Forever grateful

Views of life

Of Logs and Dogs (Reprinted from 4/15/16)


A log lies decaying four feet through,

The life it had from seed to sapling,

Harboring life in its limbs,

fighting ever skyward in harmonic competition.

It succeeds in a full life but succumbs to time and Mother Earth by God’s hand.

Yet in its demise it provides life.

It opens the forest canopy so it’s offspring may carry on.

Other species thrive in it’s decay.

Life in circle but time as always is undefeated.


Dogs lead a different existence.

Most we bring to us, to give us pleasure, purpose.

We have removed them from their nature and they accommodate,

offering comfort and protection in exchange for food and shelter.

They live a far shorter life than a tree but are no less important.

Look in a dog’s eyes and witness the love of God.


So where do we fit?

Do we understand our finality?

I say live your life as the tree.

Provide life and protection while you live and nurture

the future of life in your own demise.

Receive and give without jealousy or malice.


I say be the dog and look at others with the love of God in your eyes.

Cherish your moments, live the life of a dog and the decaying log.

Fill your soul with peace and happiness.





Constant,  always consistent

Fifty minutes past each night

Whether public or private

In balance of rise and set

It watches our tears


Oh bringer of hope

You object of song

Inspiring souls

Reflected glory

Angel of the night


Through waxing and waning phase

It is never quite the same

The reflections of lonesome

The wooing of random hearts

It knows of our fears


Oh bringer of hope

You object of song

Inspiring souls

Reflected glory

Angel of the night


Power to move the ocean

Gentle light to sooth the soul

Drifting in and out of clouds

Cold and heartless, warm and soft

It captures our will


Oh bringer of hope

You object of song

Inspiring souls

Reflected glory

Angel of the night

















Sixteen years ago today, with a voice so hoarse from a cold that baritone was not possible, only bass, I asked a beautiful single lady on a date.  A few days later we were on a date that lasted 12 hours.  The beginning of Laurie and my life together.  Valentine’s Day has and will never be quite the same.  I was fortunate.  I am a lucky man.  

As with all beginnings there are endings as well.  I lost that great fortune, the essence of joy.  It is different now to come home.  Two wagging tails still grace my entrance but there is no voice, no tales of how the day was or what we should do about this or that.  So many people are without this very thing every day, but to me it is new.  I’m adjusting but I miss her.  There is no escape of grief and a day like this makes it even more difficult. 

You see, here’s the thing.  So many have never expirienced the life I had.  The simple struggles but faced down with a loved one!  Simple joy, simply content, simply gracious, simple profound life. I am not sorry.  I am grateful.  I am pretty happy.  The physical void is filled with memory.

Now, back to the beginning.

Peace and Joy!  Seek and begin.  Bring joy to someone who is alone this Valentine’s Day.  

Great Gifts

Our economy runs on things and gift giving.  Enormous fortunes are built and lost on the latest whims of society and advertising.  Those are things, stuff….all disposable.

What are our greater gifts?  We probably never realize it at the time or truly appreciate it but the individuals that grace our lives through the years are the great gifts that God bestows on us.  We are molded by them.  Our family, our friends, our teachers, every encounter in our lives is a brush stroke to the final painting that is our own life, our own legacy.  So to are we the same to those that we touch.  We influence without realization.  It can be as simple as a glance to a stranger at a particular moment.  It can be as complex as a marriage.

Jokingly people will tease by saying, “Do you know what they are saying about you?”  My smug answer has always been that I don’t really care what they say.  The reason for that answer is a deflection of the truth.  The truth is I would love to please everyone but we all know that is impossible.  The best we can do is do what, in our mind, is true to us.  If we could learn to not lie to ourselves we would go so much farther to ending our disputes.  To be truthful with others requires inner truth and acceptance.  The lies of advertising and the scrutiny of others twists our inner truth to compliance.  We don’t realize we are doing it, we just react.  It is how we have been influenced.

To spread goodness, live with joy in your heart so the simple glance at that stranger is filled with the light of compassion and not judgement.  Allow and teach yourself to see the positive.  Grow in spirit by allowing graciousness in and deflecting evil.  Life is a balance of all things.  There is evil in the world.  Balance that with the light of your love.  Be the greater gift whether it is a glance or a lifetime of influence on someone.  We all fail.  We all have success.   Allow yourself to be human but grow your life, no matter your age by searching the good and denying the negative.  Be joy and be life.

Peace and joy my friends.



“Outside of the box”… I dislike that term.  To me that term steals individuality.  It promotes the idea that we all think alike and we should conform to societal thoughts unless we are instructed to do differently.

No one thinks the same way as another person.  Many times when people come to the same conclusion it has as many different paths as the people who believe in the conclusion.  We contrive our arguments and our reasoning to support our conclusions.  We START with the conclusion too often.  I do it and I get angry with myself when I do.  It is an emotional way to live.  Emotion, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.  It does however block the path of common ground and compromise.  If you can set aside the emotion you can now open yourself to other views and philosophies.  If you can truly do that you give yourself a much broader base.  Better conclusions come from that.

In our political forum today there is great emotion.  There is a huge attack of opposing premises based on societal conformity and long-held beliefs and emotion.  I applaud the protests and the involvement of so many people standing up for their conclusions.  I ask you all, by all I mean BOTH sides of the arguments, to step away from the emotion of your discontent and analyze your premise and train of thought.  Then find someone of the opposing view and listen to them.  If you hear the real reasoning now you have the base to come to the conclusion that is closest to the truth.  The trouble is, no matter how we try, emotion never steps aside.  It drives us!

I expect that there is one truth no matter our own belief system.  To me, (the truth I seek) it is God’s truth.  Talk about an emotional subject!  I don’t know if I’m right or wrong.  I try to let everyone I have influence with to live their own lives and find their own conclusions.  I try to accept them for who they are.  I ask all of them now to find out and look within themselves to seek their own true premise for their beliefs.  Not what we were force-fed as children.  In your heart of hearts seek YOUR truth!  Now you are ready to state your case.

I believe that I will seek peace and joy.  If I smile as you argue and walk away, you at least now know where I stand.  I stand with God’s truth.  I go now to find it.  I think it is in the woods.




Sunsets and Ice, Turtles and Kites

From the deep south to the frozen north the opportunity to love our lives is there.  We need to seek to find.  This can be a daunting expedition.  To achieve this solitary journey it requires will and perseverance….and opportunity.  We must wade through the daily worries, the tricks of our mind, the stress of our self expectations.  Bound by the straight jacket of “what if” and “why me” our brains bypass the present, busy on the unresolved.

I delivered a young man to his family and watched his life change in the 2000 mile trip.  It made me smile.  I enjoyed my days in Texas.  Fishing, a sea turtle release and an array of kites made a day on the beach pure pleasure with my younger son.  My older son and my granddaughter went on a visit of NASA and I enjoyed watching her at play.  It was a terrific little vacation.  It made me smile and I am at peace.  I try to concentrate on now, but grief still visits.  I accept it. I begin thinking more about what is to come. I will accept that as well.

Now at home in the Finger Lakes it has been an easy winter so far.  A cold spell covered the lake with ice.  A couple of inches of snow and yet another thaw has added water to the surface.  The sun has been missing for a couple of days but it now peaks out over the thawing lake to join in a dance of light.  The dance lasts minutes but the crowd of one enjoying the show will keep it and use it to go on, knowing there may be other dances but this one is unique.

So many are struggling.  They may not see the dance.  Cancer, illness, sudden death are the stories in my life this week.  I more than anyone understand their pain.  I can only pray for them and perhaps offer some simple photos of joy to take their mind from the pain.  May anyone reading this enjoy the photos for a moment.

Seek joy and peace. Be well my friends.  I will pray for you.






So here’s the deal. I was recognized by another blogger for my writing of There I Was. I am humbled and happy that folks like my writing. We don’t know much about the people in the blogging world other than what they write. This person is going by the blog name of Thoughts in Life. The website is I want to thank her (I believe it is a her!) for her recognition and I appreciate her saying so.

