Take the time to remember at Christmas…

December 17, 2018

This quote from a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog started me thinking this morning about Christmases past – “Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”  (William Gibson)

In today’s hustle and bustle world, time seems to go by very fast. Holiday’s, even Christmas can speed up on us and, before we know it, they are in the past. As we decorate our tree each year we come upon two ornaments that take us back in time – ornaments that contain birth pictures of the first child of each of our children; our first grandchildren. Both are in High School now and that seems impossible. Time has flown by.

Holiday’s like Christmas do provide vivid frames of reference for our memories. They were the times each year when we all gathered together with family and friends (if we could) to celebrate and catch up with each other’s lives. Some families have a tradition of doing a Christmas family photo as their Christmas card and that allowed us to see the growth and maturing of everyone in the family. Some even accompany that with a shortChristmas past 1 story about what they family did during the last year – accomplishments, vacations and changes. We filed those stories away along with the images on the cards.

I suppose that you might have thought my headline today had to do with remembering the reason for the season – the birth of Christ – and to an extent it does; however, the real underlying thought is to take time to wander back through your memories of Christmases past. Remember those who are no longer with us. Christmas was usually a happy time and the memories that you may have of them will likely be happy ones. Remember that places where you’ve lived and the things that you’ve done at Christmas, wherever you were. Let the images of your family, from the births of your children, through many happy Christmas mornings flood back into your mind and bring a smile to your face.

If you are blessed with a long memory, float back in time to your childhood and the excitement and wonder that you felt as a child when Santa came to your house, ate the Christmas past 2cookies that you put out for him and left presents under the tree for you. How far back can you remember? Wasn’t that a pleasant experience? Hopefully, those memories are not like a long, heavy chain that you drag behind you; but, rather, like a gentle wisp of perfume floating in the air for you to enjoy.

So, take some time this Christmas to pause and allow yourself to be transported back in time to Christmases past with friends and relatives who may no longer be here but who will live forever in our hearts. As Thomas Campbell put it – “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Someday we will join them in other hearts and take our place in their Christmas memories. For now, let’s just enjoy our memories of all of the good people and things from Christmases past.

Have a great and memorable Holiday Season!

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Have a good laugh today…

December 10, 2018

The advice from the Jack’s Winning Words blog today it this quote – “Laughter is the best medicine, and the cool thing is, you can’t o.d. on it, and the refills are free.”  (Rob Paulsen)

I’m a believer in that advice. I have what has occasionally been called a wicked sense of humor. I see humor, sometimes dark humor in many things that happen during any given day. My tendency for witty retort or often blurting out something that I found to be funny used to get me into trouble at school. These days, as often as not, my wife will question why I am chuckling to myself and I will share with her the humorous (at least smiling dogto me) thought that just crossed my mind.

One must include the ability to laugh at yourself, in order for the healing effects of laughter to be complete. Being able to stop and say to yourself, “well, that was stupid” and then have a quick laugh is much better than getting down on yourself. We all tend to take ourselves and whatever it is that we are focused upon way to seriously. Lately me wife and I have taken to exchanging the little phrase, “At least nobody died” as a way to lighten moments of disappointment or self-recrimination for a mistake. Forcing yourself to put things in that context serves as an emotional relief valve to let the moment pass, whatever it was.

animated-light-bulb-gif-22There are things in life that make us smile, like seeing a cartoon of Snoopy dancing or even the original smiley-face emoji. We also need things that make us laugh. I remember many routines on the old Carol Burnet show that were so funny that even the cast was laughing while they tried to perform the routine. Tim Conway doing his little old man shuffle inevitably broke up Harvey Corman in those routines. My wife loves to watch reruns of the show Everybody Loves Raymond, because they make her laugh.

I’m sure that there are scientific explanations about why laughter is good for us; things talking about endorphins being released into our body. To me, the only thing that is important is that laughter breaks the tension of the day and allows us a momentary return to the innocence of childhood where life was much more fun and many things around us were fun and funny. To often, like the children who grew up in Peter Pan andsmiling-sun lost the ability to fly with him, we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves and the things around us. Recapture that ability. Go watch an old episode of a comedy show. Let go and laugh. Don’t worry, you can’t o.d. on it.

