Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Everything I learned in life, I learned from the town of Mayberry.

Mayberry was a cozy little town in North Carolina. The High Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) knew every one.  He handed out judgments like Solomon, he always got his man like the Mounties. He was quiet, strong, attracted the ladies and solved all crises much like 007.
He had a strong sense of family and obligation to his neighbors, so these are some things I learned from Mayberry.

1.   Never give up. Barney tried and tried to be the macho deputy and him always landed on his backside with his foot firmly entrenched in his mouth. He was a great source of amusement to the townspeople; still he was right back up on his feet by the next show. He persevered .I tried to teach the same value to my kids. I have been lucky all of us have had periods of looking at the world from the bottom up and climbed back to the top. Just like Barney
2.   Be Frugal: Aunt Bee was always looking for bargains and deals. Clara, her friend always steeled her towards cocky deals that somehow went astray. Still Aunt Bea fell for it every time. Denise can squeeze the buffalo right off his mound on the nickel. She shops the ads, clips coupons, and buys off brands. She goes to the grocery store because she has the knack of adding items in her head and almost hitting the total on the head. I am forever impulse buying. Denise would never listen to Clara, she would explore it herself.
Denise and Bree after paddle boarding

   Always be willing to try new things. Opie wasn't ever afraid to dive in and find new friends, learn new games, as well as accepting the consequence. For instance he killed a mama bird and raised her babies to atone for it. This past weekend, my beloved family decided to go paddle boarding and Kayaking. I love the beach, and I could live there. But, I can’t swim. Even so, we piled in the cars, met Bree and Eric at the Cooper River to try this new sport. It was a warm and muggy Charleston evening. Quite humid because it had been raining that morning. Denise asked me to tag along and take pictures of her falling off the paddle board, as well as pictures of
Eric and Natasha Paddle boarding.
Natasha dumping the canoe, Eric and herself in the Cooper River. Luckily neither of these things occurred well a boat did try to run Denise over, a boat landing jumped up and pushed her into the water where she made friends with several oysters nestled together in an oyster bed. Well maybe a few more then several, maybe 500.What they did see was dolphins, serenely swimming and sneaking up to the boat and the paddle board to see what was going on, schools of fish and the Cooper join gently with the Atlantic. We ended the day with Denise soaked, bruised, Tasha slightly wet Eric and Bree no worse for the wear and tear.However, when Denise and the oysters met, she did cut her leg up pretty. But no Oysters were hurt in the fall.

4.   Families are not perfect. Opie got in trouble, Aunt Bee felt inadequate, and Andy had women problems, neighbor problems, Barney problems and escaped convicts. Your family loves you, stands behind you and the ones you run home to for comfort. Families are also so close together they bicker, snicker and are irritated with one another July Fourth we all went to fireworks poor Bree had already put in a full day’s work, Denise was on her 7th day after working 6 12-14 hour days. Everyone had to work Saturday. Tasha was complaining and whining because she was hot, tired and walking while carry a chair(mind you; it was a portable chair weighed at most 3 ozs canvas and all) was a kin to child abuse to her, she was just about ready to call the county and complain. After hours of whine, any one of us would have handed her our phone, (kidding). The thing is even though we had the perfect recipe for disaster, we tiffed a bit, and pouted some, became inpatient; the thing I remember most was I spent the day with my four favorite people in the whole world. Nothing else mattered and I still feel warm and fuzzy about the whole day. Love conquers all, and I love my family.

5.   In the end everything will be all right. At the end of every episode everything was resolved; Mayberry returned to normal, Granted, it doesn't always work that way for us. Life is not tied up in a neat little 30 minute drama that is quickly solved. My grandmother used to say everything has a season, so it does, it would be nice if our seasons were only a half an hour every week, or even and hours. I would love to have the problems Andy does. But of course, that is ridiculous. Life is not like that. Losing a loved one whether it is a Child, wife, father, husband that season never ends. Losing a job. Having to choose between rent and groceries. Watching your baby graduate from high school. Holding your first grandchild, (how can I be a grandmother? When did my child stop being my baby?) Watching your kids fall in love. Your heart breaks when their new love hurt them. Mayberry taught me that things happen, but life goes on. In the end everything will be all right: if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.

