The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Way aback when the world was much younger and so was I, my very first visit to a coast, any coast, was to Galveston Island, Texas.  I went with friends who were older than I was, and much more traveled, in fact just about anyone would have been much more traveled than I was then.  And the thought of going to a real island, of seeing the ocean (actually of course, the Gulf of Mexico), just the drive there and back were unimaginable adventures for me.  And it was all wonderful, but the very best part of all was that when we walked down to the beach along the seawall after it began to get dark, there were lots of people having small parties here and there, there were small huts where you could get something to drink (I was strictly a soft drink kid at that time, alas), and best of all, there was a man named Catfish who played the steel drums.  Right at that moment I fell in love with the scent of sea air, the sound of the surf, and the magic of steel drum music, and to this day the sound of music being played on a steel drum evokes for me everything we all love about tropical areas, the sense of relaxation and being in some sort of paradise where there is sea and salt air and moonlight on the water and laughter. 

Since then, I’ve seen the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico from several other vantage points, the Ligurian Sea, and the North Sea and the English Channel, and so on.  And they’ve all been wonderful, but for me, the memory of that first encounter with a beach and sea air and surf and laughter and music are the essences of adventure and of being young.  It’s lovely remembering being that young.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Our American Constitution clearly provides for separation of church and state.  Most of us clearly profess that we prefer it that way.  That we are a diverse nation, and that all those of all faiths, and all of those with none, are both welcome and accepted.

And yet, there are those who proclaim we are a Christian nation, particularly because the so-called Christian faith is considered the majority here.

But as in a lot of aspects of modern life, we seem, in this country, to suffer a crisis of definition.

Personally we think that there are as many sects, religions, and attitudes as there are individuals in this country, and we think that is just fine.  On the other hand, it seems to be the worst possible hypocrisy, a true status of ‘taking God’s name in vain’, when folks invoke their religion, attach the name of that religion to our country without the consent of all, and then … do not understand their own religion, the one they claim belongs to us all.

So with those thoughts in mind, here’s something to think about:

Sunday, August 4, 2013


We have a grandchild about to embark on the grand adventure of college.  She will learn so much, some of which she will learn in class and much of which she will learn outside of class.  But the need to pass along ‘wisdom’ is strong in us, even though we well know that no one, ourselves included, really learns anything except by experience – personal experience.

But here goes, anyway:

Make your bed first thing every morning; that gives you a sense of order and control and helps organize your mind for the day.

Smile a lot; it will amaze some people and confuse the rest.  They will think you know something they don’t, and they will probably be right.

Talk to a member, any member, of your family regularly.  You can do so by phone, text, or the social media you use so well, but keep in touch with those who know and love you best.

Be careful.  Some of your new friends and acquaintances will be valuable associates you will hopefully keep for a lifetime; some will have their own agendas which may not be to your best interest.  Remember what our friend Will S. said, “…one may smile and smile and be a villain.”

On that same note, remember that a college campus is not necessarily a benign place.  It is open to the world, it is not ‘safe’ in some places just as nearly anywhere else is not, and so you should practice going about in groups of at least you and one other, and avoiding dark places late at night.  This will be good practice for after college.  You know this, just remember it.

Most of us would not dream of starving our bodies of food repeatedly, but we practice a type of starvation when we do not get enough sleep.  Get enough sleep most of the time, so that when you must or wish to keep long hours, you can still think clearly.

Don’t get so busy that you forget to drink lots of water or you’ll be so very sorry.

Move – every day.  Walk everywhere you can do so safely and relatively comfortably; you won’t be young always, even though you think so now, and you’ll be smarter, healthier and happier if you move, a lot.

Always, always, always, remember you are loved.  That you have always been loved, and that you will always be loved.  If you make mistakes, you will still be loved.  We do not think you are perfect, only that you are wonderful, and that we love you.  All of us.