Watch Out For Snakes

Slithering slowly along the side of the trail a 3 to 4 foot rattle snake slowly makes his way back into the woods.

Enamored in awe for such a sighting is rare on the Jersey and New York State border, after all today’s hike is not taking place in Arizona. I want to get up close but wisdom suggests the best way to avoid getting bit by a snake is to avoid the snake.

Snapping a picture I am fortunate I have my good camera in stow and there is no need to get close.

Continuing my hike along this rigid mountainside my eyes are now open as wide as the width of the Grand Canyon in an effort to avoid danger.

I have encountered a few snakes over the past year near my residence and places of work and my friend ask me why are you coming across all these snakes?

Climbing the rocky mountainside with my eyes now peeled wide-open for these slithery creatures my thoughts are why are these snakes in my life and do I have a story here built around seeing snakes.

After taking a breather on top of the summit and shooting a quick photo overlooking the lengthy Greenwood Lake from far into the air, I start my hike down along the Appalachian Trail back to base camp.

Within twenty steps of me descending off the mountain ledge and a few seconds later I hear the bushes rustling out of nowhere.

A quick look up reveals another 3 foot plus snake slithering along as he stops for a quick picture. This one is without a rattle but the timing of seeing it tells me you have a snake story Tim or at least a lesson about snakes.

Look closely to the left of the tree.

“Watch out for snakes!”

Snakes are real in reptile form and unfortunately experience shows me there are also human snake-like people. Avoid them!

Watch out for snakes.

Almost finished with my thought provoking hike I stop cold in my tracks. This time not on the side of the well-traveled trail but in the exact center of the path coiled up and rattling is a giant snake. He is warning me with his tongue flickering in and out and a tail shaking with the sound of a rattle as if a baby is in a crib nearby shaking a little toy.

Taking my camera out of the bag Mr. Rattler is coming towards me.

Common sense says go around the snake but first I had to get a picture for this story.

Watch out for snakes!

When you encounter a snake on your journey do not invite it for a walk with you. Avoid it, keep on walking but simply walk around it.

The message for me today and I share with you is “Watch out for snakes.”

If you do not want to get bit WATCH OUT FOR SNAKES!

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Here Comes the Sun

Here comes the sun..do do do do.

Here comes the sun…

What a way to start the day. Waking up to an optimistic song is a good way to start a happy day injecting joy into the moment. Music moves our soul and “Here Comes the Sun” written by George Harrison not only moves me it brings an important message. (“The smile is returning to the faces.”)

Appreciating the sound of rain pelleting against the black-top and bouncing off the streets with the sweet smell of refreshment while keeping dry under a clear umbrella, I don’t mimic such appreciation and awe on those days both with no sunshine and a lack of rain.

I wish it either rains or shines, just don’t go grey and dreary.

Cloudy days…cloudy days deliver drear causing motivation to stand still.

Dissipating into the dampness of the day is that gung-ho let’s kick-ass feeling. A good way of putting it is simply say it’s a yucky day.

We all feel a yucky day from time to time. It tends to surface more on those dark, damp and grey days.

But wait! Here comes the sun, the smiles return to the faces.

Even on those chilly damp days when bones feel like a used cold wash-cloth on soft skin, the sun is coming. Here comes the sun. It may not show itself today or even tomorrow.

Short of the Earth being eaten by the heated pile of burning and whirling gases floating in the sky, the sun as we know it will come out again radiating refreshing rays restoring smiles to our faces and it’s alright.

Actually it’s more than alright, it will be a happy day and we know it is coming. On a blank day like today we simply need to wait a bit and the sun will break on through delivering the happy anti-depressant vitamin D we all need.

Here comes the sun. Little darling, here comes the sun. Wait for it. Here comes the sun and it’s alright.

Go ahead, start your day for a week straight each morning listening to “Here Comes the Sun” and feel your energy revitalize.

“Little darling, here comes the sun and I say it’s alright.”

“The smiles returning to the faces.” 🙂

“Here comes the sun.”

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Look For It

Humidity stifling the thick air today and a brief rain shower blessing my late lunch in a New York park caused us to quickly pack up and dash to the local eatery on a Warwick farm.

Soon the grey sky opened up with a bit of blue bleeding through the dissipating clouds.

Seeing the rain stop I step outside the roadside tent waiting like a kid waits for ice-cream watching it being scooped in a creamery behind the glass waiting for a treat to unfold before my very eyes.

What am I waiting for? A rainbow. Yes, a rainbow of course. I stood under the cloudy sky as the sunlight narrowly emerged in anticipation of a roadside rainbow.

It took a while and my hope of seeing the magic colors was turning bleak as the sky appeared empty.

Suddenly, the magic I am waiting for displays itself in bright and colorful delight.

The arch was not complete and only a quarter of the rainbow dazzled in the sky. Nonetheless, reflecting in the sky are the colors I looked for.

It was not jumping out of the sky with obvious fashion. I had to look for it.

Such are the things in life, sometimes they fall into our lap and sometimes we just bump into them. Other times we need to look.

