Monthly Archives: November 2013

It Just Doesn’t Seem Like Christmas Anymore

Norman Rockwell Christmas

The Holidays are here again. Seems like the shopping ads begin earlier and earlier every year, I guess the holidays are no longer about spending time with family and enjoying one another. Now the holidays seem to only be about spending, end of story.  The more you spend, the more you show people how much you “love” them.  It’s as if the old adage, “You can’t buy love” has never met the shallow materialistic world we live in.

 I asked one of six-year-old at church what he wanted for Christmas, and his response was “A new iPhone 5s AT LEAST! This iphone 4 I got last Christmas just sucks!” This darling angel went on to list more devices from than I had ever considered.  My mind reeled and faded back to my own childhood when for my 6th Christmas I got a bicycle and was THRILLED.  I also got excited because that was the year my Mom got a new refrigerator AND a new stove, so every kid in our neighborhood came over to play in the boxes! That was a WONDERFUL Christmas.  We laughed and had a ball playing with cardboard boxes and riding bicycles.  Now, it’s all about the latest electronic goodie. Not to mention, what on earth does a six-year-old need a high-end cellphone for anyway?

Christmas just doesn’t seem to be Christmas anymore. 

 I used to love the smells of Christmas.  Mom baking batch after batch of homemade Chex Mix (she called Boat Trash).  Now you can buy it ready made in a bag although it doesn’t taste anywhere as good as Mom’s. 

 I also remember going to my grandparents house, the smell of Grandpa’s pipe, Grandma’s chocolate goodies she baked, the sounds of laughter as my cousins and I ran outside to play in the snow until we couldn’t feel our fingers, toes, or nose anymore, then we would come back inside for hot cocoa made with real milk.

 On Christmas Eve, we would walk the three blocks to church to hear the Christmas story (same person read us the story since I could remember), then we would have communion, and as we walked home, we would sing Christmas Carols.

On Christmas Morning, We would dash into the front room (where the fireplace was) and find our stockings stuffed with Lifesavers candy, bags of homemade buttered pecans, oranges and apples. And we were happy!

Christmas just doesn’t seem to be Christmas anymore.

I remember the only places that were open on Christmas Day were the gas stations, hospitals, fire and police departments, and one diner where the workers in these occupations would eat.  My Grandpa took me there a few times.  We would walk in, the bell on the door would ring, and everyone would turn and wish us a Merry Christmas. 

We would sit at the counter and have pie. I had hot chocolate while Grandpa had coffee. The fireman let me pet the firedog, who had been allowed inside just this one day out of the year. The policeman let me admire the badge on his hat that he kept shined with great pride.  The nurses and doctors would let me listen to my heart or remind me to eat lots of popsicles during the summer so they would have enough tongue depressors next year.

Christmas just doesn’t seem to be Christmas anymore.

 

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Categories: Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

And, TAD DAH, My 300th Post

Normally, or abnormally, I’m not exactly a list type person, except sometimes.  I’m usually pretty decisive, kinda, most of the time, okay every so often.

If you have been a reader of these thoughts for any length of time, you will know that I do enjoy looking through the lens of perspective.  One of my favorite books (and movies) is “The Dead Poet Society” because I can identify with the character of John Keating.  Keating looks at life from a different perspective and challenged his students to do likewise.  True, his methods got him fired in the end, but his students did, even for a brief time, see life differently.

For example, I once thought a statue had no value to a blind person. Then I saw a blind woman touching the marble with tears running down her face because what she “saw” with her touch.

There are some who would say that every story has three sides: My side, Your side, and the Truth.  But I contend there are many sides to every story: My side, Your side, My perception of Your side, Your perception of My side, My perception of My side, Your perception of Your side, My perception of the Truth, Your perception of the Truth, and so many more ending with The Absolute Truth.

