Labels

12000 (1) 2013 (2) 2014 (2) 2016 (2) 2017 (19) 25000 (1) 30000 (1) 50 (1) 911 (2) ABOUT TIME (2) absentee fathers (2) action (30) adversity (13) advertising (2) age 48 (2) america (8) anger (6) apple (1) baby (1) backup (3) balance (2) BASEBALL HALL OF FAME (1) BEST MAN (1) BEST MAN HOLIDAY (1) birth (1) birthday (5) BMW (1) BOSS Mustang (5) breakups (8) breathing (2) bullies (5) Carol Clark Williams (1) cars (7) celebrity (10) child (3) children (8) choices (78) Christmas (2) class (4) class reunions (3) compassion (19) contacts (1) COOPERSTOWN (1) creating (6) CROSS COUNTRY (1) dating (28) decisions (38) depression (13) DICK VITALE (1) disappointment (2) DISPOSABLE (1) diva (1) Dogstar Books (1) dreams (37) driving (5) DUKE (1) Earl Boykins (1) ELECTION 2016 (1) ELVIS (3) ENTERTAINMENT (4) ESPN (1) events (1) ex-girl (15) facebook (1) FAILURE (6) FAITH (4) fallen heroes (9) family (20) fatherhood (10) fathers day (3) FEAR (1) FINDING YOUR ROOTS (1) football (1) friends (9) FRIENDSHIP (15) funerals (5) GEORGE TAKEI (1) giving (15) GOALS (2) GOODWILL (1) google+ (1) government (2) GROUNDHOG DAY (1) GUNS (1) happiness (9) Harrisburg Pa area (2) hate (3) HEALING (1) heartbreak (17) HELL (1) helping (28) HEROES (1) HISTORY (1) Honda (2) hope (50) hopelessness (10) humane society harrisburg area (2) humanity (42) humble (8) humor (5) INSPIRATION (1) integrity (4) internet dating (6) JIM VALVANO (1) job (8) job satisfaction (9) joy (19) KARMA (3) KATHY GRIFFIN (1) laundry (1) Lebron James (1) Library (1) life (48) LIFE INSURANCE (1) Lincoln (2) living (47) Long Island Medium (1) loss (19) lottery (6) love (42) marriage (2) MARTIN LUTHER KING (1) Mary Saladna (1) masturbation (1) MEMORIAL DAY (1) Michelle Obama (1) MIDDLETOWN (4) Midtown Scholar Bookstore (1) MOM (17) moments (19) MONEY (1) MOTHERS (1) MOTORCYCLES (1) movies (6) MR PRESIDENT (1) NCIS (2) new years (1) OBAMA (1) Olympics 2012 (1) online dating (5) opportunity (30) parent (10) PAUL WALKER (1) people (40) perception (36) perspective (46) pets (2) poetry (43) POLITICS (2) positive thinking (17) POWERBALL (2) pride (9) purpose (2) quality time (6) racism (7) rain (1) reading (2) red lights (1) regret (12) relationships (51) reminiscing (30) resignation (10) responsibility (22) RICHARD MATHESON (1) RIGHT KIND OF WRONG (1) ROBERT REDFORD (1) ROBIN WILLIAMS (1) romance (40) roommates (1) sacrifice (12) SCHOOL (1) seinfeld (1) self-examination (59) SEX (3) smoking (1) SOCIAL MEDIA (1) SOTU (1) sports (6) STACEY DASH (1) STAR TREK (2) starting (3) Steve Jobs (1) STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (1) Stuart Scott (1) stupid rules (1) superpowers (2) Taboo (1) TAYLOR SWIFT (4) teenagers (2) TESLA (1) thankful (18) tIGER wOODS (1) tim tebow (1) time (4) tire kingdom (2) toenail fungus (1) tough love (4) TRIUMPH (1) TV (1) twitter (2) underdogs (1) utopia (3) V-FOUNDATION (1) VALENTINES DAY (1) vince lombardi (2) volunteering (2) VW (1) Wages (1) wedding (2) weird (1) WILD ANIMALS (1) winning (5) women (30) work (11) writers critique (3) writing (30)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MARCH 8

Tomorrow (as I write this on March 7th) is Mom's 74th birthday, but it will be one of the first ones she has no recollection about. No concept of celebrations, aging, or even time itself. It doesn't sound so bad after all right? 

I've been fighting myself for weeks now, sensing I am on edge a bit, slightly out of sorts, or just plain grumpy. There might be a lot of reasons for that. There has been some setbacks on the timeline I had with the travel plans for the coming spring/summer. There is still a void in my romantical department, which got downsized from a department to an empty folder hidden away in the closet. There has been a struggle in my mind with Mom because of her relentless slide towards nothingness. Communication has gotten to be a chore. Things she could do seemingly weeks ago are now lost. She has noticed a few times that I wore down my patience and she simply stated "You don't like me anymore"..... I can't imagine a worse feeling than knowing that I wasn't strong enough or smart enough to keep my emotions in check while she is right in front of me. I only see the "bad" son in the mirror at THOSE times...

