Another baseball season begins and as teams vie for fortune and for fame…I’m reminded of the time I tried to teach my children….




It was years ago when we took our children to the ballpark on a bright and sunny day.

We wore baseball caps, sat in the stands and watched grown men at play.


We’d been sitting for a few innings when I heard my daughter exclaim,

“Daddy, this is boring...what do you like about this game?”


It seemed at their young age my children didn’t share my baseball adoration…and I was sure they weren’t quite ready for a lengthy explanation.


As we basked in the sunshine eating hot dogs with ketchup and mustard on our buns…I could have explained the rules of the game, about strikes and balls and runs.


I could have taken that opportunity surrounded by my children and my wife to explain how baseball, if we let it, can teach us about life.


I could have pointed out, although it is individual player’s name we scream, baseball teaches people to work together as a team.


That baseball teaches humility…for no matter how hard you work, or what path you in life you choose…sometimes you’re going to win...and sometimes you’re going to lose.


That baseball teaches perseverance, determination, tenacity and grit…that you shouldn’t worry when you strike out because you’ll get another chance to hit.


That you must endure the slumps in life and the havoc they may wreak…If you’re also to enjoy the jubilance and the joy of a winning streak.


I wanted to say no matter how many bases you run...no matter where you roam…that life will circle back and you’ll always feel safe at home.


All these thoughts went through my mind as we sat in the park that day…wondering what to tell my children as we watched grown men at play.


“What do I like about baseball,” I said smiling for suddenly I knew “What I like best about baseball...is sharing it with you".


Our children are all grown now and, as far as baseball...that’s a shame…because I never got to explain to them the intricacies of the game.



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We live our life in present moments…moments that quickly pass us by…

I wonder if that’s why so much of life seems to pass in the blink of an eye.


In the blink of an eye I was born…in the blink of an eye I was walking…in the blink of an eye I was running…in the blink of an eye I was talking.


In the blink of an eye I was in high school…driving a car…feeling immortal and free…in the blink of an eye I was in college…trying to earn a degree.


In the blink of an eye…yes…the blink of an eye…Oh My God! And Heaven Forbid! I was married…in the blink of an eye…got a job…and in the blink of an eye…two kids!


And soon after our children were born…in the blink of an eye they were walking…in the blink of an eye they were running…in the blink of an eye they were talking.


In the blink of an eye there was a divorce…a remarriage…and another child makes three…in the blink of an eye two unfamiliar groups…became one blended family.


And once again we didn’t have time to think about how the time had flown…for in the blink of an eye our children grew up and now had lives of their own.


In the blink of an eye there were four grandchildren…in the blink of an eye they’re all grown…and some nights as Deborah and I sit in our now empty house…just the two of us…all alone…


We love to look back on those times in our life…times that made us laugh, or smile or cry…and marvel at how such a wonderful life…can pass in the blink of an eye.

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I looked outside one morning as the day had just begun to see a grey sky overhead….dark clouds blotting out the sun.


Sadness seemed to blanket everything at the beginning of this day…the world seemed smaller…more confining as a storm was on its way.


Soon the sadness that had filled the clouds dropped to the Earth in rain…and I thought why the weather can change my mood…is difficult to explain.


Sometimes the rain makes me happy as I remember playing in it with Mom and Dad…other times when I am missing them…the raindrops make me sad.


The storm completed its visit around noon…and again…it’s difficult to explain how the sadness I was feeling…departed with the rain.


Once the skies cleared and I could see the sun would be shining for a while…it’s as if the sun took any sadness I was feeling…and replaced it with a smile.


What is this strange phenomenon I thought….what is the weather trying to say…perhaps that, in our life, there will be storms along the way.


And when a storm brings sadness…as some storms often do…It’s okay to be sad…knowing when the storm is through…


the clouds will break…the sun will shine…and happiness will return…

Perhaps this is the lesson the weather wants us all o learn.


That yes, we will experience storms…but eventually all storms wane…

And we must decide if our life is to be guided by the sun…

or determined by the rain.


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We live our life in fragments…moments that are fleeting.

We spend a lifetime accumulating pieces to a puzzle we are, everyday, completing.


Our parents begin our puzzle…(it is after them our puzzle’s named)

as they assemble the border pieces in which our puzzle will be framed


And though we’re happy they have set the boundaries…and arranged our cornerstones

there comes a time in every life when we must search for pieces on our own.


And so we spend our days and nights searching…determined not to quit…until we discover that one piece…that is a perfect fit.


But we don’t have long to enjoy the moment…how two pieces have aligned…because we know our puzzle’s incomplete…and there are more pieces left too find…


And we have days the puzzle goes together easily…and our hearts and spirits soar…while other days we can’t seem to find the piece we’re looking for.


And sometimes our pieces seem to fit perfectly …we’re sure together they belong…only to find we were mistaken…and wonder how we could have ever been so wrong. 


But in all of our searching…through our calm waters and our storms…piece by piece the puzzle of our life…of who we are…begins to form.


And such is the nature of our puzzle…that it may, at times, confuse…for the picture changes daily depending on the pieces that we choose.


In the end we hope we’ve chosen wisely…

that no piece has been mistreated

and our friends and family will smile…

at the puzzle we’ve completed.



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We met when our children were quite young…you had a boy, I had a boy and a girl…We fell in love and we didn’t think too much back then…about how our life would unfurl.


We got busy building our life together…and somehow when we were done…the two families from where we began…had blended themselves into one.





