Notes to Grandchildren — January 27, 2020

21 Feb

Dear Grandson,

Sitting in my bookcase is a stuffed stegosaurus.

IMG_20200221_061130829[1]I picked it up at the baby shower when you were so upset that no one was listening to you.

Why is it in my bookcase?  You gave in to your impulses, got your own money, and bought it.

Sometimes our impulses get us into trouble.  With a little patience you would have had both your money and the dinosaur.



Notes to Grandchildren — January 26, 2020

20 Feb

Dear Grandchildren,

Focus on things within your control.  Your wants.  Your desires.  Your anger.  Your feelings.  Your thoughts.  Your perceptions.  Your actions.  These are the things you have mastery over.  No one else controls them.

Lao Tzu said, “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

Be your own master.



Notes to Grandchildren – January 25, 2020

19 Feb

Dear Grandchildren,

People chase after things just like your dog chases after her football or Frisbee.

  • Clothes with a particular logo.
  • This car with all the bells and whistles.
  • A new toy.
  • A visit to the Mouse Kingdom or an African safari.
  • A bigger house.
  • The list goes on … and on … and on.

What do they really get?

Happiness and contentment reside within.  None of these finds provide either.

Seek a happy life.  Cultivate contentment.  Choose satisfaction.  You’ll have a better life.  These things you control.  Don’t chase after things outside your control.



Notes to Grandchildren – January 24, 2020

18 Feb

Dear Grandchildren,

Look beyond.  Don’t just accept what people say … what is written … what you see.  Be cautious.  Things may not be as they seem.

People call me gullible.  I tend to believe that people are credible until proven otherwise.  Consequently, I have fallen for some outrageous stories in my 70+ years.  Sometimes it has been an expensive lesson.

Social media has not helped. People today seem to only read or listen to stories consistent with their beliefs.  Don’t be that person.  Listen to everything and make up your own mind.

I remember at a recent baby shower two great-aunts were sitting side-by-side at the table.  Fortunately, no one mentioned politics.  One great aunt believes the President can do no wrong while the other believes he can do no right.  Sadly, from what each post on social media, that is all that they tend to read.

Personally, I confuse people.  I follow people all across the spectrum.  I want to hear what others have to say.  I want to take in information and make up my own mind.  I have people believing that I am in their camp when I’m not.  I have people believing that I oppose their point of view when I don’t.

I’m not a zealot.  I’m not out to convert the world to my point of view.  (The world would be a boring place if everyone believed and acted the same way.)  I am, however, tolerant to other religions, political views, and beliefs.

So, listen, read, and look carefully.  Gather different information.  Make up your own mind.



Notes to Grandchildren – January 23, 2020

17 Feb

Dear Grandchildren,

Happiness comes from within. It’s not what you have — money, possessions, what not.

Helen Keller said, “Your success and happiness lies within you.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

So …according to the song by Bobby McFerrin — “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”



P.S.  Grandson:  I picked you up from elementary school today.  No mix-ups like yesterday when Grandfather went to the red cone instead of the purple cone.  My mistake!

I bought you a frozen custard at Culver’s … chocolate, of course.  Just how do you get chocolate all over your face?  Do you want a beard like Grandfather has?  Is this so the puppy will give you puppy kisses to wash your face?  You’re certainly happy eating your chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone.

P.P.S.  Grandson: Congratulations on holding your sister for the first time.

Notes to Grandchildren – January 22, 2020

16 Feb

Dear Grandchildren,

My grandson has seen my angry — that incident at Captain’s D’s when I wanted to go in and order and he insisted on going to the drive thru.

I have to work at it … constantly.

For a while I could always tell when my father was angry — he would bite his fist.  Then he stopped.  Without an indicator, he would simply blow up.

I try to find alternatives.  Silence.  Punching bag.  Working out.

You should find alternatives to hurting others with your anger.



Notes to Grandchildren – January 21, 2020

15 Feb

Dear Grandchildren,

Who are you?

Damn, that’s a difficult question to answer.  I’ve been struggling with it for 70+ years … and still working on it.

Strive to be someone.  Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Don’t be tedious.  We all know people who are.

Avoid people who steal your life force … your chi.  There are people who like to suck the energy out of a room.

Be yourself.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”