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Merry Christmas

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1 Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:44 am

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

This has been a very difficult year for me. I lost my soul mate of close to 50 years. I also lost 2 of my closest friends. I tried to help some people and it has proven to be a big mistake.

But all is good. I still have good friends and God has blessed me with 2 of the best children the Lord has ever put on this earth.

I feel have I have been blessed to have been born in one of the best times in History. I have been able to first hand observe some of the greatest advancements in mankind's history. Things I never even dreamed possible are now common place.

I am very troubled with the division of my country. To me, everything has turned into political drama. She said, They said, Damn you, and so it goes. It reminds me of the early 60s and the Vietnam war. I also get caught up in the drama. I have forgotten to be grateful for what I have.

I just came back from the Grocery store. All the check out lanes were full of people buying everything from soup to nuts. We are lucky people. I have enough money to buy anything in the store. But yet I get upset because I can not find the exact brand and flavor of some exotic ice cream. I have to stop and wonder why.

One time I was walking in a very bad slum in Korea. There was a person with a wife and 2 children living in a tin and cardboard shack in the worse conditions you could imagine. He tried to sell me 2 little blue bottles he had found in the dump. I could not even look at him, I was so shocked to see a person having to live in those conditions. I turned and walked away. It has bothered me ever since. I have so much while others have nothing.

So I am going to try to appreciate what I have even more. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas..Take a deep breath, watch the Sunrise or a Sun set. Tell your loved ones you love them. Give them the greatest gift you can.



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2 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:52 am

Hallmarkgard wrote:Merry Christmas everyone!!!

This has been a very difficult year for me.  I lost my soul mate of close to 50 years.  I also lost 2 of my closest friends.  I tried to help some people and it has proven to be a big mistake.  

But all is good.  I still have good friends and God has blessed me with 2 of the best children the Lord has ever put on this earth.  

I feel have I have been blessed to have been born in one of the best times in History.  I have been able to first hand observe some of the greatest advancements in mankind's history.  Things I never even dreamed possible are now common place.

I am very troubled with the division of my country.  To me, everything has turned into political drama.  She said, They said, Damn you, and so it goes.  It reminds me of the early 60s and the Vietnam war.  I also get caught up in the drama.  I have forgotten to be grateful for what I have.

I just came back from the Grocery store.  All the check out lanes were full of people buying everything from soup to nuts.  We are lucky people.  I have enough money to buy anything in the store.  But yet I get upset because I can not find the exact brand and flavor of some exotic ice cream.  I have to stop and wonder why.  

One time I was walking in a very bad slum in Korea.  There was a person with a wife and 2 children living in a tin and cardboard shack in the worse conditions you could imagine.  He tried to sell me 2 little blue bottles he had found in the dump.  I could not even look at him, I was so shocked to see a person having to live in those conditions.  I turned and walked away.  It has bothered me ever since.  I have so much while others have nothing.

So I am going to try to appreciate what I have even more.   I wish all of you a Merry Christmas..Take a deep breath, watch the Sunrise or a Sun set.  Tell your loved ones you love them.  Give them the greatest gift you can.  


 


You are truly a good and thoughtful man. It is a given that you have 2 wonderful children.

Merry Christmas Hallmark!

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3 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:52 am

I turned and walked away. It has bothered me ever since. I have so much while others have nothing.

I lived with a poor family in Saltillo Mexico which is south of Monterrey Mexico. It was 1975 and I was going to a language school where I was required to have language skills in a second language, and computer programing skills in order to get my PHD. My brother gave me a 1965 Rambler which was burning oil. I burned 54 quarts of oil going from Birmingham to Saltillo through Laredo which was quite the tough town as every night there was gunfire at the dump of a motel I stayed waiting for my birth certificate which I forgot. The car was so wasted it could not start off the battery, and I had to park it on hills so in the morning I could jump in and pop the clutch. I was as strong as a bull and pushing it each morning was easy, but showering off the oil which was blowing into the passenger compartment was another matter.

