"Chapter 2: Starting Over"

A Personal Journal by Andrew Burg

Updated: Monday, 16 April 2012

S M T W T F S Christmas Trip

New Jersey
North Carolina

19 December 2009 - 3 January 2010

Dec 2009 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 Jan 2010
Photos, Videos, Maps & More Andrew Burg BLOG Andrew Burg YOU TUBE Andrew Burg LINKED IN Andrew Burg CONTACT
Andrew Burg CURRICULUM VITAE Andrew Burg HOME PAGE The 2009 Southern California Google Earth KMZ

Kristmas Kapers Google Earth KMZ

Saturday, December 19

Los Angeles to Bellingham via the Metro Green Line light rail for a non-stop flight on Allegiant Airlines. Thanks for the ride, Heidi. And putting me to work right away. And the overnight accommodations, too.

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Mount Rainier

What an AWESOME trip! Travel was basically uneventful. Very busy. And way too much fun. This journey brought closure. Literally. To the rectangle I'd started when I left Los Angeles in 1993 (going counter-clockwise) to the same trip now (clockwise).

flights_2009_holidays2.jpg (615618 bytes) The "Grand Circuit" Around the Country
The new Amy's Place For Youth needed about 5 hours of setting up furniture and cleanup after all the stuff from the old location was brought here. 20091219_112.jpg (422792 bytes) 20091219_113.jpg (426922 bytes) 20091219_114.jpg (443510 bytes) 20091219_115.jpg (420241 bytes)
And the grand re-opening started at 6:00 pm. 20091219_117.jpg (402766 bytes) 20091219_118.jpg (417448 bytes) 20091219_116.jpg (447073 bytes) 20091219_119.jpg (416590 bytes)
We drove about downtown and it was eerily quiet. No one was out & about. Not even near the Lighthouse Rescue Mission. 20091219_120.jpg (417558 bytes) 20091219_121.jpg (419128 bytes) 20091219_122.jpg (413321 bytes) 20091219_123.jpg (422490 bytes)

VIDEO: Kids Karaoke (large 10± Mb MP4 format)
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VIDEO: Kids Karaoke (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)
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Sunday, December 20


BUF worship service & Christmas pageant followed by meeting friends.

Bellingham feels like "home."

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Marty Mitchell & Charlotte Gazak at the Bayside Café.
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Cold, breezy, stormy. But it felt good. Perhaps because I was visiting and knew I didn't have to experience this for many months. dec20_bellingham_harbor.jpg (299427 bytes)
My usual "walkabout" the Hotel Bellwether and Anthony's Restaurant before meeting Larry Kimmet. 20091220_120.jpg (382835 bytes) 20091220_121.jpg (367632 bytes) 20091220_123.jpg (385416 bytes) 20091220_124.jpg (390366 bytes)
After which, Heidi picked me back up and took me Lionel & Judy's place --- my former home --- for a fish dinner (I caught the fish in the Sea of Cortez) dinner and to stay the night. Thanks Lionel & Judy! 20091220_122.jpg (431941 bytes) 20091220_125.jpg (411806 bytes)
VIDEO: Bellingham Marina (large 20± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: Bellingham Marina (small 3± Mb WMV format)
Monday, December 21


It's off to see Kurt & Janice Fuhrmeister for a chiropractic adjustment and leave some canine biscuits for Rudy and his newfound playmate.

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Digital Christmas card from 18 Frost Drive.

There's much to write about here. I took much fewer photographs and videos than I usually do. This time was about being together and sharing less so than documenting everything. My little red journal continues to serve me well on this fast-paced trip with completely full days.

Yes, it feels like "home." I know with the wonderful friends I've made here in almost 2˝ years, that when I visit, due to everyone's generosity, I will never have to worry about a roof over my head, how to get around town or a warm meal.

I even rode the WTA bus to Fairhaven. Something I never took advantage of while I lived here. I should have. It was easy and cheap.

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Once again, Heidi picked me up, made a few stops with me (my car mechanic Keith Cox Autobahn and the closing Sunshine Liquidators) before going to her office to organize her computer and get some grant writing started. Even her computer tech, who doesn't know me, gave me a laptop computer power cord, since mine had died.

I met Joe Yaver, Larry Horowitz and even John O'Malley at Village Books / Book Fare Café for lunch. And then John Brown joined us. What a wonderful afternoon.

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Heidi then deposited me back at Marine Drive with Lionel & Judy. And my replacement renter, Joe. Appetizers, dinner and movies rounded out a wonderful evening at home.