We tend to perceive in light of our experiences.  I have a strong dislike of snakes and believe the only good snake is one that has been made into a wallet, belt, or shoes.  Although, I have caught, killed, cooked and enjoyed eating rattlesnake.  But that in no way should indicate that I like snakes.  However, I have friends who keep snakes as pets (which is why I don’t visit them in their homes very often).  Also had a friend who had several snakes, scorpions, spiders and lizards she kept as pets (she was, to say the least, quite a character). But some people have the perception of such reptilian critters as cute and cuddly. I leave those people alone to their own devices.

Never underestimate the power of perception. Not everyone who dances hears the music, some feel the music.  And some of us simply have music blaring in our brains that only we can hear and we dance anyway causing people to think our meds are no longer effective.Nietzsche

Categories: Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Never Fall Asleep At The Barbershop

Surprise!

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Special Orders Don’t Upset Us”…Oh But They DO!

Fast FoodI remember those lyrics from my youth, and would sing along with the commercial, thinking what a wonderful utopia this must be that doesn’t get upset when I place my order of a burger without condiments.  You see, I am one of THOSE people who like to actually taste my burger instead of gobs of goo and gunk passed off as condiments touching my supposed meat. But I digress.

My job is one where I must, on some occasions, grab a meal on the go. Today was one such day, so I pulled into the wonderful advance in fast food technology otherwise known as….the drive-thru.  You pull up to this little speaker, speak clearly into the speaker, pull around, pay, receive your order, and off you go to toddle on with your day.  That is how it is SUPPOSED to work. That is the concept.

Today……my utopian dream was shattered, ground into dust, and blown in my face with a lawnmower!  There were only two cars ahead of me in line. I was stoked to be so close. I rolled down my window so I might better render thoughts of encouragement to those passing before me.  And then…the speaker said, “May I take your order?” and what followed was a long pause before an elderly gentleman leaned out of the window to shout back… “WAT? YOO SAY SOMETHING?” and the voice from the passenger side…”WHAT DID THEY SAY?”

This exchange went on for several minutes before an employee stepped out of the back door and acted as the interpreter between patron and mechanical speaker.  Lots of loud questions, shouting to each other, and finally the conclusion of this part of the transaction.  Please pull ahead to pay for your meal, accept your food, and have a nice day (somewhere else please).

The line moved ahead, the employee went back inside, and I was only one car away from the speaker! The work van ahead of me slowly pulled to the speaker, as noxious clouds of toxins freely billowed from the place that once contained an exhaust pipe.  The driver leaned out, and proudly stated that he had six orders, each to be rung up separately, and each to be paid separately.

I considered parking and going inside, but when I looked in my mirror, 7 cars had already lined up behind. I had no escape. So I rolled up my window, turned off my ventilation, and honestly fumed. After another 17 minutes, all of the work vans orders had been registered, and they pulled forward.

MY TURN!!!  I was elated!  Finally, I could get a bite to eat and only be 10 minutes late to the session I was to conduct.  I rolled up, placed my single order, heard the weary voice give me the price and to please pull forward.  I enthusiastically told the speaker box “THANK YOU” and drove around the corner of the building to see the van waiting for the elderly man (who had gotten out of his car) counting out EXACT CHANGE for his order

Serenity Now

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Sure What It Means But….

  • shrug-4

 

  • I have reached the age where my joints sound like someone stepping on bubble wrap when I get up in the morning and stretch.
  • Naps are, once again, an essential part of my day.
  • The noises my Grandpa used to make are now coming from my own mouth.
  • I accept that I am sexy despite what people say to the contrary.
  • Thanksgiving now requires that I wear elastic to enjoy the holiday to its fullest.
  • Friends are more than merely names on a Facebook page. I would LOVE to meet more friends face to face. Words only go so far.
  • The days that are the toughest are the days where experience pays off! Patience learned from a lifetime of mistakes actually does have benefits.
  • I have still never used the geometry I was forced to learn in High School.
  • I still have a “thing” for the girl from my most embarrassing moment. Probably always will.
  • Time is not measured in breaths taken rather than rushed through.
  • Have never figured out how to win at poker. Okay, played Strip Poker a few times and lost on purpose. 😉
  • Broccoli and Asparagus are still, and forever will be, PURE EVIL!
  • My imagination is still extremely active and highly creative. Just sayin’.
  • Find a place where you can relax, and visit often.
  • Spend time laughing and being silly every day!
  • Cry when your heart hurts.
  • Share love with someone every day!
  • Oh, and if you’ve read this far…….Thank You!
Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

I’ve Reached The Point

You are hereFor some reason, I found myself in a contemplative mood this afternoon.  The thoughts dinking about my mind were becoming annoying, rather like a dripping spigot with the drops striking a metal basin. 

Reaching the milestone age of One Day After Yesterday is quite the achievement. And to celebrate, I decided to take an inventory, of sorts, of my life thus far.

I am, quite literally, twice the man I was at 16.  More solidly built, sacrificing speed, yet still sturdy.  The hair is a completely different story, being that it vacates the premises with alarming regularity and speed.  But I must admit, grass does have difficulty taking root on an active playground.

My memory is becoming somewhat “iffy” due to my inability to remember due to…..let’s go with “all the wisdom that has taken up residence in my mind.” It sounds better than “I just forgot what I was writing.”

I have reached the point in life where I dread going to the doctor, not so much for the news that I need to exercise more and stop enjoying bacon, but because it is increasingly difficult for me to take seriously this advice having come from a lengthy heritage of bacon enjoyers.

A few things I have learned in my sojourn here….

  • Asparagus will eternally be evil.
  • Nap Time should not be limited to children.
  • Chocolate does cure a multitude of moods.
  • Coffee is a necessity, moreso than pants.
  • It is ALWAYS good form to be polite.
  • What you don’t know might actually kill you, but you won’t know it.
  • We try far too much to achieve far too much without considering the things we must sacrifice.
  • No, you cannot have it all.
  • There is a difference between a “mistake” and an “error.”  A mistake can be fixed with an eraser. An error needs an apology (sincere and immediate).
  • If you strive for perfection, you will live your life in great disappointment.
  • Flowers smell nice for a reason. Slow down and smell them once in a while.
  • True friends are rare gifts. If you want one, BE one.
  • Dance with all your heart.
  • Never forget what it feels like to laugh!
  • Love is a treasured mode of travel, not a momentary destination.
  • You are only allowed one breath at a time. So make every breath count.
  • Every day is building your legacy, make sure it is a legacy worth remembering.

Tomorrow is another milestone on this journey.

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

There’s Something To Be Said For…

Introvert CoffeeI like quiet. It helps me recharge and re-energize. I am an Introvert, you see, and lots of input is overwhelming, thus causing me to seek refuge in some less eventful locale.  My job requires interaction.  I enjoy the interaction but will seek out my happy quiet between appointments. And here begins this tale…

While sitting in my happy place, which shall remain nameless at present, I was delighting in a good book just downloaded to my tablet and a cup of coffee.  The low background noises from the other side of the shop we distracting, but tolerable.  As I delved deeper into my book, my focus became sharper and the invisible walls of the introverted mind formed. I was zeroing in on my euphoric place.

It was at this moment that HE came bursting into the shoppe with three screeching children (triplets of less than 6 years of age), his cellphone glued to his ear while he carried on a loud conversation with his wife or girlfriend (he repeated used the phrases “Sweetheart” and “Love You”) during which he was:

  1. Trying to carry on his phone conversation
  2. Fussing at the children, finally giving up and letting them rampage at will
  3. Place an order because “Daddy needs a break.”
  4. Trying to wrangle his herd of munchkins by yelling the question “What do you want for a treat? A cookie? You want a cookie? What kind of cookie? Oh you want cake? What kind of cake?”

By the time the third child FINALLY decided what treat he wanted, many of the patrons had made their abrupt exit and several of those who had entered after this gaggle had made entrance, had decided on a different venue.

