By hand

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By Hand.”

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/by-hand/

Oil, Meet Water

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Oil, Meet Water.”

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/oil-meet-water/

Ready, Set, Done!

inspire leader

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”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-6/

Let it be

(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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/let-it-be/

Literate for a day

(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?

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/literate-today/

By Heart

(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?

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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!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/by-heart/

The Spices of Success

(Daily Prompt) If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?

Courage

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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-spice-of-success/

Buyers Beware?

(Daily Prompt)
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.

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/buyers-beware/

Second-Hand Stories

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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?

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/second-hand-stories/

Peace Oddity

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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.

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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.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pace-oddity/

Trick or Treat

(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?

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trick-or-trick/

Doppelgänger Alert

(Daily Prompt)
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?

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/doppelganger-alert/

Writing excitement!

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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.

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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.

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Time away

#Life'sWoundings

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.

Reader’s Block

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?

EBook’s and the nostalgia for a book

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.

Nessa Grace-Passion

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.

Read on!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/readers-block/

In Retirement, activate your dreams & Passions?

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.

In Transit

Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-transit/

Welcome Stranger

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?

My work space, under the pavilion at Fort Myers Beach,

My work space, under the pavilion.

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.

Fort Myers Beach Bodwhich Park Sunset

Beach Bowditch Park Sunset

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?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/welcome-stranger/

Big Day Ahead

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?

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/big-day-ahead/

Verbal confirmation

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?

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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.

Truth Serum or are you listening?

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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

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/truth-serum/

Mouths Wide Shut

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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mouths-wide-shut/

Excess ?

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber
Do you agree with this statement on excess?

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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?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-excess/

My favorite Children’s meal

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.

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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!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-celebration/

Make It Count

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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/make-it-count/

Seeking a quiet, peaceful, stress-free moment.

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.

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-2/

Handle with care?

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

Nessa Grace~Change Your Focus (2)

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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/handle-with-care/

Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

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?

Nessa Grace~Change Your Focus (2)

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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/litmus-test/

Blogging 101 introduce yourself

Hello and good day to all.

I’m a retiree living in Southwest Florida, I have developed a passion for writing born out of reading books. I never thought I would consider the idea of writing as a passion, after 27 years of writing reports in a previous career.

I here to learn more about blogging, to discover what other passions there are to learn in the world of blogging. I have taken several creative writing classes and I love flash fiction along with writing several short stories.

I’m evolving as a reader and writer, from the classic novels of the past to the new writers of our time. As I move throughout the many different genres of literature, I’m intrigued and excited with the possibilities of the adventures to have, either as a writer or reader. I am not seeking to write the great American Novel, just short stories, flash fiction, some poetry and most of all just simply enjoying myself.

I’m inspired by the blogging community and I seeking to interact with bloggers who post witty, whimsical, inspirational messages as well as commenting on themselves and pop culture.

My blog centers around adjusting to the retirement lifestyle and discovering your passions.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/101-introduce/

Emotional attachments to Soulful Machines

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Machines, appliances, and gadgets sometimes feel like they have their own personalities — from quirky cars to dignified food processors. What’s the most “human” machine you own?

Being the practical person that I am, I do not look upon machines with such regard or esteem. I regard the machines I have owned as inanimate objects serving a purpose to make my life easier.

I have a true appreciation for the following appliances ranked in the order of my needs. The refrigerator, electric or gas stove, washing machine, toilet, bicycle and automobile. I would hate to spend a day without this collection of man-made machines.

I cannot imagine living in a time when I hand washed my clothing, boil water over an open flame for a bath, or use a chamber pot, Ugh! Now most would read this and say, what a whip, but just try going without any of the above mentioned machines and see where your day leads you, especially if you take away the television and computer.

Oh, my goodness, we would be left with walking to a friend’s home, to speak in person and together share duties to cook and clean.

I know people who have an emotional affection with their inanimate objects, however in a world that is becoming more individualistic and self-serving, it would be great to just speak in person, or at least blog about it via a computer.

