Friday, August 26, 2011

ANTICIPATION: The Sparkle In Life!

E. Stanley Jones, (1884-1973), was a 20th century Methodist missionary and theologian working in the India subcontinent.  He spent a lot of time with Mahatma Gandhi and the Nehru family.  Born in Baltimore, Md., he graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky.  I particularly like one quote of Rev. Jones:

"Many live with dread of what is coming.  WHY SHOULD WE?  The unknown puts adventure into life.  The unknown around the corner gives a sense of anticipation and surprize.  Thank God for the unknown future".

ANTICIPATION IS THE SPARKLE IN LIFE!

I am not personally acquainted with anyone who has done more, seen more or enjoyed life more than I have and do.  Really, I HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT.  I have travelled throughout the world, been the guest of royalty, dined with heads-of-state and shared in the wonders of life. 

I am "old and grey but not in the way".  I still live in daily anticipation of life.

Today, I am going back down to our lakeside retreat with my wife and Donna, our girl Friday.  Being down with a strained back for a few weeks, I was unable to tend to the lawn and the grass is higher than an elephant's eye.  They will take care of that.


My garden is in and the eating is great.  The girls will not get down until late, Julie works today, and I'll cook green beans for supper tonight along with tomatoes, squash and cucumbers and sweet onions in a sweetened vinegar sauce.  I like to eat! I anticipate supper tonight.


DONNA, HIRED 3 YEARS AGO
Watching a "tear jerker" at the lake
She helps Julie with the work I can no longer do
I am putting a chain link fence around the property at the lake and Donna will help me with that this weekend.  I anticipate the peace of mind of having the property fenced in during the winter off season.






In the next few days I'll plow and prepare a strip of ground along the west property line where I want to plant a grape arbor next spring.  I'll plant both juice and table grapes.  If there is time, I'll put up the posts and support wire so all I have to do next spring is plant the vines.  ALSO, THERE WILL BE LESS GRASS TO MOW!  I sure anticipate less mowing!

Next spring I plan to install an 8' x 50" carpet covered, cement bochi ball/game court and also add a 12' x 20" half covered, cement patio with a fireplace onto the existing raised deck.  WHEN THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED THERE WILL BE NO GRASS TO MOW ON THE LAKE SIDE OF THE RETREAT!

I JUST KNOW, NEXT YEAR IS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR!  I can hardly wait!  Last year was a bummer with my bad hip and this year is a challenge trying to break in the new hip replacement.

Next year?  I am four years beyond my life expectancy.  Yes, "next year" is THE GOOD LORD WILLING AND THE KRICK DON'T GET TOO HIGH!  But, I know a secret which I often share.

Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is but a hope.  The only time that we know for certain is today.  I ENJOY LIVING EACH AND EVERY DAY WITH ANTICIPATION!

People spend their lives in anticipation, in determing to be vastly happy at some period when they have time.  But the present time has one advantage over every other time--it is real and ours!  We may lay in a stock of pleasures as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we delay the tasting too long, we find that both are soured by age.

This a quote from anther wise person, Charles Caleb Cotton.


Don't wait!  Enjoy life today!  Anticipate tomorrow.  But, do more than just anticipate tomorrow, prepare for it as if it is a certainty!

On April 9th, this year my lovely daughter, Kimberly, gave me two tickets to Ohio State's opening football game.  My wife Julie has never been to a college football game.  What a joy of anticipation it is to introduce her to the biggest and best!  GO BUCKS!

A week from today we will drive down to Columbus,  and check in to the University Plaza Hotel, which is nearby the stadium.  I anticipate two nights in this lovely and convenient establishment.   The hotel will shuttle us to the game and we will walk back afterwards to spend another night avoiding the crowded, after game highways.

A FAVORITE OVER MANY YEARS
We love Columbus.  We anticipate dining at Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Restaurant and visiting German Village.




OUR LIVES HAS BEEN ENHANCED FOR MONTHS NOW IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS EVENT!  Thanks Kimberly.

BEACH VIEW FROM OUR PENTHOUSE SUITE
Five weeks from today we depart from home heading for a month at the beach.  We have stayed at the Royal Garden Resort for over 20 years.  We lease a large, comfortable penthouse suite and invite family and friends to a month long party.  We have established a routine for the two day drive down and back and enjoy many traditions going and coming.

