Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Welcone 2014

Happy New Year Dear Family & Friends,
     Happily I can say that 2013 has been a good year for Joan and I. My idea of a good day, a good week, a good month, or a good year is that when I total up the ups and the downs at the end of any of those times is that the ups outnumber the downs. Thank you God for 2013 our ups far outnumbered our downs.
     I am going back to New Year's Eve 2012 to start 2013. Carter & Griffin spent the day and night with us, we had a good evening and actually stayed awake to see the ball come down.
     New Years morning they came and jumped in bed with us laughing and having fun. My thought was what a great start to the New Year.
     As with anyone you cannot get through a complete year with out a few downs and we had a few of them.   On January 15 we got the news that Joan's Mother-in-Law Dot passed away after a long illness.I was honored when her Daughter Joyce asked me to do an Eulogy for her which I did at her funeral and burial on January 19.
     On April 17 another phone call that a friend and high school classmate, Anne Young passed away, also after a long illness.
     June 6 more sad news, Joan's brother Russ and his wife Joan's daughter passed away. A lot of out of town family came for the Memorial Service.
     Art Kline our next door neighbor passed away at the age of 97, Really miss him, I could spend hours chatting with him.
     My Dear Friend Butch had a sister pass away also. Another friend Sonny Duncan, and I have probably missed a couple.
     On May 29 a family friend Gordon Davis was involved in a very serious automobile accident. He has had a tough recovery, came home for awhile but is now back in the hospital.
     Right now we have some family and friends with health problems, some very severe. Joan and I will both be 74 years old this year so sadly will probably hear some more sad news as we have a lot of friends as old or older than us.
     But so many wonderful things happened in 2013. A Dear Friend Sandy Valenti was able to return to work after a long battle with cancer.
     Lucky for Joan and I we get to spend a lot of time with Carter & Griffin and Nana and Papa are in our glory when we are with them.
     Almost every holiday we get to celebrate twice, because it is so hard for my Daughter Martha to travel over to us we do our holidays with family here and the go over to Sebring and celebrate with her and her family within a day or two.
     Can't write about all our good times but will highlite a few. Went up to Maryland in October for my high school reunion. Class Of 1958, Howard High School., wow been out of high school for 55 years.
     I tried retirement a couple of times and didn't like it so worked part time job for many years. Now I really am enjoying retirement. Joan didn't like being retired, she is A Stevens Minister at our Church, voluneers at the Maltz Theatre, but seems not enough for her so she signed up with a temp agency and works for them when they need her and still wants to do more, such energy. LOL
      As I hardly watch any TV I spend a lot of time on the computer, I joke with people all the time telling them I have learned more since I discovered Google that I learned in 12 years of school. It wasn't the schools fault. LOL
     My Dear Brother-in-Law Frank Strawderman passed away a few years ago, his motto which I have adopted is he said he was going to live until he died and he did just that. Going to saty active as long as I can, not going to sit around waiting to die.When I met Joan she told me she wanted to wear out, she never wanted to rust out, she does't give rust time to settle on her. LOL
      P/S Hope to have my book ready to publish soon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Is A Great Day For Reflecting On All The Things We Should Be Thankful For.

