In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: ”
For our final trio prompt of the year, write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.
Several days ago, my Christmas spirit was fully operational as I enjoyed my new bluetooth wireless headset, which is an early Christmas gift to me.
I apparently was humming a little loudly because I caught myself earlier and tone down the volume. I was listening to Mariah Carey’s, singing, “All I want for Christmas is you” from the 2003 movie “Love Actually”.
As I walked along, I recognized a book on the floor, so, as I approached, I spun to my right, picking up the book and spun back to my left when my bum collided with the shelf knocking a couple of books to the floor.
I was in such a majestic Christmas spirit, that I spun to my left again and picked up the books placing them on the shelf. I faintly heard in unison someone singing the lyrics of the song playing in my head.
I stopped and noticed several patrons were singing along with my humming.
I was slightly embarrassed, however I easily walk away turning down the volume as I smiled at everyone.
As I continued to walk towards the rear of the building and before entering through the service door, I spun around bowed at the waist and several patrons clapped, except one who held her little finger to her mouth, mimicking the shushing sound.
I immediately thought of Charles Dickens Character, “Scrooge” and silently said to myself, “Ba Hum Bug” there always one.
But aloud I said, Merry Christmas, and stepped backwards into the storage area of the library.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”
The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?
Christmas in America.
There was a period in my childhood, I look upon Christmas as one of the most incredible times of the year, with Christmas pageants, plays, food and of course gifts.
After I started middle school and high school the Christmas plays and pageants continued although, the gifts were not as many, however, I was taught and learned the spirit of Christmas was in my faith.
Now, after I began my life as an adult, the season became a time of decision-making about what gift to get and give to a specific person.
Once I was married with children, it was always an incredible sight to witness the joy and spirit of Christmas as my children experienced and learn the religious meaning of Christmas.
The memories of reading the night before Christmas to my children, and seeing them take part in their Christmas plays and pageants are memories that will last a lifetime.
After many years of decorating homes, attending holiday parties and reading the factual basis of how the holiday began, along with witnessing the commercialization of Christmas beginning in October with Christmas music being played twenty-four hours a day before Veterans Day.
I now celebrate Christmas two weeks before the Christmas Holiday, as not to burn out from all the activities and celebrations.
What has jaded me over the years is seeing people celebrating the holiday and not its spirit during the rest of the year, as it should live within the hearts of anyone who celebrates Christmas.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Due Time.”
What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?
Deadlines? I don’t have any deadlines.
I have future aspirations and dreams, I desire to fulfill however, I have come to believe that hurrying through to get them done would be similar to my life before retirement.
I’m heading into my fifth year of retirement and I have found and read my day planners and calendars from the latter half of the 1980s and I’m now a true believer in keeping a journal.
Because of the calendars of my past, I recognized the hurried life I lived. I have come to realized and appreciate the vacations I took were so important because they were the only time, I slowed down to enjoy life and my family.
However, slowing in other parts of my life would have made life a lot more enjoyable.
As time, has passed, I have come to appreciate my desire to hurry less, and take everything at a slower pace to enjoy every moment of life.
I still get excited to wake and great everyday with the desire to write my blogs, build and develop the characters of my books and short stories.
So, I will publish a book, and I will follow my heart and soul that desires to continue my nomadic travels of the world, “In Due Time”.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Object of My Dejection.”
Tell us about the object of your dejection — something you made, a masterpiece unfinished, or some sort of project that failed to meet your expectations. What did you learn from the experience? How would you do things differently next time?
After 17 years in my home, I completed various do-it-yourself projects, to include remodeling all of the bedrooms, rear deck, kitchen, dining room and living room. I learned a great deal from these projects, which possibly led me to become a little cocky as I increased my exotic tastes in up grades.
The remodeled my main floor powder room twice in ten years which led me to feel a little cocky about my third remodel. So I began by replacing the ceiling fan, the door and frame, kick-boards, toilet, cabinet, mirror, and lighting.
Now for the flooring I took the idea a little too far when I decided on using natural white marble ceramic tile. Once I began planning the layout of the tile, I soon discovered that it was like putting a jig-saw puzzle together to get the natural design of the tiles matches and this took three hours.
After the grout cured and the bathroom was ready for use, I quickly learned that water and ceramic tile don’t mix well and can become an injury causing magnet, as I almost slipped several times, causing me to cover up the beautiful tile with area rugs.
I became a little dejected when purchasing rug sets that decorated the powder room.
When I entertained guest, I had to cover up the floor with an area rug to prevent friends from injuring themselves.
I was proud to show off the room, although dejected in knowing its purpose was similar to the dinning room, and living room, all show with hardly any use.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Language of Things.”
You have to write a message to someone dear to you, telling that person how much he/she means to you. However — instead of words, you can only use 5-10 objects to convey your emotions. Which objects do you choose, and what do they mean?
When I fly into my mid-west home, I always arrange to have ham my beautiful mature sister pick me up as we treat myself to my favorite comfort foods, that softly soothes my soul, with two slices of soft bread, encasing a fried shrimp egg foo-young without the gravy, surrounded by lettuces, onion, with a slight spread of mayonnaise.
This is why I look forward to my beautifully mature sister picking me up from the airport, because only she and I can seriously bond over such gorgeous comfort food.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Unsung Heroes.”
We all have our semi-secret, less-known personal favorites — a great B-side, an early work by an artist that later became famous, an obscure (but delicious) family recipe. Share one of your unsung heroes with us — how did you discover it? Why has it stayed off everyone’s radar?
I have read these prompts for the past six or seven months and my responses are influenced by the process of recalling my past and considering the current chapter in my life, which is retirement.
My lessor known semi secretive personal favorites are the great outdoor adventures I seek and my desires to write. These two desires, drive the B-side of my life, however, I’m not endeavouring to become famous.
Since I have become a pescetarian, I have developed an obscure egg white omelette recipe, filled with seafood or fish with a mixture of just about any type of vegetable, and I have titled this recipe, “Vegetable Omelette Salad”.
In my research to become a full-time recreational vehicle (RV’er) owner, my unsung heroes have become those who have assisted me in fueling my discovery, whether through, podcasts, online forums, and online blogs.
I have traveled across the US from Key West Florida to Fairbanks Alaska, by motorcycle and when my children were younger we used a RV touring the east coast and portions of the western US which only tickled my nomadic lifestyle.
This has never been a hidden bucket list plan, as my family and friends have always been aware of my nomadic lifestyle and now my blogging family is aware also.
Within the next several months, my blog site will have a drastic change as I will write about the transition along with providing photographs from various locations, so stay tuned.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Kick the Bucket.”
What are the top items on your anti-bucket list — those things you never, ever want to do, places you never want to visit, books you never want to read, etc.?
Well, before I retired and before the movie, “The Bucket List”, I had a top ten lists and over the years I divided the lists into the most urgent items I wish to conquer before I die.
As I approach my fifth year of retirement, I have accomplished two or three items a year, however, one aspect of my list that probably will never change, and they are cliff diving, skydiving, and bungee jumping.
These last three listed items are further down on my list because the chance of death is instant, with no recovery.
I have an adventurous soul, so there isn’t too many experiences I will pass on, or places I not travel to visit, except, I will never eat bugs unless sautéed and flavored in a sweet and sour sauce, but the anti-bucket list item is, I will never visit or tour North Korea.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Alphabet Soup.”
Write down the letters of the ABC. For each one, choose a word that begins with that letter. Now, write a post about anything — using all the words you’ve selected.
A – Always
B – Best
C – Child
D – Dressed
E – Excellent
F – Friend
G – Going
H – Hurt
I – Instinctively
J – Jumper
K – Kittens
L – Leg
M – My
N – Never
O – Old
P – Parents
Q – Quickly
R – Running
S – Small
T – together
U – Underneath
V – Violet
W – We
X – X-ray
Y – Young
Z – Zebra
I was 6 years old running at the local playground with my best friend Penelope who was dressed in her violet jumpers-set when we found a green-eyed, black and white striped kitten meowing near the bleachers. The stripes on the kitten reminded me of a Zebra.
Together we took the kitten to the water fountain for a drink, that’s when we noticed the kitten had a hurt leg.