 WE HAVE ANTICIPATED THIS SINCE OCTOBER 1ST OF LAST YEAR WHEN WE RENEWED THE LEASE. 

The next few weeks will be full of preparations for the beach.  Julie and I sat on our porch late yesterday evening and went over our traditional menu.  We will be busy from now on just getting every thing ready.  We buy food locally as prices at Myrtle Beach is so much higher than at home.
I ANTICIPATE SETTING THE TABLE NEXT CHRISTMAS
We have traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas events in our home.  That will be a very busy season for us.  We love that and anticipate the good times we know we will have.

After New Years, we look forward to a Romantic Evening, a special dinner we create for good friends at Valentine's Day.  In addition to a many course dinner, we arrange for entertainment.  We anticipate our guests enjoyment.
SPREAD EAGLE TAVERN AND INN, CIRCA 1837
A Delicious B & B and a visit to Earlier Days in America
On March 3rd, next year, we have made reservations for Kimberly and her husband, Jack, to join Julie and I for a very special Bed and Breakfast weekend at the Spread Eagle Tavern and Inn, a beautiful federal building established in Hanover, Ohio in 1837.  What a great time that will be in front of a large, roaring fireplace in the last days of winter.  I GET SO EXCITED AS I ANTICIPATE THIS!

Mixed in with all of this is family gatherings, dinners with our dining group and other fun events.  I have also undertaken a large writing project.  My life is so full each and every day!  I DO NOT INTEND TO LET THE WINE OF LIFE SOUR ON ME!

"IT MUST BE NICE!"

I hear this so often!  So many times those living boring lives, and there are more who do than who don't, act like we are somehow more blessed than they.  THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!  More often than not they are much better off financially than we are.  The simple difference is that we plan to have a good time.  We decide what sounds like fun and make long range plans to enjoy our plans.  The more it costs, the further out we plan.  Money does not have to be a deterrent to the good life.

A dear friend and relative of mine, Ruby Pierce, may she rest in peace, when she heard of my plans for Myrtle Beach ten months away commented "How does Walt know what he is going to be doing ten months from now?  I don't know what I'm going to be doing ten minutes from now!" Most people are just like Ruby!

Let your good times roll!

It is not a question of money, health or family relationships.  It is a matter of planning and action.

DON'T DRINK THE SOUR WINE OF AN UNPLANNED LIFE!

God Bless!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS: Hurry! They're Going Fast!

A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF A DIRT ROAD THROUGH THE WOODS
Look quickly, it won't be that way very long!

"Take me home, Country Roads, West Virginia"! 

John Denver, may he rest in peace, made it sound so very romantic!  It could be.  I remember walking, hand-in-hand out Jericho Road with a high school sweetheart.  That was romantic!  (Yes, that was a long time ago and I do have a good memory, thanks for asking!)

I also remember that infamous road after the snow had melted and the sun had started to warm up the red mud.  Bad news, Charlie!  My mother walked maybe a mile of that road to attend school through the 3rd grade.  Her memories did not reflect Denver's song.
FOR THE WORLD LIKE THE STREET OF MY CHILDHOOD
Not Quite So Romantic, huh?


What "country" roads were was bottomless pits of mud when wet and dirty, dusty, and hard washboards when they were dry, at best.  I have walked in a dirt road when the dust was deeper than my bare feet.

Alabama takes pride in having fewer dirt roads than Mississippi.  Since 1989 North Carolina has tried to pave all their roads.  They have reduced their "country" roads from over 12,000 miles to under 5,000 miles.  The nation still has 1.3 million miles of unpaved roads.
PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Signed the Federal-Aide Highway Act in 1956



In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated the building of the interstate highway systems.  The original plans took 35 years and was then extended.  Today, we have in excess of 46,876 miles of expressway across the nation.  The cost was a paltry 425 Billion.  Everyone in the nation is richer for Eisenhower's leadership, in war and in peace.