     In today's world people just seem to be busier than I can ever remember. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite Holidays. I hope this Thanksgiving we can all slow down long enough to be thankful for all God's blessings. Blessings come in many forms, I would like to share a few with you.
     Family is what Thanksgiving is all about. Be thankful for all members of your family. Family doesn't have to be perfect in order to be thankful for them.
     I have so many things to be thankful for. I am so thankful that God has seen fit for me to to be able to be married to two Angels.
     Where or who would we be without family? They are our foundations, our roots, they love us at our best and even more important at out worst.
     Thank God for Martha, Jimmy, and Jessica. Thank God for Barbara, Brett, Carter, Griffin, and Christopher, and all the great times and memories we have had. Thank God for the short time Janet was a part of my life.
     Thanksgiving is also a time to give thanks for our frineds. Friends are the family we get to choose for ourselves. Just like our families they love us eve with our imperfections. They see the best in us when we don't. They show up whenwe need them even though they don't have to. They celebrate our accomplishments with us. They make us laugh when we are sad. They some times even make us cry, but most of the time they are tears of joy. Thy're just there, and most of the time that's all we need them to do.
     I tell people all the time althoigh I am an only child I have more brothers and sisters than any one I know.
     I can't imagine a world without Grandchildren, They are a constant reminder of what is most beautiful about the world. There have been times when I was having a bad day, but a smile, a laugh, a hug, or a I Love You Papa makes me forget what ever may have been bothering me. Grandchildren see the world without distorted lenses, they are so innocent.
     Spend time with children seven or younger and people seventy or older. You can learn a lot from both age groups.
     Good health is one of those things we take for granted until we don't have it any more. If you have the ability to walk, talk, sing, and laugh, just remember the people who would like to be able to do those things and can't.
     Tomorrow is never guaranteed to us, so if we get to it we should be happy about it. Think of all the people young and old that didn't make it to this day. Those of us that have made it to this day should think how lucky we are and treat it as such.
     As I have reached the ripeold age of 73 and have been doing a review of my life I realize how lucky I have been. Of course there were many times when I didn't think that way, but this is one time where hindsight is a good thing.
     Reflect upon your present blessings of which we all have many, not on your past
misfortunes of which we all have had some.
     Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them is the true measure of our Thanksgiving.
     What we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
     If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we thanks without remembering that?
     We can always find something to be Thankdful for, no matter what may be the burden of our wants.
     Wow, I just keep thinking of reasons I should be thankful but I will end it with this thought.
     Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the special and wonderful people who have entered our lives and make each day more beautiful and meaningful. I hope you have many reasons to be thankful not just on Thanksgiving but every day.
     My Thanksgiving prayer for you " The God Of Love And Peace Be With You 
     Corinthians 13:11
     God Bless You On Thanksgiving And Always., 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Growing Older Is Inevitable, Growing Up Is Optional.

     Joan and I just returned from a two week trip to Maryland and New Jersey with a few other stops in between.
     Our first stop was in Maryland. I graduated from Howard High School in 1958. We had our class reunion which was celebrating our 55th Anniversary.
     Every classmate that was there are in their seventies. Saw a few walking sticks, including mine, and a few walkers. All night long the room was so alive with every one having fun and laughter.
     So it really is true, growing old is inevitable, but growing up is optional. Never heard one person complaining about any health problems they may have.
     I belong to A Moose Lodge. Over the years I have always noticed people in their forties and fifties sitting around the bar complaining about different things and the people in their sixties and seventies up on the floor dancing.
     I lived in Ellicott City, Maryland for twenty years, including my teenage years. We spent a lot of time in and around Ellicott City on our visit and I am sure I relived the entire twenty years in a few days. LOL
     Any time I get upset about something I can no longer do, one of the things I do is get out old pictures, they jolt me back to stop regretting and be thankful for all the things I have done over my lifetime.

Horse back riding in the ocean.

Age 71 water sliding down a three story water slide with our Grandson Carter.

Hanging out on the corner in Ellicott City waiting on the school bus. That's me in the middle, hands in pocket with the leather jacket.

                                 Hugs from a three year old Grandson

                              And an eight year old one also.

                          White water rafting in Alaska

                                       Married To An Angel For Thirty 39
                                  Years, Passed Away In 1998
 God Blessed Me and Led Me To
Another Angel For A Wife 

                                          Still being able to have fun with the boys.

My Dearly Departed Brother-in-Law Frank Strawderman Had A Motto He Went By And I Have Adopted It.
      " I'm Going To Live Until I Die "
Not going to sit around and wait for it to happen.

So every day try not to complain about what you can't do and what you have, be thankful for what you have been able to do, and for what you do have.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

People Who Talk To Much

Conversation is a form of interactive spontaneous communication between two or more people who are following the rules of etiquette. It is a polite give and take of subjects thought of by people talking with each other for company, the ability to talk socially with others.
God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. He wanted us to listen twice as much as we talk. Some where along the line it has gotten turned around and to many people talk twice as much as they listen.

Lets start with conversation between two people. Bubba was probably one of the easiest going persons to ever walk the earth. She could put up with more than anyone I have ever known. One of her pet peeves was when she was telling someone something and they would start talking to her while she was in the middle of a sentence. She felt like it meant they were not paying any attention to what she was saying. I remember a few times when she was talking to someone on the phone and she would hang up quickly. I would say that was quick, she would say they were not listening to anything I was saying any way.

