Five Minute Friday — Way

Happy Friday! Time for this week’s installment of Five Minute Friday … on time!

I cherish this exercise. which gives me a chance to shut off the world and focus on a specific word prompt. It gives my mind a chance to ponder the word and send the thoughts cascading through my fingers onto the screen for all to see. But the best part is visiting Kate’s place on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com and join with others in our special community of writers. It’s always exciting — and often informative — to see how my fellow FMF friends develop their thoughts in a variety of different genres. If you get a chance, stop by.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Helen who I hope inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?

“I’ll always have a place in my heart for FMF; it — and the wonderful community surrounding it — *literally* brought me safely through a very, very tough time in my personal life; I re-found amongst the FMF community, the joy and beauty of life and I’ll always be thankful for that. I’m constantly amazed by the quality of the writing from the FMF community and the breadth of ideas presented; every Friday, raeding everyone’s posts, is like a workout for my soul. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week.”

This week’s challenge is WAY. My thoughts are short. The timer is set for five minutes so let’s GO …

Way to go …

Finding my way home …

Going away …

Way too easy {or tough} …

Ways and means …

19 Westview Way …

Way of life …

That’s the way it goes …

On the way …

No way …

A pleasant way …

The way he dressed …

My way …

By the way …

Step this way …

The way it happened …

This way …

That way …

The easiest way …

Out of the way… STOP

I am the W3ay …

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Hug everyone you can and hug often.

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Social Media

I’m not a big social media fan. . II use it, but I’m not an every-minute online junkie.

I often find Facebook feeds disconcerting. In addition to the obvious political posts that do absolutely nothing to advance discussion, the drama is overwhelming. I really do not need to know what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner {although I admit I am sometimes guilty of these posts, especially if I’ve tried something new}. And it really drives me bonkers when someone posts a cryptic message about being “sad” or “irritated” or whatever with no context … or any followup.

Some of the memes posted are entertaining, but a fair number of them are downright disgusting. And, doesn’t anyone know how to spell anymore?

On the plus side, Facebook is a way to keep in touch with family and friends from afar and what is affecting their lives. And it is a great information tool for communities. I feel connected with my roots in Paterson and northern New Jersey, my Don Bosco Tech and Five Minute Friday communities, Seaside Heights, Boone County, IL, and Dover-Foxcroft, ME. I do try to keep my posts positive.

I use Messenger for much of my communication as a supplement to e-mail. Again, I try to keep these positive as well. I also consider them more private that general Facebook posts.

I do have a Twitter account, but quite honestly, I’m rarely on it. I will get notifications of new gtweets and check them out, but that’s about the extent of my use. I know the president has, but I haven’t figured out the value of tweets. Quite possibly it’s because I haven’t mastered the art of tweeting … and I’m not particularly inclined to do so.

Instagram. Pinterest. LinkedIn. Google+ YouTube. Tumblr. Just platforms I’ve heard about with little interest to join.

And that brings us to smart phones … or dumb people. To be sure, the newer phones {? is that even the right word} have become a staple in life. I can remember when phones were attached to the wall and even early models which were the size of oversized bricks. I think my first “cell” phone was a flip phone which sometimes — some times — actually connected me with the outside world by phone. It was more for emergency use than anything else.

Times have changed. My phone — and most others — are miniature computers. I do use it all the time to connect to the Internet, the share information, to send e-mails, to message, to find out who won last night’s ballgames, to check social media, listen to music and even, sometimes, to stream a television show or movie. However, in the last 10 days, I’ve made just four phone calls and received five.

Which brings us to the camera feature. I do take a lot of pictures with my phone, and, surprisingly, the quality is pretty good. I  take at least one a day to share with the family as a way to let them know I am alive and well and sometimes others of sights or events that catch my interest throughout the day. I rarely — if ever, except to crop or straighten — edit the photos. I’m a purist that way. I don’t believe in enhancing or altering the tone. What you see is what you should get, especially since the immediacy of the photos allows for do overs.

That goes for selfies, too. I am not a big fan of selfies. I have used them for specific reasons, but I don’t generally go around snapping pictures of myself. To me, they generally get distorted because of arm angles or are “backwards”. When people start manipulating the selfie with intended distortions, glasses, bows, mustaches or whatever, I just shake my head and move along.

That’s my social media rant for the day. I have to publish this post so it can be posted to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: If no one is laughing at your dream, you aren’t dreaming big enough.

 

 

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Five Minute Friday — Done

Time for my Five Minute Friday {??}  contribution. Check out the amazing five minutes takes at Kate’s place on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com by our special community of writers.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Andrew. I hope he inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?

“I looked back over my posts, and the first FMF I did was Oct. 16, 2014. I don’t think I missed one … It’s meant the world to me, this loving wonderful community. Much of my life was lived against a backdrop of feeling quite expendable … to bring back a pithy line from an old Rambo movie, it’s like if you invite someone to a party and he doesn’y show up, it doesn’t really matter. The past [three and a half years] have shown me such a different world! Thank you, Kate, for making that possible.”