America is still a great nation.  We are in desperate need of a  great leader.  Instead of someone who feels the need to travel around the world making apologies for America, we need a leader who still has a vision for our greatness.  Someone who doesn't think it is wrong that people who work hard, get an education, save and invest have money.  The transfer of wealth is not the American way.

If Americans will take the time and effort to learn the truth, getting away from the media hype, we will again elect someone on the order of a Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Instead of an interstate highway system, maybe we could make a start to eliminate being held hostage to mideast oil cartels.  It might take 35 years but wouldn't that be wonderful?  Can you say $0.23?  That was the price of a gallon of gas when Eisenhower started building America's highways.  Lets get back to those happy days!

I DON'T THINK THERE HAS BEEN A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOUR "ACTIVE" PARTICIPATION WAS MORE NEEDED TO PERSERVE THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE!


YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS GETTING INVOLVED
JOIN THEM!
Please get involved.  The Tea Party is for a smaller, more responsible government.  Isn't that what we all want?  Give them your support.  I CERTAINLY WILL!

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

GOOD EYESIGHT: What A Wonderful Blessing!

1947 - POINT PLEASANT BIG BLACKS
Number 59, I played defensive left end and offensive right tackle
We are each blessed in different ways.  Although my nose is straight, inside it is plain, old garbage.  When I was young I boxed and played football before the days of helmets with face masks.  MY SENSE OF SMELL LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED!  By the way, this is seldom a handicap and often a blessing in and of its self.

NO, I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS SIGN
I'll watch for it!

A DEFINITE HANDICAP IS A HEARING LOSS!  I do not hear well.  That is probably because of the many years I worked in an area of heavy, loud machinery or high pitched steam leaks.

 If you won't mention it to my wife, sometimes I use my lack of hearing to an advantage also, like in, "Oh! Did You Ask Me To Do that, Dear".

My eyesight, however, is marvelous.  I have worn bifocals since I was age 42 but I can see the smallest print at the greatest distances.  My eyesight is actually better than 20/20.  In great sorrow, I admit that I did not pass this gene on to my children and my wife's eyesight is very poor.  I AM THANKFUL FOR THIS BLESSING!

The size of my blog print has been "normal".  A faithful reader just notified me, however, of her dificulty reading the blog because the print was a weeeeeeeeeee bit small.  WHAT AN EASY PROBLEM TO SOLVE.

READING IS SUCH A BLESSING!  If you have older friends who do not read much, consider that they may have difficulty seeing the print.  They might respond very favorably to gifts on subject matter in which they have an interest with large print.

EASY TO HOLD, ANY SIZE PRINT, WELL LIGHTED
I dearly love my Kindle
I also like the inexpensive cost of books on Kindle

If they like to read, consider giving them a Kindle.  My extended family all pitched in to buy my Kindle with additional funds for my first few books.  You can select the size print, you can have light directly on your story and the Kindle is so easy to hold, the latter being very important to a lot of seniors.

CANNING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WAS A WAY OF LIFE
In earlier days, America was strictly a "No Workee-No Eatee" society.  
Try giving reading material to your older loved ones with nostalgia of days gone by.  You would be surprised how interested your seniors are in current, day-to-day happenings but they also greatly enjoy reminiscenes about the movies, the fashions, the cars and other aspects of life when they were young.

As the song says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one".

God bless you and yours!


Monday, August 22, 2011

REARING CHILDREN: The Early Days Are What Counts!

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, EASTON OHIO
A Little Country Church Build in the Civil War Era
In Sunday School yesterday, at the Easton United Methodist Church, today's young people became a topic of discussion.  At age 80, I liked a long ways from being the oldest in the class.  It was the 90th birthday of one class member, others were only middle aged.
DELBERT RASENCHENBERGER'S 90TH BIRTHDAY
A World War II Naval Hero of Six Pacific Invasions
As has been the case down through the years, the older folks agreed that today's youth are beyond help.  A pretty good case could be made for that argument.  On the other hand, however, as I like to point out, some of today's youth are the best in the history of mankind. Certainly the best educated.  Some of them are the best, that is.  Most are not. 

In America today, families average two cars and three televisions with everyone having stoves and refridgerators.  Americans have indoor plumbing and take unlimited, clean water for granted.  When compared with the rest of the world, life in the USA is good.