Then I get a message from a friend like "My mom just turned 80 and seeing all the things you do for your mom touches my heart and makes me want to be a better son you are a inspiration to a lot of people . I share your story and journey with people at church your mom is blessed to have you as a son and i am blessed to call you friend"

I read this to Mom and had a hard time not getting choked up. I don't think because I wanted to HEAR it, but I aspire to be a good son and a good friend. I know I fall short too often on both counts, yet I hold out hope for a better me. She only sees me as "good", but then again, she calls EVERYBODY good! hahahaha

I had a dream the other night that was surreal. It was of a forgettable situation that was interrupted by a call out for help. I awoke instantly and listened closely. It was 2:30 in the morning and all was quiet. Was that Mom calling out? Was she ok? I had to check.....

Of course, she was asleep, but in checking on her, she opened her eyes and smiled. I knew right then it was just a dream and went back to bed, hoping to stop shaking, hoping to stop the thoughts of Mom needing the kind of help that no one can give her. It was an uneasy morning.


Like any challenging ordeal, there IS a bright side that I constantly remind myself, sometimes aloud. If Mom was her normal old self, we WOULDN'T be spending so much time together. I would be working and she would be doing something to use up the time I was away. She wouldn't need me to cook, do the laundry, or even wash her hair. While at times that sounds like my version of heaven, mostly I appreciate the closeness we continue to have. She may unknowingly stand in the way of a so-called normal life for me, but she ALSO allows me to do what many many kids can't do.... see the joy in a Mother's eyes at the smallest of things. Not just every now and then, but OFTEN.

And THAT is what gets me through.

I don't know what I will be writing a year from now. I've written a few times about her [here] and re-reading it brings me to tears. I try and not think about the day she will no longer be the light of my day. The day she may quit speaking at all. The day she doesn't know she has a son. The day she no longer takes a breath. It's the natural cycle of life yet I cannot accept it yet because I feel like her life is not yet balanced. She has so much happiness to catch up on it will take years.... and I will be right there to help with whatever she needs.

I just hope that I can bring a smile to her face, even if the words to explain it are gone.




Saturday, July 8, 2017

PERSPECTIVE

I was feeling a little bluesy lately. I couldn't blame any one thing or any one person, but I had very little enthusiasm for most things. I couldn't blame the rain, or Mom or anything. Then I got a message that put things in perspective - someone who I met while Ubering and tried to help had passed away.

Her name was Beatrice and she was one of the nice people you hear so little about. She worked more than one job for years. She had been undergoing chemotherapy and it wasn't easy for her. Her family wasn't close and she liked it that way. She had worked hard in her life and had just retired and was hoping to enjoy her free time to travel and do whatever she enjoyed.

Here is the type of lady she was. In our talks on the way to her treatments, we got to know a bit of each other's life. Once she heard about Mom (and met her a few times), she mentioned that once her illness had been dealt with, Mom could come and stay with her so I could have some time free to do as I wanted. She was THAT kind of lady.

 I offered many times to help with whatever she needed, if it was household chores or just an ear to listen, yet it took months before she mentioned anything at all. I was more than happy to help this compassionate woman any way I could. I felt humbled that this independent, strong, and proud woman would allow me the pleasure to assist in some small way. It is hard to imagine that she is gone so soon.

She had so much to look forward to and we all need a good soul to touch our lives. I hope she found the peace and freedom of pain she so deserved. I won't soon forget her....


I don't need reminders of how lucky I am or how I should always be happy about everything. The one thing I have learned about myself is that I see deeply. I think deeply. And my emotions run deeply as well. The downside is it takes a moment to spring back when the down-times occur. This time I give full credit to Beatrice for wanting to be happier, but the world would be a better place with her still in it.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

KNOWING WHEN TO STOP

Yes I know.

The title flies in the face of every "never give up" meme ever created. While it's true that the wildly successful folks have a determination the rest of us envy, there comes a time when each of us is faced with a choice - continue to frustrate ourselves with effort that is not rewarded OR decide that more attention to the particular challenge that eludes us will NOT result in any change so you move on.

The seeds of this posting was planted months ago by a student that opened up about his girl problems. He had recently been dismissed by his now-ex, and was having trouble dealing with the lingering sadness. I asked plenty of questions, hoping that his answers would open his eyes to the new reality he is trying to avoid. That DIDN'T exactly happen so we talked some more about life and choices. I tried to give him a glimpse of what the current situation was from my perspective and also added some of my own experiences with being dumped on. He left with a weak smile and I hope his intelligence wins out over his emotions.

