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Golf is mysteriously enticing. How to stay mentally primed? Focused on positivity, visualizing sweet, pure strokes. Loving the feel of solid contact and skyrocketing shots, often nestling near the target. So sweet! I did that for much of the time tonight, and it soothed my soul. But the mystery lives on: I slipped off at times, for three holes especially, before swinging smoothly for the final two holes. Six pars, four bogeys and a double bogey. I missed two ten foot birdie putts but had good distance feel. Even some of the bogeys included beautiful shots. Practice breeds consistency. My heart knows some practice I need is in my mind. Tee it up!


Pat & Lyn live in golf heaven!

WSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude, 2014, Annie the Adventurer!

WSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude, 2014, Annie the Adventurer!

Often, we get what we deserve. How we live paints the canvas of our lives. Persistence pays off. Going for what we want usually gets us there. Persistence, dedication, patience, perseverance and faith foster success. It’s cool to see people live this way. It’s nice to see my offspring do so! Annie’s college journey has delivered her to the job she wants. Her graduation culminates a transition between childhood and adult life. Her dreams include adventure, motherhood and providing health care to others. She is one fun lady!

Looks like she made it!

Looks like she made it!

Perhaps coincidentally, the sweet kitten Annie picked out over twelve years ago took her last breaths recently. Tali gave us a lot of love. She will be missed. She stayed when others left. Perhaps her last mission was teaching me that when everyone else leaves, God remains.  What more could we need?


Wild things!

Wild things!

Tali is always home!

Tali is always home!

I see great things when I look through centered eyes. I see misery when I look through the fog of discontent. Details of conditions are mostly irrelevant. My mission is clarified: live a centered life. Be a ray of hope, a wave of optimism, a laugh in the night, a smile in the rain and a hand when it’s needed. Embrace spiritual connectedness. I hope you dance!

Mom and Dad at Twin Lakes, their favored vacation retreat.  How sweet it was!

Mom and Dad at Twin Lakes, their favored vacation retreat. How sweet it was!

Nick made me eggs and hash browns, one of my very favorite breakfasts today. It was awesome! Annie’s celebrating Zach’s birthday with open-water swimming and hanging with Zach’s family. How cool! Like any weekend, I had about 400% more ideas than I have time to fit in. But it’s all good! I’m watching some U.S. Open golf, remembering wonderful games played with my Dad in years gone by. We had some great competition, and memorable times. Now I’m enjoying hackysack, bicycling, running, standup paddling, weight-lifting, skiing and swimming with my kids, among other things. The activity is much less important than the chance to spend fun times together. I’m one happy father! I love you kids!

My Dad taught us much about family, honesty, commitment, nutrition, willingness, priorities, love, kindness, adventure, gratitude and fun. I love you Dad!

It’s an exciting time to be alive! We read and hear so many interesting things. I sense that the biggest challenges give rise to the most amazingly inspirational people! Sometimes life seems surreal, or fantastically unbelievable. Feeling love, in its many forms, for people, activities, God, beauty, nature, achievement, adventure, excitement, creativity, music, food, meditation and more, can be awe-inspiring. It leaves me happy, peaceful, satisfied, invigorated, inspired, challenged and amazed, at various times. Perhaps this is the meaning of life: finding, enjoying and sharing these loves. Can there ever be too much of any of them? Perspective pollinates the blossoms of our souls. We get it from each other, when we’re ready, willing and able. Openness is beyond ego, greed, fear and blame. It’s kin to willingness and humility. It’s the best way to go. Thanks for being in the know and inviting me to the show! Let’s show God how grateful we are!

Belief.  Spiritual centering via faith.

Acceptance.  Honesty, letting it be, without spiritual disruption.

Love.  Emotional maturity, embracing the beauty in others.

Adaptation.  Accepting powerlessness, optimizing our power.

Nurturing. Ourselves first, via diet, rest, inspiration.

Commitment.  Intellectually, spiritually, physically, emotionally.