Well, a great many Americans were going to Mexico to enter medical school because the babyboomer bubble had too many applicants for American medical school and smart folks were forced to go to other nations to get their medical degree, where once they had the same they could become an American Doctor. I had two roommates who were medical students. One was a black Ghana child of the health minister of Ghana. He went to NY and became a taxi driver and loved what he did, until a minister of his country was at the United Nations and found out he was driving a cab. They insisted that he immediately enroll in medical school, and the only one he could get in was Saltillo. The other roommate was a Peruvian who was born in Peru, and at about 10 he moved to NYC, and he too was in medical school, but because he spoke spanish, it was much easier for him going to a Mexican medical school.

The poverty on the streets of Mexico was quite hard on children. They would often swarm people asking for money. I always gave something because the peso had just devalued and people were suffering horribly and I was getting about double the pesos for the dollar in just the last ten months. Well my Peruvian roommate stopped me one day after giving kids change, and said "you feel pretty good about helping those children" I replied that I had plenty of Pesos and if I could help, I felt good about it. He said very bluntly.....you are not helping them......you are hurting them as you create an expectation that begging is the way to climb out of poverty. I was that kid on the streets of Peru, and it was not until my family quit begging and began working that good things happened to our family."

I was piszed because he was judging me, and almost making me out as the ugly yankee. He was right. I was not helping those kids. I was making them more dependent. I went from 210lbs to 170 lbs in six months eating what that poor family was eating. Finally realizing I was fading away, I found a restaurant and once a day I began eating soup, some meat, and bread. There was not one member of that family who had an ounce of fat and they had this wonderful attitude about life and were absorbed by their catholic faith. I learned that I was a soft and entitled American who took things for granted. When my then girlfriend saw me in St. Louis she did not recognize me because I had lost so much weight and grown a mustache. That Christmas was special for me after returning from America. I could go into any gas station restroom and think I was in the ritz, and a quarter pounder with cheese was like a steak. We have no idea of the suffering in this world or how privileged we are.

I enjoy Hallmark's reality and experience, because those who have seen real poverty and deprivation understand what others do not know. So may we all celebrate this Christmas with the knowledge that we all are very fortunate.

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4 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:29 pm

Hallmark, you gave us a lot to think about as we get ready to close-out 2017 and begin a new year. Thanks!

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5 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:42 pm

Merry Christmas, Hallmark. You always keep life in perspective for us. Thank you.

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6 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:53 pm

Merry Christmas Hallmark and thank you. Your message is laced with the true spirit of Christmas.

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7 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:05 pm

Merry Christmas Hallmark and hope you have a great 2017.

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8 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:20 pm

Thanks for the nice comments.  All is good.  Going to try do a long bicycle ride tomorrow at day light.  Should not be much traffic out.. LOL  

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9 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:50 pm

Is that near 298......98 and dogtrack? The bayous all look alike after awhile. I have kayaked Indian Bayou and Trout Bayou on Garcon point. I have used my pontoon boat on the blackwater going in and out of bayous in East Milton, but I can no longer get in and out of a Kayak. Be careful with your eyesight. Get one of those green reflective safety vests, and a funky blinking led hard hat when you are biking because a lot of old farts are driving who do not see motorcycles and they sure as hell will not see a bike.

What I cannot figure out is off of 298 going to the dog track I see these old dock stubs going way out into the water. I mean 300 feet, and I cannot believe how much it must have cost to build those walkways, but I have noted not too many have been rebuilt and none as far out as some of them.

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10 Re: Merry Christmas on Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:24 pm

Those old posts you see are what is left from the old Lumber mill from back in the 20 and 30s.  Like the Road says  "Millview"  It was before my time but there used to a lot more of them.  Very Very good on spotting Heron Bayou.  It is at Dog track and 98. you have passed it many a time going to the Dog track.  But you can not see the entire thing from Dog Tract.  LOL  I have a lot of high vis stuff.  I also have a 2 watt red Strobe light mounted on my helmet.

