Rest is Ending

We wrap up our last morning on the East Coast. 

Rested. Yes. Finished with seeing the sites? Never. Again, we have learned much – there is much to learn. 

We are past ready to go home. Life kicks into a re-connected mode Saturday. Church on Sunday. Work and busy on Monday until our next trip. 

Sometimes too much of a good thing is…well, sometimes bad, sometimes good. The math of it is you find how much you enjoy travel and wonder what will replace it when age and finances slow your world down.  That’s positive.  The negative side of the equation is you never want to return to normal life!

So. Enjoy your job while it pays for your time off. That’s when a vacation is spelled vaccination. 

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Vacation vs Vaccination 

  Every trip teaches something…

Even if you fail to learn the lesson. We know this about ourselves…

  1. We love to vacation by ourselves – no demands on our time or attention other than what we choose to invest in. Each trip allows us to chose how, and with whom, we want to spend our time.
  2. Flee from the crowds, heat, and busyness of tourist traps, unless that’s how we volunteer our time to spend. And then in a minimalist fashion.
  3. Mobility is liberty. So glad we rented a car!
  4. When you have your best friend with you, well, it gets not better than that!
  5. This is mostly me, but search for those lonely looking roads… There are mysteries to unravel.

Lessons we’ve learned include:

  1. Vacation in the off seasons – fewer crowds, even if that means some venues are shuttered.
  2. Head for the country rather than the city – 2 days in a city are acceptable if you have 14 days in the country.
  3. Go where everyone is a stranger! 
  4. Better to drive than fly, unless you have access to a rental car. 35 hours in a car is better than 4 hours on a plane + the time anquishing through the airport!
  5. It’s hard to relax knowing life is on the other edge of the time off.
  6. This is mostly me, apply your knowledge of history to challenge a good time!

So, though there is much to enjoy here in our nations capital, it is only something to take in small doses! 

Today, we drove to Annapolis and crossed the Bay bridge over the Chesapeake…. Every mile connected to my memories of James Micheners book on the area. Research also pointed out Kunta Kinte, the memorial for Alex Haley… Patuxent River I’ve read so much about… US Naval Academy… Well, that’s enough to keep me busy for a little while…

All of this made me want to flee DC and hug the shoreline in search of that best crab cake! 

One last note… Make sure you have a comfortable car… This Dodge Charger is nice, but not meant for longer than a grocery trip!

Linchpin of Life

Here in “Our nations capital”….

  Enjoying some much needed downtime… We did something for me that is not my brides favorite thing.  We rode on the “eye” of the Potomac River.  

A half a dozen nice circles… High.  Low.  Round and round she goes.  Look left. Right.  Up. Down. 

I noticed something. The little cotter key holding the nut in place that kept our car attached to the Ferris wheel.  

If that key ever rusted away and that nut backed off the threads, well, there may be some wild experiences in store!

Made me think… What holds you in place? What can remove the surety of your life?

The bible describes a situation of surety.  

Isa 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.

But then, just a few verses later that same surety is removed by God.  

Isa 22:25 In that day, says Jehovah of Hosts, the nail that is fastened in the sure place shall be removed, and be cut down, and fall. And the burden that was on it shall be cut off. Jehovah has spoken.

Maybe we can cause a recklessness of life that will shake the very world we call home, both large and small.  But if God is securing us then nothing can break the binding except for God or ourselves.   

And we are our own worst enemies! 

It’s the smallest of things that cause the biggest problems.  Ben Franklin said “…take care of the pennies and the dollars take care of themselves…” Control the little things.   Please!

This includes health, finances, relationships.   In fact…Everything!

Life’s Little Challenges

  Here in “Our Nations Capital”

Just read an article warning a “Bruce Lee” of an El Niño weather pattern this year.  In the affected areas they are warning readers to get their buildings ready – roof repairs, caulking against leaks, etc.  

Much depended on your altitude… Each level required considerations for peace of mind.  

Not every storm is solved by every possible preparation.  

Check out this article from USA TODAY: Get your jiu-jitsu ready for ‘Bruce Lee’ El Niño 

Think about it.  You build and prepare for a region and then a storm season of enormous magnitude sidles up to your front door.  “Ready or not, here I come!”

You know the feeling! You have prepared your life for the average response to average needs.  Law of averages.  In lean and abundant years everything sort of averages out.  

This is okay for most times.  What do you do when warnings of a storm of storms angles down your path of life? Hunker down? Head in the sand? Run?

David fled for his life from his biggest storm to date.  Bear and lion – faced and handled.  Goliath – dispatched.  But when his best friends dad threatened:

Psa 57:1 To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

The best he could do was duo fold: hide in a cave  and cry out to God.  

Where’s your cave in this time of worst than average? Where’s your God?

Not All Steps Are Positive

True, many steps we take are in negative territory.

Monument Valley 002Not necessarily wrong, or even in the wrong direction, but definitely moving in different directions than where we thought we were headed.

I love this Monument Valley puzzle game. The stairs, elevators and various hindrances keep you guess which way to turn. Sometimes you figure it out quickly. Other times it’s a lot of trial and error.

