MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Celebrate those who are behind the scenes

Yesterday, as I moved about my day trying to stay dry in the rain-soaked Miami Valley and enjoying a sense of newness beyond The Haasienda’s borders, I recognized a number of folks who could not avoid the rain due their job responsibilities.

There were the cart-retrievers at Kroger; delivery folks for various stores at Town & Country shopping plaza; mail carriers; street and utility workers; lawn maintenance folks for the City of Kettering; teachers on bus duty; food delivery folks; construction workers (some were on a slick-looking roof); and a number of other occupational needs.

Since childhood, Mother often cheerfully reminded me, “remember, someone else made this possible.”

Mother referred to food produced by farmers; food delivered (mostly pizza from Elwood’s Pizza King); an altered suit or slacks; utility workers when our power went out; always our mail carrier for whom we often left treats, cheerful notes or a cool cup of lemonade or water on hot days; waitresses (or servers) at restaurants that took good care of us during a meal; Zip Davis or Francis Clark who took care of our hair; a new car that someone built and someone else maintains; those M&M bags don’t get into the store’s bins without being delivered and stocked; or any number of occupations that resulted in my basic needs being met, as well as my not-so-basic needs. The list is endless!

Today, as I just learned, May 24th is National Aviation Maintenance Day. It was selected to honor Charlie Taylor’s birthday, the brilliant mechanic who worked alongside Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Charlie Taylor, like his bosses, gave us a boost toward the skies. Neil Armstrong and the Mars helicopter each carried with them a part of Mr. Taylor’s efforts.

Here is the article that announces this commemorative day: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2021/may/17/celebrating-aviation-maintenance-technician-day

While we all strive to make it a great day, let’s not forget the many folks who, sometimes at great expense, help us make our days great!

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Learning even more about our new way of life

Since I had no online classes to teach, I braved the never-ending rain shower and took advantage of a major chunk of free time I’m seldom afforded and happily slid from The Haasienda’s borders to the bus stop about 80 steps from my property to catch southbound No. 17.

My trail began with Elsa’s (on OH-48) for a delicious lunch, then back to my PNC branch at Town & Country, a stroll through Town & Country mall, and then across Shroyer Road to grab a few items from CVS and Kroger.

I’m still learning my way around and through this new world arrangement that I escaped for 14 months. While certain procedures are still somewhat foreign to me, I didn’t feel rushed or observed with any aggravation. Perhaps now that I appear to look more like a withered old man, no longer full-faced and fully-energized, folks took pity and allotted me my range of newbieness.

As I passed by Trader Joe’s, the gentleman associate stationed outside the entry way fielded several questions as I waited to pass around without appearing rude. One lady asked about the mask mandate and upon hearing the response, turned to those of us behind her with arms raised in victory and proclaimed she was not wearing a mask into the store. She looked directly at me as if wanting a response. I maintained a blank return stare, hoping she would simply move on. She did; however, I found the moment all too peculiar, slightly uncomfortable that she was expecting me to validate her moment of championship.

At Kroger, one man proudly boasted, upon entering the western passage where produce and flowers spread before you inanimate greeters, that he had never worn a mask into Kroger and was not waiting until the mask-freedom date established by Ohio’s governor. Again, another peculiar public display that seemed unwarranted.

With my business completed, I waited at the building’s corner beneath the shelter of the covered roof while waiting on the southbound No. 17 bus to arrive and deposit me across the street from my house, probably about 50 feet from my door.

I am back home, seated in my study. My four teaching companions are spread out across the room, napping. Erma is snoring.

My private teaching day begins at 3:00 PM and will end at 10:15 PM.

I started out with the intent of making it a great day and I’ve been on target, so far.

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MY DAY | SUNDAY: Thomas the Technician & Big Boss Man

I opened the front door to see a frazzled, exhausted looking young man stepping out of his Spectrum (cable/internet) van and as he rounded the front end of the vehicle, he asked, “Do you mind if I take just five minutes to gather my wits and clear my brain?”