Boy, does this interlude look familiar ??? 20091221_118.jpg (401462 bytes) 20091221_116.jpg (413180 bytes)
Shook hands with this nameless Grinch.
Tuesday, December 22


After debating a walk back down to Nooksack River Beach with Judy, we decided not to because of the cold rainy drizzle.

On their way back to Vancouver, Lionel and Judy gave me a ride to Irene & Gary Morgan's house out "in the country" near Eversen. There Irene and I worked on getting her organized for grant-writing.

I had a pleasant evening meditation and "walkabout" Irene's Labyrinth and in her "retreat."

Then Irene and I drove to Amy's Place for the Christmas party. Tori, the girl I met on the Green Line train that does this sort of work in Los Angeles and was on my flight had already come and gone, telling me on the plane and at BLI arrival area that she'd like to help while visiting Bellingham. I gave her my contact information.



Two wonderful donation checks came in during the holidays.

And in a sad juxtaposition ... a tribute to Patrick from Amy's Place kids.

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See more at Amy's Place For Youth website.

20091222_118.jpg (458470 bytes) See more at Amy's Place For Youth website.


It's a really cool space. But it will need plumbing to create a functional kitchen area, a shower room and washer / dryer hookups.


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Unknown baby, Irene and Andrew.
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Heidi, Andrew, Irene and the unknown baby.
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Heidi, Andrew, Irene and the unknown baby.

Now that's a true (400-pound) butcher block cart!

Boy it's cold tonight! But I got to sleep in a former meat locker that was both pitch black and toasty warm once the space heaters got going. I'm pooped. Slept like a log.

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Wednesday, December 23

Bellingham to Seattle

Irene gave me a ride to the WTA bus terminal.

But across the street, we met my friend Beth Fuller from BUF for coffee before heading south to Mount Vernon.  Hey, this riding is getting to be fun. Even with luggage and in cold weather.

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Met Don & Pat Paye for lunch. What a wonderful interlude.  The only snafu was a sold-out Amtrak bus/train to Seattle. So I made a connection on the airport shuttle instead. Amanda was kind enough to pick me up after work and I stayed at her place until the next morning.

I am blessed and grateful to have so many people that care about me. And I, them.

Andy, I'm sorry we missed each other on this trip. As well as for your loss of Terry shortly before.

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payes_xmas2009_1.jpg (677662 bytes)With all my relatives living back in "old Germany," I had three extended families while growing up in New Jersey --- the Payes were the 1st of 3 extended families.

Thursday, December 24

Seattle to Newark, New Jersey

Leisurely rise-and-shine, followed by breakfast at Amanda's --- kinda, sorta sounds like a movie title or two.

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My beloved Mount Baker looking into Canada, over 100 miles away with a fresh snow dump!
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American Cascade Range in the foreground. 
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Canadian Cascades (the Coastal Range) behind Mount Baker.
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The flight was uneventful with the exception of the government's TSA opening my suitcase and tearing open each wrapped Christmas gift. What were they searching for that a canine or x-ray wouldn't already disclose? Knuckleheads!

Gidget drove up to get me. It's been over three years since seeing each other.

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Christmas Eve gift sharing at Friedl, Gidget & David's house in Lakewood.
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With all my relatives living back in "old Germany," the Guenthers were the 2nd of 3 extended families while growing up in New Jersey. Read on below.
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The Rohlands of Toronto were the 3rd of 3 extended families. But that is in itself another whole long story.
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Canine Café treats for the 2 doggies. Nothing for the 2 kitties.

Stayed here on Christmas Eve night as well as Christmas night --- my 51st (ugh!)  birthday.

I met a nice woman named Lisa Hull on the flight reading a book called "The Book of Joe" by Jonathan Tropper. Cecil, you always said I should read more of the Bible; so how good am I doing?

As we talked about family strife, the holidays, inevitable death and ultimately redemption before death, she hurriedly finished the last few pages of the book and gave it to me. It was a very good book/story and very appropriate to read on the return flight to Los Angeles.

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Friday, December 25

Lakewood, Toms River & Bayville, New Jersey

Hurried rise-and-shine and a fast ride to my brother's house in Bayville to surprise everyone with my unannounced arrival. How will it go?

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The kids were surprised and happy.
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Lawrence comes up to visit Friedl and Gidget.

We're all getting older. And life is too short (I think).

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Saturday, December 26

Lakewood, Toms River & Bayville, New Jersey

Sunday, December 27

Bricktown, New Jersey

Guenther family re-union. It's a joyous occasion for me to see and participate in so much family healing, compassion and growth. Thank you for sharing this very important family moment with Lawrence and myself.