Exercise.  Today = 70 minutes level 9 intervals = 305 floors.   🙂

What if I soar, right out that door?

What if I fly, all across the sky?

Why should I miss such a delicate kiss?

Why pass by another endorphin high?

Perhaps I will smile at Ms. Grumpy-head;

maybe it’s time her spirit is fed!

Shall I serve Mrs. Pain-in-the-ass?

Provide her with help, in lieu of more sass?

How to get through to Mr. Know-it-all;

what if he’s me?  Can I take that fall?

If pessimism rears up and darkens the day,

what will I do?  What will I say?

What about dismay?  What of despair?

How will I become a breath of fresh air?

Will I bring joy?  Will I spout love?

Riding a spirit sent from above?

I’ll try, yes I will, it’s the best plan I’ve found!

If I miss it a bit, I’ll do better next round!

A day in the life of the Shankster

I tackle the challenges that keep streaming in

to an electronic in-box that measures my wins,

since our mission is worthy: we help people heal.

Addressing co-workers, I try hard to peel

back the layers of pessimism, contempt and dismay

while laughing and joking and mixing in play.

Extra stress builds up, so I head to the Y,

Striding and lifting and stepping to highs!

I’m inspired by soreness, I feel that it’s good.

It promises muscles that work as they should.

Depleted, yet smiling I seek out some chow

Delicious re-charging that sweetens the now.

I spar some with Nicko, in words or in play,

his spirit’s a bright spot in almost every day!

I move off to blog world to see what you’ve found

blissfully noticing my feet on the ground!

The finest place I’ve ever lived

is anywhere.

The best job I’ve ever had

is all of them.

The sweetest joy is mine to share

when I’m over me.

The greatest freedom I’ve ever felt

is letting go.

The truest friends I’ve ever had

saw my spirit of love.

Peace is here

right in the now.

Love is here

in the giving.

Tranquility lies

in the deepest acceptance.

Wisdom flows from

exhausted options.

Our finest hours

can be yet to come!


Is this the way we wish to live?

If not, then why not strive to give

focused effort to change our ways?

Living fully, in regret-free days!

FEAR be gone, you’ve done your part!

You’ve taught me every day to start

to take more steps towards being free,

as healthy practice sculptures me.

Baby steps towards a better life

with much more fun and much less strife!

I’ve learned from fear that life’s less fun

when from pain I try to run.

Befriended pain polishes to a shine

deep, lasting faith that all is fine!

I’m lovable, it’s true I see,

with a wellness focus to who I’ll be.

 If nourishing love comes to my side

I hope she finds me free of pride.

Staying healthy and letting go

an easy role in the natural flow.

No grabbing on, no lesser me,

rock solid values guiding who I’ll be.

I wish to grow and love with zest.

I do not want to be a pest.

We are precisely what we choose.

May our examples be great news!


I feel freedom sometimes.  I want it often.  I keep finding different definitions for it.  I sense this is because I’ve tasted its serenity without being completely free.  That is, waves of freedom arise from surrender, but my surrender has not been complete, so the peacefulness has been intermittent.  Whether this is the definition of being human or not, I’m not sure.  I know in my heart that I crave this freedom, and that my greatest wish is for everyone to have it.  I pray for it for those I’ve loved who still search for it.  I pray for it for those who don’t even know to want it.  I pray to move towards more complete surrender in my heart, my soul and my mind, so that I can be an example of acceptance, compassion, love, tolerance, contentment, happiness, joy and service.  Hey!  Someone told me to dream big!  ( :

My dad is amazing!  Like my mother, he passed from this world in recent years, but he lives on in our memories and in our characters.  Dad personified one of my most important, ongoing lessons:  actions speak louder than words!  His actions spoke beautiful tales, while it seemed to me that his tongue rarely did.  When we got him talking, he had wonderful stories to share about his life, tales of hunting and fishing adventures, getting stranded solo in a schoolhouse during a snow storm, growing up during the Great Depression, and a simple life in a large family.  The television show about “The Waltons” is believable to me.  Dad was not a persistent talker like me, and many of my siblings, however.  Maybe it was his humility, or his preference, but he spent a lot of time being quiet.  Maybe that’s how he learned so much.  Dad was a handyman, a mechanic, a farmer, an equipment operator, and whatever he needed to be.  So he was an electrician, plumber, appliance repairman, groundskeeper, painter, framer, concrete worker, welder, carpenter, bean counter and planner as well.  Dad was not afraid to take on new occupations.  He saw needs and filled them.