My wife and I own three cars and have a large television in every room of the house, except the bathroom.  We have an additional two large televisions at the lakeside retreat.  My wife and I each have our own computer at home and I have a computer at the lake.  At best, we are just a middle income family.  No, I don't watch much television, the news morning and night and the O'Reilly Factor.

I might mention that all these large TVs have been given to us by people moving up to the large flat screens.  We did not buy a single TV and have, in fact, passed along a number of big TVs to other needy people.  And, to be honest, two of our three cars were given to us by folks moving up to bigger and better.  The three computers were also gifts as people upgraded.  Thank you, thank you and thank you! 

Observe youth from even the lower income families.  They are dressed in expensive clothing, albeit, horrible looking, expecially the boys.  Check out their new shoes.  (My wife bought me the first pair of new shoes I have had in years, and she bought those to help me get dressed with the difficulties of a hip replacement).  A majority will be overweight, obviously having adequate food.  Check out their cell phones, yes, they will each have their own phone, some of the phones costing hundreds of dollars.

Trying not to "rant" like Dennis Miller, I am glad to say that not all children are like that.  I can think of three, two grandchildren, and one a great grandson, who are just the opposite.  The difference? Discipline.  The parents are disciplined.  The children are disciplined.  The parents work, the children work.  It shows!

The great grandson, Greyden Hudson Pierce, a second grader, loves to read his grandfather's Kindle.  Knowing that, his grandfather has included a number of appropriate books on his Kindle.  The active youngster wants his own Kindle.

What normally happens in today's America, the parents or grandparents would simply cough up the cash and give him a Kindle.  His Dad, instead, told him to raise the money himself.  This active but polite youngster has been doing everything possible for a bit of money to buy himself a Kindle.

He has been at it for months and a month or so ago, I inquired how his effort was coming.  He was about $29 short of his goal of $150.  I told his grandparents I would just give him the $29 but my daughter-in-law reminded me that that was not what his parents wanted.

I had a large bag of change in my van and pleased the youngster to no end when I gave it to him.  I told him if there was less than $5.00 in the bag, to let me know and I'd make it up to that amount.  My wife also has $5 for him.  The large bag of change pleased his mother because she said he was just learning to count money in school and here was a perfect application.
GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN
Riley, Greyden, Delaney, and Cisley
THIS YOUNG MAN IS GOING TO DO WELL IN LIFE!  HE IS DOING WELL ALREADY.  HIS PARENTS SHOULD BE, AND ARE, PROUD.  SO ARE HIS GRAND PARENTS.  So are his Great Grand parents!  Greyden will stand head and shoulders above the previously discribed, spoiled, undisciplined children.

The annual earnings of the parents of Riley and Delaney Rose, my two youngest grandchildren, I am sure are well in the top 5% of the nation.  I once heard a person comment that "Kimberly and Jack have more money than God".  They send the kids to the very best private school and insure that the kids are active in school by being active in school themselves.  Their parents are disciplined, the kids are disciplined.  The parents work extremely hard, the kids work hard.  The parents are frugal, and the kids are frugal, especially the son.   It shows.

At Christmas time I see, at best modest income families, overflow their homes with gifts for their children, even expensive laptop computers for preschool kids.  The parents of Riley and Delaney Rose give them each three presents.  Last year the kids desperately wanted a dog to replace a pet that had passed away.  The parents asked if the kids would like to restrict themselves to only two gifts and use the value of their third gift to make a donation to a favorite charity.

The parents agreed among themselves that if the children chose to be charitable, they would get the dog.  I think Riley donated the value of his one gift to a hospital and Delaney Rose made a donation to an animal shelter.  The new dog's name is Bella!  THESE CHILDREN ARE AND WILL BE OUTSTANDING CITIZENS.

All too often we only see the bad!  When that happens, look around, you're missing something important.

God bless you and yours.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

THERE'S CHANGE: And, Then There's Change!

Home after a month in jail!

Nah!  I wasn't really in jail, but it seemed like it.

I returned to the lake too soon with my strained back and wasn't able to do any physical work.  (Just having a new hip to deal with was bad enough!).

