2 days ago
Monday, June 17, 2013
Too often today, teenagers get some really bad press. They are slammed for their eye rolling attitudes; pants hanging low enough to display underwear logos;constantly plugged in and tuned out; tongue and nose piercings; lazy about anything that doesn't require thumb control; lack of respect for EVERYTHING and pretty much self absorbed. These are the things that seem to stand out and are recorded.
While some of that is true and many fit the above description, I feel way many more do not but sadly fall under the same umbrella of criticism. What we don't hear about enough are the really neat kids, the Zacks and JTs in this world that receive no press. The story of these two fine young men came to my attention via my brother.
Brother Jim and his wife had recently bought a new home which meant, lots of modifying to make it exactly what they wanted. The yard had some bare spots so they ordered a pile of top soil delivered to fill in the blank spots and to plant seed.
Now Jim is three years older than I am and Shirley is my age. Neither spring chickens but they are both actually in MUCH better shape than I am. They are avid bicyclists covering almost 1000 miles per year. I tire even typing that sentence.
Still good shape does not make an ugly job pleasant, just doable. When they looked at the large mound of dirt that needed moved, neither was really enthused. Then along came Zack and J.T. The two 13 year old friends were walking home from school as Jim and Shirley were starting to tackle the large pile.
The boys greeted them, then asked if they needed help. Jim was a bit startled but said if the boys wanted to fill the wheel barrow, he could handle the rest. Instead, the boys not only filled the wheelbarrow many times, but they spread the dirt also. All Jim had to do was haul the loads.
After working about an hour, the boys finished up. Jim gratefully tried to hand the boys some money. Zack said, "Gee, you don't have to pay us Mister. We were happy to help."
"And you didn't have to stop and help. That was really nice of you. Thank you so much." Jim insisted. So they accepted the money then continued on their way home.
The teens that get all the press would have snickered to themselves as they passed the two seniors working ---if they had noticed them at all. Obviously those two youngsters not only enjoyed some great parenting but also carried the thoughtful gene.
I am sending out kudos to Zack and J.T. for restoring my faith in our replacement players coming up in this game of life. There are lots of kids like this out there but sadly they too often go unnoticed. Let's see they get the press they deserve.
I am convinced there are many more like these great kids than the ones that make the news. I've just done my part shining a small spotlight on two neat boys.
Are there special teens in your life that deserve a nod?
at 5:02 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti
Monday, June 10, 2013
If you are not a book reader, this post will bore the wheels off your cart and you should feel free to move on without reading. I will not be hurt and hopefully you will come back next week.
Those of you who are readers will know what I am asking with these questions. What makes you pick a book out of the kazillion in print? Are you author loyal? Are you genre locked in? Do you rely on reviews? Do you trust completely a friends or family member's recommendation? Does the NY Times best seller list pick for you? Does the cover reel you in? I am just curious. I am pretty much guilty of all of the above except genre. These days, I am pretty eclectic in subject matter.
A cover can draw me immediately to a book for a closer look. I am quickly drawn to orange back grounds or cool green ones. If there is a mountain, single tree, small boat or lake scene on the cover, all the better. A dog will catch my immediate attention but does not guarantee I will select it.
The expression "so many books, so little time," really resonates with me these days. I have packed my Kindle (I thank you once again Jan for that marvelous gift) with almost 500 "to be read" books and almost 200 that have been read. I really need to be more diligent taking my vitamins, watching my diet and exercising if I plan to make a serious dent in my stash. I am adding books faster than I am reading.
Daily I hit the top 100 list at Amazon. Actually top 200 as there are two lists. One is for free books, the other list is priced for digital sale. I usually only scan the top 20 paid, then settle in seriously with the top 100 free. As I zoom down the list, first the cover attracts, then the title, then the reviews, then if I am really interested, I click on "Look Inside" and read the first chapter.
Easily 99.9% of my books come from the free list and there have only been just a couple that were sent to the trash pile. Most all are quite enjoyable due to my careful weeding.
|Here at Amazon.|
Above is my latest purchase that I am currently reading. The color of cover was pretty good (could have been a bit more orangey), the dog is adorable, and the title told me right off that no tears were going to screw up my sinuses. Yes!! Win-win so far. The reviews were outstanding, the synopsis intriguing, and the teaser pages were quite luring, so I bought. Sorry, this is not a free one.
It is the memoir of a woman and her Beagle that are both diagnosed with cancer. In so many ways I could relate. This could be a maudlin book but Teresa J. Rhyne writes with quirky humor which sealed the deal. I am really enjoying her style of writing.
After that book, the next on my list is the free book (at least it was when I got it), "Running Free", a memoir by Kate Allatt. Notice the cover color? Perfect. I normally don't read a lot of memoirs but these two did instantly appeal. Kate, a relatively young wife and mother, has a massive stroke and is locked in her body, only able to blink. This is a true story of recovery that I am anxious to read.
To justify this personal library I have amassed, besides pure enjoyment, I consider my Kindle to be my nursing home survival kit. That is of course assuming I still have most of my marbles when I check in. If I don't have my marbles then I hope my Kindle goes to someone at the home who is marble endowed and can enjoy this collection.
Two nursing home pluses. I can adjust the size of the font as my eyes weaken and if my eyes are shot, the device will read aloud to me. Not sure what I will do if the ears go also. Hopefully both senses won't leave me or if they do, my mind will have also gone and I won't care. Nursing home, I fear you not.
I know some of you who love to read are purists and only want the real thing to hold in your hands. I truly use to be like that. The look of books lining a shelf still gives me pleasure and a feeling of comfort. The heft of a book and actual smell still appeals strongly.
However--- the fact that my almost 500 to-be-read library rests neatly in a small 5X7 package on my night stand gives me even greater pleasure. That the clever, easy to hold, device always remembers my place and shuts itself off when I fall asleep while reading is a HUGE plus. To me, this device ranks right up with the Internet as one of the greatest inventions of my time.
Have you gone over to the dark side (Kindleville) yet??
at 5:24 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti