Monday’s Blog; Kids are thankful too

Time has passed quickly since our American Thanksgiving holiday. All of the hullabaloo has settled down, there is now time to reflect. At our family’s table this year we touched lightly on the question of gratitude, directing most of our table talk to catching up with each other and assessing the future as they see it at home, in the country and world wide.

During my quiet moments since then, I found myself reflecting on the many years of family celebrations and our children and grandchildren as they grew and developed.  How clearly I remember their responses to the query, what are you thankful on this day?  The answers in their very early years mentioned material goods, family members, the love of family, pets, and friends. certainly descent responses for young toddlers. As they grew up the responses around the table became more mature, farther reaching and confident.  I wondered what current trends around other tables would be in these days of fast-paced schedules, the world at our finger tips and easy access to internet connected devices.  I was not disappointed. The answers indicate growing awareness of children concerning world events, the issues surrounding environmental concerns, leadership and governance world wide. 

With Google under my finger tips, I searched for “what children are thankful for on Thanksgiving?” The result?…About 2,780,000 results (0.67 seconds.)  I found that by dipping into comments of those of younger ages, 2-12  reflected updated changes in their gratitude, wishes and desires. 
Some examples;

  Jack is age 5

I am thankful to be in this world” — Alak, age 9

     “I am thankful for the doctor who fixed my heart” 
— Jillian age 12

And one boy, Amir, –age 10 expressing gratitude that some people were 
taking care of homeless and migrant people suffering world wide. 

Monday’s Blog; Back on Their Legs-Issues of Mobility

The need to center on material not related to the angst of the current political climate, I sat down with some of the magazines on the my to read pile.  Near the top of the pile, I picked up Family Motor Coaching, Nov, 2016.  It is one of the magazines that helps us RVers keep up with news shared by wheel ready vagabonds traveling down the road.

As usual with seniors like myself, I am very tuned into the issues of mobility, getting around on two feet or adopting the means to help us move about; At times, I have joined the ranks of those needing canes, walkers, wheelchairs or scooters. (I am a lucky one at this time, regaining my agility and ability to move well, unsupported). Therefore, one article in particular caught my attention as published in Family Motor Coach Magazine, Nov. 2016 and written by John Johnston, Associate Editor of the magazine.  It is entitled, FROM TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH.
The hero of the story is an RVer whose story is of yet another strong willed soul learning to conquer and overcome adverse events in his life.  I paraphrase from this dramatic article hoping this will be helpful both to humans and pets of those animal lovers among us. 

In the 70’s at 20 years of age while working in a fertilizer plant, Ronnie heroically stepped between 2 railroad cars setting a brake, thusly preventing a major injury to a foreman. Knocked down by the blow, a wheel ran over one of Ronnie’s legs, leaving him in grave peril. He amazingly saved his own life, but not one of his legs. After enduring leg surgery and amputation, he walked out of the hospital with the support of a cane and worked many jobs, eventually teaming up with his dad driving tractor trailers across the country, until a trucking strike changed his life and led him to an amazing career. Sporting a new prosthesis with the support of the state of Florida’s vocational rehab program, he tested off the charts showing a tremendous ability in mechanical skills.

On he went from the bottom up in the prosthetics industry. He married after meeting a lovely woman on the dance floor and together they celebrate a long landmark career in prosthetic design. He became an inventor as well, developing a skin like cosmetic product for prostheses and with his wife started a successful business; Prosthetics Research Specialists Inc.  They began their new life style in a tent slowly advancing to a motor home and beyond. 

But that is not all. A friend shared with him a “sad story of her horse who had ruined a knee after stepping in a hole. Euthanizing was out of the realm of acceptable. Could Ronnie make a knee brace for the animal? Again, the inventor, innovator and thorough researcher was successful in making such a brace and now runs another incredible business having helped a large variety (!) of species get back on their feet.  For the sake of my promise for brevity in this blog, I just wanted to share this amazing couples’ story and amazing career, (perhaps as a modern day Noah of biblical fame, saving human and wildlife from peril) laced with courage, determination and the skills needed to regain the ability to be independent and active. I hope so much to meet these RVers somewhere down the road. 

Monday’s Blog; Forty Days and Forty Nights

This past week in the Jewish world, we read the story of Noah. You know, the miraculous ark that carried a multitude of wildlife, perhaps the most wild, the humans on board–Noah and family. It would not surprise me, if indeed a higher power becoming oppressed and obsessed to the breaking point by the news of the last few years, would issue a new divine decree appointing a modern day Noah to repeat the shipbuilding task to float on the waters of the flooded earth. The story is familiar to many people world round. The text continues to say But G-d chose to shut the door, not leaving the action to Noah. 

Would the story of the destruction of mankind in our age repeat the outcome, as Noah and family and the multitudes of wildlife disembark together after flood?  Only this time, would the divine being shut the door shutting the modern Noah and fam out to be destroyed, leaving the new world in the hands of the wild things that will survive, devoid of humans and the strife we bring on earth.

Our country is demoralized, friendships lost over political upheavals, people fearing for the future. Our image is globally diminishing as fear of the evolution of financial, social, environmental, security and safety issues overwhelm us as we witness the growth of the worldly degradation of humanity. Distrust rears its ugly head around the world.  It has cost us all as people from around the globe endlessly question and ridicule our national sanity, in the face of great campaign costs, financially and emotionally, but more costly is the tarnished glory of democracy and the destruction of the ability to progress in governing and working toward improving our lives. 

When the door of the modern ark opens once again, will the creatures disembark upon a world of peace and sanity, devoid of human life or will the Garden of Eden’s serpent rear it’s powerful head once again? 

Monday’s Blog; A Little Levity for a minute

Most people, when making restaurant reservations may request a table by the window or on the deck, perhaps in a quieter location or concerning building accessibility or inquire about options for special diet needs. I have added another query asking about the availability of cushioned chairs. More than half of the restaurants in my experience have hard wood or other solid surface chairs and no loose cushions available for ease of bottom or back comfort. 

Do I have company out there?  Many folks that I have questioned in a very informal pole, have reported difficulty with hard seats because of back pain, leg pain, and sore sit bones after an hour or two of dining. Luckily, I have encountered a positive response when asking if soft or cushioned seats can be substituted for the hard and tortuous chairs. Those who don’t have any usually say, “that is a good idea, we should do that.” But do they?

Maybe this stack would work!

It is not a surprise that designing a restaurant is indeed a well thought out “science;” about lighting, table placement and spacing and so many other details.  Perhaps hard surface seating is desirable to make sure each table top is well and fully utilized when crowds are expected. 
When I remember, I carry a cushion or sit on a jacket or sweater otherwise carried to fend off the cold air conditioning that is so intense in public spaces. Hmmm, a subject for another day. Hopefully, this is a short intermission from this insane period in our political lives, a bit of levity. Feedback welcome. Happy dining.