While I was home nursing the back, the power had been off at the lake.  My computer had been down and I couldn't get it up and couldn't figure out why until I tried to buy a book on my Kindle.  The Kindle told me I needed a wifi.

My son, Mark, had installed a wifi last spring for me at the lake, because I am isolated there, but for some reason I couldn't figure out, it isn't working.

I found out, however, just how addicted I am to the computer and the Kindle.  I tried reading a book after eight months with a Kindle.  It was awful!

Any hoo, thats why I haven't been blogging.  Quite late tonight, I've been out with the dining group, but I'll share an email with you that I received from the west coast before I go to bed.

Hint!  They're not all Liberals on the left coast.
USS YUMA ATF94 RECEIVING BATTLE EFFICIENCY AWARD 1951
I am front row, extreme left sailor, behind Captain, with clean shorts!
That black "meat ball" and the "E" shoulder patch was worth $20 a month!
                    There's an old sea story
about a ship's Captain
at a Saturday morning inspection.
After inspection he told the
Chief-of-the-Boat
that the crew smelled bad.

Duty gets pretty relaxed on sea going tugs,
but the Captain suggested
to the Chief that perhaps it might
help if the crew would change underwear occasionally.
The Chief responded" Aye, aye sir,
I'll see to it immediately!"

The Chief went straight down below
the fantail to the crew's
quarters and announced,
"The Captain thinks you guys smell
bad and wants you to change
your underwear."

He ordered, "Ratazak you change
with Bauer, Tucker, you change with
Painter, and Easter, you change 
with Shorty Fowler."

(I knew these guys, their shorts probably did stink!)

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

Someone may come along and promise
"CHANGE"
but don't count on things smelling any better.

NO, NO, NO!  I AM NOT BIASED, I AM BEING FAIR AND BALANCED!  I MEAN THIS IS A REPORT FRESH FROM THE "LEFT" COAST YOU KNOW!

Be sure to vote!

God Bless you and yours.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

KEEP OFF RUSH STREET! Don't Talk To Any Sailors!

The Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC) is a national membership organization whose members are major academic medical centers and health systems committed to quality patient care, medical education and research.  My lovely daughter, Kimberly, is the Excutive Director of the organziation and her office is in Chicago.

KIMBERLY'S HOME OFFICE OVER THE GARAGE
There is an enclosed walkway from her home
Like so many modern day business people with computerized offices, however, Kimberly mostly works at home in North Canton, Ohio in an office she recently had constructed as part of her home.  There is a covered second story walkway from her home to her office.  Her spacious office has a fireplace, windows with beautiful views, and even exercise equipment if-you-please.  Her work enviroment is efficient and convenient.  She likes her job.  That being said, from time-to-time, over the years, she has had to go to Chicago.

She has come to love Chi-town and has shared that love with her daughter, Delaney Rose Pierce Boggs.  Since Delaney was a small child her mother has taken Laney to the home of American Dolls in Chicago.  They make it a two or three day trip, just mother and daughter.  Very Special!


I also like Chicago.  My son, Mark, included it in an around the country motor trip he treated me to a few years ago.  Our trip was also special.  But my Chicago experience predates Mark or Kimberly.  My first visit was on July 23, 1948 courtsey of the United States Navy.  At age 17 I was very impressed as I headed for the nearby Great Lakes Naval Training Center and boot camp.

LAUNDRY DAY AT GREAT LAKES NAVAL TRAINING CENTER
Actually, I never personally spent much time in Chicago, just passed through.  My liberties were so short that I went to a small town much closer to the base where I knew a girl from home.  But, I heard the stories.

RUSH STREET.  The action is on Rush Street.  Where's the action on Rush Street?  Why, just look for the red lights.  Un Huh!  Or, just ask one of the ladies you see around and about.  They are friendly, very friendly.  YEAH!

Kimberly is the most thoughtful daughter in that she keeps me fully aprised of her travel arrangements.  Thanks Sis!  Over the years my advice to Kimberly has been "Be a lady"!  On her Chicago trips, however, I tell her to STAY AWAY FROM RUSH STREET AND DON'T TALK TO ANY SAILORS!  As could be expected in 63 years, Rush Street is no longer a red light district.  

