Gateway to America

It’s widely accepted that the huge arch in St. Louis, Missouri is the gateway to the west. That being a fact and said, I just returned from a quick trip to the Utah mountains. The Wasatch Range of which we spent a majority of our time is the western edge of the Rockies. Mount Nebo at 11,928 feet is over two miles high and is the highest peak of the Wasatch that stretches into Idaho. This is a high, daunting, beautiful gateway to the greater northwest territory. I felt I was on the Top of the world looking down on creation.

After you cross this range you drop into Salt Lake City which is a huge valley much like Phoenix. It’s also the second most arid state after Nevada. Amazingly all 29 of Utah’s counties have mountains. That’s rough country.

There are almost countless canyons across the state that offer breathtaking views and can actually take your breath away because of the thin air. That doesn’t stop the hard-core bicyclists that climb these ascents constantly during the summer months.

Park City is in the Wasatch mountain range featured the 2002 winter Olympics and you can see the Olympic park from highway 224 which is maybe 10 minutes from town. The town is a huge ski destination but originally in the 1800’s was then known as the silver mining town.

Portion of life

For most people, if you look at a portion of their life that they enjoyed most it would be their vacations. Many of us live for the next vacation, it can’t come soon enough. Believe it or not, a good percentage of Americans can’t seem to find the time or have the means to take vacations. Because it’s a time we enjoy most it seems it should be a priority and if you can’t find the means at least you could take a day trip to enjoy nature and life.

Nearly two years ago I had a portion of the book I’ve been writing for years published in an international literary magazine called AOIS21 Media. Since then the road is like this. I have the bulk of the manuscript ready but every few days I work on it refining, changing, rearranging to make it ready to present to a publisher. I’ve also spent countless hours reading and listening to e-book publishers and speaking with some to get their advice on publishing. An arduous task at best.

Essentially this work of the heart has taken a portion of my life. I’m amazed by authors like James Patterson, one of my favorites, that releases books every couple months it seems.  I know he has a template or a formula which he starts from so it’s not as difficult as a brand new creation.

My wife and I are very fond of vacations though we get so tied up in life that there are way too many years when we skipped a vacation. At least when we didn’t find time for an actual vacation we’ve at least taken a getaway weekend to regain our sanity and remember how to breathe. That’s the key, remember how to breathe its an essential ingredient for living.

Can it always get better?

What can be better than just that for the Daily Post word? The term brings to mind for me the film As good as it gets, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and an all-star cast. That poses the question how often are things as good as it gets? How often can they be better?

Generally speaking when we’re trying to improve on something we’re working to get better at it. Let’s look back at Hollywood for a moment. When we see a movie the audience is typically moved by the performances but when it comes to the critics that may not be the story.  We sometimes think, did they see the same picture that we did? We loved it yet they gave it a very poor review sometimes with only one star. The critics thought the movie could have been better.

As ratings go there’s poor, good, better and best. As movies go opinions vary upon who you ask. The same is with people. Some think that someone is better than another or anyone else in some cases. For those that believe in God or a Supreme Being the deity sees all are the same in their eyes, it’s up to them to judge. The same God has provided values for us to go by. The evil perpetrators are just that. But those of us who think we’re better than the other should look at themselves first.  I’m impressed with Values.com.

Take this picture for example. It’s of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona. The picture could be much better if it were zoomed in on the mountains. The picture was taken about six weeks ago and not only did the Peaks have snow but the Arizona snow bowl was still open for skiing. The Navajo nation’s term for these peaks means “peak that never thaws”. Yesterday we had our hottest day this year of 108 degrees. I know some of that snow is gone but it remains 30 to 50 degrees cooler than Phoenix year round. Flagstaff is over 7,000 feet in elevation, the peaks are the highest point in the state at over 12,600 feet. Surprised?

 

Who hasn’t been in denial of something?

With Easter fast approaching many of us are reminded of one of the earliest denials in history. That would be after Jesus was arrested and the soldiers asked Peter if he knew Christ? He proceeded to deny Jesus not once but three times before the rooster crew; which was prophesied by him who was betrayed.  And Christ called Peter the “rock” him whom he would build his church upon. Now that’s the kind of confidence Jesus had that Peter would overcome the shame of his betrayal.

