A cold winter day

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I am resolved to never complain about weather. It’s like everything in life. To truly appreciate something to the fullest, you have to experience the extreme opposite.

It was hot last summer. No, let me rephrase, It was HOT last summer! While I never really complained, I am certain that I vowed, at least once anyway, to never moan this winter, no matter HOW cold it got.

It seems the powers of the universe are challenging me, but I will not break. It was indeed a cold winter day today, and the night promises to be even colder.

Bring it on Old Man Winter. You have my attention, but you won’t hear me grumble. Summer will be here soon and you will be just a dark cold memory.

Many warm blessings to all that read this.

~ Cheers!

The lake, my morning run, and Stanley

I like to run in the morning. It’s better on the weekends when I have the time to drive to my favorite lake. Even on the coldest and snowiest of mornings, there are always other runners there. Seeing them there helps me feel a little less crazy. 

I ran there yesterday. It was warm and it felt much like an early Spring morning. There were a lot more runners than I’d seen there in recent weeks. My guess is that some were new runners trying to live up to their recently made New Year’s Resolutions. Others might be in the early stages of training for a Spring Mini or Full Marathon.

I was just there because I love to run.

As I finished the first of two loops and ran back up the hill to the parking lot, I ran past a somewhat elderly Asian gentleman with a small dog. He smiled and waved, calling out some greeting that I couldn’t make out. I returned the wave and said good morning as I ran by. His smile seemed to widen. It’s odd, but I swear it only takes a brief moment and a simple exchange for most of us, to know that we just crossed paths with a genuinely likable soul.

As usual, I felt even better on the second loop. So much better in fact, that I pushed really hard up that final hill up to the parking lot. As I got there, I once again saw my new friend. Being out of breath and inspired by his smile, I decided to stop to say hello. He immediately started walking my way, removing his glove to shake my hand and introduce himself. His name is Stanley. “Stanley, like the comic book” he said. I had never heard of the comic book, but I’ve since Googled it of course, and here’s an image from one of the books.Stanley

He proudly explained that he has been visiting the lake at least one day a weekend for over ten years. He used to run, now he walks. He once circled the lake as I do, but has gotten away from that to avoid the hill. It’s just too much for him these days. He began telling stories of bad winter days that kept most people away from the lake, but how others seemed to be drawn out by the weather.

He recalled two doctors that he had met a couple of years ago. They made the  decision to cross the frozen lake against the advice of signs that were posted saying the ice was too thin to ice skate. “They proceeded very cautiously, I’m sure that they were really afraid”. “They had to know better, Why would medical professionals take such a risk?”, he asked. We talked just a short while longer and then said goodbye, wishing each other a good day.

It was a good day full of sharing and spending time with my family and good friends. Once back home and sipping my evening short glass of bourbon, I thought about Stanley, and in particular his questions about the doctors, and the ice, and their seemingly reckless behavior.

Why does anyone do anything? Why do any of us get out of our warm beds and head to that lake or anywhere else when the conditions aren’t “perfect”? 

I know why I’m there. It’s my favorite place to run and my morning run seems directly related to my sanity. Stanley may be there just to meet new people and share stories. The doctors that he mentioned may have felt the need to have some risk in their lives. It may be a nice release from all of the pressure related to their profession. They alone could say for sure. 

There is a lake, a mountain, and the entire universe out there for all of us. It’s ours to explore and enjoy however we desire. There are people that we should meet and stories that need to be shared. We just have to use our intuitive nature to help us navigate through our first step and begin our journey.

Cheers!

Who’s writing this?…..

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My given name wouldn’t tell you much about me. It’s not a reflection of who I am, or why I’m  here. After all, we are only a perpetuation of those that came before us combined with the mirrored effects of our surroundings. For that reason, I  present to you a relative list of pertinent details:

  • Ancestry.com would have you believe that I am a descendant of English Royalty. 
  • Once in America, my family settled in the south. We were politicians, farmers and bee keepers.
  • The earliest records in America show that my ancestors were politically affluent members in colonial Virginia. Others are from areas in West Virginia, Kentucky and many from Tennessee.
  • Our written family records as well as what I’ve found on Ancestry.com clearly indicate that I am also of Native American (Cherokee) heritage. 
  • My forefathers fought in the Revolutionary War, and for the Confederacy.
  • I was born during  the “baby boom”
  • I read a lot.
  • I didn’t go to college.
  • I love people. I love my wife, my family, my dog, music and knowing that there is a great  abundance and opportunity all around us if we choose to see it.  
  • I enjoy the memories of my past, but I don’t live there.
  • I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
  • I do my best to learn from my mistakes….and I don’t look back…..ever. 
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least once that-  I.Love.Bourbon.         
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If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
~ John F. Kennedy