richard's fiance), Me.  Right now we are all in Sitka.  Richard and Vella are up here working for the summer.  Charles has been here for a year after he finished Massage Therapy School last spring.  Meg is spending alot of time with her boyfriend. All are working 2 or 3 jobs.  This picture was from a family trip to Walt Disney World / Disney Cruise last December.

Corban and Samantha May 2012
Samantha our granddaughter is now 4 1/2.  She has a little brother born 7 January 2012.  Corban Michael Jabulani Smith.  Our son-in-law, Mike, is working for a company out of Rock Springs, Wyoming.  He is an electrician(now a journeyman) working for a company who handles electrical stuff for wells that BP has.  They live in Green River.

Richard(25) is engaged to Vella Stone.  They will be getting married in St. Augustine, Florida in October.  They were here last summer working and then spent the fall and winter in Florida where Vella's dad lives and where she grew up.

I'm still working at SEARHC.  6 1/2 years now.  Still really enjoy being there.  My mom is still in So. Calif. and doing well.  We try and get down to see her once or twice a year.

Since my last post FB has become a big thing.  I can be reached there: Rick Hart.

See y'all soon(I hope)

29 July 2009

6th Grade Class Picture--1970

William F. Prisk Elementary School 1970

Front Row: Cindy Taylor, Susan Coulter, Mark LaRowe, Danny Larsen, Dana Roach, Bobbie Howell, Karen Clouse, Susan Montgomery, Ann Riggins, Steve Nelson

Middle Row: Lisa Bennett, Lori Henry, Brad Smith, Bill Cook, Michelle Lennotte, Twyla Starky, Rick Hart, David Keuther, Paul Charles, Mark Malone, Alan Darrow

Back Row: Mrs. Krogstad, Linda McDonald, Liz Baker, Antonette G, Ann Megna, Elaina Smelnavich, Lynn Hopewell, Julie Wiggins, Diane Dahms, Joyce Slope, Forrest Freed, Bill Dager, Russell Keene, Terri Reynolds

From an eye doc point of view this was interesting. We had some that wore glasses. Then at the end of the school year we were going to Camp Hi-Hill for our 6th grade camp. We had to have a "physical" with the school nurse. I failed the eye test as did about half the class. By the time we went to camp a bunch more us us had glasses. I thought it was odd at the time, but after learning of the development of the eye in optometry school it was logical. The eyes grow in size and about 10-13 it can get to a point that the become nearsighted.

23 July 2009

Devil's Club-The Adversary

While being a very useful plant...especially to the Alaska natives...Devil's Club is wicked for the unsuspecting.
Depending on which part is used you can get tea, oils, juice, etc. from it. I have a patient on Prince of Wales Island who make gallons of juice and claims it will help diabetes and even cancer.
I usually don't post eye pictures here, but this patient was too interesting. He was flown in to the clinic in Klawock from a logging camp.
He had been hit in the face with Devil's Club while walking in the woods. His eye was red, light sensitive, watery, and hurt. Eventually, Jason Barnes a 4th year optometry student
who worked with me that week flipped over the upper eye lid and we found a bit of a thorn of the plant.
When I went to pull it out...it wouldn't move. Then we found the other end of the thorn on the outside of the lid. So it had penetrated the eye lid. We had to send him to an ophthalmologist in Juneau. The thorn scratched the front of the eye every time he blinked or moved his eye. Here is the Wikipedia article on Devil's Club.
Devil's Club is also a good looking plant. It grow pretty tall, has big leaves which are a bright yellow in the fall, and produces bright red berries in the fall.
So avoid it.

22 June 2009

Visitors from Down South

 Meg graduated from Sitka High and we had visitors help honor her.
  My mom joined us from southern California and Anneka and Mike brought 
our wonderful granddaughter from Idaho.
     Samantha is now 1 1/2 years old and just fun.  We got lots of hugs.
Meg and Samantha had fun together.

Mike and I got to go fishing one day and we each caught a nice king salmon. 
 It tasted really good that evening for dinner....yumm.

18 May 2009

Waterlogged Dog

Apparently poodles are water dogs.  Labs of course are.  Well, it must be an enhanced trait in the labradoodle.  D'Artangan will get in any water anywhere.  This has become his new favorite spot.  This is the Indian River here in Sitka.  It is a major salmon stream in the fall.  One of the hiking trails in town... the Cross Trail... ends at the river.  Usually D'Artangan stays within a 100 feet or so of Lori when they are hiking.  By the time they get within a 1/4 mile of the river Lori won't seem him until she reaches the water.  Having sticks thrown is a favorite of his...but he never brings them back.  He hasn't grasped the concept of what to do when the stick gets past him and is headed downstream...just kind of looks at it.  He would stay in here all day if we let him, but we eventually run out of sticks since he doesn't get the bring back part...

