Picture of my backyard with pool.

Picture of my patio next to the pool.

When I am not working, I spend time in my backyard with my wife; though I have to keep a picture of my backyard on my desk, to remind me that I have a backyard.  I built everything you see in the picture for my wife.  My front yard on the other hand is terrible; our two dogs rule it with iron paws.  

Picture of my office.Another picture of my office.

Picture of my glass balls under my office aquarium.Picture of my office wall with pictures of work that I did many years ago.

A picture of my desk.My cat Mr. Bob, sleeping on my printer.

Picture of my office plants.Picture of my quadro-chess board.

I spend my life at that desk you see, more than 150,000 hours; so far.   It presently has a maxed out Alienware Area 51 plugged in with 105Mbps internet speed that is the fastest computer I have ever had.  With it, I cover the world in lightning speed.  My wife thinks I single handedly supported the computer industry; I have owned every type of computer from the Commodore 64 on-up.  She hates to hear when a new computer system comes out and hides our checkbook.  My office is on the second floor; just to the left of my desk is a 23' by 7' balcony, with a huge tree overcastting it like a giant umbrella.  In one of the pictures, you can see my Japanese glass balls under the aquarium.  My office cat "Mr. Bob," usually lay's on my printer next to my desk and watches everything I do; kind of like big-bob did up north.  He got his name because he lost his tail and looks a little bit like a bobcat.  When he gets too high and mighty, I humiliate him by telling him - a real cat has a tail; or telling him, the kids down the street are using it to play - pin the tail on the kitty.  That is when he usually gets the bobcat look in his eyes.  Also, the last picture is of my Quadro-chess board.  I invented it in 1983, when my wife said, four people should be able to play chess at a time, not two, which leaves the wives out.  It took me five minutes to design the board and game rules.  When you checkmate a kingdom, you take its king off the board and you get to have its remaining pieces as part of your kingdom; you still only get one move per player, but with vastly more pieces.  There are a few more rules but essentially it is just like chess, except you can build larger kingdoms.  I noticed that people would allied together, towards defeating another kingdom, then stabbed each other in the back... Kind of like kingdoms have been doing throughout human history.

Picture of a bi-plane weathervane.Another picture of the bi-plane, looking head on.

Picture of an angel with wings spread out.Close up of the angels face and hair.

Picture of the angels hair and wings blending together.Picture looking at the angel from behind.

Picture of seagull weathervane.Another picture of the seagulls.

     Picture of the base of the seagull weathervane                           Picture of the wind direction indicators.

                                                        Eagle weathervane on top of my house.

I build metal sculptures for fun, mostly weathervanes.  I designed them to last hundreds of years as heirlooms.  They have titanium-cased bearings sets, and a finish that contracts and expands at the same rate as the metal, thus never cracking the seal.  As well, they are made of quarter inch cold rolled steel.  However, I have never been able to sell one.  Nonetheless, it is a good pastime to break the office cycle.  The angel is 5' 2" long, has a 4' wingspan, and twenty-five strands of double-sided bronze hair.  She is my favorite.  She weighs 160 pounds.  My eagle on top of my house has a five-foot wingspan and weighs 110 pounds.  My seagulls weigh 550 pounds; they are a ground weathervane.  My biplane is a museum quality, 19" long replica of a 1915 Newport 11-C.  In spite of their weight, they track a breeze of 5-mph.  I had a great time engineering and building them all.

Picture of tree with blossoms engraved in glass mirror.  Another picture of the tree.

oriental women engraved into glass.

Engraved horses in glass with golden mane.

Wall engraving of a woodland, with river going through it.Glass partition of a tree with moon overhead.

Over the years, I have also engraved glass, wood, and created other types of art.  I am not an artist, just creative when I need to take a break from my office.  Each one of these engravings took several days to complete; they are quite detailed.  They are 4' by 6', 1/4" plate-glass mirrors.  My tree has 22ct gold inlay for bark; and all the colors are transparent creating a 3D effect.  The oriental women are a two-piece set.  My horses coming out of the ocean also have 22ct gold inlay in their mane.  The woodland picture is a wood inlay on a wall.  It is 8' by 6'.  I used exotic door skins from all over the world, for the inlay material, and used a wood burning set to engrave detail into the trees.  The last picture, though badly faded, is an 7' by 5' glass partition with a weathered ocean tree - cut out of a single piece of 1/2" oak plywood, and sandwiched between two pieces of 1/4" smoked plate-glass.  I have not engraved glass since the 1980's.  I have never been able to sell any of these engravings either, I am just not a salesman.  My wife says that I could not sell a glass of water to a thirsty Arab...  However, I donated the tree glass engraving to a family that needed to raise money to take their little girl to Seattle for surgery; fortunately, it sold for enough money that they were able to go to Seattle on its proceeds alone.  That is kind of an indirect sale in my book.  I liked designing and building them, I did not have the interest or time to sale them.

