I have always been delighted at the prospect of
day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps
a bit of magic waiting
somewhere behind the morning.
the people, and happy they alone,
who can call today their own;
They who are secure within can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have
is the enemy of accomplishment.
Calm strength that arises from a deep and
inexhaustible source is what brings success.
will succeed best when you put the restless,
anxious side of affairs out of mind, and allow
the restful side to live in your thoughts.
to Get into Your Own Home
How many of your rooms are actually "living"
rooms? Do you have several rooms in your house that
are "for company and special occasions
only"? Does your family cluster in a basement
or family room and only use the "good" rooms on
holidays or for entertaining? Do you find yourself
cleaning rooms that are almost never used? Are you
paying bills for the heating and lighting of rooms that
really don't need these utilities because human beings
seldom visit these "not for living" rooms?
Are you living in and enjoying your home or has your home
become another factor in the complication index, another
whale for your Ahab complex? We now have family
rooms, dining rooms, guest rooms, living rooms, bedrooms,
even so-called "great rooms," as though certain
human behaviors can only be done in rooms with the
appropriate names. With the exception of the
bathroom and kitchen, how many of the rooms in your house
can really only serve primarily one purpose?
"I don't know why we finished off the basement,"
said one man. "It's supposed to be a recreation
room, but we never recreate down there. It's still a
basement, a below-ground stuff holder. Our ping-pong
table is a storage center, the pool table is an open-air
file cabinet, and you couldn't find the bar because
of all the toys on top. We all go out to recreate,
we go our separate ways. There's no room in the
recreation room to recreate any more."
some radical suggestions for getting more super joy out of your
1. Allow everybody into every room. Every room
should be a family room.
2. Allow all family members to sit on the furniture, even
the "good" furniture.
3. Allow people to leave their shoes on, even on the
carpet. (Remember, if every room is a family room, then
all of the family must help in the cleaning of all rooms.)
4. Eat some family dinners at the dining-room table, even
though it's no one's birthday.
5. Go ahead and "leave stuff out." There
is nothing sacred about always "putting things
away." If you find yourself in a "hide the
stuff" panic when there is an unexpected knock at the door,
you probably just have too much stuff. Maybe your visitor
could take some of your stuff when he or she leaves. Leave
your stuff out as a type of perpetual estate sale for visitors
to shop through and take some stuff off your hands.
6. Allow some eating in rooms other than the
kitchen. Getting crumbs on the couch is good for your
health (again just so long as everyone helps clean up).
7. If you don't want to make the bed, shut the bedroom
door and pretend it's made.
8. Eat on paper plates as often as possible and throw the
entire table away when you're finished.
9. Allow spoons in the fork pile in the silverware drawer.
10. Write the word "joy" in the dust on the
table sometimes. Dusting is only a process of small
particle rearrangement. Erma Bombeck said that she would
like the following line on her tombstone: "Big
deal! I'm used to dust."
The above list is just for fun, but it makes the point that if
we allow our daily living to be governed by obligatory
compliance to a set of rules of "house cleaning," we
will have little time to enjoy homemaking.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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Arline Boucher and John Tehan
Gracious giving requires no special talent, nor large amounts of
money. It is compounded of the heart and head acting
together to achieve the perfect means of expressing our
feelings. It is love sharpened with imagination. For,
as Emerson explains, "The only gift is a portion of
A little girl gave her mother several small boxes tied with bright
ribbons. Inside each were slips of paper on which the child
had printed messages such as, "Good for two flower-bed
weedings," "Good for two floor-scrubbings."
She had never read Emerson, but unconsciously she put a large part
of her small self into her gift.
When unexpected expenses wrecked a business girl's budget at
Christmas, she hit upon a similar happy idea. Her presents
that year were "time credit" slips which her friends
could cash in at their convenience. A young couple received
slips entitling them to leave the baby with her for two
week-ends. T a niece in college went an offer of her car for
a Christmas vacation trip. An elderly shut-in could claim
her time for five reading-aloud sessions. No costly presents
gave so much satisfaction--both ways.
A young bride received a wedding present from an older
woman. With it went a note, "Do not open until you and
your husband have your first tiff." When there finally
came a day of misunderstanding the bride remembered the
package. In it she found a card box filled with her friend's
favorite recipes--and a note, "You will catch more flies with
honey than you will with vinegar." It was a wise woman
indeed who gave of her experience with her gift.
Often the most successful gift is a spontaneous one. Act
while the impulse is fresh--giving of yourself knows no special
Probably no gift ever thrilled a doctor more than a letter he
received from a youngster on her birthday. "Dear
Doctor, 14 years ago you brought me into this world. I want
to thank you, for I have enjoyed every minute of it."
