“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
As you can tell I made it back. During the time we were away we made quick stops in Haiti, Panama, Columbia, and the Cayman Islands. Since we are now limiting ourselves to more frugal activities we did not take any of the traditional tours, rather we walked around the areas we visited and saw that the global recession (depression?) is having a universal devastating effect. This was not just the poor and the just-getting-by folks we met that were struggling, it was also reported by the more affluent new friends we made along the way. Many reported job loss, life savings that had depreciated to the point that they did not know how they were going to make ends meet in the months and years ahead and even home losses.
For years I have talked about how we were creating staggering debt that would have to be paid by our children and our grandchildren and now I know I was mistaken for now we all will have to pay for the excesses of the recent past. It now appears that we will end up with a federal budget deficit of nearly two trillion dollars in the year ahead which will raise the national debt to around twelve trillion dollars. That much debt cannot be differed forever and must be paid back and when you couple that with the monumental personal debt with little if any personal savings you can see that we as a people are going to have to make personal sacrifices. We can no longer have it all, we no longer can mortgage our futures through buying more than we can afford hoping to pay for it later.
I hope that we as a society can rise above our compulsive desire for more material things than we will ever need and return to what I remember was how we all came together in the thirties and forties doing what we could not only for ourselves but also for others. Maybe it is a good thing that my generation and those behind ours have to start to pay for the past for if we continued to live beyond our means, placing more value on our toys than on our souls, we may have stole from future generations their capacity to live even marginally well.
I hope that you and I can make peace with the life changes we face. I honestly think that if we can our lives will have more meaning than ever and that we will be given the chance to do more good than we ever thought possible. Let us not mourn our losses but rather relish the opportunity to plant the new tree for others to sit under in the future.
I am glad to be back, I missed you all.
"Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world….Let your soul take you where you long to be….Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before."
At the airport for a business trip, I settled down to wait for the boarding announcement at Gate 35. Then I heard the voice on the public address system saying, "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Delta Flight 570 will board from Gate 41." So my family picked up our luggage and carried it over to Gate 41.
Not ten minutes later the public address voice told us that Flight 570 would in fact be boarding from Gate 35. So again we gathered our carry-on luggage and returned to the original gate.
Just as we were settling down, the public address voice spoke again: "Thank you for participating in Delta’s physical fitness program."
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
The passengers on a cruise ship were fascinated by the sight of a bedraggled, bearded man on a small island. The ship passed slowly by as he desparately shouted and waved his arms.
"Who is that person on the island?" one of the passengers asked a ship’s officer…
"I have no idea," mused the officer "but every year when we pass that island he goes crazy."
I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.
Cruise Directors STOLEN Jokes
If you’ve ever cruised, you’ll recognize these jokes, or if you just going, listen for them!
The first time you see your cabin, you say, "What could be smaller than this?" Then you open the bathroom door!
"The pool must be ocean water. Look at the size of the waves."
"Will this elevator take me to the front of the ship?"
"Do these stairs go up or down?"
"How far are we above sea level?"
"Does the crew sleep on board?" (No, we tow them in the life boats.) "
"Do the ship generate it’s own electricity?" (No, we pull an extension cord from Miami.)
To photographers: "If the photos aren’t marked, how do we know which ones are ours?"
"Is the water in the toilet fresh water or sea water?" (I don’t know, I haven’t tasted it.)
"What do you do with the ice carvings after they’ve melted?"
"Is there music in the Disco?"
"What time is the Midnight Buffet?"
We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.
If you have cruised you will relate to this.
You’re KNOW you are on a cheap ship:
…when the Gala Buffet is a Big Mac.
…When the horse races use Monopoly tokens.
…When the tour bus is late because it’s hauling cattle.
…When the Bingo cards only have three letters.
…The Dancers in the production shows do the Lindy…from memory.
…The Orchestra is from Somalia.
…The Champagne bar features Ripple.
…The Captain speaks in Tongues.
…The tenders are converted Cuban rafts.
…The crew is wearing their Gang Colors.
…The cruise director buys you a drink and puts his teeth in it. (variation of old joke)
…They take up a collection for the Bingo winner.
…The cruise lines was so cheap that the ship didn’t have stabilizers…Training wheels.
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.
A newlywed couple, after bringing their luggage into their cabin, stormed down to the desk. The bride was in tears, and the groom was red faced. When asked what the problem was, the groom started swearing at the desk clerk. "We booked a cabin with a view for our honeymoon, and all we get to see out the window is a parking lot!"
"To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common—this is to be my symphony."
William Ellery Channing
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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