Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thank you!

Ahhhhh. Winter is back! and I get to engage in my favorite winter sport: Olympic Snow Blowing! Man, I just look for reasons to crank that puppy up. Before I started playing volleyball each week, snowblowing was my yearly heart healthy exercise. If my neighbor is out of town for a week and we have a snow storm? Yup. I'll snowblow their driveway before they get back in town so they don't have to battle it fresh off a trip. One of my neighbors is a single parent with fairly young kids, so I routinely do her driveway. Afterall, why should she have to come home from a hard day's work with two hungry kids and fight through a foot of snow just to get into her house, to work some more and get the kids fed, homeworked, and ready for bed? So that's a little I can do to make her life easier (single parents do it all, man... I know. I was one for almost 4 years when my youngest son was a baby.)

Olympic Snowblow Man to the rescue! Whatever excuse I can find to crank that puppy up. Why? you may ask. Good question! I haven't totally figured it out myself, except that I like using the snowblower, and I know the folks I help will appreciate that little -- or not so little, depending on how much snow it is -- gesture of kindness. And sometimes... I feel it's just my little way of saying thank you. Thanks for being a good neighbor, or maybe just thanks for not being a crappy neighbor! I don't know. All I know is that when I'm done helping like that, I may be a little tired -- because snowblowing *is* work, just not as much as shoveling! -- but after I help my neighbors, I feel good, so it's my little community service effort -- small as it is.

Along with winter -- and my snowblowing escapades -- comes the holiday season, and I generally do a lot of self evaluating during this time of year. I look back and see where I've been, what I've done, how far I've progressed -- or regressed, -- see who I've helped or hurt, and determine what and who there has been in my year the past year to be thankful for. This year has been a mixed bag for me. I've had some elated moments, some let downs, lost some old friends, made some new friends. But considering everything, as the year winds down and prepares to launch the adventure to be known as 2006 ... I have much to be thankful for.

First and foremost, I remain alive, healthy, fed, housed, employed and moving around by my own power. My family has remained healthy and housed, and no one has died this year. All 3 of my children have prospered in one way or another -- none of which required my direct intervention -- and most of my friends have also fared well. Two long-time friends in Biloxi / Gulfport, MS survived hurricane Katrina! One sustained relatively minor (considering) damage and has tidied things up. The other lost their house and most of their possessions, but lived to tell the incredible tale and continued on with a GREAT attitude, and are rebuilding their home and their lives. I am thankful for those miracles and for those friends.

Recently, I've also been thinking a bit about the effects and contributions of people who have entered my life but, for one reason or other, are no longer an integral part of it. A good example is the 15 year marriage to my ex-wife. During our time, she made indelible contributions to -- and impressions in -- my life, and many positive residuals remain. Many other people also touched my life from time to time who have also left positive residuals and made lasting impressions. Just because a relationship transitions doesn't mean the good that happened ceases to exist, even if it ends badly.

So, think back over your year -- or years -- at the people who once existed in your life who have transitioned away. Think about whether they gave you any smiles, or wisdom, or encouragement, or love, or gifts, or insights, or hugs... and if you can remember even one smile or other positive, say "thank you". You don't need to say it to them, because many times you have no clue where they are now. Just acknowledge it to yourself, and nod with a smile, and count yourself blessed to have such a memory to think back on.

So with this holiday season upon us, I share with you -- my friends -- an attitude of gratitude. For those of you who are still in my life, I thank you for the gifts you've given and continue to give me -- if only a smile or a word of encouragement. And for those who are no longer a part of my life, you may not ever see this note, but I'm sending my "thank you" to the cosmos! in the hopes that you'll feel the the energy surge! THANK YOU! for the good you contributed to my life!

Ahhhhhh. I feel so much better now :-D Let me go check on my snowblower... I might need to help somebody in the morning.

Have an awesome day, folks.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

This is going to hurt me more that it will you...

Gosh. What dreaded words they used to be. Remember them?

