Monday, January 31, 2005

quote of the day

There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.
-- -- Washington Irving

Sunday, January 30, 2005

elusive memory

This afternoon Dorothy and I were watching an old movie starring John Forsythe. I said to Dorothy, "Remember when he played on Bachelor Father? And his daughter Kelly was played by Noreen Corcoran?" That show is over forty years old and I remembered the names of the cast. Today I couldn't find two pairs of reading glasses. I simply couldn't remember where I had them last. After turning the house upside down searching for them, I found one pair behind an end table and Dorothy found the other beneath a sofa cushion. I'm trying to age gracefully, but when a familiar aroma brings back colorful and detailed memories of childhood, yet I can't remember where I put my reading glasses an hour ago, it just doesn't seem right. Is Mother Nature playing a practical joke?

what I'm reading now

What have you been reading?

This is a disconcerting critique of the Bush administration's policies since 9/11. Posted by Hello

out of a fortune cookie

Today, Dorothy and I ate lunch at Hunan Village restaurant in Siloam Springs. The fortune cookies revealed the following:

mine: You will take a trip by the sea (Bahamas here we come!)
hers: You will recieve good news from far away. (win the lottery?!, yahoo!)

quote of the day

While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned.
-- Seneca 4 b.c. - 65 a.d.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Quote of the day

Most people aren't appreciated enough, and the bravest things we do in our lives are usually known only to ourselves. No one throws ticker tape on the man who chose to be faithful to his wife, on the lawyer who didn't take the drug money, on the daughter who held her tongue again and again. All this anonymous heroism.
Peggy Noonan

Friday, January 28, 2005

a good day today

Today is my day off, and since snow was forecast for this afternoon, Dorothy and I went to Missouri to get lottery tickets before the frozen stuff began to fall. On the way back we stopped at The Wooden Spoon, an Amish restaurant in Gentry, Ar. She had Poppy Seed Chicken and I had a brisket sandwich. For dessert we split a cinnamon roll. (for research purposes only, we wanted to compare them with Dorothy's) It was good and had a burned sugar icing. We also took a couple of pieces of pie home for later. A wet snow began to fall just before we made it home. We whiled away the afternoon while sipping hot green tea and watching an
old black and white movie. It was a good day.
There was a quality to this day that I want to capture when I retire. I think the only way to describe it is unbusy-ness. I want to be active in retirement, but without the urgency of punching a time clock, the effort to put five pounds of work into a four pound bag. 197 more days.

quote of the day

The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.
-- Harold B. Lee

Thursday, January 27, 2005

winter phenomenon

The weatherman is forecasting freezing rain tonight. With every wintry prediction comes an interesting phenomenon. People flock to the stores and stock up on groceries and toilet paper. Now, if we lived in Minnesota that might be a good idea. It may be weeks before you could venture out. But in Oklahoma, if there were a blizzard tonight we would be housebound until tomorrow afternoon. Yet, when the snow arrives, there they are at Walmart loading their carts with enough provisions to outfit and Arctic expedition. Whenever the roads are icy, people get an urge to drive on the stuff. Believe me, when I retire I will not leave the house during freezing precipitation. But I think some people actually enjoy driving along, slipping and sliding, into the ditch, out of the ditch, merrily along.

owl inspiration

During the winter if you go outside my house late at night or early in the morning you can hear an owl hooting. I don't know if it's the same owl but I've been hearing it for years. Sometimes when I can't sleep I can hear him. This poem came to me after a sleepless night listening to that owl:


On winter nights
I lie awake while the
Moon shines through the window.
The hoot owl beckons me
To join him.
I consider it,
Then pull the covers snug
Against the cold.

In spring I'm tempted
To join the Whippoorwill
In the meadow on his
All night vigil.
Then I hear the coyotes'
Howl echo from the hollow
Where the creek runs cold,
And reconsider.

I listen to the
Metallic whine of the cicadas
On hot summer nights
And watch as the night breeze
Billows the curtains back and forth
Above my head while
The leak stains on the ceiling
Metamorphose into shapes and animations.

In autumn, close to
Halloweeen, the wind blows
Brittle leaves upon my window;
A premonition of the
Winter chill.
And as the house creaks
Against the wind's coercion
I wonder if sleep will ever come again.
C. 9-26-00

quote of the day

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
-- Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

quote of the day

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, January 24, 2005

quote of the day

There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.
-- Annie Dillard, 'The Writing Life'

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Yesterday, at work, I received an award. For superior job performance? For hard work and dedication? No. I simply accumulated 2000+ hours of sick leave over the course of my postal career. Not calling in sick over the years has been a matter of genetic luck. I'm in good health and always have been. I just hope I continue illness free because I plan to live to at least 90. I've had to work for a living for the last forty years and now I plan to goof off for at least 30 more. When I retire, I might start an eBay business, I'm going to get back to painting and writing and gardening. I'll be even busier than I am now while employed but the important thing is that I'll be following my interests; with plenty of time set aside for naps, of course.

quote of the day

Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another's way of life - so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. Hands off!
- Henry Miller

Saturday, January 22, 2005

quote of the day

When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends. -- Japanese Proverb

i'm back!

