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December 04, 2005©

Greetings, friends!

Ahhhhh. Winter is back! and I get to engage in my favorite winter sport: Olympic Snow Blowing! Heck, before I started playing volleyball each week, snowblowing was my annual heart healthy exercise program -- albeit seasonal. My neighbor goes out of town for a weekend and we have a snow storm? Yup. I'll snowblow their driveway before they get back in town so they don't have to battle it fresh off a trip. One of my neighbors is a single parent with fairly young kids, so I routinely do her driveway. Afterall, why should she have to come home from a hard day's work, with two hungry kids and have to fight through a foot of snow just to get in her house to work some more and get the kids fed, homeworked, etc (single parents do it all, man... I know. I was one for almost 4 years).

Olympic Snowblow Man to the rescue!
... any excuse to crank that puppy. Why? you may ask. Good question! I haven't completely figured it out myself, except that I like using the snowblower, and I know the people I help will appreciate that little -- or not so little, depending on how much snow it is -- gesture of kindness. And sometimes, I feel like it's just my way of saying thank you. Thanks for being a good neighbor; or maybe just thanks for not being a crappy neighbor! I don't know. All I know is that when I'm done helping, I may be a little bit tired, but I feel good. So, so it's my little community service effort - - small as it is.

Along with winter and my snowblowing adventures... comes the holiday season, and I tend to do a lot of self evaluating during this time of year. I look back and see where I've been, what I've done, how far I've come -- or regressed; see who I've helped or hurt, and determine what and who there's been in my year to be thankful for. For me, this year has been a mixed bag. I've had some elated moments, some let downs, lost old friends, made new friends. But considering everything, as the year winds down and prepares to launch the adventure to be known as 2006 ... I have much to be thankful for.

First and foremost, I remain alive, healthy, fed, housed, employed and moving around on my own power. My family has remained healthy and housed, and no one has passed away this year. All 3 of my children have prospered in one way or another -- none of which requiring my direct intervention -- and most friends have also fared well. Two great, long time friends in Biloxi & Gulfport, MS survived hurricane Katrina! One sustained relatively minor damage and has tidied things up. The other lost their house and most of their possessions, but lived to tell the incredible tale and continued with GREAT attitudes to the rebuilding of their home and their lives. I am thankful for those miracles.

Recently, I've been thinking about the effects and contributions of people who have entered my life but -- for one reason or other -- are no longer an integral part of it. A good example is my 15 year marriage to my ex-wife. During our time, she made indelible contributions to and impressions in my life, and many positive residuals remain. Many other people have also touched my life from time to time who have left positive residuals and made lasting impressions. Just because a relationship transitions doesn't mean the good that happened ceases to exist, even if it ends badly.

So, think back over your years and reflect on people who once existed in your life who have transitioned away. Think about whether they gave you any smiles, or wisdom, or encouragement, or love, or gifts, or insights, or hugs... and if you can remember even one smile or other positive, then say "thank you". You don't need to necessarily say it to that person, because many times you'll have no clue where they are now. Just acknowledge it to yourself, nod with a smile, and feel blessed that you have that memory to think back on.

So with this holiday season upon us, I share with you -- my friends -- an attitude of gratitude. For those of you who are still in my life, I thank you for the gifts you've given and continue to give me -- if only a smile or a word of encouragement. And for those who are no longer a part of my life, you may not ever see this note, but I'm sending my "thank you" to the cosmos! in the hopes that you'll feel the energy surge! THANK YOU< for the good you contributed to my life!

Ahhhhhh. I feel so much better now :-D Let me go check on my snowblower... I might need to help somebody in the morning.

As always, thank you for reading! I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback, via email or as posts at my new blog at blogspot.com. And, if you think this message was worth reading, use the "Forward email" link below to share it with your friends and / or acquaintances.

Have an awesome day.


Kelvin's Signature
Kelvin P Ringold, Sr.

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