Saturday, February 16

Life In Your Years

The seasons' change and time flies. Do you feel like you spend the time you have in your life wisely?

We only go around once and during that time we have to hustle in order to get what we really want, spare time.

Time Used Up
  • First, you’re born. You have about 78 years left statistically speaking.
  • You’re sleeping for about 29 years of that time. That leaves you with 49 waking years. 
  • Time to get educated. You spend 31,000 hours studying or in class. Added up, that’s about 31/2 years. 
  • You’ve graduated congratulations! Time to put in your 91,000 hours at work. That’s about 101/2 years.
  • All that time you spend in traffic. Say goodbye to one whole year of your life.
  • Brushing your teeth, showering, sitting on the toilet and dressing. That’s 21/2 years.
  • Eating and drinking take 4 years. You’ve got 28 years left.
  • Shopping, grocery runs,; it adds up to about 21/2 years. 
  • Cooking, cleaning, yard work and 6 years spent doing chores. 
  • You spend 11/2 years caring for kids and loved ones. That’s 18 precious years left….
  • Of which you spend half watching TV, playing video games, online, or pick your poison you spend about 9 years doing it and you have only those 9 years left. 
  • Out of 78 years on this earth, 9 years and 6 months are yours. Nine years to spend with your family and friends. To play, laugh and cry. To fall in love. To see the world and fulfill all of your passions.
So why are you still in front of the computer? What would you rather be doing? Go out and do THAT instead.

"It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years." by Abraham Lincoln

Keep On Bloggin’!

Monday, February 11

Will You Be Mine?

Some history first.

February 14 is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, with the giving of candy, cards, diamonds, (hint, hint) flowers, or other gifts between couples in love, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Cupid, another symbol of the holiday, became associated with it because he was the Roman god of passion and erotic love. He also was associated with desire. Cupid was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid played a role in several mythical adventures. In Vergil's Aeneid, Cupid prompts Dido to fall in love with Aeneas, with tragic results. Cupid is a central character in the traditional tale of Cupid and Psyche, as told by Apuleius. In modern times, cupid is often depicted as a chubby cherub-like creature with wings, shooting his arrows to inflict desire on his unsuspecting victims. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards or is imprinted on heart-shaped candies.

In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap." Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Will You Be Mine?

I fondly remember making hand-made Valentines in 6th grade to trade at school. Even though we had always handed out Valentines at school this time I had someone “special” to give one to. Steve Weber was his name and it was love at first sight.

At home, I got together the art supplies to make it with. Elmer's glue, scissors, scrap paper, ribbon, and lace. Getting to use my mom’s real scissors I excitedly and carefully cut out my hearts making sure they were perfect.

As I worked, I bit my tongue lightly with great concentration. I cut a big red paper heart and then a smaller pink one and so on until I was happy with the results. I worked on that Valentine for hours thinking about how much Steve would like it. Then I thought, what should I write on it?

I walked into the kitchen; “What should I write on my Valentine?” I asked my mom who was cooking supper and smoking her ever-present cigarette, 

“Are you done with the scissors yet Bekkie? I told you to return them to the sewing box when you’re done.” Not answering I silently slunk back into my bedroom. Luckily she didn’t know I liked a boy.

I was stymied, what could I write on the Valentine that would make Steve like me? Even though she was my best friend I knew Barbara Snyder liked him too; all the girls did. I knew she was probably making him a Valentine tonight too. Or worse yet maybe her mom got her store-bought cards! How could mine compete with fancy store-bought cards? I felt miserable.

I thought about asking my mom to buy store-bought cards and then quickly put that bad idea out of my head. Then the words came to me, I'd do a simple, "Will You Be Mine?" 

It wasn’t all lovey-dovey either it was simple, to the point. I ran to get the sparkles so I could finish my card. Surely he’ll like it and me.

The next day at school it was time to pass out the Valentine cards, but I had a plan. I was going to give Steve my card at recess by the big tree, not now. I felt my bravado fade when I saw Barbara Snyder passing out her store bought cards. 

