Writings of Others – Sequel

January 18, 2010

A while back I shared some things that were written by an ancestor. This time around, I can’t attribute the words I’m sharing because, like many things we receive in our email in-boxes, the author is not cited. That’s a shame because whoever wrote these words should be complimented.

I’m sharing this person’s words because they help me keep things in the proper perspective and I’m hoping they do the same for the folks who take the time to check out this blog.

So, with no further introduction, here are some great words to live by.

I AM THANKFUL:

FOR THE WIFE WHO SAYS, “IT’S HOT DOGS TONIGHT”
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME, AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

FOR THE HUSBAND WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.

FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES
BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME, NOT ON THE STREETS.

FOR THE TAXES I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED.

FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.

FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE

FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.

FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION.

FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM.

FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR.

FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.

FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.

FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.

AND FINALLY, FOR E-MAILS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.


Michael Jackson’s Band Wagon

June 26, 2009

If you don’t mind, I’d rather toss Michael under the band wagon.

For many of us, yesterday’s bigger loss was the death of Farrah Fawcett who finally lost her three year battle with cancer. Even with her tremendous suffering, Farrah had the courage to put together a documentary of her struggle to demonstrate the importance of not giving up.

And what was Michael Jackson doing during the last three years? I really don’t know and I obviously don’t care. After the repeated accusations of child molestation, the plastic surgeries to make him look more like Liz Taylor, and his many other idiotic actions, I got tired of hearing his name.

In many ways, I feel sorrier for Michael than I do for Farrah. Farrah was battling a physical enemy. Michael’s enemies were mostly in his own mind.

When the Jackson Five first came on the scene in the late 60’s, I was a big fan of the young Michael Jackson. As time progressed and his musical style changed, I lost interest. Perhaps that was my fault for getting old. I quit listening to rock and roll music as it evolved toward what it is today. Somewhere along the line, I switched to country music which, today, is more reminiscent to the rock and roll of my youth. With country music, a story is told and I can understand the lyrics. (That’s how I know a story is told.)

The young Mr. Jackson was very good looking. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his appearance. But then his skin began to get lighter and his nose turned into something you’d expect to see on a Caucasian. In truth, it makes me wonder what his body looked like. How far down his neck did the doctors go when they turned his skin lighter?

Enjoying cookies and milk and sleeping with little boys. I don’t care how much of a Michael Jackson fan you are – that is beyond weird. It makes me wonder what sort of demons shared that body with the fabulous entertainer.

Yes. I called him a fabulous entertainer. While I didn’t care for his music, millions of other folks disagreed with me. They loved his concerts.

During the last American Idol, I thought sure Adam Lambert would win because, of all the other contestants, he was the best entertainer. He seemed to be a natural on the stage… just as Michael Jackson was.

Kris Allen is a very talented young man, but he doesn’t have the stage presence of Adam Lambert. I think Adam lost because most Americans thought sure he was going to win. So, they either didn’t bother to vote, or they voted for Kris to make it close.

I think a similar thing happened when Bill Clinton beat George Bush. Everyone was sure Bush would win, so many voted for Ross Perot… so that Bush wouldn’t win by a landslide.

Oops! I strayed off the original topic. My apologies.

Getting back to Michael, I always hate to see a person die before his or her time, but I can’t help wondering how much Michael’s demons contributed to his demise. In a way, he’s been fighting his own form of cancer for most of his life. Maybe that explains his weird behavior.

Numerous personalities have stated that most of us will long remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of Michael’s death. Some likened it to the death of Elvis Presley – another performer I didn’t really care for. Some even went so far as to compare it to the death of John F. Kennedy.

Sorry. That takes it too far. Both entertainers were extremely popular with their fan base, but the assassination of a United States President is more than a little different.

I have no idea of what I was doing on the day of Elvis’ death. I couldn’t even tell you the year he died let alone the month and day. Soon I’ll be in the same situation with Michael’s death (as well as Farrah’s), but I’ll never be that way when it comes to JFK.

I was a sophomore at Edinboro State Teachers College on November 22, 1963. I was at my off-campus housing when I heard JFK had been shot. I then walked into town where I got the word that he had died.

Come to think of it, it’s a bit troublesome that our culture puts more emphasis on the lives of entertainers than on politicians. No wonder our government is so screwed up.


Problem Solving

March 24, 2009

Over the years I’ve seen and read numerous accounts of how the Egyptians may have built the pyramids and how the Druids (or some older group of Brits) may have built Stonehenge. Some of the theories make a little sense, but they all seem to leave unanswered questions.

Maybe all of these ancient wonders were built by little green men from another planet, or some lost civilization whose engineering secrets were destroyed by a race of Barbarians.

Then along comes some old guy with a simple explanation… that is actually believable.

My only question is how he gets the little rocks underneath the gigantic stones.

I think we all face problems in our lives. How we deal with them says a lot about how we were raised… as well as how much money we have in the bank.

For example, if my bride and I had a big fat cushion of cash, we would’ve paid professionals to come in and redo our kitchen. I think that would’ve been a terrible mistake. Besides having the project cost us an additional $5,000, we would not have derived the same sense of satisfaction and pride.

When we first moved into our home, our first major project was to build a deck. It was not just any deck; it was a two level deck with a combined space of about one thousand square feet.

OUR Deck

OUR Deck

Once again we saved a bundle by doing it ourselves. Yet, the pride in being able to say “we did it… and we’re still married!” is the more important factor.

I was recently elected to our church council and must now help solve another problem. The weekly contributions have fallen off and we either have to find a way to increase donations or reduce our various ministries.

To be honest, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve already suggested some steps we might take to reduce our monthly expenses, but I’m more interested in finding ways to increase our income.

That thought frightens me. I’m thinking like a politician! Instead of simply finding ways to eliminate waste and cut costs, I’m looking for new tax opportunities.

Not really. What I’m doing is trying to come up with some fund raising ideas that will get many of our members involved and many of our non-members to come visit us and spend their money.

Perhaps our government should try something similar. Perhaps they could start finding ways to earn the money instead of simply raising taxes.

While we’re waiting for the flying pigs, if you have any suggestions on how a small church might raise some extra money, please let me know.