Thursday, January 21, 2021

Rebuild. Reconcile. Recover.

Rebuild. Reconcile. Recover. From our new National Youth Poet Laureate! Amanda Gorman. In yesterday’s inauguration, my highlight was Amanda Gorman. I’ve always loved poetry, but I’ve never seen it come to life as it did yesterday. At a time when our country is facing a pandemic, incredible divisiveness and a loss of what makes the country safe, Amanda captured our needs in three words. Rebuild. Reconcile. Recover. 

Rebuilding can be repairing the damage to our Capitol building. It can also be rebuilding our infrastructure and our ability to deliver vaccines through a fractured health system. Reconciling between political parties, families and friends. Recovering what sets us apart from other countries. The three R’s should be our foundation as we move forward under the new administration. Whether or not you voted for the Biden-Harris administration, choosing not to work toward the common good of our country and its people is short sighted. You are punishing yourself if you don’t work toward the common good. You are condemning thousands to hunger and poverty, death from an uncontrolled pandemic, and increasing dysfunction. Facts not lies. A Congress that puts aside petty partisanship in favor of healing our country must happen! 

So what can we do to help? Be positive. Scroll past negativity. Ignore untruths. Pray for those who believe  the conspiracy theories. We may never be able to overcome the indoctrination of the past four years, but pray that calmer heads will prevail. We are better than violence and mayhem. 

Let’s recover our joy and celebrate our future!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Do We Care?

Do we care? That’s a big question in our world right now. My first reaction is nope! We don’t care. We don’t care about each other. We don’t care about those sick with COVID. We don’t care enough to mask and social distance. We say hurtful things on line as if that doesn’t count...things we would never say to each other’s faces. I struggle not to respond to political posts, but I’m not always successful. We don’t fact check before we post. We trust those for whom a lie is acceptable. We don’t care about the unemployed. We just don’t care. This makes me sad. Please tell me I’m wrong. 

A group of us mostly retired folks sat in our distancing circle by the creek and talked about just this topic. We also talked about sports, home values and a few other topics! It was a wonderful break. We agreed we are conflicted. How do we feel about the lack of civility we see in our world? How do we feel toward those who said COVID was a hoax, refused to model safe behaviors, and now have the disease and may have been responsible for multiple infections by not quarantining in a timely manner.  Even the head of NOtre Dame, Father Jenkins,  did not follow his own advice and mask and got COVID. How do we feel about our government now? What is happening? How do we feel about still not providing adequate healthcare for all? Will our democracy survive?  How do we feel about rising home prices and falling 401Ks?  Are we supporting small business and safely supporting restaurants? We were old and younger, an elected school board member and former campaign chair for Bloomberg, a career healthcare worker (that would be me), a VA security guard and former Sheriff, and Woody who surprised me with how much he has been paying attention! 

So yes, I’m conflicted. We each must explore our conscience. We must decide if we care. We must make an effort to care. We must realize that calling ourselves Christian must be reflected in our actions. And Lord knows, I try as I’m sure you do too!  We must look outside ourselves to the needs of others and do what we can to help. Whether that is donating to food banks, supporting small businesses, over tipping if you go out or deliver in, playing with your grands or helping a neighbor!  We need to learn to care more! I’ll try! 

So have a great week! Care a lot! Wear your mask! Social distance! Wash your hands! Love you all!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Just dance!

Do you ever dance in the kitchen? We do...and our kids and grandkids! It is time to sing, dance and be happy! We need to unite...stop the rhetoric...and try to restore our mutual love for our country. I have tried not to comment or react to political posts since January 1st and have been mostly successful. I still see the blackness in some hearts. I still see both sides acting in a manner determined to keep us divided. My comments won’t get us restored. Your comments won’t get us restored. Only through love and positive actions will we heal. 

I will try to do my part to post only positive content so get ready for food pictures, Harley and Boomer pictures, Woodman doing funny things, and soon, garden pictures. It is a day by day struggle to remain positive. I will fail, but like getting thrown off a horse, I will get up and try again! If I can’t be positive, I am contributing to the problem not the solution. We are at a crossroads. It is not a left turn or a right turn; let’s go straight ahead into a better future!