Dad loved science so much.  The Apollo space program was riveting for him.  Now that was some low definition television!  At least we only had three channels to surf.  This left much more time for important things.  Our virtual lives were based on imagination, without the computers.  I imagined being a professional quarterback and rivaling Jack Nicklaus on the links.  In retrospect, golfing with wounded body parts would have been tough! 

It was fun to see Dad in a relaxed state, because he was busy so much of the time, providing for our large family.  We got to help provide, by irrigating the farm, burning sage brush to clear the “back forty” acres, picking rock from the fields, weeding the garden, picking strawberries and raspberries, collecting the dreaded crab apples from the lawn, etc.  Who was the idiot who sold crab apple trees?  Must have been a make-work project after the Depression?  I think I still have a resentment against that tree!  Dad was most relaxed while fishing.  If you were lucky enough to be roused by him at 5 AM for fishing, you got his best, along with nature’s best.  Whitetail deer, bald eagles, loons, beavers, osprey, bears, bass and trout would fill your senses!  Now that’s a good life! 

Golfing was another of Dad’s passions that revealed his fun-loving nature.  He loved competition as much as I do.  His swing became consistent and he scored well, around the age that I am now.  I was a young whippersnapper with a penchant for overswinging.  My balls visited strange places, while his usually enjoyed the manicured grass of the fairways.  If you saw Bubba Watson’s incredible recovery from the woods to win the 2012 Master’s golf tournament, you can relate to some of the places I found myself.  My lessons were many, eventually leading me to a shortened, more consistent swing, that helped me to some excellent rounds of golf.  And to a better life.

Pinochle games were high on Dad’s list of fun too.  Except when someone took too damn long to play.  Make a decision and move on!  Are we going to waste our whole life waiting for overanalysis?  Rumor has it that I was one of the worst offenders.  I believe that I’ve grown a bit in this regard, so the rumors about me have morphed into tales of wild, outrageous bidding.  I don’t know how to confirm or dispute such claims, except via my mind’s reassurance that I’ve taken in more quarters than I’ve paid out.  This may be a dispute that is never settled, but continually researched?  I wonder sometimes if I’ve made bigger life decisions like a fast-moving pinochle game, when I should have tried a bit more analysis?  And the opposite as well!

Dad lives on in many beloved family members.  He is an awesome patriarch, even after death.  He died with dignity, setting right everything he could think of, and passing without fear.  Without fear!  Did he save our greatest lesson for last?

My dear, sweet mother gave me the core values that are the foundation for who I’ve become.  They’ve pulled me back from the brink of ruin!  They’ve helped me blossom into a kind, honest, adventurous, loving, funny, generous, passionate, fun and well-mannered man.  My Mom is in me.  I am in her.  Her deep love for God, family and other people is inscribed on my heart.  Her loving support taught me how to be a successful parent, despite all the parenting mistakes I’ve made.  Love overcomes!  I feel that God’s deep power is His love that he shares with us.  This is love of Him, people, beauty, nature, music, poetry, adventure, dancing, etc.  My Mommy passed this love to me.  She made it real.  She is my very first heroine.  She’s not injectable, but she has interjections!

Mom always encouraged me to look at women’s hearts and not worry too much about their outward appearance.  I’ve always looked for both, but one is more readily apparent than the other.  Imagine my delight at finding a stunningly beautiful woman, with an incredibly loving heart, who loved me too!  What a wonderful feeling!