Conversation in groups is a little tougher. A group conversation is a project with each person weaving in TIDBIT HERE AND THERE. It is not a time for monologues. If you notice that you have talked for a few minutes without any questions, comments, or general signs of life from other people, you are probably sucking up the air in the room. Cede the floor to someone else.

The interrupting the speaker in mid-sentence should be easy to avoid, just wait until that person is through talking before you start.
When you interrupt anothers train of thought or send the discussion off into a tangent, you indicate you are rude, either unable or unwilling to let the speaker make his or her point. Remember conversation is talk and listen, not talk and talk. When someone cuts me off in the middle of my sentence, I want to say I am sorry the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours.

In a group when someone is talking to to a crowd of people and another person enters the conversation while that person is still talking is so rude.

Then when neither of them will stop and wait for the other one, they start to talk louder than the other person, the nobody can concentrate on the conversation.

Barbara Walters show " The View " is usually five women and a guest all talking at once, getting mad at each other getting ruder as the show progresses, about five minutes is all I can watch.Rude, Rude,.

The only time I ever watch HSN, or QVC is when they have the electronics on. They have these electronic experts on to explain the products, how they work, etc. Then you have these beautiful sexy hosts that talk over them and constantly interrupt them.

My lovely Joan loves to watch the cooking shows. When the hosts go on and on without even taking a breath, I tell her I got to go or I am going to punch my ear drums out. LOL

People that talk to much actually miss out on a lot of things because the other person that does have good things to offer to the conversation just shut up when the realize the person is not listening to them.

People go to the Doctors, interrupt them when they are trying to explain things to them, get home, can't remember what they said, to busy talking, not enough time listening.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dear Family & Friends,
     Those of you that read my BLOG, my E-Mails, or check me out on Facebook, know that I try to stay upbeat and happy. I am always telling to people to Live, Love, & Laugh. I use a lot of  motivational pictures with quotes. Try to spread humor, and upbeat things.
     But no matter how much good is in our lives, there will always be negative things we have to
 face. One of the biggest things we have to face is rude cell phone use and texting. It has become an epidemic. It is not other people's responsibility to cope with your mobile phone use, it is your responsibility to use your phone inoffensively. Please note that inoffensively is not defined by what you expect others to tolerate, but by what others do in fact find offensive. Ignore this principle and you are sure to be rude.
     You have to remember, it doesn't take a cell phone to make people rude. People were rude before cell phones, but I do believe they have made us even ruder.
     You should not be a slave to your phone, the technology is there to serve you, not the other way around.
     Just a few common sense things that we should not do. Never have a phone on during a funeral or memorial service. I was at a memorial service when a very respected local business man's phone went off. My immediate thought was he must have just forgot to turn it off, but then he proceeded to to talk on it.
     Turn off your phone at the movie theater. Even if your phone is on vibrate, people can hear it during quiet parts of the movie. The light from your phone's screen is also very distracting. Don't check the time, don't check your text messages, just turn it off until the movie is over. If you recieve an important call that you must answer, exit the theatre to do so.
     Don't use your phone when having a meal with someone. Ideally, you should turn it off entirely. If you're anticipating an important call, let the people you're with know beforehand that you're expecting a call and that you'll need to take. No matter what don't hold the conversation at the table, step away. Never text at the table, even if the face to face conversation dies down. It is just disrespectful.
     Joan and I were at P.F. Changs for dinner this past Valentine's Day. A man and his wife and three children were seated at a table next to us. The Father never put his phone down the whole time we were there. Even after their food came he would lower the phone, take a bite, go back to his texting, lower the phone, take another bite, never seen him have any conversation with his family.
     Never put your phone on speaker when you are with others. They don't want to hear your conversation and they sure don't want to hear who you are talking to.
     It is rude to book an appointment at the doctors, dentist, hairdressers, etc. rather then letting them do their job if you are on the phone you can't concentrate on what they are saying to you.
     Families and friends get together for special occassions, holidays, etc., when I look around and see most of them either talking or texting on their phones and no one is holding a conversation I just take mine out and start using it. Hey if every one else is going to be rude, why not me. LOL Then of course all the way home my beautiful wife is giving me Hell. She seems to only see me doing it and not all the others. LOL
     When we would go to Carter's soccer games I was always astounded at the number of parents and grandparents who were on their phones, not even watching their children playing. Same thing when we take the boys to a bounce house, our community pool, or numerous other activities. I have seen children run over and say Mommy, Mommy, did you see what I did, they usually say yes I did when they weren't even looking.
     And last but not least, do not text while driving. What message is so important that it is worth dying for or going to jail because of killing someone on the road. I just read where if you are driving 70 miles an hour and you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds you travel the lenght of a football field. How many times do people need to be told, DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE-YOU CAN KILL SOMEONE, MAYBE EVEN YOUR
     Thousands of deaths and injuries have been caused by cell phone use.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

