On a Good Reason

I’ve often stated, “Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.”

This is one of those times. Besides working around personal plans, we have a high-priority family situation requiring time and effort: helping an elderly aunt with some important facets of her life. The tough part is being separated by 3+ hours of driving. Timing is not good from our end – but hey – one must do what one has to do.

Time away from here should be 4-8 weeks. I want the bloggers here to know about my absence from posting, so this is my way of saying thanks for caring and all is well with us.

To send you into an unexpected break, here’s a new one from The Piano Guys … and its title is fitting for this post. See you upon my return. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 10

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I prefer walking close to the water where the sand is smooth and tightly packed. Moving is much easier here than in the loose, dry sand away from the water or in the quicksand like sludge near the water where each step is a forceful slog.

While I walk the grains of sands cleanse my soles of loose skin. I see all that sand ahead and for who knows how far down and out to sea. All that sand here on this coast – and along many coast around this gulf – but also along the waters across the globe … and the sands of the deserts, too – oh my my – so much sand.

All those grains of sand moving through the hourglass of time that serves as a metaphor for the constantly changing beach. Each wave washing ashore slightly alters the landscape. So does the water through its moving tides. So do the winds of the day or a storm. Let alone the wind and water of hurricanes and typhoons that alter the land. The sand I see is it’s own great hourglass of time.

All that sand – those abrasive grains of silicon dioxide from many years of erosion. The gains that differ in size from beach to beach. The grains containing bits of shells, corals, and different rocks joining together to form its own palate of colors. Not only from white to grays to browns but also reds, blacks, greens, pinks, and oranges. These are the sands that refresh the feet of the world.

All that sand – the sand that is also the hardened material of sandstone – a rock found in the hills of the town of my youth. A town along the outside bend of a river with rocks along its banks as the sand collected on the opposite shore along the inner banks of the river’s big bend.

All that sand – sand as the foundation of concrete, mortar, and glass. Sand, the preference of plants desiring dryness delivered by sand’s porosity. Sand for cleaning, polishing, and filtering in both natural and human processes. The same sand that cleanse my soles as I walk.

All that sand – the constantly moving grains of time that scrub my soul as my mind thinks to make connections of a great creation – which are thoughts that cleanse my soul as the water refreshes my feet.

‘]After many days of walking the beach, my feet have a sense of renewal along with a sight tenderness resembling a light fire – but those soles are not red for they are refreshed – yet my mind and soul are also fresh and relaxed – which is why I like walking on the beach for it is good for the mind and soul while refreshing on my feet.

On Displaying Elegance

It’s an elegant lady ….

 

… wearing white glove at the end of her bare arms.

 

She catches one’s eye other ways …

 

Her voices captures your attention as she sings …

 

She displays elegance, beauty, and charm as she sings with confidence

 

Greetings Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002)

Through Swing Around Rosie, ArtWorks honors a local legend who went onto become an entertainment star – Rosemary Clooney. From a small town about an hour from Cincinnati, she came to the city and made a name for herself, then moved on to be a film and recording star in the 1950s and 60s. Yes, George is her nephew.

ArtWorks is a unique non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth to create art in the community. To date, ArtWorks is responsible for over 125 murals throughout Cincinnati – which many are in the main part of the city.

Basic Information
Swing Around Rosie
Location: 1606 Pleasant Street 1606 Pleasant St., facing West Liberty Street near Findlay Market
Surface: 3283 sq ft (305 sq meters)
A local story about this mural and its honoree

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor arr in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you.)

To see past posts on other murals in Cincinnati, click here.

I close with a song from White Christmas, in which the dress will look familiar.

On Leadership

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Leaders treat people the way they want to be treated

Leaders build themselves up by building up others

Leaders surround themselves with the best people

Leaders give the team credit for success, and place failure on themselves

Leaders are not afraid to take risks and make mistakes

Leaders are aware of their leadership style and learn how their style comes across to their team

Leaders are effective communicators

Leaders respect others

Leaders care about the people involved

Leaders are honest and demonstrate integrity

Leaders are able to get people engaged and leverage the strength of others

Leaders empower people

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Leaders building competencies and focus on the right things

Leaders are able to tolerate frustration and stress

Leaders deliver results

Leaders are active, expressive, optimistic, and energetic

Leaders have a sense of duty and carry a high standard of excellence

Leaders are thick-skinned

Leaders are practical, logical, and to-the-point, yet flexible and open to change

Leaders are secure – no need to seek approval

Leaders are socially aware and careful in their social interactions

Leaders envision the future and convince others and lead them in a new direction

Leaders are alert and focused

This man is not a leader

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On a Beach Walk: No. 9

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The water is vast as far as the eyes can see. From the shallowest depths where the waters begin their retreat from the shore to the deepest of the deep – the depths of those vast waters are not uniform.