Mom did many things to foster family bonds.  Grandkids remember getting a lot of two dollar bills in their greeting cards.  There were always treats to be had at Grandma’s house.  Treats, a twinkling smile and a “delighted to see you” attitude.  Mom flew on her wings of love.  She soared on the ground.  Dad, eleven kids, kids’ spouses, dozens of grandkids, grandkids’ spouses, and great-grandkids are her treasures.  She’s a treasure to us!

What would she like to see me doing?  For now, I’m heading out to open some doors and spread some smiles, in honor of my amazing mother!  ( :

One of the most influential people in my life is my psychotherapist.  We’ll call her Angelica, because of her always honest, insightful and consistent aid in my journey.  My wish is that everyone could have someone like her in their life.  She delivers a face and voice of God to me.

Angelica has guided me through thirteen and a half years of recovery, so the changes she’s encouraged are significant.  These changes are directly related to the degree to which I have willingness to try new ways, honesty to see my failings, and open-mindedness to grasp where I’ve suffered from rigid thinking.  These are cornerstones for positive changes in life.

Physical health is interrelated with spiritual and emotional health, so I’ve spent a lot of time on exercise.  Exercise feeds my mind oxygen and endorphins.  It helps my confidence and opens many doors of opportunity.  A healthy body allows me to do many things that some people cannot do.  It is an amazing blessing!  My active life is so fun!

Angelica’s voice of reality has opened many flows of tears, while her compassion has felt my pain.  She’s helped me learn that my ability to love deeply is good.  I have opportunity to engage my mind, along with my heart.  I can go slowly, turning the key to lasting love.  I can know and love myself deeply, being true to who I am, so that I will not be desperate for partnership, while open to it.  I can live by my core values.  It seems that if mature, mutual respect and admiration develop, after mastering the lessons of aloneness, healthy people can blossom together.  This feels true in my heart.  The closer I’ve come to this, the better I’ve handled relationships.  When I’ve wanted love too badly, I’ve set myself up for heartbreak.  These heart breaks cleanse my tear ducts, but threaten my longevity.  I sense that serenity fosters health, while turmoil wears me out.  Shall I opt for serenity?  Why not?!?!?!

Most mornings I listen to a Christian music CD that a friend gave me about two years ago, because it is so uplifting!  I never tire of it.  It’s a collection of songs by artists from Lifecenter in Spokane.  The title of the album is also the line that sticks in my head:   “This is Love!”  I get fired up every time I hear it!  I want to go put it on now!  I will!  It’s a mantra for life that can never, ever be wrong.  Thank God for love!!!

Mountain biking with Annie was so fun yesterday!  She loves my new bike as much as I do.  She rode it over single track trails and raced down a gravel road, beaming awesome smiles!  Those smiles were early Father’s Day gifts!  So was watching the kids interact at Zach’s birthday party.  They have learned much about life and they have good hearts!  ( :

Friday night I broke my personal record for longest telephone call.  How exciting to find someone with that much to talk about!  It reminds me how my Dad always thought telephones were for getting your business done and getting off in a couple of minutes.  We shared a “party” line with the neighbors, so if they were on the phone, you could hear them talking, and had to wait.  Speaking of sharing, we had to come to agreement on what to watch on our nineteen inch black and white television, or do something else.  Were many of the things we did instead better for us?  None of them involved computers or cell phones or even health clubs.  How things have changed!

My father passed away over two years ago, yet he remains one of the most influential people in my life.  He is a good man; I feel his spirit is alive and I picture him watching over me, helping guide me.  He is imperfect, yet grounded in the important things in life, like integrity, family, honesty, work ethic, being true to yourself and helping others.  He lived his convictions, knowing that actions are more important than idle words.  He came to love golf and blessed me with opportunity to play.  I have never found another game that is anywhere close to golf in simulating life on a personal level.  Other games teach us much about teamwork and cooperation.  Golf gets to the core of our character, testing confidence, faith, perspective, adaptability, creativity, patience, focus and ability to recover from adversity.  It also requires relaxation, coordination, balance and agility.  The psychological aspects alone make it a great growth opportunity.  Dad and I enjoyed many rounds of well matched competition.  Sometimes I felt like the hare to his tortoise, powering drives well past his, yet admitting to a higher number by the end of play.  What treasured lessons!  Thank you Dad!  ( :

Dad used to shake us awake at 5 AM so we could head to the “back of the farm” to move sprinklers.  Groggily complying, I wished I didn’t have to go, because I wanted more sleep.  Then the beauty of the morning smiled upon us!  Sunshine, songbirds, fresh air and plants growing everywhere filled our souls.  Thank you Dad!

