Sunday, August 12, 2018

Where You Are

Summer weather usually propels us toward pools. When the temperatures rose this week, our family visited a water park. Since I’m not a fan of pools, you’ll understand how uncomfortable I felt when you read what happened next. While waiting for the next fake wave to wash over us, a thin slice of banana floated past. Why? We were disturbed and confused. People notice when something or someone’s out of place. Watch these reactions: 

 Don’t the video’s bystanders look bewildered? If you’re familiar with the city, you expect to see all levels of wealth and poverty. The only out of place situation is when opposite ends of the spectrum merge right before your eyes. For some reason, people like to dictate who’s out of place. Where do you feel most comfortable?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Your Aha Moment

We may have a new couch potato in the house.  This week our cat had an “aha” moment—she discovered television. During the past eight years, she has never paid attention to the TV. But for some reason, this week she decided to watch an exercise video. She walked over to the same TV we’ve had for years and plopped herself down, just two inches from the screen. I probably should have warned her to move back before she ruined her eyes. Standing behind her, I could see her head moving from side to side as if the show were a tennis match. A couple of times she touched the screen with her paw.  Maybe our cat has discovered a new hobby.
Have you ever found something, only to realize it was under your nose the entire time? Is the best book you’ll ever read sitting on your bookshelf? Or is your future favorite outfit the one you bought, stuffed in the closet and forgot? Check out another incredible discovery:    
Isn’t it fascinating to think that someone you know from afar could be related to you?  Some of the best discoveries you’ll ever make may be closer than you think. What’s you best discovery?     
Edited from 2014    

Sunday, July 29, 2018


My cat had a nightmare, I think. Our cat usually sleeps through the many noises around her. Despite the blaring television and rattling dishes, she keeps on snoozing. One day during nap time, she jumped up into the scary hunched back position. She stared at us, jumped to the floor, and ambled away as if nothing happened. Maybe she dreamed about an encounter with the neighborhood dog. Cats are full of surprises.   

There are pleasant surprises and downright awful ones. Here’s a surprise this young man didn’t anticipate:  

Active military soldiers and their families deserve heartwarming surprise reunions, and much more. What sort of surprise would give you joy?  

Modified & reprinted from Nov. 2013

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Walk This Way

Many of our decisions about where to work, shop or attend school depend on how far from home we’re willing to travel. It boils down to choosing between adventure and inconvenience. Some people don’t mind traveling long distances while others prefer quick trips. Regardless of how far you’re willing to travel, would you do this if you couldn’t go by car?

The title “America Strong” underscores the student’s determination. Who else would do what he did? Think about the number of times you’ve texted from your bedroom to someone in your kitchen or ignored a ringing phone because you had to walk across the room to answer it. Rather than walking through the mall, I’ve considered leaving the building and driving to a store at the opposite end. Okay, I actually did that. We find the wildest reasons to avoid moving on. When you don’t feel like taking the next step, who or what motivates you to push forward?      

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Life, Camera, Action!

While walking through a department store, I thought I saw a slight movement off to the side. I’m blaming it on tired eyes because it looked like a mannequin moved. It’s not impossible. You’ve seen stores create a buzz by substituting a live model for a mannequin, drawing a crowd as people stop and stare at the store windows. Onlookers stare trying to catch the models moving. They’re watching us, and we’re watching them. With cameras everywhere, it feels like someone’s watching our every move. See what the camera catches:

There’s always camera footage to back up good and bad behavior. Fortunately, the employee has visual reminders of his little customer. Maybe we’d behave better if we remember that someone’s always watching. You never know when the camera will catch you, and if it does, what do you want it to capture about you?      

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Stinky Situation

Whenever a major holiday coincides with trash pick-up, you know what’s in store. Hoping it doesn’t take too long, you impatiently check the receptacle several times while listening for any signs of the garbage truck. And, if the trash stays at the curb past our deadline, this is our biggest fear: 

As the days tick by—and you’re fortunate—your receptacle will hold all the trash you need to stuff in it. A late trash pick-up is like life. We’ll tolerate a trashy situation for a while, but as soon as we’re fed up, we want it to disappear. Once we reach our tipping point, it’s time to act. What stinky situation are you ready to eliminate?      

Saturday, June 30, 2018

What's the Small Stuff?

As I sat at a stop light on a multi-lane road, the light changed from red to green. A millisecond later, one driver beeped the car horn. Was that for me? What’d I do wrong? That’s what I would have thought years ago when I first started driving. Back then a parallel parking spot used to send me hunting for a “regular” space. Okay, it still does. But the point is now, with years of experience under my belt, whenever I hear a car horn beep while I’m driving, I think, “Hold your horses. You should’ve left home earlier!”   
If you talk with anyone sixty years and older, I believe they’ll tell you that the things they worried about decades ago pale in comparison to the issues that occupy their thoughts today. It’s interesting how knowledge and experience change our perspectives. Sometimes it’s a matter of focusing on the big picture.
One of our kids chose to replicate Neptune for a science project, and I learned it’s approximately seventeen times the earth’s mass. I’m always fascinated by the solar system and our position in it. We always seem to discover something new things in space. This video provides us with a fresh perspective on life and our universe: 

If you’re feeling insignificant, be encouraged! Despite the minuscule blip of space we occupy in the universe, we still have big jobs to tackle, like creating lasting legacies through role modeling. As you pass on the wisdom you’ve learned over the years, what small stuff would you advise someone else not to sweat?   

Edited and reprinted 2011(and still true)