You Know You’re in the Country When …

It was last year … Mid-October … we had just gotten our first snow of the year … Yes, that was Mid-October … we had also gotten a serious wind storm a few days earlier, which knocked down several trees in our back yard … and front yard … and side yard … and … well, anyway … we weren’t prepared for the snow, either …
It would turn out that the snow just wouldn’t stop long enough to take care of the trees way back in the back yard until Summer.

But, I had to take care of the trees which were down in the driveway, and then worry about getting the pellets in, for the pellet stove. Both would take time, and the weather wouldn’t cooperate.

I took out the chainsaw, and began work on what trees I could manage around the perimeter of the property. Lost a lot of pine, poplar, maple, birch, and sumac. All this couldn’t be done in a day (or days), and the snow was too deep to lug the chainsaw, and the wheelbarrow, back and forth through the snow. So, I figured I could just keep both downstairs, on the other side of the staircase (out of the way), to be ready on the next rare opportunity to “work outside.”

It gets dark downstairs, even with the pellet stove blazing on the other side of the room.

I finally got the opportunity to work outside. Always one to conserve energy (except my own), I didn’t bother with turning on a light downstairs, after I had “suited up” for my outdoor adventure in adverse weather conditions (which we just simply call “the weather out …”). Keep in mind that when we get ready to go outside for any length of time, we are “suited up” in something resembling a space suit, for the lack of mobility all those layers and heavy snow boots allow …

Anyway, I was making my way toward the chain saw, getting ready to reach down and grab it, when I said the phrase I had never said before, but, the moment I said it (for I knew I would have to explain to those above (2nd Floor) what all the racket was about), I realized what a great line it was, and we must really be out in the country. Keep in mind this was inside the house:

“On my way to the chain saw … I tripped over the wheelbarrow.”

Blessings,

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

2019 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

The 2019 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is Sunday, November 3rd.

Here is this year’s slide presentation from the event’s sponsor,
Voice of the Martyrs.

We’ve added music to the presentation, and hope you will join us in praying … every day … for the safety and protection of our Christian Brothers and Sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith … every day.

Remember:
Same family.
Different neighborhood.

Eres Tu-Part Two: Winning Song for “Mocedades” in 1973

Hi Friends:

In Part One, we featured my favorite instrumental performance, “Eres Tu” by “The Guitars of Sonny James.” Here’s a link to that:

“Eres Tu” The Guitars of Sonny James.

So … Can a song, in which I don’t understand the words … become my favorite video?
Well … I searched and searched for a vocal performance of “Eres Tu” to feature in this short series …
I watched and listened to videos made all over the world … and, to me, this one is my favorite.

A brief history:
A Spanish singing group from the Basque Country, Mocedades represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 with this song. Amaya Uranga, the Lead Singer in this video (born February 18, 1947 in Bilbao, Spain), spent 15 years with the group. She formed the group in the late 1960’s with eight members, which included her sister Izaskun, and her brother Roberto. After their success in this contest, the band launched a hugely successful music career in Spain and Latin America, and would go through several membership changes in the next years, becoming popular all around the world.

I just love this video!
Yes … even though I don’t know all the words, I have played this version of the song so many times that I can sing parts of it “by heart.”

All I know is that, for me, this incorporates all of the elements of a great song on video. As an old-time “radio man” I respect and admire a great performance. For me, this one delivers. To me, as an “Old-School” guy, I love the way they alternate between studio and live/stage performance.
Yes … when you watch this video, there is no doubt it comes from “back in the day.”
Yet, for me, “good is good,” regardless of time or place.
It has “back in the day” written all over it, and, for me, that seems to make me enjoy it all the more.

It’s like my favorite instrumental “came to life” and became my favorite music video.
I love the way they did this, showing clips of all of the singers, back and forth between “live” and studio … not missing a beat.
It reminds me of performing in front of very young children: They don’t get the jokes … they just know I am joking … and they love that.

So, I don’t understand the words, but it is such a great performance, I love it.