I watched like a hawk while Steve looked through his cards. He didn’t react to any of them in particular. Gosh, he was cute. He turned and locked eyes with me. I turned fire engine red and turned away while I pretended to fiddle with a card that Jerry Lewis had just given me.

At recess, I raced down the hill and took my place by the big tree. I got there first, good. Steve would be playing baseball nearby. I wanted to do this before my girlfriends found me and then I saw Steve. 

He walked right up to me. “Barbara said you like me,” he said somewhat accusingly. 

I turned 50 shades of red, extended my shaky hand with the card in it and stammered, “This is for you Steve.” He took the card without reading it, hit me really hard on the arm, and ran off to play with his friends.

“He loves me!” I thought to myself triumphantly.

Keep On Bloggin’!

Tuesday, February 5

Some Of My Favorite Things

The old lighthouse on Lake Michigan in my hometown. That is the city of Chicago sticking up across the lake. On a clear day, you can see Gary and Chicago.

Michigan City is a small town that borders on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. We have our own zoo and didn’t have a Mall until one was built. It was wonderful growing up there and I think about doing so with great fondness.

When I think about those days there are so many, one of a kind memories I got to experience while growing up Hoosier. I thought I’d share some of them with you.

1. Eating breakfast at Brownies Restaurant after church, filled with people who had been at Sunday services.

2. The view from our largest sand dune, Mount Baldy.

3. Summer concerts at the old band shell.

4. Going to the Moose Lodge for parties and functions with my family.

5. Riding the South Shore (electric train) to Chicago and back.

6. Franklin Street, (our main drag) filled with honking cars after the 1966 state basketball championship.

7. Seeing Santa at his little house that would magically appear at Christmas on the corner of 7th and Franklin street.

8. Watching men make railroad cars at Pullman Steel.

9. Going fishing at the crack of dawn on the pier by the lighthouse.

10. Walking along Lake Michigan searching for beautiful pieces of driftwood and other treasures that washed up on the shore.

11. Riding with my friends up and down the main drag after we all got our drivers license.

12. Going to the bakery for fresh Bear Claws.

13. Driving along the lake on Lakeshore Drive looking at all the beautiful homes and mansions on the lake.

14. Going to ‘sock hops’ at school and the YMCA.

15. Watching my dad wrestle at the Armory, state fairs, and Ames Field.

16. Ice skating and bobsledding in the Winter.

17. Going to Scholl’s Dairy for the best ice cream ever.

18. Horseback riding at the stables in Beverly Shores.

19. Ordering cherry cokes and fries at Woolworth's fountain.

20. Buying 45 records at Harvey’s Dime Store.

21. Going to the beach and swimming in Lake Michigan.

22. Going to the A & W on the way to the beach for hot dogs and root beer.

23. Penny candy and I have the fillings to prove it.

24. Standing outside at McDonald’s and buying 25 cent hamburgers.

25. Christmas decorations on Franklin Street.

26. The balcony at the Tivoli Theater.

27. The smell of the Smith Brothers cough drop factory.

28. Fish fries with fresh water perch (the best food ever) at M&M’s restaurant.

29. Three feet of snow in 1958.

30. Walking out to the lighthouse.

31. Climbing all the way up to the top of the observation tower by the zoo.

32. Going to the Washington Park Zoo to see Monkey Island.

33. Riding the bumper cars at Washington Park.

34. Going to the old amusement park on the beach by Lake Michigan.

35. Going to the lake to get a free truck full of sand for our sandbox.

36. Walking to school and back home every day all by ourselves.

37. Going to movies at the 212 outdoor theater.

38. Catching lightning bugs on warm summer nights.

37. Sunrises and sunsets on Lake Michigan.

Just a few of my favorite things about my home town.

Mount Baldy the biggest sand dune now a park.

The Armory where my father wrestled.

Carlson's Drive-in, the only one left now.

The lighthouse in winter.

Our Mall (we only had one) where we hung out and my mom taught me to drive in the parking lot when it was closed on Sundays.

I enjoyed growing up here and if I could make time stand still I would have done it before all the little changes that forever make our lives different. This place as I remember it is just a memory.

Keep On Bloggin’!