We walked towards our parents and Penelope’s mother asked, where did we find the kitten, and when we pointed at the bleachers, we saw a larger cat, that looked like the kitten’s mother.
My mother, said the leg was broken and we immediately drove to the local pet hospital where they took x-rays and put the kittens leg in a cast.
Six weeks later we adopted the kitten and I named him Zebra, and every time we went to the playground we looked for the kitten’s mother but we could never find her mother.
Now twelve years later, as I awoke to leave for Marine Corps boot-camp, I found Zebra still asleep at the foot of my bed and I couldn’t wake him. He apparently died during the night possibly knowing I was leaving.
So on the way to Armed Forces recruitment office, we stopped by the same animal hospital Zebra received the cast on his leg years earlier.
My mother and I said a prayer as we left the animal hospital and we cried along the way on the way to the recruitment office.
As I exited the car, my mother and I embrace with a long hug, as she kissed me goodbye, she said I lose you and Zebra, in the same day and with tears on my eyes, I replied, “But in six weeks you will gain a Marine mom”.
In response to the Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Little Lies.”
As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you think that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?
Around the age of three or four, I was told to never tell a lie. I was baptized promising never to tell a lie, as it was part of the “Ten Commandments”.
When I became a Boy Scout, I took an oath and promise to never tell a lie. When I entered the military I took an oath and promise never to tell a lie, as a Military Police Officer.
I took an oath for the state of VA promising to uphold the law both to state and local and again to never tell a lie. I was deputized as a US Marshal and took an oath again to never tell a lie. When I married I took vows and promised never to tell a lie.
I maintained my oaths and promise to all, however I’m divorced because I told the truth about her weight and several other questions she asked.
So, I guess I should have lied if I wanted to stay married. I have learned lying to children about certain holiday characters and my ex-wife are the exceptions.
In response to the Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ready, Set, Done!.”
As it’s been a while since our last free-write,… set a timer for ten minutes. Write without pause (and no edits!) until you’re out of time. Then, publish what you have (it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over
It has been just a lovely day of reading another autobiography and just before I finished reading Condoleezza Rice’s memoir, of her struggles of being raised in Birmingham Alabama during the civil rights movement.
A portion of the book exemplifies the idea of whether being born of privilege or not, the human desire to succeed is derived from within ones soul. However, a person’s desires and potential can be driven by parents family, friends, or coached, to succeed.
The statement, “They were born to lead” or “They are just naturally gifted,” has been adopted by many to describe some people’s successes. However, there is no proven way to measure what influences cause successes, unless a person’s environment can be monitored from birth, to decide, was it nurtures or nature.
The future success in the field of human biotechnology monitoring, could one day offer a monitoring device, implanted into an infant or child providing parents or scientists with the data needed to end the debate about nature versus nurture.
I know these statements are simple and provides not much detail, but this is a timed creative writing exercises, so who’s ready to digitally marked their child for success or science?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All or Nothing?.” “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath
Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?
I find neither wanting nothing or wanting everything is dangerous, as, I spent the past five days engrossed in a book, and enjoying life.
I have realized, I have an expiration date, so rushing through life in anticipation of the expiration date is not enjoyable or fulfilling for me.
Wanting everything is not an option, however, not wanting everything is a consideration.
Last week, I attempted to write a response for this prompt and I could not concentrate because my wish to read was stronger than to write.
Now I could have attempted to read a little and write some, however, the decision to focus on one desire, made for a more enjoyable read.
In my response to the prompt, it is not dangerous wanting nothing or wanting everything, it just a simple decision.
We all have an expiration day, we just do not know exactly the date, so I subscribed to the “Peaceful easy feeling” belief,from the Rock Band “The Eagles”.
In response to the Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Feeling Fancy.”
You are given unlimited funds to plan one day full of any and all luxuries you normally can’t afford. Tell us about your extravagant day with as much detail as possible.
For me to enjoy “Feeling fancy,” I would take in a day of luxury pampering in the form of a man day spa.
Several years ago, I visited my son when he was in Hawaii and the Hilton hotel I stayed in included several luxuries in my stay, I never experienced.
The one luxury, I experienced and enjoy beyond belief, was the day spa. Now, as a male in his late forties at the time, I never experienced a massage or was treated in a way that made me feel like a king.
When I arrived, I was given the most luxurious over-size scented robe, scented soaps and gels, to shower and bathe with. I enjoyed a multi directional shower, and bath filled with scented oils. I sat in the jacuzzi and was offered a cigar along with my favorite alcoholic beverage, two I might add.
Two hours later, I sat in a soft plush comfortable chase lounger on a shaded patio, with the smooth jazz music of Kenny G playing in the background. The lounger faced the sunny blue waters of the South Pacific.
I could have slept in the lounger on the patio for the rest of the day however, I still had the deep tissue massage and facial scheduled.
The massage was definitely a new experience, as I was intimidated and timid to allow a woman who I recently met, massage my body.
Now, after this most extremely relaxing and exhilarating massage experience, I must say, the masseuse was so good, I would have given this woman my credit card, my savings account number and the keys to my house back on the mainland.
When the masseuse repeatedly said, “I’m finished sir,” as she walked out the door. I slowly rolled off the massage table and immediately began attempting to balance myself on wobbly legs, while gathering my bearings.
I wrapped myself in the soft luxuriously scented robe and spotted a lazy-boy type recliner where I sat for a period of time. I soon heard a faint Asian accented voice say, “Are you ready for your facial?”.
I had fallen asleep and must have been snoring, since she seem a little embarrassed to wake me as she guided me to another room where I was seated in a massage chair where she began massaging and cleansing my face, applying a mask and pealing off the mask to massage in scented oils.
Up to this point in my life, I shunned the day spa’s experience as a luxury believing, I could not either afford and I would never permit a stranger to massage my body.
I soon felt ashamed and ignorant, because in all of my travels I never took advantage of this luxury available at many of the hotels, I stayed in over the years.
I’m here to tell anyone, to treat yourself to something similar and your troubles will wash away.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “One at a Time.”
In response to the Daily Post’s writing prompt: “One at a Time.” Today, writes a post on the topic of your choice — using only one-syllable words.
With the lights dimmed in the gymnasium, fifty children of the Paulson Youth Center, all below the age of eight, dressed in white gowns and red Santa caps, slowly walked into the church holding electric candles flickering against their faces as the tune the little drummer boy played by a teenage group of six and song by another youth choir.
The play was magical and the pageantry of the choir of thirty local college students singing with the teenagers playing the little drummer boy brought tears to the eyes of many of the parents.
As the smaller children assembled in front of the choir singing, a little girls voice could be heard. “I want to stand with Brian,”. She made this request several times as she pulled away from her mother, running towards her brother who was standing in the front row with his candle in hand recognized his sister and opened his arms to welcome her who stood next to her older brother.
The mother slowly walked towards the groups, and stopped short when the director nodded to the mother, acknowledging it was ok.
It was a beautiful moment when the older brother shared with his little sister, the electric candle to hold.
Suddenly the little girl looking up towards her brother pointing to the Nativity scene to her right, and she could be heard saying, is that our baby brother. The older brother attempted to keep her from speaking, but she continued to ask the question, and finally he said, “No we have to wait on the storke for our little brother, and dad says it will be a while after you”.
She calmly accepts her older brothers answer and returns to holding a portion of the candle, while staring at audience bewilder while the audience laughed. Slowly a smile came across her face as we recognized, a stage star is born.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Recently Acquired.”
What’s the most important (or interesting, or unexpected) thing about blogging you know today that you didn’t know a month ago?
The most important, interesting and unexpected experience I discovered during the past month and including the past four months since I began this blogging journey is the incredible connections I have developed with bloggers from around the world.
The interesting creative writing topics, of poetry to sooth the mind and soul, the provocative wisdom of men and women of all ages from around the world, keeps me inspired and engaged everyday.
Examples of my favorites are;
The inspirational messages from Bloggers like “The empathy queen” http://theempathyqueen.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/the-empathy-queen-looks-for-ms-truth/
The lovely Angloswiss with her amusing tales, brings a welcome chuckle to my morning coffee.
and the inspirational wisdom of Eric Tonnison
The phrase from the song “it’s a small world after all” is a perfect analogy to explain my experiences of blogging.