Enjoy Mocedades and “Eres Tu:”

From the 1940’s: “How to Behave and Why?”/Add-On to “Be a Good Memory”

Hi Friends:

Recently, we featured the quote about “Be a Good Memory, which led to the most recent post about “The Kind of Parent I Don’t Want to Be.”

Now, from the same folder which contained the “Be a Good Memory Quote,” I discovered this book review, from a book written way back in the 1940’s, by author Munro Leaf, which continues that same theme about “Are most of the people I know glad that I am here?”

Part of me feels that this should reside in the “I Remember” category, and it is unfortunate that I feel that way. However … “I Remember” when books like this were “must reading.” It was popular because … and, yes, I’m going to write this … It was popular because there was a time when a book like this reinforced what we already were taught at home. We understood the book because “that’s just what Mom and Dad have been telling us all along …”

I find it remarkable, reading this book review now, that the book seems to be aimed at parents as much as their children. That … are you ready for this in 2019? … As important as it is for children to “act right,” it is just as important for parents to “act right.” Imagine that? Parents are expected … or, should that be parents “were” expected to act right? The author of this book, Munro Leaf, seems to pinpoint the importance of parent’s behavior … perhaps suggesting that the behavior of parents could influence the behavior of their children?

See how this all ties in?

I discovered this review for the book “How to Behave and Why” in the folder from years ago, and it could be several reviews I had combined. To give proper credit, I’ve included the link to the book on Amazon. Here is how the book is described:

“’How to Behave and Why’ is a timeless classic published in 1946 by Munro Leaf, well-known author of another timeless classic, Ferdinand. Leaf suggests, “The two biggest questions to ask ourselves in life, at any age, are: “Are most of the people I know glad that I am here? Am I glad that I am here, myself?” Because after all, getting along with and being loved and trusted by others is key to happiness and success in life.
“How to Behave and Why” explains to kids that to make good friends and keep them you have to be honest, fair, strong, and wise, “and all that isn’t so easy.”
He reminds kids that learning to live a happy life is a lot like sailing in a boat with other people. You have to learn the ropes before you can command the ship “and help to make the world a better place for all of us.”
First published in 1946, Munro Leaf’s “How To Behave And Why” gives touchingly sincere yet gently funny lessons in Honesty, Fairness, Strength, and Wisdom. Originally intended for the very young, but with meaning for us all, “How To Behave and Why” is a true classic, charmingly illustrated with childlike drawings, and with a timeless message. It is a sure guide for teaching children (and adults) how to behave.”

To check out the link to the book, I looked at current reviews (from today, 2019):

In her Amazon book review, Karin Snelson wrote, “A satisfying reflection of a time when what was right and wrong seemed more black and white. (All ages).”

By the way … in looking at comments about the book, not all were favorable. At least one person did not like the use of the word “stupid” in the book.

I don’t know about you, but … I sure have done some “stupid” things in my life.
Including my adult life.
Maybe … I’ve done more “stupid” things in my adult life than in my childhood … I don’t know …
I just know I’ve done “stupid” things in both.

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon:

How to Behave and Why?

The Kind of Parent I Don’t Want to Be

Hi Friends:

This is kinda, sorta, springing off of our last post about “Be a Good Memory.”

There have been hundreds, maybe thousands, of books which try to “help you be a good parent,” or “better parent.” To help you become the parent you would like to be.

You know I am going to say that there is only one real source for how to become a “better” anything, and that is The Book. Period.
That won’t change.

For the context of this post … there isn’t much out there which writes of “What Kind of Parent You Don’t Want to Be.”

I tried … diligently … to search, online, for “How Many Books on Parenting Have Been Written?” or “How Many Books on Parenting are Written Each Year?”
I couldn’t find the answer, only a list of “Best” or “The Only Parenting Books You Need,” and so forth.

I did find out that nearly 10 Billion “self-improvement” books are sold each year, but I could not find the stats on “Parenting Books.”

