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The Great Gift of Travel

August 13, 2023 by  
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For many years, I have preached about how great travel is for the human brain and body. To visit new places or countries lifts or expands the mind so much and can help you understand and accept the differences between us and people from other countries and totally different cultures, beliefs, religions, and political views. I strongly believe that travel makes the world a much better place for you and your children and your grandchildren.

I was introduced to travel at a very young age when my father was assigned to a job in Turkey to help people there get more out of what they were doing for a living. Mostly he showed them how to improve their production, whether it was farming, ranching or writing their own story. He did a great job and helped lot of people.

That experience, and our family traveling to nearby countries like Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Italy, France, England, and many more, really grew my love of travel. Those experiences motivated me, later in life, to travel to many other places. I have now traveled to 95 countries!!

For example, earlier this year Kimberly and I visited Barcelona, Vigo, and Cadiz in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal, La Harve and South Hampton in England, and when that all was done, we took that fantastic train ride that goes under the English Channel to Paris, France!

Then just last week we got back from a celebration of my upcoming 80th birthday with all my kids and grandkids — 38 of us all together. I took them on a European Disney cruise! What a great birthday gift. Well, oops, I was the one who paid for it all, but it was worth every penny.

When you want to give a great and powerful gift, it’s my opinion that one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids, grandkids, and even friends is the wonderful gift of travel to new and different places. It doesn’t matter if those new places are just new states or cities that they have never been to. It’s still a new experience that will lift their minds and spirits.

My advice to you, my readers, is that you think about what kind of traveling you’ve done recently and maybe look for different places that you can take your loved ones and friends. I can guarantee that they will remember those trips and thank you for the rest of their lives, especially those young kids. It’s a super gift that they can’t just throw away like stuff you might give them. It lasts a lifetime!

Thats my challenge to you — give the gift of travel and I’m pretty sure you will enjoy the experience immensely in giving it, traveling, and seeing how much your family and friends will love it!

Focusing on the Kids

July 25, 2021 by  
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Kids, kids, kids! Don’t you love them? Maybe not all of them, all the time, but for the most part. When I watch kids play, I can’t help but smile and chuckle a bit, especially watching the toddlers or a newborn.

Last week I was overwhelmed and thrilled that my daughter Cammy gave birth to her 2nd child — an absolutely darling and beautiful baby girl weighing 5 pounds 13 ounces. That brings my grandchildren count to 20! As I held the little girl in my arms and looked into her face, I shed a few tears. Tears of joy.

When I look at kids and how fun, playful, and darling they are, I am stunned and sickened by the thought of those adults that physically or sexually abuse these wonderful, innocent kids. I’m always appalled when I see or read about this kind of thing. It motivates me to go out of my way to do more kind and good things for kids.

I really need to spend more time with my own children and grandkids as well as go out of my way to help kids that have suffered abuse or neglect. Those are some of my new goals. I also would challenge my readers to go out of their way to protect kids and be on the lookout for adults who may be hurting kids either physically or mentally. Let’s all be more aware of this kind of thing and take action when we see or hear of such questionable activity.

I’ve set a few more goals for myself as it relates to my children and grandkids and even their friends:

1. Take them hiking

2. For those who can ride, take them biking.

3. Give those that are old enough tennis lessons.

4. Read to them.

And that’s just the beginning of my list. Assisting kids and giving them a bit of direction on what to do with their lives is something else I’d like to help them with. I think helping kids can help change the world for the better, not just for them, but for all of us.

Our Changes in Fortune

November 3, 2019 by  
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Wow and double wow! I never expected the huge and heartfelt response I received after my closing comment on my last week’s blog, asking people to send their best wishes and love to little 2-year-old Kate who had just been diagnosed with leukemia. So, at minimum I want to take time right now to give a HUGE THANKS to all you beautiful, wonderful people who cared enough to take time to send your heartfelt wishes to little Kate and her family. That means so much to me, her parents, the rest of the family, and to little Kate and her twin sister Ellie. I’m thinking that Kate and her twin sister could feel the love and the caring that was sent to them. I sure could!

We all know that life has its big bumps, surprises, and setbacks. And, yes, it also has many wonderful, fun, exciting, and pleasurable moments as well. It behooves all of us to constantly remember to live in the great “right now” moment. I’ve written a lot about this previously and most people know they should try to live more in the “now moments” and not spend too much time worrying about the future or beating themselves up for the past mistakes and or bad decisions. But, if you are like me, you have to keep reminding yourself to think more in the “now”. That kind of thinking can be very critical for our mental and emotional health and our great enjoyment of life. Meditation can help with this. Meditation works because, if you do it right, you truly are living in the moment!

Knowing all this and preaching it to others, I still wake up worrying about what I need to get done in the immediate or not too distant future as well as fretting a bit over what I missed out on doing yesterday. I have noticed, however, if I take time to write down my next day’s plans and actions the night before I go to sleep, I usually wake up much more likely to just get out of bed and get going on my to do list. My mind seems to be so much clearer and my thoughts are much more positive in the “now moment”.  Of course, we all need to think about the future and make plans, much of which is very fun and exciting like when planning a trip to Disneyland with the kids, or a vacation to Europe, etc. It’s the same with the past – we enjoy taking time (but not too often) to relive our great experiences and the really memorable moments in our life.

Talking about great moments in time… did you read about the older lady in Paris that recently discovered that one of the paintings she had hanging on her walls — one that she wasn’t even particularly wild about — was very, very rare? She sold it for a shocking $26 million dollars. I sure hope she’s not like so many jackpot and lottery winners that have never had a ton of money. So many of them have lost everything years later, making the news again because, not knowing how to handle tons of money, they spent it all and/or were scammed out of it. Whether fortune smiles on us or we have a ton of bad luck thrown at us, we need to learn how to handle our changes in fortune. I want to talk a bit next week about the smarter ways to handle money when good fortune comes your way.