Dad didn’t really respond when I tried to talk to him about spiritual matters.  Yet he was the guy who was always helping stranded motorists who ran out of gas or had their rig break down along the highway.  Always ready to help people in need, whether they were kids, friends, neighbors or strangers.  Thanks Dad!

Since I’m a father too, I’m blogging with coffee and a recording of yesterday’s third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament playing.  Maybe I’ll take a run today, hopefully play some hackysack and watch more golf.  Maybe the cleaning will mostly wait.  Happy Father’s day to us all!  ( :

It feels like I’ve done the right things, more of the time.  More “good” things flow into my life, or at least I notice them!  Even the aches and pains show their purpose, sometimes right away.  Connected calm with enthusiastic joy seems to be at hand.  I get to show up each day on this amazing stage to play my part as lovingly, and with as much humor and spunk as I can muster.  No auditions required!  Happiness, joy and freedom of spirit are always available when I live a balanced, honest, sincere and loving life.  Yippee!!!

2010: spring came in August on the Pacific Crest trail near Winthrop, WA

The possibilities are amazing!  We can do incredible things!  We are intelligent, creative, adaptable and talented.  We can be honest, dedicated and loving.  Some gifts we’re granted and some we get to develop.  Opportunities in life are diverse, but we all get a steady stream of them.  Don’t mistake them for problems, pains, troubles or burdens.  Smiling, solving, creating, giving, encouraging, supporting, perservering and blessing can be our legacies.  When we boost each other, we give out love.  When we give out love, it spreads quickly, coming back to us to nurture our souls.  Love is my favorite four letter word!  ( :

Wolf jump on balance beam.

Wolf jump on balance beam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life feels like a stock market:  little ups and downs, big ups and downs, with a general upward trend .  Investors’ emotions change the “value” of companies.  Can other people’s opinions change our value?  Silly me for letting them impact me as much as I have.  Perhaps pleasing others is like a balance beam:  God loves us to serve others, but not fall off our walk of faith,  hope and love.  I think He knows we need to love ourselves first, deeply and with complete conviction.  He made us so beautifully!  Look how we can dance!  Watch how we can serve and love!  The better we know and love ourselves, the better prepared we are to co-exist with, serve, appreciate and inspire others.  We can pray for the wisdom to embrace good ideas, while holding dearly to the timeless spiritual truths we’ve already learned.  LOVE!

I missed Silkie Baby, whatever to do?

Slip into despair, or lace up my shoes?

Breathe deeply the air that inspires my brain,

and build up my muscles while easing the pain.

Heart healing’s a process where faith saves the day,

God blesses us all as we search out our ways.

I know that He loves me, I feel it inside!

His challenge to me is to trust in the ride! is a post with great ideas that gave me impetus to review relationship advice I’ve received from experts, which feels absolutely right in my experience and in my heart:

