Florida


Trisha Parker, Having a Good Day

As a young man I became very interested in biorhythms. With a hectic schedule as a grad student, college instructor, husband and father, it seemed I was sharper and more together on some days than others. When I investigated, I found that in some cultures, especially Swiss and Japanese, the scheduling of such jobs as airline pilots and even trolley conductors were regulated by biorhythm measurements.

Now, looking back as a retired senior, it seems that my entire life has been lived in cycles. This makes sense to me because everything else in the universe appears to have them. As human beings, it’s much like the proverbial little girl, wherein the cycles can be very good or very, very bad.

For my wife Trisha and me, the first quarter of this year was bad with a capital B. As I’ve previously mentioned, earlier in the New Year I required surgery, then our dear friend and my former Air Force roommate passed away. He was literally a brother to me and I will never completely get over losing him. Things did not improve as Trisha developed a medical problem that required immediate surgery. All of these episodes can be defined as part of life, no different from anyone else. In this case, they occurred in rapid succession and created a great deal of stress for both of us.

Taking a break, once our doctors approved us for flight, we headed to Florida for some relaxation. While other factors did not permit us to completely relax, Trisha did finally get on a bit of a winning streak. She did not win the lottery, but had a couple of really good days.

First of all, being an avid shopper, she was thrilled to see the newly constructed Palm Beach Outlet Stores were open for business. Needing some new clothes for an upcoming trip, she could not wait to explore their wares. On a beautiful Florida day, we headed to Palm Beach where her first stop was Banana Republic.

Trisha Florida 001

Before I go further, I know some of my male readers may be saying, “You idiot, you actually took your wife shopping?”  I plead guilty, but read on to find out why I didn’t mind. For one, you should know Trisha is a shopping genius.

After a long time picking out several items, she headed to the dressing room to make her final decisions. She then took the items to the sales counter where they totaled her purchase. The bill came to $206.57. As I looked on, Trisha took out her coupons, reward points, etc. The sales clerk refigured the bill and said, “That will be $0.77.” I’m not kidding; her total charge was 77 cents. She then went on to the Gap and bought $75 worth of clothing for $30. She was very pleased, I was happy, and we enjoyed a great dinner out that night. Yes, she did have an on-line coupon for the dinner.

The next day got even better for her. Before I share what happened, you need to know Trisha is a super sports fan. Football, baseball, NASCAR; it doesn’t make a difference, she loves it all. She also has special affection for certain athletes. Perhaps highest on that list is Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. She loves his personality and “his smile.”

For faithfull readers, you may remember I met Broadway Joe last year in Florida. Trisha wasn’t with me and was heartbroken she did not get to meet him. Well, the day after her successful shopping trip, we went into the same grocery store where I had met Joe. As we walked in, she turned and jokingly said, “If you see Joe, let me know.” Obviously, the odds of that happening were not very good.

As we got to the back of the store, Trisha was pushing her cart down the main isle when I turned to get an item from another one. When I returned to catch up with her, I was stunned to find the man pushing a cart right behind her was none other than Joe himself. I almost busted. He then turned and headed up another isle as Trisha continued on quite unaware. I followed him hoping he would remember me and then said hello. He did remember me and we chatted for a moment or two. I then said, “Joe, you need to do something for me.” “What’s that,” he asked. At that very moment, Trisha turned a corner and was walking directly toward us. I said, “Joe, I want you to meet my wife.”

When she looked up and saw who I was talking to, she pushed her cart out of the way and ran directly toward Joe with her arms outstretched. Joe opened his arms and they embraced for quite a while. As her husband, it seemed really long. Not actually giving up the embrace completely, Joe then asked, “What’s your name?” When she replied, “Trisha,” I said, “You know Trisha, Joe doesn’t always get their names.” I was happy that for two days at least, she was into a really good cycle.

We all deserve a good cycle every now and then.

Trisha Florida 002

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“If you built a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” 

Don’t you love it when a politician says something and then tries to walk it back? The fact is, words mean things. When these folks go off the teleprompter and use their own words, their true feelings and attitudes are revealed. In England, Governor Romney expressed his opinion that the Brits might not be ready for the Olympics. Guess what? He was right and they have been scrambling from the beginning. But in this politically correct world you must immediately take back or modify your words because somewhere out there your comments will be labeled as a “gaff,” or worse. 

