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All city 08 18 2016Wow!  I overcame a 6-6-6-6 start in the first round of the Walla Walla City Championship, steadying my nerves to post my best round of the year.  Eight over after four, I finished the front nine in ten over 46.  A decent comeback for a twenty handicapper.  After double-bogeying number ten, the magic began. Par saves and a birdie chip-in were mixed with long, powerful, straight drives. I left a few wedge/9-iron shots WAY short of greens, only to hit sweet recovery wedges and crucial putts on some of them.  It was so fun!  I toured the back in 39, netting 65 for the day. It put me in position to challenge in the open division (white tees), sandwiched between the championship contenders (blue tees) and the seniors (gold tees).  I am so excited for tomorrow!

We are offered unlimited life paths, with so many forks in our roads.  Bountiful chances to stray, play, grow and show just who we are.  These choices define exactly who we are.  If we truly accept that we do indeed have all these choices, and believe that we can follow any path we like, we are free in spirit.  When we search our heart and soul to discover who we really are, we can make conscious choices to follow our values.

I had to start with empowerment.  Conscious or not, EVERYTHING we do is a choice.  How powerful!  So I am responsible for who I am.  No one else did it.  They did do everything they did.  I chose, often passively, reactively, irrationally, emotionally, defensively, selfishly and/or irresponsibly, how to respond or act.  These are lessons, whether I learned them or not.  They tend to repeat themselves.

So the troubles I’ve faced resulted from choices I’ve made.  Likewise for the sobriety, growth, peacefulness, acceptance, joy and gratitude.  I know in my heart that when I make the best choices I can, with as much faith, honesty and humility as I can muster, life will go better than if I reverted to making choices based on greed, pride, lust and fear.  The details make the story fun. Every step we take is on the biggest stage of all.  It’s almost always “take one.”  There are few Mulligans, do-overs or re-takes.  It seems like a good idea to be on our best behavior!

We explored abundant splendor at the Manito Park greenhouse, so our senses were stimulated.  The pleasing scents aroused us as the amazing sights and diverse textures captivated us.  Colorful joy burst from varied blooms and foliage.  We tired, so we retreated for a rejuvenating late afternoon nap.

Refreshed, the call of the wild drew us to the Little Spokane River.  Old growth Ponderosa pines towered above us, untouched by loggers, yet sculpted by nature.  Some were tall and magnificent, with trunks up to five feet in diameter.  Others were scraggly or broken, mangled and toppled, yet clinging to precious life, and telling wild tales.  The river meandered aimlessly, yielding to gravity and fostering life.  Just how much life, we would soon come to appreciate!

The setting sun was a magnet, drawing us along the trail in obedience to a higher power.  Wild turkeys spoke to each other, while reminding us of the majesty of creation.  Drawn to the gobbling, we approached several turkeys roosted high in the majestic pines.  From a distance, others spoke to them, in response.  We sat down to soak it all in.  Several whitetail deer huffed loudly as they pranced up the hillside.

Turkey talk continued as we admired stark silhouettes of deciduous giants.  As our souls quieted, the symphony of the forest came into clear focus.  Diverse creatures sang to us, announcing the beauty and majesty of creation.  We were in awe of God’s gifts to us.

Realizing the coming of darkness, we began our reluctant retreat as a chorus of frogs bellowed their delight.  We were truly at home.  Sharing these natural gifts was a treat beyond words.  Our faith walk to the car was elegant, not eerie, and it was capped by an encore eruption of frogs.  It was a fitting climax to a heartwarming experience!

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The war veterans I remember most are still alive.  One family friend came back from Vietnam with three fewer limbs.  The Vietnam war happened when I was young; I remember nightly casualty reports on television.  My cousin Tom Tesmar flew helicopters in Vietnam and survived with many wild stories.  His book gave me a clue of what war is like.  I hope I am thankful enough for my life filled with opportunities.  Today I enjoy the freedom that so many others fought for with spilled blood, dismemberment and death.  Now I’m blessed with affluence and chances to take the fight for freedom inward, rather than outward.  Thank you to all veterans!

 

If I’m in decent physical, mental, emotional or spiritual condition, how much effort does it take to stay “in shape”?  Is that enough?  Am I trying to run from the inevitable aging process?  Do I feel less than adequate?  Or am I striving to be the very best version of myself?

Am I on a continual quest to live better?  Is better living produced by a certain routine that choreographs prized activities?  Or is the best life full of diversity, whereby freshness and flavor delight us, drawing us into creative thinking?  Is newness to be maximized, or sprinkled across a quasi-routine?  For months I savored non-fat mochas each morning, delighting in them!  Are they part of my best?  Is the current black java somehow better?  Or is no coffee at all the best?  Is variety part of enchantment?

Do I balance all aspects of my life, seeking to grow in all ways?  How do I pursue spiritual growth?  Is meditation prioritized?  Is meditation necessarily routine, or can it be fit in opportunistically?  What can I study that will satisfy my curiosity and develop my usefulness?  Has cynicism turned me away from political and social debate?  Is there a loving way to re-engage?

Endorphin highs are really fun for me.  I love working out hard, partly because of this afterglow.  I also like it when my body and brain function better, which always results from exercise.  Also from eating well.  I just ate Annie’s (http://fitnessaficionada.wordpress.com/) amazing stew and a side car of incredible roasted vegetables sprayed with olive oil and dusted with parmesan and feta: mushrooms, asparagus, brussels sprouts, onions, yams, green beans, potatoes, carrots, etc.  They were both culinary masterpieces and so pleasing to my body.  Hooray for health!

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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