Time to Wake Up

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Wake up ! Not just to sunrises, but to the injustices and corruption taking place in DC and other governments. To the violence and poverty in Chile, Haiti, Brazil and beyond. To the ravages of war all across the globe. The abuse of the elderly, the weak and the little ones. Global warming (regardless of the causes). The loss of human rights in many countries and cities. Greed which knows no boundaries. Poverty.

Also, wake up to the many wonderful people and acts of kindness and generosity taking place throughout the world. People ignoring old prejudices and bringing about harmony. Pulling someone out from the gutter. Speaking up for shared and well-grounded values. Loving one another regardless of differences. Honoring God. Putting others before self.

We must be aware of what is going on around us and become agents for change. We can all make a positive difference. Watch another sunshine and wake up to another day full of opportunities. Certainly challenges await, but as Winston Churchill stated, “Never, ever give up”. Defeat is not inevitable. Victories in so many areas will and are being won.

Bless as you have been blessed. I certainly have been. I seek forgiveness for not doing more, but I still have more life to live to make amends. Pressing on.

Vanes

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One moment they stand as sentinels over the landscape and then they disappear, only to reveal themselves anew. Wind farms hidden by fog and juxtaposed against a backdrop of petroleum derelicts pumping crude oil into tanks. Fascinating harmony.

As we attempt to ween ourselves from fossil fuels, evidence abounds that this is actually occurring. Our electric utility company puts out an info letter with each bill. This last one stated that over 35% of our energy is now derived from wind and solar. Progress is being made, however, it will still take decades before total energy production comes from non-fossil fuel sources. America is behind other nations in this department, but we are also much larger then those nations going 100% non-oil.

This gives me mixed emotions. I know the need to clean the air we breath and all the ramifications that are attached to this statement, but I also recall it was oil that helped propel the industrial revolution and has been the energy source which produced almost everything that exists from a man-made perspective.

I will miss the reciprocating engine which powered the first automobiles, then the turbine which allowed air transportation to be a viable source available to most everyone. From trans-Atlantic ocean liners to narrow-gauge railroads to everyday transportation, petroleum has played a huge part in man’s lives and the advancement of most cultures. Hybrid cars are becoming more abundant and pure electric cars will one day be the norm. Coal for power plants vs nuclear energy is still a big issue among many countries.

Iceland is the only country I know of where modern mechanized life exists without petroleum. This island has lots of water, geo-thermal energy, and wind to harvest, and the Icelanders have put all of it to good use. Perhaps there are more to do so?

Before I ramble on further, please thank God for fossil fuels and man’s ingenuity to substitute other energy sources for them. When you turn the key in your gas or diesel powered vehicle, ride a bus, or fly across vast distances, please remember that it is petroleum that is taking you there.

As I recently viewed the landscape from Kansas to Texas and back I saw change. Best get used to it for it is a good thing…even with mixed feelings. BTW, I will miss drag racing!

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A Time for Reflection

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A month into the new year which means we have eleven more months to go before we close out 2019 (simple math I can handle). Have you had or taken the time to reflect on just how fleeting time is? Age changes perspective, to be sure. Young usually means time is suspended while old views it running away from us. But, that’s not what I am getting at…not really, although this age thing may play into my point.

Reflection of ones’ self can be a tricky thing as we usually see our lives from a somewhat warped self-image. After all, we are looking in the mirror and may not see an accurate reflection of who and what we really are. Start with the present and with the understanding that the past certainly influences who you have become. But, don’t let that stop you from seeing who you are right now. An accurate gauge of yourself is invaluable in who and what you will become, what you will do and where you will go.

I have done a great deal of reflecting over the course of the past few months and have come to some conclusions which may be of some value to you. 1. Time stands still for no one so let’s make the best of what each day offers. 2. The past with all the pain, disappointments, betrayals, fractured relationships, illnesses, deaths, etc. must be be put to bed now or they will haunt you indefinitely. 3. Forgiveness is a much greater virtue to you than the forgiven cause they usually don’t even know your pain. 4. Uncomplicate your life. Get rid of all the debris-physical stuff and emotional baggage carried with us. 5. Have faith you can and will make better decisions from today going forward because you will be better equipped to make them. 6. Have faith in a Higher Being  (mine is Christ) who gives you the strength and courage to press on to a better tomorrow. 7. Enjoy today.

