Love Is In The Air!

The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.–Henry Miller

It is that time of the year again..it is Valentine’s day! The day of love, in which everyone is scrambling to do something special for that  special someone in their lives!  Hopefully something different, something extraordinary that will make the love of your life feel just a bit more special.   Perhaps flowers, a special dinner out, a night together at a hotel away from distractions, or just simply a time for some undivided attention that breaks away from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It is difficult to measure love, and I believe that a lot of the love that is shown on a day-to-day basis can tend to get overlooked.  I have not been Mr. Romantic with flowers in my hand, or an outstanding poem or song written for my wife.  Unfortunately for me, I am sort of more the “simple guy” who shows my love by being there on a day-to-day basis attempting to do those many needed tasks or errands to render life at least a wee bit easier for her.

When you have been married or together with someone for so very many years, this demonstration of love can appear to be neglect.  It is not seen so “extraordinary” or “special” anymore since you can grow accustomed to it and lose appreciation for the one who is and has been there for you through thick and thin.  That is why for so many, they feel as though they have “lost” that love and are no longer able to see it for what it really is.  But in today’s world, it means a great deal!  All too often people run away in search of that “Hollywood romance” dream life, leaving behind them what was actually real love all along!

You can never give too much love, that is true…but you will most likely never feel as though you had too much.  It is in the little things day by day that love needs to be manifested, received, appreciated in order to recognize that you have never ever lost what you need and desire, you just need to look at it in the right perspective.

Happy Valentine’s day!  Do something extraordinary for that special someone! Can you see the love?

Giving It All You’ve Got!

“Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it” –Maya Angelou

Well, here I am once again!  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take a recent trip and spend quality time with my dad, as well as visit with my family all over Texas and in Nevada.  As much as I had wanted to  stay on top of writing my blog, I failed pretty much miserably having found it difficult to maintain a balance during my travels.

I am one who tends to “jump in with both feet” regardless of what I am doing and in the case of my visit with my dad, who is turning 91 this year and in need of assistance and attention, it became difficult to spend much time on my computer to the neglect of spending more time with him.  I felt at the time that I needed to spend every moment that I could with him while I was there and not give him just a portion of my attention.

Now I have returned to my “normal” schedule and work home situation, in which, despite the many things I need to devote my attention to, I can get back into the “multitasking mode” without making anyone around me feel neglected or ignored.  My family knows of and respects my work obligations and therefore do not feel the least bit slighted if I momentarily give them my most divided attention.

I believe that, if you are going to commit to doing anything at all, it is important to give all you’ve got!  Doing anything half-heartedly your results will most likely come back with the same measure and with similar results!  If you want to get positive results out of anything, you have to put forth the effort that it takes.  And if your time is limited to share with people who you care about, make sure that you are there in soul, body and mind, because life is indeed short and they deserve our full attention!

So…give it all you’ve got!

Growing Old Is Only For The Brave

Old age is no place for sissies.– Bette Davis

My Dad taking a rest.

I am presently spending time with my dad who will be turning 91 this year! He lives in an assisted living home where they can maintain their independence yet be somewhere near others and any emergency help that they may need.  It is very convenient in that they have all of their meals prepared for them in the cafeteria with a friendly staff.  I have been staying here with my dad now and have done so on a couple of previous occasions and as I have shared before, I have gotten to know some of the residence who have been here for a while.

Last night my dad had a little fall as he was trying to put his dog on the bed for the night. Our balance is something that most of us take for granted, we bend down, we get back up, we push, pull turn and swivel with ease and take much of our movements for granted.  But as one is getting older, staying on your feet becomes every day more and more of a challenge.  Any physical difficulty that we face in life can become a struggle and frustration.  I know as I too have an ear that has lost a good part of its hearing!  It all happened in a day and I have since have had a problem hearing from that one side.  It has caused me no end of frustration to have experienced this lack.  Another common problem are your eyes when it becomes difficult to read up close, it can be troubling to say the least.

A sign in the room!

When you get to my dad’s age there is no end of difficulties that you face on a daily basis, such as the tumble he took which gave him a wound that is now needing attention.  I appreciate this time with my dad each year, as I know he needs this attention!  But along with this, it is also a help to me to see how important it is to be sensitive to the elderly and their needs.  It is so very frustrating for them to be faced with daily crisis that keeps them on edge.

We need to learn to appreciate each day for the blessing that it is and the fact that we can do so much!  The day will come that we will be in need of that extra consideration and a helping hand!

 

Travels And Hanging With The “In Crowd”

Sorry that I haven’t had much of a presence lately online since I have just recently made the long journey from Italy to Texas.  It was a long flight and as is most often the case, while transiting through New York, something is almost certain to come up.  My patience was being tested once again and this time for whatever reasons the airlines had to refuel at the halfway mark putting me in Dallas one hour later than schedule.  Not that big of a deal, but it is not so easy to handle when you have been sitting for 8 hours on the previous flight and laying over for yet another 7 hours.