I might add, Andrew, his wife Barbara and umpteen rescue dogs live in New Mexico. Andrew is also dying … in the latter stages of pancreatic cancer which has knocked him down, but not out. He has vowed to participate as long as the Lord allows him to … and the Five Minute Friday community always await his wit and wisdom. Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat was in fact dedicated to him. For me, his words and his perseverance are a true profile in courage. My thoughts and prayers — along with others around the globe as members of this special community — are always with Andrew and Barb. His words are posted at https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/

Well, the prompt is DONE and the timer is set for five minutes, so lets GO ...

My wife and I didn’t argue very much. Whenever we had a disagreement, it was generally one-sided. Right or wrong, I wouldn’t engage in the “battle” of words. Instead, I would let her vent — five minutes, two hours, three days. When all was said and done, I would add a simple, “Are you done now?” in my best 60s sarcasm, which would, of course, re-ignite the rhetoric … but with a difference. Instead of rehashing everything, we could discuss the root of matter more fully without the entrapments of the heat of battle. Not suggesting it — but it worked for us.

I thought about that as I pondered today’s {Friday’s} prompt. There have been times, I was on the spewing side of the argument with my best friend. And I can hear Him responding after wearing me down, “Are you done now?” And, with a clearer head, we could maneuver through the issue at hand with better clarity.

And after my final vent I … STOP

hope to hear His voice as He reunites me with those who have gone before me with It is finished … Well done good and faithful servant.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: If someone touched your life, tell them, don’t assume they know.

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Five Minute Friday — Vacation

Time for Five Minute Friday thoughts. I can’t wait to join my fellow writers at Kate’s place on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com to share our pearls of wisdom or our pig’s ears and mix and mingle. Okay, I guess I can wait because it’s usually Saturday before I get around to let my fingers and mind do the talking.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Kristin. I hope she inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?

“I’ve been inconsistent writing for the Five Minute Friday link up throughout the years, but my words are always welcomed. That’s what I love about this flash mob writing community. These writers know our words and stories matter. Sometimes instead of writing stories, we’re living them, hence the lack of post for any given week, but our words are welcomed. Five Minute Friday is a community of people who come to their computer screens from all kinds of lives. There are stay-at-home moms and women who’ve never had kids. There are empty nesters and newlyweds. There are single ladies and a couple of brave men. People have jobs and insecurities and dreams. All of that comes to the virtual table of the gatherings that begin on Twitter each Thursday night and carry over to everyone’s blogs on Friday and throughout the coming week. There are so many ways to be a writer and this community embraces them all.”

With that, the prompt has been revealed — VACATION — and the timer is set. So, it’s time to GO…

Since I’ve retired, my life has been one continuous vacation. There are no rules to follow {okay, not many}. I get to do things I want {most of the time}. I spent too much {just like vacation}.

But it has been an energizing year … different, but energizing.

Over the past few years, I’ve spent vacation time with my grandchildren. I opted not to gather them together this year, mainly because they are hard to corral these days. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a chance to visit with them DURING the year.

My real vacation was in December when I journeyed 5,267.3 miles, making an 18-state {including Canada}, 25-day trek visiting with five of my children and their children along with other family members and friends. During that time, I was able to take my New York crew — grandson and two granddaughters — to Lights on the Lake outside Syracuse complete with dinner at the legendary Heid’s of Liverpool; take my three grandsons to a Packer game in Cleveland {Packers won in OT, Go Pack!}; visit with my granddaughter in South Carolina; and New Year’s Day dinner with the troops from Massachusetts. And I managed time for myself and Angelina visiting my uncle and cousins in Ohio and Indiana, a second Packer game in  … STOP

  Charlotte with my oldest and youngest sons, a visit with my best friend since the fourth grade in Florida, Christmas in Nashville with my oldest son and First Night Ocean County (NJ) which ironically was cancelled but opened more time for a visit with Millie {my best friend’s mom} in Toms River. The trip was sandwiched between babysitting the grandkids in Massachusetts, reading them books at the library, watching them run around on the playground and in the yard, going to 99 for dinner and curling up for movie night in September; and a small class “reunion” with classmates from Don Bosco Tech later in January.

If interested about the entire December to Remember, https://wisdomfromafather.com/2018/01/03/december-to-remember/

So, here’s to vacations — one day staycations, week-long adventures or every day!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Sleep with worship music or sermons on. Eighty percent of what you do is controlled subconsciously.

 

 

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Five Minute Friday — If

Is everybody ready for Five Minute Friday?

It’s where our group of writers [okay most of them, often we have Saturday and Sunday stragglers, myself included] gather  to write unscripted for five minutes on a specific word prompt. Our prompt is diligently supplied by Kate Motaung. After we post, we link up on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com to share our pearls of wisdom or our pig’s ears and mix and mingle.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Kimberly. I hope she inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?

“ FMF gave me permission to release my need for perfection, for over-thinking, and for worrying about how the readers will receive my work. It allowed me to revel in the smaller details of my ordinary days and receive them as a gift. Thanks to you, Kate, and Lisa-Jo [the originator of Five Minute Friday], I have embraced moments I would have otherwise have forgotten. It’s been a joy to participate.”