So I choose to love unconditionally regardless. “Soft words turneth away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. Proverbs 15:1. Choose your words with love and purpose. Love you all. Wear your mask. Wash your hands! Stay safe! Dance! And have a great week!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Time for Sunday Musings! Wishing you and your loved ones Happy New Year on the first day of the rest of our lives! Let's make 2017 a year of kindness and good works. We must overcome the negativity of our world. We must compensate for divisiveness in our country. Let's focus on simplicity. Be a part of love and life.

Ethnicity, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation should never dictate how others are treated. Yes, I get "love one another" as taught by my God even if some people seem unlovable. We need to take a deep breath and work to restore our country. We must learn to value life and cease killing each other. We must feed the hungry. We have to houses the homeless. We have to address mental illness, addiction, and health care for all. We must walk the walk if we profess to be Christian or any religion or even just as a good person. Whether directly through individual actions or by funding those who provide the care.

So...don't make unrealistic resolutions; rather resolve to love one another. Resolve to treat others as you would like to be treated. Speak to those different than you. Engage your community. Feed the hungry. Be kind. Speak lovingly. Focus on positives! Love you all.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Let's Try This Again! I'm Bored!

When I first retired, I started blogging about our adventures. As you can see, I began neglecting my blog and got busy doing other things. Facebook takes up lots of free time as I post, renew and maintain friendships and over share pictures of the grandchildren. I continue to work as a Senior Consultant for The Oncology Group helping cancer programs and physicians enhance their services to patients. I also write and edit for publishing houses, websites and a medical editing firm in Taiwan on occasion. We still travel but often it's to places selected for the grands like Florida and Chattanooga. The older I get, the more I wonder what's next? I officially retired from the 60 hour work week in 2007 and my work has been part time. But, hello...I am bored!! And I'm only 67. Hopefully, I have a few more good years left.

So let's look at my next chapter in retirement! I explored a full time job at a local college but quickly realized I value my freedom of schedule. Adjunct faculty also requires a consistent commitment. The advantage to these jobs is that there is no airport involved. I am tired of flying for business. Our neighbors just moved here and started substitute teaching. After the first of the year, I may consider applying. The schools only call if they need you and you can decide if you're available! I still would like to generate a little income for that occasional cruise...we did the Baltic and loved it!

There are also tons of things I could do around the house. I love blogging but we already know I let that slide! Hobbies have also been neglected but I still love to cook new things and just dug out my yarn and knitting needles. Maybe I could learn to make something besides scarves? I love photography and need to get back to exploring new venues. So what's next?

My New Year's Resolution is to blog more! I will explore this next chapter in my life by sharing my reinvention in this next decade of my retirement journey! I know it will be just as much fun but different.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I'm Back!

One of the things I've talked about over the years is working in retirement. The last 12 months have been hectic. We moved and started renovation on our new "old" house and then my occasional consulting gig turned into an almost full time job! One perk is a wonderful lifetime cruise later this year. If you want to do fun things, working in retirement is always an option. Being in health care, consulting has been my go to for extra spending money but I've also written for publishing companies and edited research papers. I would encourage you to identify your skills that can translate to extra spending money!

So this is short and sweet...I think I am about back to embracing a bit more retirement time and a little less work time! Which means more time to post! And more time for fun! See you soon!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tale of Two Houses

The Tale of Two Houses

There I was peacefully napping on a Sunday afternoon, as many nearly 70 year old guys will do, and all of a sudden my love little bride wakes me up somewhat aggressively which is unusual. So I lay there thinking, which of the neighbor ladies have dropped by for afternoon tea and why do I have to be involved? But, then again, she was pretty insistent so I figured I had better go see what was so important that I should be disturbed like that!

