Finding Balance Between Work and Play

For those of you who may be wondering, Mercury is on track (as of this writing) to go “direct” as of August 2nd. So welcome to August, and farewell to Mercury in retrograde.

Of course, August is the month when so many Leo’s like to spread their wings! For August is the time when most people want to, and actually do, take advantage of just playing and enjoying it all.

I’m sure many of you know this but just in case — Americans work much harder than their contemporaries in other countries. For instance, European workers routinely get six weeks off from work while most Americans don’t get anywhere near that.

Now, don’t get me wrong! Working is good for the soul. But somewhere I recall God saying that, “I love when the children work, but I really love when they know how to play!”

On another note, I am so often reminded of conversations with many of you who are devoted to those in hospice care. Whether you do this as a professional, or because you have a passion to give, your work is greatly appreciated.

As hospice workers know, when men are getting ready to cross over, their last words are often “I wish I had worked less and spent more time with my family.” For women it’s usually, “I wish I had pursued more of my dreams.”

Now that pattern in some ways has changed. But still, let’s face it, women are the main caretakers in the world. If you doubt this, check to see who is working not only in hospices, but also schools, hospitals, and just about any caretaking place.

On a personal note: I have been taking care of my 91-year old mother, and I can tell you, when I’ve needed help, it has been mostly women who have contributed.

Now, I’m going to take a little bit of my own advice and go out and smell the flowers.

But before I sign off, a HUGE thanks especially to those who have attended my recent events. I look forward to reconnecting once again in the Fall when I return to Chicago, Michigan, Florida (Tampa, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale) and of course Roanoke, Virginia. And don’t forget to join me for my Blog Talk Radio show on Monday, August 5, where my guest will be author Keith Leon S.

Have fun, and Happy August.

Fireflies and the Fourth of July

Happy July!

The Summer Solstice, on June 21 — the longest day of the year — is behind us. It’s now officially Summer. Aside from the calendar, I could still tell that it was summer in NY since I got to sit on my porch and watch the amazing fireflies!

During my work, I saw a family from Connecticut that had recently moved to Florida. The mother was expressing how since moving, she had forgotten how beautiful the fireflies were. That memory brought her back to her childhood in Connecticut. Once again, the amazement of nature.

Fireflies — one of the specialties that only happens for a month or so, and only in certain places. If any of you have never seen or experienced a firefly, you must put it on your summer bucket list!

In life, I am forever shown that the little things are actually the most significant and cherished moments in our lives. Given the importance of sunrises, sunsets, walking on the beach, and/or hiking with someone whom you love while having an amazing conversation . . . these are moments that I’m sure you will remember and cherish forever.

I believe that it’s important that we enjoy each season and its particular beauty. The 4th of July is coming up, if you are inclined to celebrate. And throughout the month of July, we’ll get to wear flip-flops, play a little hooky from work, and be a kid again. Maybe listen to the crickets and be amazed by the stars.

Even in NYC, things are calmer. So many things to do — attend concerts in the park, visit the botanical gardens, walk along the river, etc. And yes, there can be dancing in the street, and at Lincoln Center.

On another note, July does bring up some sadness for those who have connected to others who have passed while in military service, and/or for those who cannot be “at home” for the July 4th weekend. “Grin and bear it,” as they say.

Enjoy the special moments in the now, for we know anything can change on a dime. Yes, “Have some fun in the sun.”

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you again at the end of the month when I’ll be with Thomas John in Baltimore, Mansfield, MA, and Tarrytown. I’ll also be back on Blog Talk Radio and doing another Facebook Live video on Monday, July 8th!

Honoring the Caretakers

Happy June!

The flowers are blooming, high school and college students are graduating and going to proms, other kids are taking a breather, and of course {{{{{drum roll}}}}} Father’s Day on the 16th! Oh, and lest we forget, the Summer Solstice arrives on June 21st, the official beginning of Summer. Whew!

Some reflective thoughts for this June. No matter who you are, or what your status is, no one is exempt from, well, life. And part of life involves moments of what should be incredible joy, but there is a missing piece. Like when someone near and dear has crossed over to the Other Side and is not there on that special day. His or her absence may at times dominate our thoughts and feelings, making us sad, even though it’s supposed to be a festive occasion.

I mention this because so many times in my work I see sadness when a dad or mom who has crossed over was not at a wedding, or even often when the first baby was born. So June, with all positives that are going on, can bring up sad memories.

Often we tend to reflect on those memories and ask woulda, coulda, shoulda. I meet so many folks who did so much for their loved ones but still feel it wasn’t enough. I’m here to say, it was more than enough, and your DPs want you to know that.