During this entire event, the cellphone never left his ear and the conversation never ceased.  When he received his order, Daddy further exacerbated the situation by making other demands on the cashier (may I have this cookie warmed and this one cut, not broken, into fourths, and may I have 4 ones, 3 quarters, 2 dimes and a nickle instead of the 5?) all the while yelling instructions to his trio and talking to “sweetheart.”

Thinking (hoping) this was merely an anomaly and this group would take their order up the road to the playground/picnic area, those of us who had been enjoying the now reminiscent quiet, dug in waiting for their exit. Such was not the case. Daddy brought his cloud of loud into the seating area, sighed heavily, flopped in a chair, and told the children to “shoosh” “quiet down” and “please let Daddy have a break.”

In was at this point when Daddy thought it would be a good idea to engage those of the remaining patrons in a loud game of 20 questions.

“Whatcha reading there Pardner?”

“Why ya’ll being so quiet? Did we scare you?”

“If you think you have enough life insurance, you are dead WRONG! (insert beginning of sales pitch here)”

By this point I, and many of the remnant, had had enough and were packing up to find solace elsewhere when Olive, a tiny grandmotherly type, snapped her book closed and turned to address the man.  She smiled warmly and said, “Young man, did you know there is a playground just a block up the road?”

Daddy’s reply astounded all of us, “Yeah, but that’s too open and loud. Can’t concentrate there.” This was followed by vain attempts to get his young charges to lower their volume below ear-piercing.

Olive tried once again to be polite, “Sir, you have very energetic and rambunctious offspring. They need a place where they can expend their energies…like the playground.”

Daddy was either completely oblivious or determined to be rude, because he informed Olive that he had every RIGHT to be in the shop and his kids had every RIGHT to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted because this is AMERICA, after all, and we are free!”

Sweet Olive, stood up, toddled over to the man, looked his square in the eyes and said, “Young man, may I have one of your business cards?” Daddy gave her his card thinking he was going to sell this sweet older lady a load of life insurance. Olive took the card, put it in her purse, and said, “My father, my husband and my two sons fought and died so you could have the freedoms you throw around so selfishly. But you see, I also have a freedom and LOTS of friends.  So I will be exercising MY right and freedom to tell everyone I know about your behavior and complete disregard for others. I will be sharing your business card with them, and we will be contacting the company to inform them of your lack of respect, and telling them we will not be purchasing any of their products or services if you are the example of their representative.”  With that, Olive toddled back gathered her belongings and left.

I wish I could say that Daddy got the hint, but sadly when I left after another half hour of trying to concentrate, he was still loud, proud, and chasing off business from what was once an introvert’s haven.

 

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“You really can’t get there from here.”

backroad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes my job takes me to some places that are not easily accessed. People seem to enjoy living in places that are difficult to find and reach, but I won’t digress into specifics.  Living in the Southern part of the United States can be challenging at times.  For example, when I must travel to some of the places “out past the tree line” (that GPS cannot even find), I find it necessary to stop for directions.

 On more than one occasion I am told, after some careful contemplation on the part of the person I asked, “Y’know…you really can’t get there from here.”  And thus begins a very descriptive and lengthy list of instructions which can include such colorful landmarks as “when you see Miz Clawson’s Brahma Bull in the north pasture, you’ll want to turn right next to the well about half a stick throw from the fence post.” 

You might think such is an exaggeration from an Andy Griffith rerun, but it isn’t. These folk are very sincere in their direction giving.  This is how they have come to know their home town.  Even had my GPS referred to once as “that devil box” because it pinpointed his home and the voice gave me directions on how to get there.

 The longer I get to travel to these wonderfully unique places, the more I can understand why people choose to live in such locales.  Once you get past the frustration of “you can’t get there from here” and take time to look around, they drive really is quite wonderful and relaxing.  Some of the most beautiful and seldom disturbed natural areas, you’d think were parks, but they are just spots along the road that local folks like to get out and have a look around.

As GPS becomes more accurate, these areas will become less difficult to find and my fear is the honest openness of the local folk will forever be lost.

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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