We all have had episodes where the person of our dreams wasn't seeing us in theirs. it's probably the most common tale of dating.... they don't feel like WE do. it's not sad, tragic, or even bad. Like I explained to the young man, it's a gift if we find out EARLY in a relationship and not after YEARS of pretending. The person (and pain!) will soon be forgotten and life continues on a path we couldn't have imagined when they were the object of our desires.

This idea of waving the white flag can be used in so many different situations as well. When we dream of money, or celebrity. When we wish for the "perfect" life. When we pray for things out of our grasp or capabilities. That's not to say we can't still HOPE, but if it affects your life in such a way that it prevents you from moving forward, beyond your realities, then it's time to get acquainted with the person looking back from the mirror.

There's MANY reasons for unhappiness, and many more that we have no power to change. Why waste time or energy reacting to those we can't influence? The hardest realization for me was admitting I WASN'T who I wanted to be. It is truly a sobering thought that sometimes we reach our limits and we can go no further. The happy souls might keep trying but with an outlook of positive thoughts and a sunny future, despite the failures.

I doubt that the "time to move on" is the same for everyone. The key is to NOT regret trying. Give all you can and if it doesn't work out, you did all you could and your heart will accept that. Trust me. No excuses will be needed if we must turn around and walk away. The decisions we make should also be done with this in mind. There should be NO REGRET in doing what we do. If you feel like what you are thinking of doing will be wrong or embarrassing, then don't do it! Our gut-feeling is there for a reason.

We can do a LOT to change our life. We ARE the masters of our universe. Until we make someone or something mean MORE to us than our own happiness. That will usually have predictable (BAD!) results, especially if we are blind during the journey to the end....

You are worthy of much more than that.










Wednesday, June 28, 2017

RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE?

On a FB page today, the question was "Should PA raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour?" 

https://www.facebook.com/fox43news/posts/10155532309758331?comment_id=10155534501608331&notif_t=feed_comment_reply&notif_id=1498702407670997 

As usual, the comments were the most interesting part of it.... Some were positive but the majority had a less-then-compassionate tone. The reality is, Government has let the business world do what it wants and I think most would agree, the country is NOT better off than it was BEFORE this all started over 30 years ago.

People complain about the "kids" that are lazy or entitled. I hate to hear that. Especially since it was MY generation that has let them down. Imagine a world where you don't have the opportunities your parents (or Grandparents!) had at the same age. Imagine the older generation looking down at you with a resentful tone. Imagine if you want further education it will cost a FAR GREATER percentage of income to pay than ever before. This is a problem, that will continue to burden everyone until it's fixed.

The arguments AGAINST the adjustments make me laugh. Someone hears a line or two on the news or on the net and all of a sudden, its part of THEIR vocabulary. "those jobs weren't meant to raise a family on" is straight from a Republican's lips. I'm not a Democrat either, yet its obvious to me that we have an economic-disconnect in our country. Those that are comfortable don't accept that others are not and blame only the person struggling. There are MANY reasons folks aren't working better-paying careers. Its not a simple problem and definitely NOT a simple solution.

http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/11/it_pays_more_to_be_a_pa_state.html


The key words to ME was "annual pay raises" ..... If Congress feels the "need" to make an extra $1000 a year when they ALREADY don't earn the $90 plus thousand they are paid, then maybe we should tie THEIR pay to the min wage.....

 The only FACT most of us realize is that the 1% is winning the war against everyone else, despite the HUGE disparity in the number of them vs the 99%. Once we do something about THAT we can ALL start winning again...

 https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/business/economy/seattle-minimum-wage.amp.html 

 The best comment on THIS article to me was from a restaurant owner - no one she knows has STOPPED hiring because of the minimum wage increase. The takeaway I get from it is that FEW folks can find a measurable, definable, and indisputable bit of evidence either way.

Doesn't THAT speak volumes?


Monday, June 26, 2017

I'M A LUCKY GUY

There are some days when I have to be reminded that I am a very lucky guy. This one didn't start off all that bad. 

The weather report called for a perfect day. Few clouds, low humidity, and temps in the high 70's. It was nice enough that laundry was on the "must-do" list. Not only does it get the dirty clothes clean, it enables Mom to help in a way she still can. She hangs all the wet clothes out on the line. She doesn't do it as fast or as good as she used to, but she still can. I know it makes her feel better when she can genuinely pitch in. 

While she stayed busy after I made her breakfast, I did some Ubering. Mondays have not been a busy one lately but this was a good one. We reached our goal for the day before 3, but Mom felt a little left out. 

