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Although we are led to believe that "globally" we all belong to the same family, and for the most part I do agree with this, I still hold sacred and close the traditional concept of family. One cannot dispute the immediate bond that occurs when a new family member enters the scene. Being a grandfather and having a new addition to the family (grandchild #4) recently has refocused my attention. We all get caught up from time-to-time in the everyday concerns of jobs and finance, not to mention the obligations that we choose for ourselves that sound like good things at the time but do add stress and remove valuable time from one's day.

One thing that retirement has made abundantly clear to me is that the time we have is short (this has been said so many times by many people) and must be used well. As the years go by, one becomes increasingly aware of their mortality and of the remaining choices that are available in living the rest of one's life.

DO NOT become so immersed in the BUSY-NESS of life that quiet times for reflection are lost.

And visit the children, and the grandchildren, and health permitting, the great-grandchildren while you can still smile. ANY time taken for this is worth it.


When my kids were very young, both my wife and I read to them frequently (usually at night but not always). The time spent was invaluable and worth every moment of time. I get the distinct impression that this sort of thing doesn't happen so much any more. I hope I am wrong in this and that caring, sharing parents who love their children will maintain this traditional sort of interaction between child and parent (and yes, reading fiction to kids is OK. Not every little child needs to know physics or math at age two). Reading must never be replaced by video. The imagination gives one an unbounded stage from which a story unfolds. The creative writer can paint the most marvellous scenes in your imagination and build environments more real than virtual reality (how about that) without the clumsy inadequacy of today's technology in this area.

So, I hope you do remember books with real pages - portable, non-electronic, throw it in the backpack, glove compartment, beach bag, "it doesn't matter if it sits in the sun for a while", "who needs batteries" BOOKS.


In principle I disagree with grammar and spelling aids, and fully support an education system that incorporates grammar and spelling as part of the course corriculum. However, I have to admit that I do use tools to check my documents occasionally (and hopefully/usually find no significant errors or suggestions). I wish that more web publishers would take spelling and grammar a little more seriously as I have run across pages online that are ambiguous, incomplete or confusing. We have the tools - we should use them.


Remember, if you have a good wish in mind, express it, and let it grow. At the risk of opening new doors, take a chance and trust someone with your feelings. And if they fall by the wayside, I can almost guarantee that at some point in the next few weeks or months, the recipient will think again of that small interaction and once more be faced with a good feeling (in the comfort of his own mind). It's a gift that keeps giving and costs nothing but a little bravery.


For those of us so inclined, fishing is a great way to get away from usual concerns of the busy day. The environment is conducive to reflection (in more ways than one) and, in my experience, has a soothing effect. I have a personal preference for quiet fishing as opposed to competition or tournaments. One of my most memorable fishing experiences was a small catch I made one early morning when the sun was warming the cool mist from the river. The others had left in the motorboat and I was quietly fishing from the canoe, surrounded by the mist but just able to see the shore of the island perhaps 75 yards distant. The stillness was magical. The required loon called infrequently. Every sound that morning was crisp against a background of near-silence. A little later, after I had put to shore, and the last wisps of mist were drifting away, the motorboat returned with other interesting tales of near collisions and such.

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