Sunday, March 29, 2009

I received the wretching news of the passing of one of my hang-out friends from HS last night. It is not that we were such great friends, but I guess it allowed me to reflect on the portions of his life that I recall. I do not judge anyone, but recall a tremendous desire to be liked, to be loved, to be accepted - sound familiar? Dead at 48 from a heart attack. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!!!!

Next theme....

Ghandhi's Seven Root Cause of Violence
Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Knowledge without Character
Science without Humanity
Worship without Sacrifice
Politics without Principles
Commerce without Morality

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's Only Rain

Written by my friend Charlie McCurry - see

Why all these tears
Why all this pain
Just dry your eyes my child
It's only rain

Beyond these clouds
Sky blue, the same
Just dry your eyes my child
It's only rain

Sometimes this life
can be so cruel
But it won't last too long
It's up to you

Why all these tears
Why all this pain
Just dry your eyes my child
It's only rain
It's only rain
It's only rain

Charlie McCurry

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL

Sunday, March 08, 2009

shared by Gerardo Chaves, retired correspondent of La Nacion in Costa Rica, a frind of my father in their youth.

The Pickle Jar

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside
dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would
empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as
they were dropped into the jar . They landed with a merry jingle when
the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull
as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper
and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun
poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would
sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production . Stacked
neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and
me on the seat of his old truck...

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me
hopefully. 'Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill,
son You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going
hold you back.'

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across
counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly 'These
for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life
like me.'

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream
cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk
the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few
coins nestled in his palm. 'When we get home, we'll start filling the
jar again.' He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar.
they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each
other. 'You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and
he said. 'But you'll get there; I'll see to that.'

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop
his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the
mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a
single dime was taken from the jar...

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup
over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined
than ever to make a way out for me. 'When you finish college, Son,' he
told me, his eyes glistening, 'You'll never have to eat beans again -
unless you want to.'

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another
Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom,
noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and
been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser
where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and
lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.
pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than
most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife
Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my
life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how
my dad had loved me.

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the
holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each
other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild.
began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. 'She
probably needs to be changed,' she said, carrying the baby into my
parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living
room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me
the room. 'Look,' she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on
the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had
been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered
coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and
pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I
dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying
Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I
he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart. I know it has yours as well. Sometimes we
are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture
you can change a person's life, for better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some
Look for Good in others.

The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched - they
be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller

- Happy moments, praise God.

- Difficult moments, seek God.

- Quiet moments, worship God.

- Painful moments, trust God.

- Every moment, thank God.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL