Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thunder and lightnin"

"Thunder and Lightnin', Oh yeah." The words of an old song go something like that anyway. Right now the thunder and lightnin' is going off like crazy just outside my picture window. Some of us are scared when that happens. Not me! I love the stuff. Not when it causes damage or injury of course but most often it is relatively harmless and cleanses the air of odors. Did you know that? Lightning creates ozone, ozone is called natures deodorizer, kind of like bleaching the air except it doesn't turn everything white as snow. A cup of Java, a window to look out at the storm, the strains of calming music in the background and a book on my desk filled with amusing anecdotes to read. It will be almost an hour before my busy life overtakes me and I will be completely oblivious to my surroundings and the thunder and lightning will pass almost completely unnoticed. Such is a life wearing so many hats.

One of my favorite pastimes is walking in the rain, thunder and lightning is a plus but not necessary. There is a path running alongside a creek not too far from here. It crisscrosses through a wooded area preserved to protect it's natural beauty. Natural beauty has it's cost. The progress of humanity is halted in this little sacred place. Covered with washouts and obstacles, I've occasionally had to climb over a fallen tree to continue along the overgrown pathway. So be it. Birds, ducks, bugs, spiders, the occasional deer, skunk or ground squirrel add to the mystery of what lies ahead. Bringing me back to the reality of my existence. The rain is refreshing, the thunder and lightning, to be totally honest is at the very least a little scary I guess. I almost always walk alone. It helps me remember that I am not in control here. In order to survive in the wild I have to be flexible enough to roll with and overcome whatever I am faced with.

The book I am reading is an autobiography written by a guy that's had a pretty rough existence over the past 8o some years. He rolled with the punches, got back up and offered a few punches of his own. Raw and unvarnished, this story is difficult to read and follow. I have to pick out the pertinent information from the meanderings of his uncontrolled conversation with the written word. Moving from one time to another without notice, some pages cover the course of experience over 5 decades and then back again. The purpose of my reviewing it for the writer is to improve how the story moves and hopefully discover the audience he is hoping to entertain. For myself, I am reading it as an exercise in relearning how to work with what I am faced with at any given moment instead of trying to control my every move. It is an exercise in trust of my own capabilities. I am grateful for this opportunity to grow intellectually. The particular feature that stands out in this story is the moral standards and humorous attitude that he maintained throughout all the adversity. He remained true to his own code of ethics, no matter what. A good lesson to learn. He usually knew what he had to do to survive, he usually controlled how he did it.

The thunder and lightning are subsiding somewhat, the sky is clearing a bit, the rain has slowed from a downpour to a light drizzle and it's almost time for me to get back to reality and responsibility. Ah! Life is good............................Joe

Friday, September 17, 2010

Comfort food

We each have or own opinion of exactly what to consider as a comfort food. Roast beef, pot roast, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, chitlins, or good old chicken soup, to each their own. When we feel down and out there is nothing quite like the taste of something familiar to cheer us up is there? Although I have a difficult time relating to the guy that absolutely loves to cut a lemon in half and suck out the juice. He says it makes him whole again. No, that's not my thing. I like sandwiches.

To be truthful about it, there are not that many times when I really need a comfort food. Life usually keeps rolling along for me, a few ups and downs from time to time but as long as I wake up in the morning I figure I've got another chance at the age old past time of pursuing happiness and that's truly a gift. There was an event about 4 months ago that sort of disrupted my ordinarily cheerful mood. A guy walked into my office and dropped a comment that literally knocked me off my feet. Something the two of us had set into motion almost 20 years ago for our mutual benefit had been squandered away and was no longer an option, period. Boy! Did I need a sandwich after that little meeting.

There are the store bought sandwiches that cover the spectrum from 200 to 4000 calories. From the cheap $1 burger to the 2 pound $15 variety or the chicken sandwich made completely without bread. Those weren't for me. I needed the genuine home made, calorie unknown, built from scratch, taste beyond belief sandwich for this moment in my life. After my trip to the store for proper ingredients, to the strains of comfortable and familiar music, I stood at the kitchen counter and slowly created my Dagwood style masterpiece. Whole wheat bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, a half inch thick slice of onion, horseradish, a bit of real mayonnaise, paper thin slices of dill pickle and just a hint of mustard. It finished out at about 4 inches thick. Then I squashed it a little so as to fit in my mouth. (Hey! It's my sandwich, nobody is there to offend, so I'm allowed to do that) Took a bite and started to feel better. Now, that's what comfort food is all about. I say, "Go for it!"

No, it didn't solve my problem. No, I didn't finish it all in one sitting. In the scope of all things both real and imagined that sandwich had no lasting affect except one: Doing something for myself reaffirmed in my own mind that I was still important and worth the effort. I'm totally comfortable with that. Comfort food, there's nothing quite like it......................Joe

Monday, September 13, 2010

End of the recession

Over the weekend one of the greatest minds of the modern world made a very profound statement of her opinion: "The end of the recession will begin with the action of only one person. That's all it takes for the economy to turn around. I'm speaking of the entire world here, it's as simple and complex as that." Wow! Just one person is holding the financial future of the population of the world in their pocketbook. I wonder if they know it? I also wonder who it is? Is it Warren Buffet? Is it the Royal leader of Saudi Arabia? Bill Gates maybe huh?

I sure wonder just how literal she was being with that statement? But, somehow it has an appeal to it. One person has changed the world before, several times actually. Gandhi, Hitler, Jesus, Charlemagne, The Hunt brothers and others too many to list. Who will it be? Do you have any idea? Is it you, me or the person standing next to you in the grocery store? I wonder if I will be there when that person pulls out their wallet and spends the dollar that sets the process in motion, effectively dissolving the negative financial crisis causing the need for businesses to begin hiring at an increasing rate and putting millions of able bodied people back to work, one worker at a time. One more of us working creates one more paycheck to buy more goods, more goods require more people to make them, more people are hired to accomplish that and so on. It's happened before, it will happen again sometime soon.

So, if that one person is you I'd like to make a small request: Would you kindly get off your rear end and buy something? It'd be nice if it would be a lot of those somethings too. There are more than a few people just waiting to make them for you. One person! That's what she said. I wonder which country that person lives in? Greece, China, Iraq, Canada or the United States or Russia all have the potential. Who has the courage?.........................Joe
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