After I made her dinner I asked if she wanted to go for a ride. She got a big ole smile on her face and said "Let's Go!" It was then that the reminder kicked in. 

Although by all indications it was a good Monday, I WASN'T having one. Despite (or BECAUSE OF) the cool riders I had, my mind wanted to drift to the Blues. I've been bothered by the smallest things lately. Today was even worse. Contrary to popular belief, this lifestyle I'm leading is NOT my first choice. I make the best of it most days, but the past few have been rough. 

I couldn't put my finger on just one thing, but when the mood strikes, it doesn't matter if it makes sense or not. It makes a challenge of smiling through it. I had hoped for a few good things but it seemed none had come through. As I was feeling sorry for myself, the grouch in me wanted to take over. I can usually recognize this and do something about it, but not on this day. 

It was about that time when I saw Mom's extra-big smile because of the coming drive. All the "woe is me" melted away and a smile came to my own face as I knew what had just happened. The selfishness and foolishness that occupied my mind had been beaten down by a simple show of happiness on my Mother's face. 


We drove around the countryside and stopped for pictures in many places. We saw enough cows and horses to make her happy, then she tolerated my constant search for a good spot to pull over. What a fun way to spend an evening! 

Not everyone is able have a Mom around to do that for them.  Although she is not the same "Helga" that raised me, her joyous soul helps me to not fall in to the dark pit of despair. 

How did I ever deserve to be so lucky.... 



Friday, June 23, 2017

FRIDAY

Well.... it's Friday and we took off. Was there a really exciting or logical reason? No. The weather was a factor. Storms are called for. Yuk. We had a good week going and will not miss the couple of bucks we would earn today, soooooo... OFF we are!

Mom stayed busy doing the obsessive/compulsive thing and I got on the computer to do an update to my blog tracking (passed 35,000 visits this month) and to print off a bunch of the posts for my Aunt. She started to read the ones I had printed in the past, so I had to catch up the ones I haven't put on paper. I enjoy hearing what she has to say about what I had to say.

Although she is in a facility to better care for her medical challenges, I know life goes on for her and want to be a part of her entertainment. Of course it makes one think of the possibility of being in the same situation in the future, or at least remembering that this is what I am trying to avoid for Mom. Not that it is all bad. I think when my Aunt gets some of her health back, she will be a positive influence on many others there. That is just the kind of person she always has been. When Mom and I needed a friend in the family, she was always there. The kids that she and my Uncle raised have been some of the best people I have ever met. Good people that I am proud to be related to. I only wish they could say the same! hahaha

My mind has been swimming with so many different thoughts.

The Uber driving we do to save for the next vacation is a bit slow if we just stay around town, so we have expanded our area a bit. We still meet cool people and still can make enough to make it worthwhile, but I have to admit some of the fun has gone out of it. With Mom falling asleep at a moments notice in the car, I wonder just how much fun she is having. The whole point was for her to ENJOY the short trips.

I have renewed hopes for ending my single life. Not by jumping off a cliff or bathing with a toaster either! I believe if I make a real effort, I can change the "current situation" to one that is what me and a significant other will want. Time will tell, and maybe I will too... of course SHE will have a hand in deciding my fate as well. Wish me luck!

I have had good luck in finding the silver lining in just about everything (except that daggon squirrel in the garage!!!!!). When I just called the radio station for tickets to a show, I DIDN'T get a busy signal. I actually GOT THRU! I wasn't caller 6 but it was still a positive. I had to recently fix the truck right before a long trip. I felt VERY fortunate in being able to do it at home in my own garage and not sitting along a lonely stretch of highway. I passed a test that had me taking it 3 times to complete. At least I passed!

Life has been good enough to not to complain. Mom has had her moments but she gets over them pretty quickly. I have had children on my mind lately, as in MY OWN. While I don't have any at the moment, EVERYONE tells me it isn't too late (except a guy friend who thinks I am CRAZY for thinking that). I felt for a while that if it happens it will be fantastic, but if it doesn't life will STILL be fantastical, just in a different way. For some reason, I am re-reading my "children" topics [here] and specifically a post called "Babies" that recalled a particularly strong emotion and reaction to the thoughts I have now. Have I been trying to fool myself into thinking it wasn't something I wanted? I don't know but if I am in bliss with a special lady and she feels the same.... Hmmmmm....

I have been guilty of not posting here regularly. When I see the past years, I noticed many times I posted NOTHING in a month's time. I haven't missed any THIS year so I wanted to keep the streak alive. The pile of topics I have is deep but the enthusiasm to actually sit down and WRITE is a different story. I MUST try harder since I get so much out of it.

Anything else?

