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Talent Maybe Given But Must Be Honed

09/03/2017
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When I was much, much younger, Mom had asked me once what I wanted out of life?

I thought for a minute and answered, “Not to die ordinary.”

In hind sight I guess that was rather “snobbish” and arrogant on my part but there is a bit of truth in it.

Not that I felt better than my peers, or above everyone else, but I wanted to leave a mark, change a life or “touch the world.”

I always wanted to be a writer, but ah-last I was lazy and never “fine tuned the craft.”

“Dream’t the dream” but didn’t work on the basic realities.

So now I find myself in the so called “Autumn” of my life and must admit that in most of my skills and talents, I wasted many a day dreaming of the “greatness” and never took the time to work on those gifts.

I guess the biggest complaint I have with the wasting of my talents is that there is no conclusion.

Above average baseball player but never a great one.

Good writer with some gifted lines but the novel and play sit unfinished.

So-so amateur photographer but frustrated in learning the techniques.

My Dad had a stand by sermon he would bring out of the file about talents and hiding them.

The “candle under a bushel” sort of sermon and I’ve been remembering that sermon a bit more lately.

So those who are younger than I, wiser and smarter, may I impart that to succeed one must put in the “work.”

Talent is given but must be “honed.”

Oh, and one last thought. “Ordinary” is not a bad place to be and I think I’m OK with that.

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Thoughts On A Chilly Weekend

09/03/2017
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There is something about this time of year that brings out the dreamer in me.

I’m not sure if it’s the gray shades of the changing days or the crispness in the air.

It could be the shifting colours of the leaves in their announcement of the coming winter or the woody smell that hangs in the evening dusk, but it never fails at this time of year that my primeval clock nudges my senses and I awake from some muted daze and dream those fantastic dreams of years gone.

They dance within my minds eye as flickering flames upon a hearth fire of some Celtic fable that occurred in a prior life.

Ah, Autumn, let me feel your breath upon my soul.

With Trump, Up Is Down And Down Is Up

08/24/2017
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In October of 2016, after my vacation visiting the Battlefield’s of Gettysburg, I wrote a post on my observation of the Trump candidacy and the election.

A year later and many trials and incidents later, a time to re-post.

Growing up a Republican, in a Republican household, I have witnessed a complete melt-down of the Republican Party and un-reversible harm to the Nation as a whole.

Here is the RE-POST of my October 5th, 2016 comments.

14468750_10208271937649360_1856133955139387798_oLast week I took a vacation visiting the “hallow” battlefields of Gettysburg.

As we were wandering through the museum, I happened to come upon a quote that began me thinking about this years Presidential election.

The quote was on a wall, in a corner and could have easily been missed when walking about the museum.

A simple quote written, one hundred and forty-nine years ago this month, in the New York Times, October 1867.

The contest touches everything and leaves nothing as it found it. Great rights, great interests, great systems of habit and thought disappear during its progress. It leaves us a different people in everything.

Watching Morning Joe on Monday, I heard Nicolle Wallace and Joe Scarborough lament that:

Donald Trump has re-defined conservatism, re-defined the Republican Party.

I say he has re-defined America.

I’m not a big fan of Glenn Beck but on Meet the Press on Sunday, he said something I agree with and totally applaud:

We are so busy fighting with each other that we are in danger of losing more than our jobs or even our country. We are losing each other and even our families. How many of us can’t even talk with our parents, brothers, sisters or in-laws?

Trump and his candidacy of anti “Political Correctness” has destroyed a common sense of morality, a common respect for the individual and the plain everyday value of just being courteous to one another.

He rails against President Obama for what he calls “apologizing” for our Country yet turns around and belittles, malign and berates the system he wishes to “serve” as President.

His gaming the system by using tax laws to save money he calls “smart” while the middle class bares the brunt of that system.

How much body armor for our military could his almost a billion dollar loss buy for our soldiers, which he says he champions?

How much of that loss could have helped in VA medical care, not to mention education, homeland security and general relief?

Trump shows us almost daily how he’s changing the very core, the very fabric of this great nation.

He’s tapping into the dark side of human nature, the “bully” part of power, the selfishness of the I.

Donald Trump has re-defined America.

“Great rights, great interests, great systems of habit and thought” are disappearing because of his candidacy and will leave us a “different people in everything.”

Words Matter

08/05/2017
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Words matter.

Whether spoken or written, words are the very soul of our being and they define us as a person and individual.

My Dad use to say, “Don’t hold me accountable for what I think, hold me accountable for what I say.”

F Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his 1928 short story The Freshest Boy, “It isn’t given to us to know when one word will heal or one word will kill.”

I first read these words when I was a teenager in High School and they have “stuck” with me ever since.

Verbal or mental abuse is just as horrific and scaring as physical abuse.

My Father was not one on sentiment or affection.

The day I returned from the service he greeted me with a hand shake, a smile and a pat on the back. The word “love” wasn’t a word he was comfortable using. It wasn’t until many years later, days before he died, that I received a phone call while I was working out in the Northwest. It was Mom and she said “Your Dad wants to say something” and she handed the phone to him.

