Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012; here it comes ready or not!

Well, 2011 has slipped through our fingers. I would venture to say we all had some good moments and maybe one’s that were not so great. Only you can decide if it was a good year or not.

Now you must decide how you will approach 2012. Set your mind as to how to advance with the New Year. We are as happy as we chose to be, regardless of circumstance. Granted there are some of us that will face situations that are sorrowful and frightening; but it does not mean we can not look for the good things in life. Everywhere we look we should see the wonders of life. The tulips coming up in the spring, the budding of new life on trees, warm tender breezes on our face, these are the good things that we can enjoy.

Many of you will remember the terrible fires that occurred in San Diego area a few years back. Do you remember the young mother whose house burned to the ground? As she walked along with a news anchor she was asked how you start over after such a disaster. The young mother picked up a ladle then said, “I guess you start with a ladle”. She had reason to sit and cry, but did not do so, because she was ready to go forward.

For those of you who have followed my blog, and read of the accounts of my Dad may remember how remarkable he was in his life. He had injuries from the war that plagued him all his life. However he never complained. This gentle person always saw his glass as full.

There was a situation when he was doing poorly. My niece called him and asked if she could come over and fix him lunch. Dad agreed, and she went to his house and asked what he wanted. His request was simple; he wanted some chili from a can heated up and some toast and coffee. My niece sat with him as he ate, and he was so happy. He told her how lucky he was to have a granddaughter that was loving enough to come fix him lunch, and how good it was to have such fine food. I don’t know about you, but canned chili would not be my idea of “fine food“. Still he was a simple man who believed you should fulfill your needs not your wants.

This was only one instance in which he kept his glass full. Other events would have to been evident at the last week of his life. When asked by a nurse how he felt, his answer was “a little rough today”. Surely if he could see the glass half full on his worse days, we can see the same.

I try to follow suit in my life. I should see my glass as full. He gave me a great attitude to follow. He loved God, his family and life in general. This was a man whose life was worth emulating. Always ready to give, never asking in return and being happy with his station in life.

Dad continues to lead me by example as I look back on his life, as well as the young mother amid the destruction of the fire. Life is what you make of it, and we chose; is the glass full, half full or half empty.

Wishing Everyone a Happy, Safe and Prospers New Year, and hoping your glass remains full all year.

As always,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Far to Wheeling

I thought I would write about one of the funnies from my childhood. Well, not funny to everyone who fell into this trap.

I grew up in Triadelphia, WV a small town on the east side of Wheeling WV. It was a coal mining town and on hot muggy days you could see the coal dust hanging low over the valley to the east of town. It was a town with its own flavor and characters.

We lived next to a gas station. I won’t name the brand but…“you can trust your car to the man who wears the star“…OOPS! Dated myself there didn’t I?

Now our town was as dull as the flat head of a nail. When I was around 7 and not allowed to venture outside our yard, entertainment was to see how many different state license plates went by the house.  Another point dating me, the interstate highways had not been constructed yet. We saw tons of traffic on National Road that passed in front of our house. No wonder our house was so dusty; heavily traveled National Road in the front and the rail road behind the house. The railroad is now gone and one of the town wonders decided to buy the land and put mobile homes on that track of land behind all the houses.

The gas station next to our house would hire neighborhood guys to work the pumps. Remember full service at a gas station? We often talked with these guys and my sister ended up marrying one of them, but I’m off point. Anyway, by the time I was 14 I too would talk with the guys since they all lived within a shout of our house. One particular young guy just thought it was terrifically funny to give misdirections. Wheeling was west of Triadelphia, and you could easily walk to the outer edges of Wheeling. My friend would be happy to provide the full service that stations did back in the day and his service included giving directions. A traveler would ask “How far to Wheeling?” he would tell them they had already passed it.

He would tell them to go back out of the station, turn right, east not west, go to the first traffic light, turn right and go about “X” number of miles. Well, there were a few small towns between Triadelphia and the first traffic light. Yes, he sent them in the opposite direction.

In the evening after he was done sweeping the front of the station, he would stop by and tell us how many travelers he had given directions to that day or that week. I would ask him, “Aren’t you afraid they will come back this way and come looking for you.” He was never worried “By the time they know they went the wrong way, most likely they don’t stop again. If they do I will just I meant to say turn left.” I guess that is why I learned to read a map. I wasn’t going to take a chance of finding this type of a character in my travels.

Life might have been boring in our little town, but some of the residents had their own version of entertainment.

Happy Motoring and either have a map or a GPS!