Posted tagged ‘gratitude’

Playing Favorites 6/24/2022

June 24, 2022

turnIt has been 5 weeks since my birthday.   It was a wonderful birthday … followed by what can best be described as a shit-storm.   Sorry if my choice of words offends you.   On the evening of my birthday, our son texted me with some legal issues he needed help with.  Never good.  The next day, my daughter told me they are moving to Texas, which is really hard to take, since to my recollection their promise not to leave Utah was one of the reasons we moved here.  The sense of betrayal that brings has been keeping me awake nights.  Then, we both came down with COVID.   A trip last weekend to Virginia to attend the Bar Mitvah of the son of our dearest friends left us exhausted but probably kept me sane.   It was a joyful occasion but seeing them surrounded by their kids and grandkids was also a reminder that ours would be moving away.  So, the last time I posted Playing Favorites, the song of the day was the saddest song I know, Shattered by Linda Ronstadt. (more…)

Memorial Day

May 31, 2021

This is has become my traditional Memorial Day Post.  I think it captures the spirit intended for the holiday.

I have traveled the political spectrum from fairly far left to fairly far right and back toward the middle in my seventy-six years.   But as I traveled that broad spectrum, I think I’ve always been a patriot in the sense that I love my country dearly and believe for any faults it may have, it is unique in the world.   When I was protesting the war and voting for George McGovern, I believed My Country Right or Wrong, but not America – Love It or Leave It or America, Fix It or &%$* It.  Every Memorial Day, I get to think back on my decision to seek a deferment from the draft based upon my employment in the defense industry, a decision that might lead some to question my claim of patriotism.   I won’t deny that my motivation wasn’t entirely selfless but I’d offer that some of the systems I helped develop for keeping track of Soviet submarines during the dark days of the Cold War contributed substantially to our National Defense.  Just watch The Hunt for Red October.  Still, sometimes I feel a little guilt that others served in my place.   At seventy-seven, I simultaneously abhor the realities of war (brought to us in gruesome detail by modern media) and resign myself to its necessity in what is, more than ever, a dangerous world.   Some of our military excursions have been essential, others have turned out to be unwise.  Both fall at the feet of our leaders, those of us that elect them and, sadly, those that don’t bother to vote. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2020

I got up this morning determined to post something for Thanksgiving,   I considered reviewing this year, then reflecting on the many things I’m grateful for.  But I am afraid that reviewing this year like no other would drown the spirit of the day.   SO.  I’ll simply say this … I am a lucky and thankful old codger.   And I want to wish everyone … EVERYONE … a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day.

Gratitude Under Pressure

July 1, 2020

Twenty years ago, the Love of My Life was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The tumor was small and could be removed with a lumpectomy (although it took two tries to get it all).  She was treated with radiation and hormone therapy and regular mammograms, and in spite of a few false alarms, she remained cancer-free.   It seemed to be common knowledge that if you made it through 15 years without recurrence you were home free and we began to believe it.  Fortunately my wife, Muri, was conscientious about annual mammograms because last month, she had a callback for something suspicious.  What a shock.  If you have ever been down this road that no one wants to travel, you know it can be a maddening series of hopes and disappointment.  You hope that the ultrasound will show that its nothing to worry about.  Then you hope the biopsy will show it’s not cancer and then that its small and you caught it early.  Then you hope its a good cancer and not a bad cancer, a notion that would be ludicrous if it weren’t so true.   The specific characteristics of the cancer significantly affect the prognosis and course of treatment.  It can be a process that sucks the gratitude right out of you. (more…)

Memorial Day 2020

May 25, 2020

This is has become my traditional Memorial Day Post.  I think it captures the spirit intended for the holiday.

I have traveled the political spectrum from fairly far left to fairly far right and back toward the middle in my seventy-six years.   But as I traveled that broad spectrum, I think I’ve always been a patriot in the sense that I love my country dearly and believe for any faults it may have, it is unique in the world.   When I was protesting the war and voting for George McGovern, I believed My Country Right or Wrong, but not America – Love It or Leave It or America, Fix It or &%$* It.  Every Memorial Day, I get to think back on my decision to seek a deferment from the draft based upon my employment in the defense industry, a decision that might lead some to question my claim of patriotism.   I won’t deny that my motivation wasn’t entirely selfless but I’d offer that some of the systems I helped develop for keeping track of Soviet submarines during the dark days of the Cold War contributed substantially to our National Defense.  Just watch The Hunt for Red October.  Still, sometimes I feel a little guilt that others served in my place.   At seventy-six, I simultaneously abhor the realities of war (brought to us in gruesome detail by modern media) and resign myself to its necessity in what is, more than ever, a dangerous world.   Some of our military excursions have been essential, others have turned out to be unwise.  Both fall at the feet of our leaders, those of us that elect them and, sadly, those that don’t bother to vote. (more…)