It’s a small world after all!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Gut Feeling.” When’s the last time you followed your instinct despite not being sure it was the right thing to do? Did it end up being the right call?
I believe women hold a distinct ability to listen and follow their instinctive inside voice better than men, who have heard a screaming instinctive voice yelling don’t deep fry the turkey on the back deck, don’t put the hot fireplace ashes in the plastic trash can inside of the garage or when men where children and told don’t run with scissors in their hands.
All of these are examples of commonsense ideas and beliefs, that go intentionally or unintentionally disregarded.
Usually, it is the arrival of the fire department extinguishing the deck fire, the garage fire, or as a child receiving stitches to close a 5-inch laceration to the left leg.
Now these are all events I have witnesses, and it is the result of these events, I listen very closely to the little instinctive voice, gut feelings, and in most case just reading the owners manuals.
However, I still have not found the owners manual for not running with succors.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Make It Anywhere.”
“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.
The phrase “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” helped me through a 2-mile military forced march with a gas mask on, and I used the phrase again during one of the coldest winters in the frozen tundra of the Northwest Territories of Canada, hence the reason I will never leave the warmth of Southwest Florida. After those two episodes early in my life, I was never truly intimidated or fearful of too much as my life progressed.
To develop the mentality to overcome anything, I believe I developed early on when my mother forced me to take a typing class during the final semester of my senior year of high school.
I felt so angered with rage, the heat from my body could have burned down my bedroom. My idea of the final semester of high school was to make use of the afternoons off and play around.
I recall the anger I felt on a freezing January morning complaining to my friends as we walked to school. Little did my friends know how intimidated I was by the thought of taking the class, however it was a dreadful fear that over took my mind when I seated myself in front of the Smith-Corona manual typewriter.
I dreaded this class so much. I would have traded the typewriter in for a hot-humid August day of running wind sprints during football practice. But, as the class began, my dreaded fears slowly subsided as I looked around the class and realized, I was the sole male student in the class. When the teacher began the lesson plan, my dreaded fears slowly eased, as I looked around at my female classmates who smiled back.
Being forced to take a typing class my high school senior year during the final semester, initially angered me to no end. However, eight months later, the typing lessons became essential during my first semester of college as I sat in the student library typing my first paper for an English class.
As I sat pecking away on the typewriter, I thought of how I overcame those hot summer football practices, and taking a typing class I dreaded and I realized I could take on anything, because if I made it through those tough times, of high school, I could make it anywhere!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wronged Objects.”
If your furniture, appliances, and other inanimate objects at home had feelings and emotions, to which item would you owe the biggest apology?
For the past 19 years I have maintained a 1991 Ford Explorer, and as the ever frugal wise man I am, I keep on driving this original SUV. However, family, friends and especially my son, suggested I trade in the “Exploder,” as he calls her. I named the Explorer, “Betsy” and, she has traveled across the US pulling a popup camper as far west as South Dakota, along the East coast from New York to Florida.
Let’s face it I’m a frugal guy and I see no need to purchase another vehicle especially when Betsy satisfies my transportation needs in retirement of hauling my kayak, bicycle, golf clubs, in Southwest Florida.
I do apologize for permitting her to be parked in my garaged for just over ten years while I drove a company car. I also apologize for not providing a good wax job, along with paying for the detail work needed and not washing the salty snow from the sections that are now showing rust, for this I do apologize. I will however, after completing this posting I will treat her to a car wash, with sweet smelling deodorants and a wax.
With over two hundred thousand original miles on her body, I know her days are limited and I will one day move on to another vehicle, but I am proud of my girl and for the time we have left together, I will care for and treat her to all she deserves, my Betsy.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Not for Thee.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you wouldn’t give to anyone else? Why don’t you think it would apply to others?
I have received excellent advice from my parents especially as a young child of 5 years of age when I would skate along the sidewalk in my back yard as they said to me do not skate on the lawn.
In my backyard I was daring, courageous and adventurous, however, I wasn’t the best listener and I didn’t take the advice to heart.
As I watched various cartoons on television from the sixties and early seventies, I watched the character’s speed along on wheels, jump and safely land.
My plan was to gather enough speed along the backyard sidewalk jump into the air, across a patch of lawn 1-2 feet wide, and land on the concrete patio.
So before I started, I tightened the straps on my skates, check the tightness with my skate key, and off I went on my attempt.
I pushed my legs so hard, I probably looked like the “Road Runner” and knowing I had enough speed, it was only my wheels colliding with the edge of the lawn, launching me into the air over the 1-2 feet of lawn and onto the concrete patio, scraping my knees, and hands.
As I turned over, I heard my brother laughing so hard he was crying, then my mother quickly approached with hydrogen peroxide, bactine and several band aids.
When she finished, she took my skates off, hung them on a nail up high in my father’s garage and I never used them again. Over the years, I would look up at the skates knowing if I had another chance, I would have made the jump.
Now as an adult, I realized how fortunate I wasn’t seriously injured, during a time before elbow pads, knee pads, and helmets. However, I would never would advise my own children not to skate in the backyard as they would never have worn those skates.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “An Extreme Tale.”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?
The prompt for today, “An Extreme Tale,” directly applies to when, I was motorcycling along the Alaska Highway. In my motorcycle travels across the US, I have viewed various forms.
One sunny morning while traveling along the Alaska highway on my motorcycle pulling my motorcycle trailer, I spent most of the morning dodging frost heaves along the roadway and I must say, the state of Alaska is diligent in posting orange cones marking these locations to alert drivers of the road hazards.
Sings were posted advising of the various types of wildlife to view and watch for as you travel, however, nothing prepared me for a herd of 30-40 buffalo roaming directly in the roadway as I traveled one morning.
At first, like all travelers the sight is incredible, however, as I sat on the motorcycle parked with my kicked stand down taking photos of the buffalo in the roadway licking the asphalt, which apparently they lick the salt left over from the winter, it became clear I parked on their feeding grounds.
When an approaching tractor-trailer from the opposite direction blew its air horn startling the herd of Bison, they began galloping along the roadway trying to escape the path of the approaching tractor-trailer. Of course, the galloping herd was galloping in my direction, and my only form of transportation.
For about two-seconds I froze with fear realizing one of these 400 – 1000 pound behemoths will collide with me and the motorcycle. So I fired up the Honda Gold Wing, kicked up the kick-stand, released the clutch, and sped away like a rocket leaving earths orbit, weaving in between the massive beasts. When I checked my mirrors, I, saw stunned drivers determining how to avoid being stuck.
When I passed the tractor-trailer driver, he waved at me, as I shifted from third, to fourth gear, realizing I just survived a Buffalo stamped.
Me, and the ” Wanderer, the name I gave the motorcycle” continued along for a mile before slowing down and recalling my harrowing adventure and thought.
“That was the best of times and the worst times.”
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Someone Else’s Island.”
We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?
Marisa Hudson, at the age of 60-plus, I will never tell her real age, has been my friend for well over forty years. We first met at Columbia College our freshman year. She is a worldwide marketing executive headquartered in New York City. For the past fifteen years, she gets through the last two months of a calendar year preparing for the holidays with the vigor of a twenty-five year old. Her marketing group has performed exceptionally well, increasing profits for the company and providing substantial bonuses to her staff every year.
However, every January she takes a month-long trip to a secluded island in the South Pacific which has no form of communication except in emergencies. So, in all the years she has taken these vacations, I have never had any communication with her. However, several months ago I listened to her voice mail message that explained the following.
I have fallen in madly love with the most beautifully wonderful man, named Tongo, here on the island. There is a plane that arrives once a month with supplies and we send messages out through him. I have retired from the company, sold the condo in Manhattan across from Central Park, and my staff will clean out my office. Can you send me the photos in my home, Love Marisa.
I was shocked beyond belief as I was listening to the message several times. I did exactly as she asked, although I sent the following as mementos of our friendship.
- Photos of her hair styles of the past twenty years,
- Several packets of her favorite Starbucks coffee.
- Photos of her favorite New York restaurants.
- A schedule of Broadway Plays for the upcoming year.
- A photo of the New York City skyline facing Manhattan.
So, let’s all raise our glasses as a toast in honor of Marisa & Tongo’s marriage, as they settle into life here on the island of Manhattan in New York City!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Golden Key.”
