Old Places, Old Friends, New Friends, GOOD.

Spent part of this past weekend with a few of my wife’s old friends. Good little bunch of folks, nice to have the time with them.

Super cool to see old friends together, easy rapport, recollections, new chapters shared too. I love having those moments with my peeps too; but really, just as inspiring to watch it happen with those who mean the most to you. Good Times.

Old places — in this case, Santa Cruz — old one the sense that it’s familiar, but also not a place I get to very often. Cool place to re-connect, cool place to hang and soak up the stories.

As we round out the year and the decade, good time to remember what matters most in this life: the people we’re with and the stories we share.

Here’s to the 20’s arriving shortly, and all the possibilities, all the good.

Lion Mike, Lions All, We Serve

The Monday before Thanksgiving our local Lions club delivered holiday dinner, plus extra food staples, for 170 plus families in need in our community.

The majority of our members, along with some awesome “civilian” volunteers, turn out over the three days prior to do with work planning, setting up at the grocery stores where we ask for food donations, collect the food, transport, sort, and then deliver the meals to five distribution points.

A lot of people come together to make the event a success. We rent a big delivery truck with cold storage, a couple trailers…it’s quite a production for our little group.

One guy in particular who shows up is Lion Mike. Here’s why I mention him specifically.

He moved out to Nevada a year or so back. That’s about 250 miles away. He comes down for the weekend to drive the refrigerator truck (with ~ 36’ length storage area) on the delivery day, maneuvering highways, surface streets, and parking lots, etc.

This sort of giving of one’s self, that’s the essence of Lionism. Sacrificing one’s own comfort to help others in need. Lion Mike, Lions all, living by a simple credo: We Serve.

Let this attitude that guides and motivates us during the holidays also light the way each and every day, as we continue on this season, and into the new year.

Let’s be like my man, Mike, and all my Lion brothers and sisters: Do what you can when given the chance. GOOD.

Leisurely Day? #Gratitude

Yeh thankful-fest continues…relaxed, many little lessons, many little blessings. We headed out to the Golf Course at Moffett Field. Been open to the public for several years now. Was a combined Navy and Air Force base for decades prior.

Historic Feel. Nothing fancy. A little gem nonetheless.

They don’t get used much, but nice to have them out today.
Good day with three great humans, friends for decades, very grateful for them in my life, for the humor, and always, for the easy insights.
Good walk spoiled? Spoiled to be in such a great spot on a carefree afternoon…
Spent some time here…
And some time here too…
Sometimes a putter was the right answer even from a ways out…lesson? ADAPT.
2/3 thru the round, it was clear our approach to the day was the right way…focus on the together…
Nice to have a walk with good friends around this historic place.

A carefree afternoon, filled with gratitude for the time and these friendships. A little gem, each one.

Family? Naturally, GOOD.

Scenes from a day off…filled with gratitude for the time, the opportunity, the day off, my family, intentional thankfulness the mission and goal.

Back for another visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, good weather served up…
There was a stop at one of the several kid play areas: my crew, I love them.
A stop at the kelp forest, never get tired of these colors, the height, the wonder of what’s beneath.
The penguins were so good they were worth two stops today –
There was a bike ride interlude – down the path toward Lovers’ Point
Number Two’s blue helmet made it easy to see as he peddled on, his second day with the bike.
Some big picture learning about the area eco-system, the goodness (and necessity!) of the local wetlands.
The second visit of the day to the penguins featured this gal, Bee.
The ride home was slow for a long stretch, which allowed for a good pic to the west, as the sun set.

We had a fun day as a fame. It wasn’t without a couple mishaps, but (thankfully!) nothing too serious.

Big lesson for me beyond the obvious fun? Attitude set to good (and reset a few times as needed) made all the difference.

We were blessed with a great day.

GOOD.

Boxing Day Recap

Day after the Christmas feast – Boxing Day the Canadians call it – a mixed day of blessings and goodness if you try to find it. Have a look, it’s not too hard.

It was a morning read, new old book, a gift from our daughter, a volume she bought at her school store.

It was pumping up tires on new bikes, all three kids riding up and down the street sidewalk. Joy and accomplishment were evident; building confidence for when the training wheels come off next year.

It was errands to drop off donations and fill the gas tank for a couple road trips this weekend.

It was putting the good dishes away until the next time. It was leftovers supper.

It was playing Fashion Press with our younger daughter; her explanations were deliberate and thorough.

It was a dozen or so sugar cookies for dessert.

It was a mix of lessons and blessings, not too hard to find; ya just have to look.

GOOD.

Containers Interlude

In a corner of the tile counter in the kitchen, behind the drying rack next to the sink, that’s where they are.