Beauty mists in the sky. You just have to look for it. It is the same in life. Plans get thwarted and a soaked and wet spinach-salad in the park is not the most tasty and beautiful sight as the sky releases an overflow of condensation on my outdoor lunch.

Yet, the beauty is there when you wait for it and you look for it. Simply put, sometimes you have to “look for it.”

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More than Names

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One Thing

The bass is pounding on a sticky summer day and the acoustic guitar rhymes with the melodies of stories told by the folk-singer Josh Ritter and I am loving it. I am here because someone shared the love of Josh’s music with me.

Broken relationship? Broken friendship? A lost acquaintance that you once hit it off well with? Life happens and people exit our lives. We all lose friends whether we can’t see eye to eye on important matters anymore or we may lose them because their time on this planet is up. Whatever the reason, it is the reality and part of the pain life dispels on us.

Let’s face it. It sucks to lose a friend but I ask you to take away “one good thing” from every relationship you had.

We can escape as winners if we learn or enjoy just “one thing”they taught us that we can take with us on our journey.

On my journey I happened to meet a Josh Ritter fan that I hung out with for a summer or two.

Prior to us meeting I only had three Josh Ritter songs in my repertoire and they were buried deep within my laptop and the only one I listened to was Josh’s cover of “The River” by Springsteen.

Sure enough this dear friend and I parted ways but not before she exposed me to the well-written words of Josh Ritters music.

Josh’s music influenced me enough I actually named a lucrative real estate company after one of his albums that served my partner and I well.

I enjoy his music so much I went to a sold-out show of his 1500 miles away with no ticket in hopes of finding one. Lucky me, someone handed me a free ticket as I approached the ticket-booth in the Rocky Mountains.

I love his writings to the point I am inspired to see the colors and the wonder of the Northern Lights when the time is right. He has lyrics, “All The other girls are stars you are the Northern Lights….”I can hardly wait to see who will be accompanying me to the gleaming green natural light-show over the Baltic Sea as I sing her those words with an enduring hug.

“All The other girls are stars, you are the Northern Lights” Such simple words yet so deep and this just an example of many of his many writings.

If this person stumbles across my writings on the web, I say thank you for turning me on to JR. You are a star.

My readers, I ask you, What “one thing” have you taken away from a person you knew and you can take it into your old age? Care to share?

What “one thing” Do tell, I just did.

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Panning for Gold

Clear water ripples down the local stream creating the sound of a magic fountain. Bubbling from the golden river-bed, water reflects the day’s rays of sunshine.

Writing this story along the greenery and water-washed river stones is where I share a recent regret in my writings.

Many times I have procrastinated in life and I still have open items I will get to later. Unfortunately I learned later may never come.

My best friend Gary always wanted to pan for gold along this East Coast stream I sit at today and he wanted me to join him. A silly idea I know, gold-nuggets don’t take up residency in these parts of the country.

So silly is the idea..our search for gold never happened. Time is too valuable and earning actual dollars makes more sense instead of trying to get enriched from one of the natural elements deposited here on this planet but most unlikely in the great Northeast.

Gary passed away this time last year. I am thinking how much fun it would it be to go on a silly adventure and tip my toes in this fresh running water and shake a pan in a hunt for precious metal.

Just for a day we could share the dream the Californians had in 1849. After all, what is 168 years among friends?

Chances of success are virtually null. We would have a better chance of seeing a black bear fishing these trout-filled waters and we would not find the sought-out shiny gold stuff and that is OK with me.

I know we would’ve made a great memory like so many other memories and fun times he and I made together.

Sometimes when we put things off because they seem like a waste of time, we may regret it later. I would be thrilled to take the day off from work today on this summer day and spend time panning for gold in the cool waters. I would even settle for finding fools gold.

The moral of this story is…if one of your friends has been asking to do an adventure with you…run with it. Do it now before it is too late. I am sorry Gary.

Too my readers, don’t be sorry. Do it now. Pan for gold. The silly search is where the fun is.

Perhaps gold would have been found. The gold nuggets would be the memories planted in my brain of a crazy idea of panning for gold in Riverdale, NJ and the laughs that would have been left in the air while doing so.

In the spirit of saying “go for it”! I would say “pan it!” Now is the time. Go pan for gold. “Pan it.”

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More than Names

Just a guy on a Journey!

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Names are carried, projected on a wall, no one could predict those towers would fall

The worst of horrors could not envision this dreadful mess when these towers were erected

Reduced in steel and ash, peoples names live on, engraved and hauntingly reflected

With stolen names along the Hudson River,

hateful people had a message to deliver

Lives of many cut down and sold short, introducing warfare of a different sort

Hate helps no one, helps no one fast, hatred caused these airplanes to violently crash

Taking lives, taken wives, taken fathers and men

They cannot take our spirit for that there is no end,

Resiliency and brilliancy, America will not lose,

this is the life we live, it is freedom that we choose

God bless America and every precious person dwelling inside of it, regardless of religion, race or creed

Christian, Jew or Muslim, allow love to identify your…

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Nana’s Rainbow

colorado rainbow

Taking in the hip culture of a downtown coffee-shop in Estes Park where hippies roam free, “Somewhere over the Rainbow softly plays in the background.