So … I’ve had this one brewing for a while, and wanted to share it now:

I won’t go into any specifics about things I’ve witnessed, or what I’ve seen or heard “go on” at teacher/parent conferences … things like yelling, screaming, a parent showing up in pajamas, the word “intoxicated” being mentioned, things being thrown, and so on …

So … Here is “The Kind of Parent I Don’t Want to Be:”

The parent, or parents, are called in to the School for a “Parent/Child Conference.”
At the end … after the parent/parents have left … leaving only the teachers to summarize “what just happened” … one of the teachers says, out loud … what the others are thinking:

“Well, that certainly explains a thing or two.”

Quote: Be a Good Memory

Hi Friends:

…Sooner or later, I “try to get to it.”

Here is a photo quote which a dear friend sent me over 4 years ago …

It is, simply, advice to “Be a Good Memory.”

Be a Good Memory Quote

 

At the Casino: Lost Ball, Found Love

Hi Friends:

You’re right: I guess I should explain that “Casino” part first.

For years, Carol and I have been fans of women’s college basketball, due in part to the fact that we lived in Connecticut for several years, not far from the University of Connecticut. So, we followed the girls’ games closely, and, at one point even had season tickets to Gampel Pavilion, the UCONN Huskies home court. We’ve followed the team as far as Texas to witness the Final Four. Not only did we “know” the players, but we followed the college careers of other basketball players, as well.

So … when these players turn professional, we continue to follow their careers in the WNBA.
Today, there are players we’ve followed for over two decades, from several different teams. The closest WNBA team to us is down in Connecticut.

Let’s see … two paragraphs … and, still hasn’t gotten to the “Casino” part …

In our neck of the woods, if you want to see a WNBA basketball game, you have no choice but to go to the Mohegan Sun Arena, located inside the Mohegan Sun. That’s something like 270 miles away, but we are able to watch their games on cable television. I’m sure you realize that this post is not an endorsement of casinos, or even the WNBA, for that matter. I shouldn’t even have to mention how I personally feel about gambling in general. Gambling offers no “draw” for me, and I can honestly say that it doesn’t attract me, in any way. It is just a matter of fact that this is where the games are played.

There are also college basketball games played at the Arena. There are separate entrances for “under 21 years of age” patrons. I don’t know if I’ve ever used a “separate” entrance there, as I just park in the garage, and go into the closest entrance.

Yes … there may be much I could write about why … in a league where “gambling” is, I guess, illegal (I don’t know) … they put a professional basketball team in a casino …

Hey … the next thing you know … they’ll put a professional football team in Las Vegas …

Nah … that could never happen … Imagine what that could do to the “integrity” of the league?

Anyway … “back to the casino” …

We try to go to one WNBA game a year, and, this year, that was in the middle of July. Of the days we could go, the best game was against Minnesota. There are several players for Minnesota we are fans of, as well … We especially love and respect Maya Moore (former Huskie) … We didn’t see her … She has taken this year off to concentrate on Ministry and Family … Yes … Ministry …

We had great seats (I know you’d want to know that), and were even selected to a “meet and greet” with players after the game … The exact same thing happened at the last game we went to, last year …
This year, as we were in line for the photo/autograph session, we talked with a representative from the team, who gave us her card, inviting us to call her for a special deal on tickets to any game we wanted, for the rest of the season.

After a week or so, we hadn’t called her, but another representative from the team called us … and offered us an even better deal for “up close” tickets to any game remaining on the schedule … including being able to go down on the court and meet at least one player …

What would you have done???

So … there we were in August, back “at the casino,” watching the Sun and another of our favorite teams. We were really close to the bench … Great game …

It was then that “Part One” happened:
After the game, certain players remain on the court, and throw out, to the crowd, small basketballs … There were several players throwing the basketballs out, in different sections of the Arena … What are the chances that my favorite player would throw a ball toward me?
Sorry … I mean “toward us” … Carol had already come close to a tee shirt … But … could this actually happen???

