Heart to Heart 138

Merry Freakin Christmas

Day two of our back to home road trip.  We are staying at Marriott properties along the way which include free breakfast.  Most of the food we can’t or won’t eat.  We went down to eat this morning and Lou Ann asked the attendants Jan and Rosie if they had Almond milk.  No they did not, but they had soy.  Then they had Agave syrup and healthy oatmeal. Then they volunteered to go find some veggie patties.  Is there no shortage of Angels?

We put on a audio book titled ” The Paper Bag Christmas”  It is an enthralling story of two young brothers growing up in Oregon.  Their parents take them to a mall to see Santa.  They both do not believe in a real Santa but agree to go meet him and give him their Christmas list.  Santa reads their lists and declares that he would give them something better for Christmas.  They would receive all of the gifts they never wanted.  He enrolls them in being volunteers at a Children’s hospital cancer ward.  They meet the custodian who  frequently says the title of this post.  I will just say, please read or listen to this story.  The audio book was fabulous.  You will have a transcendent emotional and spiritual experience.  The book discovers many angels with whom you will fall in love.

We arrived at our hotel and it happens to be across the street from a Costco and a mile or so from Whole Foods.  Our trip mapping had us make a decision to go south out of Kansas City to Wichita so that we could end up in Albuquerque tomorrow night.  In order to do this we would not be taking Interstate highways.  We plotted to take a U S highway 54 and drive on it for some 339 miles.  I didn’t know where it was and how to get on it.  I went and got gas at the Costco across the street and the attendant pointed 100 yards south and said there is highway 54.  Angels are everywhere doing seeming trivial things but they mean so much to Lou Ann and me.  From my over flowing with love heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 137

On the road again

Lou Ann and I left Virginia this morning and drove to Indianapolis.  On the way we saw wonderful fall colors.  We stopped to go the bathroom outside Uniontown PA.  We went into a Burger King to use the restroom and on a lark, Lou Ann asked if they had Veggie Burgers and Mike the attendant said they do!  Lou Ann was so caught off guard she asked what was in them.  It was funny.  Of course they could contain some dairy products, hence the reason for inquiring.  We ordered one each with some piping hot french fries.  We have no idea whether that is now a staple at Burger King.  However Mike said he sold thirteen yesterday.  It goes to show if you don’t ask you’ll never know.

We are in the hotel now and it is near freezing outside.  We take off for Wichita Kansas tomorrow.  The gas here is 2.60 a gallon.  We paid 2.09 in Virginia a couple of times.  The Highlander Hybrid we drive is getting only 18 mpg; it normally gets 30-33.  We are pulling four by eight foot trailer fully loaded with items that my son Michael has kept for us for eight years.  We have several wonderful paintings that we are anxious to put up in our home.  We forget how much fun we have travelling by car around the country.  Look forward to many more trips.  Let us know and we will come and see you folks when we can.

May all your days of your life be filled with wonder and wander and majesty.  We do have a magnificent country.  Go see places you have never been before and take the back roads.  You will find many wonderful people just like you with hearts of gold.  From my traveling heart to yours, Thomas.

Heart to Heart 136

Angels of Mercy

Today was an adventure!  We reserved a U-haul trailer a couple of weeks ago, to pick up this morning at 9 am.  Last night, I thought what if the ball part of the hitch doesn’t work?  I got up early and put it on.  Went to the U-haul place which is in a Shell gas station and met Elana.  So sweet and helpful and then we went out to hook up and the trailer lights didn’t operate.  We tried several options and still couldn’t get it to work. It seemed that the fault was with our Toyota Highlander.  We headed over to the Toyota dealer and spoke with Gene the service agent and he went to look at the car and told us the wiring system was put on after it had been sold.  They couldn’t help, but were really friendly, including sending us to a company that does truck bed lining.  We met Andrew who took the whole wiring assembly apart and discovered it was broken.  He spent an hour trying to help to no avail and refused any payment, what a guy!

Then we went back to U-haul to get a refund and decided we would load up as much of our stuff as we could in our car and on top as well.  We would have to leave items behind but we surrendered to the situation.  We went in the office and the same sweet lady was there.  We told her we had no luck and we would just like a refund.  There was another Andrew helping someone at another counter and he overheard our conversation. “Let me take a look at it” he said!  He went out and took the rear cargo area apart and then proceeded to rewire the whole assembly in about ten minutes and it operated perfectly!  And guess what?  He was so kind and gentle and caring too! Here is the kicker.  He came in the office a couple of minutes before we got back there and he was immediately going to leave until we showed up!

Angels come disguised as young sweet women and young caring men, both currently without wings! I would encourage all of us to look at our lives and see where we might have missed some angelic assistance.  And keep expecting more!  From my angelic heart to your angelic heart, Thomas

Heart to Heart 135

Creating Peace on Earth

I know folks who go into public bathrooms and pick up paper towels and such that others have dropped and dispose of them.  I know a person that when they are driving their car, they constantly think of how they might help others.  They watch and slow down so others can get in or speed up to make a space.  They get into the right lane when their are two lanes merging into one and wait their turn patiently, instead of speeding ahead in the left lane and making others move so they can get in.  I know folks who hold doors for others even when they don’t need to.  I know a person who always says thank you even about the smallest of things.  I know a couple who always ask folks their name and inquire about them and the folks feel special.

Jill and Sy Miller wrote the wonderful song “Let There be Peace on Earth” in 1955.  The opening line goes Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.  I believe this is the way peace will occur, by people who do kind things for others.  Doesn’t it feel good when someone is kind to you or others?  It fills me up and I feel better about myself.  When I feel better about myself, it is hard for me to find fault in others.  In 1982 Anne Herbert wrote “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty on a place mat in Sausalito California.  She wrote the book of the same name in 1993.  This is how we will tip the scales in favor of those who seek and love peace.

You and I don’t need to spend a lot of money.  We don’t need to take extra classes.  We don’t need to form large rallies of concerned folks.  We don’t need to influence politicians. We only need to be kind to each other as often as possible to both family, spouses and strangers. Then there will be peace on Earth, began with WE.  From my peaceful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 134

Angels

I went for a walk this morning and on the way a lady was walking a snow white Samoyed named Mosby, pictured here.  I told her that Lou Ann and I had a dog named Angel who was twelve years old before she left the planet.  Her dog was speaking to me just as our Angel had done so.  They have a unique way of forming their barks so that it appears like different words!

Then we went to a three hour lunch with Sue Holland, a friend of ours from the past.  Sue is a landscape architect and a wonderful healer.  We had deep discussions about life and it’s intricacies.  Sue has a gift at understanding human situations and immediately seeing solutions.  Amazing!  It appears to me that she is an Angel as well.

And I am married to an Angel.  Lou Ann never ceases to amaze me in the ways she approaches life.  Her heart is open, her mind is receptive and bright.  She sees everyone with value and is willing to spend time with them in figuring out a powerful solution for success.  And she will never quit.  She has dogged determination in seeing things through no matter how long they take.  And I am quite a project!

I urge you to find Angels in your life and be open to be led to your highest good.  They can come in any form, just ask, they are waiting for your call!  From my angelic heart to your angelic heart, Thomas

Heart to Heart 133

The waters will come

What if Atlantis wasn’t a myth, but an early precursor to a new age of great flooding? Across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels, and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. With each crack in the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica, and each tick upwards of Earth’s thermometer, we are moving closer to the brink of broad disaster. The USA, it seems, is the last bastion of climate change deniers. There is the whole rest of the world, and there are Fox News viewers. In North Carolina, it is illegal to claim the sea level is rising. The CIA’s Center on Climate Change and National Security simply disappeared when a Congressman discovered it. Congress will pounce and remove any reference to climate presented to it or which it stumbles upon. The president – well, you know.

Jeff Goodell has traveled the world looking at the ways people and nations are preparing for sea level rise. Because it is well underway, and painfully so. He has examined Venice, Rotterdam, the Marshall Islands and also New York City, the Jersey Shore, Florida, and Norfolk, where the biggest American naval base is going under, visibly. The differences in approach are astounding. While the rest of the world is making huge changes or planning for escape, Americans are hunkering down. They won’t change, come hell or high water. A lot of them expect a technological miracle to come along before it’s too late. So they’re just standing by.

Globally, 145 million people live less than three feet above sea level, “creating generations of climate refugees who will make today’s Syrian war refugee crisis look like a high school drama class production“, Goodell says. Interestingly, climate refugee has no meaning, particularly to governments. It is not defined. No law references it. It does not exist. Just the refugees – an expected 200 million of them by 2050.

