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November, 2006

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November 30, 2006

I've always been taught (or told) that I belong to the "Baby Boomer" generation, a part of the large population born between 1946 and 1965.  That is a huge slice of the population and a large span of years.  Since then we've heard about "generation X", "generation next", "generation lost" and so forth.

Jonathan Pontell has coined a term for the group born between 1954 to 1965 and coined the term "Generation Jones".  Hmmm, interesting. That puts me there (my birthday is in December of 1955).  See more here.

November 29, 2006

You've heard the saying, "be nice to your kids, they will pick your nursing home".  Well, perhaps there's a grain of truth in that along with a big dollop of sarcasm.  However, when we age and the time comes when we need to have assisted living or other care, it is important for our children and their children to remember that the great circle of life means we often become dependent on others - just like when we were a small child.

A heartfelt slideshow titled Parent's Wish can be viewed online here.  It is thoughtful and makes some good comparisons between young and old.

November 22, 2006

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  The holiday is tomorrow and it will be a time for family, a big meal and giving thanks for our many blessings.  I'm cooking a turkey and taking it over to the family gathering.  My wife, children and I will be with grandparents, brothers, sisters and cousins.  Here in New Mexico we eat turkey, ham, stuffing and other traditional fare.  But, we will also have our chile!  We like both red and green.

May you enjoy a wonderful holiday.  Remember to give thanks for each other and maybe share a story or two, especially with younger ones who need to know about your history.

Family gatherings at holidays are often times to share family history.  Now Roots Television is taking this to a whole new level.  This month, they are encouraging viewers to take the opportunity to record some of their favorite family legends. They have also gathered a special selection of shows focused on oral and personal history.  This includes "Grand Generation", by Academy-Award-winning director Paul Wagner.  Wagner, with Steven Zeitlin and Marjorie Hunt of the Smithsonian Folklife Institute, share interviews with Hispanic farmer Cleofes Vigil, civil rights activist Rosina Tucker, Jewish baker Moishe Sacks, and other members of an older and wiser generation.  Each shares a unique perspective on aging and gives important advice to those who follow.

Find out more at the website,

November 20, 2006

Dr. Andrew Weil is considered one of the foremost speakers and experts about aging and how to live long and well.  I've discussed frequently the importance of creating an ethical will.  Now Dr. Weil is on record, too, about the value of the ethical will - more here.

When you think about your life and your story one very powerful reminiscence is "about the time you almost died".  If you have had a near death experience you know how it can frame your life in a whole new way.  It really puts living...and a new perspective.

Please don't wait until you are at death's door to consider passing on the most important values and beliefs of your life to your loved ones.  The ethical will is just one way to do this and provide a written legacy.

November 13, 2006

Peace begins with one person.  Living what you do everyday.  Untold stories of kindness.  The Perfection of Character.  These are all titles of stories submitted to "This I Believe", essays of everyday people that you can read listed on National Public Radio's website.  It's a collaboration with Atlantic Public Media and This I Believe, Inc. and is based on a 1950's radio show of the same name.  

There are some very interesting and moving stories for you to check out.  The goal of all these essays is people sharing their core beliefs and values - integral parts of personal histories and ethical wills.

November 10, 2006

Tomorrow (November 11) is the Veterans Day national holiday, but since it falls on a Saturday this year it is also being observed today.

Ever since 9-11-01 Veterans Day has also included recognition and salutes to firefighters and law enforcement.  Basically, this holiday is about heroes.  It is always sad and difficult when there is war and our troops are called to serve in battle and the line of fire.  Even more difficult is the dealing with loss, whether injury or death.

Last night I had the opportunity to meet a few fine women who are part of the Rio Grande Valley chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, a non-profit organization that supports the troops and family members in a variety of ways, including sending care packages overseas to the troops.  I work for a radio station that helped with a fundraiser at a local night club.  I applaud this type of service.  Find out more about the Blue Star Mothers and maybe a chapter near your at their web site,

If you are not familiar with the Veterans History Project I urge you to find out more about it.  This national effort to capture the personal stories of veterans, especially the aging vets from past wars, is extremely important. We need to preserve these stories and I have more information about the Veterans History Project posted here.

November 6, 2006

Tomorrow is an election day in the United States.  The media onslaught has been pretty intense.  Countless commercials, many of them negative attack ads, run one right after another on the television.  I've received a huge pile of direct mail.  And my phone is constantly ringing and I'm getting "voice messages" from the governor, senators, mayor, past presidents (!) and the candidates.  Yes, marketing is a big time business in the political campaign season.

Despite all this (which tends to numb the senses and maybe even create a backlash against the election process) I know I should exercise my write to vote.  It is a privilege of a free and democratic society.  I wonder how many of those who serve in public office have truly and honestly looked at their lives and their stories and made an attempt to pass them on.  I know they like to write their "agenda" and publish it as their autobiography.  But I think one of the most beautiful things about personal history is the opportunity to be honest, at least with ourselves.

November 1, 2006

Well, here we are in another new month.  And this time of year the days get shorter (literally for daylight hours unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere), and time feels compressed.  The holidays and end of year projects - here they come!

Nevertheless, for the writer in us all each day is an opportunity to do something with our craft.  Have you ever wanted to write a novel?  It can be a hugely intimidating goal, but a worthy one if you have a compelling story to get out.  Perhaps you will benefit from working on it with the motivation of others.  November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Join thousands of others from across the USA and around the world as they string words into sentences, sentences into chapters and chapters into a 50,000-word novel—all in just 30 days. You can learn more about NaNoWriMo here:

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