By the time I made it to Dallas and checked into my room I was ready to try to sleep!  Often I get so wired with the travel and Jet lag that I will sleep for a about 3 hours and then be wide awake.  This time, thank the Lord I was able to sleep for almost the entire night!  My mission on the trip is to spend time with my dad who will be turning 91 this year!  So when I am here I really like to be able to give my 100%.  He lives in an assisted living facility and I have made trips here each year to just hang out with him and see how I can be of help to him.

After having lived a part for so many years, this is a real blessing for e as I can get the quality time with him that I missed out on throughout the previous years of our lives.  This is a place where many spend their last years and many of the dear ones that I have grown fond of during previous visits have now passed on.  I am welcomed here as a “home away from home” since many of them remember me from previous visits.  Some, sad to say, need to be “re-introduced” each time as they suffer from dementia.  This is the “in-crowd”, they are a group of people, like many of our elderly who are in need of love and attention, I really enjoy being able to chat with them and listen to their stories, sometimes for the tenth time, but that suits me just fine!

I will now have a bit more time to spend with you, my dear friends and I hope that you too will have opportunities to make a difference in the special people in your lives.  Till then, I need to go and hag out with my people! Ha!

How Blessed Can One Be?

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”–Eric Hoffer

I count myself to be very blessed!  I am just so very thankful for what I have, and it isn’t really all that much if you were to measure it in wealth or in possessions.  It would be near impossible to describe to you the joy that I feel to have wonderful kids and now adorable grandchildren that you can enjoy watching grow and progress!  What greater joy can there be really?  I find it extremely exhilarating to be able to hold in my arms an adorable child, embrace a son or a daughter that you can be there for in their time of need.

Recently time has been a bit tight for me to fit in all that I would think necessary to do and so I have felt a bit troubled and despondent of the fact that I have not had the time to do all that I deem necessary.  This evening I stopped and was thinking about this and I came to the conclusion that it is a huge waste of energy to get all down about such a trivial thing and I started to count my blessings!

For one I have a great family, another is that I have amazing friends who have always been there for me.  And then I have you!  Yes, you who have taken the time to stop by and read this post.  You have no idea how much you mean to me and anyone else that you may have blessed by visiting them even for just a moment!  You mean so much to so very many people who you have no idea at all how important you are.  Yes you, so stop looking around trying to figure out who you are..it’s you!

I am blessed because of you!  So allow me to express my appreciation to you for just being you! Thank you!

Fond Memories of Christmas As A Child

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time Laura Ingalls Wilder

This time of year during Christmas there has always existed for me a certain magic!  I can remember when I was just a boy that I could hardly wait for it to come around!  We were so excited as children to take in the sights and sounds, the carols the spirit of Family being together.  I only hope that, through the now ultra-commercialization of the season that today’s children will not be left with the same type of stress that we now feel at this time of the year.

So much as changed since when I was young, or at least I feel that it has. I have such fond memories of when it was Christmas day and we all gathered around to open our presents. and I would get so excited to get a ball or my very first bicycle!  The gifts were not that many as I can remember, but they were so special as they would then become the item or toy that would keep my attention for a very long time.  A toy airplane that I would go and play with together with my best friends down the road!

Things seem to have been so much more simple at that time compared to today.  I feel blessed to have grown up at the time I did as I believe it has helped me to appreciate things more than if I had grown up now.  If you grow up having so much as we have today, it can make you expect more rather than to be thankful for what you do have or receive. 

Of course, being a child is so wonderful, you have no idea of what goes behind all that is happening around you.  The economy is of no interest or concern to you, politics is even of less concern! I think that, if I had known of all the sacrifices that were being made by my parent when I was younger, I would have appreciated them so much more than I did at the time. Now I do know, and now I have a very special respect and gratitude towards them that I never had whilst I was a child. Life teaches us so much!

How do you remember Christmas?

Out with the Old In With The New!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” –Maria Robinson

The Year is almost over, we cannot begin it again, but we can end it the way we want! The most wonderful thing that we have now is another chance to start all over, a new year that we can make things right, a new year that we can turn the mistakes that we made in the past into stepping stone rather than the stumbling block that they once had been!

It can be sad at times to say goodbye to the sun that sets on a wonderful day, a wonderful year.  Often times we can sit back and think of all that occurred throughout the year and if it was a tough year, we can be thankful that it has now come to an end and if it was a wonderful year, we can plan to make the next even greater than the one before.

