What is it Good For??

"War does not determine who is right, only who is left." -- Bertrand Russell

Cleverer words were never spoken...

At a time when we are being constantly berated by the beautiful, yet sometimes very angry Mother Nature we'd love to be able to at least count on humanity. And we have, but not ALL of it!!

People have been hunkering down in the foxholes they call their homes, defending against Mother Nature's attack. Now they have an even more dangerous, man-made threat to distress over.

In a world that seems to be run by unbalanced and egotistical maniacs, we need words like Bertrand's to make us laugh and think.

Laughter and thought, what a combo!!

So let's help each other think and laugh. Let's make sure to help someone experience beauty in a time where it might be difficult to find and hope that we are all left to talk about it!

We’ll Sing with the Birds After the Storm!

"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them." -- Rose Kennedy

This is a lovely idea in theory.  Unfortunately Harvey and the ominous thought of Irma have taken away most people's reason to delight in the remaining sunlight.

But as Houston has shown us, people are strong, this country is strong!!

I hope everything comes out smelling likes roses when it's all said and done. Or maybe she'll weaken or take a turn. Either way I hope to hear the birds singing to the heavens.

One guarantee is that my very musical family in Florida will be singing louder than any of the birds once this all finally passes!

For now we can just pray and prepare, and hope to once again delight in the sunshine!!

You Can’t Flood Out Memories!


"The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can't flood out the memories." -- Tom Dempsey

Tom Dempsey is certainly no Shakespeare or Thoreau; as a matter of fact, he's an ex-football player. Born with half a foot and hand but still able to flourish in the NFL as a kicker, he is obviously a glass half-full kinda guy and his words are extremely appropriate at the moment.

Katrina swept away much of his memorabilia, his "things". But she was unable to touch the countless memories he and his family had made.

Within the past couple of years my parents sold the house we grew up in. I remember texting my siblings something like, "Man, lotta memories are in that house!" But I misspoke just a tad.

The memories aren't trapped inside those walls. They are in us, they can never be taken from us. What I should have said was, "Man, that house gave us a lot of memories!"

Thousands of people in Houston and surrounding areas have lost their homes much like Dempsey did back in 2005. It might sound tough now, but hopefully they can hold on to the memories that those homes gave them.

One of the memories or images I will take from this disaster is one of all the trucks with boats attached lined up eager to help. Sometimes terrible  events such as this restore our faith in each other.

We know it's like this at least in Texas and Oklahoma and probably everywhere we take the time to pay attention.

Why Wall Out Your Neighbor?


"Love thy neighbor as yourself; but don't take down the fence." -- Carl Sandburg

This one-time voice of America obviously had a funny take on the second commandment and he makes a great point. Love your neighbor, but watch your backyard.

The operative word he uses is fence. Fences are easily looked over the top of or through to see how your neighbor is doing. Fences have gates that are easily opened to let your neighbor in, or bid them good night.

The poet isn't saying to build a wall so as to isolate yourself. I suppose that would be the best way to stay completely safe, but who wants to live as a hermit?

It could be your neighbor to the  left or right, the north or south. Who knows how great a neighbor they could be?

It's certainly okay to exercise caution, but when it's appropriate, open the gate! Love them as yourself and prosper together!!

I Don’t Want to Win the Lottery!

Loterie de Bebes

"It is not God's will merely that we should be happy, but that we shall make ourselves happy." -- Immanuel Kant

This is not to imply that others can't make us feel good.  At the end of the day though, we are the only ones that have control over whether or not we made ourselves happy.

Money makes us feel good too! We can travel to wonderful places that make us smile, or buy shiny things that make us grin.

When I worked at a restaurant we would all chip in a couple bucks for a ticket when the lotto got really high. I knew we wouldn't win, but it was fun to talk about what we would do if we did. We were buying a dream.

What the others didn't know is that I didn't want to win. With that kind of money I would never have to work again.  I could really help out all kinds of people all over the world, and that would make me feel fantastic!!

But deep down, no matter how many people I helped, I would have known that I didn't really earn it.

At day's end, only we know if we earned our own happiness or not. It can be retrieved by each of us in a million different ways.

How do you earn yours??

Do We Satisfy Our Souls?

"Whatever satisfies the soul is truth." -- Walt Whitman

On the Roses in the Alley website it states: Join us in discovering Truth and Beauty in these strange and difficult times.

Words, pictures, music, people...beauty is all around us. That's the easy part; you just have to be alive, be aware, look and share. You can't do that with truth, however.

The kind of truth this great humanist is referring to can only be found by looking inward. Better yet, by listening inward. No one else can truly allow our souls to be satisfied; its up to us.

Whether our truth is to be a great artist, teacher, healer, scientist, or parent, at the end of the day we are the only ones that know. And even though life got in the way, we made the world a better place. Not always an easy thing, but it's very satisfying.

This quest for truth is very personal, but it's a beautiful thing to do together. So thanks for joining us!!