“Of course, not. Just come on inside when you’re ready. Take as much time as you need.”

The slender, weary-laden gentleman with short cropped red-hair and the semi-faddish facial scruff reached into the van’s passenger side to retrieve a near frozen 2-liter Mountain Dew from his cooler. With each swig of The Dew, he seemed to slowly revive. I stepped back inside the house to let him regain his spirit.

The original Spectrum order, which surprised me, was for a technician’s arrival between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon. My online discussion with a Spectrum agent about my internet issues was Saturday afternoon and I was grateful to get such immediate assistance despite the need to reschedule Sunday lessons. Fortunately, a music ensemble performance and a senior’s birthday party had already taken care of all but three students and they were out of Spectrum’s anticipated visit. Well… at the start they were.

1:50 PM, a voice message arrived from Spectrum that my technician was delayed. No problem.

I had spent the morning cleaning my study and the area behind my desk for fear the technician would think he was entering an Indiana Jones’ movie set dressed with aged cobwebs and who knows what else. Since the sweeper was out and we had struck up a working relationship, I swept the entire house. It’s kind of like the mentality of passing a restroom and using it since it’s there.

I seldom have company repair-personnel come to the house where I am wedged into a waiting frame. How does one go about their business, naturally, when they know the moment they begin to bury themselves in a project the repairperson will arrive? I felt like a stage actor trying to figure out stage business while the director steps out to smoke (back in the day). It was so foreign.

“Hey, Boss Man!” I heard Thomas step into the house.

“Come on back, Thomas the Technician.”

And, thus began an almost three-hour relationship of Thomas the Technician and Boss Man.

I’ve been called many names of different, varying degrees of titles, but “Boss Man” was entirely new. It worked.

Thomas the Technician stepped into my study looking much refreshed and energy-filled. He apologized for not making the earlier time window; it was now after 4:00 PM. His apology was sincere and to me, almost heart-breaking as I could tell he was stressed.

“Thomas the Technician, my theory is this: If someone, who is coming to fix something in my house, is running late, I hope that technician will give my needs the same detailed attention and time as the customer before me. Trust me, you’re good.” I was not disappointed.

I showed Thomas the Technician the issues and he got right to work, but not before asking permission to pet the dogs, gated in the bedroom next to my study.

“When I am done, do you mind if I give them a ‘T-R-E-A-T’?”

My heart swelled! Thomas the Technician must be a dog owner. How would he have known to spell in front of the dogs?

Over the next two hours and forty-five minutes, I learned Thomas the Technician had been a cable technician with Spectrum for five years, had two sons at ages ten and four, had graduated from Wayne High School, still lived in Huber Heights, owned two dogs that were pit bull and black lab mixes like my Chief (whom he adored), and was scheduled to finish his last job by 10:00 PM Sunday evening.

This rain soaked Monday morning, I feel as though I am in a completely new working world as my internet speed is much faster and stable, and my main work station with my PC, along with four laptops conveniently placed throughout my study and bedroom, feel like I was on LET’S MAKE A DEAL and the television game show’s hostess, Carol Merrill, showed me what was behind the numbered curtain I had selected. Last evening, I was in an elated state, in awe of technology, and glad I am not as technically minded so I can still marvel at these advancements.

First, my cable cords or wires, were installed when we moved here, June 2003. They were old. New cable stuff was installed outside in the grey box fixed onto the brick wall just inside the gate, from the basement and through the air duct into my study. Second, when the giant wood desk had been moved into my study three years ago, the boys sat it on that air duct cable, pinching full service. Thomas the Technician had to clip the ends and just leave the trapped cable beneath the cumbersome desk.

While working on the outside box, Thomas the Technician had four loving, attentive-sniffing assistants. Several times I commanded them to back off but he implored me to let them be. I was impressed how he could attend to his work while still petting each dog. Even more impressive, he knew their names within minutes while I still refer to them by their coat color or personality.