  1. Be careful whom you let yourself fall into love with.  If you fall in love with the first person who comes by who is attractive to you, and who shows interest in you, you’ll have little chance of long-term compatibility.  Do they have traits that will be a good match for you?  Interest in sex and eating are common to (mostly?) everyone, so they don’t count as common interests!  ( :
  2. Go slowly!  Avoid early sex.  Sex bonds us like nothing else, so it convinces us that we’re in love with someone who we’re in lust with.  After we’ve plunged into sex, we’re unable to think clearly, see warning signs or gauge compatibility.  If someone leaves you because you wish to go slowly, good riddance!  Time has a way of sorting out posers from keepers.
  3. Watch for red warning flags!  Orange and yellow too.  Anger?  Self-centeredness?  Addictions?  Emotional instability?  Blaming?  Complaining?  Insecurity?  Overspending?  Impatience?  Overly dramatic?  Plans to quit anything?  Greed?  Vanity?  Inconsiderate?  Deceptive?  Drug seeking?  Grudge holding?  Unmotivated?  Judgmental?  Resentful?  Controlling?  Cynical?  Unhealthy?  History of bailing out?
  4. Focus on being the best possible version of yourself.  Only then will you attract the best possible partner.  If one does not appear, you will still be leading your best possible life, which will inevitably be the most rewarding.
  5. Make friends who enjoy similar activities as you.  These connections may produce a friendship that evolves into your best friendship.  ( :
  6. Balance your life with spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social and physical activities that inspire you.  Bring these into each of your days, finding balance.  Try to fix your own life, not the lives of others.
  7. Find and declare gratitude for all the blessings in your life.  Gratitude creates happiness, which attracts people to you.  Refer back to #1 above!
  8. Believe in the things you want for your life:  love, passion, health, goodness, kindness, compassion, humor, adventure and servitude are some good examples for me.
  9. Be content with being single.  Only after we’re okay with singleness are we truly ready to be in a relationship.  Then we are not needy, desperate, controlling, anxious or confused.
  10. Make a list of the good traits that you have and the ones you wish to have.  Be that person.  Discipline yourself to be exactly who you want to be.  Then you’ll attract someone really good;  be ready to toss back the posers.
  11. Rather than rashly assuming they have traits you want them to have, patiently watch to see what traits they really do have.

I believe in love, and my heart has always returned to willingness to love.  I really want the next time to be a lasting love!  God help me!!!

If my assumptions are correct, this is a day for twos!  We can be two times as grateful as we normally are.  Any discontent will vanish.  Poof!  We can smile two times as much as normal.  Others will smile back.  This could get contagious!  I’m planning on two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, albeit half-sized.  Thanks Annie!  I’ll even try to work two times as hard as normal.  I’ll do two workouts and tell two people how they add joy to my life.  I’ll make two posts on this blog, since I’ve slacked off.  ( ;  I will pray at least two times and set aside two meditation periods.  Hopefully I can do it all and get way more than two hours of sleep tonight!  I hope you have at least two loving experiences today!  Toodles!


Sometimes in life I’m flying high,

then lasting love seems to pass me by.

I can’t neglect my higher power

or the storms of life will make me cower.

A balanced life springs from many lessons,

clarified for me in therapy sessions!

The incredible gifts of loving bliss

seem to change to pain when life’s amiss.

But staying on a course of healthy ways

keeps gracing me with joyous days!

I trust I’m healing each time I find

another lesson in being kind!

So on I go, in search of me.

When I’m found, what else might be?




What a wonderful tradition!  Honoring women who have given of yourselves, so that we might have life.  You’ve sacrificed so much, showing amazing love.  Many of my best lessons in love blossomed from observing mothers in action.  I feel God’s love in your smiles, caresses, soothing voices, tender hearts and dedication.  You lovely women make my experience in this world a series of marvels and joys.  You bless me with hope and you soften my soul.  You help me see that in a spiritual sense, so much is well.  You challenge me to embrace your goodness; how can I learn from you to be a better me?  In essence, I believe you find the grace to put others ahead of yourselves.  God’s definition of love.  Self-actualization in the best sense I can find.  You’ve arrived!  You are wonderful teachers for me.  Thank you! 

Thank you Mom, for accepting God’s love into your heart, sharing it with us, and living it consistently.  You are God’s masterpiece!  I love you forever! 

