Let’s all quit listening

I just had an amazing thought! Just like one of those old star trek monsters, Trump Feeds on attention. Maybe if we all ignore him he will implode to never be seen or heard again. No more reading his stupid tweets, listening to his ridiculous comments or looking at his orange face. Think how liberating this will be! If the leaders of the world join us I am sure he will fall apart in short order…and then we will have to deal with that women hating Pence. If we put him in a room filled with beautiful women without his wife, the devil will surely take his soul. Then there is Ryan, so let’s wait till the midterm to do this.



The shortest day of the year

The shortest day of the year has become a big day for me over the last couple of decades.  As I get older, the long cold winters become less desirable, which makes the 21st day of December, the day which marks the beginning of the march towards spring, a special day for me. Yes, slowly we will make our way through the cold, miserable months of January and February and sometime in March, spring will peek through the clouds, flowers will begin to bloom and the air will once again be full of the fragrances of life.  Trees will begin to bud, streams will once again flow with a crisp, clean supply of water and love will be in the air. I am getting excited just writing about it!

This march towards the shortest day of the year has been a particularly difficult one for me.  I am forced to watch our nation, under the leadership of a cruel, insensitive, narcissistic man, move in a direction that not only scares me but hurts me deeply as more and more people are going to suffer.  Millions of Americans will lose their healthcare, 10’s of millions of children will not have healthcare.  The wealthy will continue to become wealthier and the earth, our only home, will continue to be the world’s trash bin as we dump more and more trash and chemicals onto her surface and into her air and oceans.

You may have noticed that I have not been writing as much as I used to.  Every time I sit down to write, the weight of what is happening to our way of life weighs me down like an anchor, causing me to stand up and walk away from my terminal.  Since the election of this man I feel as if a large part of my daily routine is spent listening to the horrible things he does or says.  But today is the beginning of our journey towards spring and maybe this day is the beginning of our journey towards the nation we have always strived to be, I can only hope.  We have always been the flagship of the world and even though we have often not lived up to that status, we have always attempted to be that special place on earth where all men and women are created equal. This is the place where, according to the constitution, it does not matter what color your skin is or how much money you have or even who you choose to love, this is the United States of America, a shinning beacon to the world of free speech and human rights!  This is the place we need to go, not to the racist, classed system we are heading to now.  WE ARE AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE, we must never forget that!

Santa Claus

I did not write this but it is great! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

For the parents of kids who ask the ? is Santa real…
Stole this from another page and I just think it’s the most beautiful way of explaining it!!
Son: “Dad, I think I’m old enough to know now. Is there a Santa Claus?” Not being the world’s fastest thinker, I stalled for time.
Dad: “OK, I agree that you’re old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the truth is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?”
Brief pause. Son: “Yes. I want to know.”
Dad: “OK, I’ll tell you: Yes, there IS a Santa Claus.”
Son: “Really?” Dad: “Yes, really, but he’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That’s just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea. Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. I actually bought those myself. I watched you open them. And did it bother me that you didn’t thank me? Of course not! In fact it gave me great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.
When I saw that woman collapse on the subway last week and called for help, I knew that she’d never know that it was me who summoned the ambulance. I was being Santa Claus when I did that.”
Son: “Oh.”
Dad: “So now that you know, you’re part of it. You have to be Santa Claus too now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, and you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help people. Got it?”

A Christmas story

A Christmas story told again and again and….


This is one of my favorite stories and it helps me remember what Christmas is really about. If you read it last year or the year before, read it again and if you are new to my blog, I hope you enjoy this touching story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You can find Naotaka Maehara on Facebook. Maybe someday parents will sit around the fire and read this to there children…or maybe not…

Naotaka Maehara arriving in Augusta

The other day my friend Steve Bailes called me up to ask if I would be interested in housing a young man from Japan for the evening. He is riding his bike across America, having left from Vancouver 70 days ago. He was coming from Clarksburg and would arrive on Saturday if things worked out. I agreed, and contacted Nao (pronounced NOW which is short for Naotaka Maehara) by email to invited him to stay with us for the evening. He replied that he would like to stay with us Saturday evening. The next two days were interesting as I stayed in contact as much as possible via e-mail. If you remember, this past Wednesday and Thursday we experienced our first major snow fall of the season so Nao was right in the middle of it with the continental divide directly in front of him. To make a long, involved story shorter, he made it across the mountains to our home by 4pm on Saturday. I quickly suggested he take a bath to get warm. He agreed and headed for the bathroom. About an hour later he emerged, hungry, relaxed and anxious to get to know us. Steve had asked if he could come over and meet Nao so I suggested that we do dinner ; at about 6pm Steve and Terry arrived. It was one of those magical evenings that happen so rarely. We talked, exchanged stories and ate until we were ready to pop. Nao turned out to be charming, pleasant and a very gracious guest. I will remember the evening for a long time. With my fading memory that could be months from now. After dinner, us guys went down stairs to give Nao’s bike some tender loving care, which it needed badly. We reattached the front racks, cleaned and oiled the chain, pumped up the tires, and gave it a quick inspection. Later Nao and I went upstairs to spend almost two hours planning his route to New York City. He was ready for his journey to continue in the morning. After I went to bed, Sue stayed up until midnight talking with Nao about who knows what.

Resting after dinner

Relaxing after dinner

The morning came; Nao had several bowls of cereal and began to ready himself and his bike for his journey to New York City where he was scheduled to arrive on December 23. We created a Skype connection so that he could contact us with his computer, if needed. Shortly thereafter, Nao headed down the driveway.

After Nao had left, we found a note in his bedroom. In the note was a twenty-dollar bill. At first I considered getting in the car and catching him to give back the money but after reading the note I decided not to. This is written in Nao’s own words. He has only been learning English for three years. I’m impressed!

“I met woman in that time. (this is before he met us) She listened my serious talking and gave this $20 to me. She gave money and I received money. And also I received her kindness. She said, “I can’t help you now, but use this money and stay in hotel.

I want you guys (me) receive this $20. I mean it is not a staying fee, it means a woman’s kindness.”

I will keep this twenty and pass it forward when the time comes. Experiences like this one only intensify my belief that life is about the people you meet and the memories you take from those meeting. My only hope is that someday I will get to see Nao again!