Jun 22, 2017

Have You Noticed That the Sky Is Bluer?

If you believe that global warming is a myth, do you feel free to pollute more? I wonder.


What were you thinking and doing before "global warming" became a catchphrase for political purposes? Did you even pay any attention to what was going on and how things looked?

We drove big cars, burned coal in our stoves and furnaces, took no notice of what industry was doing to our rivers and lakes. We scatters papers on the sides of roadways and in our National Park. Humans were wasting our earth resources at the speed of light. Back when we thought our earth was so big that nothing we did could harm it, did we even think about what we were doing?

That is how pollution crept up on us and began to kill our planet one small drop at a time. The world went into denial because doing anything would be very hard. The sky was really not blue anymore was it?

The other day I took a good look around. The sky was blue...it was amazing how pure the air looked and felt. We took a road trip yesterday and our roadways are not littered with trash. It is so much better than it was back in 1970 when the EPA was created by President Nixon. What happened? What did we do?

I think it was all the little things and some big things that made the difference. In my world that is what I saw.

For example, back in 2010 we were selling a RV because the price of gas had gone to above $3.00. In trade for that RV, we took a trailer house and a pick-up that was almost 30 years old. In the end we did not get that vehicle because the owner realized that he could get a lot of money from the government to simply not drive it ever again. It was a huge polluter. It used enormous amounts of gas so it needed to be taken off the road. It needed to go away. Could that be what happened; people quit driving old polluting cars?

In Portland we have a lot of rain so that does clean the air at the cost of the land underneath of the rain. Even here we could cut the pollution with a knife at some times during the year.

So people here in Oregon have quit using fireplaces with dampers that emitted smoke all day long in the winter. That was a problem here in Oregon. We buy cars that are either more efficient or are running partly on gas and partly on batteries. Industries are doing their part too. Coal is not a go to source for driving industrial engines anymore. Our state passed a bottle bill and high schoolers were hired to clean the sides of the roads in the summers. We use prisoners to do that job too. Volunteers clean our beaches yearly. Could that possibly be helping?

When we went south in the fall the smog in the air in Los Angeles made the city invisible. California has placed so much emphasis on clean gas in past years. Is that what is happening?

The air in Phoenix was visible for 50-100 miles away. Have they done things to make it better?

 Even though the trend has been downward since the beginning of of this study in 1990 we are getting better and better at living in such a way that we are polluting the earth less.

President Obama's leadership and tough regulations made us bite the bullet and do what is right in a lot of ways. Could this be the beginning of the new "normal"? Might that have turned the tide?

Nationwide the statistics look like this:


I feel hopeful that the American people will do the right thing in spite of our current leadership. I just want people to quit "crapping" the earth up. That is all anyone can ask.

Oh, and I don't care about a belief system that denies problems based on religious dogma. No God want us to pollute this beautiful planet.

PERIOD!

Just a thought.

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Jun 17, 2017

What is an essential father?

My Mother and Father
on my wedding day.
In today's world we have found a million way to replace almost every human endeavor. Robots, daycare, machines and even driverless cars are all around us. It is hard to imagine that any person in our life would essential to our survival.

But there was a time when the people around us were there for the purpose of keeping us alive and well. Today I am thinking about my beautiful father.

I could use all those superlative that people use when they describe their parent both bad and good. But that is not what this about. This about the reality of life during a time when humans were essential to us...remember?

My dad loved ice cream in the middle of a half cantaloupe and he shook the sand out of his shoes in the middle of the living room floor. He made kites and wrestled with grandchildren but never hurt them. His smile was full of mischief and his heart was full of love. And, without him in my young life my mother and I would not have survived in any tolerable way.

He worked in a mining operation that made cement in a far corner of eastern Oregon. He was the lead electrician. His job involved riding in a tram bucket to a quarry across a canyon or taking a very long hike and ending in the same place. He was on top of a huge kiln that exploded breaking his ankle. He spent his overtime hours working on a conveyor belt in the dark with a flashlight and no help.

When he did not come home, I remember the knot in my stomach and standing with my mother watching for his car headlights.

He was, in the truest words, an essential father.

He lived to be about 75 years old and still had drawings of project in his pocket when he died
. I admired and loved him then and I still do. How could anyone not treasure a person like him?

