Yeah, but….

I am extremely happy.

No, seriously, lately life has been one big huge reminder of how great it is to be alive.   My son’s wedding in Montana not only took me to a monumental family event, but also to the natural monuments of Yellowstone and all the beauty that life has to offer.

I’ve never been able to accept compliments very well. And so, when life goes well, I feel surprised. When life goes extremely well, I actually have a tough time handling it. Whether it’s an underlying feeling that I don’t deserve it, or a suspicion that I know it won’t last long, that doesn’t matter. I’m awkward at best when it comes to good times. I was even telling my step-daughter (and I hate that term) Kjersti at my acupuncture appointment the other day, when she asked, “How’s it going?”, I told her, “I’m really, really happy right now.”

So, while Monday didn’t ‘harsh my buzz’, it did provide a moment of concern. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer about things happening for the reason they do, all things are meant to be, etc. but this past Monday, the 16th anniversary of the 9-11 attack on the U.S., I heard comments that bothered me.

That fateful morning, my radio co-hosts–Bruce Murdock and Alice Porter—and I were heading into just another day, with a pre-recorded interview to play in that 5:30-6am time slot. After all, most people weren’t up by then, so if we had an interview and played it during that early morning stretch, we could replay it later in the morning–say, in the 8am hour–and most of our audience wouldn’t have heard it. This particular interview was with the author of a book about 9-1-1- calls. Thus, the 9-11 theme.  We were within minutes of playing it when we noticed on the TV monitor in our studio that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York.  We assumed it was some small aircraft that had screwed up badly…but next thing you know, we were getting notices about a special ABC report.  That canned interview never aired. Life would never be the same.

Thousands of lives were lost. Our lives were changed forever. Remember going out to the airport and actually walking out to the gate to greet a passenger with a funny sign or flowers? Gone.

So, this past Monday, when I heard the things people were saying about 9-11, it bothered me. “C’mon, that was a long time ago!”, “Oh, just move on!” or “We don’t need another holiday!”, I just shook my head.

First off, those of use who remember that day will never be the same. It was our Pearl Harbor, our Alamo, our reminder that our perfect little land of America is just as susceptible as any place on the globe. This isn’t political rhetoric, this was people’s lives. People who weren’t planning to have it all end that day. In their honor, I cherish every day since then. What they wouldn’t give to be able to complain about politics or global warming or any of the other complaints we have about today.

I truthfully don’t know what to do about that date. Make a National Day of Remembrance….or, does that make it a target for terrorists to use for an attack?  Let it fade into history? (I’d have a hard time with that)

The bottom line is that it’s a decision that should be left to those who will be here 40 years from now. I doubt that includes me, but then again, I’m a stubborn bastard. I won’t go easily.

So, it is for that reason that I can’t get too caught up in the lack of enthusiasm about an event that seriously shaped my life 16 years ago. So, I’ll express concern and then go back to being extremely happy.

However: never forget!

Tim Hunter

 

Another One Bites The Buzz

So, I’m tapping away on my keyboard in the bowels of my house known as ‘my office’, writing away, when I hear the sound of a text or something coming in on my phone. I check–nothing.

It happens again. Not from the phone. I listen carefully and it seems to be coming somewhere down below me. I’m thinking, “Oh, great!  My computer is starting to go out and I’ll have to pony up a bunch of money and buy a new one.”  I go back to writing and some motion caught my eye. I looked down and crawling on the front of my shirt, a yellow jacket that I’m pretty sure was 30-feet long. I remained calm, reached over and grabbed my phone, lifted it off my shirt, shook it down to the ground (a Michael Jackson song is about to break out) and…..well, for you insect lovers, let’s just say “he stopped buzzing.”

How he got there, where he came from, God only knows.  All I know is the next time I hear that familiar buzzing sound again, my phone will be the second place I check.

Tim Hunter

The Time of My Life

I’m a writer. Well, technically speaking, anyone who can pick up a pen or keyboard and start tossing words down on a canvas is a writer. But even though I stumbled through a 30+ radio career, having the time to write and refine my thoughts is when I am most comfortable. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I love the idea of being able to carefully hone a line or a blog before casting it out into cyberspace for judgement.  When you’re on the radio, sometimes you stumble on a word or the music’s too loud or someone is talking at the same time. So yes, I’m a part-time control freak.

On paper, I should be able to convey how much this past week has meant to me. However, I’m struggling with the words. I could go with the standard collection of adjectives and adverbs, but they feel inadequate. Rather than being concerned about their deficiencies, I’ll simply tell you what happened and I’ll cheat a bit with photos.

There was a gathering this past week at a place near Bozeman, Montana, called Rainbow Ranch. That was the place chosen over a year ago to be the site of my son’s wedding to an absolutely incredible lady named Lacey. Technically, it was a destination wedding, but it didn’t feel like one. Those are usually small groups, on a beach somewhere. This was more like a family/college reunion, with a crowd of around 80 people setting up for an extended Labor Day weekend at one of nature’s greatest playgrounds.

It was everything I expected about Montana, but also so much more.  Outside of driving through the state on my way to South Dakota, this was my first time exploring it.  We arrived at the airport filled with bronze artwork of bears, bison and dinosaurs. We grabbed a van and hit the road and were instantly engulfed in mountains, fields and rolling plains. Over the next several days, we saw herds of elk and buffalo. We went to a rescue animal park for close-up looks of bear and wolves.  We hooked up with the bride and groom to be Thursday night at a barbecue place across the street from our Air BnB rental that had outstanding barbecue, micro-brews and people wearing cowboy hats & boots.

Friday was Yellowstone day. Heck, we were that close, so we drove for an hour, leaving Montana and sneaking into Wyoming. We decided to get an early jump because of the crowds and it was a good hunch. Our first stop was Old Faithful. These days, an app can tell you approximately when it’s going to erupt. That’s nature at it’s finest. From there, we went to Grand Prismatic Spring. I had never heard of it before, I will never forget it.

Saturday morning’s events included a hike up into the mountains followed by a river float.  The float was relaxing and fun, with a lot of the river being no more than a foot or two deep. We rounded up a crowd of around 40 and had a blast.

Saturday night was the ‘rehearsal dinner’ which was more like a happy hour with a bridal party. That was at another micro-brewery in town.  And then came Sunday, the big day. The weather, originally thought to be near 90, was more in the 70s. Smoke from the state fires was evident, but not obnoxious. The scene was a spot near the river and the day was just magical.

I’m sitting here, thinking about that day, and I have to pause and sigh.

To the 20 and 30-somethings starting out a family and beginning the kid thing, it seriously becomes a blur from the time you’re holding that little hand as you cross the street to the time you’re hugging your kid on their big day. Don’t be in a hurry. It was a fun, incredible stretch of my life, having that little person be so dependent on you, watching to learn how to act, what to do, the family way to handle problems. etc.   The child’s perspective eventually evolves from wanting information to knowledge of their own and then, they become experts on their parents.  They decide what they liked about the family way, and how they’ll do things differently when they get in charge. It’s a natural process, we all go through it.

What’s surprising is that, as the years go by, the ways mom and dad did things becomes comforting and eventually, the day rolls around when you find yourself doing something you never thought you would. Because they did it that way.

I cannot be any prouder or happier for Tyson and Lacey and I’m so excited for what lies ahead. They planned and executed one of the greatest gatherings of family & friends I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. To meet their circle of friends, to see some of Tyson’s buddies from the high school and college days, to get to know Lacey’s closest friends, to go on adventures with my wife and family, including my sister Debbie and mom Fran, I could not possibly ask for a greater experience.

So thanks to the newlyweds, the Lowber family and all that made this event possible. I find myself replaying so many moments in my mind and I have a feeling I’m going to be doing that the rest of my life. Here are just a few of the images making their way through my head right now.

God bless you all!

Tim Hunter

 

The Big Week

I’m excited.

This is the weekend that we’ve known was coming for over a year that, at one time, seemed so far off in the future.  Tomorrow, we hop on a jet and fly to Bozeman, Montana, for the wedding of my son and his awesome fiancé’ Lacey.  These two kids just seem to be doing it right and it’s so great to see.

Both figured out their careers, then decided to up their game by going for a masters degree.  As fate and timing would have it, the two both enrolled in the evening program at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Over time, they got to know each other, there were sparks and then you could just tell this was becoming a very special thing.

I remember once talking with Tyson about the whole marriage thing. Can’t tell you when that was, but what stuck in my mind was his vision of the kind of person he wanted to marry.  Attractive would be nice, but he really wanted someone he could intellectually talk with. Someone to discuss things with. Being an active person, I knew that was an unspoken consideration.  With Lacey, he hit the trifecta. Both are, at the core, really nice people and that will serve you well for a lifetime.

We’re heading over to Montana, their Destination Wedding site (with absolutely no affiliation to Destination Marketing) for what should be a spectacular weekend. There’s going to be a hike, a river float, a rehearsal dinner resembling a happy hour and an outdoor wedding in a beautiful setting, Last I heard, Sunday was supposed to be around 88-degrees.

I’m going to milk this weekend. I’m talking serious efforts to living in the present and enjoying every second of this adventure. We’re going to catch Friday’s first Husky game of the season at a bar somewhere. Yellowstone is said to be a 45-minute drive from where we’ll be staying.  And while I’ve driven through Montana on my way to South Dakota, I’ve never really spent any time there, so I’m looking very forward to that.

But most of all, I’m very excited for two great people who are taking another big step in their future together.  One of them just happens to be my son.

And I don’t want to come off as anxious, but I’ve already added Lacey to my Facebook status as my daughter-in-law.

Let the party of the year begin. And congrats you two!!

Love you guys,

Tim Hunter

 

Wacky Week Podcast EPISODE 16

Boy, a lot of the old gang in this one. Scott Burns puts on his Brokenjaw, Barry McKay puts on the Babyman and we have more KLSY voices from the past that were from those who couldn’t make our KLSY reunion.

“If I held you any closer, i’d be behind you!”