Regardless, you always have options and you chose your direction based upon perception or past moves.

Solomon penned these words:

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10 NKJV)

The only other places a tower is mentioned is in Judges 9:51 where people fled into and to the top of for safety. King David speaks of a shelter and strong tower that was his protection from the enemy in Psalms 61:3. So, Solomon comes at this thought with predecessor experience.

There are times the steps to safety and right decision lead upwards. There are times it is the reverse. Developing muscles that move only in a single direction makes you a slow-poke when the opposite moves are required.

Listen to the logic of  Muhammad Ali, famous and fearless boxer of decades gone by.

“Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee.” 

Have you ever watched the wanderings of a butterfly as they flit about on the micro moves of airflow? It seems they are drunken pilots. Up. Down. Forward. Backward. Easily twisted by the currents they fly through. But a Bee has more control and takes charge of the situation with the fearful prong and venom they claim ownership to.

Fly. Sting. In and out. Sting. Up and down. Sting. Forwards and backwards. Sting.

Makes me think about our walk in life. To get to the top, muscles propel, and you practice so as to increase your muscle strength. To retreat, muscles resist against gravity; and you still practice control so muscles act properly.

Yes. I’ve been on the mountaintop with a 70 lb pack and a hunting rifle. It was easier going up, though very hard and tiring work, than letting gravity get me down quicker!

Be prepared for a retreat from a dangerous or non-productive pathway. Find a place of shelter and a tower to hang out in above the fray of the enemy below. Know your strength and weakness and exercise to prevent illogical failure in the greatest moment of need….

Think about you!

I’ve Come To Some Conclusions

Maybe this is a list of lessons learned…

List - 40 Ways To Stay CreativeI found a really neat list of 40 Ways to Stay Creative. You may or may not agree with all of them, but it made me think about listing things I’ve learned from situations and people around me.

This is not a complete list, but it makes me consider how I can improve each number item. In you. And in me.

Have you ever considered where you are on someone else’s list?

Do not try and pin yourself to a certain number below. I am afraid we will find ourselves with too large a list.

  1. Not everyone will read, or be ready to read, the things that I write or find important enough to live before others.
  2. Too many people simply do not care – including me.
  3. Not everyone is the person they purport to be – everyone has a hidden sin, as well as a hidden talent.
  4. Everyone has a weapon they are willing to use at a time of their choosing – be it physical or word.
  5. There are proverbial tasks that will never get done – no matter how hard I try to complete them.
  6. Too many celebrate only the small things of life because they never get to handle the big things in life.
  7. Some people will never call you back, or follow through, or be your friend.
  8. Some people simply tire you out, some lift you up, some fall in between the extremes.
  9. Some people only want something from you and are never willing nor able to give back in return, while others have a huge giving heart never expecting anything in return.
  10. Some people never change. Others change too much. Not all change is an improvement.
  11. While some lead by example (positive and negative examples), some lead like tyrants and bullies and cannot even lead themselves to success.
  12. Some parents should never have had kids. Kids often deserve better than they are given.
  13. We all need real life education to make us productive in this world – money, relationships, accountability, etc. I never liked the school of hard knocks, but I sure gained value from every lesson taught!
  14. You can do better. So can I.
  15. Some promote only what they like, but like only what makes them feel superior.
  16. Too many are whiners… Especially if they continually live like losers.
  17. I see too many walking away from, when they should returning to… Quickly.
  18. Some commit to a higher cause. Too many are influenced only by this world.
  19. Way too many of us are incapable of handling criticism, but we are easily able to dish it out.
  20. We never learn how to accept praise. Really.
  21. Memories are fallible. Reciting memories are often reciting lies.
  22. Some think too highly of themselves and their actions loudly proclaim this fact.
  23. Not every situation grooms us properly for the next big step.
  24. Sometimes we simply make bad choices. Seldom do we make the right choice.
  25. I cannot continually rehash things of the past. I must simply leave them behind and move forward.
  26. Maybe this time is the time I should keep my thoughts to myself…

With each item on this list I see myself from certain angles. So, the truth be told, this list may be more about me than others around me. Hmmm… Must make a list about this!

Questions….

I have often considered myself inquisitive…

But I never feel threatened when the answers do not match some prior knowledge or preconceived understanding… Often, the question flutters into the background until more facts arrive. Other times, the questions simply disappear and reappear at a more appropriate season. 

I remember reading a quote that there was not much left to create, only to realize that visionary in the 60’s had no vision beyond his fingertips. What?!?! Who said this? No idea… Guess I will research …

Just like the time I could never grasp that WIFI would make sense, or that every home will have multiple personal devices more powerful than the first mainframe of the 50’s! To date, I have programmed in over 37 computer languages….

I could never foresee the day of not working in IT…. But the day arrived of new marketplace, age, and past salary kept me from the job force…. That extra million of income has not happened as I expected it to during my 50’s…. Retirement may be different than I had planned!

Still, with all the tech mobility available I find I want to go to historical places instead of looking at them online. How do I make this happen?

So, when will it all come to pass the way I dream of it? Guess I need to work harder!