My monitor quit last Wednesday and I just bought a new one today, so I'll be up and running with new posts shortly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

quote of the day

We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released. -- Jean Houston

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

quote of the day

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
-- Harry S Truman, August 8, 1950

Monday, January 17, 2005

quote of the day

At the boy's level, hero worship gravitates toward the doer of spectacular deeds; on the average adult level, toward the wielder of power; and in the eyes of a more critical judgement, toward idealism and moral qualities.
Dixon Wecter

Sunday, January 16, 2005

what I'm reading now

I'm reading Franklin and Winston, a book about the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill and their collaboration during WWII to deny the aggresive ambition of German Nazism and Japanese imperialism.

Roosevelt and Churchill Posted by Hello


While the rest of the country has been experiencing crazy, unusual weather, so has eastern Oklahoma. Only, ours is a good kind of unusual. I was hoping for mild weather for my last winter as a mail carrier and my hopes have been realized. (so far) We've had two snows without significant accumulations so there's been no slipping and sliding on the way to work; just bone chilling cold, and even that has been relieved every few days with 60 degree temperatures.

I wonder how the winters will be, post retirement. I think I might sit on the porch swing and watch it snow, all bundled up against the cold and sipping hot chocolate, with the luxury of going inside whenever the mood strikes me. And summers; just think, I can work in the garden in the morning and spend the heat of the day in air conditioned comfort. What a life that's going to be!

quote of the day

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.
-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, January 15, 2005

quote of the day

Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials, or none at all.
Gerald W. Johnson

Thursday, January 13, 2005

quote of the day

If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads
by emptying peoples's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.

Tao te Ching circa 500 b.c.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

quote of the day

Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
Eleanor Roosevelt.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

quote of the day

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
-- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Monday, January 10, 2005

Just finished this one. The best yet by Demille. A novel about the TWA flight 800 crash off of Long Island in 1996. Posted by Hello

quote of the day

The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.
-- Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure, Rosebud, 1993

Sunday, January 09, 2005

life anew

Yesterday while delivering the mail, I discovered some crocuses blooming in a yard. I look forward to seeing these tenacious little flowers every winter. Just as the temperatures are dropping and the world seems so bleak, up they come through the frozen earth. I think it's God's way of saying "Hold on, things are going to change!" It's also a lesson for us. Life is eternal. Just as the crocuses come back to life at the coldest of winter, we will rise again. I don't know your religion or creed, but I'm going to live forever. The crocuses told me.

the first promise of spring Posted by Hello

quote of the day

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and he lets them come;
things disappear and he lets them go.
He has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When his work is done, he forgets it
That is why it lasts forever.

Tao te Ching -- circa 500 b.c.

Friday, January 07, 2005

quote of the day

Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity, letters encourage momentary escape into others lives and I come back to my own with greater contentment.
-- Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, 'A Woman of Independent Means'

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The sun has taken a leave of absence. Posted by Hello

winter blues

I'm going to set this blog aside for a few days. I'm down in the dumps with SAD. So until the sun breaks through the clouds I'll be here in a corner, curled up in the fetal position.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

quote of the day

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
-- Mark Twain

Saturday, January 01, 2005

This painting was done by my 16 yr old grand daughter Samantha. Posted by Hello

quote of the day

Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life.
-- Adele Brookman

the beginning

Well, Dorothy and I made it all the way to 11:30 last night. Marley and Hunter (5yrs and 2yrs) came over and they rode their 4wheelers until dark, then we watched SpongeBob Squarepants all evening. That's about as exciting as New Years Eve gets for us.
Besides not eating hot dogs any longer (see post below) I haven't any resolutions. I think I'll try to meditate more, seek to keep healthy by eating better (and less), and in general get ready for retirement.
As I look back over 2004, I'm amazed at how fast it disappeared. I'd like to slow the clock when I retire so I can savor the people in my life, enjoy the grand kids, and just luxuriate in the leisure. I have a great sense of gratitude for my life; for the privilege of being married to Dorothy, who still loves me after all these years, the pride of having two beautiful and intelligent daughters, and those wonderful grand children of mine. I am truly a lucky man.
Of all the lessons I've learned in the last year two stand out: 1. If there is anyone you should treat with kindness and respect, it is your life partner. Take care of them. 2. People (especially children) are not lumps of clay to be prodded and molded. They are flowers that, with the proper care, will bloom. So just stand back and watch them grow and become who they are. Just be ready to help when needed.
I hope all of you will find what you're looking for this year. Remember, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.