Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Rose

Someone forwarded this to me a long time ago. Through all my computer meltdowns and purging, somehow it has never disappeared from the hard drive. It popped up out of seemingly nowhere this afternoon, and I decided to post it. Maybe it will become a keeper for you too?

 The Rose                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The first day of school, we were challenged to speak with someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to see a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious to know what motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.

She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our farewell banquet.

I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry. I’m jittery ‘cause I gave up beer for Lent! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know…

 There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success:

  • Do not stop playing because you think you’re too old; we grow old because we stop playing
  • Laugh and find humor every day.
  • Have a dream. Never let is go.
  • There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. 

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”

Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago and one week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

Image found on Google Images. Here’s the link to the photographer:

http://www.artsjournal.com/culturegrrl/rose.jpg

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

An earlier Thanksgiving feast in Merida

 

Today is Thursday the 25th of November.

We gather together and can’t help but remember,

Far away loved ones and those loud football games

Played  between colleges with most famous names.

Mom and sibs aren’t here, neither is Dad.

We’re not in the north… no snow will be had.

In fact we’re sweating – copiously

Pool-side with our chosen “fam-mi-ly.”

There’ll be turkey, stuffing, hot gravy and cranberries

A golden glazed ham, from J’s oven, not Mary’s

Bean casserole, carrots, and yams, I’m told –

And yes… mashed potatoes!  That does it, I’m sold!  

 But, before the delicious eating fest will begin,

We’ll have time for botana – we’ll dig right in.

And to toast the occasion – what could be better?

Than sipping margaritas, as I read this letter… 

A letter? You’re puzzled, and most rightly so,

This isn’t part of the program – it’s a BIG no-no.

But what to do? My muse has jumped up

 With this Thanksgiving message… to be read, pre-sup.

 Thanks  G and J, kind and wonderful hosts

So brave, seeing you’re just back from the west coast

With P who I’m always delighted to see

I’m told his pumpkin flan will be offered to me!

 Guitar playing J, and B his remarkable wife

Are dealing with a reno’ but that’s part of life.

She is also Santa Elena’s fervent guardian angel…

In her car trunk, she’s got a hundred bags to sell !

 I’ve never seen T or D and not felt happy

But don’t you two worry, I won’t get all sappy!

G and C always look handsome and fine

And their creative spirits are just short of divine

Today is special ‘cause I is here too

Come sit and talk, I’ve heard great things about you!

Last but not least are D and L

They always have new projects – come, do tell!

What a fabulous group! Jorge and I are so proud

To share this day with such a fabulous crowd

We’re feeling so mellow, as to the table we toddle

This friendship should be the new NAFTA model !!!

 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Filed under Destinations

A new favorite…

Before I became a writer, I spent half a century reading. Now that I write, I’ve turned into an even more voracious reader. But I read differently than I used to. It once seemed to be all about enjoying the story… now I’m also very analytical. I still love to settle down with a good tale, but all the while I’m trying to figure out, How did the author do that? /  Oo-oo-oo! What an opening! / That’s the best use of metaphor that I’ve ever seen!

I’m a blogger, I read other blogs. One I go to every day belongs to Nathan Bransford.  My favorite of his postings has always been “Digging for Mushrooms” (Dec. 1, 2009)

Today, I must replace my old time number one friend with Nathan’s post for today, “The Nine Circles of Writing Hell”

I’ve logged a chunk of hours on the computer this year and my book is to be released on December 4th I couldn’t be happier. On Nathan’s 2009 post, you’ll see what I’m referring to when I say, “Someone recognized my MATSUTAKE !! ” (Bless you David Bodwell and Richard Grabman…)

Then read the “Nine Circles of Writing Hell” to see what I endured this year!                                                                                                    

Actually Nathan Bradsford read the first thirty pages of a novel I am still working on. He made me see that I need more practice writing fiction and he sent me scurrying into my favorite non-fiction genres… essay, chronicle,  and memoir. “Magic Made in Mexico” is the result of my return to the womb. So a big “Bless you!” goes out to Mr. Bradsford as well.

Maybe next year, I’ll be publishing that long-agonized-over novel?

MATSUTAKE! Stranger things have happened…

***

Link to Nathan Bransford’s blog and the post “The Nine Circles of Writing Hell”

http://blog.nathanbransford.com

And to “Digging for Mushrooms”

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009_12_01_archive.html

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Filed under Writing