One of the real gips in life is that it has to end, and often end way quicker than any of us would like. One of the issues we have when growing up is accepting death is simply a part of life. But it is still a gip.
It is also a gip that some things live longer than others. Why does a giant tortoise get to life for close to 100 years when your precious dog or cat has to check out in 15? Same thing with people.
Wouldn’t it be great if being a grandparent automatically extended your life for 100 years or more? I sure do, because boy I would like to get to know my grandparents now that I am old enough to honestly appreciate them.
Both sets of grandparents must have been simply amazing people. Not at all content with what they had “in the old country”, they left everything and everyone they knew and moved across the miles to a new country and began a new life.They not only sacrificed everything for their new life; but I can’t help thinking they also did it for the children they had yet to have and their children’s children.
I want to know how much they knew about a America. I want to know what it is they thought they knew about America and what their plans were and how well they got to live those dreams.
My Dad used to tell me the they knew the streets of America were paved with gold (figuratively not literally) and that everyone here was free. Free to do and be whatever they could be. They knew that the Statue of Liberty stood in New York Harbor and that her lamp was lifted beside the golden door.
Thank God they saw the light!
Happy 4th of July everybody!!
From the moment your mother first tells you “no” you learn to hate rules. From then on it is a slippery slope of pretty much nothing but rules. As my sister would say, “It’s what makes us different from the animals!!”
I guess. I could also argue that hair products also make us different from the animals but why bother? Suffice to say that if you are a well adjusted, law abiding citizen you have learned to live within rules…or more than likely…learned a fine balance of obeying some and ignoring others.
Hawaii is a great place if you like rules. There are rules for everything. There are rules for what route to take when you drive somewhere. There are rules for where to buy a certain food item and rules on how to eat it once you get it. There are also rules that dictate what gifts you will buy when you visit a certain locale and where you will buy them from. You get the idea. It really is part of the charm of life here.
It also gives me plenty of reasons to cover my ears and scream “ENOUGH WITH THE RULES!”
Rules that I live by vary but there are some that always seem to be in my top five:
1) Love God
2) Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you
3) Be charitable
4) Never pay retail
5) Never pass up a straight line
Some are easier to do than others so maybe it would be better to refer to these as goals as opposed to rules but I’m not going to pick nits. Some also seem more ruley than others.
Rules don’t always have to be a chore. Rules can be fun. Number 4, for instance. It is a challenging goal that can be fun and quite rewarding.
Number 5 is fun but has gotten me into quite a lot of trouble over the years. It took me a while to realize not everyone has a sense of humor. And some folks that do have a sense of humor may not have MY sense of humor. I’ve made a lot of friends following rule number 5. I have also alienated quite a few folks. It hasn’t stopped me, it has just made me more aware of how others are perceiving me. It hasn’t stopped me because it is a rule after all. And as we all know, rules must be obeyed.
It’s not in me to be a “fan”. Of course I like certain things, people, music, sports etc. But it just isn’t in me to be one of those rabid followers of anything. I don’t look down on people who do have it in them; heck it seems like most of the human race have it in them. Gees look at TV. Modern American television counts on the FANatical inclinations of the American public. “American Idol”? I could not care less.
I credit my parents for this lack of fanaticism on my part. They didn’t have it either. There was no idolization of any popular figure in my house. It wasn’t forbidden by any stretch. Much to my parents credit, they never inhibited or restricted those feelings on the part of me or my siblings. We were all allowed to go a little crazy for people or fads and my parents trusted that it was just normal childish behavior that we would eventually grow out of. I guess they were right.
Yes, gentle reader, I am old enough to remember the beginnings of a once popular singing group known as THE BEATLES. Ever hear of them? Talk about people that inspired fanatical behavior! They were liked in my house, even by my parents. My sister had little inflatable George, Paul, John & Ringo dolls. I can still smell their vinylly goodness. They were packed away after a few months. The real group’s popularity lasted way longer than my sister’s fandom.