Denial is an everyday thing but being in denial can be a state of mind or refusal to accept something that you may not want to. So many people go through life not realizing that they may be in denial of something unless someone else points it out. The proverbial we’re blind to seeing that something in ourselves.

I think we all are looking to make this a better world. So many of us quick to see the “error in another’s ways” but slow to see it in ourselves. Regardless of where you stand the denial that you may harbor pales in comparison to Peter’s and look how far he went after he came to terms with his error. To a bright future, your walk of life; your brother in arms.

Denial The Daily Post

No magic elixir for life

Contrary to anything you may have ever heard there isn’t a magic elixir for life. Life happens although we can direct our course daily by setting goals and steering our lifeboat on a course we desire. A great many people say they are defined by their livelihood. It’s true a good part of one’s life is committed to their vocation.  For example, if you are a doctor not only did you spend extra time with your education and in most people’s eyes that’s how you’re viewed.

There may not be a formula for life but there is a lot you can do if you plan accordingly. So often young people hesitate sometimes for years in deciding what they want to do with their life and suddenly they find themselves in a career that they actually detest. This is not as uncommon as one would think. Check out the “Escalator of life” video.

In past generations a young man didn’t have to think twice about what he was going to do, it was predetermined by his parents to carry on in the family business. Today you still find that sort of thing if your family livelihood was fishing or farming for example but so many others will be charting their course in uncharted waters.

I have a widely varied background which is why I’ve been writing a book on helping others find out they were meant to do. Stay tuned, I will have further details as the process nears completion. We’ll help you to find your purpose, your reason and perhaps hidden desire for living.

Elixir Daily Post

Arid desert alive and well

Years ago I used to listen to my favorite sports team live from Arizona. I heard all the fans cheering on their team and I thought I can’t image that many people down there j the desert. I thought how and why would they live there. It had to be hot, dry and awful in that arid climate without water.

Now after living here for over 20 years, I’ve learned to appreciate the desert. We may be in the middle of a 20-year drought but lately, we’ve been blessed with an unusual amount of rainfall. The desert has plenty of greenery, the only downside being we‘re going to have a bumper crop of tumbleweeds this summer. It’s amazing how those sagebrush grow every year and uproot travel with the wind coming to rest in a fence and sometimes the grille of your vehicle.

Every year people migrate to the southwest, some for vacation, like the snowbirds that are everywhere now. Others are told to move here in the arid climate for health reasons. Subsequently, the growth has presented new problems with not enough water to support the population. The primary source of water is the mighty Colorado river, its blessings of rainfall that renews our hope for tomorrow.

ARID Daily post

Winter weather abounds including Washington

On the Inauguration Day of the 45th President of the United States, a winter storm gripped most of the country. The storm spread from coast to coast and was present from the north to the south borders with travelers advisories in effect. Depending on what part of the country you live in exposure to the weather can be a little uncomfortable to extremely dangerous being exposed to the elements, snow and cold temperatures.

The national weather service has also said there are three storms sweeping across the nation back to back. Looking back at Washington D.C. the rain affected those attending the Inauguration but the depressing scene was all the violent demonstrators that smashed shops and cars only a mile away. At least 95 were arrested. By contrast, when the 44th president was sworn in there wasn’t a single infraction. Apparently, that’s the disposition of the haters as they did the same thing when their candidate of choice lost last November.

Adverse weather can affect one’s temperament. In this case, the demonstrators’ temperature of their temperament was already angry based on their actions. The new President took time out of his schedule to visit the Arlington Cemetary to lay a wreath on the “tomb of the unknown soldier”. Patriotism has been slipping away in America. Acts like this are not only admirable to US citizens and the military but other countries see a renewed Patriotic interest on display by our new President.

Eight years ago, those that voted for a new hope may not be the ones believing their hope is at hand but most of Americans do as evidenced by this past election. Before he was even close to taking office the President-Elect did a number of things to save American jobs and bolster the economy. That’s hope you can get behind, someone that takes an initiative to get it done. We need a leader, one that stands up to the corruption that has taken over Washington. So far, it looks like we have someone that America can get behind and earn the respect back on the world stage.

Keep warm and warm wishes to you from Arizona.

Daily Post

Have you been on the border, the edge?

It’s safe to say that we’ve probably all been to the border, the edge and at the end of our rope on occasion perhaps some more than others. Things like stress, raising teenagers and for some dealing with bureaucracy has pushed your nerves to the brink. You know it’s the boiling point to the edge of your mind. The most severe example being at the end of your rope is generally a one-time deal, its when you hit rock bottom. A lot of people will never come to those cross roads, it wasn’t in the cards for them.

Then there’s the twenty questions from your child, children or coworkers all at once that crashes your thought capacity like a computer going down. What you do next, how you respond defines you. Erupting or exploding may feel like the only recourse but there’s a lot of constructive responses that will also prevent re-occurrences. A key is a calm response despite how frantic they are.  Slowly, efficiently addressing their concerns in a prioritized manner and then subsequent steps to follow help to defuse the situation and restore their respect and faith in you.

Of course it isn’t all that easy and you do need a moment to process that overload of information. But give your mind some credit, you heard virtually all that was thrown at you and anything you miss will be brought up again and your response will be in accordance to your prioritization of the information. Responding in this manner becomes a win/win for all parties involved.

Actual southern border

Like in the picture above here in Arizona we deal with the Mexican border. Its not good or bad unless you’re caught in the crossfire. Yes the cartels are very active in this part of the country. The border patrol here, in New Mexico and El Paso are heavily burdened with traffic. As an individual if you run into them and don’t get out of the way you’ll be collateral damage. Regardless of your views on marijuana the different legalization measures have cut into the cartel’s profits so they’re switching gears. So, beware of a tall dark stranger if he comes riding in to your town, a tall dark stranger is danger. Sing it Buck.

 

Travlin man craving

I typically associate the term craving with food especially chocolate. Thinking about lunch or dinner I tend to sometimes have a craving for a particular cuisine, you know something comes to mind. Here my mind is following my heart and I have a yearning to travel. I traveled the country a lot when I was the National Account Manager for a Quartz stone company but that was ten years ago. My wife and I only travel once a year for our vacation and that’s just not enough. There’s far too much to see and take in out there.

The title refers to the Bob Seger song Travlin Man although I can remember Ricky Nelson’s version from when I was a little kid. I’m also thinking of Segar’s Ramblin Gamlin Man tune that has a nice traveling beat to it. There’s no doubt about it we like millions of other Americans want to take to the highway to see the sights. We’re considering a goose-neck trailer truck, if we can find one we really like or we’ll build our own tiny home.

I believe we all crave vacations, time to get away from all the everyday work routine and catch some R & R. Depending on your lot in life, if you’ve been with a company a long time or you have a government job you have the luxury of longer vacations but most of us are restricted to a one to two week stint. It’s nearly impossible to travel overseas with a short vacation that’s why we’re actually looking forward to the day we can retire so we can travel as far and as long as we like. Til then- happy trails.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/craving/”>Craving</a&gt;

My Elusive dreams

As a little kid you’re subjected to your parents taste in music at least that’s how it used to be. Today you see six and seven year old kids with ear buds listening to their own music. Anyway, many of us spent a good part of our youth listening to our parents music. Some of that stays with you but you develop your own taste in music with time. Some of their songs maybe had a catchy rhythm or the lyrics stuck with you to retain it in your memory. A song for me that

Seagull in San Francisco
Seagull in San Francisco

had both was My elusive dreams by Tammy Wynette and David Houston (As it notes in the video the scenery was for Carefree Highway-sign is in Phoenix) . For me it represented life’s journey for a family and what I might expect when I grew up. Well, I have dreams that have been elusive such as getting the book published.

I’ve never been very big on Country music since the day I found my own music but this one was and still has special memories. Tammy Wynette was in her 1950’s to 60’s classic form as a housewife as she was in Stand by your Man in this one. She also redid the song with George Jones and many others remade the song but this is the original I remember.

From the time we could form our own thoughts we had dreams and then schemes. Some of us had more schemes than dreams, but how many dreams did any of us hold on to? How many came to fruition? Dreams are what brought about a lot of great things that we take for granted today. For example our modern day computer was really a dream until Steve Jobs and Bill Gates brought us this gift. If it wasn’t for those early science fiction dreamers we may not have hundreds of the things we use everyday and take for granted. Many call us dreamers (holding on to an elusive vision) but we know there’s always a chance our dreams will come true. Don’t stop believing and don’t stop dreaming even if it’s California Dreaming.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/elusive/”>Elusive</a&gt;