Tonights sunset was brought to us by the letters WOW and a few exciting items along the way. Colors were everywhere, and the rising moon said “howdy” as twilight fell on the world.
I was thinking a lot tonight about Luna, my previous German Shepherd, and Pepper, my new German Shepherd. Everything leaves tracks on the world, but it is all different. Lunas was a pleaser and incredibly smart. Suppose you showed her something once, she would repeat it from that point. Pepper is stubborn, she understands things right away, but maybe she will do them, maybe not. It is her path to take, and each day she improves in her way.
I know, dogs, who cares, right?
Well, it is the same with us. We all need to set aside measuring ourselves against others. We need to put our goals, and our measurement should be ourselves. Sure, there are competitions, races, and things that set a bar, but it is not those that guide our everyday life. Please take a moment, breathe, find your path, and make it truly yours.
So as the sun sets on another day, take the moments you need to find your way and make today your best day. Not for anyone else but you. Find your path each and every day to your goals, and make it good all the time, no matter what.
Sunset was nice, amazing, and colorful in many ways. The sky let loose and we were all bathed in crimson memories and powerful hues.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved sunsets. It wasn’t a rarity for me to stop at the side of the road and watch the sunset, even when I was running a little late. In about 2008, I was fiddling with the idea of a site to show off all of the sunset pictures I had taken. During that time, I was sharing a photo studio and doing very well in a fantastic company that believed in people, at least when I worked there.
It wasn’t long after I got the domain that I ran into some issues, and a few people I know ran into issues, some of them large, some permanent. Instead of just focusing on the sunsets and the idea of trying to see a sunset today, I realized there was a much larger message here. The message is almost simple, if today was your last day on earth, what would you do differently? Why aren’t you doing it now?
I struggled with this idea because if you think about it, it’s almost too simple. Then again, we are often pulled into small items but slowly take our life away. Hundreds of memes talk about life and jobs and getting the job done. There wasn’t really anything unique with this idea, so I went further.
I wrote a piece that made a lot of sense that simply said we need to stop whining about the past and pining about the future and instead define ourselves every day. It was a fun play on words, but it meant far more. Far too many people we’re so lost in their pasts that they could never find the positivity they need to make their lives better. By that same token, my father’s death showed me that planning for a perfect retirement and not spending time right now doing everything can be equally as damaging. We all know that story about someone who planned for retirement and right when it was a time were suddenly gone.
In 2015 I reset the site and started building it into a blog. For me, it was surprising the number of people that were interested. By 2015 this site actually had well over a million hits. As of now, it has over 3 million. I understand that’s not viral level because I don’t sit out and throw it on social media, advertise, or do something crazy that makes people watch for no apparent reason. Instead, since 2015 I have been writing every day with a message that encourages people to be alive.
I don’t know most of the people that stop by. Some days there are only a few dozen hits. Some days it’s a few thousand. I turned off comments a long time ago, as even with the best spam filters, you still have to monitor it all the time. My goal is simply to give people something to think about and to give my children something they can refer back to if I am someday gone. I put something together each day with no advertisements except maybe for my books occasionally and no frills. Sometimes what I put together is great, and sometimes it isn’t. In the end, that’s all dependent on you.
For you, as the casual reader, I would like to offer you a welcome. Each day as I interact with people all over the place, I come up with something fun to put here. Each day I try super hard to make sure that you’re entertained, and each day I try to lift people up, you included because you deserve it.
So as the sun sets on another day, join me on a fun little trip with a lot of other people. Join me in smiling, laughing, crying, and considering the world as a place where we should be doing something special each and every day to define ourselves as good people. Join me as we realize that good isn’t always what people think and bad isn’t always what people think either. Pass it on and have some fun, no matter what.
Sunset was another magnificently mesmerizing masterpiece in the midst of Michigan. Ya, it was good! If you do not get to see it often you should.
I was laughing to myself today as I cleaned up the garden. There were lots of allusions and metaphors flying through my mind as I threw half-eaten tomatoes into the woods to clear the path for new ones. This year has not been as easy for the garden as some exciting animal has found that they love to eat the leaves off all the peppers and eat tomatoes as they ripen. This makes for less than perfect harvests, even though it is still enough.
I was laughing because I have been throwing tomatoes in my woods for a while but have not taken a walk in the woods this year. I wondered how many tomatoes are in the woods right now, born of seeds from tomatoes I have tossed in the past. A garden of excellent vegetables could run around in the woods a few dozen feet from me.