I’m not making this up:
My favorite player … holding one of those little basketballs … walked over in front of … us … right there in front of us … and, (and I don’t think I am making this up) … looking directly at us … threw that little basketball directly at us … Directly at us … I reached out with both hands cupped together … the ball came down … it seemed to be in slow motion, yet speeding into my hands … it was like I was watching a movie … the ball landing squarely in the middle of my palms … right there … landed … I clasped my hands around the prize … and the ball, hitting my palms … bounced right back up … the momentum of the throw, bouncing off my hands, launching the ball into the waiting hands of a fan 5 rows behind me …

Never mind what I said.

I then went into mental “damage control.” I mean, I had the ball, from my favorite player, right there … she literally threw it to me … I mean to us … and I had it … right there in my hands … right in my hands … right in my hands.

Man … I am so glad to be an adult …

I’m serious … the ball literally bounced right out of my hands … I had it … I even had time to think, as it was coming down, the route I’d take down to the player to get the ball signed …

I tried to “shake it off,” and, certainly Carol was a tremendous help. Every time I had myself convinced that “that’s ok … forget about it” … I’d be ok for a moment, and then … I’d see that ball … coming down … into my hands … I had it right there … right there in my hands …
Then … “That’s ok … So what? So, I had the ball right there in my hands. Big deal. Get over it. So, it was thrown by my favorite player, and sent directly to me … Get over it. What a souvenir that would have made … That’s ok … forget it … Be grateful you were even here … that you had a chance to … forget about it …”

Would you believe that “that’s all I could think about” as we headed out?
I mean … I did have that ball right in my hands …
I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. …

Isn’t it great to be an adult?
Which means we could take the short-cut to our car, directly through the casino.
Every step I took … I saw that ball bouncing out of my hands …

Then, “Part Two” happened:
We had already planned to eat dinner at the casino after the game.
So, we walked around, trying to find a place that was open. I couldn’t believe, with as many events the casino hosts at night, how many restaurants were closed by 9:00PM. I was desperately trying to get that little basketball out of my mind. Funny how, in those few seconds the ball was in the air, I had envisioned where I would proudly display my autographed treasure …

We walked all over the casino, looking for a place that was open. After a while, Carol needed to find a restroom. No problem, I’ll just stay right here, and wait for her.
Which I did.
Until 30 minutes … 45 Minutes … Now, it was over an hour, and still she had not returned. Do you know what it’s like to just stand there … with your thoughts (of a little round basketball) while you are waiting? As each minute passed, I got more concerned. Then, worried. I walked around … finally found someone who could tell me where the closest restroom was … I waited there for a while, then thinking, “What if she went back to the original spot?” I returned to where I last saw her.
(Note to self: If you are in the middle of a crowded casino, in New England, never ask someone where the closet women’s restroom is.)

I was now beyond worry, and tried not to think all those things I was thinking.
Where was she?
What had happened?
I tried to stay calm, and not panic.
Man … that casino is a big place. And, every area looks pretty much the same to me.

It was then that it happened:
I felt I could do nothing more than just “stay right here” and continue to scan the crowd for a glimpse of her. It was then when it happened … and, it was just like a scene from a movie:
There she was!
She was standing there, alone … all the way across the casino, on the other side … there may have been a hundred people around her, but it was like she was alone, with a giant spotlight coming down, surrounding her. It was like all of the surroundings had disappeared. She was standing there; everything around her was blurred … like one of those photographs where the main focus of the picture is totally clear, and everything else is blurred … I then slowly walked toward her … I’m serious, it was just like a movie … me walking slowly toward her, now everything around me in that blur, but her, in the center, illuminated …
I will never, ever forget that moment. I can still see her standing there, and the look on her face.

As I slowly made my way toward her … I completely forgot about that basketball.

As I held her close, you can imagine how scared she was. She had gotten lost on her way back to our original starting point, and it all looks the same …

And … And …

I completely forgot about that little basketball …

For I realized that right then, right now … I was holding … in my hands … both hands …
the most important thing in the world to me …

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.