Family gifts should be the most satisfying because we know each
member's wish and whim. Yet how often we make the
stereotyped offerings--ties, candy, or household utensils.
One man I know is planning an unusual present for his wife.
When I saw him coming out of a dancing studio, he explained:
"I got tired of hearing my wife complain about my
dancing. It's going to be a lasting birthday present for
her--my dancing well."
An elderly lady on an Iowa farm wept with delight when her son in
New York had a telephone installed in her house and followed it up
with a weekly long-distance call.
Flowers are our first thought for a sick friend. But why not
a more imaginative idea? A friend in a hospital received a
flowerpot filled with dirt. On top was a packet of seeds
with the note, "You'll have more fun growing your
own!" A nurse told me about a woman patient whose
recovery dated from the moment a neighbor brought her a pressure
cooker, something she had always wanted.
In her autobiography, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, Ethel
Waters tells about her gift to Rex Stout when he was
convalescing. Though she was starring at the time in a
Broadway play, she turned up early one morning at the hospital
and, dressed as a nurse, carried in his breakfast tray. She
spent the day with Stout, diverting him with chitchat, wheeling
his chair, giving him all her attention. Friends of the
author said that this was his most cherished gift.
In your own profession or business you have imaginative gift
opportunities. One Christmas morning a Washington, D.C.,
woman was waiting for a trolley to go to the station when a taxi
stopped beside her. The driver motioned her to get in.
At the station when she fumbled in her purse for the fare, the
driver said, "Nothing doing--I asked you. Merry
Christmas." In memory of her sister who was killed in
service during the war, a waitress often pays the checks of
servicemen who sit at her table.
All gifts that contain a portion of self signify that someone has
been really thinking of us. One of the most useful and
thoughtful travel presents a girl ever received was currency of
the country to which she was going. A friend bought her some
pesos from a bank so that she would have the correct money for
tips and taxi fare when she first arrived in Mexico.
A GI stationed in Mississippi tells this story: "I made
friends with a sharecropper who lived near camp. Though
poor, he was the most contented man I had ever met. One day
when I was grousing about not being able to borrow $20 that I
needed, he handed me the money, saying it was a gift, not a
loan. He explained it this way: 'If I lend you this
money and for some reason you never return it, I must always think
you have wronged me. If I give it to you as a gift, we're
both happy. When you have the money and feel you want to
make me a gift of $20, then we'll both be happy again.'"
Chances for heroic giving are rare, yet every day there are
opportunities to give a part of yourself to someone who needs
it. It may be no more than a kind word or a letter written
at the right time. The important thing about any gift is the
amount of yourself you put into it.
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
picture that appears
in the new
window, and choose
"Set as background."
photo's from a spring
day in Kootenay National Park)
x 800 - 1440
years, the people of Canyon Bluff have shared the stories
of the Nogglz, their own version of the monsters in the
closet. "If you don't behave, the Nogglz will come
and get you and carry you down into the mines,"
they've told their children. Of course, they were just
stories. Nobody could have stayed alive in an old mine for
six decades. But when one of their own is brutally
murdered one cold November night, it may be time to come
to terms with the sins of their fathers and their own ties
to the town's dreadful past. And for the sheriff and his
deputy and the state troopers who are called to the town
to deal with the murder, an ordinary day becomes an
extraordinary battle for simple survival.
I write things just to tell a story, but I just can't help
mentioning some life lessons, even in a novel about
creatures running amok in an old mining town in the
Colorado mountains. Nogglz is available in
print by clicking
here, or as a Kindle e-book by using the link to the
left. Using the mining town as the setting is a
tribute to my mother, who grew up in a tiny mining town
herself, and who has never left there in her heart.
Treat the other
faith gently; it is all he
or she has to believe with. Others' minds were created
for their own thoughts,
not yours or mine.
Henry S. Haskins
read a very nice line written by a man named Stephen
Paul. He said, "Every time you let go of
something limiting, you create space for something
better." I like the line partly because
it contains two of my favorite words--"let
go"--but also partly because of the idea of creating
space for something better. We hear a lot about the
need for letting go in our lives, but we don't hear nearly
as much about better things coming into our lives.