                                                                                           Monday July 29, 2013

     My wife Joan Jackson has been going to the First Presbyterian Church in North Paln Beach, Florida for thirty nine years, I have been going there with her since 1999. We both love the church.
     Great Pastor's, Great Staff, Great Music Department,  Great Choir, And Great Members Of All Ages. Just A Great Atmosphere.
     Yesterday they held a celebration of the Church's 50th year. Normally on Sunday we have three services. Yesterday we had one at nine thirty.
     Jay Arnn our wonderful musical director and the FPC Jazz Band started early as people were coming in. What a nice greeting, it was wonderful.





Chris ' Suds " Southard, Youth Leader,
Did The Welcome And The Announcements.

The Children's Chior did a great rendition of
" Goliath "
Great, Great, Job.

Brit Foshee
Middle School And High School Director
then led the choir and congegation in the renditions of
' Friend Of God "
" He Reigns "

Rev. Lucky Arnold, Senior Pastor 
and hs wonderful
Pastors each had something
to say.

Rev. Ron Hilliard, Associate Pastor

Rev. Tim Gooley, Pastoral Associate

Rev. Steve Gibbons, Minister Of Visitation
Rev. Edward Nabhan,  Assistant Pastor.
The congregation joined the Choir and the FPC Jazz Band
in some wonderful hymns.
This all led up to the message given by the
Rev, Mark Miller,
Pastor Of The Gardens Presbyterian Church ,
a very stirring message he titled
" God's Faithfullness "
a great message of never giving up, no
matter what is going on in your life. His
message was God Will Not Give Up On You,
even if you have given up on yourself..
`Then it was over to the Fellowship Hall
for a chance for everyone to get together
for great fellowship, fun, and food.
Wish there was some way to give credit to
every one who made it such a great day
individually, but since that is not possible,
will just say Thanks and God Bless You All.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This was a question a family member asked me in an E-Mail.

This will probably be the last question he will ever ask me. LMAO

This was his question how do you seem to stay Up Beat all of the time. I admire you for having this great outlook about you. You never seem to get down - how do you do that? Believe me I have tried.

Wow That is a good question. First let me say I haven't always been this way. A few things that have happened to me in the past few years have brought me to this point in my life.

I will try to explain, they may not be in the order that they occurred but each and every one of these things have totally changed my life and the way I view things.

When my Dear Bubba passed away I was not doing very well. One of her dear friends that started in kindergarten with her and went all through school with her said Joe would you mind if I give you a little advice. I said of course not. She said number one Bubba would not want you to be sad and depressed like you are. She said as you know Bubba was one of the most fun loving people who ever lived. She said instead of dwelling on the last year or so of her life dwell on the entire 40 years you knew her. She said remember the good times, the happy times, the times you laughed your butt off together. I said you are so right she would not want me to be sad, she would want me to go on with my life. So when I think about her I only remember the good times.

If you notice I use a lot of quotes in my BLOG and in my E-Mails. I do this so that I can hope that some one else may be moved by one as I was by one.

Joan had one of those perpetual calendars by the sink in the kitchen. When you tore the page off from the previous day it gave you a new quote for the new day. One morning early I was up first and I went out to get the coffee started. The new quote said " For Every Bad Thing That Happens To Us On The Average Of Between Eighteen To Twenty Five Good Things Happen To Us, Why Do We Dwell On The One Bad Thing Instead Of The Good Things. " I remember it like it was yesterday, I actually stepped back and said out loud, Wow that is just what I do. I told myself not only do I let these little things ruin my day sometimes I let it ruin more than one day. I said to myself I am going to try to follow that advice.

