Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the older I get....

The older I get, the more I begin to think that I understand God. I know, I will never fully understand God for He is to great and vast for me, but the older I get the more I start to get Him. 

Today I am thinking of -

The daily rising and setting of the sun

The hospitality of one another

The importance of moments

PEOPLE - Their smiles and looking into their eyes and seeing their life looking right back at me. The truth of people.

and part of this whole big understanding of God is that I really do have everything I need. He has provided me with so very much. He gives me food, He gives me shelter and He gives me clothing and it is for this I give Him many, many thanks. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the light in the darkness

there are those of us who's hearts are hardened and cannot see the truth, the light of Christ and it is these people we pray for, for their hearts to be softened for their eyes to see the light for the TRUTH to be revealed to them and for them to embrace it. 


true light cannot be hidden. it shines and shines and shines. 

for Jesus did not come into the world to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 12)

Taylor J


Awesome! Drawsome! 

Taylor is a mere 20 years old and is still as much of a wonder and joy as when he was one. He is sleeping across from me now as the train stops in Baltimore en-route to DC for some work time. I love watching him find himself and discover who he is. 

All of our children have incredible qualities of humanity and it is these qualities that impress upon me the most. 

Sean with his insight and patience never ceases to amaze me. How I wish I had his patience. Sean is always able to take the view of walking in another's shoes and seeing it from the eyes of others. He has incredible compassion and belief in others. 

Ary with her sass and frass is a hoot. This kid is incredibly disciplined. She has drive, passion and vision. And talk about caring and slowing down for others...she has it all. What impresses me the most is her taking that love of others and turning it into a nursing career. 

And of course the baby, Taylor; a man of  character. A man who sees others with honest love. A man who looks at others and even among their faults and errors does not judge. Taylor, he and all my children are growing into people of whom one can say....their name is good. 

Thank you. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

no skateboarding on the porch allowed

Philadelphia's University City (WARNING THIS IS A RANT!) District recently completed a city beautification project at 30th Street Station. It is really sharp! A much pleasanter walk is in store for you, the pedestrian. Frankly I thought the whole idea was money misspent, but I guess it kept the unions happy.

Navigating around the station with a vehicle is much more difficult and precious parking spaces have vanished.

This area is designated as The Porch, as chosen from 500 entries. It really is nice and has been complete for about two months and I have not witnessed anyone utilizing the space. For a while they had a guard standing watch, haven't seen them for a while.....then, one night, as I walked through on my way to the El, I noticed a few teenagers utilizing the space quite nicely, so for 10 minutes or so I watched them. They were skateboarding on the edges of the newly installed granite. They were good and doing the usual videotaping of their stunts. They were having great fun and it was joy to see them utilizing the new Porch, but alas, that was all in the past as no sooner had the space been properly utilized a week later, small metal abutments were added to the granite benches to prevent a skateboarder from grinding it out on the granite.

Yeah....I know we can all differ on the importance of this issue, but I have watched as Septa benches have been replaced with new and improved benches that do not allow for proper sleeping and I believe that people should dictate the use of space by....well.....the use of it. It really is a silly thing. And small in the scheme of life.

I just can't help thinking of how vibrant youth are and how we continually make it difficult for them.

I do encourage you to check out The Porch and even utilize it. Just be sure to sit quietly.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

cracked my windshield and the moral is.....


1 - No one got hurt
2 - People in the Home Depot lot felt better about themselves as they looked at my windshield
3 - Apparently I have superhuman strength 
4 - The glass industry is thankful
5 - I have been thinking about a new car
6 - I am now thinking I need to be extra careful with my circular saw and router today
7 - It really is a pretty big crack....this is no wimp little tiny crack
8 - I got to hear other stories of cracked windshields
9 - This will definitively give my wife and I something to talk about tonight in the car
10 - I really needed something to write about

Two additional thoughts - the song Nobody's Fault But Mine is running rampant through my head now AND "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose" 

k...time to go plug in the router

Monday, March 12, 2012

why I believe in God

Why I believe in God, any q's feel free to ask. Thank you.

1.  There is good and evil
2.  Hearts and love- Love is real. Love is beautiful. I know God w/my heart.
3.  I see God in the beauty of everything, the sun, the moon, the stars and more importantly in people
4.  The Holy Spirit- I can feel the wind, but cannot see it. When everything is right. I feel the Holy Spirit
5.  Other, I see God in other people. All you have to do is look.
6.  The bible is the most powerful thing I know. It's words are alive and they grow.
7.  The hard heart. The disbelief and strength of the hard heart is in of itself enough to make me believe.
8.  I talk to God and He talks to me.
9.  The one thing that I know- God is THE only truth I have ever found in life.
10. The name of God...His name scorned, trashed and adored.

for what it's worth at the end of the day (and the beginning) His name, His word, His love sustains me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

thumbs up for rock 'n' roll ! ! ! !

There's this ultra cool youtube vid of a kid who just learned to ride his bike and his dad asks him to relay the experience. 

"I feel...I feel...I feel...I feel happy of myself"

"Everybody! I know you can believe in yourself!"

"anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" Jesus

I love watching and listening to little children. They are so precious and so ready to trust. I will not forget when our youngest son Taylor asked me for the truth....the truth about Santa. I felt like Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men when he spouts off about the masses not being able to handle the truth. I didn't think Taylor could handle the truth. But I asked him, "do you really want to know?", "yes," he replied. "No, Taylor, do you REALLY want to know the truth?", "yes, daddy, please". "Okay," I said, and then I told him the truth. Taylor got angry with me, so very angry, would not talk to me and cut me off for two days. No words, just hurt, anger and sorrow. 

Taylor believed whatever we told him. Blindly, innocently and without question. I watch and listen to young children and they believe in God that way. When Jesus says we must receive the kingdom of God like a little child, I want to do so. BLINDLY and INNOCENTLY and WITHOUT an OUNCE of doubt. I want that doubt to shrink into oblivion. 

I am sorry for not having enough wisdom to not ever lie to any of my children about Santa. I should have started with the truth there. They all turned out a-okay though. 

More importantly I want myself and family to have that belief, that BLIND BELIEF in GOD. 
That INNOCENCE. that trust. 

I want to always "feel happy of myself" and declare a "thumbs up for rock 'n' roll" and a thumbs up for God. 

Thursday, March 08, 2012





life is wayyyyyy to short. the days seem to just tumble by, as if they were a ball rolling down the hill. speeding up, rolling oh so fast. so fast that the ball hops and skips and jumps over every obstacle.


Cherish it.

feel the ball.....feel LIFE....feel e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g  coursing thru your veins. BE POSITIVE! Be happy.

embrace life, it changes everything


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

guns & music

I learn a lot of good things from song lyrics. 

In 1976 sometime in April as I was completing the 8th grade and a few buds were going to go to a concert. I got permission to go and even though I didn't know who any of the bands were I did the usual walk from Hilltop, NJ to the Record Museum (store) in Deptford Mall. For 14.00 dollars purchased my first concert ticket. The date of the show was to be June 14th and there were about 6 of us going of whom I only remember two of them. Kenny Mohr, my best friend at the time and Jim McGranahan.

It was something else. Dicky Betts and Great Southern, The J. Geils Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Peter Frampton. Just waiting to get into the open air Philly landmark JFK Stadium (site of Live Aid) was a trip. Let's just say the bearded southerners in '76 were a bit overwhelming for this young sheltered suburban kid to get. I did a lot of staring and growing up that day. 

I didn't know what partying was in a 70's concert scene and needless to say there was a lot of beer being confiscated upon entry as there was a sweet smell wafting throughout the day. Me and Kenny,really Kenny, had somehow got a hold of the mini truck with all of the confiscated beer driving in the stadium and snagged two american Budweisers each...they were warm and some might say hot. Drinking that coveted hot beer in the sun and being about 13 years old with an empty stomach was not necessarily a good thing. 

Dicky Betts didn't play long and somehow we felt they left the stage early due to inferior sound. J. Geils ripped it up....a serious party band. Now I had also purchased Skynyrd's double-live album (pictured above) prior to the concert and I knew all the songs. Sweet Home, Freebird, Gimme Three Steps and so on. The one song that had lyrically really stuck with me was Saturday Night Special. It struck a chord with me. Here's this band that is really the crown of Southern Rock singing against guns. The last bit of lyrics in that song go like this - "Well handguns are made for killin', they ain't no good for nothing else, so why don't we dump 'em, to the bottom of the sea".
I always thought that that was wisdom right there. Even back then, at 13 years old. I couldn't see a purpose for a handgun. They really ain't no good for nothin' else. 

Today whenever I hear Do You Feel Like I Do it forever reminds me of carefree summer days. It was over a year later when three band members and several others would suffer a tragic death with the band in a plane crash.

So why don't we, dump those handguns people, to the bottom of the sea?

 "before some old fool come 'round here, gonna shoot either you or me".

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Spring has Sprung

The garden is one of my sanctuaries. A place of work, reflection and meditation. 

It is a place that soothes my soul, that transcends moments into actual moments. 

Life takes on special meaning in the garden. It is here that things live and die. It is here that things grow and mature. 

I'd like to think that by spending time here, I grow, mature and learn to appreciate the details and beauty of life. 

Pictured are dwarf irises that have been growing for many years. Some years they come up in the snow. The grape muscari are also just starting to flower. I want to get some more miniature tete a' tete daffodils for next year. 

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sundays // Pancakes// Jack Johnson

Mar and I hit the road Friday afternoon to get away before she goes away. Not sure I just get that thinking just yet, but hey....I'm going with the flow. 

We took the long way here and as we are getting ready to head out we are going to do the same and take the l-o-n-g way home. 

Yesterday we hiked the Delaware Water Gap, not a long or tough hike by any means, but I must say. I am getting old. This stuff does not come as easy as it once did. 

It is so quiet here, up in the Poconos with nothing really doing and no where to go and nothing to really worry about. Some fine living. Just fine.....For the last few weeks this one thought keeps running through my brain.......the simple life

How I long for that. 

Our lives are anything, but simple as all this stuff of working and earning to live take place. I lose sight of the real hard-core reasons that make me peaceful and serene.
This is what I want and long for....serenity. 

I don't think it takes a weekend jaunt to the Poconos or a secluded Blue Lagoon beach to gain peacefulness. No, I think that state of mind is self-inflicted. And by "self" I do mean our attitudes and desires. Our acceptances of what's real and false and by what we choose to believe and not believe.

My wife and I love watching the television show Parenthood and the crazy (but, maybe not so crazy) thing is so do our children. Sean, Aryn and Taylor. Mind you Taylor did not take to this easily and had to be coerced and coaxed into watching, but now that he has, he enjoys it. I think what he enjoys most is watching it together. A family watching family. 

It is while watching Parenthood,  that that simple life takes place. 

It is while hiking the AT among the moss, that the simple life happens.

It is while typing this blog, the sun streaking through the windows, that the simple life takes place. 

It is while driving on a Friday night on unknown roads that follow the curve of the river, in the dark, in the pouring rain with drifting radio stations, yes even here, is where the simple life happens. 

It is while having pancakes on a Sunday morning with Jack Johnson playing, this is the simple life. 

The simple life is how we look at the days, and the hours, and the minutes, and the seconds that is what determines our simplicity. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Wild Rumpus

When Max gets sent to his room....his room begins to grown and grow, it grows so much it becomes a forest!  Of my fondest books comes a transformation of a room to a garden of paradise and fantasy. Max's room becomes where the wild things are. O' how I would dream and dream of the same happening to me!

Now that life has found its own pace and of three children born to us, one (fondly) remains and our pets have moved on and the 55 gallon fish tank is now for sale (interested, let me know!)...and Aryn my most favorite daughter in the whole wide world is married with her own family beginning has left this sunny and gorgeous room available to me. 

This space has been dubbed the MCORDA, the Man Cave Office Room Dressing Area....hence MCORDA. 
A guitar and amp, a desk and printer, what books and knick knacks I hold onto ( I try to not hold on to anything impractical anymore), a smattering of art and of course this computer facing the windows which gets the most incredibly bright afternoon sun. 

But, what I love about the space is the growth. Slow and steady it sure is gathering a forest. Plants and plants and plants, of all varieties. It is a pure joy to do this. Plants grow and change and they are life,  This room is my wild place. A place of life and growth and light. 

It is in this light I bask.....letting it fill my very being and add growth to my soul. 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Mr. Jones and me.....

"Mr. Jones and me staring at the video"

It was in the early 70's as I held a 9-volt transistor radio to my ear and heard Paul McCartney and Wings playing Uncle Albert with it's many layers of transcending styles...this is when I would like to think I discovered music that afternoon in sunny Hilltop, NJ as I stood in my driveway. 

Then I think back to riding in the car with my dad (which ALWAYS made me carsick) and hearing my dad singing along to the likes of 5th Dimension..."up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon...." or "here's to you,  Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more then you will know wo, wo, wo". And it was just about 2007 when I finally got to see Paul Simon and took my dad, figured he would enjoy it. We had incredible seats at the Tower Theater and one of my fondest memories of the evening was after all was said and done; my dad looked at me and said- "did he (Paul Simon) write all of those songs?", grinning I replied, "yes, and then some". 

And then there was The Monkees. Silly, fun and in COLOR television with MUSIC! I don't really remember when I watched them other then that late afternoon range, after school. Not sure if it was 60's or the 70's,  I just know I loved them and looked forward to watching them and their adventures. Just having the theme song come on was enough to make me prance and dance around as if there was no tomorrow. 

They were cool and watching them somehow elevated my coolness and for this I am thankful.

Hey, hey we're The Monkees
and People say we monkey around
but we're too busy singing 
To put anybody down