On a related matter, we need to respect and honor those folks who are caretakers, for that is probably one of the hardest jobs a person can do. It is often an unending uphill of battle of emotions, physically exhausting, and at times very deeply sad and painful. If a caretaker doesn’t have enough money, or anyone who will help, the experience can be especially overwhelming and swallow you up. Until you go through it, you can’t honestly understand the difficulty of being a caretaker.

If you are a caretaker, KUDOS to you. But please be kind with yourself, and find as many moments of quiet and peace as you can. And cherish those moments.

While I’m beyond thrilled that June is here, my heart goes out to those who are suffering through floods and other earth changes. We all know that life can change on a dime.

With all that said, I’m truly excited to be visiting so many of you in Salt Lake City for the Afterlife Conference, where I mentioned Terri Daniel had been giving free rooms, and I’ll be in Michigan, Chicago and St. Louis with Thomas John.

Enjoy and smell the June flowers!

Take Time to Savor the Little Moments

This past Sunday, I was sitting on my deck in the country and looking out at the trees in the meadow. A breeze was moving the branches and leaves in a beautiful rhythmic dance. I could swear that the leaves were listening to the wind as music.

While gazing at the meadow, I got the message that “Life doesn’t get any better.” I just took in the communication knowing that even though August was drawing to a close and Fall was coming, it didn’t matter. What mattered most was that moment of joy, on that magical Sunday.

Fond memories are and will always be, ours to have. This is just one of the “pearls of wisdom” the DPs (“dead persons,” for the uninitiated) have shared with me.

Simple, joyful moments can help us through whatever challenges and difficulties may exist. As I’ve said during all the years of my work, it’s always the little things that count, like a simple breeze and a quick communication from a DP.

Remember, our loved-ones in spirit want us to know that they are around, and they want to share their wisdom with us. When they do, it’s a moment to treasure.

Another thing I treasure is radio. Recently, I was on my longest radio show ever, with Gary Craig at WTIC in Connecticut. Although I have done lots of radio in the Northeast, especially Massachusetts, I am especially loyal to Gary who has been having me on his show for twenty-five years. To say our connection is very strong would be a tremendous understatement.

During the show, I was promoting my upcoming fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The existence of this foundation is a personal honor for me since I was an inspiration, so to speak, for the lovely NYC couple, Clair and Sherwin, who started the organization in late 1980’s after losing their son to suicide.

Because both Clair and Sherwin are prominent in their professions, they know high-profile people, Gloria Vanderbilt and Judy Collins to name only two. Thanks to support from people like that, and so many others, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is now a national organization. I’ve gotten to meet many chapter members throughout my travels — special moments to be sure.

As those of us who have lost loved ones to suicide realize, that is one shattering experience. However, now, with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there is finally more public awareness about suicide; and those contemplating such a fate can find help, survive, and thrive.

I do hope that you nearby Northeasterners will attend the fundraiser which will be held September 7th at the Courtyard Hartford-Cromwell in Cromwell, CT.

In October, I’m once again returning to LA. Also looking forward to several events in November, including The Afterlife Conference in Orlando, and several events with Thomas John. He and I are having a wonderful time together sharing messages of Love with our audiences. Also in November, I will be returning to Roanoke for “Hope for the Holidays!”

As always, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones, during my travels!

Have a Happy Fall Equinox on September 22/23!

Wisdom Can Be Found in Nature

It’s August! For many, myself included, a favorite month!

“Summertime, and the living is easy,” as the song goes. A good time to unwind and enjoy life a bit more, feel young again while perhaps participating in those summer activities we did as children, maybe along with our loved ones who have made their transition. They are around, and want to see you enjoy yourself! Indeed, our DP’s often have had a hand in showing us the beauty of Nature.

Maybe you came from a family of fisher-people. If so, perhaps you shared meals over a campfire under the sky that your mom just caught with lures your grandfather made. Or perhaps your uncle was an avid bird watcher, and could whistle their sounds, or do a crow caw. Remember the joy, and enjoy Nature again.

I might also remind those of you who say that your are city people, that Teddy Roosevelt was raised in NYC, and was very sickly. So his father took him to the Adirondack Mountains every summer, which is where he learned his love of Nature. The result? Well, check out all Teddy did regarding the National Park System, which earned him the title, “The Conservation President.”