I took a big sheet of paper and drew a line right down the middle and at the top I wrote the good things that happened to me today and on the other side I wrote the bad things that happened to me today.

Then I would list the things good and the things bad. After a couple of weeks I noticed that for me the good side always dwarfed the bad side.

Although I knew The Serenity Prayer by heart I had a plastic card with the saying on it and carried it in my wallet. When things would start to bug me I would take it out and read it to myself a couple of times.

Another big thing that changed my outlook on life was Janet's tragic accident. It's hard to believe but this past Christmas Eve was ten years since that happened. Her, Chris and Christopher stopped by the house that day. They were going up to the other Grandparents house in Apopka for Christmas Eve and coming back the next morning to spend Christmas Day with us. She was so excited. Joan said Christmas was always her favorite time of the year. She said Bye Mom, Bye Joe, gave us both a big hug and a kiss and said Merry Christmas, I Love You and we will see you tomorrow. One hour later she was dead on the Florida Turnpike.

A couple of weeks later Joan, Me, and Joan's lawyer went to the trooper barracks to talk to the trooper that investigated the accident. He was trying to spare us as much as he could about the details. Joan was relentless with her questions. When he tried to avoid answering her she just kept probing for more information. She more or less forced him to tell her more than he wanted to.

We went to the yard where the car was towed to. At the scene of the accident Christmas presents and other things were strewn all over the highway from the car rolling over and over. They had just picked every thing up and threw them in the car.

The lawyer Eric and I got out of the car to go over to Janet's car. She started to get out and one of the rare times I was ever stern with her I told her to stay in the car and not come over there. I said matter of fact don't even look over there. I looked over at her a couple of times and she was trying to look over any way. Thank God she did no come over. It was not a pretty sight.

For many nights after that she would wake up thrashing around in bed and crying. I would say what's the matter Babe and she was reliving the things she forced the trooper to tell her.

As time went by Thank God those nightmares finally went away. One morning after some time had passed we were setting at the breakfast table one morning. We talked about Venson her first husband, he passed away when her daughters were 17 and 13 years old.We talked about Janet and we talked about Bubba. We said from that point on we were going to get up every morning and try to make the best of each day. We said if we make it to tomorrow we will make the most out that day and so on and so on and that's what we do.

Another big turning point for me was Janet's Memorial Service. I did a eulogy for her. I did not know the church was making a audio tape of the service. When I heard it played back I said another big Wow, I realized I had said a lot of nice things about her I had never said to her. Sure I had told her I loved her, what a Great Mom she was, what a great Daughter she was, etc. but a lot of the other things I had never said to her. I have been on a mission ever since then to try not to leave many things unsaid. I make an extra effort to stay in touch with people, try to console them when they are down and just try every day to be positive, very hard to do when I am around so many negative people. I actually try to avoid negative people as much as I can but it can't be totally avoided. Just between you and me I try to stay away from two of the most negative people I know but it just can't be avoided. My experience dealing with negative people is that I cannot bring them up to my level, they try to bring me down to their level and I just won't allow myself let that happen.

Sorry if I jump around but things just keep coming to mind. I say this joking all the time but it actually is true, I have been very lucky that almost all my family and friends have been crazy that I have been around my entire life. Both of my wife's have been crazy. I have a hard time with sane people. LOL

One of Joan's favorite sayings which she says all the time is that life is all about choices. As you know her Father deserted her Mom, her and Chary when Joan was 12 years old. Of course you know what happened with Venson. Then her marriage to her second husband didn't work out. Then of course Janet. And in the last two or three years she has had some serious scary health problems. She says I have the choice to let it make me bitter or to be happy and she says I choose to be happy. I did a eulogy for Joan's Mother-in-Law,

Every thing I said in Dot's tribute I had said to her over the years, Thank You Lord For That.

I could keep going here but I hope you get the drift of why I am a very happy person, and of course there is Carter and Griffin, OMG I love them so much and they bring me more happiness than I could ever explain. I never want them to see me down trodden or saying negative things about them.

And my daughter Martha who goes through Hell every day of her life still smiles and most of the time happy. How can I let any of my little problems get me down when I see what she goes through.