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VIDEO: Gidget Toast (large 10± Mb MP4 format)


VIDEO: Guenther toast (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)
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VIDEO: Christmas Balls (large 10± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: Christmas Balls (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)
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VIDEO: Friedl Birthday (large 10± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: Friedl Birthday (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)
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VIDEO: Singing (large 10± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: Singing (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)
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And she's the only sober one!

And a nice visit with Giesela and Perry Henn after the Guenther event. 20091227_144.jpg (430550 bytes) 20091227_145.jpg (418993 bytes)
Monday, December 28

Growing up in Toms River, New Jersey

As Bruce Springsteen might sing, "This is your hometown ..."

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VIDEO: Toms River (large 30± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: Toms River (small 5± Mb WMV format)
30 Winding River Drive

Toms River High School North

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38 Raymond Drive

2 Bough Court

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Routes 166 & 37

Frost Drive

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VIDEO: Frost Drive (large 20± Mb MP4 format)


VIDEO: Frost Drive  (small 3± Mb WMV format)
Tuesday, December 29

New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte's changed in 3 years --- new buildings on the skyline; a 3rd parallel runway; roads eliminated and re-aligned. 20091229_121.jpg (481373 bytes) 20091229_116.jpg (416479 bytes) 15507_20100102_127.jpg (108691 bytes) 20091229_120.jpg (427898 bytes) 20091229_118.jpg (430161 bytes)
We flew right around Dornier Court. With a nearly-full moon rising 20091229_122a.jpg (242328 bytes) 20091229_124a.jpg (243280 bytes) 20091229_129a.jpg (333644 bytes) 20091229_128.jpg (2597729 bytes)
And even Musket Lane. I've seen almost every house I've ever lived in on this trip. 20091229_130a.jpg (199645 bytes) 20091229_126.jpg (2000727 bytes) 20091229_123.jpg (404799 bytes) 20091229_125.jpg (2710141 bytes)
The Burg-Richardson-Grier (oops, forgot the Thompson part) household. Ugh! 20091229_131.jpg (390784 bytes) 20091229_132.jpg (386433 bytes) 20091229_133.jpg (437863 bytes) 20091229_134.jpg (398336 bytes)
Wednesday, December 30

Charlotte, North Carolina

Thursday, December 31

Charlotte, North Carolina

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VIDEO: New Year's Eve (large 10± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: New Year's Eve (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)

VIDEO: New Year's Day (large 10± Mb MP4 format)

VIDEO: New Year's Day (small 1˝± Mb WMV format)
Friday, January 1

Charlotte, North Carolina

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Watching the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California and looking for Meagan Barbe. She was supposed to be the "D" in Glendora. I'm thinking she got promoted to the "E". WARNING: these are large image files. roseparade20100101_6.jpg (3187377 bytes) roseparade20100101_3.jpg (3352156 bytes) roseparade20100101_4.jpg (2916674 bytes)
Saturday, January 2

Charlotte, North Carolina

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Around the house. Gawd, it looks good! I did a good job. Over 200 (!) perimeter trees. Thanks, Barb, for keeping it up. Just like Paloma Street. pan15507_20100102_2.jpg (676229 bytes) pan15507_20100102_4.jpg (430849 bytes)
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And to my former County cohorts --- thanks for lunch. I had fun Bill, Tim, Eric, Tim and Michael.

ADD MORE TEXT HERE as time permits

It was great to see you again Ronda. Same with you Alexi & Lydia.

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What an awesome plant this marginata has become! It's a small tree.  15507_20100102_128.jpg (625280 bytes) 15507_20100102_129.jpg (648751 bytes) 15507_20100102_130.jpg (631746 bytes) 15507_20100102_131.jpg (653485 bytes) 15507_20100102_132.jpg (664543 bytes)
Sunday, January 3

North Carolina to California

I miss my Hoover. Last of my three buddies ... Taco and TeeJay.

Recognize this flashback photo ???

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And Hoover's look-alike 3,000 miles away along-side Taco.

You've gotten so much older, my senior friend. I just over 3 years. But so have I. We all have. You look good. My senior statesdog with a bit-o-gray. Thanks for allowing me to be with you. Even if only for a few days. Namaste my friend. I'll see over the Rainbow Bridge.

Taco, the day before was your best day and I honor this day as your "requiem" photo page.

I'm soooo sorry, Taco. And TJ. Both of you. I miss both of you. TJ memorial web pages.

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