Having reached a ripe old age of wisdom (or perhaps senility), I am mostly amused at the twisting and turning these politicians go through trying to get out their “message.” Not much political talk offends me any longer, but here are a couple of notable exceptions: 

1. “The government can’t afford to pay for tax breaks.” 

When did the government start “paying” any of us? It’s our money whether we are rich, poor, or somewhere in the middle. If you in the government want more money from any of us (and you always do), then start by cutting your spending and stop pissing our money away on foolishness. “How” you ask? Well, the first thing you can do is cut off all foreign aid immediately and start a pay to play policy. You back us and we might help you out with a few bucks. Otherwise, it’s been nice knowing you. That’s just one of many obvious spending cuts. 

2. “Pay your fair share.” 

Excuse me. Most of us retired-age folks have more than paid our fair share. That’s not to mention things like serving in the military, creating businesses, and paying taxes on top of taxes our entire lives. 

Well, this was more of a brief rant, but I feel better. By the way Mr. President, I wrote this blog all by myself. 

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Check It Out

Please take a look at  the new home page and bio page on our web site: 

www.TheBestofOurLives.com   

While the changes on the web site are mostly cosmetic, they reflect an exciting change of focus for my wife Trisha and me. Ever since our book came out, The Best of Our Lives: Sharing the Secrets of a Healthy and Happy Retired Life, we were fortunate to have been invited to appear on both television and radio programs, appear at book signings across the country, and speak to various groups and organizations. 

Since then, our invitations for speaking engagements have increased, and we now spend much of our time and energy on that activity. We thank all of the people and organizations that first invited us to be speakers, and we now look to the future with our new multi-media presentation: Prime Time: Celebrating Life’s Second Half.

We already have some exciting bookings on the calendar, and I will post them in future blogs. 

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Trisha’s Dishes

Trisha Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Trisha’s back with some exciting new dishes. Just click on “Trisha’s Dishes” on our web site home page. I can assure you they are fantastic. 

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Personal Note 

Trisha and I recently returned from Florida. We love the tropics and had a great time with family and friends. We watched the one grandson build sand castles on the beach, another (4 months old) dipped into the ocean for the first time, swam in the pool, visited some good friends, went out on a few dinner dates, and gained a few pounds enjoying the Florida cuisine. I also got to go fishing again on my friend John’s beautiful boat Tangerine, along with good buddy Dave. We caught lots of fish and had even more laughs.

 

Trisha and John Parker

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

Salute To Veterans

On this Veterans Day weekend, I want to extend my sincere gratitude and best wishes to all veterans, past and present, for their service to our country. As a veteran myself, I know the sacrifice of both veterans and their families. I pay special tribute to those who were injured while on duty and those who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. I know most don’t often talk about their service to the country, and I’m not sure many in our current culture even recognize the past and present price that has been paid for their freedom. Each year when my sons call me and say, “Thank you for your service Dad,” I know it was well worth it.

For all the veterans out there, here is a link to get information and/or questions answered about your benefits:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Florida

I’m a bit more tan as I write this blog as I just returned from a great getaway to Florida. It’s interesting that I often hear Florida being joked about on television. You know, the comments such as, “God’s waiting room,” etc. Well, let me tell you, retired or not, there is simply something about the warm weather, blue skies, palm trees swaying in the breeze, great food, and laid back spirit that could relax the most tense among us. I caught myself sleeping in until 8:30 or 9:00, and that was with the benefit of a 3 hour time difference. While the summers are hot and humid, from November to April, Florida is really a paradise. If you’ve never been there, do yourself a favor and make the trip. You will love it.

Oh, and if you ever get to South Florida and the Jupiter/Hobe Sound area, when hungry I suggest you make your way to Dune Dogs, The Catfish House, and Harry and the Natives. If you would enjoy watching boats cruise the intercoastal while eating crab-dip nachos with a beverage, I suggest the Waterway Cafe. Just to be sure of my recommendations, I spent a lot of time in each establishment on my latest visit. You’re welcome. 

 

 

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