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Showing posts from November, 2018

EDGES

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“He was a great painter, but he stared endlessly at the edges of his work. The brush strokes, sketches and marks that never hit the canvas…I wondered why?”   Oregon Taylor Fields At the height of my business career, the many stresses of meeting needs left me feeling like a machine simply turning out product. You always had to conform to both company and client needs. To keep myself sane, I decided to start a side business. Since my job was all about selling services, it seemed natural to combine my growing interest in art with helping other artists sell their work. I rented a small studio on the second floor of an old converted hotel in the arts district of the city. The building overflowed with painters, photographers, music teachers and even a recording studio. Just what I needed to take me far away from the drum beat of large business routines.  Overtime some of the artist became my clients and friends. Eric, a talented painter, had the studio next to mine. I often talked with him,…

A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE

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In a city an old couple lived. They were wealthy in love for each other, but not in money. They shared a humble apartment on one of the forgotten blocks of the city.  The Xmas season loomed and despite the lack of money, they wanted to share at least one thing special. They decided to find the perfect box of chocolates and did. There on the kitchen counter a Xmas box of chocolates now rested. There were 25 pieces of chocolate. One to be eaten on each day until the special day.  They agreed to alternate pieces, one enjoying a piece one day and the other the next. The days until Xmas unfolded one at a time and joyous. They would walk through the city together, enjoying the lights, people shopping and the young people frolicking about. They wondered about their dreams.  Each day was made more special by one of them enjoying a chocolate. The other savoring in the joy it brought the lucky one. Xmas day arrived and just one chocolate remained. The old man thought it was his turn, but wante…

PORTLAND WINDOWS

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"Portland Windows" - Pearl District

RETIREMENT NOTE #5: MONEY

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The last in my series of retirement notes is about money. I held it for the last because so much good material is already written about this subject. So, one ponders how much you can actually add. Still, there are strategies that have helped us retire and live successfully. I want to share them with you. Plan– When you think of retirement plans, you probably think of financial planners, numbers and graphs. All important. However, it is equally important to plan around your dreams and goals in retirement. Very early on in our marriage we developed a plan for retirement. We called it the 1999 plan. We did the numbers thing, but also included our dreams. We even cut out pictures of what our home would look like and the places we wanted to live. The plan included not only our retirement but also the interim moves we might make before then. Over time, we would update the plan and add the new strategies and dreams. Our actual retirement date got delayed some, but almost everything we pictur…

CLUBSTERS

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Clubsters Waiting for Night to Fall

RETIREMENT NOTE #4: FRIENDS

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“A Friend is a person whom one knows well and is fond of. A person on the same side of a struggle, one who is not an enemy or foe.”Webster Dictionary It had only been a few months since we retired and moved from Seattle to the Desert. I was still finding my way in the new role of retiree. To my amazement, my long standing friends back in Seattle were slowly drifting away. Guys who had always been part of my life, played golf together and done business with were no longer close. It bothered me for a long time until I settled on a new concept of who friends really are.  The very nature of friendship is a fluid one, based in large part on circumstances and location. You are most likely to have friends in the same school, workplace, club or places where you live. The question is are they long term friends or just acquaintances. Retirement will test this, especially if you move to a new location. I understand now that this is a natural process and not all bad. Friends can unintentionally h…

ENDINGS OF A DAY

RETIREMENT NOTE #3: PLACE

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“The sky deep with blueness, bright, and unending. My fear disappeared into it. I knew that where ever it was, I could find a place…”  - Oregon Taylor Fields The place you retire is one of the most important decisions you will make. We explored many alternatives in deciding where and how to retire. We were tired of the rain in Seattle and some aspects of Urban life,  but were unsure as to the next best place. Was it going to be another city, the country, a small town and or suburbs?  Questions about leaving the friends, contacts, services, cost of living and the home we knew so well in Seattle swirled in our minds. There is a wealth of articles on the “Best Place” to retire. All offer valuable advice. However, we wanted to find that best place ourselves. One of our exploratory trips took us to the desert where we met up with an old friend Shayla. We knew Shayla for a long time. She seemed always be on some new adventure. One thing was clear, she held a wealth of life spirit and earthy…

EARLY MORNING NOTES

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"Early Morning Notes"- Augusta GA

FOUND WALL MARKS

THE LOST ART OF STOICISM

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The Stoic “As a human being, you may have emotions, but these don’t need to affect your soul. The two are not one.” Daphne Guinness, British Artist The car radio blared the CNN report of top news of the day and repeated it over and over again. Changing channels brought more of the same, but with the other sharp slant to things. The traffic around me thick, pushing and shoving. On each side of me, the sameness of unending strip malls. Waiting at the office, people with agendas and no appetite to hear other ideas. I felt surrounded by people with sharp edges, dug in attitudes and impatience.  It’s easy in today’s fast paced dense world to find yourself lost in it all, without the tools to find your own way. A good way to start is exploring the lost art of Stoicism. The Stoic philosophy dates back to ancient Greek times. It emphasizes wisdom derived from objective observation, reason and thought. The Stoic remained open minded to all views, drawing their own conclusions and actions from e…

TURN OF THE ROAD

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"Turn of the Road" - Tradesville SC

FALL WANDERING

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"Fall Wandering"
The days shorter now, thoughts of warm days past filled my senses. Made more dear by the chill of fall. The ever changing of life was before me. I looked back with happiness and forward with faith there were still places to go and wandering to do...