Lucky #8 of 11

I feel like a kid again!  Was that a Heinz ketchup commercial that sang about anticipation?  Just testing to see how old you are.  I’m excited to do a footrace in about an hour and one-half.  Even though I’m a little slow.  Even for me!  I’ll finish in the middle of the pack, and this pack will not be 50,000 like at Bloomsday.  Maybe a few hundred, on a good day.  I’m still excited!  I guess I’m a social creature, because I love the pre-race and post-race interactions.  I hope I survive the in-race trials!  My mother promoted to heaven last year on Mother’s Day.  I will run in her honor.  I owe this amazing life to her; she gave me the gift that makes other gifts possible.  Her incredible faith molded who I am today.  Thanks Mom!!!  I am a very blessed man.  I will also run in honor of my children’s mother.  She gave me the next two most incredible gifts of my life.  Thanks Marie!!!  I will also run in honor of my psychotherapist, my AA sponsor, my children (Super Peach Annie and Hackysack Nick), my siblings, my in-laws, my nieces and nephews and all the amazing friends I’ve been honored with so far.  Holy Smokes!  It really does take a village to raise a rebel!  ( :


If I wake up to Mr. Grumpypants, I get to see a version of myself, interacting with me.  Now that’s a spiritual growth opportunity!  I get to see how I can be, reflected in him, and I am granted another chance to be patient, tolerant and kind.  I can also subtly challenge him to grow!

If I encounter Ms. Negative at work, I again see a reflection of myself.  I can then see clearly how my negativity has drained others, as I experience this draining effect.  But I don’t have to be drained.  I can smile and offer optimism!  Am I spiritually up to the task?  Have I prepared, via prayer and meditation, to let God help me handle anything?

Have you met Mr. Addict?  Mrs. Whiner?  Mr. Egobuild?  Ms. Blamer?  Mr. Putchadown?  When I’ve been like these people, I’ve been a less than desirable version of myself.  I’ve been a drag on the world.  Conversely, I really can continue to grow into a better version of myself, each day.  Belief that it can happen is the cornerstone.  Actions that lead in the proper direction are essential.  Now is the only time.  Feeling overwhelmed is useless.  Simply doing the next right thing is crucial.  When I’m able to really get to know myself, with complete honesty and thorough review, I can become ready to ask God for help.  Help in changing the things about me that keep me from being whom I want to be.  Then I can be a good example for others.  When I am able to see myself as loveable, I can better love other people.  This love is without the limitations of ego:  justifications, rationalizations, put-downs, attempts to control or any other blaming or using.  Freedom in me can spur freedom in others, via example and calm demeanor, which invites no blame.  Fully facing the truth about ourselves is hard work!  It is worth it!  ( :


What’s your will, God?

The days of my life, they keep on rolling by…

Sometimes I pray to God, staring at his sky.

Do I find satisfaction in helping others grow?

What will measure my life, when it comes time to go?

Have I loved all the people who have filled up my days?

Have I built for the future, giving God his due praise?

When push came to shove, did I stand for what is right?

Did I lavish them with love, instead of showing them my might?

Did I often think of others and what might be said?

When I saw someone floundering, did I leave them for dead?

Did I reach out in love, telling stories of joy?

Did I speak of recovery and avoid being coy?

When confused did I pray to my savior to find

His spiritual answers which grace peace to my mind?

Have I learned to really trust in a God I can’t touch?

Or did I  turn to him only when I needed a crutch?

Have I seen him in others all the times that I can?

Do I see how God works through each woman and man?

Can I smile wide and say: thank you God for this day!?

How grateful am I, for all the times I get to play?

Do I thank him quite often, for the people I love?

Do I wear him on my soul, like a protective glove?

Have I seen his spirit radiate from many glowing smiles?

Have I thanked God enough for the growth gifted from trials?



Learning what it is.  1 Corinthians 13 New International Version:

   “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8 Love never fails.”

Learning how to give it.  Thinking not of self, but of how to best serve others.  Consistently!

Learning how to graciously accept it.  Others need to love too!

