"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, March 19

The Best Apples ....

Everyone can tell I love to eat. I really, really like ice cream, fried chicken, greens peas and mashed potatoes and banana pudding and steamed broccoli. Of all the foods, I like a good red juicy apple the best. You know the kind. You bite into it and it crunches between your teeth and then those cold juices hit your taste buds and sent a cool sweet taste through your mouth. Like I said, I love a good apple.

When I was nine years old, my family and I visited my grandparents in Arkansas. They lived on a farm in rural eastern Arkansas. Dad liked to go out on the farm with my granddad not so much for the work but because he and granddad had an understanding; if dad didn’t tell mom about granddad dipping snuff, dad could ride the horses. For a city boy that was pretty heady stuff. Mom and grandma worked in the kitchen making the best food in the world while drinking sweet tea and gossiping about all the relatives.

Sunday, March 18

In Praise of Dreamers

brass rings,businesses,businesswomen,goals,metaphors,persons,reaching,women
I was at my cash register yesterday, when a young pretty lady (understand, at my age all females are young and pretty ladies) brought over one of the clearance ties to check out.  She asked if we had any white button down shirts that would fit her.  She also wanted a narrow, skinny, tie. Now understand, this combination of questions is not the ones I normally get from my usual customers.  My curiosity aroused, I asked her why she needed the shirt and ties. She volunteered she had just gotten a job as a server at one of our local restaurants and the dress code called for a buttoned down white shirt and a tie.
Taking a second look at the young lady and I could not help but ask, “Are you a singer or songwriter or both?”  She told me her story.  After a few dead-end jobs in her hometown of Orlando, she finally decided to pursue her dream of a career in the music business.  So she packed her bags, told her mama what she was going to do and left sunny Florida to come to Nashville. She was, indeed, a songwriter and had done some back up singing. She needed a job that gave her enough time write and meet people in the business.

Saturday, March 17

What's in a Name?

Do you remember when your mom told that old saying, "Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you."? I was a short, chubby kid who had numerous occassions to repeat that jingle. This lasted until I got on the football field and was able to "legally" get some revenge. I broke some bones, but the names have continued to stick with me.

Others have had a physical or mental condition that the "normal" kids thought was so funny they just had to be creative and give out funny names. Remember "four eyes", "fatty, fatty, two by four", "dumbo", "dum-dum", and so on? Do you also remember, when it became obvious the names were too harsh, they would say, "I'm sorry." Right!

After each insult, Mom's jingle would come to mind. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as Mom intended. Broken bones heal, but names stuck around. I remember breaking my arm as a kid. After the initial pain and fear subsided, it was kind of cool to show off the cast and have everyone sign it. I got over the broken bones quickly. But the names, well ... let's just say it took a little more time to get over them.

As I look at life from the vantage point of the Fall. it is clear to see I have been guilty of labeling individuals. In

Friday, March 16

The Clock is Clicking

I went to bed last night and woke up 38 years later. No, this is not the plot for a science fiction movie. But, dang, it feels like it is. Time passes so fast. Before you know it, you no longer have all the time in the world to do what you want.

Unfortunately, when this realization becomes crystal clear, it is impossible to go back and take the time to do those things that have become so important now but were of little significance then. “If only” becomes one of the major laments of those who begin to understand that an opportunity once lost can not be recovered. Friendships lost through neglect are difficult to repair and polish to their once brilliance. Financial plans developed and conceived when the “time was right” can not be completed now because the time has run out. Career goals, travel adventures, sights and people to see all become part of the “if only” lists of lost opportunities.

To be fair, one must admit some plans were stalled by the unforeseen or underestimated; such as family expenses, illness, school expense, work load, and so on. Certainly one has to prioritize dreams and goals. But that’s not really what I am talking about. Perhaps a few examples will suffice.

My mother lived 20 minutes from me and I didn’t see her or call her, often for a week at a time. My grandfather died and I couldn’t be bothered to come home from college for his funeral. I knew the importance of funding an IRA but couldn’t find $10 a month to put into one. I wanted to earn my PhD in Political Science and teach on the college level but wanted a new car and a job more. My dad was in the VA hospital in my college town and I visited him once in two months. I lived less than two hours from my mother and father and didn’t see them for two years until my dad died.