I would encourage anyone with children to get them to put down their I-gadgets (iPhone, iPad, etc. ) and let the kids experience an incredible day or week in Nature. Take a walk through the woods, or go for a quiet canoe or sailboat ride, or just sit down and view the sunrise, sunset, and stars. And of course, if you can, visit the oceans, lakes and ponds. To me, Nature is God’s church and temple.

I know that with many of you, I’m just preaching to the choir. But keep in mind that it is Mother Earth that feeds us, something we should never take for granted. Rather, love, cherish, and honor the hand that feeds you!

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of working with a quite amazing family. There were three children, a boy and two girls, and two adults, a man and a woman. I had assumed that the two adults present were the children’s parents, but, as they say, never assume. During the session, the brother of the man I thought was the father came through from the Other Side and it turned out that he was the biological father of these beautiful children. It was the brother and his wife who were raising them..

From the Other Side, the father communicated that he felt so honored by how well-behaved his children were, and he gave an unbelievable heartfelt hug to this brother and sister-in-law for taking on such a huge responsibility.

As I have often said, biology is only one part of being a parent. In this case, it was the brother and his wife who had worked so tirelessly and unselfishly while taking on the responsibility of caring for someone else’s children.

It was also wonderful that all three children had been visited by their dad and knew the particular way he had visited each of them. They knew that their biological dad was with them in Spirit, doing what he could to take care of them. A great session! (During the session, for whatever reason, the identity of the children’s mother, or her whereabouts, never came up.)

Let me note that I’m doing a fundraiser on September 7th in Connecticut for a cause near and dear to me: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If you can make it, hope to see you there!

Enjoy the rest of August.

The Importance of Freedom

Happy July! We sure don’t have to think twice that Summer is truly here!

The heat certainly makes everyone want to step into an ocean or lake or pool and cool off! I know some folks aren’t crazy about the heat, but I can tell you that my tomato plants are very happy!

I recently returned from a trip to Eastern Europe where, as we know, many countries were occupied by the military forces of Nazi Germany. So on this July 4th , more than usual, I was very emotional about, and grateful for, our freedom.

Unless it’s just me, this year it seemed that so many people were expressing the importance of freedom, what it means, and that we should never take for granted what we have. This is something we all know about, especially those who have had family directly or indirectly impacted by the events of World War II.

My travels took me to Vienna, Prague and Berlin. I had different guides wherever I went, and each guide had an interesting story.

For example, my guide in Vienna had a Jewish father, and her mother lived in fear of anyone finding out, so she hid that fact her whole life, and changed her name.

My guide in Berlin was raised in East Berlin, while her mother’s parents had lived in West Berlin. When the grandmother turned 70, only her daughter (my guide’s mother) was allowed to see the grandmother for her birthday, and she had to have “strict” papers to get past “the Wall.” The rest of the family was not allowed.

Today, however, Berlin is truly a happening place where younger people from all over are flocking. Did
you know that there are more opera houses in Berlin (3) than New York City (1)? While I was visiting, they had had concerts everyday! Many were free.

And of course, in that part of the world, the music means so much. To be where all the great composers lived, and to actually see the manuscript of Mozart written in his own hand, well, that was something else!

On another note, I’m looking forward to three wonderful upcoming events with Thomas John at the end
of the month in Sturbridge, MA, Mansfield, MA, and Baltimore, MD. You might also check out Thomas’ show, Seatbelt Psychic, premiering July 11th on Lifetime.

As always it is my honor and privilege to connect our loved ones here and in Spirit.

How Hurricane Harvey, Lady Gaga, and Love Has Brought People Together

So . . . Are we feeling the “shortest” season fade away? No doubt that this summer was for many very challenging, especially for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Whether Harvey was a natural event as the mainstream media states, or a geoengineered event as some experts have found, our hearts and support go out to all those who ended this summer on such a tragic note – loss, loss, and more loss.

The Northeast had the coolest August in like, forever, but we’re not complaining here, since so many places are hurting and need all the love, positive thoughts, and whatever help we can send, in any way.

I personally know people in Houston, about whom I happily can say are okay. Others I know in Louisiana weren’t as lucky.

I’m still waiting for my friends and family on the West Coast to give an update of what is going on there, as I write this. A very difficult and painful time. How do we put it all back together?

Of course, our prayers go out in the hope that family members and friends made it out alive. But if not, we know that they were met by their loved ones on the Other Side. And, believe it or not, tragedies like this are always harder on the folks who survive.

When a tragedy like Harvey strikes, people band together. There are so many wonderful warm and giving folks who step up to the challenge. This moment was no exception.

I can’t tell you if it’s in the air or whatever, but . . . this is a very difficult time to live in. So many people with whom I have come in contact over the last several months have expressed just that.