You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?
As we approach the beginning of the holiday season, and the end of the year, my thought wanders to thinking of helping people for the time that I have left on this planet.
I would love to be the owner or finder of the key that unlocked the building where inside I would find men and women who are gallant fighters of peace, righteousness, and happiness for all on this planet.
Hopefully the key has the ability to unlock the room where their armor is available for them go forth into battling the evils of the world no matter where.
I would try the same key on the locker holding the health of all who seek to end their pain from their ailments.
I would use this only once as no one would take an interest in such miracles unless it is for their personal benefit. So I would settled with just helping a few people and hopefully they will pay it forward.
Enjoy your day and remember the Monty Python song, “Always look on the brighter side of life” to get you through your day.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Waiting Room.”
“Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?
I agree and believe good things come to those who wait, although after many years of life, it is also patience, that becomes a virtue, to build wisdom to learn how long it is to wait for something you really want.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By Hand.”
The moment I read the post asking what is the most significantly sentimental special gift I have ever received tcaused my mind to recall a Christmas gift my son gave me for Christmas. The gift was wrapped in white tissue paper, inside of a green gift bag.
As I unwrapped the slightly heavy, item, that once the tissue paper was removed, I held in my hand a dark green ceramic model of my five-year old sons, right hand. I was so surprised that I gave him a long-held hug and told him I love him so much.
After I released him from a great big bear hug, he looked at me and said. “Dad, I put my hand in clay and they heated it up, but I painted it”.
I will never forget the Christmas gift, I keep in a separate plastic container, surrounded by wads of tissue paper to prevent it from braking, the most precious gift from my son.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Oil, Meet Water.”
My twin boys are as distinctive as Oil and Water, however their love for one another is deeper than anyone can appreciate. I recognized early on their differences as they played in the backyard with one playing in the dirt pile and the other stacking neatly their toy cars, wiping them off to see his face.
As they progressed in age, I watch them grow maintaining the same type of personality, similar to the Felix and Oscar characters from the hit play and television show “The Odd Couple”.
As they finished high school and college, they went into their prospective careers, one an architect and the other an environmentalist with a focus on trees. They have maintained their unique characteristics, that led into the women they married and the children they raised.
I now watch their children, each maintaining their fathers same characteristics. One group just as neat and properly dressed and the other inclined to sleep outside to be next to the earth.
As a corporate attorney, who loves the great outdoors, I will spend the night in a 5-star hotel, to feel the high thread count sheets surrounding me and yet I still love sleeping in a tent to see the millions of stars above me.
I am close to both of my boys and I get along with each equally, mainly because as I’m their mother, whose husband died when the boys were infants.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ready, Set, Done!.”
Now I have been a little absent for the past several days as I push forward in my attempt to complete the National Novel Writing Month event that I’m participating in. I have not yet finished, however, in the excitement of the retirement lifestyle, I’m truly enjoying this adventure. I’m continuing to learn as I progress through learning about character building and the development of each characters background.
I’m truly loving the developmental stage of writing, although I think I spend too much time on the development of the characters for this type of event I’m participating in, I will continue to learn and develop my own style.
I have a great group of locals who are incredibly helpful in my progress, that have become invaluable in my discoveries of writing short stories, poetry, and the creative writing process.
So since the first of November I have been “Ready, Set, Not Done”
(Daily Prompt) Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?
One month before Christmas a divorced mother who is a screen writer of several successful television shows and a dozen featured movies, asked her daughter what she wanted for Christmas? Her daughter aged seventeen has always displayed a level-headed behavior in stark contrast to her friends who desired lots of expensive items. So when her mother asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she calmly said that she would consider her question and give her an answer within the hour.
So just before the daughter was about to leave for school, she stood in the doorway of her mother’s room, and said I want a 3D-Printer for Christmas. Her mother looked a little perplexed for a moment, but she was used to her daughters unique style and was proud she wasn’t the typical Hollywood teen. The mother, said yes, and the daughter left for school. The mother called her personal assistant asking her to order a nice 3d-printer as a Christmas gift for her daughter. The assistant ordered a 3d-printer to be delivered in wrapping paper the day before Christmas.
At 4:00 am on Christmas morning the daughter sneaks down to the living room, opens her gift and reads the 3d-printer operating instructions and moments upon plugging in the printer, she’s practicing making several different items. After an hour, she made the gift she wanted to give her mother as a gift for Christmas. The daughter is so happy with her creation. She smiles and falls asleep next the gift.
Two hours later her mother awakens, to find her daughter asleep on the floor next to her original 3d-printed item, and the mother is ecstatic. She awakens her daughter and tells her that the puppy she made was picturesque and actually look like the dog they had as a pet, before he died several years ago.The daughter says it is a gift for you, and the mother begins to cry and they hug each other and suddenly the mother asks, why did you make me a puppy?
The daughter explained that she will be leaving for college next fall and she wanted her to have the puppy which did not require the responsibility of a real puppy but yet held a significant sentimental value.
They both cried holding each other and they agreed the puppy wasn’t the original, but it was better, then getting up everyday to walk, or feed.
(Daily) Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?
It has been seven months since I began communication via a chat room, then email, and several difficult telephone conversations in broken English and Italian, that now I’m ready to meet my future in-laws.
I met my bride to be during my last year of college as she was just an assistant professor. Our relationship blossomed instantly, although we knew we needed to take it slow and spend at least six months to a year learning about one another, we continued to openly talked of being married.
I would often fantasize about the day when I would stand in her father’s home asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage in Italian, where my beautiful future bride is from. So, on top of my regular studies I practiced learning the language of Italian for months.
Now eight months into the relationship and two months past college graduation, I stood standing before my future father in-law, asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage in Italian. He looks at me very perplex, just trying to figure out what I was saying. He begins speaking with a heavy Italian accent, in English. Then he slowly stammers for a moment then suddenly in perfectly good English, he says. “Well of course you can marry my daughter and welcome to the family”!
My mouth fell open as I was astonished as he spoke perfectly good English. We, all laughed aloud for several minutes. He explained in clear accented Italian English that he perfected his English while attending college in America where he met his American wife, my future mother in-law.
I later asked why he led me on to believe he didn’t speak English. He stated that it was a test to see what lengths I would go through to marry his daughter.
I’m still literate with Italian, thirty years later.
(Daily prompt) You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?
One of the first songs I can recall are the nursery rhymes, from before I found myself in kindergarten. The first to come to mind is “Mary had a little lamb, her fleece was as white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go”.
It is genuinely amazing how something from my early childhood can be recalled immediately with only the reading of a daily prompt. As I sit writing this posting, I’m easily recalling many other nursery rhymes, to include “Humpty Dumpty”, Old Mother Hubbard”, and “Jack be nimble”.
Now, if I can remember, where and what I’m supposed to get done, when am I supposed to be there, where are my car keys, but why am I looking for my car keys.
Now, if I can easily remember those early childhood nursery rhymes, I would hope to think I would remember to get to the bathroom. Ok, posting over. I found my car keys!
(Daily Prompt) If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?
Success stories are a dime a dozen in fiction and in life. The thought of the under-dog battling against all odds is a time-honored belief dating back to David and Goliath. Now in present day, failure is always thought of when anyone person or group attempts to complete a challenge of some type, whether it is a long distance hike, completing a college course, learning a new language, or giving birth. For some, they trivialize these feats with hefty acknowledgments to those involved.
My measure of achievement is living a life-time seeking to achieve something that has never been done
One of the greatest challenges I recall in September of 2013, when Diana Nyad, at the age of 64, http://www.diananyad.com on her fifth attempt over several decades finally completed her swim from Cuba to the shores of Key West Florida in the US.
This was a thrilling achievement as she has been a long distance swimmer all of her life, completing several long-distance swims to include swimming around the Island of Manhattan, swimming from North Bimini beach in the Bahamas to Juno Beach in Florida along with her struggles through being molested as a child and a teen.
Everyone cheers for the under-dog but it is those stories of achievement and heroism for which someone or group has persevered over a lifetime striving for a goal. I do not want to take away or slight the achievements of those who successfully conquered great feats of human perseverance, but for me the spicy success stories are for those who have survived a life-time to achieve their goals.