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11 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:14 am

I saw someone biking last Wednesday when we were on the way to or from (can't recall which) lunch at the Oar House following hubby's foot doc appointment on N. Palafox, and immediately thought of you, Hallmark, for some reason, even though I don't know what you look like.  But seeing your bike pictured here, it looks very much like the one I saw that day.   Who knows?  At least you know I was thinking of you.  Smile

We frequently pass by 98 and Dogtrack heading out to Bronson Field so hubby can fly his RC airplanes. Will pay closer attention next time.

Heading to bed and hoping for visions of sugarplums.   Goodnight all, with one final Merry Christmas,
LL

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12 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:23 am

Lights are low with only the Christmas tree glowing. Full bodied coffee. Reflecting. So much to be thankful for this year. Merry Christmas, everyone.

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13 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:47 am

SheWrites wrote:Lights are low with only the Christmas tree glowing.  Full bodied coffee.  Reflecting.  So much to be thankful for this year.  Merry Christmas, everyone.  

Always, every year, She Writes...

Merry Christmas to all, and I hope you all manage to celebrate the day in whatever ways your traditions call for!

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14 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:40 am

We made the rounds this am after putting the turkey on. Got to see all the Santa Claus gifts the granchildren received ....their excitement is my favorite thing. 

Back home; the dinner casseroles were prepared yesterday with the help of 3 of my 5 granddaughters. Could not have done it without them. 

We are enjoying the calm before the storm when 11 kids and 15 adults show up and 4 more  coming sometime around  2.

I love Christmas!

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15 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:40 pm

Grandkids stopped by on the way to their other grandfather's house to celebrate Christmas. They dropped off the dog as the dog does not like the other Grandfather, and both dogs got their Christmas bones and went nuts chewing. Such joyous sharing of time. It goes by quickly and the best gift I have been given is the wisdom to understand the same.

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16 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:02 pm

Hallmarkgard wrote:Merry Christmas everyone!!!

This has been a very difficult year for me.  I lost my soul mate of close to 50 years.  I also lost 2 of my closest friends.  I tried to help some people and it has proven to be a big mistake.  

But all is good.  I still have good friends and God has blessed me with 2 of the best children the Lord has ever put on this earth.  

I feel have I have been blessed to have been born in one of the best times in History.  I have been able to first hand observe some of the greatest advancements in mankind's history.  Things I never even dreamed possible are now common place.

I am very troubled with the division of my country.  To me, everything has turned into political drama.  She said, They said, Damn you, and so it goes.  It reminds me of the early 60s and the Vietnam war.  I also get caught up in the drama.  I have forgotten to be grateful for what I have.

I just came back from the Grocery store.  All the check out lanes were full of people buying everything from soup to nuts.  We are lucky people.  I have enough money to buy anything in the store.  But yet I get upset because I can not find the exact brand and flavor of some exotic ice cream.  I have to stop and wonder why.  

One time I was walking in a very bad slum in Korea.  There was a person with a wife and 2 children living in a tin and cardboard shack in the worse conditions you could imagine.  He tried to sell me 2 little blue bottles he had found in the dump.  I could not even look at him, I was so shocked to see a person having to live in those conditions.  I turned and walked away.  It has bothered me ever since.  I have so much while others have nothing.

So I am going to try to appreciate what I have even more.   I wish all of you a Merry Christmas..Take a deep breath, watch the Sunrise or a Sun set.  Tell your loved ones you love them.  Give them the greatest gift you can.  


Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you too!

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17 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:07 pm

Made it back....... Good ride..

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18 Re: Merry Christmas on Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:20 pm

Nice ride....

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19 Re: Merry Christmas on Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:10 pm

I commend you on your post, Hallmark.

I also am troubled by the divisions in this fine nation.

To me it appears that the divisions stem from people who are unhappy with their economically stagnant stations in life, but mistakenly blame people with whom they should be finding common cause.

It's unfortunate, counter-productive, and entirely orchestrated.

This holiday season, I am also full of gratitude.

Gratitude that I could go home and be of service to my parents.

My mother is having heart issues, and my father can't hear and won't wear a hearing aid, so it was a blessing to be able to visit with her doctor and help make decisions going forward.

We are a resilient people, individually, and as a nation.

We will survive.

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