Tragedy Unites Foes

I just watched the resignation of Gabriella Giffords from the Senate this morning and the number of outpourings of support and love that were shared at the senate floor by both sides of the aisle.  I can’t express how nice it felt to see these politicians who are for the most part divided on issues, unite and show us their human side, albeit for a moment, to give Gabby the send off that she deserved.

I can remember as if it were yesterday the day that the shootings happened in Arizona and the heart-break that I felt for the families of those who had lost their lives that day.  It has amazed me throughout this year of how well Gabby has recovered from the potentially fatal shot to her head.  I can’t help but feel that Gabby must be a very special person and that she is still needed here on earth to fulfill a purpose.

Today, on the day of her resignation, she seems to have brought about a sense of camaraderie within the senate and the country in general.  It is election year, and things tend to get pretty nasty and just plain unpleasant.  I don’t enjoy this time when so many rhetoric is thrown around to place doubt on the other parties and candidates.  So many unfounded “facts” to mislead the country.  Gabby’s beautiful smile, so simple, so pure touched the hearts of everyone on each side of the political aisle and helped us see what we really want in our hearts.  We want, we need we desire peace, unity and recovery from many years of war and economical woes.  We can nay obtain this if we hold dear to this very spirit that we were given a glimpse of today through Gabby.

I don’t know about you, but I was touched today, and I pray that we can continue with this spirit of unity!

The Benefits of a Schedule

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.–Anne Dillard

Boy lately I have been seeing how beneficial it is to have schedule and in a sense for a routine!  I have been traveling lately and visiting relatives and it has been absolutely wonderful! However, as far as getting any work done it has proven to be problematic! Of course, I am on a vacation and that is what a vacation is all about, getting away from the normal grind and changing things up and God knows how important that this is.  It is important to get away from time to time so that once you do get back to work you are refreshed, renewed and ready to take on things better and more efficiently as you would, should you have never taken a break!

I was thinking about schedules and following routine and how it can seem to be a bit boring on one hand, but it can also be very beneficial in that by planning things out in a predictable way you are better able to manage your time in order to accomplish more.  You can get tired of following a certain pattern after a while, but it is really the only way to progress in your life.  Whilst in our youth, follow a routine is like death incarnate!  Young people like excitement and constant change otherwise they go crazy, but then you see that this i usually why they are unable to make substantial progress with investments and earning their way until they have grown out of the unsettling age.

It takes a bit of that boring, scheduled discipline in order to get things done!  A lot of patience goes into accomplishment, some real stick-to-itiveness to bring our work to being a real masterpiece.  As we grow older our priorities tend to change, we no longer feel that just “having fun” is as important as it was when we were young, footloose and fancy-free.  I have seen my nieces and nephews on this trip and they have made significant changes in their priorities as well as their progress towards reaching their goals.

But having a schedule can actually be real fun, especially when you have the satisfaction of getting things done! What are your thoughts?


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!


SOPA Causing No Small Stir!

Today we are waking up to a major protest to the SOPA and PIPA bill proposals that are being considered to become law.  While I can understand the reasoning behind these proposals to help protect copyrighted materials, I do believe that it is taking power a bit too far and could result and a huge backlash and repercussions that would cause more damage than good.

When I first heard of this I was reminded of when Google, for very similar reasons left the PRC due to over-censorship.  It got to be way out of hand and caused no end of a waste on time, personnel and became necessary to pull out all together.  I can see how this could happen within a country like China that has an all controlling one party government and has a zero tolerance level to anything that might suggest an opposing view.  In fact, it is the only country that I have ever been to that you can pick up a newspaper and only read good news, mostly news about how wonderful the government is.  I remember being in a hotel room and while watching BBC the station would often experience “down time” or be swiftly changed to a commercial to avoid broadcasting something critical of its government! Is this what you want?

Now, while I understand that the idea behind SOPA is not to avoid our talking negatively about our government, I still do not see how in the USA we would have agencies of any kind making sweeping Gestapo type controls over the INTERNET.  It is almost as silly as having the police show up at your door and take your car away because it had been reported that you had run a red light.  It is already actually easy enough to find anyone who is working illegally through the digital tracks that are left behind, it will eventually catch up with you, but to start censoring everything because there is illegal activity online.  It is almost as silly as closing down a discotheque  because there are some people who have sold drugs there.

