Greetings, Salutations and a Hearty Hello.

'Ramblings'...'Meanderings' really does sum up what you may find here. A short story, a quote or something philosophical all with very little organization.

It is my hope, that with your interaction, we can experience life more fully through ideas, thoughts and questions. You see working together we are all smarter than each of us individually. And thanks, sincerely thank you for sharing your most valuable asset, time, with me as we Ramble and Meander through these pages.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Magic of Reading

 Inventor and writer Lin Yutang on the magic of reading:

"Compare the difference between the life of a man who does no reading and that of a man who does. The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighborhood. From this prison there is no escape.

But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what that ancient author looked like and what type of person he was...

Now to be able to live two hours out of twelve in a different world and take one's thoughts off the claims of the immediate present is, of course, a privilege to be envied by people shut up in their bodily prison."

Source: The Importance of Living


James Clear

Monday, February 12, 2018

One Thousand Days

What can you learn in One Thousand Days?
You can learn that the old saying: 'You never miss the water until the well runs dry,' is true.
And from those dusty depths, I share.

Some pains never disappear. They may change but never, completely, leave you at peace.
Memories may be of great comfort and may also crush your heart.
The slightest thing can trigger these:

A strand of hair, a song, a restaurant, the color of a persons eyes.
The faint aroma of a familiar perfume, the silhouette of long dark hair.
These come from nowhere and blindside with laser precision.
The sudden feeling to call and say, "I'll be late."
Your dog walks beside the bed, the floor squeaks, and in the dark, you turn the covers down but she's not there.

You watch a couple in a café. You are more aware of this special time, than they are. They don't appreciate this time as they should.  You wish you could enlighten them. Put down the phone!! Look at her the way you did when you first met. Tell her what she means to you. Love is a good word. Use it often and feel it when you do. These moments are precious and too few, one day to be forever gone. As you secretly watch, you are now longing to set across from 'Her,' once again, to look deep into her dark eyes and feel the connection you had shared for over 30 years.

You leave the café and the cold winter wind bites, as your mind replays the words she would have said hating the cold and urging spring to hurry.
You realize that she was your harshest critic and your fiercest ally.

No, this pain never completely leaves you in peace. Over time you learn to use these memories to reveal how extraordinarily you have been blessed. To share this kind of love comes once in a lifetime. You are one of the fortunate few who have lived such a life, such a love.

It is my hope that these words encourage you to let those you love know it!
Say it to them, write it to them, call them. As I have said before, a few well chosen words will remove all doubt. If you had ten minutes to live, who would you call?.....what would you say?....why are you waiting.
Do it now. Do it often. No regrets.
You will be happy you did. They will be too.
And if your well should one day run dry you will have the warm memory of knowing, without doubt, that they knew you loved them.

This is dedicated to my love,
Deborah A. Johnson
Died June 28th 2015
One Thousand Days Ago

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Do something for yourself

I seldom (never) leave the house without having to go back inside after something. There is something magical about the walk from the front door to the front seat that stimulates memory neurons. However this morning the magic was slow to occur and I was 3 miles down the road when I remembered I forgot.... my cell phone. Luckily I had taken my morning heart medication so the palpitations did not result in cardiac arrest. With hands trembling from immediate with drawl symptoms I continued on my journey to the local café for breakfast. Then images began rushing through my head of fellow diners staring at me doing nothing. With no electronic device to peer into, what would I do until my food arrived? Courage summoned I proceeded to the restaurant.
"Coffee and water please."
With the rest of my order placed I began to glance around at the other patrons. None seemed to be aware of my nakedness. I was about to relax when a clatter from two tables away startled me. It was a cutting crisp bacon too close to the end of your plate so the other end jumped up and clattered back onto the table while you made more noise trying to catch everything that was now in motion kind of clatter.
As I glanced that direction I saw an older gentleman, also, dining alone. Upon his head a WWII veterans cap. My imagination went to a time before I existed. A young soldier saying good bye to his family, perhaps a sweetheart. What unknown dangers and fears had this man endured? Because of sacrifices of this nature we live in a nation that is, for the most part, free.
I wanted to thank him.
I hurried with the remainder of my meal and made my way to the waitresses station next to the kitchen. I explained what I wished to do. She smiled and replied: "We can make this happen." My plan with her now in place, I paid for my meal and his.
I gave her a note I had hand written:
Please allow me the honor of buying your breakfast.
Your service has allowed me to live in a Nation that is free.
With my sincere gratitude.
The waitress was not to let him know who this was from, simply give him the note.

I hesitated, for a moment, in my truck parked across the street. In my rear view mirror I saw our Veteran emerge and you know I believe his shuffled gate was just a bit quicker, his head a bit higher.....and I think mine is too.