I don’t know about you, but this year went by faster than any other, as we have drawn near Christmas, I couldn’t help but feel that I had just celebrated Christmas just a short time before! I am thankful for so much, I was able to be near most of my immediate family this past year more than any year before.  I was able to have a place to work and a warm house to live in, and dear friends who have been a tremendous help.  I began this blog which I have enjoyed and with it made a great many new friends.  I have learned so much and have come to know even more of what I still don;t know but need to learn.

I feel that I am now ready to let go of the past and latch on to the future!  It is a great feeling that all things can now once again become new and I can start all over again!  What a liberation that I am not confined to my meager past, but that there is a bright and promising future to look forward to despite the current economic climate!  I refuse to be a victim of circumstance but rather insist on being a force to be reckoned with!  I am a new being!  How about you?

Spreading Some Christmas Cheer!

But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round… as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I love Christmas time it tends to just go to my bones!  Unfortunately like many Holidays it has tended to lose its real meaning in the hustle and bustle of commercialism and stress that comes with trying to do all the shopping in time for the big day.  But as I shared in My Christmas Message 2011 it is a great time to go out of your way and to reach out to others in a very special way!  As I shared in the video message, we do “clown therapy all year round, but Christmas is a special time for everyone to put our pride, and our business aside and reach out to others.

This year, as in past years, we have been visiting several hospitals to sing and make special balloon characters and just cheer people up who may need a bit of cheering.  In this picture to the left both Alisa, our 16-year-old daughter and James, another young man went to visit both the Pediatric and Elderly wards of a local hospital.  They went around with our son-in-law Danilo who played the guitar and sang some traditional Christmas carols for the patients.  After singing, they were also able to share a few words with the patients to let them know that they were there for them.  This one woman in particular was awestruck by these two young people, she is 96 years old and had not experienced anything of the sort!  Needless to say, she was happy to have this special visit!

Sad to say, many of these older folks hardly ever have a visit so it is even more special to have, and in this case, a visit by young people both Italian and American to take the time to have a little chat together!

James went all out and dressed up as Santa to visit with the children in the Pediatrics ward and needless to say they were pretty surprised to have this visit by probably the youngest members of  Santa’s helpers.  The kids didn’t know what to think about this room invasion, but they were glad to get distracted from their otherwise unpleasant hospital stay when they would very much prefer being somewhere else doing anything but be bed-ridden!  It is kind of nice for the parents as well as they tend to run out of things to entertain their children with.

Danilo knows a few magic tricks and will pull out a few tricks here and there as well, a pretty talented Santa’s helper with a guitar strung around his neck.  They spent the better part of the day at the Hospital in Magenta, Italy and had lots of fun. It was a bit difficult to have to leave at the end of the day!

I truly hope that you too will be able to have some fun, even if not in a hospital, just do something unusual to make the days leading up to Christmas more pleasant for those around you, and before you know it, you’ll be having the time of your life!  There are memories that last forever and will go a very long way in making this Christmas, despite the current difficulties you may be facing, the best one ever!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Will Yours Be A White Christmas?

Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.” –Bing Crosby

I have always loved the magic of Christmas and have lost count the times that I have sat down and enjoyed the “White Christmas” with Big Crosby and Danny Kay! Another classical Christmas movie that I think that I will never grow tired of is “It’s A Wonderful Life” with James Stewart!  These two movies have been how I have felt during Christmas, a special moment despite the horror of war in the case of “White Christmas” and the tough reality of financial difficulty in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. In both cases there was great joy in the end with a spirit of love and appreciation!

Christmas to me has always been a time to reflect on life and love towards others from the time I was a little boy on through my entire life.  We would always plan as a family to do something out of the ordinary during Christmas to bring a bit of cheer in the lives of those we felt less fortunate.  Whilst in Taiwan our kids were into dancing and so my wife put together a show troupe that went all over Taipei performing a Christmas gala.  One year they put together a Christmas musical and performed it in an auditorium for about 600 people depicting the story of Christmas.  It was so much fun!

If you spread this joy, reach out to others, lend a helping hand, Christmas will always be white! It will never be dark dingy and sad! If you give love, you will receive love!  Life is a boomerang, what you give out will eventually find its way back into your life! Christmas is magic, it can bring an unspeakable joy if you were this joy with others and do not seek it for yourself alone.  That is what makes Christmas truly white! As Bing said so well, it is an occasion to share our blessings!

What has it been to make your Christmas white?

 

My Christmas 2011 Message To You

Christmas is here! It is now upon us!  It is a time to think about caring and loving those around us, going the extra mile, being there for our family! I wanted to wish you all a very special and Merry Christmas and so I took the plunge and recorded my first (but certainly not last) Vlog.  Thank you to all of you who have been coming to visit My Life Blogs!  I truly appreciate you and look forward to staying in touch through the new year 2012 and beyond!