To the Mountains

Respite, long awaited, showing them another way, living a slower way,

Beloved mountains, fresh air, sounds a wild, few street lights, a step out, away, away,

What will the stars tell us, the trees, what will they say, how will we play?

Stay my heart, my calm, be so, whisperers only in the night, and daytime, the mountains pouring out their truth,

Maybe, if we’re ready, we will be, ready,



Another title for this piece might be “pain in the ass” , or legs, to be more precise

I’ve been dealing with some sort of skin issue on my legs for a few days now. Thought it was sun-related maybe; then I thought maybe a plant or insect bite allergy.

Still not sure. Whatever the cause, it seems to flare up most in the middle of the night. Like when I started scribbling this post down.

This situation, it got me thinking deeper. Surprise. It got me thinking about happiness. There’s this fundamental I’ve thought true for a long time. At my best I love it well.

Much of our happiness in life depends on our ability to ignore irritants.

Lotion helps too, sometimes.


Woke just before four in the morning, itchy. Suffered a bit, then put some lotion on. That didn’t help much; some; but still itchy.

And then mind starts to muddle; then speeds up; and it’s the weekend going into a vacation week plus off work.

And so I don’t care so much, too much, about not getting sleep just now; because o can catch a nap latter today if I need it.

And so I give into the muse, the scribble, the sharing, the good. One of my most favorite things. Scribbling down the good. This. Right. Here.

While fill journal pages when I can fill blog posts with the scribble, let you into my particular mind,

Welcome, to the muse.

Inner Voice

Nearly constant, my inner voice, since I was a kid. But it’s not so inner. I find I talk to myself quite regularly,

Self dialogue, commentary, guidance, narrative, chatter chatter chatter.

I wonder sometimes, “Is this normal? Do other folks do the same?” Not sure.

But that inner voice, my inner jeff, it keeps me going, keeps me company, keeps me on-track.

To each his own, to each her own, listen to the voice of it makes sense,

Listen to the voice that guides you down the path, down the path to good.

Works for me anyway, my inner voice.


Listen to them fill in the final moments before sleep,

Topics not touched on prior, squeeze every last this and that on any particular thing,

A few more breathes of words to fill in the cracks after the lights have gone down,

I mildly lament, a stubbornly resist, and then I let it run, them run, just enough I suppose,

And then GOOD.

A Dad’s Way

Up early, do what you can.

Tip-toe into the kids’ room, blow them a kiss, piggyback to the one on the cheek, hand the night before.

Move the pile of clean laundry from one spot to the other; gotta fold that tonight.

Sip cold brew, do a little work on your day off.

Take solace in the birdsong drifting through the open window.

Reset another password.

Push anxiety and doubts aside.

Thank God for another day.

Firm or Harsh?

I find myself periodically in this space. I’m wrangling to keep my kids on task during the crunch time of work/day evenings. We’re working to stay on schedule to meet a goal, in this case lights out in time for a good night’s sleep.

As they seem to wander to and fro, distracted, my guiding tone goes from pleasant to terse, insistent, firm.

I try hard not to yell. I recall I didn’t like to hear yelling as a kid myself. But I do get more firm; I remind them of consequences to behavior.

Sometimes I think I’m being harsh. Every time that comes to mind, most every time there’s a shift in my own thinking, patience level, I try to pause, and check myself.

They’re just kids learning, living, growing up. They benefit from guidance, especially when a time schedule is involved; but if they stay generally on task, that’s the main goal.

Those are the two take-aways:

Check firm, make sure it’s not harsh;.

Remind them of the goal (what ever it is) that’s linked to the schedule being imposed.

Ah yes, and remember, they’re just kids learning.

Sing Song

I love music, and I L O V E this song. It’s one of my favorites, over the few decades since I first heard it.

I learned the words long ago, and sing along pretty much whenever I listen to the tune.

“A Pirate Looks At Forty” by Jimmy Buffett. It’s a great one. Many other musicians have covered it, including Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews. I’m no musician really, but I cover it too.

So several years back when I was inspired to sing my kids a lullaby well…after singing a couple of the “standards”, I switched to this time-tested fave.

My kids call the song by the first line, “Mother Ocean”. I don’t sing the whole song to them – there’s a little more adult content toward the end – but sing away otherwise I still do for them.

That’s the message I’d like to convey: don’t be afraid to sing along, or even lead the way. It feels good to sing.

You’ll be glad you did.