These waters contain much information about things we know – the living creatures and their interactions with each other and with the materials comprising the floor and the waters above. The shipwrecks tell stories about human life of days gone by.

The vast water is also the home to tales and fables. Those encounters with serpents and mermaids – a home of the gods and more – all spun from human imagination or ancient beliefs, some which live on today.

That vast water is an analogy for another seemingly endless landscape – the sea of information and connection of our daily lives known the Web – the internet. Just as the waters brings information to the shores for us to see, the internet brings knowledge to our fingertips for quick retrieval.

Just like the vast water of the seas, the internet hold tales and fables in the form of inaccuracies and half-truths that should be shifted and when found. We should not be like an unassuming fish grabbing any fisherman’s hook in their quest for food. That would be foolish – but many people do.

As I walk my mind suddenly shifts back to the vastness of the sea with its waves rolling ashore and across my feet. Unlike the internet, these waters remain a source for the unknown – the yet to be discovered life forms – the yet to be found treasures – the unknown that will be tomorrow’s known so it can have a place on the sea of information.

As I walk on the sand, the waters to my side are vast with information. At least for me, this is an interesting analogy as I walk the beach while refreshing my feet.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 334

Cincinnati Zoo image

This is one of the first family pictures of Fiona with her parents (Harry and Bibi). For whatever reason, I see The Simpsons in this photo. Fiona continues to make great progress as well as integrating with her parents. For more photos and information, see these short updates from the Cincinnati Zoo.

Thanks for writers and readers involved with the Footprints Challenge. I appreciated the variety of the 14 stories (to date), which included 3 from newcomers (a pleasant surprise) – although my intent was not to expand my audience. A toast to the Canadian contingent that provided 5 stories. Special thanks to Dale who read and commented on all the stories.

If all goes as planned, a beach walk should return next week.

We recommend the movie Baby Driver. It was fun, fast-paced, and action-packed, and loaded with music accompanying the action.

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The Middle East has been an unsettled mess for many years. Here are three articles worth readings: by Marc Ginsberg, by Aaron David Miller, and by the Washington Post.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (RJA-KY) says that (if the Senate bill fails) he will have to work with Democrats to strengthen the health care insurance market. I have two comments: Too damn bad, Mitch … and … No shit, Sherlock.

Yes, gerrymandering of district lines is a problem now, and has always been a problem. Democrats complaining about it forget they are also guilty; and Republicans forget they would also be complaining if the Democrats did the same thing.

I found this statement more than odd when I first heard it and it has stuck with me ever since. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” (Donald Trump, July 27, 2016)

Got to love this one. President Trump recently described his performance as having done “more in five months than practically any president in history.”

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion explains how to recover from embarrassing situations.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Mariana Trench once again named worst place to raise a child
New iPhone app alerts users to imminent sidewalk collisions with other iPhone users
done more in five months than practically any president in history
Blindfolded taste test participants keep knocking over bottles of soda
Late-arriving guest encouraged to load up on food that has been sitting in sun for past 4 hours

Interesting Reads
European migration with Europe
Contrasting capitalism: Apple and Google
The underwater world of Antarctica
The road of 1000 stories
Big Ben: The bell
(Photos) Weird but amazing bridges

For your weekend entertainment, this is not my favorite mashup of dancing scenes from old movies, but it is a lot of fun – and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling fits. Enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Footprints in the Sand

Welcome to the aFa Footprints Challenge. I issued the challenge in this past post, but in a nutshell, participants will develop a story of 150 words or less from the image below.

Not only is my story in this post, I’ve asked participants to link their story here – so I invite readers here to follow the Pingback links in the Comments to more stories. Other writers my provide a link within their comment. There is no question in my mind that readers will find a wide variety of styles and adventures. In a way, another challenge is to read as many of the other stories as possible.

As I stated in the challenge, fiction is outside of my comfort zone. Thanks to participating writers and to all the readers. Enjoy the offerings!

PS: No need to panic because Pingbacks will display upon approval at this end.

Footprints in the Sand

The air is brisk. Yesterday’s rain and wind wiped away footprints, chair marks, and tire tracks from the past. The beach’s sandy surface is smooth except for a fresh set of footprints.

Someone walking alone …

… barefoot …

… a female …

… with short steps …

… using a cane …

… moving toward the water.

Warmly dressed to combat the chilled winds, she reaches the water’s edge. She stood looking in different directions, thinking about her love for the water, the beach, and its sand.

She slowly walked a short distance along the water’s edge – close enough for the occasional lap across her feet. She turned and paused to think about memories. Times when she wasn’t alone – the family vacations – the hand-and-hand walks with the one she loves.

Hooded and alone, she retraces her steps off the beach toward her quarters – the place where someone watched her every step.

(148 words) – Comments about this story? Who was watching?