I credit this upbringing to my parents’ belief that everyone was basically the same. No one was better than anyone else. You certainly needed to show respect or deference to certain people and institutions in your life, but that was really just protocol more than anything. We were never taught to think someone is better than us simply because of their job or their bank accounts. This type of upbringing tended to have the secondary aspect of teaching us not to envy someone else or be jealous of what they are or what they have. I am grateful that it has allowed me to be the kind of person that can share in someone else’s joy or good fortune.
And no I am not saying we are (were) saints by any stretch of the imagination. We are human for Pete’s sake and have the same emotions and foibles as everyone else. I’m just saying that as a family, I don’t think we have propensity for some behavior that is pretty much considered “normal”. So I guess that would make us somewhat abnormal.
To wit: my parents’ inability to take a compliment. I guess my folks were aware that there was a preponderance of negative humans out there because one thing they taught us to be aware of “the evil eye”. There was a little ritual to deflect that evil eye. Normal folks would just knock wood or throw salt over their shoulders. Oh no, not us. To deflect the evil eye, one must spit on the back of their hand and then smear said spit on their forehead. Repeat 3 times. All is well.
The evil eye would come to you as the devil himself; all sweetness and light and full of charm. So you had to stand guard. Did someone just complement you on that new haircut? They were probably secretly giving you the evil eye. Did they tell you they have never seen a cuter baby than yours? EVIL EYE people!
Of course nowadays it is more likely that people will be cutting you down to your face rather than giving you a compliment which kinda takes the guess work out of whether you are being cursed or not. The internet sure has upped the ante in people cursing other people. Some attribute that to the anonymity of the internet encouraging bad human behavior but I don’t think people need to hide to act bad. Heck, if it will get them attention I think people will do anything to be looked at or heard.
I may not be a typical fan but that doesn’t stop me from following some well known people on Twitter. I do not own a single record by Bette, Liza, Judy, or Barbra….but I do follow Cher (@Cher) on Twitter. I feel it is my duty.
I have no idea if that person claiming to be Cher is in Cher. It is more than likely a cadre of PR people paid to tweet as Cher but that’s not my problem. I follow nonetheless. One thing you will notice about Cher’s tweets if you follow long enough, is that she often wonders why people that seem to hate her, follow her. And not only follow her, but also tweet their dislike directly to her. I gotta say that is a head scratcher for me too. People will tell her she so stupid or makes no sense or that she retweets things wrongly. It is just bizarre.
If that is what being a fan means nowadays, I guess I’m glad I’m not one.
Here are a few pictures snapped on a recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. No dramatic pics of spewing lava I’m afraid, but some mighty pretty images nonetheless.
Here we see my SO making like a Billy Goat and scampering across a field of jagged lava rock because “it looked like there was a kind of a trail”. There wasn’t so he made his own. Ok. Not such a pretty picture. But it’s my blog.
Along the same pile of rocks I came across this fragile looking piece of driftwood that looked like it might even be a branch of coral.
The day started out a very windy one as the whitecaps on the deep blue sea can attest.
So can the flags standing at attention.
Here’s the view from about 3500 feet above sea level. The wind was stronger up here and was really rocking me on my feet. It was in the 60′s at this altitude and the wind made it seem colder than that. I just love the way the there is nothing but green flowing down the mountain side until it blends into the blue of the Pacific.
In this shot you can see how the green turns into jet black in the distance before it reaches the sea. The black is a newer lava flow that hasn’t broken down into anything resembling soil yet. A dramatic reminder that the land under my feet is alive and still growing. And lest you think I only spend my time looking at the ground, check out that wildly dramatic sky!
From the following angle you can see in the distance the black outline of mountain with a bank of clouds well below its summit. This behemoth is the mountain known as Mauna Kea. There is a complex of astronomical observatories at its summit and is one of the few places in Hawaii that gets measurable snow fall.
Of course at journey’s end one must reward oneself for being an intrepid traveller. In this case the reward was Kobe Beef sliders with caramelized onions, brie, truffle aioli on brioche buns.