He had cancer and it was hard to talk but he gathered his strength and his raspy voice said, “Son, I love you.”

The last words I heard him speak.

Words matter.

The night my Mom died unexpectedly, I had stopped by to visit and run earnings for her. It was a cold freezing Ohio January night.

Before I left, Mom said, “Give us a hug lad” and as we hugged she said, “I love you and tell Bob I love him too.”

The last words I heard her speak.

Words matter.

In today’s world of ethnic and identity put downs, name calling and political hate mongering, it’s obvious we have lost a sense of what words mean.

What action do they stir and incite in the heart?

What do they teach our youth?

What memories or scars are left by the verbal abuse?

“…one word will heal or one word will kill.”

Words matter.

A Cup of Tea, A Quiet House and A Morning Thought

08/05/2017
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This growing older thing is a wonder to me. Not the fact of physically growing older with it’s many aches but the mental state that plays on my daily thoughts.

Recently I’ve question who actually reads my musings, ramblings plus the many pics that I post. Better yet, who is actually moved to pause and think on the subject, who finds a certain photo, poem, tidbit uplifting or pretty and finally who have I touched and made their day better or richer for the effort?

We read and hear so much about “Presidential Legacy” but I wonder about my legacy. The “normal” man legacy. What will be the stories and memories told about me after I have “shuffled off this mortal coil”?

All my life I have heard, first from my parents, then from friends and associates, “You are such a dreamer.” Which always struck me as a negative, but now as I approach the last few bends in this road I travel, I proudly say, I dream still.

Maybe not of a future but of the road already traveled and experienced. The road that has left it’s milestones on my heart, mind and being.

Dreams of friends and family gone but not forgotten. Dreams and memories, the legacy left to me from those I knew, those I loved and those who shared a moment in time with this humble traveler.

I think it is good and wise that each of us should pause and question our “legacy.” Question the road traveled and question the direction and accomplishments as we head into the final valley of our journey.

I think I am at peace with my journey. Some regrets, some “do overs” wanted, some dreams just dreams, but in general I can say I tried.

Now it’s up to time to see how the last few miles unfold, for as I once wrote: “Enough of my dreams have come true to keep me dreaming.”

Protect The Republic

05/11/2017
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14322417_10208143730324257_1652658488763930166_nSince the election last November, I have been neglectful to Dare to Dream.

Like many Progressives, Liberals and Activists, I was in a state of disarray after the November election. You might add, fearful of the days, months and four years that stretched ahead for the Nation and the World, so I backed off the “blog.”

Over the last several months I have watched, contemplated and hid my emotions about the events, plus policies, that this President and his Administration have proposed, implemented and steered our Country towards.

The time has come to be silent no more, for “Silence means consent” and I do not consent.

It is time to Protect the Republic.

In firing of the FBI Director, James Comey, the President has brought this Nation to the brink of a Constitutional crisis.

Add his attacks on the Judiciary and Press, we see a pattern that should sound alarms across the Country and the world of Free Nations.

After much thought I have come to the conclusion that it’s time for a Special Prosecutor to Investigate the Russian tampering, collusion and the undermining of the Constitution, Democracy and the Republic.

Yesterday when the President had a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and only the Russian State owned press was allowed in on the photo-op, it is time to speak out and be counted, for this attack on the 1st Amendment is an attack on the Republic.

When the Judiciary system and Judges are maligned and attacked, the Republic and Constitution is under attack

When the rule of Law and Ethics is disregarded, ignored and flaunted, The Republic and Constitution is under attack.

This is not a Political Party issue, this is an American survival issue.

My Father, 8th Army Air Corp, and my Mother, WRAF, who served as a Control Tower Operator, fought in WWII for Free World values and to protect Democracy, not Russia.

I’m a Viet Nam Era Vet who served to protect America, not Russia.

A distant relative, Irish immigrant, Adjutant General Edward Hand, served in the Continental Army fighting  to Free the Colonies from the rule of monarchs and oligarchs who would meddle in our destiny and it wasn’t so we could become a satellite state of Russia.

Another distant relative, Judge Learned “Billings” Hand, often called the “10th Supreme Court Justice, served to protect the rule of law and believed in the “Spirit of Liberty” and not the oppression of that law in favor of the rich and the few.

In October of last year, I wrote a blog post that the Election of Trump would re-define America, change the very course of direction and nothing would be the same. It appears that lament and prediction has come to reality.14468750_10208271937649360_1856133955139387798_o

Sanctuary Of Memories

12/21/2016
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All Alone in a Crowd

Christmas night.

I close my eyes,
And slip into the sanctuary of memories.

There,
Echoes of a tune
That I sang in childhood.
A simple melody of my youth,
A carol of Christmas pageants gone.

Its centuries old refrain
Lingers among the hazy vision
Of specters now at rest.

Ancient words
Numb the body like a Winter chill
As I see the child I was
In the comfort
Of those who protected me.

Dizzy senses filled with pipe smoke.
Crackling fire lit logs,
Dancing bubble lights upon the tree,
Her gentle hand,
His warm smile,
Forever haunting.

The choir of my school days softly sing,
“Of all the trees that are in the woods,
The holly bears the crown.”

©2009

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