                                            Picture of my family in 1967.

Family photo taken in 1967 of my brothers, sister, mom, and dad over thanks giving dinner.  The little guy in the yellow turtleneck is me.  I have that caught in the headlights look because I had never seen that camera before, it was a Polaroid, I wanted to take it apart and see how it makes those pictures.  In those days, I was a disassembler; if it had parts, I took them apart.  That stove you see in the lower right corner, I also took it apart.  I could reassemble things that worked better with fewer parts, and with the extra parts leftover, I could build other things.  We lived across the street from "Boeing" in Renton WA., at night, I would sneak all through their buildings, planes, and trashcans, looking for parts.  I hauled a lot of Boeing stuff up into the hills behind our house, where I was building a spaceship.  Also, I was still recovering from being pounded by my sister; I had taken her "Easy bake oven" apart; just after I made and ate all the little cakes.  She would have still been pounding me, but I threaten to take her princess phone apart as well.  She looks older than me, but she is actually a year younger; having three brothers caused her to develop faster.  She was always put in charge of babysitting us - even though I was older, I guess she was more responsible.  She became a doctor, and I became a citizen scientist.

                                                                   Sketch of me in 1980.

In 1980, an old man drew this sketch when I was twenty-three years old.  We were all stuck in the 'Otis Hotel' for two weeks during the 'Mount St. Helens' eruption.  I had only been in Spokane two months when that event occurred.  We got about an inch of ash covering everything, it looked like gray snow.  For me it was an odyssey, walking the streets of Spokane wearing a facemask and all.  For a moment, it seemed the world had come to a grayish end.  Our brooms were not big enough to clean up the mess, Spokane was shoveling ash for more than a year.  However, it had some beneficial aspects, our state is still quite green from all that ash fertilizer.  As well, enterprising people were making little bags of ash and selling them to people back east for a dollar a bag.  Moreover, there were a number of research projects started looking for health effects from severe long term ash exposure, which created many new jobs in the process.  It is a case of something good coming from something bad...

                                           

This photo of my wife and I was taken in 1980.  I was wooing her for her hand in marriage.  We met in college; she is 4’-5”, and I am 5’ tall.  The college pushed us together because we were the smallest people in school.  She went on to get her AAS degree, and I was kicked out of college four months later because I was totally illiterate.  I went home and built my own home office college.  Unfortunately, she has two different terminal diagnoses, severe PAD, and her heart valve is broken and cannot be operated on because of the PAD.  In 2013, her right leg was amputated and she lost two toes on her left foot; as well, she could lose her other leg and both of her hands in the near future.  Very few husbands hear their wife say, honey, could you put my leg on.  The last two years has been a constant struggle to keep her alive.  I too am very ill and should have already died; we figure that I am living long enough to hold her hand in her journey of death.  What is amazing about her is that she has eight joint replacements, artificial eyes, and a host of other diseases, yet she is more stable and happy than her family and friends that have no physical ailments.  She has spent her life consoling them.  Now she is teaching them how to die gracefully.  She has read over 3,000 recorded books; I do not know of anyone else in life that has read that many books; I have only been able to read one book in my life.  She helped teach me to read and write in the 1980’s; now, I teach her how to spell words.  We made each other’s life work, regardless of the disabilities we both have.  Love is a powerful force that can overcome life’s difficulties…

                                     Laurie and Mark one Laurie and Mark two Laurie and Mark five

                                               Mark and Lauarie two    Mark and Laurie one     Mark and Laurie

                                         Mark and Laurie six   Laurie and Mark three   Mark and Laurie four

 

                                                             These pictures above, are of our life throughout the years; between 1980 to 2005...

 

                                              Picture of me in 1982.