For what it’s worth, heck I would like to see the Chicago Cubs win the world series, but as a life long Cardinal fan, I hope it is after my demise.
The year is 2214, and your computer’s dusty hard drive has just resurfaced at an antique store. Write a note to the curious buyer explaining what he or she will find there.
After two hundred years, my last computer hard drive was found locked inside a faded green Tupperware lock a seal container with an uncommon smell of apple sauce. At first glance, neither recent purchaser understood what the funny looking device was. They returned to the antique business where they bought it and the owner immediately recognized the small device as an Apple iMac hard drive. After some modification with the owners handheld multifunction device, they were able to gain access to the hard drives information and quite a unique program, that at the time in 2045 was the earliest versions of holographic technology.
As the power source began charging the hard-drive a holographic image appeared displaying several people at the edge of the Grand Canyon spreading my ashes into the canyon unfortunately on a windy summer day. Yes all of those in attendance were sprayed with me ashes as the wind blew up from the canyon while high above an eagle soared beautifully high above.
Many years ago, when I just a young man in the US Army, I was placed on guard duty when I was issued a new device call night vision goggles. This was high-tech in the early eighties and I was happy to utilize the latest technology while on guard duty especially at night. Before the night vision goggles, I utilized my built-in night vision, (eyes), while on guard duty on the perimeter of a fence line that when dark, I could only see absolutely nothing. Now while on guard duty, it was customary to hear the wrestling of animals in the woods throughout the night, so after several weeks I became use to the unsettling noises. At first, the noise was so frightening that it was common to stare into the darkness wide-eyed hoping to gain some lite to see the movements of, bears, deer, raccoons, possums, foxes, rabbits, and large owls. . Although, I had in my possession, my trusty flash lite, with red colored lenses, however, we were not permitted to use, unless absolutely necessary.
After a ten or fifteen minute training sessions, I was issued a pair of goggles and posted to my guard position along the fence line just before midnight. As soon as the jeep pulled away, I placed the goggles over my head and the sense of seeing the darkness of night illuminated under a greenish haze was incredible. I walked around with the goggles in place for about thirty minuets, when I spotted a large racoon in the tree line. He was rooting along the ground when he spotted me and it was a sensational site to view the animal at night searching for food looking back at me. The animal continued his search for food and I followed the movements of the animal, when suddenly, the raccoon stopped and simply stared back at me. After a couple of stops by the racoon, and looking back in my direction which took place five or six times, each time, he looked towards me attempting to decide, how was I tracking his movements. He suddenly turned and moved in the opposite direction, stopping to see if I was looking in his direction, when the animal recognized that I was tracking his movements, he immediately, he scurried away into the woods away from my position and I never saw him again. I had the same encounter with a deer, a possum and several rabbits over the next few weeks.
The noise of scurrying animals dropped off considerably, however, what I could not understand is how nocturnal animals, walking in the dark with great hearing can be eaten by other animals who are also moving about and must have capabilities to see in the dark?
If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?
There are so many life events, and chapters of my life I would want to extend just a little more time. My list would include my childhood, teenage years, my first love, sex with my first love, watching my children grow and of course this time in my retirement life.
Now, there are so many things in life. I would want to shorten or sped through. This has my mind recalling a 2006 movie, by Adam Sandler call “Click”, where the Sandler character was given the opportunity to speed through life’s boring parts an and extend the those parts he likes to savor.
The reason, those so call boring or not so pleasant portions of our lives are there, is to allow us all to appreciate the glorious times with family, friends, and basically teaches me and many others to enjoy the moment, because you never know when this current time will be taken away.
(Daily Prompt) It’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?
I don’t believe anyone, especially children will be able to scare me, because I am the scary neighbor, who terrifies my neighborhood kids as they walk up to my home and upon their approach towards my front door, I jump from behind a car in the driveway, a tree, or I’m laying on the front yard under leaves when I rise to scar children and their adult chaperons to a full experience of terror. I perceive Halloween from the standpoint, that you are going to walk pass a gauntlet of terror to get free candies.
Now, in the US, most communities are preparing for Halloween celebrations of all things scary, based on an unofficial commercial holiday. People will consume enough candies to loosen dentures, fillings, cause cavities and plaque upon the teeth of every child, and adults, so much so that every dentist is salivating their decisions of where to spend their winter vacations.
For an invented holiday just before the holiday season in the US, candy manufactures are possibly the greatest lobbyist for the American Detnal Association. One feeds America’s sweet-tooth, and the other fixes your teeth so you can obtain more candies. Talk about a symbiotic relationship that will last many lifetimes over and over.
The cost for children in costumes is fairly expensive since they can, and will be worn only once, just as the makeup and monies spent for adult costumes. The ultimate one-off for an industry that makes more money each year.
On the serious side of the celebrations of Halloween, it is thought by many, that this is the devil’s night. Numerous organizations celebrate with sacrifices of some sort, and the belief of raising the dead, and the opportunity to use evil incantation.
Now with all the evil taking place around the world, some would think celebrating the bloody horrors of evil, by scaring people as a form of entertainment, until they lose all bodily functions is comedy at it best. However, I think Halloween should be followed up with Peace Day.
You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?
Several years ago, my wife, Trisha, and I attended a dinner party held at my neighbor’s home of Tom and Pam Gregory, who live four doors away, in a neighborhood of twenty homes, that ends in a Cul-Du-Sac.
Trisha and Pam are very close and so are our two kids, Kyle and Amanda, and their two kids, Jessica and Jennifer, all attending the same elementary school, and Tom and I are both veterans of the Army, so needles to say, we do a lot of activities together.
Now, the party was going very well, and I consumed eight or ten beers, along with five whiskey’s and cola’s over a five-hour period, so I sat down on a patio chair on Tom’s deck where a lot of people had gather on the warm summer night. I vaguely recall hearing groups of people saying goodnight and I looked at my watch and I could barely see that it was around midnight, so I began to get up to leave when I heard Trisha yell, come to bed honey, so I replied ok. It was at this point that I realized that I was still drunk, so I sat back in the chair.
My bladder decided to activate the beer removal feature, so as I stood, and my legs were a little wobbly when I entered the home through the french doors leading from the deck. I immediately noticed that the family room looked really familiar, from the apple fragrance in the air, to the carpet, the wall paint, the border around the wall, the television, the furniture, tables, and the wall decorations were the same as my home.
I found my way to the first floor powder room where again everything looked just like my home, with the walls painted the same color, floor tile the same, the decorative soap, decorative towels, (That I dried my hands on) the toilet bowl brush, and even the cinnamon spice smell.
While relieving my bladder, I realize I must be home because everything in this bathroom looked exactly like my downstairs bathroom in my home. So in my drunken haze, I figured Trisha or Tom must have walked me home and placed me on my deck to sleep off the party. I did recall hearing, Trisha’s voice earlier, calling me to bed, so with that, I washed and dried my hands and began to walk towards the stairs leading to the second floor.
As I begin walking up the stairs, I recognized Trisha has placed some new photos of the kids along the wall leading up the steps, however as I continued, I could hear the sounds of love-making coming from my bedroom, Now, my drunken haze began to fade fast as thoughts of Trisha with another man race through my mind. I heard the voice of a male in between heavy breathing yell, “You kids go back to bed”, and just as I topped the stairs, I saw standing at the door, little Jessica apparently sleep walking with her eyes open wide as small lemons, beating on the bedroom door.
I stop dead in my tracks, quietly and quickly turning around and whatever drunken haze I had left, it was replaced with adrenaline pulsating through my body as I ran down the stairs towards the front door, as I realized, I was in Tom and Pam’s home. I quietly and quickly ran out the front door, and across the lawns towards my home, like an African Cheetah.
I entered the code to open my garage door, and rushed into the family room where Trisha was seated watching a movie. She turned with a look of total surprise upon seeing me and she explained how she thought, I was still asleep on Tom’s deck. When I began to explain what had happen, she began laughing so hard that Trisha wet her pants.
Its been several years since that night of mistaken home interiors, and we often laugh about it, however Jessica has never visited our home since that night.