   Of course The Andy Griffith show is just a television show from the 50s and 60s. In reality, wouldn't life be great if we all lived in Mayberry? Alas,  not possible. But if we can just remember the basic morale and tone of this fiction place...well you know. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

When in Rome...,

Rome circa 333AD
During the first century, 333AD, a Roman citizen could walk the world the entire world without fear of being molested harmed, or dishonored in any way. Moses himself, fled the country and lived in the desert. So great was the retribution of Rome no one dared to come near them much less harm them. All one had to say was: Io sono un cittadino romano. I am a Roman Citizen

America was such a country. We separated ourselves from England and started a brand new country. We did this with our strength and will, and not much else.

The slaves were strong, they watched the stars and planned. They escaped for freedom because being a slave was not acceptable,
They left family and headed north with a dream.

Our country was threatened again in 1861. This threat was interior. The country threaten to explode, and split in two.
This time, we stood faced each other.
In a week we are going to celebrate two anniversaries. The declaration of independence, and the battle of Gettysburg. It is fitting that such events took place on the same date. On one day, we declared we would be a country: on the other one the tide was turned toward staying one country.
It was a hot, dry day in 1863 when the two armies faced each other. One army fully equipped, the other miles from home and not likely to get resupplied.

The Colonel of the 20th Maine fought long and hard the entire day; exhausting his ammunition. Drawing heavy casualties, and watching is men grow so weary they could hardly stand and fight. On the last round he found he didn’t have any resources, But, if he retreated the enemy would go past him and capture the Union army from behind. The only thing to do? Order a Bayonet charge. This totally surprised Hoods Alabamians, and so they retreated, the union retained the high ground.
The next day, General Lee through everything he had at the union troops. Thousands of men marched in attack that would forever be known as Pickett’s Charge. General Pickett’s Virginians knew what they were getting into, knew they may not survive yet in the hopes of winning the day marched across one mile of open land into the enemy fire. Losing the day.

At the end of the war, these two courageous armies became one country. America, with this type of courage; how could we lose?

America evolves.
There was a time when overseas if you mentioned you were American you automatically were respected.

There was a time when our Allies listened to us, and backed us in our endeavors.

There was a time when there was stress in another land, all we had to do was send one of our mighty carriers and the land was silent.

There was a time when no enemy would dare board one of our military ships, they would be afraid of our retaliation.

There was a time When America dipped its flag to no one.
Not anymore.

One of my favorite movies is Independence Day. There is a scene where a British soldier is told there is a message by Morse code message from the Americans and he replies “it’s about bloody time!”
Americans to the rescue.

After 500 years Rome, like most evil empires fell. There were many reasons from the fall, one certainly was the insanity of its leaders.
Corruption, dependence on slave labor and not watching its back. The Barbarians and Western empires snuck up on her, but the leaders thought they were infallible.
Not so.

Neither are we,

Let’s not get caught fighting among ourselves on things that do not matter.
We are strong. The men who fought in the Civil War are the ancestors. The slaves who thirsted for freedom were our ancestors.

The sons and daughters of these slaves, decided enough was enough in the sixties and made a bid to change the world yet again for equality.
Americans all with American pride and power.

On Friday, we celebrate our country. We will fly our flags, shoot fireworks, BBQ’s and celebrate America,

Take a moment to remember how we were, but still, we are a great country. There isn’t another country that has fought and survived intact so many battles and growing pains.

And so, when we are in another country, or even our own: We need to raise our heads high  and simply say:
I am an American Citizen.
That’s it.

picture courtesy of Seal of honor. Thank you

Friday, June 20, 2014

Spring into Summer

Kristoff: Really? I’m guessing you don’t have much experience with heat. 

Olaf: Nope! 

But sometimes I like to close my eyes, and imagine what it’d be like when summer does come 

Bees’ll buzz, kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz 
And I’ll be doin’ whatever snow does in summerrrrrr 
A drink in my hand, my snow up against the burning sand 
Prob’ly getting gorgeously tanned in summerrrrr 

I’ll finally see a summer breeze, blow away a winter storm 
And find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm! 
And I can’t wait to see, what my buddies all think of me 
Just imagine how much cooler I’ll be in summerrrrrr 

Da da, da doo, ah bah bah bah bah bah boo 
The hot and the cold are both so intense 
Put’em together — it just makes sense! 

Ratdadat dad dada doo 
Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle 
But put me in summer and I’ll be a — happy snowman! 

When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream 
Relaxing in the summer sun, just lettin’ off steam 
Oh the sky would be blue, and you guys’ll be there too 
When I finally do what frozen things do in summerrrrrrr 

Kristoff: I’m gonna’ tell him — 
Anna: Don’t you dare! 