They are different sizes, different types, and they have difference color tops.

It’s collection we use often. We have some many of different sizes and shapes, they don’t all store away, so they end up sitting out.

We cycle through then with cut veggies and leftovers of all kinds, week-in, week out. Those containers reflect our lives here at the house. The busy, the flow, the get up and go, making the most of what we got.

During the holidays and all year long, don’t waste, use it all, yum.

Sample? From our Christmas feast, all these items went into containers for snacks and meals in the coming days…

Cuts of beef and bones, green beans and salad, dinner rolls, turnip rutabaga mash, cheeses and various crackers…

That’s the Container Interlude. Yum.

Happy Christmas!

On this day we celebrate the birth of a child; such simple and glorious thing, new life in the world, new hope.

What’s more, this day remembers this particular child, when God crossed over forever to humanity. No longer separate, no longer distant, God among us, Emmanuel.

When Jesus was born, God have us the forever lessons: Love, Forgive, Show Mercy, Help One Another. The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

We are enough as we are. Do not judge, instead, love.

Let it be so, these lessons that began as a lowly child two thousand years ago. Celebrate with family, celebrate with friends, with those you love.

Celebrate the birthday in Bethlehem, celebrate Jesus, celebrate love. AMEN!

Christmas Eve

Reflections on the last few days, so many things swirl in and out of my mind.

Rounding out the month at work – almost. I’ll be back in on the 30th to help close the books for December.

Continued learning and insights and lessons and mistakes and pushing the business forward. Thankful for the repeated re-center to the basic goal: be efficient; minimize mistakes; help the business everyday.

At home, so much appreciation for my wife and all she does to make our family life happen. She’s a great partner and leader and parent and I’m so lucky in so many ways to be married to her — read also there: I think she’s smoking hot. 🙂

AND THE LIGHTS LIGHTS LIGHTS LIGHTS!

So fun as well to have more time for a few days with the kids; and a joy to watch them get ready for the holidays, and round out school to break. Now the time we’ll have? Extra special. Make it so, I keep thinking. Each hour, each day.

A lot of speed blogging, when the spirit moves, to share the GOOD.

And the muse continues, staccato:

Love the people I work with;

Grateful for our home and warmth and delicious food and Christmas lights;

Warm flannel and holiday beverages and well wishes from all sides and the Nutcracker music playing in my ears;

And prayers for those from through out my life; and those who have passed; and those less fortunate, those in any kind of need.

And love. More love. And still more love. That’s really what it keeps coming back to. And God’s Love. AMEN.

The Holidays, It’s a Mixed Bag

So much going on. Decorating and event planning and attending and gift-shopping and meals prep and dancing children and singing children and too much sugar and grumpy children and the house in shambles and getting ready for a holiday meal and the year-end push at work, and last minute crises, and lending a hand where you can and trying to keep it all together and feel a little joy besides and…

Boy that was a long sentence! And that’s how it feels this time of year sometimes, one long run-on sentence, another thing to add, another thing to do.

WHEW.

Then I heard a reminder that rang truer than true: remember the reason for the season. Actually, there are a few reasons. Or maybe a few lessons, that’s a better way to put it.

Listen carefully to God; often God whispers, and we must listen closely.

If given the opportunity to help someone we love, we should do so; we should protect them and support them.

Sometimes things are not as they seem; look carefully and try to discern any deeper meaning that might be so.

Humble yourself, accept support from others, do what you know is right, do your best, help others. And be patient. And don’t give up, even if things don’t seem right.

Like Joseph supported Mary; like the innkeeper who let them stay in the stable; as Mary did with these things she didn’t understand.

The holidays can be a mixed bag for sure. Until we remember the whole point of this festival in the winter season.

Soon He will be with us; nay, He is already here. Soon we will celebrate when He arrived. We call Him Emmanuel.

‘‘Tis The Season

So much wrapped up in the holidays, so many directions, so many feelings, so much good, if we let it be.

Lights shining bright, red and green, with plenty others in between. Lights to celebrate the season, the reasons are many, the struggles many too.

Plenty to do, people to see, greetings to share, things to give, things to receive. It can be too much. Indulgence and cheer and harried calendar can wear us down, if we let it.

Would that we can be centered and remember the core reasons for the season. Rebirth and good will and songs from on high, calling us to love and rejoice and be for one another. Let us celebrate the power and good of together, one for the other, thankful and ready to lend a hand, a kind word, a touch, a moment.

Let our failings and sins and selfishness fall away, let us rise to the occasion, the reason we’re here. Mindful and tempered and live for one another, and love and be as we are called.

This season reminds us of the eternal Emmanuel, that we are not alone, that the light shines bright, for you, for me, if we let it.