Life = Growth

Thought this was an interesting photo at REI.


It says behind the cash registers:

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. – Eleanor Roosevelt


The  background has this serene river flow–along with some obvious whitewater. 


But in front of it, the cash register area is hopping crazy and messy.


It’s a contradiction–not unlike life itself which is full of it’s own ups and downs that challenge us routinely. 


Life is where we get the experience that shapes us and strengthens us, as long as it does not break us.  


Life = Growth


Why else would we be here?


G-d is the best teacher. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Longing For The Slow and Happy Bungalow Days

So I used to hear from my wife about when she was young and went to the bungalow colony in the Catskill Mountains.


And today, I heard from a wonderful young Ukrainian woman whose family does the equivalent in the mountains there in the summer. 


When I listen to the stories, it sounds so good to get away with your family and friends for the summer to the countryside. 


Just live simply in a cabin, stay up late by the campfire singing songs, get up lazily in the morning, and during the day play sports, go fishing, and swim in the lake. 


I can’t imagine talking 3 months a year and actually being able to do this…so natural, so carefree, so back to living!


Yes as kids, we went to camp, but it’s not the same as living communally like this in such freedom and fun. 


Honestly, listening to the stories about this, left me amazingly jealous!


Perhaps, it’s a lesson about life these days…we’re adults, we’re responsible, we have to earn a living and take care of the bills and all of life’s responsibilities. 


But maybe, just maybe, there is something–a lot–to be said for letting loose a little, and just being with your loved ones, and living, really living again. 


Why do we have to wait until we’re old…too old to work anymore…and maybe too old to appreciate life as life was meant to be.  


We can’t run from our responsibilities but isn’t it worth looking for ways in life to enjoy more than a long weekend or a week vacation.


Life is too short to let it get away from us. 


Balancing the contributions of our hard labor with the enjoyment of family, friends, and fun…those are the memories that last a lifetime and beyond. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Washington Like The Powerful Great Falls

Great Falls

We went to Great Falls on the Virginia side yesterday. 


It started to rain a little as we got off the highway, and so we started to turn back disappointed. 


But before we got back on the highway, the rain stopped and we continued our “Sunday Funday” trip. 


With 3 beautiful overlooks of the Potomac River–even on a cloudy, chilly Fall day–it was marvelous. 


Because of the changing weather, it wasn’t too crowded and we were able to get right up on the overlooks for some spectacular views and photos. 


At one point a (rescue?) helicopter suddenly pulled up from nowhere beneath the cliffs and was like right there up close in our faces, but we had already started to pull back to the trail and I missed a cool photo that I would’ve like to capture. 


The current of the water is really strong at Great Falls and an average of 7 people die a year there. 


Also, sometimes there is such enormous flooding that the water crests above the high overlooks–75 feet up!–and overflows onto the park’s grounds. 


We watched some climbers scampering along down on the rocks by the water (on the left) as they got close, but not too close to the water’s edge. 


As I think about it, living in Washington, D.C., the capital and superpower political hotbed of the world, the symbolism of being on the edge is not lost. 


Some people wade too far and get overcome by the rising water and powerful currents, and others may be too apathetic or fearful to even get close enough to dip their toe in the muddle. 


Even for those that sincerely care and want to try to make a difference in the direction and future of where we are going–technologically and success-wise–it’s water, water everywhere.


Like Great Falls, DC runs with a powerful current–a lot of it simply running nowhere, much is hidden beneath the surface, but overall with enough force to shape our country’s destiny for better or for worse. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful Labor Day Weekend

Ok, here’s my video today from The Shenandoah River along the Appalachian Trail at Harpers Ferry. 


Only I make one little mistake…see if you can pick up on it (everyone can make an oops once in a while–you just got to have a good laugh.)


Also, did you know there are 3 trillion trees in the world?


Sad though that number is almost half from the beginning of civilization and these days we are losing about 15 billion trees a year–that’s crazy!


Anyway, I still love nature and G-d’s beautiful creation and I give thanks to my maker. 😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)