What To Do

March 28, 2020

In case you don’t know, as we get older we become more attached to our routines. In case you are new here, I am 75 … and VERY attached to my routines. Since we moved to Utah in December many of our routines have been shattered, in particular those connected to particular places and particular people. Now this, this being the COVID-2 pandemic and whatever degree of shelter in place (in my opinion a really dumb terminology) you see as prudent. Ours is probably not as strict as the most rabid would advise but it keeps us in the house much more than we are used to, particularly since we decided to limit our visits to the grocery stores. I had been using the stores to get my steps in each day when it’s cold (and almost all Utah days feel cold to this former Californian), so now I’m bundling up and walking outside. It’s actually better to be in the fresh air. But I get stir crazy being in the house and stir crazy leads to boredom and, for me, boredom leads to mild depression and depression leads to loss of interest in things I enjoy. Ouch. So it’s important for me to be conscientious in finding things to do. Here are a few that help me stay sane.

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Thanksgiving #75

November 28, 2019

thanksgivingMy 75th Thanksgiving finds us living in our daughters house in Utah, waiting for our new house nearby to be finished. It has been a long week. The buyers of our California house were slow in signing certain documents, making us concerned that they’d back out. As a result, escrow is 5 days late and counting. We are assured that the delay is a bank issue but I will feel better when the deal is done. Some $&@#(& in a Honda rear ended me on the 15 Freeway in Vegas then left the scene, leaving me to drive a damaged but drivable vehicle the rest the way to Utah. My daughter will undergo extensive … expensive … surgery after the holidays with a long recovery. So, Thanksgiving at 75. Can I not be in the mood? (more…)

Thanks

November 22, 2018

thanksgiving

Last night on Erev Thanksgiving, I was looking through my posts from past Thanksgivings. After 9 years of on again off again blogging, I need to check the past before charging off on a new idea that might turn out to be an old one. For a number of years, I’ve featured a gratitude video I made back in 2011, photos of the many things I’m grateful for set to Louis Armstrong’s beautiful version Beautiful World. As such things do these days, it made me verklempt. As one ages, the good things in one’s past seem more and more precious. This is the video.

Seven years doesn’t seem like a long time at seventy four, but there are so many photos I’d add today but I am away from home with my grandkids, so that is not an option. Since made that video, my grandkids have grown and moved to Utah, we’ve sold our little house in the desert, and my business has gone into hibernation. There have been illnesses among family and friends, some with recovery and some not. we said goodbye to two cats we loved and adopted a handsome rescue named Claude. My wife and I have more aches and pains, but watching our contemporaries, we feel fortunate. Our small cadre of friends and family are more precious than ever. We celebrated fifty years of marriage and I love my wife more than ever. We have some big decisions to make that are making us crazy but they are decisions we are lucky to have at our disposal. So … I remain a grateful old coot. Sometimes the gratitude is a feeling that swells up inside me and brings tears to my eyes. Other times, it’s an action, assuming an attitude of gratitude that reminds me that even when I’m feeling down, I’m a lucky man. Isn’t that what Thinksgiving is about?

THanksgivingFrom Oldereyes

Fire

October 12, 2017

Monday morning at 10:00, my wife, Muri, and I set out to deliver Meals on Wheels, our monthly service date. As we left our neighborhood, strong Santa Ana winds were blowing in from the East, filling that air with ash from the recent Canyon Fire.  The fire watch truck was parked at the top of Weir Canyon Road, as it usually is when fire danger is high but we saw no sign of smoke. By 10:30, we had loaded our cooler of meals into the car and were on our way to our first client.  Now, a large smoke plume was rising above Anaheim Hills, so we turned on the radio.  A fast moving fire has broken out near the site of last month’s Canyon Fire.  Evacuation of Anaheim Hills is imminent.   We (more…)

What Would You Take?

September 28, 2017

heloAs I sit here trying to feed my poor starving blog, helicopters fly back and forth at low altitude over our house, rattling the windows, a reminder that the 2,000 acre Canyon Fire, to the east of us, is under control but not out.  Wildfires are a fact of life here in Socal and the heartbeat of anyone who has lived in proximity to the many wilderness areas here is sure to accelerate at the sight of a smoke plume nearby.   And they all look closer than they are.  The Canyon Fire started 5 miles to the East of us, almostcanyon fire exactly where the devastating Freeway Complex started in 2008.  That monster burned 20,000 acres and took 190 homes, several within a mile or so of us.  We were evacuated for that fire and the 2006 fire 2 years earlier because our house is one house-row away from a wilderness area.   As a wildfire veteran, when the smoke first appeared on Tuesday, the first thing I noticed was which way the smoke was blowing.   It was not blowing over our house, which is a good thing, at least for us, but it’s no promise of safety.  In the late summer, early autumn winds shift frequently from primarily eastward offshore to Santa 0926_nws_rpe-l-corefire-wp12.JPGAna winds, which howl westward down the Santa Ana Canyon where we live.   The Canyon Fire spread rapidly eastward toward Corona, prompting the evacuation of 1,500 homes, including our good friends who live in one of the neighborhoods most closely threatened.  It is never good when you see pictures of a friend’s neighborhood on the news. (more…)