Photo taken 1982; I was pondering...  I just got back from the Northwest Territories in Canada.  I was 400 miles above Yellowknife inside the Arctic Circle.  I spent six weeks pulling a 12-foot toboggan loaded with three hundred pounds of gear; I was pulling three times my weight.  I was planning to spend a year there, but the 'RCMP' kicked me out, shaking their heads, crazy American.  The average temperature was -30f, but my coldest night was -48f.  It was so cold that a layer of ice coated everything, plants, trees, and my mustache too.  At times, the Aurora Borealis colors were so intense, that they would reflect pastel colors off everything, even ice crystals falling from a clear sky - reflected the colors like glitter.  It seemed there was always either a sunrise or sunset, with no in-between, just a perpetual twilight.  It was an incredible winter wonderland. I took lots of pictures, but the RCMP took my film and never gave it back; along with a few other things they took.  I was having an identity crises, my wife was glad that it only lasted eight-weeks...

                             Picture of my wife, me, and my grandfather.

Photo taken in 2006, of my wife 'Laurie' on the left, me in the middle, and my grandfather on the right.  My grandfather is 92 years old in this photo. He died July 23, 2009, at the age of 95.  He was the last of the hard rock miners.  He had a 21-gun salute, "Taps" played on a bugle, and then a stick of dynamite was set off to mark the end of an era.  He actually dug part of his own grave; he did not want others to have to do the hard work of mining his own grave.  He is the last of the old-timers.  America was built by men such as he...

                             My grandfathers obituary.

 

                                                                  

                                                                         Laurie Ann Kennedy  1958 – 2015  She was fifty-six years old.


My wife passed away April 23 at 6:30pm.  Laurie had a hard journey in life.  She had severe JRA, and over the last thirty-five years, she had eight joint replacements (hips, knees, shoulder and elbow.)  She was blind and had artificial eyes.  She had severe PAD and lost her right leg and two toes on her left foot, and was in the process of losing her other leg and both hands to it.  She also had a severe heart murmur, Lupus, Addison’s disease, Osteoporosis, and a host of other difficult medical issues.  Throughout it all, she never complained; she was the strongest human that I have ever known.  She was my guardian angel and I was her knight in shining armor.  Together we made each other’s life work.                 I will miss her love the rest of my life…

                                     

 

Update on my life: February 8th, 2017:


Everything about my life has completely and dramatically changed.  I was happily married for thirty-four-years, then one day, my beloved wife died, and my entire world changed in a single-heartbeat.  For the last thirty-six-years, I have lived as a recluse, only having limited contact with doctors and shopping, and occasional encounters with members of my wife’s family.  My only real personal contact was with my wife; we were like two-as-one.  I do have three friends that I have known for many years, but they were distant friends until recently.  My life has been spent taking care of my wife 24/7/365, and studying science for the last thirty-six-years.  I lived in a private wonderland sanctuary that I had built for my wife, then because of circumstances that I could not avoid, I lost our home and most of every material thing that I had acquired in life.  When my beloved wife died, my world and sanctuary crashed.


After she died, I sat in a silent house for twenty-months, suffering daily seeing her everywhere I went, after all, I built it around her needs; her impression was everywhere in the house.  Her years of suffering brought me to my knees, and her death completely broke me emotionally.  Because I am autistic, no one knew how much I was suffering and in deep despair.  I spent most of that time alone and hoping for my death; I was not suicidal, I just did not want to live my life without her.  Living together 24/7 forms a special bond; I did not marry her till death do us part, I married her forever as part of one-another.  As the months passed after her death, she was getting further away from me, I was panicking that she needed me to take care of her, and my despair and wish to die grew stronger by the day.  I knew that I was on a one-way track to death, and that seemed to comfort me and bring me closer to her, but circumstances intervened and saved me.


When my wife died, I lost my income.  My savings and unemployment only lasted fourteen-months before I was unable to make my mortgage payment.  The PNC bank allowed me to stay in my home even though I could not pay my mortgage, and gave me as much time as I needed to find a way to save our house.  Unfortunately, my wife died three-weeks before the Governor of Washington State signed a bill authorizing retirement benefits for in-home-healthcare-workers, so even though I worked for the State of Washington (the COPES program) for thirty-four-years, I was not entitled to retirement benefits.  Before my wife died, we were both concerned that I would not be able to take care of her much longer because of my own health issues.  I was having a difficult time pushing her in the wheelchair and getting her up and down.  I have heart, lung, and intestinal disease and was getting winded just walking.  Fourteen months after she died, I applied for and received SSDI, but it was not enough to save our home.