09 May 2009

Missing Dad

Today has been one year since my dad died.  In a way I'm glad he is gone.  Now wait, before you think that is a terrible thing to say...hear me out.  In a way Dad died several years ago.  As the Alzhiemers progressed he forgot more and more.  At one point he didn't recognize me or my brothers.  When the time came when he didn't know who Mom was at least he knew that she was someone special and he would light up just seeing her.  Everyonce in a while Mom said that he would start crying and say he couldn't do it anymore.  It seems those were moments where he broke through the disease and had an understanding of what he was becoming.  So by saying that it would have been better to have died sooner is for his sake, not mine.  And for my mom's sake.  She worked so hard, held so much in.  Yeah, she probably made some mistakes, but then like raising kids, there is no manual to tell us what to do, say, or think.My mom misses him.  I'd like to spend more time with her.  I got to go down in February and help her out.  We didn't do much.  Watch TV, talk, go to Taco Bell or In-n-Out, but I hope that just being there helps.  She understands that the Lord wanted her to learn something by taking care of Dad.  She hopes she learned whatever it was.  The biggest blessing of Alzhiemers that I see is the victim probably doesn't have a clue that they are suffering, unlike a cancer patient who is aware of all the pain and inconvience.  The caregivers are the ones who have trouble dealing.  I guess in a way it prepares them for the death and allows them to spread out the grieving process.  I just had a friend die that I had grown up with.  He was 2 years younger than me.  He did have heart problems.  He died while riding a motorcycle in the mountains and the aren't sure if he had a heart attack and crashed or just crashed.  But it was sudden.  All the grieving is taking place now.  His mom is still alive and I really feel for her. 
From an "what is life all about" perspective my dad had a great life.  He had a family, grandkids, a career, and gave and received lots of love.  So I really miss Dad, but from an eternal view he is just one step ahead of the rest of us.  I guess he and my friend can catch up on old times.  
Love you Dad.

05 April 2009

Not a 6 Foot Turkey

In Sitka when we refer to the raptor center we aren't talking about the big-toothed, huge-clawed things from Jurassic Park.  No, we are talking about the cool facility that rehabilitates birds of all kinds, but specializes in eagles and other birds of prey.  According to their website they take care of 100+ birds a year.  Most are able to be released back in to the wild.  When a release happens the public is invited to attend.  Yesteday we got to see 2 bald eagles released.  One was an adult and the other a 1 yr. old juvenile.  Today they did 3 more.  These birds are so cool and majestic.  This is a video from my regular digital camers of the juvenile being released.

12 March 2009


Just a proud gramps moment.  We just received this from Anneka... Samantha's first coloring.  Notice how she can't stay in the lines like her uncles.

09 March 2009

I CAN SEE...(turn and bump into tree)...NEVER MIND!!

My mom had cataract surgery 3 weeks ago.  I got to go down and make sure she got there, got to her follow-ups, and took her drops.  She did very well and even commented that it was pretty easy.  No bruising; just a little lightheadedness due to the valium.
Her glasses now are not correct, but she is seeing much better.  First night after surgery she asked me if I had changed the lights in the kitchen...they looked much brighter.
While there I got to eat at In-n-Out, Bob's Big Boy, good Mexican food.  The first week I was there by myself and the second week Lori flew down and joined me.
I got to play golf twice.. once with my aunt's husband Bill and then with my cousin Josh.  Lori did a dinner for my aunt's birthday.
It was fun to watch the Californians be cold with temps in the 60s.  I was nice and warm.
Lori and spent some time at IKEA and got some stuff for the house up here.  
One of the coolest things...besides spending some great time with my mom... was seeing the musical at the high school where both Lori and I went.  They did Sound of Music.  When I was a senior in 1976 we did the same show.  I participated by having a couple of small parts.  Via FaceBook I got reconnected with a friend whom I have known since kindergarten.  Karen played Leisel...the eldest girl.  The show was fun and it was really nice to see Karen again.  Lori and I also got to have dinner with friends Melinda and Carl.
Mom will be able to do the other eye in the next few months if she wants.  The only negative thing she has noticed is the wrinkles she claims weren't there last month.  It was kind of funny.

23 January 2009

Lori and Rick Sitting in a Tree....

My wife / best friend / sweethart is the the love of my life. I will gladly give her credit for making what I am today. Of course, my overweightness is a bit my fault. Lori has become such a good cook that it dominates my will power.

She helped me find a profession which I liked and encouraged me, helped me, worked her tail off, and taught me how to be a bit adventurous...which has let us to Alaska for one thing. We are approaching 28 years of being married and still find time to be best friends amid all the "stuff" life throws at us.
Here are a few pictures of just the 2 of us in the past few years. I'll have to find some old ones to scan later.
On the Yukon River and next to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

This is where it all began.. 20 June 1983. Wow...that guy is skinny and the chick was and is a fox!!!

Fairbanks at 10:30 pm. June 2006

Disneyland Feb. 2005

Disneyland Feb. 2005

Sitka Thanksgiving Day 2008. A really nice day so we took a hike on the Mosquito Cove trail.

Crater Lake Sept 2008. Part of the trip we took with Meg and Charles to let them look at colleges. This natural wonder is still not as beautiful as my sweethart.

Disneyland March 2008. Yes, we like the place.

Fanning Island Dec. 2003. This was part of our Hawai'ian cruise for Richard's 16th birthday.
About 200 miles north of the equator.

Sitka Alaska Nov. 2005. This was during the site visit SEARHC did for us when I was being hired. This shot happens to be at Silver Bay and is about 2 miles from our current house.

I look forward to another 50 years or so with my wife in this life and an eternity beyond.