Nope. The real possibility of NOT driving to Cali is setting in. The dislike I have for political crap online is growing. The fact I made a Dr appt for myself is not only unusual but questionable.... but I'll leave that for another post.






Monday, May 1, 2017

LOVE AND LIFE

In a recent posting, I talked about things missing in my life. While accurate, I wonder about my life, my happiness, and the role anyone else could have in it.

Before I get to that, I MUST mention this new direction I have taken with writing.... not promoting it and not aspiring to be a great motivator for anyone other than ME.

This has caused great relief in that space most people have a brain residing. I won't actually admit to HAVING one of those but there's always hope of a transplant, right? By releasing the disappointment of being wildly UNsuccessful, I can refocus on what is REALLY cool for me... entertaining myself. When I read these postings at a later date, I sit there like a fool with a big smile on my face. Even if no one likes the end result, I am content in my value.

This will cause me to change a few priorities no doubt.

Publishing a book seems a bit silly now. Sharing my thoughts with a new stranger seems less important, although I will. Almost 40,000 views later, there MUST be some redeeming quality to my words. The pile of stories I want to write about seem less daunting, so I might start fleshing them out and putting them here, chapter by chapter. I also have flashes of NEW topics that I now can feel free to share with myself, so without further delay....

I was watching one of my FAVORITE movies (Belle as mentioned about [here] and the not-so-revolutionary concept of  "a life without love is horrific" posed a few new questions. As an untrained and unlicensed unclinical psychologist, I wanted to look deeper into that part of my life. I came to some conclusions....

Without the deeply personal relationship someone of the opposite sex brings, I probably try and compensate with love of OTHER parts of my reality. My truck, my movies, and my dreams. While on the most basic levels it DOES help somewhat, I can see the shortcomings. I equate it to a heroin addict replacing the strong drug with Red Bulls. It may work a few times. Eventually, it will be inadequate. I guess I am at the "inadequate" stage. What to do?

I certainly can't snap my fingers and have Jeannie appear to make things all better. Wait...... OK.... it DIDN'T work. Just making sure!

While some folks get a little looser with the requirements of companionship, I have gotten more extreme. Extreme as in disqualifying almost EVERY person I come across. It's prolly better for now. I am clearly NOT going to be a huge asset to most people, while my attention is fully on Mom and her happiness. We all know that it is better to be alone than with that UNspecial someone. It doesn't make the emptiness easier to deal with though.

Mom has a place in my heart OBVIOUSLY, but the affection towards HER is FAR different than that of a girlfriend. Much of the joy I have while with her is seeing HER smiling and enjoying the day. Nice, but short-lived and not very satisfying to my restless singledom.

Movies provide one outlet for the emotions to pour out. A good cry from a happy or sad story is a prescription for almost everyone. Expressing ANY emotion has a positive affect on your attitude. Living temporarily in someone else's life makes your own issues disappear, even if only for a few minutes. Unfortunately, this only lasts till the next day so I get to feel my underwhelming self too soon!

I have less tolerance for foolishness in EVERY area of life at the moment. From driving around among stupidos to reading about yet another human failing, I get to the place of losing faith in humanity as a whole. It's NOT a good place to be. I have less enthusiasm for ANYTHING and have a difficult time imagining a better reality. Sounds depressing doesn't it?

To counter that, I will write.... I will smile.... I will ask a lot of questions to strangers I meet and hope. Hope for Mom to have a great day. Hope to have love introduce itself to me once again. Hope that when it DOES, the OTHER person will feel the same. And hope every one of the souls that feel this overwhelming darkness and despair that can come over them, will realize it's just visiting..... it won't stay... it WILL go away.... Just maybe not today.....



Sunday, April 30, 2017

UPDATE ON MOM'S ONGOING CHALLENGES

As Mom's world shrinks around her, I am drawn into it as well. Her limitations keep growing, so I am having to do more as time moves on. When she first moved in, she couldn't cook but could be counted on to do things like make herself breakfast, know what the items were in the cupboards, and have an almost regular conversation. At THIS time, none of that is possible.

She has regressed enough to make me limit what I do away from her, even in the next room. She no longer understands most things, but continues to smile and stay happy. How can I complain about THAT???

It's been difficult to find her things to do. She has always been able to do the dishes, she still obsesses on the trash, and now that nice weather has come around, she hangs the laundry. I notice that it takes her three times longer than it did in the past, but I watch and make sure she isn't overdoing it. That's pretty much the list. She won't watch TV for a long period of time. She always wants to HELP but there is not much she can truly help with.