I had easily installed my new Spectrum-sent modem the previous Saturday and now, with a brand spanking new Wi-Fi router, geared for speed and distance, my study and entire internet world throughout The Haasienda feels like the Christmas edition of the Sears Catalogue has arrived.

By the time Thomas the Technician stepped onto the front porch to venture off to his next customer, over in Trotwood, he was sagging, again, and the strained fatigue was etching its way into the lines on his face. Suddenly, he brightened.

“Wait, Boss Man, I almost forgot.”

From the van he retrieved two sets of four large treats from a container of dog delicacies his mom had made for his own dogs. He rushed back into the house, hugged on the dogs, and then gave each dog a delicious moist treat from each hand. Later that night, I reluctantly offered each dog one of their medium sized dry, but crunchy, Milk Bone treats; they still seemed satisfied and appreciative following the quality gourmet treats Thomas the Technician gave them a few hours earlier.

I hope Thomas the Technician got home, earlier than his expected 10:00 PM job, and is still experiencing much needed sleep. He deserved it. I truly appreciate my new-found world of updated technology.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Kids, today…

I detest this meme:

We had technology when I was a kid. Naturally, it was nothing like today’s advancements, but I still had technology that could have diverted my attentions and interests.

The difference?

I had a mother who understood her job as a parent.

When my sons were home, I was terribly criticized by some fellow parents because I only allowed “electronics” to come out on weekends, 6:00 PM Friday until 6:00 PM Sunday. Some parents thought I was unfair and too controlling because “kids needs their down time.”

1. I was the dad. 2. It was my family. 3. None of these parents were adoptive parents, nor were they experienced in dealing with children right out of the foster system and dealing with trauma.

There were enough distractions throughout our week. All the boys were involved with Kettering school activities, mostly anything in music, Kettering Children’s Choir, library time, family activities, their personal choice of reading, and a number of other items. We also had family time after our evening suppers: table talk, ping pong, pool, walks with Flyer (and other dogs), reading, board games, etc.

And, there was homework to be completed with tutors and myself.

Mother helped me manage a terrific schedule throughout my years at home. I had homework, of course, but I also visited the public library, and enjoyed a ton of time playing outside with my friends. Privately, I elected to read a lot and draw people and houses; I used graph paper to design houses and buildings.

Technology has nothing to do with having “a full childhood.” But, I can assure parenting is everything. Don’t use technology as an excuse for piss poor parenting.

You can make it a great day!

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: On the deck with Erma and Erma

I didn’t feel like venturing out into the world, today, for my usual Friday Fun Day, so I’m enjoying the wonderful weather on the deck, Erma at my side, and listening to the audiobook, A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN OR TOO TIRED FOR AN AFFAIR by Erma Bombeck.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife.” There are few phrases as sobering, with possible exceptions of “We have lift-off” and “This country is at war.” Yet, as they have done for centuries, millions of courageous men and women continue to walk down the aisle every year, without so much as a job description. – Erma Bombeck

The yard is filled with three male cardinals playfully flitting about the yard with apparent permission from the dogs who scarcely allow an ant to invade the premises. A pair of robins were using the soft comfort of the lush grass to perform their springtime ritual; or maybe it was simply their Nooner. A variety of other birds are enjoying the deck side of The Haasienda.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Make it a great day.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Keep going

MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Keep going
There are some days when my own formidable positive mind-set takes a dive and it becomes, for me, much like rock climbing without those tiny little cliffs or ledges with which to grab hold.

Fortunately, it’s never a long lasting, however, it is a tremendous distraction.

Last Friday, I began having lower stomach discomfort that increased with intensity, distracted from basic living, and tried to defy my complete balance. As interruptive and painful as it has been, and with the usual attempts to meet my comfort zone, thwarted, I spent any free time in my bed, listening to YouTube recordings of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg interviews or speeches; they are inspiring, often witty (my great respect for her demands my chuckles), and keep my mind elsewhere.

I finished reviewing and commenting on my last two online class projects. Those four classes are now in the books. I must say, those students became very dear to me; they worked hard and offered no egotistical attitudes.

Wednesday, I was so frustrated with the continuing rain interfering with lawn care that I took advantage of the two hours between online classes (presenting projects) and private teaching to trim and mow the entire yard. I felt relieved and ambition-fulfilled. With several choir concerts eliminating evening lessons, I transplanted eight hostas from the backyard to the front. I was thriving in the plentiful light at 8:30 PM.

Here we are, Thursday morning, seated on the deck in 53-degree weather; chilly, but the beauty of this moment shall not escape my full presence. I began this morning propped up in my bed, watching the dogs enjoy their morning routines.

Each is different.

Keep going.

Sometimes, I do feel ashamed that I allow myself to slide from my solid commitment to positive-management. Being human can often be a bitch. I was raised on BEWITCHED where a twitching of the nose could produce anything, Benjamin Franklin, a polka dot elephant on a staircase, Queen Victoria, etc.. Alas, like Darren Stevens, this Darin is a mere mortal, too.

Mere mortals, everywhere: Make it a great day and keep going.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Sitting with Erma

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: May 6, 1973

Sunday, May 6, 1973, was a double duty day in my family; we attended church services at North Webster United Methodist Church with Rev. John Weeks the presiding minister.

In 1969, my grandparents, Donna (Clary) and Leroy Barmes, divorced.

For three years, we still maintained the full family holiday dinners and other events. It was just like it had always been. I still spent my full share of time with my grandparents as I had always done since birth.

My grandfather was dating a lady I really liked but in my 8 year old mind, he should be dating my grandma! I took matters into my own hand.

“Grandpa, you know Grandma Donna still talks about you, a lot. She says she’s still in love with you.”

“Grandma, you know Grandpa Leroy still talk about you, a lot. He says he’s still in love with you.”

A few weeks later, my grandmother received a knock at her door.

It was my grandfather.

“Well, since you’re still in love with me, I thought maybe we should talk.”

My Grandma Donna was taken aback, “What? It’s said that you’re still in love with me.”

To my knowledge, that was my first service as a matchmaker. It’s a volunteer position that I’ve enjoyed until… a month or so ago with two former students.

Almost a year later, on May 6, 1973, my new baby sister, Dena, was baptized during the church service at North Webster United Methodist Church. Following the service, our family remained to witness the remarriage of my grandparents.

Mission accomplished.

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MY DAY: The first week of May

My miniature lilacs
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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Tuesday; May the 4th… and also with you

I decided to take the long walk around the entire block to return books to the library, knowing I would risk possibly being caught in the rain.

Nature held out just a bit and as I prepare to round the corner onto Shroyer Road, it is just now spitting the tiniest bit. I was hoping to return home to enjoy some deck time. While I love working from my desk or bad, I do cherish those working hours spent on the deck.

And it’s May 4th, or as so many Star Wars sands enjoy referring to it, “May the fourth be with you.” Clever.

Here’s to a day of great potential for beneficial and fun opportunities. So, I guess I’m going to make it a great day if this is to be accomplished.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Sunday morning on the deck

Since 9:00 AM, I’ve been ensconced on the deck with my pen, paper, lap top, coffee, breakfast, water, four napping pooches (Erma rises, periodically to come lay her chin on my knee), a bellowing red breasted-robin, two fluttering golder finches, a mourning dove, a number of cardinals singing and closely passing by, a steady flow of Shroyer Road traffic, an audio book playing, and the most beautiful weather that just makes everything as perfect as can be.

Yesterday, I kept busy. It felt good and I do not feel worn, one bit.

The morning began mowing my lawn. Mama Kay, from next door, had me show her how to operate her own mower because her son had to work and might not get to her yard. At 79, she didn’t need to be mowing her own yard, but there was no stopping her. I suggested she do the back and I would grab the front. We tackled it and then I completed my front yard.

I had several visitors stop by and it was nice to see them.

One was Lea Loree who made sure I knew I was invited to her son, Alex’s college graduation party.

