"A person's life can be compared quite nicely to the four seasons of the year. This blog is from someone in the Winter of Life enjoying the fruits of his "Summer and Fall" and looking forward to assisting the growth and nourishment for the next generation.

My Father and Grandfather passed on their wisdom through their actions and their stories. This is probably be the most impactful way to pass on wisdom. But the written word can have an affect on lives that extends beyond the memories of a couple of generations. This blog is an attempt to reflection on my life experiences and pass these reflections to future generations of my own family as well as any others who might come across these pages.

Monday, June 28

If I had a Million dollars

With the Tennessee lottery, it is common for folks to dream about winning an enormous sum of money. Would you take the lump sum, or would you opt for the security of a guaranteed payout of the full amount for 20 years? How much would taxes cut into the amount? More importantly, what would you do with the money after all taxes are paid? Everyone, even the good Southern Baptist among us, have pondered these questions.

When my kids were young, we would play a game with them. “What would you do with a million dollars?” Their young eyes would light up at the prospect of, what seemed like, an unlimited amount of money. As they named the items they mentioned, we would put a value on it and subtract it from the total. First a new house for Mom and Dad, value $65,000 (remember this was back when $1 million was worth $1 million), a new TV, at least a 21”, and new bikes, and a new car, one of those new Vans. And so on the game went until they ran out of things to buy. We always gently reminded them to remember to give to the church and give to a charity. They gleefully agreed but only after they had “bought” all the other stuff as well.

We laughed about our “purchases” and moved on to the next task like real shopping, my personal favorite, ugh. Over the years, the items changed as did their understanding of the value of things. Things like prom dresses, a fantastic vacation, a computer, and so on replaced their earlier choices. I like to imagine what their “purchases” would be today with, say, $10 million. I suspect church and college funding for their children would be higher on the list than a new home for Mom and Dad, as they should be. It would be interesting to see how their values changed as their years and maturity levels increased.

Wednesday, June 23

“A” – Angie Dickinson, “B” - .....

This past week the hot weather at home drove my wife and I into the welcoming arms of Sunny South Florida. Well that and the offer of a free week at a friend’s condo in Naples. If you think Tennessee is hot, go to South Florida. I was never so thankful for air conditioning. But I digress.

Hoping to save some money since we had the free lodging, we decided to drive to Naples. After all it’s all Interstate 75 from Chattanooga and Chattanooga is only two hours from the house. How hard could that be? Well, I will tell you it is not hard driving, just set the cruise control on 75 and set back and guide the car. But it is boring as all get out! My wife finished the newspaper by the time we climbed Monteagle Mountain. We had breakfast in Chattanooga. The book on tape lasted to Macon and we still had not gotten out of Georgia nor were we half way there.

Over the years, we have developed a fairly simple game to pass the time. There aren’t a lot of rules, in fact the rules are broken regularly, nor is it hard. The game does require a two unique characteristics. You have to have watched a lot of movies and TV shows and have a good memory.

Starting with A and continuing through the alphabet, name a movie star or TV star whose first or last name begins with your letter. “A” - Audie Murphy, “B” - Bette Davis, “C” – Catherine Zeta Jones and so on. The first round is fairly easy and the second isn’t bad. And some letters aren’t bad. But can you name three movie stars with a first or last name beginning with “Q”? Anthony Quinn and Quentin (what’s his last name?) How about “Z”? or “U”. The fun part of the game is naming a movie they were in or naming their co-star or laughing over a line from the movie.

The real fun comes after you have played the game to exhaustion and moved on the something else to

Monday, June 14

Laughing at yourself is good!

These aren’t necessarily deep thoughts or pieces of sage advice; I just thought they were funny. Thanks to my good friend Bert Wakely for sending them to me. Was he trying to tell me something? I have added a few quotes as well.

An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia, he asked to speak to his son. 'Yes, Dad, what is it? ' 'Don't be nervous, son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife....'

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me! I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

My personal favorite: A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office. 'Is it true,' she wanted to know, 'that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?' 'Yes, I'm afraid so,' the doctor told her. There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, 'I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'.