Some of the biggest challenges lately have been finding a way past the "upsetting" times. They don't happen often, but more frequently. The latest episode was the series of losing things. She would put them down or leave them in a pocket and then not know where to find them. Keys were the most common, since she has her own. She searched all over and got so upset tears started coming out. What could I do but let her know it was no big deal and help her look. I eventually found them after the FOURTH time they got misplaced over the weekend. I am debating what to do next with them. Should I just not tell her I found them and we move on without, or do I put a giant something on the key ring so she can't lose it so easily?? I'll think on it some more...

Since I have the opportunity to see her thought process daily, I realize she is a completely different person now, though one full of compassion, love, and appreciation for the simple things...and WALKER TEXAS RANGER. I miss the Mom that is only in my memories. I miss those times we would talk of the past. I miss those times she spoke of her family, and of her childhood. I miss so much, yet see a woman who continues to find joy in her life and with me.

How did I get so lucky?



Thursday, April 6, 2017

REMINDERS OF WHAT'S MISSING

This was a strange day. Not because of the rainy weather, the late start, or the grilled cheese with too much butter. From beginning to end, it felt like I was a spectator. Mom was more confused than usual and didn't seem so happy. People I met were cordial not friendly. What REALLY hit the emotion button was re-watching the movie "About Time" (which I wrote about HERE).

While I enjoy the film because of it's unique story, tonight it just opened up the emptiness of what is NOT in my life, things I  so obviously WANT - Someone to give my heart to, a FULL life with Mom, having a Father/Son day (as the child!), having a Father/Son day (as the Dad!), having family gatherings on a regular basis, and having an overwhelming sense of happiness in my ho-hum existence.

Luckily, this is a mood that passes. I don't feel left out or cheated, I don't feel despair at the current situation, even if Mom didn't have a good day. I look back at my decisions and am OK with the way things played out.

But....

.....when THIS mood hits, the holes are exposed and the pain of loss /unsuccessfullness /defeat is felt fully.

I had a thought. If I won the lottery, what would I trade it for, if I could?

A Father figure I could respect?
A child that I could be proud to call my own DNA?
A Wife that thinks I am the answer to the question, "Whom do I want to spend eternity with?"
World peace?

Probably all of that and more.

Money never REALLY brought the happiness I imagined it would, when I was young and poor (and idiotic!) I only realized the value of joy when I finally came to grips with my own place as a human being. On evenings like THIS one however, the logic of those realizations are completely clouded over by the heartache and longing for what is out of reach.

I used to dwell on this bluesy outlook but, since I AM older and WISER, I don't have to... or WANT to.

Things that make you unhappy MUST be dealt with by either action or acceptance. It is the basis for making any situation better.  As I write this, I choose to shed a tear or two, whine a bit to myself, and accept that tomorrow, I will be a bit smileyer. Tomorrow I will be no closer to a Mom to have deep discussions with, a Father to share man-stuff, a child to treasure, my wife to adore.... it feels like I will NEVER have any of that.

Time to go to sleep so the sun can rise faster!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

HERE'S THE MISCILLANEOUS PART

For more than a while now, I felt the restlessness of anonymity. As a writer, I can't imagine a more damaging illness to take hold, but it truly has. I have made a concerted effort to expand my readership. I handed out sooooooo many cards to strangers, that I had a new batch made up. I used social media to try and spread the awareness of what I write, yet the results show there is not much interest.

This could be due to many reasons. Maybe I am not that compelling. Maybe I write enough on Facebook to satisfy the urge, which limits what I post regularly. Maybe I just realize that few listen. For whatever the reason, it is the reality of my current situation. I am not frustrated, disappointed, or pouting. I find it amusing that, as I will cross 35,000 visits to this site this month, I can't admit to the possibility that ANOTHER 35,000 will happen. Time will tell.

What will help my attitude going forward is my complete reversal of attempting to increase readership. By not focusing on that dream, I feel like I can be better at being inspired. When inspired, the words come easy. They flow like someone else it tapping the keys. When I go back months (or even years!) later, I still feel proud of what I wrote. This is the exact opposite of the CRAP I write when I'm not moved.

I will also limit my social media involvement. Writing with deep thought on FB or twitter has made me very aware of my limitations. Just as in the real world, my ability to inspire is much less than I hoped. When I saw it years ago, that I WASN'T John Wayne, it was a harsh wake-up from the dream of who I wanted to be. After some uncomfortable discussions with myself, I decided to listen to me for a change and adjust my expectations. It figures that the only person listening to me is ME.  Oh well.... at least I am a fan!

In a completely related topic, I have also realized that my attraction to a certain awesome young lady has ended up an utter failure. My unrelenting enthusiasm for what COULD be, once again clouded what really WAS. In seeing the scope of my blindness in the writing world, my eyes also opened to the rest of my surroundings. They DIDN'T see the main missing ingredient, companionship, as an obvious clue to why.

