Posts Tagged With: mentor

I SAW A SHINING STAR

DSC08170 (Copy)It is never the order of things that Stuart and Dolores (Quyle) Mast, or any parent should outlive their child.

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Sorrow and loss pinched hundreds of faces at the hilltop service at Quyle’s ranch, the property where Robbie Mast grew up, but there was something else there.

DSC08162 (Copy)The unquenchable spirit of Robbie himself, who left an indelible print on the wide world around him in his short 25 years.

DSC08165 (Copy)Principal of Avery Middle School, Michael Chimente, reminded us of his leadership role, as honor student, class president as a sixth grader and a young high school student who applied to be Principal at Bret Harte High School.

DSC08168 (Copy)The gang of six friends he grew up with helped us relish the humor, the mischief, the love of nature, beauty and friendship he brought into focus for them. Robbie liked to ride a bike, but he wanted to build bikes and ride around the world. It took him twenty-two months from New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Italy, France and England. As the son of  wine makers, he worked in vineyards wherever he went; volunteered at a self-sustaining farm and spiritual center. He touched people;  made friends; took lessons home with him.

DSC08166 (Copy)Ryan Anderson and Bryan Hitchcock, two older friends, remarked how Robbie came to them and said he’d signed himself out of Gym in High School. He preferred hiking and biking and camping and nature. They convinced Bret Harte that he had engaged in private Boxing lessons in place of Gym and he was allowed to graduate with his class. Robbie hungered to invent, to explore, to challenge himself, to enjoy life with humor. He was an artist,  an actor, a story-teller. Wise beyond his years, he made every second of his life meaningful.  DSC08164 (Copy)Each speaker revealed another dimension to Robbie’s  life.  In his own words, from eighth grade, “Life is a journey…judge not…help those less fortunate…stop and smell the roses…never be content…question and wonder…people are good…love is the strongest force in the universe…life goes fast…live like every day was your last…

If you see a shining  star never let it fade away.

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A GOOD IDEA FROM AMERICA.

Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday. A time to take stock, reflect on the good things in life and…a time to take goofy pictures.

A pomegranate almost the size of Owen’s head. It has dried, cracked and shrunk some since it was picked from their backyard tree.

It is November and crisp enough outside for sweaters. These guys never want to wear long pants or shoes unless they are visiting the snow. They are all legs.

My daughter is mentoring a Brazilian PHD student. Stuffed Turkey isn’t new to him, but Thanksgiving is. Each person at the table shares what we have to be thankful for on  this day.   I may rant about politics, but this is the greatest country on earth and I’m thankful for that.

Everyone gives a hand with the dinner.

After dinner the desserts: apple crisp, pear tart, pumpkin pie, and walnut pie. Son-in-law is the artistic pie baker. Equally fit for pilgrims and kings.

Then a walk in the park. And, if you walk with three biologists, you have to inspect what an owl ate for Thanksgiving. Little bones, feathers and a small skull are evidence in the owl pellet.

Marciel came here almost four months ago with no English. In Brazil, he had only played cards a couple of times. He did not know how to shuffle. No trump games or bidding. He learned three new card games, trump, bidding, betting. A new dice game. He then bested Doug seven games in a row too much howling on Doug’s part. We relished Doug’s loss and shouts of anguish at being bested.

The two grandma’s look like they’ve been sucking too long on a wine bottle. Goofy pictures are part of the deal, doncha know. We think we are a normal family, whatever normal is.

 

 

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