My thoughts and words previously expressed in other newsletters and in my books, I shall repeat: In the BIG scheme of things, the one constant is Love. Hang on to Love, and it will help you through these very rough times.

Remember that our loved ones in spirit had their own conflicts and challenges while here, and they faced all that. For many, facing up to those challenges made them stronger. We can learn from that.

I am often told wonderful stories about grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc., who endured so much but kept going on. For many, it was the love of their family, and/or other loved ones, that helped them persist.

Things can be replaced. People cannot. So when our loved ones cross over, there is no need to try and replace them. They are there for us, on the Other Side. Connect with them through dreams, feelings, and intuition. As I indicate at my events, every soul gets out alive.

On another note, a quick sharing from one of my 2017 summer highlights. I saw Lady Gaga at Boston’s Fenway Park, the oldest major league baseball park in America. Needless to say, Lady Gaga filled Fenway. She is an amazing talent.

There were many moments that stuck me of her gift of giving every part of herself, but what I didn’t know initially was who “Joanna” was.

I had learned that Lady Gaga’s song to Joanna was a tribute, and when Lady Gaga opened up in song about who Joanna was, I could feel the connection. Joanna was her aunt, her dad’s sister who died when Lady Gaga was three years old. That event impacted her whole life since her father sort of smothered her (they are Italians) because he was so devastated by his sister’s loss. This somehow translated to fear of losing his daughter.

Lady Gaga’s story is one of many similar experiences reflecting how physical loss of a loved one can impact our lives. This was as true for her just it is true for so many of us who have walked a similar path.

However, what was wonderful to me was that Lady Gaga decided to, and did, share her experience with the audience, many of whom, I am sure, totally understood.

This is one thing an effective artist can do, but discussing the death of a loved one is not something many artists dare to share.

Kudos to you Lady Gaga! And as far as the music was concerned, I sat among so many wonderful people who had such a great time. We all did hoop and holler!

One gentleman near me was around 75 years old and wearing a red “Joanna Tour” tee-shirt from Cape Cod. Boy, was he a fan! He knew everything about Lady Gaga and it was he who told me who Joanna was before Lady Gaga shared her story on stage. And when she did share, it was at that moment she asked, “Can you feel all the love in this room?”

Yes! We did! A night I will always remember.

Enjoy the rest of what summer is left. Technically, Autumn doesn’t come until late September.

“All things come to an end,” they say, but never the one thing that is most important: Love.

As far as my Fall travels, I’ll be going to some new places and returning to favorites. I’ll be in Atlanta, Asheville, and Tarrytown this September, and California in October; specifically, Sacramento, LA, and San Diego.

Looking forward as always to seeing some of you for the first time, and others again.

Healing Through Nature

We are officially in Summer! The solstice was just a couple of weeks ago, on June 20th, the longest day of the year. The day when the northern pole of Earth points as close to the sun as it gets. Usually, this is the warmest time of the season, given the connection to the sun. A wonderful reason to celebrate!

And celebrate we will, with the weekend leading into the 4th of July being imminent!

All things that go with Summer – friends and families getting together, and of course remembering those loved ones with whom we have celebrated in the past but who are no longer here in the physical, but will be here in spirit – are upon us.

I’ve learned over the years that many families plan on using this time of the year to get together when other times of the year are not possible. For one thing, you can travel by car without worry of “bad” weather . . . well at least not snow!

For example, the family of a friend of mine is having a family reunion in upstate New York, where the centerpiece will be the casting of a deceased loved one’s ashes on a spot in Nature that he loved so much. While it is true that, as Jim Morrison once sang, that “Nobody here gets out alive,” it is also true that every spirit/soul does get out alive – for spirits we are, having a human experience.

Yes, it is that time of year when the weather just invites us to be outside. Speaking of which – I just came across an article about “forest bathing,” which generally speaking involves a walk in the woods to shed worldly woes, and combat stress. It’s a custom in Korea and Japan. Suffice it to say that the benefits are huge. In fact, if you can believe it, the benefits are so well established that forest bathing is covered under medical insurance in many countries (outside the U.S., where citizen health is not considered a human right).

Many of us know from experience that spending time in a forest or other forms of Nature, can not only lower stress, but also reduce pulse rate and blood pressure, which naturally improves the functioning of the nervous system, and the body overall.

One Stanford University study had participants do a memory test before and after either a Nature walk or a walk in an urban area. Those who walked in Nature improved their performance on the second memory test, while the urban walkers showed no improvement.