Here’s a little clip from the old Johnnie Carson show when Rodney Dangerfield visited. See if it make you laugh. Have a good laugh to start your week. It will set a great tone for the rest of the week.


Start off each day with a smile

October 24, 2018

The headline for today’s post came from the Jack’s Winning Words blog for today.  Jack started off writing about Confucius and ended with that line.

That piece of advice resonates on several levels. Starting your day with a smile forces you to consider your attitude before you encounter people. Stand in front of a mirror smirkand smile at yourself. See if it doesn’t immediately force the question, “What am I smiling about?” into your mind. The mind has the interesting ability to immediately find an answer to that question. You will either remember something that is smile worthy – something that happened to you or something that you saw or something that someone said to you – or you will look at that smiling face in the mirror and stop taking yourself so seriously. In either case, it will set a tone for the start of your day that is way better than walking out to face the world with a frown on your face.

Most people don’t realize that their “at rest” face (the default look that just sets itself on your face) is not all that friendly looking or inviting. Most at rest faces droop into a frownHenry Thomas Buckle or an unhappy look. It’s not that yo are mad or really unhappy, it’s just that your at rest continence does not have a pleasant smile on it. Ask a friend to take a picture of you sometime in a normal setting when you are not expecting it to see how you look. You may be surprised how unfriendly you this-is-melook.

So, make the effort to start each day with a smile. Not only will it make you look more attractive and inviting to others, but making that conscience effort will make you feel better, too. You may also find that more people say hi or try to start a conversation with you. They are curious why you are smiling and want to share whatever is was that made you smile. That will make you smile even more.

So, before you leave home this morning; find a mirror and put a smile on your face. Waitanimated-light-bulb-gif-22 for your mind to let you know why you are smiling and then carry that with you the rest of the day.

You’re already on your way to having a great day!


Ain’t that the truth…

September 26, 2018

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog certainly rings true – “Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who find it.”  (Andre Gide)

In today’s world of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, the search for the truth can be difficult. Jack wrote that he often checks out things that he sees or hears on the web site Snopes.com. Do you check out things that you read on the Internet or hear in casual conversations, or do you just believe them to be true because you saw it on the Internet?

judge thingsUnfortunately, we live in a world where snap judgments based upon shaky and unproven “facts” are the norm.  Just saying “my bad” later, when your rush to judgement has been proven to be baseless, does not repair the damage that might have been done to someone else and certainly not to the damage that it has done to your own reputation. Once you become known to others as someone who makes hasty decision or acts upon unproven rumors or allegations, you will likely be labeled as arrogantsomeone who is untrustworthy, and that’s not a good thing

It may still seem to be a bit negative, but it is much better to be known as someone who in cautious and slow to pass judgement. Be that person who is always questioning what they hear and seeking the truth, rather than rushing to decisions or action based upon unsubstantiated “facts” from questionable sources. The real “truth” seldom lies on one side or the other of a story, though both accounts are said to be true by the person telling each side. The truth is not what you believe, it is what can seek-truthbe corroborated and substantiated. It is that validation that you are seeking when you seek the truth and it is usually the absence of validation that causes you to doubt those who purport to know the truth.

And that’s the truth.


Lots to do in Milford today!

September 16, 2018

Today is day two of the Milford Home Tour, with homes open from 11 Am until 5 PM.800 E Commerce There are 6 really nice homes to visit, as well as the Milford Historical Museum and the Log Cabin next to the fire station.

Tickets may be purchased at the Museum at 1124 E. Commerce Rd or at any of the houses on the tour.

For more on the home tour, go to our web site – http://www.milfordhistory.org.

2018 Car Show pictureThe annual Milford Car Show is going on in downtown Milford today, too. Over 350 cars of every type and description will be on display from 9 AM until about 3:30 PM this afternoon. This is a free event.

 

Finally, there is also a vintage tractor show going on out at the Huron Valley State Bank tractor_show_graphicparking lot at the corner of S. Milford Rd and GM Rd.

This is a free event.

 

 

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Rivers Edge Brewery this weekend or anytime this Resized - Feelgood Tap Sept2018 Historical Societymonth to buy a “feel good tap” beer and support the Milford Historical Society.

The Rivers Edge Brewery donates $1 from each beer purchase of the featured “feel good tap”beer to a non-profit in the area and this month that is the Milford Historical Society.