Opportunities to love more fully stream into our lives.  The young man in a wheel chair in front of Goodwill, asking for money for coffee.  My son playfully punching me.  A co-worker seemingly haranguing me at every interaction.  A stressed out boss.  An attention starved associate.  A friend without confidence.  A pet.  Lost people.  Arrogant people.  Hungry people.  Selfish people.  Addicts, egomaniacs, empire builders, couch potatoes, exercise junkies, preachers, punks and gangsters.  I suspect we will never run low on diverse challenges in our quests to love fully, without conditions.  Am I judging or describing these people?  What might I do in my interactions with them that could bless them, or me, with growth?  How can I show patience, tolerance and kindness?

Wow!  I sometimes think and act like I am so important!  I am the center of my universe.  My thoughts are so wonderful.  How can I get others to notice?  What I want to happen is what needs to happen.  Why doesn’t it?  I’m pretty smart, handsome, funny……  Whoa!!!  That’s a slippery slope to discontent (even IF some of it is true, lol!).  Why do people cut me off in traffic?  Might they share my affliction?  How do I feel when I cut others off?  How do I feel when I patiently yield their right of way?  Am I truly the center of the universe, or simply one among many?  Where does focusing too much on my desires and the inevitable disappointments lead me to spiritually?  How about when I focus on contributing to the well-being of others?  Smiles?  Helping hands?  Flowers, meals, chores, treats, encouragement, humor, empathy and sympathy?  If I can get over me, maybe I’ll be good for you?

Thank you for your love!  Thank you for the chances to show you my love!  God has illuminated His beauty and His love in your smiles, your spirits, your laughter, your curiosity and your service to your loved ones.  I have found great joy in incredible experiences of love.  They have been the highest of worldly highs, far better than any drug.  Thank you for the spiritual growth that your departures have blessed me with!  When you left, I was forced to turn to God.  Thank you for all of your human limitations.  These also brought me closer to God, for I was forced to accept outcomes that made no sense to me.  I continued to learn to surrender my will; the other choice was insanity!  I may never understand much of what has happened in life, but I can adapt to changes by relying on God.  He is my hope for sanity and serenity.  I see now that enriching my life springs from service to others and becoming a better version of me.  Each day that I awaken, I have a multitude of options to better myself relationally, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  As I take the steps to do these things, I am blessed with optimism, inspiration, excitement, compassion, commitment, curiosity and amazing adventures!  I have no idea what will come next in life, or how long it will continue, but I’m happy to take the next steps!  May God continue to bless you!  Live well!  ( :

I love you forever!  I hope you have kids of your own someday, so you can experience life more fully, in ways that I’ve been blessed with.  I want you to know that being your father has been a great privilege.  Surely it’s been exasperating as well, but I am grateful for you in ways that you’ll understand only when you have kids of your own.  I am grateful for my loving parents to a degree that I wouldn’t have reached without the blessings of your character defects and your mistakes.  You’ve shown me how tolerant others, including you, have been of my failings!  You’re helped me become a better version of me.  Thanks for all the amazing laughs, especially when we could laugh uncontrollably at ourselves!  Thanks for the adventures, including hackysack, running, basketball, swimming, alpine skiing, sledding, nordic skiing, water skiing, tubing, football, soccer, baseball, tennis, ballet, target shooting, ice skating, hiking, bicycling, yoga, weight-lifting and more.  Thanks for the backrubs and the loving talks.  Thanks for loving me despite my shortcomings.  I dreamed of being a Daddy since I was very young, and it’s been a most amazing gift.  I feel a bond with you that nothing can break.  I enjoy your company and I am so happy about the many great choices you’ve made in living your lives.  I hope you continue to do what you know is right, even when it’s not popular.  I pray you continue to avoid the tragic addictions that befall so many of us.  If you seize life’s opportunities with gusto and commitment, you will avoid regrets and enjoy incredible experiences!  Life presents amazing gifts.  Approaching life with optimism and gratitude will magnify this reality.  Dream big, love constantly, serve continually and smile regularly.  Laugh at every opportunity and dance as much as you can.  Encourage creativity,  build on good ideas, see the beautiful aspects of each person you meet and tell them what you love about them.  Make your world better by empowering others and making their world better, every chance you get.  May God continue to bless you!  I love you forever!  Dad


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

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