img_0423Making excuses. I guess this is one that we can all relate to, at least all of the people that I know. I have to admit that some of us are better at it than others. Looking back at my childhood I remember that there were lots of opportunities to practice the art of dodging commitments to my chores. I had a younger brother, a couple of littler sisters, and there were always the “other people” out there that I could drag into the conversation when needed. My mother was a lot smarter than me tho, and usually she caught me up in my excuses, or sometimes downright fibs. No one could get past her for very long. She had that way of looking at me straight on, and then I would know the jig was up, and time to change my story.

As I grew older I think that I got somewhat better at it. There was usually a reason why something hadn’t gotten done on time, that I could manufacture. This is really not something to brag about, it is just that there were so many reasons that made sense, at least to me, that I could think of.

Fast forward, marriage, four children, a house to take care of, a part time job to go to five days a week. Now I had legitimate reasons to have excuses, all anyone had to do was look around and see that of course, I couldn’t do everything. Some things just had to get done, and the majority of them did, and I forgot about excuses, just did what I had to do.

Now here I am, one husband, me, a house to take care of, and that is about it. What reason can I make up for not getting things done now? What has to get done does, and the rest will wait until tomorrow. What is that, you say?

What is my excuse now? I have the perfect one. Just ask my fellow writers.  We are all Retired!!












IMG_0127Looking at a picture from last spring, in April to be exact, out our dining room sliding door after we had just returned from Florida.  The scene looked so delicate, our flowering tree just beginning to show its early bloom, the pool still covered up after a long, hard winter, the grass a very light shade of green, and all of the new season just waiting to show up and give us some sunshine.

I hear that this past winter there was a lot more sunshine than normal, and for Michigan that really sounds fantastic. February in the North is gray, gray, gray, unless it is white, white, white. Growing up in Michigan, I am so familiar with boots, mittens, scarfs, snowpants, and all of the constant changes of weather. As a child we often reveled in the snow and the ice for skating or fishing. We made forts out of blocks of snow or large snowballs and had picnics in them. But somehow we grew up and started driving a car or truck and some of the fun seeped out of our daily activity.

Time rolled on as it seems to do, and now I spend the winter where there is a lot of sunshine. That is great, being warm enough to go out walking wherever we please to go.

But when I look at this picture I remember all of the charms of a spring in Michigan, especially when you are on a farm, and the blossoms will soon be showing up on all of the fruit trees. I begin to see that it is time to start gathering up our belongings, thinking of what we will need when we take our long trip, the clothes that serve us well in both places, the things that I can’t bear to be without, no matter where we are. A trip can be a lot of pleasure if you are not in a hurry. There are always new roads to travel, new restaurants to enjoy, and hotels to stay in.  When I was much younger, we used to take long trips across the country, but we often slept in the car in rest stops along the interstate. Now a comfortable bed sounds a lot better. That probably makes me an old fogie, looking back at the past, and realizing that nothing stays the same.

So Michigan, we will be on our way in the not too distant future.  We will enjoy the summer and surely the fall, which is my favorite, but at some moment in time I will begin to remember the sunshine, the warm beautiful days, the friends waiting for us, and then I will begin to pack again. What a pleasure it is to enjoy two beautiful states, and the best of both worlds.




img_0781Today I began to “see” a problem.

I began to gnaw on it like a dog with a bone.

Then I began to focus on it.

It became a full-fledged worry.

Why did I do this to my Self, God?

To imagine is to “image”, to make an image in my mind.

It ultimately became an image I can see and touch.

So why did I make this image?

What purpose did it serve?

It gave me something to fear.

It gave me a lesson to learn.

It showed me how powerful my imaging faculty is.

Sometimes it is not what I think I want to see!

Cancel, cancel, I say to my Self.

I do not want to make any more of these images.

I can look for the bright side, the silver lining.

I can remember I don’t need to imagine things

that probably will never happen.

I can remember that I am in control of my thoughts,

And I can know that

wherever I go and whatever I think,

God is always there!







Why did I ever DO that?, an intriguing question that popped into my mind while searching for the answer as to why my life is where it is right now?

Looking back over an extensive period of time it is pretty easy to see how I could have done things a lot differently.  Also a lot smarter. The problems that seemed so overwhelming at one time brought forth the urgent need to do something to change the situation I was in. It became “Dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” as a famous Naval officer David Farragut once said.

It seems as if somewhere in our thought processes we begin to see only one side of a problem, and then the results become less than what is desirable. Saying to ourselves over and over again, “Why in the world did I ever do that?” becomes a self-defeating process.  At some point after being miserable about our own failures we have to change our thinking. We can begin to ask, “What can I do to change my own attitudes? Have I learned anything from my life lessons? Am I trying to listen to other peoples viewpoint instead of exclusively my own?”

I have a new question for myself. When I decide I want to change something in my life, what else am I considering besides what happens to me? In the overall scheme of things, what we decide to do is more important to others than we can easily comprehend. We might say to our own inner voice, do I really want or need to do this? Kindliness is next to Godliness, I was told as a child, and a good mantra for me to remember. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is another.

it seems that so many of the older platitudes that we were taught when we were young have stood us in good stead. If we had always practiced them all we would never have to look back, and wonder, “Why in the world did I ever do that?”

So today, friends, I am looking forward, and I like what I see. I no longer feel that I must look back, because I know there are bright days ahead for us all. Forward is good!



Panasonic Misc 2012 093If only we could go back,

Back to the long ago years of our youth,

Back to a simpler time where someone always told us what to do,

Back to the families that showed us right from wrong,

Back to the teachers that made us accountable for our time,

Back to the churches that reminded us to follow the Golden Rule,

Where would we be if we could go back?

If only we could look forward,

While remembering all the lessons we had learned,

Thinking that there is usually a much better untried way,

Noticing that others around us have their own paths to trod,

Realizing that we have our own inner voice,

Recognizing that our lives are the result of our choices,

If only – two little words that can be used

To show us a forward looking way.

Altho we can’t go back to our own “If Onlys”

We can place our sights firmly on the promise of tomorrow,

Knowing that we are the one who is in charge,

And “If Only” is no longer an excuse we can make.





Sometimes its easy to bring back the memories, The golden flashes of the many years gone by, The caring and the sharing of the friends long unseen, The smiles and the jokes over forgotten happy eve…