Friday, September 19, 2014

Living the Minimalist Life

Leo’s Principles of Living the Minimalist Life

1.  Omit needless things. Notice this doesn’t say to omit everything.  Just needless things.
2.  Identify the essential. What’s most important to you?  What makes you happy?  What will have the highest impact on your life, your career?
3. Make everything count. Whatever you do or keep in your life, make it worthy of keeping.  Make it really count.
4.  Fill your life with joy. Don’t just empty your life.  Put something wonderful in it.
5.  Edit, edit.  Minimalism isn’t an end point.  It’s a constant process of editing, revisiting, editing some more.
6.  Hold on loosely. Even to your prized possessions.  At the end of the day its relationships, not possessions, that make life worth living.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Delilah "Lulu" Foss; Jan 11, 2000-Sept 9, 2014

Such a wonderful companion. She was there for us when we needed her most and we so enjoyed her company over these almost 15 years. For such a little dog, she had the biggest heart and, in the end, it was her heart that failed. Probably from too much lovin... Just wanted to honor her to those who knew/loved her with this little tribute ... 

Some will protest that in a world with so much human suffering, its something in between eccentric and obscene to morn a dog. I think not. After all, it is perfectly normal- indeed, deeply human- to be moved when nature presents us with a vision of great beauty. Should we not be moved when it produces a vision- a creature- of the purest sweetness?”

Charles Krauthammer

Time, June 16, 2003

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The North Pond Hermit

Good writing...

"Solitude did increase my perception. But here's the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn't even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

10 Wonderful Years

We don't like Face Book. Too impersonal and, at the same time, too profoundly personal. Too competitive. Too vulnerable to scammers, hackers, stalkers, too revealing and grabby for our privacy. So why do I post a blog? Good question. Sometimes I stop posting for weeks on end. And, recently, all the blogs have been plagued by spammers using the platform to post their pharmaceuticals, sex toys, performance enhancers. It's enough to make me want to shut it all down.

And then I remember why I blog. Because I like to write and tell the stories for those who matter to me and for those yet to be born; stories of our little lives, unimportant to the Face Book crowd and the online advertisers. I would have loved to read about how my mother and father or their families lived and loved and thought through the generations. And my fairly innocuous and benign little blog is only read by those who seek it out, presumably caring friends and family. That's my justification... at least for now.

My bride and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary last week. The occasion of this day always provides me an opportunity to tell a story that Connie is sooo sick of hearing... but I can't help myself. It brings me too much joy. The story is true. Only the number of anniversary years change.

I awake at first light on our anniversary morn and gaze at my sleeping bride. When she stirs I say,

"Happy anniversary, darlin."

She smiles, still sorta sleeping. I say;

"It's been 10 wonderful years..."

Her eyes pop open, a confused look on her face.

"10 years? But we've been married 38 years?" she mumbles.

"Yes, but only 10 have been wonderful" I reply.

She is fully awake now and ponders silently for a few moments. Am I kidding or am I serious...

"Which 10?" she asks.

"Oh, half hour here, 10 minutes there. It adds up." I snort, unable to keep my composure any longer.

She knows I'm teasing her now and lashes out with a well aimed leg kick. "You weirdo!" she laughs.

Maybe I'll give this joke a rest... just like my Ezra and Martha jokes. Time for some new material.

It's truly been 38 amazing, wonderful years, honey. I adore you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


First direct evidence of cosmic inflation

 "Researchers from the BICEP2 telescope collaboration announced Monday the first direct evidence for cosmic inflation."

"The inflation theory posits that almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the current view of our best telescopes."

Amazing... The Universe "burst into existence". Mankind's science has got us all the way back to the beginning of everything. So what caused this "extraordinary event"? Suppose it was just random? Or was it the result of some "extraordinary force"?

hmmm... "Curiouser and curiouser", cried Alice.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

From Saturdays Brunswick News

Thief steals man's pants
after assalt

* 5700 Block of Altama Avenue, Glynn County:
A man reported being struck on his head, neck and face by a male suspect Feb 10. 
The male suspect took the man's pants after assaulting him with a gun.


Monday, February 17, 2014

A Love Story at the Dog Show

Her name is Mary, but he called her Maria, a pet name for the love of his life.

We sat with Mary at the Saint Simon's Island 3rd Annual West Marigold Dog Show on Sunday and watched the colorful parade of costumed humans and canines as they vied for bragging rights in the categories of Best Over-all Cuteness, Best Talent and Best-In-Show. Sampson and Delilah were not entered this year having won both Best Talent and Best-In-Show two years ago. Wisely, they retired at the top of their game... before the deafness, the seizures, the exquisite exhaustion of 14 years of a lives well lived. Still, they were graciously recognized as this year's Grand Marshals and lead the parade around the block, prancing proudly in tandem at the head of the pack of 40 dogs entered in this year's  show.

To paraphrase the Wizard of Oz, it was a veritable "clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous" canines. Spectacular!

The judges awarded the prizes and the Best-In Show trophy (all local talent this year, no Yankee Dog spoilers...) and we were finally able to turn our attention to Mary.

Her intense blue eyes evidenced no sign of confusion or fatigue, despite the long and chilly day. At the age of 88, she was entirely engaged and she wanted to talk... about the love of her life, Jerry.

She remembered their first meeting. She was a 16 year old freshman at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia attending a dance at Mercer College in 1942. Jerry was a uniformed, commissioned officer in the Army Air Corp. She said she remembered looking at him and thinking "If I was older, maybe I would know how to get him. He was tall and handsome and the moment I saw him, it was like electricity went through me. And I got him!"

Jerry and Mary were engaged before he left for B17 Bomber pilot training in North Dakota. She stopped dating other guys and he focused on preparing to fly bombing runs in Germany. They wrote a million letters.

Jerry flew 24 missions over Germany, 70% more than the average number of missions flown by other WWII B17 bomber pilots. He was shot down on one mission, but managed to fly back over Allied occupied territory in France before bailing out of his fatally damaged airplane. His silk parachute was ripped in the process and the Supply Sargent  informed Jerry that it would have to be destroyed. Jerry received permission to keep the chute and mailed it back to Mary. She and her mother used the parachute that had saved Jerry's life to sew a wedding dress.

Mary told story after remarkable story about a man who went out of his way to spare civilians, to drop warning leaflets, to avoid churches in his bombing runs, a man who survived the war and returned to marry her. He attended the University of Florida and became an architect. He and Mary moved to Saint Simons Island and he worked on Sea Island building beautiful, amazing homes. Mary told us about her historic home in the Village which Jerry had disassembled board by board, numbered, and reassembled in it's current location. She spoke of her two children, both girls, and how every day when Jerry returned from work, he would rush to her and embrace her and that the two girls would then join in by each hugging one leg of their father and one of their mother creating a circle hug of family love.

She lamented on the tragic death of her pregnant 30 year old daughter and how she named the unborn son Will so that he would not be forgotten.

She said " I can't begin to tell you how much I loved that man... and still do." They were married 63 years. Six years ago Jerry succumbed to dementia and Mary was forced to place him in a nursing home. Although he did not recognize her and was no longer speaking, she would arrive at Magnolia Manor each morning before he awoke to read the paper and drink her coffee sitting on the end of his bed and would stay until he slept each evening. She was counciled to spare herself the effort, the exhaustion, but she refused.

Jerry died in 2008. She said one morning he awakened, spread his arms wide, smiled and spoke his final words, " Come to me, my Maria."

A love story at the West Marigold Dog Show...