In summerrrrrrrrr! 
From Disney’s Frozen

Today we are saying goodbye to spring, for tomorrow starts summer. The summer solstice typically begins with the longest day of the year, and this one will not be any different. Summer is hot, humid. Storms tend to fire up during this time of year. Yet most of us look forward to the time of year excitedly with visions of cookouts, vacations and the beach dancing in their dreams.
So I’d like to offer for your enjoyment ten little known facts about summer. At least I think it is little known facts, we shall see.

  1. 1.     This one we know of course the first day of summer is the longest day of the year. In the northern hemisphere it is usually June 20 or 21. In the southern hemisphere it is in December.
  2. 2.     Frances Eiffel tower grows by more than six inches every summer. The iron expands in its frame.
  3. 3.     School summer vacations were invented by Horace Mann in 1840, The US has longer vacations than anywhere else.
  4. 4.     Just like Tomatoes are not a vegetable but a fruit: Watermelon is not a fruit but a vegetable.
  5. 5.     The first summer Olympics were play in Athens in 1896, Women were first allowed to compete in 1900
  6. 6.     Crickets chirps increase or decrease depending on the temperature.
  7. 7.     More Ice cream is eaten in July than any other month.
  8. 8.     The number on summer fruit is Mangoes, with watermelon and peaches as two and three.
  9. 9.     The dog days of summer occur between July 3 and August 11. They name evolves from the star Sirius (the Dog Star) in the constellation of Canas Minor. The Greeks and romans blamed the Star for the heat, drought and sickness.
  10. 10 summer reruns were traditional in the beginning because the majority of people were outside during the summer. The first newly premiered program was in 1991 and the program was 90210.

 And so there you have it.

Most of us look forward to summer like Olaf. It is a season we can get out, do things and have carefree adventures, we can look backwards to a time we play until the streetlights came on. Caught fireflies. We took our shoes off in June and didn’t put them back on until the first day of school.
Are you ready for summer? What was your favorite thing to do, when you were a child?

Friday, June 13, 2014


Sometimes the simplest decision can change your life forever.  You decide to take a different route to work and there is a fatal accident on your usual route. You miss it. Three others don’t and perish.
Abe Lincoln’s body guard hangs around the pub for another drink while the President is in the theater

A guard in Hitler’s bunker is afraid to wake him up on December sixth, lest he become a victim of his wrath.
President Kennedy argues that he does not want to use the protective glass on his motorcade one day in Dallas, he wants to be accessible to the people.
You finally give up listening to your brother in laws' nagging so an to shut him up and get him off your back you invest  your life savings into an investment group' run by a man named Bernie Madoff Steady returns, he promises....

You have a fight with a friend, although your conscience is really telling you to give them a call you don’ they are killed in a crash by a drunk driver before you get the nerve. Suddenly the fight that was like the end of the world, seemed so frivolous.

The tyranny of small decisions plague our everyday life, and history’s involvement. We do not think a lot about the everyday decisions we make, they seem minor. Yet, the reality is every decision we make, that we think just involves us; actually involves at least three other people. You may not even know who they are.

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and although this is not a simplest of decisions it is a choice. To choose to bring a new life into this world, is to make a decision to love, guide, care for and mold another human being. You are sentenced to either a lifetime of proms, giggling, and perfecting your dirty look for the boys; or football basketball and raising your guy to be the awesome father and husband you are.
Either way, it is a wonderful ride for both of you. Happy Father’s day, enjoy your tie.

Sometimes the decision to become a parent isn’t one that was chosen. You find the perfect soul mate, and she has kids. Either from a divorce, a father that didn't keep his promise, or one who has gone home to be with the Lord. 

Tasha asked me Monday if her uncle Eric was coming over Sunday (Fathers Day), I replied we could ask.

“Good,” she replied “He is the most important man in my life right now,”
Tasha and Her father are separated by distance, it is hard for him to visit. Eric stepped in and became that person,
He made a decision that Tasha would have a male role models close, as well as one far away.

Then of course we have single moms, that do it all, We cannot forget them on Fathers Day, because they are mother, father, bread winner, chauffeur
cook, housekeeper and whew! it is tiring, just thinking about it. 

In the end, our lives are directed by the decisions we make, the choices are made and life goes on.
So to all Fathers, and Mothers who do it all, to Stepfathers, uncles and men who answered the call

Happy Fathers Day! you are heroes all.