I know read the line and laughed. "That's what
I did," she said happily, referring to her ex-husband
and her new life with her new husband. She let go of
a relationship that was destructive and harmful, and
because she let go of it, she was able to start a new one
that has turned out to be more rewarding and positive for
her. If she hadn't let go of the limiting part of
her life, she wouldn't have had space for the new
all aren't in situations in which our relationships are
limiting us. Sometimes we're limited by other
things, such as our fears, our prejudices, our judgmental
attitudes, our arguments for our own limitations, or a
host of other possible things. But we can let go of
these things if we want to, and once we do, we have room
in our lives for something more.
must be willing to let go of the life we have
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
I don't think I would have been able to develop a
successful relationship with my wife if I hadn't been able
to let go of the loneliness that I felt for many
years. Because of my loneliness, I always approached
potential relationships with a certain sense of
desperation, hoping that the loneliness would end, and I always ended up trying too hard to make
things work, even in some situations when it would have
been much better if things didn't work out.
when I was able to feel comfortable with being alone and
loneliness wasn't such a huge part of my life, there was
now space in my life in which a relationship could
flourish. It was like clearing up all the weeds from
a garden so that some flowers could grow and thrive.
I was still alone, but my negative feelings about being
alone no longer were holding me down. And once they
were gone, there was room for more positive thoughts about
other things in my life, such as my work, my hobbies, my
home, and many other things that I could appreciate much
more when I wasn't feeling so down.
go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing
you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is
not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing
which keeps you from hope and love?
we hold on to music--old songs that bring back specific
memories, and by focusing exclusively on certain music, we
don't really allow for new music to enter our lives.
It might be nice to revisit old songs now and then, and I
do so quite often, but I also listen to tons of new music,
for I want to continue to grow and change with new
we hold on to beliefs. We believe we can't do
certain things, so we sometimes even stop trying to do
them. That way, we guarantee that our beliefs will
be truths. We might believe that someone else is
dishonest because of one incident, and if we hold on to
that belief, we simply can't learn anything else about
that person--there's no room in our minds for something
believe that it is difficult to let go, but in truth, it is
much more difficult
and painful to hold and protect. Reflect upon anything
in your life that you
grasp hold of--an opinion, a historical resentment, an
ambition, or an unfulfilled
fantasy. Sense the tightness, fear, and defensiveness
that surrounds the
grasping. It is a painful, anxious experience of
unhappiness. We do not
let go in order to make ourselves impoverished or bereft.
We let go in order to discover happiness and peace.
go of things that are limiting us or holding us back would
be much easier if we knew what the "something
better" was, but we generally won't find that out
until much later. We can be sure, though, that it
will come sooner or later, for we've created a situation
in which it can enter our lives and thrive within
us. Once we identify the things that are limiting
us, holding us back, we can figure out how to let go of
them and make room for something better. It
definitely sounds easier than it is--both the finding and
the letting go--but the effort is worth it if we want to
make our lives richer and fuller.
all, everything that limits us is holding us back from
becoming the people we were meant to be. If we can
take steps to let those things go, we can take leaps
towards becoming the people that we're here on this earth
to become. We have to help the process along,
though, with more than a bit of effort.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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or failure depends more
than upon capacity.
Successful people act as though
they have accomplished or are
enjoying something. Soon it
becomes a reality. Act, look, feel
accordingly, and you will be
at the positive results.
How then, do we come in contact with ourselves?
Number one, by becoming aware. Isn't that a nice
word--aware? It kind of hits
you right where it
matters, doesn't it? To be aware. To be aware
of everything. To be aware of life. To be
aware of growth, to be
aware of death, to be aware of
beauty, to be aware of people,
flowers, trees. Open
your mind and begin to see and feel! Begin
experience, and don't be ashamed of it! Touch, feel,
you never have before. Keep growing!
Keep consistently growing. Every moment that you do,
you change. Open your mind, open your
your arms, take it all in. You can keep taking and
and taking, and what is, never runs out.
There's always more. The
more that you see in a
tree, the more that there is to see. You hear
Beethoven sonata, and it leads you to infinity. Pick
up a book of
poetry, and it leads you to beauty. You
love one person,
and that love leads you to
hundreds. Keep growing.
I have never been bored
an hour in my life. I get up every morning wondering what
new strange glamorous
thing is going to happen and it happens at fairly regular intervals.
Luck has been good to me and I fancy she has been good to everyone. Only
people are dour, and when she gives them the come hither with her eyes,
down or turn away and lift an eyebrow. But me, I give her the wink
and away we go.
William Allen White
a year of one-sentence reminders
of ways that we can
make the most of our lives each day that we live.
New expanded edition!
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novel of life and learning; Walker's fascinating journey
will remind you of all that is good in this world.
Book - Kindle
Read Chapter One
David agrees to
give 70-year-old Hector
a ride west, he can't imagine the lessons he'll learn
about his life.
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Read Chapter One
and spending, we lay waste our powers," wrote
Wordsworth over 150 years ago. And we're still doing
Book - Kindle