I call Lanie, my youngest granddaughter, ROSEBUD, aged 10.  I also remind her to stay off Rush Street and to refrain from talking to any sailors.
KIMBERLY AND ROSEBUD
At the Rosebud Restaurant on Rush Street!
From their last trip they delighted in emailing this picture to me.  WHAT SHALL I DO WITH SUCH AN ORNERY PAIR?  Why, blame it on Kimberly's mother, of course, may she rest in peace!

God Bless.

HAVING A BAD DAY? It Could Be Worse!

Today is not a bad day for me.

In response to my last blog I heard from my sister's daughter, my niece, Betty Lou McCoy.  Our visits of a lifetime have been pretty much a funeral/wedding thing, sorry to say.

Like so often happens, she did not give me her email address so I cannot reply.  I would enjoy getting an update on she, her husband and their children, all of whom are winners.  I have a great picture of Betty and her brother when they were maybe 8 and 6.  I searched for a couple hours but couldn't come up with it.  Sorry, Betty!

So often with the readers of my blog, I either do not get a return address or the address given doesn't work.  Recently I heard from a family member of a crewman of the USS Yuma ATF94.  I would like to have exchanged some info but the return address they provided didn't work.  If you have problems using the blog reply system, my email address is walsinepierce@aol.com

I also heard today from another faithful blog reader, my friend and high school class mate, Maude Blankinship,  uh, thats Blankinship with an "i" not an "e".  ( Or is it and "e" instead of an "i"?) I must be careful with Maude, after 63 years she has just shortened my name up from "Walsine" to "Walt"!  She inquired how my day was going and then included several instances of how my day could be worse.  I'll share them with you.
SO, HOW'S YOUR DAY GOING MY FRIEND?'

BEEN DUMPED ON LATELY?

OH, NO !  YOU DIDN'T SEE THIS ON MY BLOG! 
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR, FELLOWS! 

NO COMMENT ON THIS, IT MIGHT BE A FATAL DECISION!

SOME DAYS CAN BE BAD, REAL STINKERS, DOWNRIGHT NASTY!



How is my day Maude?  Wonderful!  My recently strained back is 85% well and I was headed back down to the lake and to my writing.  Julie said if I'd stay home another night she would make me shrimp diavolo.  The aroma from the kitchen has my stomach growling.  Again, thanks for asking.  Thanks for sharing the funnies with everyone, Maude.

Uh, folks, if you think these jokes are a bit crude, you have to understand that Maude is no longer a country lass.  Yes, she is a 1948 grad of Point Pleasant High School in Point Pleasant, WV, the same as me.  But, you see, Maude has moved up to the fast track.  She now resides in Simi Valley, California.  As bad as she is however, I must remember that it was she who got me through senior English.  Like I said, thanks Maude!

God bless you and yours.

SHRIMP DIAVOLO WAS WONDERFUL
Wish I Could Have Shared It With You

Saturday, August 13, 2011

DEMONIC BY ANN COULTNER: Made Plain and Simple by Cheryl

ANN HART COULTNER
I like Ann Coultner.  She upsets the extreme left politicians like no one else can.  She upsets them to the point that they attack her at her speaking engagements.  She must have constant body guards.  She is sassy and speaks out with vim and vigor in plain words which cannot be misunderstood.  She is often a guest on Fox News.


I recently finished her book "Demonic".  She made her point, made her point, made her point and made her point of the difference between the Democrats and Republicans.  After the first few chapters I found it difficult to read.  I had the same experience with other political books I've read. I RECOMMEND ANN'S BOOK, NONE THE LESS! 

My cousin Cheryl, shown here with her attack cat, with a lot fewer words, made the point Ann Coultner needed an entire book to make.  Cheryl, a recent college grad, just returned from a visit to Seattle, Washington.  She will join with the family for a week at the beach in October.  We sure look forward to those good times.  Here is Cheryl's email.


