Wow!

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Tom Peters “Wow” hollers grandson John (JR to his siblings) as he pulls a strip of paper off of one of his Christmas presents. Even though the contents are not visible, his elevated enthusiasm for the yet to be seen toy is highly contagious to family members engrossed in this scene. Each strip of paper, revealing more and more of the gift, is followed by another “Wow”. Later during the day, in a quieter moment - which is difficult to find on … [Read more...]

Boom-Boom Room

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”       Henry David Thoreau As I walk into the room, I see Bert whom I had earlier agreed to meet here. I am a new resident in Mobile, having arrived a couple of weeks earlier in response to a job offer and promotion from the regional director of Woolco, a division of the F.W. Woolworth Company, my employer. When you are single and in your 20s, getting settled into a new town is a process full of … [Read more...]

Behavior Modification

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”  Sir Winston Churchill Identification of costly behavior is one of the topics in our meeting. The ideas expressed on how to do this are really good. One committee member states the obvious; “If we identify the costly behavior without any effort to change that conduct, we are left with the potential for costly incidents.”  Two other staffers express the need to have ‘buy-in’ from all team members. With similar thoughts, another member … [Read more...]

Beach Life

“Simplicity. . . It’s like a step we’ve forgotten how to dance, a native language we’ve forgotten how to speak in a rushy complex world.”    Sandy Gingras As I turn right on Walker Key Boulevard, a special calmness comes over me. I slow down to negotiate the first of four strategically placed speed bumps on the entrance street to our beach condo community. River, our pet canine, raises up in the back seat in a Pavlok-type  response to the bumps, noting that we have arrived. My wife Carol says … [Read more...]

In Control

“Only you can control your future.”    Dr. Seuss I like to be in control of my life. I want to know in advance the outcome of the effort I make in any project.  In the event of any negative surprises, I need  to have adequate preparation time in which to plan my response. How about you? Despite my aspiration, reality exits. With two daughters and their spouses, eight grandchildren (the ‘Exceptional Eight’), and our family pet ‘River,’ I have concluded that I have very little control over … [Read more...]

Little Sister

“Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.”      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Seeing the familiar number on my cell phone, I quickly press the button and say, “Hello, Janice.”  She begins, “Hey, Robert.”  (Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I am always a little nervous when answering the phone call from one of my sisters).  I am thinking about the possibility of bad news. It is part of being a certain age. Parents experience this when children call, … [Read more...]

Tiny Bite

“Just a tad,” I respond to Alison, our longtime family dentist. After first placing and then removing the permanent crown on my tooth, she is making adjustments so that my upper and lower teeth come together in unison. After several bite tests, followed by some grinding down of the crown, my teeth are almost hitting at the same time. We are getting close. Although the adjustments Alison is making are actually very tiny – fractional  in actual measurement – that difference is significant  in … [Read more...]

Just Coffee

“Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.” Zig Ziglar   As Matt approaches the counter, he remembers what had happened just a week earlier in this same convenience store. As he pulled out his wallet to pay for a cup of coffee, the clerk told him that an elderly gentleman who had just left the store had already covered the cost of his beverage. Matt hurriedly sought and found this thoughtful … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday

“It takes a long time to become young.”  Pablo Picasso At this point, it is not too important to be accurate on the exact number – that is, the number that represents my age. I have been around a long time – let’s leave it at that. I hope to be here for at least a few more years. Without excessive revelation, let’s just say that I am in the fourth quarter of my life. Happy Birthday! Hmmm. While I really don’t seek anything special for my birthday, I was amazed by the large number of folks … [Read more...]

Real Rest

Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective. Doe Zantamata “Alright, let’s go walk on the pier,” my wife announces. It is late in the afternoon. Our Australian Labradoodle, River – who completely understands southern drawl  English—is already up and jumping like crazy at the door!  One of his favorite things to do is to walk on our 960-foot pier that protrudes over the wetlands, ending at Alligator Bayou. The attraction is the marshland, with its distinctive smell and its … [Read more...]