Do something for yourself .
This, I believe, is the very best way.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Be Still

    With the help of wonderful family and very good friends, I have arrived at an age that many thought, and with good reason,  I would never see. I have, for the most part, lived life on my terms. Bad judgment accounts for what small amount of good judgment I now have. I have tried to rely on myself to handle whatever life has thrown my way. I believed I could find a way over, under or around anything. But I was wrong.
 There are times when storms hit us, devastating storms, that are more than we can possibly overcome on our own. Even the best friends and loyal family are at a loss. When pure evil, the 'Roaring Lion', attacks we are helpless on our own. I was beaten, broken and afraid. Never had I been so defeated.
 There is however hope for those broken in spirit and heart. Promises from The One who cannot lie.
That is how I live now, one day at a time, trusting.
His time is different from ours, we are impatient. He is steady and sure.
This life, with its trouble, is only temporary.
Be of good courage! Be at peace. Believe Him when He says:

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Sky’s the Limit

When I used to think of discipline, it brought up feelings of dread, of punishment. I think most will agree those are also their first thoughts. If we look a little deeper into the definitions in Webster’s we find:
Discipline:  self-command, self-control, self-discipline, self-government, self-mastery, self-restraint, willpower. 
Notice how many times ‘self’ is used? So discipline then is something that we can have control over, and self control, self discipline is a very good thing. Discipline, I have come to believe, is the master key to what we wish to gain, become, and accomplish with our lives. So what can we do, be, have? Are there limits to our potential?

It was a mostly clear day, just a few scattered clouds in the mid-west sky. Chris had never been to this community before. His job had brought him here, and he had to work on Saturday. As he peered out of his office window he noticed a railroad yard. Chris had always loved trains. Perhaps tomorrow before work, (yes he had to work on Sunday too) he could drive down and check out the rail yards. And that is where I met Chris. It turned out this young man was the embodiment of discipline. Now here is a guy hundreds of miles from home, in a place he would never have been, had his work not taken him there, and he was working weekends. So how do I figure him to be one of the most disciplined people I may ever meet?
You see when Chris caught sight of our rail yard that Saturday afternoon he was mere feet from his co-workers, but four hundred feet above the city, traveling at 700 miles an hour in his F/A- 18 Hornet. Just moments before, he had been pulling a little over 7 G’s as he performed as a part of the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron-

The Blue Angels!
We spent almost an hour together, talking railroad and (whenever I could get him to stop talking about trains) flying.

What type of self-discipline do you suppose it takes to become one of this nation’s most élite pilots? Were there days when he wanted to quit, times that he was afraid, that it all seemed just too hard?
My guess is yes. But Major Collins persevered, he did not quit and his self-mastery has taken him to places he would never have gone to meet people he would never have met.

In 2009 the Blue Angels performed before more than 8 million spectators.  The discipline Chris has employed, over the years, now pays him dividends beyond what he could have imagined and wonder-filled memories to last a lifetime.
But most important of all is who he has become, because of all he was willing to do.
What dreams and goals do you have set for your incredible life story?
WHY do you want to accomplish these things? Once we determine WHY we will find the way.
Will the struggle and effort be worth it?
 I only spent an hour with Chris, but I’m certain he would smile and say;
 ‘Yes sir. The sky’s the limit.’  

Be safe Major Collins, and thank you for your service.

Major Chris Collins

U.S. Marine Corps

Major Christopher Collins is a native of Darien, Conn., and graduated from Darien High School in 1993. He attended Norwich University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 1997.

Chris was commissioned a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant through the Platoon Leaders Class and reported to Quantico, Va., for The Basic School in July 1997. He reported for aviation indoctrination at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., in February 1998. Chris completed primary flight training in the T-34C Mentor at NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and transferred to NAS Meridian, Miss., for intermediate flight training. While there, he flew the T-2C Buckeye. Chris was then assigned to NAS Kingsville, Texas, for advanced flight training where he flew the T-45A Goshawk. He completed his flight training in April 2000 and received his wings of gold in May.

In July 2000, Chris reported to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101), the "Sharpshooters," at MCAS Miramar, Calif., for training in the F/A-18 Hornet. In September 2001, he joined Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323), the "Death Rattlers." Chris deployed aboard USS Constellation (CV 64) in October 2002, flying combat missions in support of Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom. Chris also deployed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), flying combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. While serving with VMFA-323, he served as the Logistics Officer, Schedules Writer, Powerline Division Officer, Administrative Officer and the Assistant Aviation Maintenance Officer. While there, the "Death Rattlers" received the 2003 Robert M. Hanson Award as the Marine Corps Aviation Association's Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year.

In October 2005, Chris returned to VMFAT-101 as an F/A-18 instructor pilot. During his tour, Chris was selected to attend the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and graduated in July 2007.

Chris joined the Blue Angels in September 2008, where he served as the Left Wing pilot in 2009. He has accumulated more than 2,800 flight hours and 350 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include three Strike Flight Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat Distinguishing Device, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various personal and unit awards.