Monday, October 31, 2005

To My Daughter

Because Dr. Seuss puts it together better than I can...

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.  Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry.  Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whateverthey are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A-hauntin' J-Land

There's some haunting going on in J-Land. J-Landers banded together to visit journals and spread tricks or treats. Do not be TP-ed. Visit as many J-Landers as possible and bring goodwill and the goodies!  

My son is part of a local theatre production, "Stage Fright ." They put together a "Fright Night" haunted house to raise funds for the performing arts foundation in our community. He is a zombie prison guard for the "Josea's Jailhouse Rock" segment. He is the hideous creature below.


 Happy Haunting!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005



                                      My son and his homecoming date.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

On Being Old and Wise

Everyone goes through a period where the imminence of old age can be fearful. An 85-year old lady shared this essay with me. I felt very privileged to have read it. I want it to be a part of my legacy to my children so I am copying it to my journal. I told her that she alleviated my fear of being old and that she is the epitome of growing old gracefully. Now, I can look forward to growing old and wise. Thank you, Joann.


“The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed but I explained that it was an interesting question and I would ponder it and let her know.


Old age, I decided, is a gift. I am now probably for the first time in my life, the person I always wanted to be. Oh no, not my body. I sometimes despair over my body but I do not agonize over it for long.


I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I do not chide myself for eating an extra cookie or for not making my bed or for buying that silly cement gecko that I did not need but looks so avant-garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy and to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon, before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.


Whose business is it if I choose to read until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50’s and 60’s and if the same time I wish to weep over a lost love, I will.


I know I am sometimes forgetful. But then again, some life experiences are just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things.


Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one or when a child suffers? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.


I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray and have my youthful laughs forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.


I can say, “No” and mean it. I can say, “Yes” and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I do not question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.


And so, to answer the question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever but while I am here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been or worrying about what will be. For the first time in my life, I do not have to have the reason to do the things I want to do. If I want to play games on the computer all day, lie on the couch and watch movies for hours or if do not want to go to the beach or a movie, I have earned that right. I have put in my time doing everything for others so now I can be a bit selfish without feeling guilty.


I sometimes feel sorry for the young. They face a far different world than I knew growing up, where we feared the law, respected the old, the flag and our country. I never felt the need to use filthy language in order to express myself. And they too, will grow old someday. I am grateful to have been born when I was, into a kinder and gentler world.

Yes, I like being old.”