Well, I couldn’t think of anything that would call for me dressing any different than usual, so on went the boat shoes, shorts and tee shirt. I enter the living room to see three grinning faces. One was my bride Pat, and the other two belonged to a couple we vaguely knew. My first thought was just how much it’s going to cost me to get rid of this smiling couple! Even before I joined them, Pat almost shouts out that they want to buy our house. I thought that’s not anything to wake me up from a nap for because that’s just plain silly. When we decided to move off Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville from a multi-story house, we decided to design our retirement home from the ground up with everything we could think of and then some. Let’s see now…one level, all hardwood floors, doors that could be wheelchair accessible if you want to be morbid; my man cave off the master suite so I don’t have to go far to be alone; a car wash size shower with dual shower heads…and it too is wheelchair accessible; a screened porch for me and a pool for her; and, finally pet doors for the dog and cat…low maintenance and doesn’t interfere with my sleeping! Keep in mind that this was supposed to be our last house. It has an office, guest suite, and oversized garage for my toys…you name it, we have it…so why would I want to sell it!

The house was perfect…EXCEPT as my lovely bride pointed out…Savannah lives 55 miles away. She is our lovely little granddaughter who lives one town below Nashville and we live one town above Nashville. She is the only grandchild near enough to see weekly…the others moved off and left us! We go for visits as often as possible, but distance is a great factor.

So as any strong southern male with generations of strong southern males behind him, I said with great charity…that will be fine dear…or as I learned to say long ago…yes, dear we will sell the house. One hour later we had hammered out the details of the purchase. Well, the women had hammered out the details of the purchase. We all know they run the world! This was on Sunday afternoon. Monday morning I went to our attorney, had the contract drawn up, and it was signed on Tuesday! Now some men who are closing in on 70 might be concerned that they were now homeless, but not me. I married a little human dynamo Irish woman with an MBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame…yes we are a divided family…MS State and the SEC vs. Notre Dame. While watching the evening news on Sunday night, Pat was on the computer looking for a house in Murfreesboro, TN, the home of one Savannah Elizabeth Ledwell!

On Monday morning as Pat brings me my coffee, which is no big deal as she does that every morning, she said we were driving to Murfreesboro after breakfast. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to look around since we were homeless and she had promised me pancakes. We drove down the familiar 55 miles after pancakes at IHOP, and only then did I realize we had a specific destination in mind. Keep in mind she is Irish, red haired and runs my life. So we drove up to a lovely home in a gated community of cluster homes and there sits a real estate waiting to show us around. Remember I told you she runs my life and she’s Irish. We go in, look around, designate the room for my man cave and her office, note that it already has a screened porch and a separate deck, there is a swimming pool and tennis court, a beautiful creek running through a park like area just below the house that the Association maintains, and just a little cosmetic fixing up (like a new kitchen!) she says…so, she turns to me with those big blue eyes after all of 15 minutes and says “it’s perfect, daddy can I have it?”…or at least that’s how I recall it…she says in her direct way to the real estate agent, we’ll take it but given the amount of work, we are going to give you a very aggressive price, much lower than asking…told you she was the brains of this operation!

I have to stand on principle, after all we had only looked at one house for all of 15 minutes so of course I said, “yes, dear”. So within 24 hours we had sold and bought two homes. Stay tuned this only makes 13 homes in 30 years…she promises this is the last one…stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ms. Klutz 2013

Where to begin? As you know, in December of 2011, I broke my wrist. In February, I broke my arm. On July 3rd, I fell down a wet hill and broke my left wrist and left ankle! And I don't have osteoporosis so go figure! Either I have a crush on my orthopedic doc, Dr Haslam, or I am a certifiable klutz! While Dr H is precious, I think I am just a klutz! I have teased my friends about wearing "flippy" shoes...remember when Donna fell into a plane and broke her nose? Flippy shoes! I had on Born flip flops but in my defense, it was wet grass and a 45 degree slope! I guess as we get older we should be more careful. I always wondered why old women wore orthopedic I is to avoid orthopedic doctors!

Soooo....I guess I will try to be less klutzy and wear sensible shoes. But I will still keep Dr H on speed dial.