A few minutes later climbing the steep incline in Rocky Mountain National Park with a mist permeating in the air, the classic lyrics flow off my lips for the iconic song is now stuck in my head.

With the song in my head, I tell my daughter how I just sang that song to my grandmother last week as she lay on her death bed and passed a few hours after me singing the song over the phone to her.  A short moment after I tell my daughter about me singing the song to Nana, with excitement she says. “Hey look a rainbow!”

The sunlight shone through a gentle mist over the open valley lying before the great mountainside and I say quick get me the camera.  I am thinking I need to write a story about this for God has a promise in the Bible represented by a rainbow about how He will never leave us and I know my loving Nana is now resting peacefully in perfect love.

After a quick shot with the auto focus, the misty rainbow leads me up the curvy cliff-side road in Colorado 10,000 above sea-level where the blue skies appeared as calm as a resting baby laying on its mother’s chest.  Climbing the summit of the near endless mountain a sign reads Rainbow Curve.  Now I know I am to write this story.

rainbow curve

So here I am flying back to Jersey writing this rewarding rainbow experience for I believe firmly there is a pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow where the streets have no name and Nana is in her glory and her prayers are continuing for her grandchildren and great children.

The value of a praying grandmother is worth its weight in gold and now Nana is being richly rewarded “Somewhere over the Rainbow” for the love and her strong faith in Jesus and for always being available for her grandkids.

Thank you Nana for the great impact you have on my life and your unselfish love.  I love you forever.  Continued peace, love, and rest for you forever.  You deserve it and are worth it.  Good as gold!

P.S.  I have not posted a blog in over a month and as I post this story I notice my last post on the front page of my blog has a rainbow featured as the main pic and I wrote that story a few years ago.  This is just another way God rolls in my life. Rainbows have a new meaning to me.  Thanks for reading.

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Do you really want to know? 

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Do you really want to know?
You are going to have “x” amount of kids, grand-kids, live in such and such a town and you will do….(fill in the blank) for a living. You will retire at…fill in any city”. You will take your final breath at….
Your life spelled out in bold letters in front of you. The biography reads your name on the cover. Every detail of your life is written in this fun-filled book.
This all telling book talks about all of your amazing accomplishments, triumphs, vast glories, how you affected people in a positive way. What if this book was completed and you had access to it?
Pretend you already know what those things are from your birth through today (your past), or for people my age… we know what happened the first half of our life. But what if? What if the second half of your life which did not occur yet (your future) was written in a “play-by-play” documentary and you could read it today? Would you?
My question to you is, do you really want to know what it says? Do you really? I don’t.
At first glance sure, who wouldn’t? But think it through. Wouldn’t it take the joy out of the suspense each days gives us? If we already knew what and who we are to encounter on our journey through life, we would lose the joy of discovery and the gift of anticipation. There is beauty in the unknown.
Every day is a gift that we get to unwrap. Isn’t a gift more exciting when it’s wrapped up in all that fancy paper and colorful ribbon? So much of the gift is in the presentation and the anticipation of what lies under that pretty packaging.
I love discovering each day. Taking each day captive and seizing every moment that is packed into that 24 hour period.
Often, I have disappointed myself by thinking the way things should be in my future and why it did not happen. My current response is, “So what. Who cares about next year, 5 years from now or twenty years from now?”
We do not even know if we will have external life within us tomorrow yet alone five years from now. Therefore, it just makes plain sense to live for today. Let’s sing, ” Sha la la la la la live for today.”

I need to sing that song to remind me of all the joy that is within in me right now and appreciate all of the living beauty that is around me right now.
Life is amazing when you let go of how you think things should be and you keep your hands open for God’s special delivery of the day. Keeping an open-heart is vital for happiness also. Always invite love in. You don’t know where it’s going to take you and that alone is an unspoken gift. It’s making me wait, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
How about you? Do you really want to know. Would you buy the book written about you? Warning! There need be spoiler alerts on every page.

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Slow Down 


Intelligent life begs to find its purpose and until you find that purpose enjoy the ride.  

And when you do find that purpose, keep on driving, for the journey gets intensified. It never ends until we do. People need us. 

Life is not a race. Love every minute and enjoy every breath. Those sixty second time slots are finite. Slow down. Eat slower. Enjoy every sandwich. 

If you are lucky enough to be sharing that sandwich with someone that tied their love to you, enjoy it that much more. Raise a glass to their soul, look them in the eye and tell them how beautiful they are. 

I have a dear widowed friend that was having a meal with her husband and something he did at the table suddenly annoyed her. God quickly spoke to her in an unsolicited silent voice and sternly said, “Would you rather he not be here?” Not long after he became ill and now sits at the table with the Father Himself.

None of us know when our number is up. It could be tonight, tomorrow, or next year. 

With that perspective, slow down enjoy every sandwich.  

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