🎋 A Love Song 🎋
💫 I’m a country music fan. Being raised in the mountains of southwest Virginia, I would easily be called a hillbilly. I wear that label with pride. I listen to SiriusXM radio (Willie’s Roadhouse) daily, and the other day they played a song I had long ago forgotten. It is a simple little song by Hank Thompson (1978), titled “Who Left the Door to Heaven Open.” It is a beautiful love story, and the lyrics go like this: “Who left the door to Heaven open, who turned their head for just a moment, who told you that my heart was broken, who left the door to Heaven open?” It continues with, “Heaven can’t be the same without you, but they know exactly where you are. Who left the door to Heaven open.”
I wish I could express my love for my wife so exquisitely, and I have tried, but I always fail. That requires me to show my love by my actions. Maybe, that’s the best way, but I think it’s important that all of us be able to tell those we love, how meaningful they are in our lives, and how grateful we are for their existence. Surely the time will come when it will no longer be possible.
Marilynne Robinson said, “There is so much to be grateful for; words are poor things.” Naw, I want to say it like Hank Thompson! You can listen to the song here.
💫 I read an article recently in which the author (Gregory Scott Brown, MD) said that seeking happiness as the ultimate goal is like running after a moving target. The problem is that happiness is an emotion and not a state of being. Happiness and sadness aren’t supposed to last.
I have given that opinion a lot of thought. I have always believed that happiness was a goal we should strive for, not something that randomly occurs. The author of the quote believes that what we should strive for is fulfillment. Unlike happiness (emotion), fulfillment is a state of being and is achieved when we accept who we are, make the most of what we have, and are optimistic about the future.
Personally, I think fulfillment is also an emotion, short-lived and often gone in a flash. I believe the only emotion that is durable is satisfaction. Not the short-term kind, the kind that says, I’m living a good life, helping my family and friends achieve the same, and enjoying each day God gives me.
Unfortunately, many of us, as we approach our 7th, 8th, and 9th decade of roaming this wonderful planet, find it nearly impossible to experience happiness, fulfillment, or satisfaction. I have several good friends who are just trying to squeeze one good day out of a week. Some of whose world revolves around their doctor’s latest cancer report or the progression of their spouse’s Alzheimer’s disease. I’m sure they’re puzzled by the way we fret over being despondent about temporary things in our lives. When I look at the hard lives my friends have and then at what blessings I enjoy, I know that I have arrived at the intersection of greed and stupidity. Greedy for wanting more blessings and stupid for thinking I deserve more. I am guilty of letting both the beautiful and banal go unnoticed. I have concluded that what I need the most is perspective; look at my many blessings, observe how others are suffering through no fault of their own, and find the peace that goes with being thankful.
The Chinese philosopher Laozi said, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. I’m still working on the true wisdom part.
💫 I read about a wife complaining because when they fly somewhere, her husband flies First Class, and she and their two children fly Economy. It leaves me wondering what makes the husband think, on any level, that’s fair. I believe that most men would insist their wife be in First Class. He probably does not open doors for her nor hold her hand when needed to insure she is safe. When we travel, be it on a tour bus or plane, my wife prefers to be next to the window, and I always ensure that she sits there. At a minimum, you would assume the jerk would offer to alternate First Class with his wife when they fly.
But even that is a horrible idea. The family should be seated together. What message does it send to your children when the family is not flying together as a unit? A great test would be, where do you want to be seated if the plane encounters in-flight trouble? Iâ€™m guessing itâ€™s not you in First Class and your family somewhere back in Economy.
Michael Liebowitz said it well, “In secular America, the last sacred cow is the self.”
💫 A few evenings ago, we joined eight other residents on the small bus our retirement community owns and traveled over to Norfolk to watch the Tidewater Tides (AAA) play the Syracuse Mets in baseball. The temp was around 72° as we headed for the bus, with my wife insisting that I take a jacket. I thought I didn’t need one, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I retrieved one from our hall closet, and we headed out the door. Enduring a bumpy ride over to the baseball park, we quickly exited the bus and headed for our assigned seats. After being seated, the first thing I did was ask my wife what she wanted and headed for the concession stand.
I ordered two hotdogs, a beer, and a bag of peanuts and thought I was going to have to take out a loan to pay the bill. Quickly returning to my seat, I gave my wife her hotdog and started munching on mine, washing it down with some good Coors Light. After finishing that delightful dog, I started with the unshelled peanuts. They lasted most of the game as the pile of shells under my feet got bigger and bigger. Now that’s how you watch a baseball game! And I continue to wonder why I can’t lose weight.
The new rules pertaining to time were in place, and the game moved right along. When the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher, he has 15 seconds to throw his next pitch, or the batter’s ball count increases by one. By the 7th inning, the temp dropped precipitously, and our jackets felt very good. I was thankful my wife insisted I wear one. As we shivered in the wind, the young people around us barely noticed the change, and they were in tank tops and tee shirts. Old people don’t like to be cold, so all of us agreed to leave in the 7th inning with the home team ahead 3-0. Back on the bus, I brought in the radio station broadcasting the game on my phone, and all of us listened as we drove home. What a great evening! I hope we go back as soon as summer temps move in.
💫 My wife and I performed an experiment with ice. I filled my tall glass with ice, then added water and set it on the table. I assured her the water level would be lower once the ice melted. Four hours later, the ice had disappeared, and the water level was still at the top of the glass, with some having spilled over the edge. I was puzzled. Ice definitely takes up more space than water, so when it melts, the water level should have dropped. I did some research and found that for the water level not to drop very much, the water and the ice had to be close to the same temperature. That wasn’t the case. The water came out of the faucet, thus only being moderately cool. My wife insists she didn’t tamper with our experiment, and I believe her. I am confident that someone who reads this will write and tell me what happened. If I get a resolution, I will update this missive, so you’ll know also.