Saturday, November 28, 2015


While it's good practice to be thankful for our blessings everyday, too often we become bogged down in the minutiae of what's not to our liking; the snow storm, rainy day for a planned picnic, the boss is unfair, a fender bender, a flat tire on the way to work, your child melts down because the T.V. broke during a favorite program, etc. etc.. Momentarily we lose sight of all that's right in our lives.
    Thanksgiving day gives us the opportunity to focus on what is right in our life.  It's a time to say to ourselves , "what am I thankful for."
    With some serious list making I suspect that the things we're thankful for, by far, exceed the list of things we find peevish.  But day to day we spend too much energy concentrating on the negatives.

    Everyday we choose, when we get up in the morning, what we will let ourselves think about at the moment and each moment of the day.  How much more satisfying our days will be if we choose to put a positive spin on the events we experience, moment to moment.  And when we go to bed at night think; what a great it was.


IT's easier to have a great day when you make someone else's day more pleasant.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Petty criminal or terrorist?

While waiting in the boarding area for my flight from San Antonio a young middle eastern boy, 13 or 14, sits down beside me. He remains their for, perhaps, 15 or so minutes. When he gets up to leave, he nonchalantly grabs the pull handle of my suitcase upon which is hung my leather jacket and proceeds to leave with it.
I grabbed the side of the pull handle, stopping his progress, and said, " you can leave that here!"
He looked me straight in the eye and challenged me by saying, " is this yours?"
He waited until I said yes before letting go and walking nonchalantly away.

He and his family, father, mother and two younger siblings , each with two suitcases, boarded my flight.
We made our annual trip to San Antonio, Texas last week.  We've made this trip for at least 10 years maybe longer.  We go for a number of reasons; I attend a continuing education conference. 
 Conveniently, our older grand daughters live in Corpus Christi, Texas and usually come up to visit us while we're so close and spend a couple days with us.  Grandma takes them Christmas shopping and we do the Riverwalk up right.  This year was different in a couple of ways: the conference was held a week early,  we flew separately, with different timelines, and I with a different airline.  Because of school, the girls were unable to join us, and Diane, having had total knee surgery just 5 weeks prior, came down a few days after me; I arrived on Sunday the 15th and she arrived Tues. night of the 17th.
The weather was perfect; 70's during the day with little humidity. I did my longer walks, to old touch stones on Sunday and Monday.  Diane's endurance and mobility being limited we stayed pretty close to the hotel. 
Of course, day one, I made my way to Waxy's Irish pub on the Riverwalk for my yearly, Guinness, Jameson's, and a Montecristo cigar.  Yes I ate lunch also.
As I said, for the first couple of days after Di arrived we stayed pretty close to our hotel, venturing a little further each day.  Sitting by the river in front of the hotel gave us ample opportunity to people watch.
On Friday, we made our longest excursion, walking to the Menger Hotel and back.  Passing, on the way, the Briscoe Western Art Museum.  Regretfully we did not go in but took pictures of the sculptures out side.

At the suggestion of a friend, I took a walk on Monday, after class, to find a restaurant, Mitera, which he recommended.  And find it I did, inside a great little shopping area, Market Square.  I didn't eat there solely because I don't like eating in restaurants by myself.

Walking back to the hotel I passed by author O'Henry's house.

We decided to get a western get-up picture taken on our way back to our hotel from Menger's.
A souvenir of, probably, our last excursion to San Antonio.
Things change;  the path of continuing-ed is changing and conferences such as these will fall by the wayside.   Our grand daughters are growing/grown up and are moving on with their lives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Magpie 293

the light goes out
       of your eyes,
leaving the black hole
        of memory~

close my eyes,
        hear your voice,
unchanged, these
        40 years.

Monday, November 09, 2015


I received some devastating news in an otherwise stellar day today;  my best friend and hooch-mate in Vietnam , Sonny "Pappy" Calta died at age 74, November 3rd, 2015.  He was born January 11th, 1941. Ever year on/or about the Marine Corps birthday (November 10 ) Pappy would call me; every year for 40 years, to chat and say Semper Fi, marine.  He didn't call this year and I knew something was wrong. His son said the past year was a difficult one for Sonny, but didn't elaborate.
A sad day indeed!
Semper Fi "Pappy, see ya soon.  Keep the hooch dry 'Til I get there.
   Doc (Goofy) LaRock.