You did *something* that you shouldn't have done, and now it's time for the reckoning from mom or dad, or worse... from *grandmom.* (You know, mom and dad were *always* talking to us, but back in the OLD days, grandmom RULED. Sweet as the day was long, grandmom loved and pampered and spoiled but... man... mess up? and grandmom could sure "take care of bidness!" [sic] Umph.)

Now, once they said it, you knew there was nothing you could do to get away from it -- it was inevitable. You could run , but HA!... what a waste of time that was! (my grandmother could lasso you with a Weeping Willow switch -- which she made me go get, mind you -- with as much skill as any rodeo star I've ever seen) AND then when you got back, *IT* was probably worse than it would have been if you'd just gone ahead and handled it on the first go round. Then, when the reckoning is delivered, you KNOW they lied. It couldn't possibly have hurt them more than it did you! at least from your perspective at the time.

Every once in a while LIFE is like that. You are faced with a situation or an event, and you end up making a decision -- and despite discipline, and reasoning and rationales and perspectives, the decision remains a difficult one. And, although you feel it's the right decision, that doesn't mean it will feel all that great once you've acted on it. But act you must, and you say... "Wow... this is going to hurt me more than it will you..." And like the grandmom situation, you can run; and like the grandmom situation, when you get back to doing what needs to be done, it'll likely hurt more than it would have if you'd just gone ahead and handled it on the first go 'round, because *life's* Weeping Willow switch is even stronger than the ones my grandmom used to have.

So, if you've been sitting on a tough decision that you just haven't wanted to make, maybe you just need to go ahead and act on it. It might hurt, but if it's *that tough* to make, it's probably hurting already, and until you act on it, it will probably continue to hurt... forever. Will it hurt you more than it will them?" Maybe, and maybe not. But if you've done the best that you can do, did all the thinking and reasoning and evaluating that you can, and maybe even have done all the praying that you can, and the answer keeps coming up the same, then perhaps all that's left is for you to "do it."

It's just a thought ;-)

Have an awesome day.

"Once I make up my mind, I'm full of indecision. "
Oscar Levant

"Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it."
Gordon Graham

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Ramblings... the Blog!

Greatings friends and Ramblings readers!

There is no time like the present, to begin something. The longer we wait, the longer it takes! A good friend of mine (Mitch) hooked me on this blog thing, so I felt compelled to start one, primarily, because I wanted to establish some dialogue regarding the Ramblings we e-publish. I do receive some good feedback, but sometimes a good discussion -- or exchange of ideas -- is worth more than just reading "my" insights. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present you with... "Ramblings: The Blog."

I intend for this to augment -- not replace -- the e-newsletter, and who knows, maybe this blog will be a colossal flop! But, I had to give it a try, and hopefully it will be a very fun thing -- like Ramblings itself is intended to be.

What are the rules?

Yes... there are rules. The posts here should be pertinent, and as upbeat as possible. No bashing, no cussing, and no serious complaining -- except that you might be looking for positive answers to fix a problem, in which case... we're all e-ears. And, we have some pretty savvy minds (potentially) that will be enjoying this from time to time, so... I'm expecting a bountiful interchange of thoughts and philosophies. Feel free to disagree -- or agree -- with the things I say in Ramblings, or any other post, for that matter, as long as you do it in a courteous manner. I promise to do the same.

You can comment here in a number of ways, including anonymously, but... well what fun is THAT, if you don't want to own up to your own opinion, right? Right. So we don't expect much of that.

As I learn more about this beast, we'll make it the beauty it's destined to be. It will be GREAT hearing from you and making Ramblings an interactive communication tool.

That's if for now! Have an awesome day and LET THE RAMBLINGS BEGIN!

Talk to you soon.


The Maiden Voyage, so to speak...

Good day, ladies and gentlemen! Thanks for visiting this blog and hopefully we can get some good dialogue going about a lot of things and maybe even generate some better Ramblings! If you're not really familiar with them, then click this link ( on the "Ramblings" link on the right, and check them out.

Today is... April 3rd, 2005 and if you're here *now*, then this blog is not quite ready for public acceptance, but I had to write something, so it would show up :-) Stay tuned, and we'll have some fun. And I'll learn this thing as we go along.

Take care for now, and have an awesome day.