Monday, May 25, 2015

How To Honor Your Special Vet

Today is Memorial Day, a special day set aside to honor those who fought for our country.  It's wonderful we take time to honor them.  It's hard to think of what they went through.  Not everyone went off to war.  Some were in service and were not called to make that effort, that sacrifice.  But they were there if needed, and they should also be recognized and honored.

Today I heard of a special way these fine men and women are receiving recognition for their time in service.  It's an oral history project to gather together their stories.  It's a project not just for the leaders, but also for the entire spectrum of military personnel.  They want the stories of all ranks, races, faiths, and gender.  Without that diversity the story is not complete.

To find information of how you can participate, either as a veteran or a volunteer, you can go to the website set up to give you the information on what to do and how to do it. is your go-to place for all you need to know.

My dad served in the U. S. Army during WWII, serving in the CBI (China, Burma, India) Theater.  I've been interested in oral history since my college days.  I was able to get him on tape, but my success was limited.  He would tell some humorous stories and such, but he did not want to share the hardships they endured.  I was his daughter and he wanted to spare me such details.  I wish he had given me more, but he had to do what he was comfortable with.

Good luck and God bless you for helping tell their stories, not just for today but for the ages.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Is Longevity In Your Future?

I've been reading a lot lately about the outlook for an individual to live a long time.  Some things make sense, others make you think.

There appears to be a consensus the you are more likely to have a long life if you eat healthy and stay active.  That would appear to be a no-brainer.  Other traits include being conscientious, optimistic, happy, and socially connected.  That also makes sense.  Being extroverted was mentioned in one article, as well as a sense of spirituality.

Another study looked at men born in 1887 and who lived to be 100.  This was possible as they were able to study longevity records and find men lived to be 100, then cross-referenced to the beginning of the draft in 1917.  The men were all 30 at the time and had at least 4 children.

Why would the number of children make any difference?  The article mentioned that this may have provided a means for care as the parent aged.  It could be, but kids can be a two-edged sword.  They can be a source of great joy, and they can be a thorn in your side as you progress through life. 

My thoughts on this?  Now if you are a happy, optimistic man who likes to laugh and enjoy life, you may very well raise your kids to have these same traits.  The others could very well lead you to an early grave, and you wouldn't live to the age they were interested in.

Another interesting factor, the men who lived the longest were mostly farmers.  I can see how they could come to that conclusion.  There were a lot of farmers in 1917.  Farmers had a physically active and hard working life.  Today we have fewer farmers than were around then.  There are more diverse jobs available, and a lot of farms have now been converted to corporate farms.  Would today's population show the same results on longevity?

One major thought on my mind:  What about the women?  Obviously it would be difficult task to find a group of women available for a study with the same parameters as the one for men.  But it would be interesting to find out how a matched study of the gals would compare.

In the meantime I'll muddle through the best I can.  I'll laugh and be happy, at least most of the time.  I'll try to stay active and surround myself with family and friends.  If I make it to be 100, maybe I'll come back and let you know if I was successful in the task.  However, I do have quite a few years left to make it to that milestone, so I make no promises.

And I do hope you are successful in living a life of joy to a ripe old age.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What 10 Creative People Tell You About the Storms of Life

In life, there is no Yellow Brick Road.  We all have to endure times of trouble and strife.  Sometimes it can help to know what others have to say and how they get through these hard times without losing hope.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - poet, philosopher, essayist.  Born 1803 and died 1822.
     The wise man in a storm prays to God not for safety from danger, but deliverance from pain.

Morris West - Australian novelist.  Born 1916, died 1999.
     If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine.

Mark Twain - writer, humorist, adventurer.  Born 1835, died 1910.
     Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings.  It consists mainly of the storms of thoughts that's forever flowing through one's head.

Vincent van Gogh - Dutch painter.  Born 1855, died 1890.
     There is peace even in the storm.

Epicurus - Greek philosopher.  Born 342 BC.
     Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.

Amelia Barr - English author and teacher.  She was born 1831 and died 1851.
     It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.

Charles Kettering - inventor and business man, he held 186 patents.  Born 1867, died 1958.
     No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.

Louisa May Alcott - American author. Born 1831, died 1888.
     I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.

Golda Meir - Israeli Prime Minister.  Born 1898, died 1978.
     Old age is like flying a plane through a storm.  Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do.

Vivian Greene - modern author, artist, speaker. 
     Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Makes Sense, Doesn't It?

Ben Franklin was a very savvy man, bordering on genius if not actually over the line with smarts.  He was the initiator of so many things that had a positive impact on a large population world-wide.  For one thing, he was concerned about the dangers of fire on the citizens. 

He belonged to a group of firefighting men in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Thinking through how things were done, he formed the Union Fire Company.  Under his direction it was decided to start a fire insurance company.  He met with other fire companies to form the Philadelphia Contributorship Insurance Company.

The fireman paid a premium to the company which would pay out for property damage from fires.  They signed on for seven years.  At the end of the seven year period they would receive back the monies they paid in minus the amount paid out.  The first year they had no fires among the insured.  At the end of seven years they all got some money back.

Franklin also noticed how mature trees interfered with fire fighting.  They prevented immediate access to the burning building which hampered firefighters when getting into position for their work.  After some thought he suggested the city council require the removal of all mature trees in town.  His idea was approved and made into a city ordinance.

The citizens were not as impressed with this idea.  Think about it.  This was a time where there was no air conditioning.  Without mature trees, there would be no shady areas to allow a person to get some relief from a brutal sun.  Being inside the house would not assure you a modicum of relief, especially since cooking was often over an open flame in the house.  You know those kitchens would get unbearably hot.

I'm sure many also sat outside to catch any breeze blowing through the area.  Without the trees, would they instead have straight line winds blowing through, possibly with greater force than the less intense breeze of the wind slowing as the wind met the trees? 

Whatever the reasons for the controversy surrounding the passing of this ordinance, the population had a vigorous say about the situation.  The ordinance was rescinded.

However, Franklin must have been proud of the citizens for protesting to the city and expressing their concerns and feelings.  He did believe in the democratic process, and that process does not assure you will always get your way, only that you can have your say.

How would you feel if a like ordinance were suggested where you live?