Lea’s eldest son, Michael, was a regular fixture at The Haasienda until he went off to college at Bowling Green State University. Michael and my third son were great friends, and Michael naturally became a bonus son. He moved to Oregon and Washington and is loving his West Coast life.

Alex, at that time, was in elementary school, and once in middle school, decided on saxophone as his band instrument. I loved having Alex as a saxophone student and watching him grow as a musician and young man. He became the red-headed son I never had. Before long, Alex was off to Bowling Green State University, too, and we’ve managed to connect with one another on his breaks, until Covid took over our lives.

Before surprising Alex, and the visiting Michael, I had supper at Marion’s Pizza with Mama Kay and three of her widowed church friends after 4:30 PM Mass. It was a fantastic time and a fine lead in to the graduation party.

My after-midnight return home was exclaimed with vocal cheering from The Quartet. Since early March 2020, this was the longest they’ve been left alone. Even when I take trash out to the dumpster, I still love being greeted as though I’ve been on a month-long European tour.

In two hours, I duck back inside the house to my study to teach private lessons. I shall be finished early due to a number of students attending call-back auditions for Epiphany Lutheran Church’s summer production, BRIGHT STAR. Break legs!

The symphony described in the first paragraph continues but now, the metallic tink-sound sound of a bat connecting with a ball from the high school’s back fields punctuates the blowing breeze.

It was quite easy to just let this day take off with little effort to make it a great day.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Howard Morris a.k.a. Ernest T. Bass

Howard Morris

I love character actors and one of my all-time favorites is Howard Morris, best known for his role as Ernest T. Bass on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOWS.

Mr. Morris actually played other bit parts throughout the town of Mayberry, almost unrecognizable from his Ernest T. Bass character. For me, Mr. Morris is an incredible actor.

TELEVISION | ACTING: Your Show of Shows (1954), The Flintstones (1962-1965), The Jetsons (1962-1987), The Atom Ant Show (1965-1966), Garfield and Friends (1988-1994), Twilight Zone episodes, “I Dream of Genie,” Murder, She Wrote.

MOVIES: The Nutty ProfessorStar Spangled Salesman, and Way… Way Out, Boys’ Night Out.

THEATRE: He also had appeared in several Broadway shows including the highly regarded 1960 revival of Finian’s Rainbow.

DIRECTING: Police AcademyRichie RichBionic SixGoin’ CoconutsPole PositionGalaxy HighThe SnorksThe Mighty OrbotsRose Petal PlaceThe DogfatherDragon’s LairTom and Jerry: The MovieTurbo TeenCabbage Patch Kids: First ChristmasLittle Clowns of HappytownThe Little WizardsSpace Stars and Kidd Video. Morris directed some episodes of The Andy Griffith ShowGomer PyleHogan’s HeroesThe Dick Van Dyke Show, Get SmartOne Day at a TimeBewitched, and single episodes of many other comedy shows.

MOVIE DIRECTING: Morris also directed Doris Day in her final film, With Six You Get Eggroll (1968). Other films he directed were Don’t Drink the Water (1969) and Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967).

Mel Brooks occasionally cast Morris in his films. For example, he played Brooks’ mentor psychiatrist Dr. Lilloman in the comedy High Anxiety (1977), the emperor’s court spokesman (“Here, wash this!”) in History of the World, Part I (1981), and played a bum named Sailor living in the streets in Life Stinks (1991).

In 1984, he played Dr. Zidell in Splash, a film directed by Ron Howard (the two had first worked together on The Andy Griffith Show). He worked with his old friend and trouping partner Sid Caesar as nervous Jewish tailors in the 1998 movie of Ray Bradbury‘s The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.

In 1986, he reprised his famous role as Ernest T. Bass in the high-rated television movie Return to Mayberry.

For a full list of Mr. Morris’ credits, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Morris

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MY DAY: Changing the tone

I don’t recall ever being a whiny kid, though I am sure I had my moments providing Mother was not within earshot.

We weren’t raised in wealth. My sister, Dena, and I both agree that neither of us felt poor. Mother and her parents made sure we were well provided for and given tons of love, encouragement, and a sense of self.

If things didn’t go smoothly, we at least had a wonderful tool life-box to fix it. “Fix it” was a common phrase when the sons were home.

If they were arguing: Fix it.

If they were complaining: Fix it.

If they were plotting my death: Fix it.

They knew that if they didn’t follow that command of fix it or make it work, I’d step in and fix it and that would be on “floor -5, the fiery pits of hell” elevator drop off.

Mother’s response to a whiny or board child was, “let’s see what needs to be done around the house.” Sadly, I was always willing to help whenever I could would fall in line. But, we’d have that discussion about complaining. It was basically, “don’t.”

My typical response when asked how I’m doing, “I cannot complain and if I did I would be the most rotten man for doing so.”

This morning, for some reason, I broke my personal stricture and melted into a world of self-pity. I debated posting my blog but I did it, anyway. Yes, I, too, have moments when I crash. I even refused all internal efforts of stepping it up and “fix it.”

I eventually grabbed another bus after vowing I was returning to bed. But, damned if I was going to miss my Friday Fun Day!

The bus went on a detour through a neighborhood near Patterson Park that I’d never seen. Some quite lovely houses. I just got a different detour tour on the way home and met another great neighborhood.

I chatted with three Black women on hair: theirs, mine, and ours.

I ate at Taqueria.

I walked over to Mike’s Bike Park to see Mike, a former band director, and meet the mom of one of my students. This bumped up my spirits.

Also, each bus connection worked smoother because those buses were running behind and I got to the next destination 30 minutes ahead of my planned timing. Thus, I’m an hour ahead of schedule on my return home.

Attitude is everything.

I just about blew some great things, today, simply because I allowed myself to droop. This has never been my style or way of handling things. But, there are joyful adventures in being human.

Yes, we do need to work at making it a great day. Sometimes, the great day happens. Sometimes, it needs a bit of a nudge.

Always, always nudge the hell out of it.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Friday’s fails…

I look forward to my Friday Fun Day more than any other day of the week; it’s my day to grab my camera, get a bite to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant, and explore the world until it’s time to return home by 4:00 PM to feed the dogs.

I stepped out onto my porch with six minutes before the bus’ arrival.

Zoom! The bus went flying by at 10:42 AM; not 10:48 AM.

I checked my bus app and the southbound bus was coming in 3 minutes. I moved to bus stop just on the other end of the high school’s parking lot and waited. After several minutes, I checked the app and the icon indicated it was already at Rahn Road.

I generally keep my balance, but this plunged me into the blues. I have struggled for the past twenty minutes, or so, to regain my usual disposition but I feel clobbered.

I am sure I will bounce back but for now I think I shall just return to bed and nap. I am not too keen on elevating my moment with a walk through the neighborhood; it’s not the same as exploring other neighborhoods.

A happier note is that the Fairmont crew is hosting their annual flower and plant sale, beginning Monday, May 3rd!

Make it a great day…

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: You Never Know Who You’’ll Meet

This is not my article but a great post by DailyOM.

Everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons.

Our individual journeys take us into many unexpected situations where we encounter a wide variety of people — some quite like ourselves and some very different. We cannot anticipate these meetings, but we can make the most of them when they take place. When we are courteous as a matter of course and open-minded in our assessment of the individuals whose lives briefly touch our own, we are more apt to stumble upon surprising gems of wisdom that open our eyes to new worlds of possibility. Every person we meet can affect us profoundly, just as every situation we find ourselves in can teach us something new.

To fully embrace this fact, it is essential that we acknowledge that everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons. Since we never know when we will happen upon those individuals who will unveil truths before us, we should extend to all people the same generous level of kindness, care, compassion, and understanding. When we assume everyone we meet is special and treat them as such, we can develop a strong rapport quickly. By making an effort to adopt a positive attitude toward others at all times, we ensure that our emotions do not blind us to wisdom that may be lurking in difficult or distressing situations. We are accordingly receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching.  