Just over a year ago, I began reading books to pass the time as I sat on the beach, while occasionally looking out into the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. I found a sense of contentment in the books of adventure, science fiction, mystery and romance. I was profoundly grateful to be afforded the opportunity to enjoy reading that I began journaling my experiences and the retiree lifestyle.
I began enjoying writing book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, when one day, while reading the background of an author, the word, “Blog” appeared and I began researching the word. After much research and reading a couple of books to include Arianna Huffington’s, “Complete guide to blogging”, did I contemplated how I would participate in my newly found discovery, revealing to the world my thoughts on my retirement lifestyle and other words of wisdom.
Beginning November 1 through the 30, I will participate in the month long, 2014 National Novel Writing Month event, http://nanowrimo.org/dashboard. During the month participants will be involved in writing a novel of at least 50,000 words. I feel up to the challenge, and along with writers, I met yesterday at at local gathering to discuss the event, we will support and encourage each other during the challenge, and hopefully beyond.
If you are wondering, it is the equivalent to writing 2,500 words a day. If you are considering the challenge take the plunge, you know you wanted to write you own novel of some sort, so now is the opportunity with supportive help from those who are also participating.
It has been awhile since I posted to the site and I have a good excuse as I was preparing for and attended the Florida Writers conference held in Lake Mary Fl. I was truly impressed with the professionalism displayed by the board members, presenters and volunteers.
I was impressed with the numbers people in attendance, and felt just as excited of the authors who successfully pitched their book ideas and were signed to publishers. Many any others gained agents and it was a wonderfully well-organized event with book sales and programs covering every issue within the electronic and book publishing industry.
I have spent the past two hours before dinner checking emails and posting this blog, so now its time to get back to networking and discovering more about this new lifestyle of becoming a writer.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?
Todays prompt is one of two of my daily passions. It has been just over a year that I began reading to the point that I now consider myself a “Book Nerd”. I keep at least five to eight books, in my book bag to read during the day. Once I discovered audible books, I greatly increased my book consumption to 3-4 a month as I walk 3-4 miles a day. I read books like I use to watch television with the remote in my hand, changing channels constantly.
My most recent dry spell was for one week in August and again in September when I focused more on establishing my blogs on several different sites. When I’m writing a short story or writing something for one my blogs, I stress myself about how much reading I could be accomplishing. I’m very passionate about my reading and writing, I just need more time in a twenty-four hour day to give equal time to both.
Our most enduring and everlasting memories, develop as a child, when we associate a tasty treat with its aroma. The smell of bread, cookies, are just an example. The sound of music, in particular a radio jingle or song associated with a cartoon, viewing a television show or commercial about a toy you want. These visuals are embedded in our thoughts, dreams and desires for the rest of our lives.
If and when we can recall these moments of our past, they become chapters of our lives, allowing the feelings of emotions overwhelming our minds, whether the memories or good or bad, they are forever a part of our lives, and our soul, shaping the person we have become.
Traveling along life’s often turbulent passages, we sometimes call upon past memories to ease the pain of the current situations. Some people approach retirement with dreaded fear and apprehension, never understanding and appreciating how this is their time to rekindle dreams, thought of as a child, teenager, young adult, and especially those parenting years.
This is the perfect time to recall every dream or vision you can imagine, so long as your spouse has updated the life insurance policy, however, if you do not have a spouse, then you can seek to fulfill these dreams, passions and desires with the gusto of a young adult!
Now, your health and personal safety is above all else, the most important in all the adventures you seek to take part in. It is essential to prepare your mind with a healthy body, when seeking your dreams.
Your family, friends, and neighbors will be concerned and worried, although, they have your best interest at heart, some maybe a little envious of your daring dreams, and imaginations. If your children show concern by complaining or criticizing, you’re desires, just remind them of the horrible terrors they put you through when they were children, and this is only pay-back. Heck, you survived their wild adventurous exploits of climbing a ladder to look closer at a hornets nest. I’m only jumping out of an airplane with a parachute, and I have health insurance, along with a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order!
If they use the grand-children as pawns to persuade you not to try something, just close your eyes and think back to when you where a child, and how cool it would have been to tell you friends how your grand-parents climb a mountain, road a motorcycle across country, hiked the Appalachian Trail for six months or parachuted out of an airplane. With today’s technology you could send grand-children photos of your exploits and they would be the cool kids in their class!
Seeking to fulfill your dreams and passions in retirement sets an example to our children and, especially to grand-children, that you are never too old to learn and achieve anything you wish in life.
If you cannot recall any dreams, visions or imaginations from your past, be patient, and try harder, everyone dreams.
Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?
I people watch daily at all the major transportation hubs in this city of 10-million plus. The stress shown on the faces of people walking to their destination with determination is sometimes eased while they walk with some form of audio ear-plug in or on their ears.
It is an amazing site to view mothers pushing children in baby carriages with the determination of a mother bear trying to get her cubs across a small creek. It is the viewing of people walking and talking, attempting to stay within ear-shot of each other while maintaining a conversation as they weave in between people along the sidewalk.
I have seen a great change over the past thirty-five years of people watching. Most people tune into their audio ear-plugs, listening to their favorite music, audio tape, or a television show from the previous night, while tuning out of everything else around them, except for the destination.
What is amazing are the number of people who multi task while walking, carrying on a conversation, with audio ear-plug in their ears, and texting on their cellular phones. As I view these activities, I have considered purchasing a video camera, to record the number of people who continually attempt to avoid each other while multi-tasking their electronic devices and walking at the same time.
Generally, most of the people walking with their devices attached to their bodies, navigating the sidewalks, do so in an amazing fairly safe way. However, there are those who occasionally walk into a pole, into the rear of another person, or brush shoulders with another as they pass, providing the most incredible exchanged of looks between two people. Although, most times, I see an exchanged apology, followed by a smile or a frown as they continue on.
I guess as time moves along, walking along sidewalks will possibly be regulated with prescribed painted sides to walk along, with lines indicating passing areas, and of course “No electronic device use while walking”, signs will eventually be posted with the amount of the fine posted below the wording.
In a way the sight is kind of magical, as the mass of people walk along in a zombie like state, stressed with their day-to-day life, their movement is constant and it never stops. Only mother nature can slow down or even stop the constant movement and after the weather clears, the scene of movement, will take place again just as the sun rises and sets.
Think about the town where you now live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?
I was at my local airport arriving back from visiting family abroad, when I met a couple who appeared lost. I stopped to offer some assistance to a distinguishing looking gentleman with a very lovely woman on his arm, whom I presumed to be his wife. He asked was I a local and what could I tell him about the area? So begins my story.
I began to explain that I live in the area, and that is seasonal, which for six months, starting October through April, there is a concentration of people, swelling the roadways, restaurants, parks, and beaches that will boggle the mind. They can become rowdy with their loud parties along the beach and the local bars. They are fairly orderly, and most leave are home by 10-11 pm to get an early start for the next days activities.
During the same time there migrating various species of birds, with their brightly colorful plumes migrate to the area with sights that is awe inspiring.
If you are use to being in a winter climate during this time period, you will quickly become accustom to wearing only a light jacket after dark and appreciating the warm afternoon breezes along the coast. One of the customs in my community is to simply relax and take in the wildlife, at the many state and federal parks offering wildlife viewing that will simply overwhelm your senses.
I would recommend you get a bicycle to enjoy the many activities during the early morning hours, along the beach between 7:00 am – 10:00 am, pedaling along for exercise, sightseeing or just for a ride to a local coffee shop.
I would also recommend a kayak to enjoy the mangroves, view wildlife up close, a fishing pole to contemplate the meaning of life and all that you have accomplished and golf to challenge yourself. There is a amazing community of artists encompassing theater, writers, and painters that thrive with weekly, monthly and yearly shows promoting their crafts.
There are many annual traditions celebrating the local seafood, music, art, theater, sand sculpture and a pirate festival. There are guided beach, and nature walks with lots of hang-out places where we gather to share a coffee, lunch near the beach, and dinners cruises to view the sun sets.
So as a first time visitor, this place can be overwhelming with so much to do and see, however I would recommend, taking your time, with so much beauty to view, it will always be available.
Now, I notice that you have a New York City brochure in your hand, are staying in our fair city of just traveling though, you do know what city this is?
It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?