All of the above I copied from the Amazon page from the book “The Waters Will Come”.  Our grandchildren and great grandchildren are at peril.  It is not enough to be aware of climate change.  We must do something and do it right now.  I am not informed enough to know specifically what to do.  I do know that all of us can do the simplest things in our homes and daily lives to make a difference.  Please join the concerned souls on planet Earth and get involved and do what you can to lessen the coming disasters.  Because of my generation and decades previous we are now faced with taking immediate action or our loved ones will suffer beyond our comprehension.  Here are ten things we can do right now!!!!  From my hopeful, yet fearful heart to yours, Thomas

1. Get involved

Take a few minutes to contact your political representatives and the media to tell them you want immediate action on climate change. Remind them that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also build healthier communities, spur economic innovation and create new jobs. And next time you’re at the polls, vote for politicians who support effective climate policies.

2. Be energy efficient

You already switch off lights — what’s next? Change light bulbs to compact fluorescents or LEDs. Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use. Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water. Dryers are energy hogs, so hang dry when you can. Install a programmable thermostat. Look for the Energy Star® label when buying new appliances. And a home energy audit is cheaper than you think — book one today to find even more ways to save energy.

3. Choose renewable power

Ask your utility to switch your account to clean, renewable power, such as from wind farms. If it doesn’t offer this option yet, ask it to.

4. Eat wisely

Buy organic and locally grown foods. Avoid processed items. Grow some of your own food. And eat low on the food chain — at least one meat-free meal a day — since 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production. Food writer Michael Pollan sums it up best: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

5. Trim your waste

Garbage buried in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Keep stuff out of landfills by composting kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, and recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass. Let store managers and manufacturers know you want products with minimal or recyclable packaging.

6. Let polluters pay

Carbon taxes make polluting activities more expensive and green solutions more affordable, allowing energy-efficient businesses and households to save money. They are one of the most effective ways to reduce our country’s climate impact.

7. Fly less

Air travel leaves behind a huge carbon footprint. Before you book your next airline ticket, consider greener options such as buses or trains, or try vacationing closer to home. You can also stay in touch with people by videoconferencing, which saves time as well as travel and accommodation costs.

8. Get informed

Follow the latest news about climate change. Join our community.

9. Green your commute

Transportation causes about 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, so walk, cycle or take transit whenever you can. You’ll save money and get into better shape! If you can’t go car-free, try carpooling or car sharing, and use the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle possible.

10. Support and Donate

Many organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, are working hard on solutions to climate change and rely on financial support from citizens like you. Consider making a donation today by calling 1-800-453-1533 or by visiting our secure website.

 

Heart to Heart 132

Guardians of Earth

Who decided that some plants are flowers and should be nurtured and treasured and some are weeds and need to be pulled, chopped, burned, shoveled, in other words, destroyed? I realize that I have a hierarchy of preference.  When I see a tree being climbed by a vine; in my mind the vine needs to go, to save the tree! I have often seen trees slowly destroyed by strangling vines.  How do I know which is better? For me, trees are the elegant saviors of our planet. An acre of trees provides oxygen for eighteen people to breathe for a year.  In my youth I climbed huge trees as far to the top as I could go.  There was something magical about climbing the branches as if on some kind of personal tour of nature.  When I got to the top, I spent a long time looking as far as I could see.

Right here in Virginia the trees are making their amazing autumnal display of beauty again.  This feels spiritual, that there is some force guiding the orchestra of color and I can almost hear music when out in the forest. Whenever I see a logging truck carrying a full load of logs, I feel a twinge in my gut. Like a crime has been committed!  There may be acceptable reasons for the tree cuttings. It might even benefit the forest.  All over the world in places like the Amazon the trees are being ravaged.  Many are cut down to create pasture land to raise cattle.  The methane from the beef is destroying our planet.  Some say more than all the autos in the world.

Right now, I am sitting in the midst of a two acre property with a large home in the midst of hundreds of tall trees.  I feel protected by these wonderful giants.  I am taking a moment to bless them and all the trees on Earth.  May the humans, find a way to live without destroying our forests and our oxygen.  This might be a wonderful cause for those of us who love trees.  Let’s get active and find out how to save our beloved forests.  From my thankful heart to yours, Thomas

 

Heart to Heart 131

Play

We went to watch our granddaughter Carly play soccer. She is 15 and 5 foot 7, 150 strong pounds.  She is quite an athlete like her father Chris.  On the way we listened to a TED talk on NPR about play and how important it is for humans to do so.  Many of us work really hard and too many hours in today’s economy to make ends meet.   It is sometimes difficult to find time to play.  And what is play, anyway?  Is it games or other fun activity?  Perhaps it is when we allow ourselves to let go and be as spontaneous as possible.  Most of us started out in life playing with toys and games.  We used our imaginations and created characters and worlds of magic and unlimited possibilities.

