Category Archives: Writings

A Christmas Story

Joseph walks while Mary, 9 months pregnant, rides sideways on a donkey feeling every jolt, every rock in the road

joseph-and-maryWhen they arrive the small hamlet of Bethlehem is swollen from an influx of travelers. The inn is full. The stable is crowded with the guests’ animals. It’s late, everyone is asleep, and there is no room for Mary and Joseph

Fortunately the innkeeper allows them to squeeze out a small space among the animals

The stench is pungent and it’s humid. A small oil lamp lit by the innkeeper, flickers to dance shadows on the walls. A disquieting place for a woman in the last month of childbirth. Far from what Mary had expected for her firstborn

But Mary makes no complaint. She is just glad to finally get off the donkey. She leans back against the wall, her feet swollen, back aching, contractions growing

Joseph looks around. Not a minute to lose. A feeding trough would have to make do for a crib. His robe became a blanket

It’s near. Mary pushes with all her strength. Joseph places his robe beneath her and with a final push her labor is over

He cries. Mary bares her breast and reaches for the baby. She lays him on her chest and his cries subside. Deity nursing from a young maiden’s breast

Joseph sits exhausted, silent, full of wonder

Tears pool in Mary’s eyes. She touches his tiny hand. She looks up at Joseph and through a watery veil, their souls touch. It has been a long 85 mile journey

Where you would have expected angels there were only flies. Where you would have expected heads of state, there were only donkeys, a few haltered cows and a furtive scurry of curious barn mice

Except for Joseph there was no one to share Mary’s pain. Or her joy. Yes there were angels announcing Jesus’ arrival–but only to a band of blue-collar shepherds. And yes, a magnificent star shone in the sky to mark his birthplace but only 3 foreigners bothered to look up and follow it

In the little town of Bethlehem…that one silent night…the royal birth of Jesus tiptoed quietly by…as the world slept

 

Baby Boomers; the Good Life and it’s Excesses — by fred peatross

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America has some serious long-term fiscal problems. Problems that were mostly created by my generation. It certainly doesn’t make me feel good to step outside of my life circle and attempt to see what my generation has created for the next generation

We boomers are healthy and living way past average life expectancy

We’ve got a defined benefit pension plan from a large company or the government that was created years ago when people didn’t understand how horribly things can be when these plans can go wrong (trouble meeting liabilities, yada, yada), but heck, we don’t care as long as we get our check. And then there’s that social security check. We once hated the government. We smoked pot and protested against Vietnam and President Nixon. That was a long, long time ago

Life has been good for me. I’m a baby boomer. And so are you if you were born between 1946 and the early 1960’s

  • We had Woodstock and the Stones in the ’60s, discos and coke in the ’70s
  • Wall Street in the ’80s
  • Bill Clinton in the ’90s
  • And now we give you two of our oldest boomers–Hillary and The Donald. Enjoy
We’re A Narcissistic Bunch

And now many of us are retired living in Arizona and Florida on the backs of our stressed-out kids whose own children stay at home with them into their 20s because they have no jobs. Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the greatest generation, those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers

Boomers don’t like to talk about fiscal responsibility or living within their means. We like our credit cards and government secured mortgages on overvalued properties. We enjoy the malls we built and the cars and our big-ass homes. Heck as long as someone’s willing to lend us the money to buy this stuff we don’t seem to care much about how it will be paid off. We still represent an enormous voting block and we have no intention of have our lifestyle threatened. This is the real reason Washington can’t create a long-term deficit reduction plan. We boomers love our safety nets

One of the major reasons our national debt is so high is because 40% of our government’s spending goes to some type of insurance: social insurance, retirement, health benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These systems are bankrupt. But they’re needed to pay for us boomers’ healthcare and pension plans. People that were born after 1965 are working hard to make sure that the boomer generation gets their retirement and disability paid for by the government. But it’s still not enough. So our government has to borrow and print money. And our debts balloon. Who will pay these debts? Ah, who cares says the boomers. Not my problem

The Good News

The good news is that we’re quickly getting older. Thousands of boomers are retiring every day. The generation behind us would probably like to ship us all off to an island. From my perspective, I’m glad they can’t. But I’m hoping that the next generation of leaders will not make the same mistakes we did. Maybe they’ll fix the problems we boomers created

So hold on. Be patient. You’ll soon be able to bid farewell to my generation; they call us the baby boomers

The Messy in Relationships

messy-relationships-300x264When I was a manager I use to think the last person I hired was the best person I ever hired. Maybe you think that new neighbor is the best neighbor ever. Or that new boyfriend is the best find ever. All of those examples may be true – but let’s face it. Relationships are messy. But understanding the process of a relationship helped me tremendously

  • The honeymoon stage is the one we begin with. At this point we usually have an unrealistic view of the relationship. And the excitement of finding someone who meets a need tends to temporarily blind us to their negative traits
  • Specific irritation is the stage where we begin to discover the things we don’t like. Here we develop a memory bank of these negative traits
  • General discomfort should cause us to deal with the specific irritations that have piled up in our memory bank

Most often if a relationship is going to succeed it happens before the next stage

  • Try harder is a stage of development where we raise our energy level to make a success of the relationship
  • Exhaustion often leads to problems in a relationship because we have grown tired at this point. At this point we often give up

My Love of Photography

I was 18 years old when I bought my first camera. I remember looking through a catalog, page after page, of cool-looking cameras decorated with buttons and knobs. I have to admit, it wasn’t photography I was thinking about as much as it was this cool looking object I wanted to own

newborn

Photo by Emily Lucarz

Since then I have owned dozens of cameras. I lived through and experienced the shift from analog to digital. Even with this dramatic change the important concepts of photography have remained the same

My eyes have always been opened but with a camera it felt like I was truly seeing for the first time. Photographic gifts were out there, everywhere, in unlimited supply and free for the taking

I had stumbled upon something I’ve never grown tired of. And it helped a shy kid from West Virginia to communicate and share his personal vision with the world

on Being Right

on Being Right Hang out on Facebook for a few minutes and it becomes obvious that (almost) everyone has an opinion and they’re all right even though there can be dramatically different perspectives

Yea, I’ve been guilty too. That’s why I write this

I’m going to attempt to gracefully sidestepping the dichotomy of right/wrong, and the zero sum game that goes with it. Rather, I’m going to ask…

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” or stated another way. “Do you want to be right or do you want to be in a good relationship?”

The next time you’re so sure about your ideas, ideology or theology ask yourself —-

  • Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?
  • Which is more important?
  • Which is healthier?
  • Which brings you closer to those you love and care about?
  • Which moves you toward the person you are meant to be—your true self?

Maybe by looking at the two options through this lens (on being right or being in a good relationship) can make the choice very simple

Tuesday Sadness

SadnessToday is a sad day. I’m thankful today will not last forever. And I’m thankful that the difficult days don’t define me

I don’t have to have it all together all the time. Or even some of the time

I will live honestly with myself and give others the space to do the same

I will not fake it to make it today

I’m letting go of what I think life should be like. Instead, I will accept life as it is