THE HOT AIR BALLOON
The woman in the hot air balloon realized she was lost.
She lowered her altitude and spotted a man
in a boat below.  She shouted at him,
"Excuse me, can you help me?
  I promised a friend I would meet him
an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied,
"You're in a hot air balloon,
approximately 30 feet above ground elevation
of 2,346 feet above sea level.  You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees,
49.09 minutes west longitude.  You are drifting east
on a compass bearing of 097 degrees at
about five miles per hour"

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must
be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man.  "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct.  But I have no idea what to
do with your information, and I'm still lost.
Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You
must be an Obama-Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist.  "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are,
or where you are going.
You've risen to where you are, due to a large
quanity of hot air.
You made a promise you have no idea how to keep,
and expect me to solve your problem. 
You're in exactly the same position you were in
before we met, but somehow,
now it's my fault."

Well, that's the story.  Hope you get the point?  PLAN TO VOTE!

Take care.  Smell the roses.

God bless.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WHY I LIKE RETIREMENT: And, I Do!

I retired at age 60.  I am now 80.  I am an experienced retiree.  People considering retirement often have questions.  From my experience and wisdom, allow me to answer a few retirement questions.

Q - How many days are in a retired week?
A - 6 SATURDAYS, 1 SUNDAY

Q - When is a retiree's bedtime?
A - THREE HOURS AFTER HE FALLS ASLEEP ON THE COUCH

Q - What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
A - THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GET EVERYTHING DONE

Q - Why don't retirees mind being called "Seniors"?
A - BECAUSE IT COMES WITH A 10% DISCOUNT

Q - Among retirees, what is considered "formal attire"?
A - TIED SHOES

Q - What is the common term for someone who could retire but
      continues to work?
A - NUTS!

Q - What do retirees call a long lunch?
A - A COFFEE BREAK

Q - What is the best way to describe retirement?
A - THE NEVER ENDING COFFEE BREAK

Q - What is the biggest advantage of going back
     to school as a retiree?
A - IF YOU CUT CLASSES, NO ONE CALLS YOUR PARENTS

Q - But, what do you do all week?
A - MONDAY THRU FRIDAY, NOTHING!  SATURDAY THRU SUNDAY?
     REST UP!

Q - But, what do you do when you get bored?
A - STUPID QUESTION!  OBVIOUSLY, YOU WRITE A BLOG.  UN HUH!


OH, YES!  YOU WEAR LOUD TIES AND CARRY A BIG, RED HANKERCHIEF!
Walt at 80th Birthday Party
HAVE A GREAT DAY.

GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

EVERYONE LOSES IN A FIGHT: Some Things Are Worth Fighting For!

Although said in jest, it was more truth than fiction.  Most fathers teach their children to walk and play patty cake.  My dad taught we boys to bob and weave, jab and cross.  He made us fight.  He made us fight bigger kids we couldn't possibly whip.  Third generation Irish, he considered fighting to be sport.

Did you see the movie "Far and Away"?  It was filmed in Ireland, in County Kerry, nearby old Dingle town, an area I love.  The movies showed the three brothers fighting for the fun of it.  My older brothers stopped fighting me when I was about 13.  Brother Ray could no longer whip me and brother Henry got hurt too much trying.

I lived alone when I was in high school and one night, when I didn't know the boys were even in West Virginia, they sneaked into my bedroom in the dark, grabbed me and started to strangle me, all in fun.  When they got my attention to let me know who it was, Ray was down and Henry was hurt.  The bedroom, it was destroyed.  FUN?  In fairness, the boys didn't want to hurt me while I desperately wanted to kill them.  FUN?  Hardly!

I taught my boys to fight, using boxing gloves.  At least a couple of times I successfully coached them to defend themselves against larger bullies.  But, I had a different opinion on fighting, which I shared with them.

NO ONE WINS IN A FIGHT!  EVEN IF YOU COME OUT AHEAD, YOU GET YOUR HANDS ALL BUSTED UP.  IF YOU COME OUT BEHIND, YOU GET YOUR NOSE BUSTED AND      YOUR EYES CUT DOWN.  NO ONE WINS!  In Mark's case, in the 1st grade, he got sent to the principal's office.  But Big, Bad Freddie never bullied him again!  

Still and yet, somethings are worth fighting for, but they are few and far between.  It is most important that we decide what that something happens to be, when and where the fight occurs.

