“Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll
This month began with some exciting news – the Voyager 2 spacecraft reported an uptick in the number and type of cosmic rays it was encountering!
Okay, maybe that’s not exciting news to everyone. But for anyone who’s interested in space exploration, the announcement from NASA points to an imminent milestone. In the coming months, the spacecraft will be the second man-made object to leave the solar system. We will have another messenger among the stars.
“The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern.” – Max Lucado
This time of year always brings a lot of travel. Many companies want to finish projects before the year-end, so that means more onsite visits. In support of Postal Customer Councils, I’ll visit 6 states in 3 months, delivering keynote addresses and instructional classes. Between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, I’ll be flying at least 10 out of 12 weeks.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
I’ve always loved roses. I remember the first rose bush that I grew in my mother’s flower bed. I decided to start with a bare root, which was a greater challenge than I anticipated. After several months, green sprouts. Then leaves. Buds. And finally, one beautiful rose.
Years later, when I finally had my own house, another chance. With the lessons of the past, the soil was better prepared. A consistent watering schedule was followed. Within a few months, not just a single rose, but a thriving plant with multiple blooms.
“Memory is the one paradise out of which we cannot be driven.” – Sacha Guitry
We were admiring the 1930 Cord on display at the museum, when we heard a voice say, “You know, the classic color was yellow.”
We turned to learn more from our new guide. “Oh yes, Cord was known for their yellow cars. Do they have the engine hood open on the other side? They were beautiful machines. Really ahead of their time. Did you see the one out in the car show? Retractable headlights. In 1930.”
“My husband had the chance to buy one once. $2,000. Which was a good buy. They sold new for $2,900. It was either buy the car, or date me for the next 3 years.” – said with a twinkling smile.
“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” – Samuel Johnson
One of my favorite pastimes is attending classic car shows. Walking down the rows, being surprised by the next discovery. Beautiful lines, glossy paint, and polished chrome transform ordinary vehicles into works of art.
At most amateur shows, there’s an opportunity to meet the owners. The conversation often begins with the origin story. “My grandfather bought this car back in 1935.” “It was just a rusting frame that I found in a junkyard.” “My first car was also a 1972 Skylark, only this one is worth a lot more.”
Most owners will explain why their car is unique – retractable headlights, V-12 engine, hidden storage panels. They encourage you to take as many photos as you want. Some even let you sit inside!
“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Eden Phillpotts
I recently went on a whale watch. Conditions were just right, and we saw about a dozen of these amazing mammals. Several came surprisingly close to the boat, as if they knew we were desperate to get a good photo – especially the iconic fluke as they dived for more food.
This was perhaps the 10th time I’ve been on a whale watch cruise. I’ve been on tours leaving from the tip of Cape Cod, from the Boston Aquarium, the North Shore and Nova Scotia. One boat was even smaller than the leviathans we stalked with our cameras.
“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” – Benjamin Franklin
One of my favorite memories from childhood is the time we spent at Hampton Beach each summer. My father’s cousin let us use their house for one week each August. A house on Ocean Boulevard – directly across the street from the beach.
Our days would revolve around the tides. Low tides meant running for what seemed like miles to get to the water. As the tide rolled in, we’d retreat and retreat, eventually abandoning the beach to watch the waves crash against the wall from the safety of the sidewalk.
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” - William Shakespeare
The best part of my morning walks is passing by the flower beds and gardens in the neighborhood. There are neatly arranged plots with perfectly balanced layouts of size and color. Stunning wildflower gardens that look like something a poet would describe at the edge of a meadow. Ancient rose bushes that have entangled themselves so tightly around fences, it’s impossible to know where plant ends, and post begins. And the occasional single flowering plant, adding a splash of color in the midst of a green lawn.
“Learning is a gift, even if pain is the teacher.” – James Garner
About 40 years ago, a baseball hit me in the mouth. I wasn’t a fan in the stands but playing shortstop when a line-drive was hit right at me. I was a terrible athlete and a worse baseball player. My dentist performed a root canal to stop the pain and save the tooth.
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” - Stephen Hawking
There are many who believe that everything that happens is predetermined. For some people, predestination is based in their religious beliefs. Others think fate decides what will happen. There are even secular philosophies based on the laws of physics that state everything that happened since the Big Bang, including our thoughts, were unstoppable.
The thought of predestination can be both frightening and calming. Waking up every day, knowing that what will happen will happen. And there’s nothing you can do about it.