I’m afraid that law enforcement needs to just realize that they will just have to work harder in order to stop the bad guys without punishing the rest of the world.  Let’s try to stay “the free world” and not succumb to a all controlling, manipulative nation! What do you think?

The Rebel With a Cause Now a Hero!

I was thinking about the Martin Luther King holiday and at what an amazing significant holiday that it is!  I have witnessed through the years the direct results of the great sacrifice that this one man-made through his fight for civil rights movement that means so very much to each one of us today!

Dr. King had a dream, he had what many at that time seemed to be an impossible dream  for it to become a reality.  He peacefully carried out his mission and was met with violence by those who were fighting against that very dream yet through his death he ended up being the victor!

How many times throughout history  a simple truth gets pushed down, persecuted, squelched only in the end to grow ever more in strength and those who previously were accused of being the betrayers end up living on to become great leaders of causes and heroes of humanity.

When I think about this man and the changes that he has helped to bring about in this country, it gives me hope once again that there will be a better day, we will prevail we will succeed in getting through these tough days, as long as we hold onto the dream, and we push forward in faith knowing that victory is assured! I have a dream!

Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover!

Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance. –Jean de La Fontaine

We all go through so much throughout our lives! Not only that, we all go through so much throughout even only one day!  If we go through moments in which we are not at our best, then you can pretty much bet that everyone is on that same boat!  If you have your bad moments then you are in good company, or as I had heard it expressed at one time about a fellowship, it is just a bunch of fellows on the same ship!  We are all in a sense of like passion, and at the same time we all have similar weaknesses, we all have our moments!

This thought came to mind today as I was observing a person that I have met a couple of years ago, saw again last year and during this time she was always a very cheerful person.  This time around, having seen her more recently it is apparent that she is going through a difficult time in her life as she simply is “not herself”.  How do I know that she is “not herself”, well it is because I have met her on different occasions.  She is a waitress at the assisted living facility where my dad is living.  It would be unfair, in my opinion, were I to form an opinion about her personality just by having met her at this time in her life.

Sad to say this is what we do over and over in our lifetime!  We meet someone and they may be going through a rough spot and are not the nicest people who have met and we will deduct that they are simply “grumpy people” when the fact of that matter is, they are only going through a temporary low.  You simply cannot judge people on a one time meeting and yet, we are being judged continually based on this one time encounter.  If only we could be more like God who judges outr hearts and not by our outward appearance.

Yes it is true, first impressions are the most lasting, be we need to be careful not to get stuck on that first time encounter and give people a break.  Perhaps they need you to give them a smile, an encouragement of some sort, or compliment that could “make their day” and perhaps restore their faith in humanity!

Don’t judge a book by its cover, try reading it through a few chapters and then you can have a better idea of what it is all about!

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’s you!

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

My Wish For 2012

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!” –William Arther Ward

Happy New Year to you all!  I really love this poem and I shared it with you on my Facebook page for those of you who may have already see it there!  The New Year is a chance to wipe the slate clean and start a new!  So many things occur during the course of the year, and some of them are memorable and positive, and others are a bit less positive and are better forgotten, yet hopefully after having gleaned some lessons from the experience.

My prayer for this New Year is that we can begin in earnest to solve the problems that have surfaced from mismanagement of finances without trying to find a reason to go to war in order to divert everyone’s attention from the problems at home.  That is an old trick, usually works for a few months, but then when the reality comes around that all that we have “solved”  is that we have maintained some people in office, reduced the world’s population and kept people working who support the department of defense.

There as so very many things at home to keep us busy ad-millennium without having to meddle in the affairs of other countries which instead could greatly benefit the people of our own nation.  So My vote, if I have one, would be to move towards greater peace and attempt to be a good example of a real democratic country, strengthening the justice system to penalize those who are actually responsible for the economical woes. That would be the “tree” that I would like to plant so that then we can all go on singing some joyful songs!

Happy New Year and may God bless!

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?