Year End Reflections, Part 3: Friendships


December 25, 2017, El Paso-

I had intended on writing this from Phoenix.  Ha!  The wheels of transport are blessedly efficient, today. We even got into this west Texas hub, fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.  We just keep movin’ and groovin’.

So it goes.  I want to thank my friends, all umpteen thousand of you, for what you have given me, this year and for several years past.

My childhood friends:  Many of you are still with me, on Facebook and in some cases, in real life, when I am back in Massachusetts.  Each of us has had our share of hard times, but life has been quite good, overall.  Back in the day, we never let one another down.,

My military and college friends:  I don’t see you anymore, and have no idea where any of you are.  You did teach me forbearance and to have a sense-of-humour-based camaraderie.  I think that, as much as anything, tempered the effects of my autism.

My friends in the educational community, at all levels:  Always, you inspire me to look inward and upward.  So many fine people are involved in raising children to their own higher levels.  Good teachers, as one of my first mentors said, work hard, without regret.

My Baha’i friends:  From the get-go, you have kept me focused and confirmed my outward, inclusive view of the world.  I no longer feel like a fish out of water, when my mind is as concerned with people far,as well as near.

My online friends:  In groups ranging from Archaeology for the Soul to Digital Altitude and the do Terra groups, you expand my mind and let me give my own voice to matters of health, spirituality and responsible financial planning.  My individual friends here are universally encouraging, even when you challenge me to think outside my own little box.

Friendships are organic and fluid.  My dearest friends bring that friendship upward and onward, as I do my level best to do for any of my friends.  In the end, as Jewel once sang, “only kindness matters.”



The Road to 65, Mile 36: Glitter, Followed by Reality


January 3, 2015, Las Vegas-  Tomorrow morning, a couple of “reality stars” will reunite, sort of, in a Federal prison.  They will leave four young girls behind, and all because money mattered more than it should have.  Money is a tool, a means to an end, and nothing more.  Love, especially the love of a child, is beyond all measure, in its value to human life. At the very same time, a seven-year-old girl will live the rest of her life without her parents and older sister.  She was saved by God’s grace- towards what end is known only to the Universe, and found her way to the home of a good man, and a caring community.

We often seek the quick fix, in the rush to a “good life”.  This is the allure of glitter, though Mankind has known, deep down, since the days of Croesus, and of Solomon, that gilt is seldom golden.  Flamboyance, a smooth tongue, glamour have their place in this world, and often that place is to serve as a red flag to the beholder.  In the end, they matter not one whit.  Good people suffer, as do the not-so-good.  “Bad” people appear to prosper, as do some of those who live the Life. We each have our purpose, and all-in-all that purpose is to know and serve the Creator, the Life Force.  We are each contributing to the Whole.

I drove up to Las Vegas today, stopping first in the little town of Ash Fork, AZ, at the junction of US Hwy 89 and I-40.  The waitress in the small cafe appeared to be undergoing a serious amount of stress, but was keeping a fair focus on her work, and a brave face.  Mentally, I found myself in thought-hug mode.  As a stranger towards another man’s wife, though, what was mental did not become physical- except she got a bigger tip and “have a better day”.

I took a room at Comfort Inn, a ways north of the Strip, which I don’t frequent, being a non-gambler.  I have enjoyed the shows and the exhibits at a couple of Steve Wynn’s properties, in times past.  My purpose this time was to visit some friends, who turned out to be busy, and to spend some time in the Valley of Fire, which looked fascinating, from I-15, when Penny and I drove through to St. George, from California, so many years ago.  Las Vegas has a burger shop, Farmer Boys, part of a chain that seems to be rooted in Southern California, as many chains are.  The difference is that the ingredients are guaranteed fresh, hormone-free meat and organic vegetables.  There is a genuine sense of warmth and graciousness about the staff.  This is the reality that will bring about stability and success.  It was a soothing meal, which I can’t always say, with respect to a hamburger.

Tomorrow, then, will feature the grandeur of nature, followed by a return to the reality which I have come to treasure.  Work that is based on service is always that way.