But is seemed there was always somethin’…call it luck, call it life, call it fate…that needed fixin’, needed mendin’, needed patchin’…and that trip of a lifetime could wait.


You fed us, you clothed us, you loved us…you taught us lessons we needed to learn…and you smiled…all the while you smiled…never asking for much in return.




But the kids started growin’ and needin’ you…”Hey Mom! Can you help? That’d be great!…and the car needed gas and repairin’…guess that trip of a lifetime could wait.


That’s what happens sometimes as we’re liivin’…seems no matter what plans we make day to day…things happen to change what we’re thinkin’…seems sometimes life gets in the way.




The kids grew up, moved out…had a life of their own…you did your job and they all turned out great!…and finally, at last, it was your turn…your trip of a lifetime need no longer wait.


We drove across the country together…stopping in places some near…and some far…we were determined to enjoy this journey…just the two of us in our little blue car.


And I loved watching your face on this journey…even though we were had a few more age lines…because every time I’d see a smile on your face…it somehow…brought a smile to mine.


As I look back on our incredible journey…all the good times…and all the bad too…I realized my trip of a lifetime didn’t begin in that car…it began…the day I met you.






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The fence that surrounds our back yard is old and rickety…some of its boards we’ve long ago misplaced…for many years it’s been way past repair and probably should have been replaced.


But even though that old fence is leaning here and there..and in one section there’s a hole…that old fence has a history…it has a past…that old fence has a soul.


It’s the fence that has surrounded our back yard since our children and grandchildren were kids…we haven’t had the heart to replace it…and today…I’m glad we never did.


The young couple who live on the other side of our fence a young couple we’re just getting to know…who were pregnant when they moved next door…had their baby a week ago.


We were in our back yard yesterday…taking a little break…when we heard those distinctive sounds a newborn baby makes.


Joe, the father, was in his back yard holding Oliver, his baby, and Deborah and I were stunned…when he asked from over the fence if we’d like to see his son.


If you know anything about Deborah and I you know babies…we adore…

“Yes we would!” We shouted….like two kids in a candy store.


But in the midst of this pandemic we weren’t sure how this would commence…until Joe said, not to worry…I’ll meet you at the hole in your fence.”


So through the hole, that wonderful old hole, that years of weathering has produced…Oliver…Deborah…and I were formally introduced.


Oliver is beautiful baby…I say this with no pretense…and his beauty was framed perfectly by that hole in our old fence.


That hole in the fence that surrounds our back yard…where a few boards we've long ago misplaced….that old fence that surrounds our backyard…that we never will replace.


Because as we’ve grown old together….as our years unfold….

we find we’re less likely to get rid of something just because it’s gotten old.



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I truly love my birthday…it’s a day that I hold dear…and I love the fact that my birthday falls on the last day of the year.


It’s a time to think about my friends, my children, my grandchildren and my wife…a time to reflect on the latest year in my Fairy Tale life.


I have always loved a good Fairy Tale…and though I know they’re only pretending…I love the stories…I love the adventures…and I love those happy endings.


I have often wondered why I love happy endings…its never been quite clear…if it was the Fairy Tales from my youth…or being born on the last day of the year.


But whatever the reason…now that, today, my birthday is descending, I feel blessed to have lived another Fairy Tale year…with another happy ending.


And though this year has seen its share troubles which tried so desperately on my happiness to infringe…seen it’s share of wickedness and evil that would make even Mother Goose cringe…


It has also seen its share of joy…of acceptance…of compassion…of love and kindness extending…which, if my Fairy Tales are correct, is the definition of a happy ending.


But this is just one happy ending to one chapter in the Fairy Tale I’ve created…The words of next years chapter have yet to be dictated.


When they are I hope I’ll see joy, acceptance and laughter blending…so the end of my 2021 will also have a happy ending…


Because I believe, in life, if you find ways to savor all the joy and cherish all the laughter…..if you string enough happy endings together…

you’ll get your happily ever after.



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Who am I and for that matter who are you?

This is a good question to explore for neither of us are the same person who we were the day before.


As we enjoy another 24 hours living on this orb we are changed both you and I by the experiences we absorb.


Everything we feel…every person we meet throughout our days

we absorb…and that changes who we are in vast or subtle ways.


Whatever good or bad happens to us…it’s all a part of our growth.

And if we’re lucky once absorbed we’ve learned a little bit from both.


And if we’re truly blessed from the experiences we’ve had…

at the end of the day we’ve absorbed more good…even from the bad.


So when asked the question, Who am I…I guess the best that we can do is to answer who we are right now for in one minute we’ll be somebody new.


Because who we are in the next minute…or tomorrow as we live another day upon this orb depends not only on who we were…

but on all the new things we’ll absorb.



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A sailboat stranded on the beach…we’d never seen her there before.

She was blown off of her moorings and came to rest upon this shore.


As I saw her stranded on the beach I admit to feeling chagrinned

thinking how a sailboat is truly at the mercy of the wind.


As people gathered round her…as people are won’t to do

I smiled thinking about the life she’s lived as she’s sailed the ocean blue.


And I secretly wished she was happy that she had a thousand adventures before

the winds of fate decided to place her upon this shore…


And then I thought how we are all like sailboats trying to steer our courses straight

And how often our direction is influenced and sometimes determined 

by the winds of fate.


And if we’re lucky those winds of fate have taken us

when our sailing days are over and we, too, come to rest upon the shore

to places that we never knew and could only dream about before.


And when people gather round to say goodbye to us…

as people are wont to do

may they smile remembering how we smiled 

as we sailed the ocean blue.



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