Fighting may have been a sport to my dad but my mom quietly told us that if we couldn't win, "TAKE THE DIFFERENCE" and most important, boxing may be sport but fighting is not.  The only rule in fighting was DON'T LOSE.  Teeth, fingernails, feet, elbows and gouging thumbs have saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
COMING HOME
And, so it is  with OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM  in Afganistan.  My heart, along with that of the entire nation, goes out to the families of the 30 Americans whose young lives were cut short last week, our greatest one day loss.  I am humbled by their sacrifice and the extent of loss to their families.
AMERICAN HEROS!

TROOP LOSS 2001 - 2011
In the first 8 years of that war, Americans lost 78 troops a year.  In the last two and a half years we have averaged losing 440 troops a year.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Afganistan is not becoming a democracy.  Even if it was, I question that it is worth such loss of American lives, not to even consider the loss of treasure.

When the troops come home over the next year or so, will America be safer?  TO ME THAT IS THE ONLY QUESTION THAT COUNTS!

"WAR IS HELL", said General Sherman when addressing the graduating class of the Michigan Miltary Academy in June 1879.  In the just ended Civil War, Sherman had demolished Atlanta and burnt his way east to the sea.  Sherman was blunt, "EVERY ATTEMPT TO MAKE WAR EASY AND SAFE WILL RESULT IN HUMILIATION AND DISASTER".  I totally agree!

The question is, in Afganistan, was the fight worth it and did we pick the time and place?  I'm not sure our losses in Afganistan can be justifiied.  Not for a single troop and we have so far lost 1,931 troops.

DECEMBER 7, 1941
I was 10 and remember it well


On February 19, 1945 General Tadamichi Kurbayaishi, Japanese Commandant on Iwo Jima, had his troops deeply entrenced in fortified caves connected by 11 miles of tunnel.  This small island, the first of the Japanese homelands to be invaded, had air fields that could be used to bomb Tokoyo and other Japanese cities.
MARINES GO ASHORE
America put 60,000 marines ashore without opposition.  Banzai attacks occured at night but otherwise the Japanese waited to be dug out of their steel fortified caves.  Of the 22,844 entrenched Japanese troops, 21,844 died.  AMERICAN LOSSES IN THE 36 DAY BATTLE THAT STARTED ON JUNE 15, 1944 WERE 26,000 CASUALTIES INCLUDING 6,800 DEAD.
JAPANESE WERE IN STEEL REINFORCED CAVES
Iwo Jima was a fight that was necessary!  We didn't start the war but using the air fields on Iwo Jima to bomb Japan helped us win the war.  I HAVE BEEN TO IWO JIMA.  The fleet tug, USS Yuma ATF94, installed anchor bouys that were later used by the ships there to clean up the crashed planes and damaged landing craft still on the shore when I was there in 1950.
BATTLE OF THE BULGE - WORLD WAR II
In Germany, the Battle of the Bulge lasted 40 days, from Dec '44 to Jan '45.  IN THAT CONFLICT AMERICA SUFFERED 90,000 CASUALITIES, 19,000 KILLED AND 23,000 CAPTURED OR MISSING!  Again, we didn't pick the fight, we ended it!

In this period of American history there was not one town or one family that was not effected by these losses.  I lost family.  I lost close friends of the family.  So did every family in town.  Sadly, these losses were made necessary by others.  We did not have a choice.  We did fight to win!

ATOMIC BOMB "BIG BOY"
If you should question the use of atomic bombs against Japan, you may have changed your mind after a conversation with my now deceased brother, Ray, who was enroute to the invasion of Japan when the two bombs ended the war.  He had no doubt in the fact that we followed our mother's advice and "took the difference".

250,000 JAPANESE DIED AT HIROSHIMA
War is hell!  Even if we are victors, we lose.  Let us get our remaining troops home.  I would not choose to make this fight and do not want others to do so for me.

WE ADVENGED THIS ATTACK IN IRAQ
Now To Continue Our Defense Against a Second Attack
God bless you and  yours.

God bless our miltary, on the land, in the air and on the sea.

May He give our leaders wisdom and the courage of their convictions on our behalf.