Yes. It’s a great creative outlet. Not everything is perfect … but neither are we. It’s always eye-opening. You should check out the site and see for yourself … or better yet, try it yourself.

The prompt this week is IF and the timer is set, so let’s GO…

If. Such a small word. Such a big meaning.

If , the conjunction, is one of those linking words … often not in a positive way. If it starts raining … If you’re up to it … If you don’t have anything else planned …

I would rather use positive words, like “when”. It erases the unpredictability of  “if”. It sets up an action plan. When it starts to rain … When you’re up to it … Let’s do (action) when you have nothing else planned …

Of course, sometimes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to interchange the words. But whenever possible {notice I didn’t say if possible}, I choose the positive over the openendedness.

It’s the same in my faith life. I don’t say, if I get to heaven. I say when I get to heaven. I don’t give myself the option of, if I have time, I’ll … STOP

do some bible study. I choose insstead, I will do my bible study when I make the time.

If. A small two-letter word. A conjunction that allows conditions, possibilities and stipulations. I choose when.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Attitudes are contagious so keep a good one at all times.

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The Stages of Motherhood (Fatherhood)

The Stages of Motherhood (Fatherhood)

4 Years of Age – My Mommy (Daddy) can do anything.

8 Years of Age – My Mom (Dad) knows a lot! A whole lot.

12 Years of Age – My Mother (Father) doesn’t really know quite everything.

14 Years of Age – Naturally, Mother (Father) doesn’t know that, either.

16 Years of Age – Mother (Father)? She’s (He’s) hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 Years of Age – That old woman (man)? She’s (He’s) way out of date.

25 Years of Age – Well, she (he) might know a little bit about it.

35 Years of Age – Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s (Dad’s) opinion.

45 Years of Age – Wonder what Mom (Dad) would have thought about it.

65 Years of Age – Wish I could talk it over with Mom (Dad).

I shared those words with family and friends {as I usually do on Mondays}, but they have been haunting me ever since. Perhaps it’s because those are virtually universal sentiments that touch us growing up and nurturing down. In this season of my life, I can see myself — for good or bad — going through the stages AND I can see myself — for good or bad — looking back at my children going through these stages.

It’s not just parental; it’s relational. The stages are the same. There is a time when our parents (loves) can do no wrong. Then the doubt creeps in as we try to blend personalities. Unfortunately, sometimes we can’t get beyond the “me” and the relationship (even family relationships} fizzle. But there are other time when we mature enough to value the life experiences of others, often seeking their opinions. And I think we nail it when we realize those opinions have helped shape our thought. If we’re lucky (blessed), we do wonder what Mom/Dad (loves) would have thought and wish we could talk it over with Mom/Dad (loves).

It reminded me of the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1, To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 

Look up. Look back. Enjoy each stage of motherhood/fatherhood/relationships.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Trust takes so long to build. Treasure the trust you have with people and don’t jeopardize it.

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Five Minute Friday — Ocean

Is everybody ready for Five Minute Friday?

It’s where our group of writers [okay most of them, often we have Saturday and Sunday stragglers, myself included] gather  to write unscripted for five minutes on a specific word prompt. Our prompt is diligently supplied by Kate Motaung. After we post, we link up on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com to share our pearls of wisdom or our pig’s ears and mix and mingle.

I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Rebekah. I hope she inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?

“I discovered Five Minute Friday at a time when I was just discovering my voice. My friend Kelly sent me a link and I was immediately intrigued. Could I really put away my perfectionist tendencies long enough to write for five minutes and NOT edit it? I’m an editing machine! How can I not edit? It made me shiver just to  think about pressing “publish”. Turns out it was incredibly freeing and confidence building. I loved just getting the words out as they flowed, not having to worry about the final product. It was all about being in the moment. But even more than the freedom, I enjoyed the community! I connected with women [and a few men] all around the globe. Women who were like me. Women who were nothing like me — except — we all had a desire to write. And that connected us in a way that geography couldn’t. I treasure those connections, even f they were brief. They showed me I was far from being alone on this writing journey.”

Yes. It’s a great creative outlet. Not everything is perfect … but neither are we. It’s always eye-opening. You should check out the site and see for yourself … or better yet, try it yourself.

The prompt this week is OCEAN and the timer is set, so let’s GO…

I love walking along the beach, wet sand between my toes, as the swash rolls just so far  despite the size of the rolling laps of the waves.

I love watching when the sea turns a little angrier and those waves crash into breaker rocks, exploding in majesty.

I love being on a ship cutting its way through waves — sometimes shallow, sometimes a little higher, water splashing on deck in random greatness.

I love being on a ship slipping through seemingly still water, like a knife gliding through wet, soft butter.

I just love the ocean.

It’s my “center”. It’s where I go to ground myself, knowing I have no control over the sea’s wants and wishes. I’m just there to enjoy and marvel at the Hand that created the science of the ocean. … STOP

I can sit ad have sat for hours just watching the waves break. It bring me peace.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: The bible holds the answer to every question you have. You just have to find it.

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