What can I truly offer anyone at this time? Mom continues to regress. That diminishes my time available for anyone else. Rather than dump on anyone else MY troubles, I will regress into the routine Mom has created for me. I will appreciate the many moments of joy and overall happiness. I will gladly devote my energies to her because she deserves to be taken care of, no matter what is required. I will look at this in a positive way and not mope around or become resentful for being put in the position. One day, if I am lucky, I will be viewed as a man that is needed, wanted, and desired. Just not today.

As I approach yet another birthday, the insignificance grows. I haven't had much hoopla on the day for years, maybe decades.  When I get a note or message celebrating day 1 of ME, I am humbled and appreciative of the good friend I have. I have been lucky to be around some truly GREAT human beings and only wish I could be the same for them.

Am I happy?

No.

Will I be able to FIND some "happy" while I am immersed in my life as it is?

Of course.

Much of my joy will come from a certain young lady that continues to shrink in her abilities, yet stays a compassionate, smiling, and quite helpless woman that needs me as I needed her all those many years ago. Some of my joy will be imagined, in dreams of a "someday" and "someone special". A small part of my joy will be felt as I post something here I really truly love. If you stop by and happen to love it too, then it's even better. Even if I don't hear about it.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

REVIEW OF MOM'S CAMPAIGN

I'm in the process of completing Mom's Crowdrise campaign and thought this might be a good time for a review.

What started out as a whim, continued as a "why not?", and will conclude as an "at least I tried". I was thinking, as the challenge of getting total strangers to notice seemed impossible, why bother? After all, we weren't destitute, there wasn't a life and death need, and I wasn't in the habit of begging for money.

There was one very GOOD reason.  Her name is Helga and she is the inspiration for how I can step outside of the norm. Mom hasn't maintained her capabilities over the last year. I have written about it [here]. I am constantly reminded that time is passing quicker than I hoped. I do not have the luxury of waiting to do the things we wanted to do until we can afford it. We either do these soon or we won't be able to. The biggest item is to travel.

No, this isn't a NEED, it's a WANT. I don't know anyone who wouldn't try and make their parents lives happier if they could. I do all I can but the largest hurdle is affordability. While I don't enjoy asking for donations or help in spreading the word, it is a small price to pay for attempting to improve Mom's days.

I feel as if it IS a worthy cause but I know there are many. I can't expect EVERYONE to contribute financially, but my hope is that most will want to help one way or another. It could be as simple as sharing a link.

Those that HAVE given include some of my best friends. I didn't anticipate their wanting to help in that way but it IS much appreciated. We stand at around 10% of the goal. Some might view this as a loss, but I see it differently. I see that if I DIDN'T try this AT ALL, I would have NOTHING to put towards Mom's travels.

I am making one last push to try and get closer to the original goal. How did I come up with the number? I calculated all the expenses of a trip to California and Germany, using VERY conservative spending habits. Since I was depending on others, I couldn't see using up the funds in a stupid way. We will limit what we do and how we do it, just to make it last longer. We may not get to Cali, but we WILL go SOMEWHERE so that Mom can see more of the country than she has so far.

Why should it matter when her memory won't allow it to stay? I can only say that the joy she gets while on the road is unlike any other. She is happy around the house, but much more so when she is gazing out the window, passing by some new sights and looking forward to the next.

I hope you can help - one way or another. It is truly appreciated and will not be forgotten by me!





Helga's Adventures In Whereverland on Crowdrise

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

FINDING TIME FOR ROMANCE

OK..... Let's get THIS out of the way immediately. this does NOT apply to MEEEEEE!!!!!!

I know this time of year is busy. I know your life is hectic. I know it seems a chore to meet new people. I know there are liars out there, seemingly all forming a line to meet YOU. You may be single or have the spouse/friend/dog or cat of your dreams but if you don't make time for two  (or more depending on your lifestyle!), the dream turns out differently. I'm not here to tell you what to do. We are all adults and make our own decisions, based on what is best for us. Yet, at times we forget to do what we KNOW is important.

I'm here to remind you....

If you are a regular reader here, you KNOW I have been in and out of romance for many years and have chatted about the journey many times. If you click on the label "Dating", you come up with [THIS], which hopefully helps. The only thing I will add is, if you ARE lonely more hours in the day than you are not, I'm suspecting there are ills that even Mr/Ms Perfect won't cure. If you are feeling that way and NOT trying to DO anything about it, then stand in front of a mirror - start talking to that unhappy soul looking back at you. They are the ONLY one that can help.

There are mountains of  time-management books, articles, and theories out there that I questioned why I should contribute. I have a nice relationship with the concepts of "busy" AND "lazy", so maybe what I think on the subject is worthwhile to someone. As usual, I am going to refer you to the obvious expert on you for this - YOU!  Most people know, deep-down, when they fall short. We may not want to admit the failure, even if it's a small one. That means we aren't perfect! Oh my....

When we need the touch of another, and yes we DO need it every now and then, what can you do? That depends on your morality and motivation of course. Some just act on it and they have no negative feelings about it. They could invite a stranger into their lives, even if it's very temporary, and get what they need. Unfortunately, like a drug, this is a treating a symptom that will return if not fully cured. There are some who are OK with that.

For the rest of us single folks, we need something more permanent to get the satisfaction we crave. I'm not talking sex here, as romance involves all of the senses, not just in the loins. The object SHOULD be to make the time and make your mind up to be available. It is harder for some than others, and they let it stand in the way of happiness. There really is no reason we can't meet more new people these days. You could narrow it down to a few avenues. Computer based and reality based.Websites are more and more accepted, but people still are a bit leery. They AREN'T needed, although it IS a way to go beyond the circle of friends you already have.    

Interestingly, single people aren't the only ones feeling left out of the passion department. Married folks. I think, have the same dilemma, but on a different scale. Although their spouse may be right there beside them, life certainly gets busier when kids, jobs, and homes get dropped into the equation. People get tired, cranky, and in general, crave "alone" time when they can't have it. You have a schedule and there are too many hours of to-do's than there are minutes in most days. Such is life in 2017....

Soooooo.... what to do????

I'm betting you already know....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


Sunday, February 19, 2017

HAPPY AND SAD

Today was both a sad and happy day.

The "sad" was at the start. The morning routine was interrupted by my request that Mom wash her hair. It makes it SOOOO much easier to make her presentable! That plus I knew it must have been a while. The last time, I realized she used no shampoo. She just wet her head and called it clean. Ugh....

THIS time, she seemed truly confused by the idea of shampoo. I had to do it for her. I knew the day was coming when she would be less independent but was hoping it would be awhile before personal hygiene was affected. We don't always get what we want. Ever....
Of course I know enough to not be surprised. But of course, I wanted to crawl in a hole for a minute and just get out the emotion of despair that filled my heart.  My Mother, the light in my day, will need me now more than ever. And it will get no easier as time continues to take its toll on her.

The good part of the day was the Car Show and the ride after. It was a beautiful day and we took full advantage. I got a little ride on the motorcycle in and we were lucky enough to get to the show at a good time. I took videos of every row of vehicles and Mom seemed happy to meet new folks. She always wants to let then know she hopes to see them again and most folks take it in stride. Her compassion for others has not diminished at all!

Despite the challenges, I still feel lucky to be able to put a smile on Moms face and give her the joy in life she always wanted. She may forget about it soon after but I know deep down she feels happy and content in her new life with me.

What more could I ask?






Tuesday, February 7, 2017

MEETING NEW FOLKS

Since as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed talking to people. Their life and experiences are different than mine. I've considered my history as mild compared to many, especially those that have emigrated from a land far away. Maybe this has to do with Mom being a foreigner herself, and knowing how tough it was for her to survive here. Language has it's challenges, society has it's challenges, even finding work would have it's challenges. To overcome all this and succeed is a testament to the individual pushing forward.

In the recent past, I have spoken to people from India, Bangladesh, Ghana, China, Korea, and others. The overwhelming majority are students who came to study at the college here in Middletown. For my little borough to become so international is the coolest surprise! The kids give me hope for a happier and less violent world....


It reminds me of why I feel racism is the dumbest human fail.

We here in the United States have the good fortune of hosting many people from a diverse set of backgrounds. Some are escaping violence in the homeland. Some are looking for the opportunity to raise their family in a safe and secure environment. Some already have family here. Some are alone. We all have a story worth listening to and respecting. I'm not sure who or why or what so many fear, to the point that society seems to hate each other at first glance, but all of us are missing out on learning different cultures and journeys.

To just dismiss this is to lose out on a fundamental human condition - we are NOT meant to be alone. We are NOT meant to stagnate. We are NOT meant to be isolationists. We are NOT made to fear the unknown.

The image we have of the world and it's people are not always correct. Media and Government do NOT take the place of an actual conversation and seeing the genuine reaction of those in front of you. I had a nice discussion with someone from Jerusalem, a Palestinian man, and came away with a desire to know more. He was a very deep thinker and it was obvious he was compassionate. The only downer was that our exchange was far, far too short.

Luckily, most of the folks I chatted with around here are being welcomed with open arms. They are part of our town, and with them, will come many new things for the area. Restaurants, stores, and new faces out and about, make my hometown a place that others will visit and appreciate. It feels so good knowing there will be more and more people that will call MY town THEIRS as well.