Up, DOWN,…Up Again

sorrow

A good man left this world last night.   Called home way too early, just four months after he got sick.  We don’t know the details, but it doesn’t matter.  He’s gone.  PW.

PW was my neighbor at work, the first friendly face I met when I started my new job a year or so back.  He was a great conversationalist, reader, musician, professional, human.  PW.

He leaves behind brothers he was close to, and a wife he loved dearly.   PW.

When news comes like this, there is little one can do.  Acceptance is the only path to sanity.  But cursing and anger and denial and sadness and a great sense of loss have to be waded our way through first.  It’s thick.  It’s slow.  It sucks.

But on the other side?

solace

Find your way there.   You have to.  I’m trying to right now.

My method is prayer and reflection and quiet and interaction with some of the folks around me.  And some more prayer.

Give it up.  Give it up to God.  You have to. I’m trying to right now.

PW, we’ll all miss you.  See you on the other side.

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Gratitude

One of the fundamental components of American culture is the Thanksgiving holiday. 
More than the feast or the Macy’s parade, or watching football or a turkey trot, expressions of gratitude for what you have is woven into our national fabric. It’s there, and there ought to be a renewed focus on that core value.

Let’s sound off. Here, I’ll go first. Here’s what I’m thankful for…  

My wife,

My three kids, 

Food to eat,

Clothes to wear,

A roof over our head,

My job,

The friends I have,

Hot coffee,

Our two dogs,

Loose leaf tea,

Old favorite tunes,

Newly discovered music,

A good read,

A fresh battery charge,

Some chocolate found in the pantry,

My in-laws,

Just enough rain,

A billing issue resolved,

A little break in the routine,

An unexpected smile from a stranger…

…and on and on and on.

Let today be a fresh start at an attitude we should strive for everyday.

Let’s fill each day this way. 

Let’s fill it with THANKSGIVING.

Micro Hiatus: Feed The People

Blurry picture, but a crystal-clear purpose:  FEED THE PEOPLE.

Since 1979 the Lions club I belong to has conducted a Thanksgiving Food Drive. It’s the most basic of efforts to fulfill our Lion Motto:

“We Serve.”

It started with ten people receiving the generous donations for others so that those ten folks could have a proper Thanksgiving meal.  Near forty years later, the food drive collects the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner — including a whole turkey — plus other food staples, for 160 or so families.  Call it 600+ people, more or less.

There are a lot of mechanics to the operation, many people doing many key tasks, planning and coordination, and three long days to make the food drive a success.  In the end, we feed the people, and that’s what it’s all about.

WE SERVE.

Second Nature

Another great song, more inspiration poured out from all those years ago, still ringing true today.

Thanks once again to RUSH for all the fine music and GOOD shared over more than forty years.

Yes indeed, it oughta be…

“Second Nature”

Writer(s): Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson

“A memo to a higher office
Open letter to the powers that be
To a god, a king, a head of state
A captain of industry
To the movers and the shakers…
Can’t everybody see?

It ought to be second nature
I mean, the places where we live
Let’s talk about this sensibly
We’re not insensitive
I know progress has no patience
But something’s got to give

I know you’re different
You know I’m the same
We’re both too busy
To be taking the blame
I’d like some changes
But you don’t have the time
We can’t go on thinking
It’s a victimless crime
No one is blameless
But we’re all without shame
We fight the fire while we’re feeding the flames

Folks have got to make choices
And choices got to have voices
Folks are basically decent
Conventional wisdom would say
But we read about the exceptions
In the papers every day

It ought to be second nature
At least, that’s what I feel
Now I lay me down in Dreamland
I know perfect’s not for real
I thought we might get closer
But I’m ready to make a deal

Today is different, and tomorrow the same
It’s hard to take the world the way that it came
Too many rapids keep us sweeping along
Too many captains keep on steering us wrong
It’s hard to take the heat
It’s hard to lay blame
To fight the fire while we’re feeding the flames”