Who could imagine such an idea?

Greetings, Stranger (Daily Prompt)

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You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

I respond with my best impersonation of Robert Deniro’s character in the movie Taxi Driver, “are you talking to me”?

My response forces the stranger into a perplex look and she slowly begins to explain that I looked like a Steven Harden, who she has corresponded with on an online dating service.

I began to move the book I was reading towards me, I search the café to see if anyone else was with her as I contemplated my escape.

I responded with my best perplexed look and stated, I’m not that guy. She apologized for the mistake and began walking towards the exit door of the café. I hurriedly packed away my laptop and the book I was reading into my book bag and walked briskly out the café to my car. As I backed out of the parking space, I noticed she was standing in front of the building as I drove away.

When I turn into the roadway, I thought about the photo she posted online was so strikingly different from the woman standing before me in the café. The online photo was of a woman in her early twenties, but the woman who stood before me in the café was at least thirty-five years of age or more.

I recognized I panicked and began to feel guilty, so I return to the café and found her standing in front of the building as I parked. When I exited my car she recognized me and I wave to her and she walked towards me.

I was so nervous as she approach, that I blurted out, “I apologize your online photo was so different”. Her shoulders slumped, she began to cry and apologizing for posting the younger photo. I felt so bad, I ran to my car to get some tissues as she tried to explain between tears and sobbing.

I asked for her to sit with me at one of the outside tables as she began to explain how she was not comfortable with using the photo that her girl friends talked her into using. I apologized for not telling her who I was and we reentered the café for coffee and great conversation.

That how I met my fiancée.

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Good Tidings

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Good Tidings.”  Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

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I finished pumping gas into a car at my father’s gas station when as I go to get the money, the driver who isn’t a regular, asked me to check the air in his tires. So, I begin and I noticed that he exits the car and stand over me checking on what I was doing. As I was checking the air pressure, he is holding a cup of coffee, when he says. I know that you are going to be a success in your future as you progress through life.

I keep checking each tire while listening, thinking this guy is a little weird. As he continues, I’m getting a bit of nervous as he explains the struggles and wonderful future I have before me. When I finish he gives me a two dollar tip for checking his tires and pumping his gas. After I take the money, I don’t feel as bad, however he is a bit weird.

As he enters his car, and drives away. I take the two dollars and start putting it into my pants pocket when my brother asks for his half since he checked the oil, battery, and washed the windows. I give my older brother a dollar, and I think. This guy should have told me that my brother was going to ask for his half.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/good-tidings/

Trio #4

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trio no. 4.”

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After twenty-nine years in the US military, a thirty-two year marriage to my sweet heart sitting next to me as we speed along interstate 90 through the great state of South Dakota, in our new 1997 Chevrolet Corvette, in mid July with the center top off. My wife turns up the volume on the 1960′s Rolling Stones hit. ” Start Me Up” and we are speeding along when she pulls out the her new cellular phone and attempts to call our kids back in Virgina as the first maiden call.

What we discovered is that at 90 miles an hour, you cannot hear the person on the other end, and as we past the last cellar site near Rapid City South Dakota, no cellular service, just the Stones for the next three hours, at just under 100 miles per-hours.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trio-4/

Not all who Wander are Lost, Sometimes We are Just Reading

Retirement Lifestyle / Nomadic Adventurer:

Such true words of wisdom and knowledge. Just read!

Originally posted on theempathyqueen:

books are the most patient of teachers

There are many wonderful things that come to those who wait, but so many involve others or are vastly out of our control.

A Great Love

A Better Job

Grief

Healing relationships with our Family

Health and Well-Being

Children and Grandchildren

A Computer

But, if a book is satisfying to me, I will wait until I get to the marvelous ending. If it does not appeal to me in some emotional or intellectual way, then reading six pages is too much and I know that I will never complete it.

Reading is the activity that does not demand anyone else’s permission to bring you to an enjoyable conclusion in the amount of time that you choose to wait willingly.

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Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit. I am busy re-reading the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon right now.
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Waiting Room

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