Calta, Godfrey “Sonny” Albert

Calta, Godfrey "Sonny" Albert Jan 11, 1941 - Nov 3, 2015 Godfrey "Sonny" Albert Calta passed away November 3, 2015 in Loveland, CO. Sonny was born January 11, 1941 in Omaha, NE to Godfrey and Vlasta Calta. A graduate of South High School, Sonny was a stand-out athlete with an outgoing personality and an unwavering zest for life. In 1959, Sonny played in the inaugural Shrine Bowl; achieving and still holds the longest punt return record. Deemed "Mr. January" in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl Anniversary calendar, he was recognized and inducted at the 50th Shrine Bowl Hall of Fame. He went on to play football at Kansas State and University of Arizona. In 1964 Sonny enlisted in the Marine Corps. The proud Marine served in Vietnam and was awarded the American Spirit Honor Medal. While in Vietnam, his poem "A Patrol" was published in the New York Times. He retired in Colorado. Sonny is survived by children, Wendy and Robb Nelson, Traci and David Zeigler, Christi and Mike Poehl, Casey Calta, Vicki and Perry Voet and Larry and Deb Green; grandchildren, Brady Nelson, Samantha and Sydney Zeigler, Zach and Kobe Poehl, Chelsea and Josh Voet and Nicki Sedlacek and Brian Green; great-granddaughter, Wrigley Poehl; siblings, Shirley Goodro and Carol Reznicek. Preceded in death by sister Judy Cline and grandson Hunter Nelson. MEMORIAL CELEBRATION OF LIFE 10am Thursday, November, 12, 2015 at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E Hampden Ave, Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113. Burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery to follow. In honor of his grandson Hunter, memorial donations are suggested to: Hunter's Dream for a Cure Please visit Sonny's online memorial at: ALLNUTT DRAKE CHAPEL 650 W. Drake Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 482-3208

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Older people cars

A few days ago my neighbor, a young women, drove up to our apartment complex in this Buick.  Sitting out on my balcony I said to her, as she exited the car, "beautiful car."  She said, "yes, I love it. It's like riding in luxury.  I always thought they were for older people."

Being an "older people," I thought about her comment, and when I saw her a few days later, I said, " the older people that drive that car bought their first one when they were your age, and loved it just like you do. They loved it so much, that they kept buying it year after year right up 'til the were older."

She nodded, and said, "I think your right!"

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dreaming vs reality

It's easier to put off 'til tomorrow.
At 6 AM tomorrow I'll go for a long run, and see how far I  can go.
At noon I hit the pavement with low energy.
At mile two my right calf cramps up. Stretch it out. No relief.  Keep going, I think, maybe it'll subside.

Earlier in the morning I email my daughter with whom I'm supposed to run the MCM a month away.
"Good Morning "Chelle,
I'm sorry to say, I'll be sitting out the 40th MCM.  Go ahead and cancel my hotel room.
Your mother's surgery being only 2 weeks before is a convenient excuse for me, but in truth, I have neglected to stay true the training necessary to complete the marathon.  While I can still run a 1/2, the full is in a whole different category."

More than anything, I'm a dreamer. Somehow I think I can still complete the race.  Today's run will tell me the truth.

In May we ran the Buffalo half; my training was on track and I finished well.   Come the end of August we were signed up to run an 18 mile race in Sackett's Harbor.  My training lagged enough for me to accept my inability to clock that distance, so I downgraded to the half.  My performance was good enough to give me hope;  I can still get in sufficient shape to complete the marathon the end of October.

I failed to put mind over matter. A, persistent, dry hacking cough for 3 months, too many cigars, expanded work hours, failure to adjust my time to move my training runs to early morning, allowed me to neglect what I knew would lead to insufficient training.  But, I'm a dreamer who believes in miracles.

Shit or get off the pot Bobby!    I ran 3 miles to the park, hiked 6 miles in the park, ( a great leg work out btw)  and ran 3 miles back.  I'm exhausted, legs drained of ATP, I hit the wall at 12 miles.  Good decision to sign off on a looming marathon run.  I'm disappointed, but hardly surprised.

Persist in my dreaming, run the marathon; at best I'd not make the cut off times. At worst, I'd collapse half way through and who knows.......

Do the work or sit the bench.

Google photo

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The seven deadly sins

Words vs action; too often the dichotomy gives rise to cynicism.  The pope, head of the Catholic Church, spoke to a joint session of congress.  I admire his words and philosophy; his ability to hold fast to the catholic dogma in the face of too many examples, world wide, of man's inhumanity to man.

Even if a congress, at loggerheads on most issues, could  come together in an ecumenical fashion, I doubt they could bring about any meaningful change in humankind's, centuries old, addiction to: wrathgreedslothpridelustenvy, and gluttony.  

If nothing else, the pope's speech makes us focus inward to evaluate our own inequities.  And therein lies the solution to the world's problems. We listen to him bescheech us and we think, well he's not talking about me but if everyone else would  follow his pious direction we'd be okay.

I'm sorry to say, but I think only catastrophe or calamity might brings us to our knees in repentance.  Some believe that if Christ or some Christ like being were to arise in our midst, to lead us, we'd be saved.  But no, I think we'd crucify him again.

I truly believe that the answer is for each human to follow the Ten Commandments or some similar tenet. Then, and only then, will we see peace and harmony reign in our world.  If not, we'll become like the dinosaurs; extinct.