Safe Holiday travels

Once again the holiday season is upon us. The stores have been decked out in some cases for months already and this year it seems many homes are already set aglow. When you speak of the holidays you are reminded that it’s a time for friends and family with an emphasis on family.

Thanksgiving, actually the day before is the most traveled day of the year but others like Christmas are still on the horizon. As we plot out our trips to see relatives often times around the country we schedule one-way trips to get it done. Depending on the number of relatives and locations we can have a couple or a few one-way flights and/or car rentals.

Round trips are easy in comparison to one-way trips. Airlines typically charge more for one-way flights and car companies always jump at the chance to make more money. In scheduling one-way flights be sure to plan for extra time going through security as the TSA gives out the most pre-checks on round-trips.

Safety is key in your travels and in your journeys be sure to check for your personal possessions as you exit the plane or car as it will be nearly a miracle to find lost phones, wallets and the like later. Have a blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

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Trick or treats

Trick or treaters dress up in their ghoulish garb every year. Fads and costumes vary with time as do decorations. Parents with children that are trick or treat age typically dress up in costumes as well and most have somebody handing out candy as well.

What isn’t discussed or even given any thought is how many parents continue to decorate, dress up and still hand out candy? The percentage of empty nesters that have grandchildren is still very high but how many still carry the torch for the holiday even though they no longer have a vested interest in Halloween? i.e. no kids or grandkids.

With the little research I did I couldn’t find any statistics on what now are the “baby boomers”. I believe it all depends on the individual. Many have an abundance of reinforcing memories that keeps the spirit alive. How many are familiar with the Monster Mash? Who can forget Thriller? The Boris Karloff laugh at the end really adds to the classic effect.

As you venture out, remember some of those that have their lights off, aren’t home, don’t care for Halloween or have lost the spirit. Happy Halloween one and all.

How do you get the most out of life?

It may be way back in the far reaches of your mind but it’s a question that has even been a driving force behind philosophers. We all have a limited time we’re allowed to inhabit this planet of ours. What do you do to get the zest out of life? How do you go about making it the most flavorful adventure it should be?

When you think of “flavorful” food tops the list of course. But if you are a golfer maybe there are courses that add flavor to your life. In reality whatever you are passionate about should “float your boat” so to speak.

Hundreds perhaps thousands of people that have suddenly been on the receiving end of “you have so many months to live” have the best perspective on life. They say live every day as if it were your last. In other words, if you haven’t developed a bucket list it may be a good idea to draft one.

So very many of us are so caught up in the everyday getting by in day to day matters that we never stop to think what life is all about. Mac Davis put it best in the song, “Stop and smell the roses“. There are so many beautiful, wonderful things to see and experience that there’s simply not enough time to cover it all. Notwithstanding, there is family and love.

Enjoy.

Quill to parchment

The quill to parchment method of writing was used for centuries, no for two millennia with paper finally replacing parchment as the writing surface. Although it is reported that paper was invented in China about 105 AD made of bark, fibers of rags, and hemp. Before the quill, the writing instrument was the reed pen who’s origin was about 400 BC. Both were dipped into ink to write with, although the quill was much more durable made of a feather that could be cut down to sharpen it for extended use much like a pencil.

The pen and paper obviously are still used but is slowly being phased out with tablets and computers as the writer’s choice. It should be mentioned that the quill and reed pen utilized capillary action where ink was drawn up into the instrument and slowly released as you wrote on the surface. You think there’s a problem with modern fountain pens there was no comparison for an entire document could be destroyed by a pause with ink flowing and/or dripping across your work.

Progress has yielded convenience and efficiency to our fingertips. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors and still, some of us balk at sending a relative so much as an email.  Imagine how hard that letter would have been with a quill and parchment. The mind can only imagine what the future has in store for later generations as a means to communicate. Telepathy?

Overview, observe, associate, friend, and family

Degrees of involvement. Whew! We have plenty of degrees adding up in Phoenix this year. Yesterday and today it’s been a record-setting, scorching 119 degrees. Times like this we recall all the beautiful 70 degrees outdoor Christmas parties. At the same time, friends and relatives in the Midwest were enduring a 15 below zero stretch with frigid wind chill factors. Thoughts like that are typically an overview or an observation at least on Facebook.

More personal involvements are the associates you work with and friends whom you really empathize with. Deeper still are family and close immediate family. They are the ones that you have known all of your life. They have been through the thick and thin of life, they’re your loved ones.

Everyone goes through thinning of the ranks of loved ones. But really, regardless of your disposition, it draws you closer to the remaining members. My sister who lived in the frozen tundra for most of her life moved to Arizona during the holidays in 2015. Because I had moved out of state or because she resided hours away -I’ve only seen her for a small fraction of my life.

This has been the biggest regret for me because aside from my wife she is the kindest most benevolent soul I have to ever know. Should she have a problem, would I meddle in her life? Not exactly, but I would aid and support her to rise above it. The Hollies said it best in “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother.” In this case, she’s my sister. It’s a long, long road, while we’re on the way to there we should share some time.

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.

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

Patterns in life

It’s amazing how most everything has a pattern to it. You can look at clouds and how they form a pattern to look like this or that which we recognize. Nature has patterns all around us that we marvel at every time we stop and think about it. It’s equally amazing how we find all these patterns around us to be so pleasing to the eye. That’s a compelling argument for creationists that God created these things and they were good.

Digging deeper when scientists look at our genes they see the pattern in our DNA. Again, something amazing in itself. Patterns aren’t limited to mother nature. I’m looking at this beautiful knitted blanket that my mother made it’s always been a pleasing pattern that reminds me of her. Mankind has made its mark.

Patterns aren’t limited to physical objects they’re also prevalent in our speech,  writing, and music of course. Observing patterns in some fields of interest are a full-time job. People seldom stop to take time to see the patterns in this or that, they don’t have time to “stop and smell the roses” and that’s sad. We rush through our hurried life trying to get here and there and miss all the beauty around us.

Do yourself a favor and stop and smell the roses or observe the way your kids are playing. It could be enlightening to you and can only be of help in those relationships with nature and the ones that we love.

 

The Daily Post

 

 

Crossing into another year; nothing to fear

No this isn’t a poem just your standard prose regarding the crossing into a new year. Let’s not greet the new year with trepidation and anxiety for after all at least you were here to see it. Alas,  this past year we all lost heroes in virtually every sector especially our entertainers like David Bowie. Don’t be too sad at least you have their efforts to be seen and or heard again through audio and video.

The big question everyone ponders is what New Year’s resolutions do we make? Who isn’t looking to make improvements? Considering those resolutions what kind of goals have you set for the short term and the long term? Or, are you saying resolutions are made to be broken? A lot of people do take this laidback approach like well at least my new diet took off several pounds. That was a good thing for wasn’t it the holidays that attributed to the extra weight.

Looking ahead we’ve already crossed the bridge and the new year does present us with new opportunities, new things to do and maybe places to see. Whatever path you choose simply chose wisely and things will work out. Fearing the future; thinking that way is like fearing every breath you take. Taking a confident sure can attitude will help you scale mountains. Think I can and you will. Welcome to 2017.