I don’t have many followers and I haven’t done the work to grow my blog. I needed to write and say things. Quite often they are the things I might say to Laurie if she were still here. It, quite frankly, is a way to express myself without dragging someone into a conversation they might not enjoy. (God knows I’ve done that more times than I can count!) It isn’t often in life that you get to express yourself without interruption and writing is the perfect vehicle for that purpose. I am easily distracted. If I were to start a conversation about a topic we might be worlds away from where it started by the finish line. (Squirrel!) It is who I have always been. Writing gives me the freedom to finish my thoughts. I truly appreciate those who faithfully read my posts and I appreciate those who are uncomfortable by them and decide they think I’m full of crap! I have 45 followers in WordPress and lots more friends on Facebook. It is great. If more come on board great, if not I’m fine with that too.

So the way this works is I’m supposed to nominate 15 bloggers for the award. Honestly I peruse the other blogs that I have friended but only read those that strike my interest. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. I don’t have 15 to name. I’m probably one of the older bloggers out there. Some of what is written is about topics that I have trouble relating to. I read some of the posts and they seem very young to me. I try to help if I can but many times I feel that I have missed the mark. Bottom line, I’m not going to nominate anyone. Everyone that is blogging feels they have something to say. If it strikes a chord, you read it. That doesn’t mean it is not important. You, bloggers and readers alike, are all important.

I truly thank for the recognition. I hope they are not upset with me. We all have something to say. Sometimes we need someone to listen and sometimes it just needs to be said. Thanks to all who take the time to read my words. I write them to be shared. I let you decide the right and the wrong of it all. In the end there is the hope that they might help someone. It helps me to write.

Peace and Joy y’all!


I sent a single word text, “Home” to my friends and family signaling safe arrival after a 10 day road trip.  I grew up basically in the woods.  Surrounded by trees is always a comforting place for me.  The word itself implies a sense of being, belonging to something tangible.  

Songwriters spin tales like “There’s a Place for Us”, “Feels Like Home to Me”, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” are all about belonging.  Kris Kristofferson wrote in “Me and Bobby McGee” she’s been lookin’ for that home, and I hope she finds it.  But I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday.  It connects with us because, while Bobby was searching for home, the writer had found his version of home in her.  It’s powerful. 

Separation is difficult.  Whether it is divorce, a break up, death, moving from your parents and starting new there is a segment of grief involved.  I know this first hand on a number of occasions.  We want to belong.  A single man that I know just passed away.  He was well known as a bus driver for the school and he worked with my Dad.  After he retired he could be found at every sporting event the school had, whether girls or boys.  That is what made him feel at home.  The town will grieve his passing because he actually was a part of home.

When I lost Laurie, I lost home.  The townhouse where we lived was only a structure.  It was never home.  She was home!  It is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.  I search for my next true home.  Maybe a place is out there somewhere.  For now I have my pups.  As exasperated as I get with them, they give me a sense of home.  Where I am is certainly home to them.  

Death is sometimes called “going home” and I truly believe that is the ultimate home.  I am grateful and satisfied that I was the one to “walk” Laurie home.  It made me feel like I belonged to something so much greater than this place that we call…..home.

(To my friend Karl and his family.  God bless you all.  Together you are home.  Be strong!)


Today we honor courage, respect, brilliance and resolve.  Great qualities common in most great humans and too often unrecognized.  

To the quiet soul who stands up to the bully but you never hear about it.  To the soldier who fights for stranger’s rights.  To the woman who leaves a threating situation.  To the neighbor who secretly helps a friend.  To the man who is determined to not fail.  To the volunteers spread all through our society.  To all others who give without expectations.  Martin Luther King stood not only for the rights of the black community but for the rights of all men and women to the life that everyone deserves.

We salute you Mr. King and all those who quietly follow in your footsteps and all those brave enough to not falter in the face of fear.

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