This of course, brought me to how often we throw seeds out and never check on the progress. Many people ask for opinions or seek enlightenment only to have things thrown over a wall with no follow-up. I know I have done it as well. These things can be good or bad, but they are seedlings that will grow in the minds of others and become influences one way or another. We all seem to be influenced by the seedlings of more excellent thoughts, and as we are, we find those basic tenants grow to maturity in our minds later. They take a life of their own and develop the way the new person sees fit. We have no control past dropping the seedling.
I have found that little things I have said over time have been interpreted without context or in a negative fashion. A simple statement about truth has become a complex monster, and it gets back to me as “You know someone told me you said…”.
There is an easy solution. Throw tomatoes, not advice. (I saw this as I offer advice. How Silly, right?) Of course, we have to give our advice but add a little statement about how each person can make their own choice, or be humble and note that something worked for you. Make sure you know how your seedlings will at least start to grow.
So as the sun sets on another day, I should go into the woods tomorrow to see how many wild tomatoes there are. It makes me laugh. Remember, anything you say can become a remarkable statement or a negative burden. Be careful what you say, and make the world a better place by being positive every day you can, no matter what.
I find myself a little lost today. There is little I can do about it, and it will pass. There are things many people will not understand, and today is one of them.
In July of 2010 we added a new member to our family. A short time before we had lost Magic, a Black German Shepherd and I was not going to get another animal. It was 6 months later that I found a white German Shepherd in Amelia Ohio that called to me. I loaded my family in the van and we were off to find Luna.
We didn’t know she was Luna at the time. We sat in a bundle of excited White German Shepherd puppies while the mother and father of the litter watched us carefully until suddenly this little girl showed the spark I was so interested in. There were two, and she ended up being the one that would make a difference in our lives. He insatiable curiosity drew me to her, and she had that curiosity every day.
I spent a lot of time with her. I wanted her to be a super animal and to be happy. I knew that any animal is a massive responsibility. Large dogs are basically fur covered razorblades, and not training them to be responsive is nearly a crime. I had 25 stiches on my nose once to prove it.
Luna was a sponge. She spent all of her time paying attention. She could easily sit, stay, heel, crawl, roll over, up, down, jump and more, but she also loved playing hide and seek, and find it, and was a keen watchdog. I taught her not to bark and she was usually silent. She would growl, but she did not bark at strangers. She loved to play ball, and frisbee. She used to love playing with sticks and would often bring back sticks much bigger than she was until she walked between 2 posts and was stopped dead. She still liked sticks, but preferred actual toys.
Speaking of toys those rarely changed. She was patient and easy with her toys and though she usually had a toy with her, she did not tear them up, she just held them and walked around the house as though she owned it. She did. A new toy occasioanlly was a treat, but she loved just being with us.
Luna was patient with children and usually tolerant of other animals. At one time in the dog park she had a dog jump on top of her. She did not hurt that dog but it rapidly backed off when she showed her teeth and knocked the dog down. She then walked away and went back to playing.
She loved the kids and loved Dana. She would often just check on them and and when the boys were in the house would be close to them. Everyone played with Luna and her frisbee runs were legend. She loved playing frisbee in the lake and was a strong swimmer. She would take off into the lake without pause and sometimes dive over huge waves to get where she wanted to go. She loved to play non matter the weather.
In the woods she was sure footed, and I could whisper to her and she would be silent as we watched deer or other animals. With another whisper she would bolt after the animal and enjoy her run. If it was really quiet out she knew a series of hand signals and I could do basic behaviors with a gesture and she always complied.
A funny thing, Luna loved playing with frogs and toads. She did not hurt them she just nose bumped them and when the jumped she would pounce to the side with obvious enjoyment!
When we traveled others watched her and she was always good. At the groomer she was always a model for others. When I was in public with a leash she watched everyone around us. Obviously interested in everything.
Just a few weeks ago we lost buddy, my daughters Scotty who was 17 years old. After he died Luna slowed, and started coughing, then stopped running. This morning on 2-22-22 Luna passed away at 11.5 years old. She leaves behind a legacy of love and people who cared about a dog, who loved being a puppy.
I will be heartbroken indefinitely. Luna joins my other dogs, Magic, Shiva, Shadow, King, Max, Muffin, Satin, and Candy. She will also be remembered with Phoebe, Dory, Taz, Tinker, Mimi, Aquilon, Stumpy, Furrball and a host of other animals from years past. Each brought great joy to my life, but Luna was, well, special.
Over 53 behaviors and a genuine desire to please made her not only a good girl, but an amazing pet, companion, and furry friend. If animals do not have souls than we do not either, for they love us more deeply than many love themselves.
So as the sun sets on another day, thank you for being you, and I hope you find an animal in your life like Luna. As she walks down this path on her own I will not forget all she was. She was amazing and will be remembered always and forever, no matter what.