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Patriot Rovers Serving Veterans in North Carolina

Golden retrievers and military service personnel. How can you resist?

Patriot Rovers is an amazing organization providing a unique and relevant service to many soldiers who have served.

Patriot Rovers is a North Carolina based 501( c)(3) that provides canine therapy using rescued and trained Psychiatric Service Dogs for military veterans who suffer from PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury. The program is free for veterans.

Patriot Rovers is committed to rescuing, housing, nurturing, rehabilitating, vaccinating, spaying, neutering, training and socializing rescued dogs in order to qualify them as Psychiatric Service Dogs that will perform medical alert and response in addition to specific tasks for combat Veterans.

The mission of the organization is simply to serve soldiers and honor heroes through the training and placement of therapeutic animals and highlighting the accomplishments of men and women who have served their country. You can get the full story on the Patriot Rovers website.

Seize the Day and Thoughts On Failure

Pardon me while I meander through a field of thoughts...

Sometimes we fail and it's our fault. Can we then acknowledge that we have been beset and seized by our own bindings. such shackles and mire may have to this point held us fast to our own mediocrity. Can we then to love our failure and forgive ourselves? We travel from such limitations through the pain and angst of emerging into our next level of personal liberty.

Today, we might become aware of personal limitations and thus of the fresh and vital opportunity that awaits us.

Carpe diem is often misquoted as "seize the day." a better rendering of it is to "gather the day." Gathering the day is both a reference to making order of the day(to gather it together) and harvesting the day. The implication is that all that we need is robustly present and waiting around us, a field of possibilities - or at least the next necessary possibility. It is therefore our destiny, our very calling to claim each day unto us. Such effort is most often the doing of simple routine, seemingly mundane tasks. Such  effort does, eventually, result in the very real manifestation of our dreams.

Just for today, may we renew ourselves and simply do the next right thing. Carpe diem!

Some Words...Spoken

I wanted to try posting some audio to accompany the written word. I've reposted a short creative piece I wrote a few weeks back and added an audio message. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks to AudioBoo for the technology.


"Before she quickly brushed it aside, her single tear drop traced a trail - like a silver scalpel slicing so quickly through flesh that the very bone is revealed before blood begins to rush through the wound - such was this tear - a momentary revealing that she cared too much, that her need was too great and that her hope for recognition, salvation actually, would not come. Not tonight..."


Yes. I'm a dad. I rock. 

Stop. Look. Listen.

Before you cross the street, stop, look and listen. This advice was drilled into my head as a child. Before you cross the busy street - which for me was often traffic crammed Ocean Boulevard in the heat of the Summer tourist season in Myrtle Beach, SC - you should stop, look both ways and listen for traffic coming as well as look. Stop. Look. Listen.

One of our kids, at preschool age, learned this phrase incorrectly and would utter "Stop. Look and Licken," when we would prepare to cross a street. In loving and nurturing parental fashion, we never corrected her and soon we all had a new phrase for practicing safe crossings.

There are all kinds of crossings in life.

The saying stays with me. Stop, look and listen. My life is busy. I plan each day for a busy life. I enjoy it. Living is a lot like showing up at the Sunday buffet and having to chose what you are not going to taste. I'm not particularly good at saying no. I want the entire feast!

Last weekend I spent some time in Asheville, NC. I had two wonderful days with nothing planned. I went for a hike in the mountain woods, visited the Folk Art Center, took a long sit at a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook, and tarried for hours in a local coffee shop writing, reading and relaxing. I stopped, slowed down, looked at the world I was in and savored, listened, to the details and nuances of my living - that one day. It was a beautiful day. I think I'll do it some more.

When is the last time you followed the simple direction: Stop, look and listen?

Miasma Episode I

NOTE: This is a creative writing piece and could be one of a series that creates a fantasy character to allow for observational prose...

My name is Miasma. Actually, Miasma isn't my real name and if I tried to tell you my real name your ears would not hear it nor would your mind grasp it, so for you and the world you see, I am Miasma.

I am a watcher of people and their things for in my watching I find some degree of comfort, some measure of essence that I would otherwise lose and soon I might fade beyond the reach of this world. I cannot touch it or you anymore, so I watch. My presence is veiled to you, no more than the wisp of a cloud or the last mist of a spring morning. I can only watch. I watch the beauty and the ugliness.

Today I watch her, this child with brilliant blue eyes, dancing with light. If you would see her you would most likely be so struck by the particular shade of azure blue brimming from her eyes that you might miss the truly brilliant light that is her eagerness of being as it radiates into the world around her. Yes, I see this radiance. Some might discount her shine as youthful and untainted enthusiasm, but I know better. I have seen this before and today as I watch her trace her fingers along the cracked mortar between the smooth wall stones, I know that this youngling is a rare and delicate version among your kind. She hums a simple tune, one that rises from her inner being and as her wordless song touches the air and all around her I feel the urge to bow, I and every form of life around her would sway upon her song if she only wished it so. She doesn't, for she doesn't know how, yet...

Thank You

Quick Thought...

I'll come back to this thought, I'm sure. I was mowing the lawn last week and had this thought...

How can I invite you to peace when you're so comfortable in your familiar chaos?

What's Your Epitaph?

And the end of the fight is a tomb stone white with the name of the late deceased
And an epitaph drear “A fool lies here who tried to hustle the east.”

-Rudyard Kipling

Do you ever give thought to the epitaph you want on your tomb stone? Or, do you ever wonder what your surviving relatives (always thought that was a strange connotation. Like they survived your dying?)?

Apparently the possibilities are wide open.

Here lies the body
of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.
Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery

Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.
In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery

I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Of yours.
Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont

And my favorite,

"I told you I was sick!"
In a Georgia cemetery

On a more serious note, lately I think I know what mine may turn out to be, if I live that long. 

My wife and granddaughter (5 years old) talk about me a good bit. In a loving effort to help our granddaughter understand the people in her world, her grandmother will often explain other people’s behavior. I’m no exception. One evening, in anticipation of the coming morning – my granddaughter asked, “Will granddaddy Kim be here in the morning?” My wife explained, “No. He’ll leave early for work, before you are awake. He goes to work every day to make money so we can have food, a house and other nice things.” One morning early, I walked into the bedroom after my shower, to find them both snuggled into our bed. I dressed for work quietly, in the dark and heard them talking.

Granddaughter: There’s granddaddy Kim… in the dark.
Grandmother: Yes. He knew we would be resting and didn't want to bother us. He’s thoughtful like that. He’ll go down and feed the dogs and let them out, too. So they can run up and join us for a snuggle. Isn’t it nice of him to do that for us?

So, as I’m thinking about how my life is impacting others, I’m hearing my wife tell my grandchild that I am a thoughtful, considerate provider. I've worked hard to be a lot of things: an excellent salesperson, a reliable employee, successful in business, an able public speaker, etc. But here I am, looking from the point of view of my family and I find that I am seen in a different light.

Provider. Considerate. Thoughtful. 

Honestly, that is an epitaph, be it written on the stone above my grave or on the folds of the hearts of those who remember me, which I can live and die with.

"To This Day" Be about your own beauty!

This is too powerful not to share. Why do we relate to the underdog? Because we have all been there...most of us powerfully so. Yet, out culture of youth (particularly in the educational environment) is one where we allow and support behavior of making ourselves feel better by belittling others. I double dog dare you to watch this Spoken Word poem...