I recall being nervous when I was tasked with being the duties of masters of ceremonies during a family reunion. As I waited in the wings to take the podium, I was rehearsing my thoughts of what I was going to say, focusing on how I was going to introduce family members, when suddenly I realized, I was sweating profusely from my forehead to my neck, and my palms were cold and clammy.
I found some paper towels to wiped my forehead and dried my palms, as I began some deep breathing exercises to calm my nerves, which helped immensely. I could not believe what was happening to me. I the job I held, I was a public speaker and I have never had a problem with speaking before a crowd of people of any size.
Just as I took the podium and look out into the crowd of family members, I realized that I was going to be judged by my toughest critics, my family. In the past I have never had a problem with focusing on the task at hand and forging through to completion.
As I spoke, my nerves calmed down, and I was able to speak without any problems, however, during the time I was on stage, I also kept using Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote from his first inaugural speech, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”.
I learned the quote as a child when I complete a book report on Franklin D. Roosevelt, and I have used it many times before, such as a science project, a swim test, at Boy Scout Camp and just before the start of a my first date as a teenager in high school.
To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?
A verb that characterizes me?
Well, I believe the word “Move”, is the word I feel most connected to. However, I like the word “Adventurous”, as a better definition. I love the outdoors, especially the beach, with a hike in a wooded forest not far behind. Between, camping, RVing, bicycling, kayaking, playing pickle ball, and generally hanging at the beach, practicing my best beach-bum lifestyle, I’m constantly on the move.
It only because of blogging that I actually sit still, long enough to type out words of wisdom, give my opinion, and generally write about many different issues, along with what ever captures my fancy.
Heck, I, have to move on from the outdoor park where this blog is being written, because it is time for me to move to another site. I won’t sit too long, I don’t want grass growing under my feet.
Most mornings I people watch the many walkers, joggers passing by along the beach as I sit at a picnic table, underneath a pavilion facing the beach early in the morning mostly before 9:00 am. From time to time someone will sit and a conversation usually begins with comments about the weather of southwest Florida.
I always great people with a hearty hello or good morning and I listen as some have continued to speak about the weather, some tell their tale of woe, give me their life history, and then there are those who will talk for ever.
On one such occasion, I listen for over an hour as a gentleman in his late 60’s or early 70’s, spoke about his entire family, to include aunts, uncles, 2nd and 3rd cousins, his former jobs, and how his wife forced him to leave their home rural Vermont during the winter of 2014.
He continued on until a women that was obviously his wife, walk passed him, and without acknowledging me with a greeting, she past him, and with a stern voice, “come on, let’s go!.”
The gentleman immediately stopped talking, waved good-bye, an followed his wife to the car parked just to my left. As he retrieved the car keys, which apparently wasn’t fast enough, because the woman yelled, “come on, open the door!, I’m ready to go! ” I have walk enough and you have talked enough, and I hope you got it out of your system, because I don’t want to hear your mouth no more today”.
I cringed a little, never looking in her direction, as I heard the harsh tone in her voice. Before he entered the car and closed the door, I heard him say. “You know, honey I like to talk”. As he back out of the parking space and drove away, I saw a dejected man, who apparently was going to spend the next twelve or more hours in silence, until he could find someone who would listen.
Just as they pulled away, Phyllis who is a regular walker, said good morning and I returned the greeting. She began to explain that a female walker she was walking with had and accident. I immediately asked what happen? Phyllis explained that the woman who got in the car was walking along side her and talking the entire time, criticizing her husband of 50 years, about how he talked too much.
Phyllis said as they were walking when suddenly she stop talking and burped aloud. She stood still for a moment, and her face showed some distress. She suddenly raised her head, said good-bye, turned around walking towards the pavilion. Phyllis followed behind her at a distance and it wasn’t until she approached the pavilion that she recognized a dark brown stain on her pale green shorts as she walked hurriedly along the beach.
Phyllis, said, she must have talked so much, that her flatulence was just as fluid as her mouth. We both laughed and as Phyllis walked away waving good-bye. I thought of how a morning greeting, and simply listening can lead to laughter.
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
– Ernest Hemingway
Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?
There was a time for which, I would have eaten anything as long as it was cooked. As time and life moved along, I expanded that belief to include eating some raw items such as “Sushi”, which I love to this day. Now, I have not, nor will I ever, eat any raw insects. I believe I could stomach them roasted or fried as one of the last exotic delicacies, I have not tried and one day will attempt.
No fast forward to todays date, where I have become a pescatarian, which is a version of a vegetarian. Basically I eat no read meat to include chicken, turkey beef, pork, and I only consume fish and seafood with my vegetables.
Recently I have come to enjoy egg whites omelet’s with assorted green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, garlic, onions, with several different types of seasoning including curry and Old Bay Seasoning to go with the seafood or fish.
Prior to my dietary change I was the ultimate omnivore, eating every type of meat this planet has to offer. The most exotic beast I’ve tasted are, Alligator, Ostrich, and Snakes. However as a young child I ate squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, possum, and everything on a hog from the “rooter to the Tooter” to include “mountain oysters”. YouTube or Google the Mountain Oysters for a definition.
I raise a son and daughter and taught them to try every type of food item and never rely on some else’s interpretations on the taste of food. Adventurous eating can be fun, except for raw insects.
“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber
Do you agree with this statement on excess?
The belief that too much of everything is as bad as too little, will depend on who is making that assessment and what the precise excess is?
Maintaining any excess that can sustain life, such as food, water, shelter with the ability to help those in need, however not provide assistance to those in need can be considered horribly bad if the person has the necessary resources and ability to help.
However, those in need will always look upon those with excesses they desire should remember the old adage. “Never wish for what some else has, because you never know what they did to acquire their excess”.
Looking upon others with excesses or resources you desire with a jealous eye, is never a great way to decide how to get what you think is needed. Whether, if it is a person or business.
No matter what the excess someone possesses, if you do not know the sacrifices taken to obtain the excess, no one should judge or complain.
Those of us with desires to obtain certain excesses should look within to decide, would you have walked in the shoes of the person who has anything you believe is an excess.
Answering this question can help decided what is excess?
Writing 101: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!
Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.
Now as a native of St. Louis Mo. there are certain unique foods that are only cooked, sold and consumed only in the St. Louis metro area.
One of the unique foods, I fell in love with as a child, is called a “Shrimp St. Paul”. As a child, I never understood how unique this food item was until I enlisted in the military and discovered that in Alabama, New Jersey, West Germany, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC are locations that didn’t serve my beloved Shrimp St. Paul’s sandwich.
After twenty years in Virgina, I was able to get my local Aisian takeout Restaurant, to make me a Shrimp St. St. Paul, which consist of an egg foo young patty, made with mung bean sprouts, minced white onions, served with dill pickle slices, white unions slices, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato between two slices of white bread.
Now that I have given the out the recipe, I have a taste for a “Shrimp St. Paul”.
Se yah, gotta go!
You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?
At 83 years of age, I wish my father in-law was alive so I could have talked to him about what I am about to explain. I think it is time to tell the tale of how I met my father in-law who has long since passed.
I was living in a small West Virginia town of less than one-hundred people, where I met my wife Martha Wilson, on an unusual faithful and exciting night after our local high school basketball game. I was a senior and she was a sophomore as we walked along the dirt path. The autumn evening sun lowering into the surrounding mountainside bringing to a close a wonderful evening as we walked towards her home.
Martha’s father was the only doctor within one-hundred and fifty miles of our little town, and he recently opened a new office listing “gynaecology” as part of his practice in a nearby town with less than 50 people. The people in and around the town of his new office have never had a doctor of any type. Heck, the people lived so deep in the woods, sunshine was farmed in by others living in the surrounding area.
Someone in the nearby town was able to define the word gynaecology, and the men of the town were not pleased upon the discovery of the words’ definition. A group of thirty or more men from the nearby town and surrounding country side arrived on the front lawn of the doctor’s home to confront him about the type of medicine he planned to practice on their women folk and young girls.
As we approached her home, we could see the thirty or more men, standing in front of her home holding lighted torches. It took all that I could to prevent Martha from rushing forward towards the crowd in her attempt to protect her father. I suggested that we enter their home from the rear, however once inside I was so nervous I had to use their new indoor bathroom, complete with toilet tissue. It was in the toilet where I came up with a great idea to help her father.