Happy Father's Day.

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Jun 15, 2017

From the Lifelong Cheerleaders

It always surprises me how the people that write greeting cards manage to come up with the perfect words. Honestly, I am continually inspired by their talent.

My son's son graduated from high school this last week and of course we are so proud of him. We wanted to find the perfect card for him so he would know how we felt about him and what he is doing. This is what we found.

Congratulation
 on 
Your High School Graduation
from
 Your life long cheerleaders! 


I thought that described how we felt and what our role is better than any card we have given in recent years.

Our grandson knows that Grandfather and Grandmother are his best cheerleaders. It is important to know that your family is on your side even when they are out of sight.

7 years ago they all looked like this. Two
have graduated from college, one is in an engineering masters
program, one from beauty school, one is in college and.
another in the marines. The two smallest are just growing up. Two had not been born and one was a baby in arms. The high school graduate is
clapping in the back row. He was 11 at the time.
We cheer them all on every day of our lives.

My grandson's graduation was very tight, organized and there were no shenanigans. The students were searched for cell phones, noise makers and even marbles. The fact was that time was of the essence and there was no time for snags. Another graduation was set to happen only one half hour after this one ended. We walked out and the next gradation class was lined up to go in.

But, in spite of all that, our grandson had the time of his life. His attitude was so perfect. His high school experience had left him feeling successful and ready for the next stage. He didn't need much cheerleading at that moment. The fact that we were there was enough for him.

We have 12 grandchildren, some grown some still very small. I suppose I alway reflect on their futures when someone reaches a bench mark. This occasion had me thinking about how my grandchildren see themselves.

As we left him, I began wondering if he was doing that for himself...is he or isn't he cheering himself on?  Does he hear encouraging voices in his head? Is he always so self assured? How does that work for him when things go wrong? Are the voices he hears inside his head even his own? As the years go by, will he find his own voice?

The class that he graduated from is one of the largest in the state of Oregon. As always it symbolized our country and how important education is to our survival. Graduations are an awe inspiring moment I think. And as I looked out over that mass of humanity, I wondered...what are the voices inside their heads saying? It will make such a difference in the end.

Just a thought.

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Jun 10, 2017

Should you be a snowbird or not? YOU get to decide!

It really doesn't matter! This is the third age you are about to enter. You can travel or not this year and do something totally different next year. This is the time in your life when you are given the freedom to change your mind. How cool is that!

But if you decide to travel this year or for the rest of your life and you have a partner in life, you need to make sure that you are both on the same page in the playbook. You need to make soup and talk to each other. It is important.

If we decide to become snowbirds, how can we abandon our family? You fill in the blanks here but it is something you need to face.
  1. What are we going to do with all that time? All retirees are faced with the inevitable time together 24/7. Being a snowbird is the perfect answer to getting away from all your friends and family. You can build this new stage in your life into something you have both dreamed of in a fresh environment. You need to find dreams you can share so talk...A LOT. Air those dreams out in the cold light of day. Ask yourself if you are being realistic. See He said Maine - She Said Florida
  2. Where will we go? This is where you begin to explore the possibilities of the snowbird lifestyle. You can follow interests in hobbies, work, education, travel, time with grandchildren and so much more. I even love the idea of visiting movie locations or authors home. Get out there a do stuff (a high tech word I use a lot). This is a time for the learning to begin anew and you will never regret it. 
  3. Should we delay the dream of being a snowbird? A woman told me several years ago that her husband wanted to travel but she "was just not ready". They owned a horse. He died last week. They never did travel. Delay if you have to but do it for the right reasons. 
  4. How will we pay for this? Hopefully you have been watching your finances a long time before retirement day comes. If you haven't you probably will have to delay some of your dreams. It would be nice if retirement travel were an entitlement but it isn't. It is as simple as that. The sooner you start planning financially the bigger those snowbird dreams can be. 
  5. I want to do so many things so why am I afraid?  Many treat retirement as the final destination in their real life. Please keep in mind that retirement is just a junction in the road and you get to go the direction that will work for you. If you realize that you didn't go the right way, go another. You will find a lifestyle that works for you. There is no one size fits all retirement life.
  6. Is travel my only option? If you travel, I think your family will benefit from your new passion. But it does not matter if you travel or stay at home and start or get more involved in a hobby. You will be a more interesting person and your children /grandchildren will enjoy hearing about your life adventure. 
  7. Have you been the go-to parents for your grandchildren? It may be that by the time you retire your family will be ready to fly on their own at least for a little while. Keeping ourselves busy will allow them to do that.
Making your dreams come true may be easier than you think. Living very simply is a good thing and you can make your dollars go further. For example, smaller house may be in the picture. There are many options.