These brief relationships ultimately have the potential to enrich our lives in a very concrete way. But the wisdom we gain is proportional to the attention we pay to the world around us. The responsibility is on us to maintain a state of awareness that allows us to recognize when we are in the presence of someone consciously or unconsciously in possession of knowledge that will change us significantly. When we are cognizant of the potential for unexpected enlightenment, we make a habit of turning strangers into friends, thus ensuring that we are never without a font of wisdom from which to draw.

Make it a great day.

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MY DAY: It’s been a good day

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: April 21, (20)21 – Snow Day

April 21, 1945, seventy-six years ago, my grandparents brought my mother home from the hospital in a blizzard.

I’m not surprised.

The social media posts are exploding over the snow we received here in the Midwest. Some are claiming it’s an historic first.

Wrong.

Mother was born April 6th and at that time, mothers and babies remained in the hospital for at least two weeks. When they left the hospital, it was a blizzard.
Some plants and flowers may have been killed and that’s sad.

A college friend has over 200 hostas and other wonderful, beautiful plants; I feel for Bryan. I know I love seeing photos of his hard work and gorgeous flowers every year.

Hang in there, Gang.

We’ll get there, sooner or later. In the meantime, make it a great day and just enjoy the beauty.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Trust the gut

I’ve always trusted my gut reactions, even as a child, and more often than not, the gut instinct has proven true.

I did not write this article but it coincided with a the photograph I posted yesterday.

“Trusting Your Gut” from DailyOM

Part of being an intuitive person is becoming in-tune with, and trusting, your power center.

Gut feelings earn their name from the place in the body where they make themselves known. A pang in your gut when you may be doing the wrong thing, or a vibrant zing when your body approves, can guide you reliably at times when logic fails. Sometimes, when logic prevails, we ignore our gut and live to regret it, understanding later that a rational approach is only one way of determining what is going on in a situation and how we should react.

Our gut resides in the neighborhood of our solar plexus and the third chakra just above your belly button. When it is functioning well, we can trust its guidance and adjust our actions accordingly. Many of us have a tendency to hold in this area of our bodies. We may take shallow breaths that never reach this vital nexus that is the source of our empowerment. It is in this place that we find the courage to act, to reach out into the world and create change. When our power center is out of balance, we are timid and out of sync, wishing we had said something we were only able to phrase later when we were alone; wishing we had acted on an opportunity we didn’t see until it was past.  

In order to utilize your power center, you may want to focus your attention on it more regularly and make time to care for it. You can begin right now by taking a deep breath into your belly. On the exhale, pull your navel in toward your spine so as to empty out completely before taking another deep breath into your belly. When you empty completely, you release stagnant energy and create more space to be filled with fresh, nourishing breath. The more you practice this simple, cleansing exercise, the more clear and communicative your gut feelings will be and the more comfortable you will feel acting on them.

Trust the guy and make it a great day!

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MY DAY: My Sanctuary

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MY DAY: What a Tuesday

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MY DAY: Over 5000 steps

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MY DAY: And then the rain…

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MY DAY: An Oscar Hammerstein kind of evening

Oscar Hammerstein II, would have an absolute field day describing the scene I am so enjoying this evening.

There’s no corn growing, no elephants wandering by, no daisies in May, no blueberry pies, no willows in a windstorm, no kites on the Fourth of July, but there is, however, the most beautiful world surrounding me this evening; we can’t say, “it might as well be spring, Oscar” – we’ve got it!

The flowers are from my neighbors yard, across the street. I’ve not seen Kate in several years as it seems her family has moved her to a healthcare facility. She should be pushing 97.

The high school’s indoor percussion is rehearsing outside, close by, and two cardinals are tearing up the evening with some of their own hit tunes.

The sun is beginning to drop, elongating shadows and forcing the eyes to squint against its brightness.

If only Mr. Hammerstein could be sitting right here with me, his pencil and legal pad of paper at hand. He would love it.

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MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Time off

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MY DAY: A perfect day

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