Sunday, October 10, 2010

Timmy Day Thoughts and Words

Timmy's first Birthday
September 25, 2010 would have been my son Timmy, 30th birthday.  It has been 3 years, and 7 months since God took him to Heaven.  When I allow my mind to drift to those last days spent with my son, it truly could have been yesterday and then again sometimes it feels like a place in time I visited in another life.  It still is so surreal.  My husband and I have talked about this, and we both feel the same.

On his birthday, we take a day off--off school, off work, and we have "Timmy Day".  The three of us (Ted, Corey and I) leave town and spend a whole day or sometimes overnight together and have a nice meal, celebrating Tim and how God's grace sustains us.  We take a lot of pictures, have a "toast" and just have a good time.  It is something we now look forward to instead of regretting. 

This year, since "Timmy Day" fell on a Saturday, we took Friday off to work on the car, then left very early Saturday morning and drove up to San Francisco.  We didn't have anything specific planned.  We didn't have a lot of time.  We just were going to go, take in some different sights then the every day walls of our life, view some of God's creations in California, and maybe enjoy some clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl.  (mmmmm)...Well, down South where we live, it was the hottest day of the year, hitting 114 in Chino.  San Francisco...the most beautiful I can ever remember.  It is always overcast and cold.  Not this time.  Warm but pleasant and CLEAR!. Thank you God. 

                        View from our hotel

You may view my whole pictorial story on my Facebook page.  What I thought I would do here is something a little different.  There were many unique and fun  words we came across in our travels.  These words were posted on signs along our scenic route. These were words that are funny, words that are foreign, words we may not use in our every day speech.  Of course, with my journal always near, I jotted a few of these down, thinking maybe I could create something of interest from these words.  So here it goes, my attempt to inform and educate with the three I have picked here.   

CHUMASH  (Chew---mash).  No, this is not what you do with the crab. ...well maybe....  

The Chumash Indians were some of the first people to inhabit North America.  Evidence was found, showing that they have had settlements on the Channel Islands and Santa Monica Mountains as far back as thousands of years ago. 

I noticed many signs as we drove through the Santa Inez Valley, reminded of fourth graders and California Mission studies.  While reading on-line of their history and background, I came across something interesting our family could relate to. 

The Chumash had a rich spiritual heritage, most of which has been documented through their magnificent pictographs and petroglyphs, songs, dances, and legends.  The Chumash also enjoyed games and they often played against other tribes in friendly Shinny Hockey tournaments.  In addition of sports, the Chumash also gambled, having developed several variation of dice games. Gaming was as educational as it was entertaining, as it served to teach the young about diplomacy, ethics, and life skills.

In Timmy's later years, he loved to play Texas Hold'um.  I am thankful for this because he developed a bond with several of my husband's friends and it distracted him from his daily pain.  The Chumash Indians "blogged", played sports and knew their Creator from observing nature. word

Artichoke  I remember every once in a while, my mom would boil my dad some Artichokes.  What a wierd, strange vegetable.  My dad just loved them.  He would peel off each leaf and dip it into the melted butter and scrape the "meat" as he called it,  off the back of the leaf with his teeth.  To me it was messy and disgusting.  Today, what's one of my favorite things?  Artichoke spinach dip...and I also have a great recipe for artickoke/spinach pizza.  In our travels around the outskirts of San Francisco, driving towards Santa Cruz were fields and fields of artichokes.  In my research I found out, Artichokes have their own ...


Did you know the artichoke is a "thistle"...a weed?   Isn't it amazing with careful consideration,   planning and  patience,  how a weed can turn into something sustaining, something that brings nutrtion and purpose?  Isn't that just a picture of what God does with us?  When we get into the "meat" of what  God has to tell us, we just may find it delicious and satisfying. 

The Dutch introduced artichokes to England, where they grew in Henry VIII's garden at Newhall in 1530. They were brought to the United States in the 19th century, to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants. The name has originated from the Arabic al-kharshof, through a Northern Italian dialect word, articiocco.[7]

California Crops

Slough   (slow)  -noun,  Def.:  1.  An area of soft, muddy ground, swamp, or swamplike region.  2,  A hole full of mire, as in a road.  3. A marshy or reedy pool, pond, inlet, backwater, or the like. 4.  a condition of degradation, despair, or helplessness.

Every definition gave me a yucky feeling, a negative connotation.  Somewhere  a creature from the Black Lagoon, or Swamp Thing might be lurking, or a million mosquitos for that matter. 

Our discovery?  The Slough in picturesque Moss Landing, Calif.  We decided we want to come back and check this place out , discover more of what nature has to offer here.  Instead of murky darkness, we saw sea otters frolicking in the waters, many sea birds foraging for their daily fill of shellfish, and kayakers leisurally paddling with the seals at play.  Over the hill surrounding the slough, was the breathtaking Pacific, uncluttered with surbanites and their umbrellas and coolers, just the sand, the sea, and the sounds and smells of  our beautiful coastline. 

God came to bring us out of our own despair and helplessness.  We can become mired in the everyday muck of this life and miss what lies just over the hill.  There is purpose for this slough, it's a protected area for a species of birds called the Snowy Plover,  it is their breeding ground.  New birth and and a new generation come to life here.  Within the mud and reeds is sustenance--lessons to move on to great expance of the deep ocean of destiny God has planned for us. 

The Snowy Plover and her chicks

Well, I hoped you enjoyed this little tour of Northern Calif, and it's interesting linguistic revelations.  Please feel free to stop on over to my Facebook page and enjoy the beautiful coastline along Hwy. 1.  I am going to add two more pictures here, both a memorial to Timmy. 

For further reading, Study Ephesians 3.  CV

The links at Pebble Beach

"You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”



  1. Coleene,
    Thanks for the trip up north. I enjoyed reading about your adventure. I enjoy roadtrips,but don't get as many opportunities to take them these days. I need to get up to Oregon soon!

  2. Coleene,
    I got to see this as it came to our home e-mail. I remember growing up we went on vacations to Carpinteria State Beach and learning from the rangers there about the Chumash. I hadn't heard about their penchant for gaming before, how interesting! As a child I used to be the one who asked for Artichoke with steak for my birthday:)

    When I think of Slough, I remember Pilgrim's Progress and the "slough of despond/despair". Thank you for your observations on how much good can come from those places!