Nothing new here and I could have added a dozen more items to consider, but this is what I have been shown so I wanted to share it with you. Have a quality and joy-filled year and life !

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Up-Sizing

 

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With so much talk about down sizing these days, I thought it might be a bit thought provoking to explore the opposite end of this spectrum: up-sizing.

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Small house. Much larger house. 1,000 square feet. 10,000 square feet. Ten times larger. One house is old. The other is new. One house is short. The other house tall. Sounds like lines from a Dr. Suess book !

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Both houses serve the same purpose; to shelter humans from nature’s elements and to protect them from harm’s way. How many square feet does it take to do that? For some a Tiny House is just the thing…kind of like a camper on a permanent lot. And for others room to spread out including amenities that a small house cannot encompass. Things like eight bathrooms, ten bedrooms, a kitchen large enough for several families to cook in at the same time, a dining room that seats twenty-something, a family room with multiple TVs, a pool table, game tables, lots of couches, a wet bar and the list goes on.

Is a large house, the up-size one, built for practical purposes or for prestige? Maybe both. Not my place to judge. It appears the new house will be beautiful when completed. It appears the little house served its purpose for fifty-plus years. Times change and so has the economy. Values, needs, wants, locations and so much more are different than in the 1950s. So, which house would you choose to live in?

Contentment

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Contentment: “A state of happiness or satisfaction”.  As one dictionary defines the word.

 

Please spend a few minutes studying this photograph of Carson, our Westie (West Highland Terrier).

 

What word would you use to describe him at this moment? Actually, it is usually for many moments per day, and they occur quite often!

 

Now, consider if you feel this way occasionally, often, always or never.

 

Is there a change in your life which needs to take place to equal this state of tranquility?

 

I need to study Carson more often. Actually, I would like to be him. Ha!

 

To Everything There is a Season

To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, and a time to reap

A time to kill, and a time to heal

A time to laugh, and a time to weep

To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn

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Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons; amongst the greatest is the change in tree and shrub foliage. I love greens all summer long, and hate to see them turn to browns and greys in the winter, but before this occurs we are treated with a spectacle of color painted by nature herself. Consider the variety of vegetation coupled with an inexhaustible array of colors that man can mimic, but never duplicate in such exquisite beauty.

The words above are from a song made famous by a rock group called The Byrds in 1965. The lyrics are from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Pete Seeger, a singer-songwriter took these words and crafted this song which became an anti-Vietnam War song. The last verse says that peace is never too late.

It becomes obvious to me that these words are timeless in their meaning and interpretations according to the era they are read and pondered. We know not what is in store for any of us…only One has such knowledge. We can plan and prepare, discuss and implement, but we never really control most of the outcomes of our lives. Some will disagree, of course, and that’s okay. Each of us views life from different lenses. My perspective comes from several sources: my own experiences and seeing those of others, plus my reference point concerning all things-God.

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Change starts one leaf at a time, and before you know it, the whole tree is ablaze in color! May this season of your life be full of growth, peace and an abundance of blessings.

Herons, Routines & Change

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Routines are a part of our daily existence. Many are essential, some are detrimental, and others are neutral in their affect upon our lives. Take this Blue Heron for instance. Every morning (I assume his behavior is the same since I have always seen him near the same spot at this lake in the dawn hour). His routine probably results in a breakfast meal of sorts so it could be described as essential.

People, on the other hand, are a bit more complex, as are their routines and the reasons for them. Something I have noticed about routines since I am between jobs: they can be both comforting and boring. With the exception of going to work, I have not altered my early morning or evening routines a great deal. I have made a few changes which are refreshing. I find myself feeling a bit uncomfortable at times since I had followed the same week day routine for decades.

Change can be positive or negative depending on one’s perspective. I choose to embrace this time of change optimistically. Here’s to good fishing!