The Good The Bad The Good

The good the bad the good.

My title to this story is a cheesy ripoff of the classic Clint Eastwood movie The Good The Bad The Ugly.

Sitting alone on a beach blanket at a local State College waiting for the band to come on, I write these words.

The good:

The good in my title tells of a time in fairytale land where three beautiful children are being raised to be all they can be and where a family goes out on outings together as a whole family.

We would frequent The now defunct Fairytale Forest in North Jersey where you are greeted by a giant egg-shaped Humpty Dumpty sitting high on a concrete wall. It is a memory my kids still talk about to this day.

It brings great memories for me, my parents took my brothers and me there when I was a little kid.

Excited to go back as an adult, we would take my oldest boy there in a stroller and then 2 more kids came along so I had to go back there at least three times and that is good. Carrying a baby in a backpack on your back is good.

Family is good. Family is important. Families are a gift from God.

The Bad.

Families breaking up is bad, in fact it downright sucks for everyone involved. Divorce leads to gloom and dark clouds roaming the sky on the sunniest days. Like Springsteen said, “it’s raining but there ain’t a cloud in the sky.”

The good:

Kids grow up and become young adults with their own homes and are only a text message/phone call away.

They are my family and that is good.

The bad: I’m on this beach blanket by myself.

The good: Darkness changes to light if you wait the whole day out.

More good: Being alone, I have plenty of room on my blanket here to stretch out and write this story while beach balls fly over my head.

It is mostly families here. I wonder are people wondering why is that guy by himself.

I conclude, it doesn’t matter if they are or if they are not.

The good is (always seek the good) I am enjoying live music and music moves my soul and it’s a perfect summer night.

I would like to encourage any of my divorced readers or those going through divorce, separation, or breakup, remember when you got married it was good.

There is good, there is bad but then there is good again. I promise.

Your pain and struggle is bad but after the bad comes the good.

There is so much good in this world. There are so many good souls out there. Focus on the good.

The good part of being alone is more time to do things of new interest with an opportunity to grow or to renew old and abandoned hobbies. I am playing chess from this phone with my son and that is good. It’s another fun way of communicating with him and we both sharpen our analytical skills. And that is good.

The bad: He beats me most of the time.

The good: Each time I end up in checkmate I become a better player and that’s good.

The horns are shouting and the band is covering Southside Johnny so it’s time to go but be aware of the GOOD THE BAD THE GOOD.

After the bad comes the good.

The Cars said it best, “Let the good times roll.”

Good things come to those that wait.

Hang in there my friends and be good.

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What is Love?

I am bouncing around like an aerobics instructor at an Elvis Costello concert near Woodstock, the English native is belting out what’s “So funny about peace love and understanding?”

The heart driving beat has the sound of a fast moving train screaming out a clattering rhythm on noisy tracks. Most people look like they are in an exercise class in full motion adjacent to the wide-open Yasgur’s Farm.

The man with thick black glasses is strumming an electric while questioning the concert goers “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”

Well…before we discover what’s so funny about it, it must first be defined.

Peace is self-explanatory.

Understanding is self-explanatory.

Love? Not so simple to define.

Sure love can be funny, just observe two sweethearts walking to setup a picnic blanket while a guy carries a Longberger basket stuffed with goodies, that’s kind of funny. It’s even funnier if he is the one that owns it. Oh, the things we do for love.

What is Love and how do we define it? Love is a noun, love is an action making it also a verb.

Pondering what love is I get out my notebook and jot down 25 things what I think love is.

I cheated and used part of the definition from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 rather than Mr. Webster’s book.

I like to keep my stories short so I will share the 25 things in future writings and I will start with two of the attributes of love today.

1.Love is patient.

2.Love is kind.

Discussing these items with a close friend over a lakeside dinner, he said “Yes Tim, with you people must be patient.”

We both laughed and that is what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding.

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Missing the Target

I am throwing colorful darts in the heat along the banks of the low-flowing Delaware River feeling frustrated as a mechanic dropping a screw in a tight area of the engine compartment.

The light-weight flying bullets are landing nowhere near the bullseye.

Did you ever miss the target? Of course you did. We all do.

Retrieving the hand-thrown pieces of plastic and pulling darts from the board, I am thrilled to know the game is not over.

I get another shot, another chance.

Such is life. We may not hit the target on the first, second, third and even multiple tries.

The key is to take another shot. Keep aiming, keep throwing. Tenacity is key when the target is in sight.

Keep your eyes on the target.

There will be both frustration and fun along the way. The key is to keep on shooting.

If you don’t give up you will eventually hit the bullseye.

The bullseye here is a metaphor for hitting goals.

Find the bullseye, put it in sight. Imagine hitting it and keep on throwing!

Now get ready, aim, fire!

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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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