So remember you can do this. Go slow. Find your comfort zone.Your family (son/daughter-in-law/grandchildren) may need you to leave town for a while. Lifelong learning will make retirement meaningful. You will be retired a long time so enjoy. Slow down. You don't need to do everything the first year. Best of all, for once in your life, it may be all about you!

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RV Rookie Hits the Road (foxnews.com)
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Jun 8, 2017

Why Would We Ever Go Back?

I prefer fresh air whipped around by wind turbines!
You know how the smell of freshly baked pie or green grass freshly mown can bring back memories so strong and wonderful? I like those things too but the smells that bring back memories for me are not quite that delicious.

See, I like the smell of tar being applied to the roof of a house or the smell of turpentine that cleans paint brushes. I like the smell of coal going into the furnace and I can see the klinker we removed when that coal burned hot and dirty. I spent the first 6 years of my life in a house directly across from a cement plant that emitted dust that killed every plant within many miles. There were no regulations then. But I have such fond memories of those smells.  Those are Summer and Winter and home and clean walls for me. Even the smell of fumes from the lawn mower or diesel fuel used to power railroad trains remind me of my youth in a small village. It all brings back a time when life was simple and light.

I suppose I could become nostalgic and wish for those days back but then I remember that most of my health issues today are a result of those days just breathing in and out.

The simple fact is that going back to a day when the fossil fuel was what we had is not a good idea and I don't want that for my children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren. I prefer that those loved ones remember the smell of baking cookies and clean air after a rain. The pollution is gone and I rejoice in that. Why oh why would we ever go back?

Just a thought!

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Jun 6, 2017

You Already Told Me That!

Believe me… everyone around you is sick of hearing it. You are sick of hearing it!   Pink Lilli - Bad Gramma

I need to have cards printed and give them to my children/friends. The cards will say You Already Told Me That. They can simply hold them up at the appropriate moment and I will shut up. While I do have a wealth of good stories, they are not infinite...not at all. Therein lies the problem.

I was reading a blog from Midlife Women recently about letting go of our victim stories. I am gathering that I am not the only one that seems to retell stories. And, as I thought about it, it turns out two of those much repeated stories are victim stories. Why is that? Does it make me feel sanctimonious or even superior? Maybe.

Honestly...no I mean honestly, I really have only two victim stories that I can talk about. That is all I have ever experience or noticed in my whole life. It could be that that is very remarkable. I have told and retold those stories until I have made people want to run and hide. It is a fact that even a very close family member can work up any outrage for your tale of woe after so many years.

The writer of that article said that there has to be a reason. Otherwise why would we hang onto those things. Does it give us permission to dislike or dismiss a person you already dislike or have dismissed...does that story make it ok?

In truth most of our stories don't involve the loss of anything that is very valuable. The fact that we hold it close to our heart is not good for that heart or the heart of those around us. I for one am taking a good hard look at my behavior. After all, I am a grandmother that tries to set a good example. This is the beginning of a new chapter.

So, do you have a victim story that you repeat over and over? How many? Do you gather victim stories because they get you attention? How does it make you feel when you tell them? If so, how are you going to change that so your life does not revolve around those events?

What do you think?

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May 30, 2017

Ready, Set, GO!

I saw this on Twitter this morning. Even though it was a Tweet posted by an educator, it reminded me of the thought process some people have about retirement.


Did you feel like you had "arrived" when you retired? Or did you see a future beyond the gates of retirement and a whole world on the other side? It could be that what we see after that work life will simply be a self fulfilling prophecy. I do hope that you have or had many ideas to chose from. I think that is the key.

I suppose if you have always been an armchair kind of person you will not change now. But you can! That is the point.

The Point:  Don't ever feel that you have arrived...believe you can reach even higher! It just gets better and better.

Ready, Set, Go! Have fun!

Just a thought!

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