Martha was walking down the stairs from the second level of the home after checking on he mother who was with her two siblings brothers age five and seven. We overheard the sound of a horse-drawn carriage arriving in front of her home with the local constable and a couple of her fathers neighbors who were attempting to quiet and calm the crowd of men.
She wanted me to go out and stand beside her father to help him, now that was a nobel idea, but I am definitely afraid of the torches held in the hands of the crowd of men, so I told her, I have an idea.
I proposed that I wrap her totally in the white toilet paper from the bathroom, and walk her out to the front of the house where the men could see how their women folk would be presented in the doctor’s office.
Now, I must say, the surprised and perplex look on her face was eventually changed when I explained that the men outside, had never seen a bathroom, yet alone toilet paper. Suddenly a sinister smile broke across her face and I began wrapping her 4’10” frame in two rolls of heavy two ply toilet paper.
As I shuffled her through the front door and onto the front porch, the crowd of men quieted and began to bow their heads in reverence. As her father turn to see what the men were looking at, he slightly recognized his daughter, calling to her and began to ask what we were doing? He also noticed, the men were quieted in her presence.
My future father in-law walked towards me asking what was the meaning of this, and who was I?
I stepped closer so the angry men could not her me explain how I walked his daughter home after the high school basketball game, and I know most of the men standing on his front lawn, have never seen and indoor toilet or toilet paper.
As I explained my plan, I watched his angry and stern face, break with a slight grin, as he asked his daughter was she ok? When she said yes, her father said stay where you are and I will take if from here.
Quickly her turned to the crowd of men who were becoming a little restless. He yelled to the crowd pointing to his daughter and explained to the men, that the white paper covering is what their women would be dressed in during any examination.
He pointed to his daughter again asking her to say hello. When she spoke, the group of men, all of whom at this time, stood with their mouths open in complete astonishment, seem to see the white toilet papered teen as a vestal virgin of purity, and this delighted the men into believing that their women folk would be treated likewise.
As the doctor spoke assuring the men, their women folk will be held in high esteem during their visits and his daughter is proof of how delicate they would be treated, the tension in the crowd eased considerably.
The men felt comfortable with the doctors explanation, assured that their women would not be violated, and asked the doctor’s forgiveness for confronting him at his home. The men walked towards their horse-drawn carriages and returned to their homes.
Mr. Wilson promised us both never to speak of what happened that day, and I never understood the reason why until years after his death. Martha told me that it was unprofessional and unethical to lie to the men about how the gynecological examination would take place.
However, it was forty to fifty years before the last women stopped coming to his office dressed in toilet paper.
Many years ago when I took a stress management class and discovered how my life was filled with too many noises and continuous sounds that never allowed me to relax and experience a quiet stress free moment.
I discovered that noises in our daily lives can become stressful and in some cases harmful when we don’t take time to enjoy the simple sounds of mother nature.
The continuous volume of sound can become second nature preventing many from relaxing and listening to silence. Silence for most people is unnerving and seeking this moment is sometimes difficult to achieve.
Some people mediate to find their mental peacefulness, while others live in communities far removed from the sounds of a large metropolitan city, providing them a better opportunity to find silence.
Now close your eyes and try to imagine how far from your home, job, church, or community would you need to travel to not hear voices, the sounds of a car engine, airplanes over head, lawn mowers, or construction workers?
Listening to the morning sounds of birds chirping, along with the wind softly blowing through the leaves on the trees can relax and de-stress the human body better than any prescription drug, alcoholic beverage, or a massage.
However, seeking a quite peaceful mental time should be everyone’s daily goal, to ensure vibrant mental health, that will sustain a peaceful life for many years to come.
How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?
Criticism both positive and negative, is what we all need to measure ourselves, however most people cannot accept negative criticism as it hurts their feeling and destroys their belief within themselves. I accepted criticism positive and negative as a way to learn and discover what I may improve upon and or learning what my weaknesses are.
I’m new to the writing community, so I am a little ambivalent about someone critiquing my writing, however I know the vital importance of having fellow writers critique my work. In my former career I received a yearly evaluation my job of the previous year. I wanted my performance, interpreted, critiqued, and evaluated to decide and how effective my performance was the previous year. I prefer complete honesty and my evaluator to speak the truth and not hold back, because in the end it is me who will learn from my mistakes.
If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would decide whether you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?
We have been dating off and on for about a year and Patricia has never spoken about where her ex-husband was living. So after all the weekend trips away, holiday celebrations, and family gatherings, I was shocked when the 6’7″, 290 pound gym owner named Brian standing above me, spotting my bench press of only 245 pounds, asked if I was dating Patricia.
Surprised with his question, I completed ten repetitions of the press, and immediately sat up swinging my legs around to ask, how do you know Patricia?
He said that his brother was married to Patricia years ago. I raised my eyebrows in amazement with his statement and my eyes must have widen to the size of kiwi fruit when he went on to say that his brother was being released from jail after serving several years for a vehicular homicide and his brother wanted to know if Patricia was dating?
Now Brian is a quiet gentle man with a career in the finance industry after ten-years in the Nation Football League. Brian said he was inquiring to see if it was ok for his brother to make contact with Patricia upon his release. I immediately stated that we are a couple and are planning to marry. Brian nodded in agreement, and said that he would tell his brother not to contact Patricia.
I asked, what were his brother’s plans upon release? Brian said he would be managing the gym. There was a moment of pause when Brian stood up and said, I guess I will give you back whats left on the gym membership. I said that would not be necessary and I would stay at the gym. We shook hands and Brian walked away.
Now, I thought to myself, could Patricia’s ex-husband and I become friends?
I would only feel comfortable with the friendship if he had an inmate lover which he was happy with. This for me would make me feel better about any threat from him attempting to rekindle a relationship with Patricia.
I also thought about Patricia’s explanation and would she want to rekindle her relationship with her ex-husband?
However my thoughts focused more on the answer Patricia would give me, which I hope would be she was too embarrassed to explain her ex-husband being in jail.
Either way, I think I will cancel my membership.
A true peaceful poem for Christmas Eve.
Originally posted on theempathyqueen:
May Angels of Peace & Strength light your way! Thank you for stopping by. I hope that you enjoy your visit.
This quote is by Zig Ziglar.
Police Officer Rafael Ramos and Police Officer Wenjian Liu; RIP
Originally posted on Fill Your Own Glass:
These are the police officers that I know.
Here are the ones who recover an infant, dehydrated and starving, from an abandoned building that is sweltering sans electricity in the August heat. Here are the ones who transport the infant to the emergency room to receive the care not tendered by a neglectful mother.
Here is the one struck to the core by a heartbroken preteen who has just had her bag, including her iPod, stolen. Here is the one who took up an immediate collection among his fellow officers and before day’s end presented the girl with a brand new music player and accessories.
Here is the one who collects stuffed animals to give to children at the local domestic violence shelter. Here is the one who brings bags full of warm clothes to the homeless shelter. Here are the ones who participate in “shop with a cop” programs…
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A wonderfully timely message for the season.
Originally posted on Fill Your Own Glass:
We both know that in years past I would not have presumed to write this letter, but I think things are different this year. I think it is safe because I have been good this year, maybe even better than good. I have worked hard to become a better person- a more patient, more tolerant, more respectful person. I have practiced both random and not-so-random acts of kindness. I have been a supporter, a motivator, and an encourager. I have learned to stop and think before speaking. I have walked away from confrontations. I have jumped out of the fray instead of into it. Yes, I know, there is still room for growth and improvement. (I may as well own up to it, seeing as you know when I have been good or bad.) I do believe, though, that I have been good enough to earn a few…
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A beautiful poem for any season. Read and enjoy.
Originally posted on silentlyheardonce:
stained with tears of the past
blessed with a collection of smiles
overwhelmed with the priority of joy
every second, every breath
always a gift
standing on my own
creating a path to follow
leaving fear behind
and packing confidence
my purpose and yours
my reason and yours
uniting our future
the blessings of our ancestors
the vision for our descendants
the greatest gift
living life free
the greatest gift
is share blessings
that rains on us all
©Kimberly Wilhelmina Floria 12/18/14