Having to give up our home was like letting my wife get further from me, and I was horrified by that.  But even more terrifying was that I had spent my life isolated as a recluse and was now being cast out into a world that did not understand high functioning autistic people.  We are often mistakably regarded as retarded or crazy.  I am extremely routine oriented, and braking my environment and routine has devastating emotional and cognitive consequences.  I desperately tried everything I could think of to save our home, but I just did not have the income to keep it.  I knew that losing it was like a final straw, and that I had no choice but to follow that withering path to my doom.  I was overwhelmed by the circumstances that I was in, and had nowhere to go, I kept hoping that death would come before that, but it did not.  The word 'despair' does not even come close to describing the sense of horror I was experiencing.


Eighteen-months after my wife died, I was too sick to keep up with the house, and the house started falling apart around me.  Lights were burning out, smoke detectors were going off for no reason, and then the furnace broke-down during sub-zero temperatures.  The last eight-weeks that I lived there were spent camping out next to the stove; I felt like I was being forced out of the house.  At one point, I went momentarily crazy and screamed out to my wife, “honey, what are you doing, your destroying our house!  Just come and take me with you, I don’t want to live without you or move!”  Listening to myself say that, I felt like I was going crazy, I then sat down and realized, that I had to move out of that house to save my sanity, and became resigned to move.


The next day, out of nowhere, I got a call from a low-income apartment complex in Newport WA.  I drove up there, and they help me fill out a forty-page low-income application.  While filling it out, I could not help feeling that my life was being systematically taken away from me.  During the week that it took to process my application, I agonizingly went back and forth considering the implications of moving; at times, panicking over what might happen to me.  I viewed it as being cast out into a world of insanity with nowhere to hide; I did not know how I could live without the security of my private sanctuary and being even further from my wife.


Then three living angels came to the rescue and saved me.  The lady who called (Brandy,) and her property manager (Cathy,) along with the help of her assistant (Jennifer) help me fill out the paperwork, and explained to me what I needed to do to qualify for the apartment that I needed.  Along with the VA-hospital, they collectively got me into an apartment with a private balcony, which was critical to my emotional and cognitive survival.  It would take a book to explain the complications of my cognition and life, but it suffices to say that I am both autistic and have unique savant skills.  Environment is everything to me, it regulates my state of mind and emotions.


During the application process, Brandy told me that she once had to downsize and move into a smaller place, and said that I also needed to downsize and simplify my life to make the transition.  I did not know what that meant other than giving up everything that I had acquired in life; I was horrified that it was my only option.  At the time, I did not understand, but those words helped save my life; they were the only real answer.  I gave up 90% of my possessions.  Though moving was a horrifying experience, I managed to get through it, and ended up in a paradise.  I rebuilt my sanctuary in my apartment.  Looking out my balcony and office windows, I can see the glowing arches of McDonald’s.  I am still confounded how that happened, but my three living angels and VA somehow managed to put me in a place where I can productively live out my life.  For the first time in a long time, I am starting to feel happiness; I did not think I ever would again.  Words cannot express my gratitude for their compassion and help.


I am now living in a very comfortable apartment sanctuary, where I can continue my work and lifestyle.  My office is better than the one I had, and my living environment is vastly simpler and easier to live in.  In fact, everything about my life is better now.  I am surrounded by majestic mountains, and right next to the Pend Oreille river.  I realized that I was home, when I was agonizing over having to give up my eagle weather-vane over my old house; when I went outside my apartment, and saw a real eagle circling overhead, it was then that I knew I was home.


I was an atheist, but maybe I am becoming a bit agnostic; at the age of sixty-one, I am mystified over how I went from a living-horror to a paradise.  What I needed to do most was get away from the constant memory of my wife, it was killing me across the board.  Looking back, I can see that I have been traumatized for many years watching my wife slowly die, and then traumatically dying in my hands.  I did not know until I moved that I was vastly overwhelmed and suffering from long-term PTSD, from constantly being traumatized with what was happening to my wife as she was dying.  I also have severe medical conditions, but nothing close to what she was going through.  What I did not realize when I was still living in our house, is that I have been overwhelmed for a long time from many directions, suppressing all of it, and emotionally wore out.  Though, I will never get completely over it, I think I can now learn to live with it.


Without the help of others, I would not have survived.  I have spent my life working for humanities sake; I am now humbled that humanity saved me.  What I have learned in the journey of life, is that we are interdependent on one-another.  Without the help of others, none of us can survive; it is that part of us that will ensure humanity has a wonderful future.  With whatever time, I have left, I will continue to use my life to contribute to the betterment of humanity, in profound respect, to humanities reverence towards life…

 

 

                                               Winter camping                                                                              Ocean camping                                               

                         Winter camping                            Ocean camping               

 

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