Working for the weekend

Is everybody working for the weekend? Especially if it’s for a holiday weekend the answer would be a strong yes. This year the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday breaking up the week without the three or four day weekend we’re accustomed to. I couldn’t remember the last time but it wasn’t that long ago as it happened in 2012.

This mid-week holiday was not only tough on us but was equally tough on the businesses that count on holiday weekends as their Black Friday sales event. So do you plan on celebrating the holiday on the days leading up to it or after including the weekend? Of course, everyone did some celebrating on the 4th but not to excess if you had to work the next day.

For those planning travel to see relatives and friends to celebrate the holiday together they had to make their arrangements and decided in advance. For those that had vacation days, they had to decide sometimes a month in advance to get off.

Regardless of your plans remember what Independence Day stands for. If it’s taken for granted or you need a refresher course here you go. As a little kid, I remember Red Skelton, though I don’t remember this clip on the Pledge of Allegiance.  It’s so apropos for today.  Enjoy.

 

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Don’t let life pass you by

Life, so they say, is a game but we let it slip away. Seal’s & Crofts got that right, about life slipping away anyway and many would agree that it’s like a game. From our earliest memories, time seemed to stand still compared to today where it rushes by in a flash.

As a child when time dragged we got bored. When is the last time you had the luxury to be bored? Most adults can’t find the time to be bored between work, maintaining a relationship, kids and maintaining the house with regular chores we barely find time for our hobbies and personal goals.

Compared with our parents or grandparents we had the television as our babysitter.  The T.V. consumes a good part of most of our lives. Sure there’s some good information or lessons, but when’s the last time you sat down and read a book?

Moreover, the baby boomers probably have the best understanding of going outside to play as a kid. With the cell phones, computers, tablets and the game programs era, time is spent looking at the blue light emitted by these devices. This does little for physical conditioning.

Someday when you stop and think back on your life you will remember a lot of the simple things in life. The beauty of nature, the marvel of the stars and of course all the special times or trips when you took the time to see these things. It’s really an awesome world that we have here. Make some memories today.

Time keeps flowing like a river

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Tiny house movement. It’s where people are downsizing to live within their means living in a space a fraction of the size they’re accustomed to. This is appealing to the millennials and the baby boomer alike. It’s a way of simplifying life returning to a much less complicated time and style of living.

Initially, the movement was almost strictly about changing to mobile living. Now, much of movement is more focused on downsizing and just living the simple life. It’s amazing how we amassed so much stuff over time. Seriously think about it everytime you move there’s more, and it took longer to pull it off. With time we accumulate.

For every person that is not a collector, there are probably ten of us that are. This guy’s van that is pictured I met in the parking lot, he has simplified to under 100 square feet. It’s equipped with solar panels as you can see and the little dome on top has a satellite dish.  This is the tiniest house I ever saw but is designed for a single person and is short on some amenities.

Life, legacy and every day living

As a child time moves so slowly that boredom is an everyday affair. Most of us got into mischief because we had nothing else to do. Most of our parents began to find ways to channel our pent-up energy by not only finding things to do but also a list of chores. And it begins.

After our teens and we transform into adults. Not only has boredom vanished but we cannot seem to find enough time in a day to do what needs to be done. Between the interests, we carved out of our time we suddenly have jobs that take up more than a third of our entire day.

Those of us that took to blogging begin to find it difficult to carve out the time to devote to our craft. Not to be mistaken for witchcraft although sometimes that blank screen seems to cast a spell on you. Blogging and writing in general typically require you to carve out your own niche to establish your legacy.

Remember your parents telling you way back when that time speeds up? Now you wish they were wrong as years go by like months. Pink Floyd caught it with the song Time. How are you utilizing your time?

New Year’s attitude resolutions?

Face it there are certain things we all choose to avoid. This encompasses everything. There are the odd jobs that we wish we didn’t have to do, people that are irritating us trips to the dentist and certain foods. We have an attitude, can we change it?

Personally, my biggest attitude is regarding foods. Why are we allergic to certain things and what foods do we claim to be allergic to in an act of avoidance? For most people, our taste for foods was developed as a child. Why do we have certain dislikes and happen to love other things?

Since it’s a new year do you have any resolutions to change your attitudes? What’s it take to make changes? Courage, determination, and willpower. Sadly, statistics reveal that at least 30 percent of resolutions are abandoned after three weeks. Do you have the courage and fortitude to succeed?

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!

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.