 


Milford – a sense of community…

September 9, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed posted these words –

“Do you want to live on Flip Flop Lane in Margaritaville?”  (Parade Magazine 8/12/18)  The new trend in housing is to develop neighborhoods which attract people with common interests: singles, children, Boomers—even one for veterans with PTSD.  “The hot word is communal!  People are looking for a new kind of living, real neighborhoods.  “The old has become new.”

Perhaps that is why the little Village of Milford where I live and work has become so popular of late. I’ve posted here before about what a great place it is to live, with a very walkable and useful downtown and a density that allows and encourages neighbors to get to know each other. It is probably just a fortuitous thing that it located far enough off the major highways (about half way between I-96 to the south and M-59 to the north) that it did not attract the attention of the big box stores. Local merchants and locally owned restaurants remain viable in the Village.

I don’t think of the Village of Milford in Margaritaville terms. For me it’s more like the fictional town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffins show Mayberry R.F.D. That image is a romanticizing things a bit too much, but it is a little more like that sleepy little town in South Carolina than like a party town such as one imagines with the name Margaritaville.

While Milford certainly has its little cliques, there is a sense of belonging and community that one feels which seems to transcend any feelings of exclusion. If one was not born and raised in Milford, they will forever be an outsider to those who were; but, that group is now a minority of the overall population of the Village. Things are changing in the Village and, for the most part, that’s a good thing. The changes are mainly associated with the growth of the Village and growth is certainly better than the alternative being faced by many small towns in America which are slowly dying out (quite literally).

We are fortunate in Milford that most “newcomers” to the Village appreciate its historic housing stock and the quaint downtown stores to want to keep it looking that way. There are no restrictive ordinances in place to prevent making updates to the old homes, but most do so with an eye to maintaining the style and appearance that make them so appealing. Inside they be very modern; but, from the street, they still look much like they looked when they were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Perhaps the biggest draw to the Village is its walkability – the fact that most Villagers can walk to the stores and restaurants in the downtown area and to the parks and the concerts and the Farmer’s Markets and all of the other activities and events that are staged during the year. Probably 75% of the Village residents live within 5-6 blocks of the downtown area, and 85 % within 10 blocks. Combine that accessibility with a downtown that still has useful places to shop, as well as wonderful restaurants, and a plethora of services locations and churches, and you have the formula to support the feeling of community.


Did anybody die?

August 8, 2018

Admittedly, I’m one of those people who worry and agonize over things that I’m doing or planning to do. That’s especially true if the task that I’m worrying about is something that I signed up to do for others or for an organization. How many of you can identify with that?worried1

Sometimes it involves things like organizing an event on behalf of an organization or maybe it’s a personal commitment to someone, like taking them somewhere or watching their houseplant while they are away. Whatever it is; if you are like me, you may have a tendency to overthink it, over analyze it and over become overly critical of yourself, if things go awry.  You may also become overly critical of your performance of the task after the fact.

Earlier this year, I was one of the two people who organized and presented the annual marching troopsFourth of July parade in our little Village. There are lots of tasks and decisions needed to organize and pull off a parade and lots of places where one can look back and think that they might have done a better job. After what was by all measures a successful parade, I was following my natural tendency to be critical of myself for what we accomplished and what we could have done differently. My cohort in the effort listened to my laments for a while; but, finally, he just looked at me and asked, “Did anybody die?”

As I stopped to think about answering that question, it finally became clear to me that I was agonizing over things, most of which couldn’t be changed and which weren’t life boredthreatening or even all that important in the grand scheme of things. Just taking the time to think about that question changed how I looked at the situation and that has served to keep things in my life in better perspective. I’m reminded of a little quote in a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog –

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  (Wayne Dyer)

So, if you. too, let the day-to-day things in life that you face become worries or concerns, maybe asking yourself, “Did anybody die or will anybody die?” because of this decision or your acgreat-jobtion. You may quickly find that the decisions that you’ve been agonizing over, while important to you and others at the time, are not life threatening. Your life and theirs will go on. Given that revelation, you can then focus on doing the best that you can in the situation. Instead of beating yourself up over not doing something or not making a different decision, be happy that you did your best.

No one died! Get on with your life.