Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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Tail Wagging Tales
June 28, 2021
Pet life stories are important to many people. Tail wagging tales told
about your fur babies are often entertaining. More importantly, they
say something about their owners. It is part of your personal history
to share about the lives of your dogs, cats, birds, reptiles or
whatever kind of pets you have.
I am currently house-sitting for my son and his roommate. Between the two of them they own four dogs. Four large dogs.
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Walk, Run, Ride and Reflect
June 24, 2021
One of my favorite themes is the importance of walking, running or
riding for health. I find that getting outdoors for a walk, run or
bike ride gives a different perspective to the world and life. It is
much needed so that I don't get too much in my head, which
unfortunately is often a problem for me. The health benefits are much
more than physical. There is gain for my emotional, mental and
spiritual state. Frankly, I find it is all connected.
Look, writers by necessity spend a fair amount of time in isolation,
penning words to paper or screen. In order to have proper inspiration I
need the "ventilation" of outdoor air. The added bonus is that I see
the world while getting exercise. And seeing things while walking,
jogging or riding a bike is a different, and interesting, pace than the speed of car,
train or plane.
I was rummaging through some running medals from the days of my half and
full marathon events. I haven't run one of those for about four years
now, but there was a ten year stretch when I was doing it fairly
regularly. I have run two full marathons (26.2 miles) and a dozen or so
half marathons (13.1). It takes a lot of training and that means time.
I started at the age of 50 and frankly, I just don't have it in me at
65 to keep it up. But I thought that decade was a pretty good run (pun intended).
Lately I've taken to riding my bicycle more. Believe it or not, my
10-speed is almost forty years old! I've had it tuned a few times and
it actually rides well, at least good enough for my needs. My wife
bought it for me as a birthday gift, before we married.
Walking, running or riding were activities that could be done during
the pandemic, but I see more people out doing it now than a year ago.
The world is emerging from Covid, at least in my part of the country.
It's good and I am grateful to have lived through it all without
catching the virus. I know many people who did contract the virus and
with varying degrees of difficulty. It's part of our history now.
Walk, run, ride and reflect. A good prescription for health - physical, mental and spiritual.
Juneteenth Now a National Holiday
June 18, 2021
Today, for the first time in the United States, Juneteenth will be observed as a National Holiday.
How did that come about? The bill was signed into law
yesterday by President Biden after it passed through Congress. I am
sure a lot of people will think this long overdue. I previously wrote
about Juneteenth and my growing awareness of this long held
recognition by African-Americans of their independence from slavery.
For far too long it has not been given the historical educational
visibility it deserves, but hopefully that is changing.
My blog post from June 19, 2020 - Lifting Voices on Juneteenth,
mentions my learning more about the day and also gives some historical
context and meaning of this important annual remembrance. Some of what
I wrote includes, "It is shameful that it is taking so long for enough of society to
awaken to this truth and do something about it. Yet there is great hope
in the lifting of so many voices in this most trying year. It
just goes to show that it takes a lot of collective calamity to shake
and wake us up." I invite you to read all of the blog post and visit some of the links I included.
There is hope that our country and society are changing for the better.
It will not be without growing pains, but that is the pattern of
history and every life.
Family, Flag and Country
June 14, 2021
is my parent's wedding day. If they were still alive they'd be married
71 years! They did make it to 56 before Mom passed away. That anniversary is tomorrow and it is hard to believe it's been 15 years.
June 14 is also Flag Day. My
father loved to fly the American Flag. When he retired from the Air
Force and he and my mother moved into a townhouse community in Kansas
City Dad became the defacto flag man for all the homes. Every holiday
he'd hoist the Stars and Stripes for each of the homes (or put them in
a holder if that was how they were outfitted).
Dad was a career Air Force pilot. He made it to "Full Bird", which
means Colonel. He would have been a general except for a righteous
altercation with someone in the Pentagon. But that's another story. He
had a good run - 26 years of service. He told me he joined because,
much to his delight, they would pay him to fly airplanes. And he did it
Dad joined the Air Force the same day he got married. Air Force in the
morning, hitched in the afternoon. Mom always had a few choice
wisecracks about that.
My parents were patriots, but not blind ones. There's some family
history on mother's side that traces the lineage back to the Pilgrims.
Boston was her hometown. My father's side were also
early immigrant stock. His family tree included covered wagon
settlers in the midwest. My most famous ancestor is probably my
Great-Grandfather Fred Gilbert, Dad's grandfather. He hailed from
Spirit Lake, Iowa and became a world champion trapshooter. He was a
good friend to Annie Oakley and the other elite shooters of the early
I am a proud American and citizen of the United States. Which means I
believe in our country as a land of opportunity with principles that
protect the freedom of all Americans. My hope is that we will fully
become a country that lives up to its high ideals.
I've learned a lot about American history over the years and I continue
to discover more. We all need to be aware of history, both world and
personal. Not just aware, but informed and accountable to the
self-evident truths stated in the Declaration of Independence. All people created equal with certain unalienable Rights.
Get Outside Daily
June 3, 2021
It's summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. Yes, technically not until
June 20 at 9:31 pm my time. But for all practical purposes here in the
Southwestern United States the temperatures are up, the days are longer
and we have an abundance of sunshine. Summertime and the month of June,
my favorite time of the year.
With summer comes a bit of a break for teachers like myself. Contrary
to a commonly held myth, teachers do not "get the summer off". Most of
us spend a good deal of our time on reviewing our educational
practices, philosophies, making plans, taking professional development
courses, and, like myself, doing a multitude of other related things.
Because of my passion for life story preservation I am always busy with
research, writing and interviewing others, but it ramps up more in the
summer. And yes, there is gratitude that I do have more discretionary
time during our summer break from the rigors of the daily school year
One of my favorite things to do during summer and the summer school
break is get outdoors more. Of course, the weather makes that easier to
do, too. I love to walk or ride my bike. And trips to scenic places
where can I can take in the spectacular vistas of nature are always a
Now that the Covid restrictions are lessening and vaccinated people
like myself are feeling safer about travel I am looking forward to
visiting the Grand Canyon and also some some of southern Utah. Anyone
who has ever been knows what natural beautyi s there to experience.
More and more in my life experiences are valuable to my mental,
emotional and spiritual development. Experience is a great teacher and
certainly experiences shared are a major component of a life story.
One of the prescriptions for healthy living on many levels that also
benefits my perspective on life is to get outside on a regular basis.
It can be a hike through a canyon in a national park. Or just a morning
walk around the floodplain by my home. I call it G.O.D. which stands
for "Get Outside Daily".