Aunt Freida

“A joyful heart is good medicine . . .” Proverbs 17:22 We are standing in the back of a large room being used as the gathering place following Aunt Frieda’s funeral service. Dad and I had arrived just a few minutes late, and are now attending the reception. Being extremely busy, I was delayed in picking up my dad who lived 50 miles away. Compounding the late departure was the necessity of purchasing a new coat, and then driving another 200 miles to join our family.  Adding discomfort to … [Read more...]

Mind Over Matter

“There are no overachievers; we all have an almost infinite supply of potential.”   Source: Beyond Success, Brian D. Biro “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  That over-the-top, seemingly unbelievable statement, often quoted by 21st Century writers and speakers, was made by best-selling author Napoleon Hill (1883-1970). How do you evaluate such a statement? Does it seem to be an exaggeration? Perhaps this is a step too far even for the ‘positive thinking … [Read more...]

The Breakfast

“The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. “ Brian Tracy In a phone conversation, he asks if I would be willing to share a few words at an upcoming breakfast. He is Marty O’Malley, Financial Life Leader and Director of L’Arche Mobile, a non-profit organization that is a favorite of Carol’s, my wife, and mine. Involved with this group a long time, we have contributed financially and with many volunteer hours. Our participation evolves over … [Read more...]

Letting Go

“. . . Forgiveness is letting go of the past. . . .”Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. One of my personal challenges is the inability to completely let go of past mistakes. I would like to say that it comes from a ‘perfectionist attitude’ toward some key areas in which my expectation is that of greatness. It is almost a comical contradiction in terms to associate me with perfection per se. Just ask my wife! She could easily point out areas that need major improvement. I do, though, embrace the … [Read more...]

Be Not Afraid

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will."  W. Clement Stone She lived a little over a block away from our home. On Halloween night, her home was in our geographical target area for Trick-or-treating. As kids, we heard the rumors . . . and we made up even more to scare each other!  The house was always dark on Halloween night, so naturally, we picked up our pace when passing by.  Our efforts to scare each other worked. Why were we afraid? Because someone told us to be afraid.  It … [Read more...]

Ready to Laugh

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.”  Randolph F. “Randy” Pausch, Ph.D. I am on the phone talking with my sister, Brenda, about an upcoming presentation at a three-day retreat for cancer patients – those currently in treatment and those in remission – and many volunteers. The event, Camp Bluebird in Mobile, Alabama, is celebrating their 25th year. The reason for talking with my sister is to better understand my audience so that I can prepare a meaningful message. … [Read more...]

Camp Blue Bird

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." Breast Cancer Survivors Unless you have been completely absent from our world, you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  There are lots of fundraising events. TV, radio, newspapers and Internet connections all provide substantial visibility into the many organizations involved with cancer research and support for patients who are currently in treatment. This week, I will be speaking … [Read more...]

The Green Plastic Can

When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.” Joe Namath Occasionally, my mom called me the “G-Man.” ‘G’ stood for garbage. She called me by that name whenever it was time for me to take out the trash – one of a number of chores I had been assigned. In the beginning, I did not like any part of this job. But, it belonged to me, and the “G-Man” moniker became one of my infrequent nicknames. I did not mind the label. I hated the … [Read more...]

Kite Flyer

“Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.” Neil Armstrong During a visit to our condo in Orange Beach, my sister Janice assembles a kite she bought at the local Al’s 5 & 10 Store.  This kite is sophisticated and unlike the basic model flown by young kids every day  . . . without their parents help. With sophistication comes some difficulty. Janice and I are joined by another of our sisters, Dianne, in an open grassy field.  ‘Pilot Janice’ is holding the string while … [Read more...]

Long Hair

“How did you go bankrupt?” ‘Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.’                                      ~ Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises “I’m not crazy. I have just been in a bad mood for 40 years!” bellows Quiser Bordeaux, the character portrayed by Shirley MacLaine in the popular 1989 movie, Steel Magnolias.  My wife Carol loves this quote and I have heard her exclaim it on more than a few occasions when attitude was the central topic of a conversation. All of us have witnessed … [Read more...]