What Bubba's friend told me to do by only thinking of the positive times of Bubba I have trained my mind to immediately replace any negative thoughts with positive ones. Not saying it's easy, but the more I do it the easier it gets.

I have talked about this a lot also, a great way to get out of a funk is to dig out old pictures of happy, fun, times. Again not saying it will work for every one but it works for me.

The only movies I go to have to be either funny or heart warming. I don't go to the ones with things being blown up, people being murdered, etc.

I also am lucky enough to have a lot of nutty friends. LOL I can call one of them and be laughing in just a couple of minutes.

And we try to stay busy. They say an idle mind is the Devil's work shop.

Or you can write a really long E-Mail, I know I feel better right now. LMAO

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend With Carter & Griffin.

A few years ago Joan and I became members of The Hilton Travel Club. We have stayed at several of their resorts but our favorite one is The Parc Soleil in Orlando.

This was our third time to stay at this one.

There is so much to do there. Joan and Barb went grocery shopping and we went out to eat Sunday evening and that was the only time we left the resort.

We checked in Friday night and Saturday morning we went to the pool and spent about five hours there.

They have three pools, many hot tubs, store, activities center, access to computers ,restaurant, play ground, etc. Just a great place.

We were on the 11 TH floor and the view from our balcony was magnificence.

Carter and Griffin had so much fun, Mommy, Nana, & Papa had just as much fun as they did. LOL

Although we had to check out by 10:00 AM Monday we still had access to all the activities so we spent most of the day there again.

We will be going back there for the Labor Day weekend in September.

Just some of the pictures from our fantastic weekend.

                                          Saturday, Sunday, & Monday we literally spent hours
                                           in the pool.
                                          Mommy and her boys.
                                          Nana is such a trooper, she is so active with Carter
                                           & Griffin.
                                                   Here is Nana getting ready to hit the pool
                                                    from coming down the water slide.
                                                  You normally sit up coming down the slide
                                                    and enter the water feet first, Nana ended
                                                     entering the water flat on her back check out
                                                     the splash she made. LOL

                                        Griffin entered all the kids games, he was the youngest
                                         and the smallest one taking part.
                                          That's Carter in the orange shirt and Griffin beside
                                           him. This was the water baloon game. They passed
                                           the baloons while the music was playing, who ever
                                            had the baloon when they stopped the music was
                                        They started with over 20 kids, Griffin made it to
                                         when there was only 5 left. 
                                         Nana didn't want people to see her hair after she went
                                         under the water so Carter let her wear his cap, isn't
                                          she so cool. LOL
                                          We had to check out by 10:00 AM Monday so
                                           they rode down on the luggage carrier. LOL
                                            This is what we seen coming back into the resort
                                             Sunday evening coming back from dinner. It was
                                             a beautiful sight. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life Is All About Choices

After I met and got to know Joan she told me two very profound things. Joan has had a lot of tragedy in her life but those of you that don't know every thing about her would never know it. Always smiling, always positive.
Way back then she told me life is all about choices. She said it is up to all of us to choose if we want to be happy or sad. She said I choose to be happy.

I try to do that every morning but sometimes it is challenging. I was married to a woman before Joan that also chose to be happy.

So between the two of them I have spent over 50 years with two women whose choice was to be happy.

And at times I still struggle with it. But I keep trying. LOL

The other thing she told me was that she wanted to wear out, she never wanted to rust out. No chance of rust ever being able to settle on her, LOL

So when a friend sent me this E-Mail today even though I have read it before I am going to print it out and refer to it often.

Read this



John is the kind of guy
you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive
to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were
any better, I would be twins!'

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the
employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up
and asked him, 'I don't get it!'

'You can't be a positive person
all of the time. How do you do it?'

He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you
have two
choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or...you can
choose to
be in a bad mood

I choose to be in a good mood.'

time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to
learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone
comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or...I can
point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it
is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every
situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how
people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad
mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life.'

reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my
own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice
about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard
that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a
communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of
intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.

I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna
see my scars?'

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him
what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born
daughter,' he replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had
two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I asked.

He continued, '...the paramedics were great.

kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and
I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really
scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take

'What did you do?' I asked.

'Well, there
was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was
allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as
they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live.
Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the
skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude....I learned from
him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all,
is everything .

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.