Hell of a Guy
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Starry, Starry Night…


We have had an extremely dry summer here in Beautiful Downtown Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, population 711.  I don’t believe it has rained more than three times since early June.  Back in mid-April and May I was cutting the grass, all seven acres, about every six days.  From mid-June to today I have mowed just three times.  The leaves here are changing colors rapidly, though not as usual.  Typically we see lots of golds and reds in the trees for about three weeks; this year because of the drought they are changing green to brown and falling already. 

The skies have been devoid of clouds most of the summer, as have the nights.  Lately the temperature at night has dropped below fifty degrees, in fact, this morning it was just forty-three.  No clouds and low humidity allow for some tremendous star gazing.  The Milky Way makes an appearance most nights.  For a long time I thought it was a cloud that stretched from south to north in the night sky, but noticed it too many nights in the same spot and not moving.  Brilliant boy here finally figured out what it is.  I am a city boy, after all; we didn’t see the Milky Way in Baltimore, ever.

For whatever the reason, I wake up between 4:30 and 5 each morning, maybe it is an age related, I don’t know.  While I am up I let the dog and cat out, and I have come not to mind it one bit, mainly because while I am up I also get to walk outside.  On these clear, cool mornings of late, the sky is almost unbelievably beautiful.  The stars are so very bright and appear to be close enough to touch, almost like a 3-D movie, and I tend to linger there fully awake in awe of what I am seeing.  It is just that incredible.  Most mornings it is the chill in the late summer air that brings me back into the house, and I go back to bed and have no problem falling into a deep sleep for another hour or so.  We are expecting the same weather again tonight and I am already looking forward to letting the “stock” out in the morning.

I suppose I am just “star struck.”

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Cat and the Dog…


We have a pad we bought for the dog to lay on so maybe, just maybe, she will lay on it rather than spread doggie dirt on the very light tan carpet throughout our home.  Most of the time she prefers to lay on the carpet and it is easy to pick out her favorite spots, but there are times we find her on the pad.

And then there is the cat.  Lisa came to live with us about four years ago; she came with her brother Oliver.  They were the best of friends, always together and often snuggled together. Oliver loved to be outside roaming the fields and exploring every nook and cranny of the old barn just off our property.  Oliver and another animal had an encounter outside one day and Oliver lost. 

Lisa is the typical cat, somewhat aloof and haughty.  I have often heard it said to dogs you are family, to cats you are staff.  In Lisa’s case, it’s true, we are staff.


Stella and Lisa are the best of friends, as evidenced by the photograph.  It makes me wonder why the peoples of the world can’t be this way - Live and let live, the Golden Rule, Let’s all just along?  Why can’t we get along like cats and dogs?

And that is all I have to say about that…

Saturday, September 11, 2010



As I sit here in my comfortable family room this morning in my very comfortable, safe home, I cannot help but reflect on where I was on this date and at this hour nine years ago.  We were all lost that day, caught up in the horrific tragedy that befell so many.  There was an overwhelming sense of loss; the minutes seemed like hours, it was surreal.  I spent the day in a daze.  I cannot help but think of all those people whose lives were terminated in the senseless acts of that day and the value of the loss, and that is when I remembered reading this. 

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn’t have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:


And that is all I have to say about that…

Friday, September 10, 2010



I hear people all the time speaking and talking about “change.”  We heard a lot about ‘change” during the last Presidential election, though most of us know never to believe anything a candidate promises prior to being elected.  The “change” in them occurs once the wear the mantle of an elected official, and rarely does it resemble the “change” promised.  People speak of change as though it is something great or something so horrible it has to be feared.  Frankly, change is just what it is; it is merely a condition of the moment.  Change is the one constant in the universe, and I do not sweat it and I certainly don’t fear it. 

Nothing is the same from one moment to the next.  Change is movement and everything in the universe is moving all the time – nothing is completely solid.  All one need do is examine an atom to see change, aka movement, is constant.  Enough of my complete understanding of physics, and on to today’s BS. 

I was in a coffee shop on Fairfax Street here in Beautiful Downtown Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, population 711.  I had my coffee and was diligently working with my laptop doing my job ( I had to add that because I was there a 9am and don’t want my co-workers or, God forbid, my boss to know I was goofing off at 9am on a Wednesday drinking coffee and listening to someone else’s conversation).  A group of four sat at a nearby table and were tossing about ideas for a seminar or workshop they are planning about “Change” and how to deal with it.  I didn’t hear a lot of what they were saying, that would be eavesdropping; however I heard enough to get me to thinking about change.

Why do people go to so much trouble to avoid change?  Why are they so opposed to it they would rather fail in what they are doing than deal with the element of change.  This has always puzzled me.  If you live in the “now” change won’t bother you one way or the other.  If your mantra is any given day is “The Best Day Ever,” you embrace change.  May I suggest if you don’t do it now, you learn to live in the “moment,” the “present,” the “now?”  Life is really that simple, I believe.  At least it is for me, and believe me when I say, I am nothing special.

And that is all I have to say about that…