As we grew older we were supposed to “keep our noses to the grindstone”, wouldn’t that have been painful?  I have played a lot in my life.  I grew up playing outside, enjoying all kinds of physical games.  Games like kick the can and capture the flag and hide and go seek.  I was fast and excelled at those games that included running.  Then I “lettered” in high school sports as a teenager.

Even now as I go for my daily walks I make a game of it.  I use the Map My Walk app on my cell phone.  It keeps track of my speed, and steps and calories burned. Then I try to improve on my performance, so I make it a contest with myself.  I think play in whatever form it is; keeps us younger in body, mind and spirit.  We can be too serious and sometimes judge play as not as important.  I believe in creating balance in life. I have been able to work at many things and still find time to enjoy reading, walking, movies, tennis, watching Hallmark with Lou Ann, cooking, eating Mexican food, singing. public speaking which are all play to me.

There was a hospice volunteer on the radio today sharing what people were saying at the end of of their life.  Most said they wish they had played more, spent more time with their family and friends; spent less time working and accumulating.  I would encourage everyone to find more time in your life for play; whatever that is to you.  Find that youthful spirit you once had and let yourself go! From my playful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 130

Same Kind of Different as Me

Another powerful movie for folks to see.  This is a true story about a married couple, living in Texas, who have personal challenges.  The wife, who has a heart as big as Lou Ann (you thought I was going to say Texas), volunteers as a homeless mission.  They have a challenge with a particular man at the shelter.  The story of the three of them is very inspiring.   A wonderful cast starring Renee Zellweger, Greg Kinnear and Djimon Hounsou.  This is a film that gives you hope in humanity.  Go see it and take someone with you!

The movie reminds me that we are all uniquely different and yet the same.  When we see each other and our difference, there is a sense of separation.  We are different colors, shapes, sizes, choices, likes, dislikes and that appears to show how different we are.  At our core though we have a heart that has lived through a lot.  We have been damaged, celebrated, forgotten, cheered, loved, judged, taken for granted and loved unconditionally.

We are a marvelous blend of hope, despair, peace, war, happiness, anger and we wear all those feelings in our minds and hearts all the time.  It is a shame when we speak of different races.  There is one race and it is human.  It is challenging to be a human on the planet at this time.  So many of us are in such pain and suffering and we often lash out with such anger that it literally kills us.  The Earth is in peril right now from the human race.  It is time for many of us to find the courage, the time, the energy and the commitment to find our way through our pain and help each other.  We can’t wait, there is no tomorrow for some of us.  Today is the day to pick up our torch of light and love and volunteer till it helps.  Then we may see a day when we create heaven on Earth for all of it’s creatures. From my different and yet the same heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 129

Loved

Lou Ann and I were visiting my daughter Deborah today, in Dale City Virginia.  She is always fun to be with, we laugh a lot!  As we were traveling across town to visit her, we drove by a road named Taylor.  I pointed it out to Lou Ann and she said awwww… in a tender way.  Lou Ann is heart connected to people, places and things.  Taylor road is a street we used to travel on from a home we had here in Warrenton between 2005 and 2009.  Lou Ann feels connected to that home and all the people and activities that occurred there.  A street sign can invoke for her wonderful memories of that time.  We love this area and all of our family and friends who made it special for us.

We feel so loved and cared for.  A friend of ours is coming down from West Virginia tomorrow to spend the day.  I performed his wedding in 1973 and he performed our wedding New Years Eve 1982.  Delicious memories.  Sometimes I think back to times when I made a choice that didn’t work out so well.  So, it is wonderful to recall choices that fill my heart full to the brim with love.

Take a moment and recall people who have loved you and made your life richer.  Maybe it was just a momentary connection, a brief encounter; and it still resonates in your heart as a fond memory. Remember, what you focus on expands.  Right now I am filling up with love for all of you and feel your beautiful hearts.  From my so loved heart to yours, Thomas