The same test also tended to demonstrate improved vitality after a walk in Nature. It was not the exercise so much as the actual communing with Nature.

A walk in the woods can also reduce negative thoughts. After all, how can one stroll through the woods, look at all those beautiful green trees and flowing streams, listen to birds and see the butterflies, without feeling anything but uplifted.

If you can’t make it to the country sometime soon, note this: those same studies showed that people who live in urban areas where there are parks and greenery (e.g., Central Park in Manhattan) had less mental stress and illness.

No surprise then that whenever I do conferences, the best events – in terms of actual results – are those that include a walk in Nature, and/or activities away from the city. Yes, it’s good to get away from the maddening crowd, and let the signs in Nature help us connect with loved ones on the Other Side.

Interacting with Nature also helps us connect with our DPs (dead persons) via dreams, walks, and the opening of our minds and hearts.

Simply stated, the connection with Nature is more easily facilitated during the Summer. For Summer is that time to think like kids again, put a skip in your step, and, hopefully see, feel, or sense your loved ones in spirit walking by your side.

If a departed loved one enjoyed fishing, and there is a river, lake, or pond nearby, go there! You will be reminded of those times with your DP, which will facilitate your connection to him or her in Spirit. If your DP gardened, find a garden and walk by basking in the sun, while looking at all those colors and opening your heart. There are gardens everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Yes, even in the cities where city folks have rooftop gardens, or plots in the outer boroughs (like Brooklyn or Queens).

If you live near the ocean, and don’t usually go there, a gentle shame on you! Get into it! You are missing a lot, especially at sunrise or sunset.

I promise all of you who are feeling below par that getting into Nature will make whatever is hurting deep inside or making you feel lost, get better. Simply just breathing in all that is beautiful will be of benefit. This is what is truly important, and free!

Yes free! Nature is everywhere, and everywhere is where our departed loved ones exist. If there is a cost to get to a Nature spot that beckons you, spend the bucks. It will be worth it.

Speaking of traveling (which I so often do), I’ll be in Colorado in August. I intend to take a hike in the Rocky Mountains. A Colorado mountain high! Those mountains surely beckon me.

Also looking forward to seeing all you Massachusetts folks on 13th of July, with my event with Thomas John.

In sum, don’t let the Summer pass you by. Come out of the doldrums (if that’s where you are) and just have fun. You’ll enjoy, I promise.

What is Important?

Welcome soon to the Fall Equinox! For those of you who are wondering, or are a bit in tune, yes, the infamous Mercury Retrograde is indeed upon us, and will last until late September.

I know for some that this is a difficult or frustrating time, but remember, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a blip on your radar screen.

They say that travel can be tricky during Mercury Retrograde. Well . . . I travel a lot during this time, and usually experience no problems more than the usual travel annoyances. Annoyances, as we know, are not tragedies but just . . . incidents of little stuff that can make us “crazy” for a short period of time. Not really all that important – unless you let it be.

And by the way, especially if you’re a writer, musician, or any kind of artist, Mercury Retrograde can actually work in your favor since it is a time when you may become more creative. Also, think of it as a way to keep summer going, because after all, that’s what the Retrograde is about, standing still. Also a good time to explore your inner dimensions.

Speaking of which, in the context of discussing a deep loss, I was recently asked, “What is important?” Well, really, the answer is within you: what is important to YOU? Generally speaking, what I have discovered after having the very distinct privilege of sharing so many journeys with so many wonderful people, is that those folks who experience deep losses and sorrows in their lives do somehow manage to go on and find a healing place. What is important is to process the grief and “come out of it,” in your own time, commonly within a year, though there is no set timetable.

Most, although not all, of those people who do “come out of it” tend to have a deep faith, and know that there is a greater presence in their lives. Call it “God,” call it “the Universe,” call it “Spirit,” call it whatever . . . It is all a way of knowing that energy does not die, and that we, as souls currently inhabiting human form, will continue to exist in the hereafter.

Another key question I’ve been asked is: “Why?” For example, a very special woman whom I’ve known for over twenty-five years, asked “Why?” after she had recently lost not only her second child, but also her husband. It is always for me one of the most difficult questions to answer, but the short answer is that only your soul knows for sure – and that you signed up for the experience, or at least the possibility that the experience would occur, in order to achieve soul growth, and/or help another progress spiritually.

In this instance, this beautiful young woman is someone to be reckoned with, someone with an unbelievable zest for life! She is what I usually call the “glue-keeper” in the family. Their losses are always among the most difficult for the family to deal with, because it is the glue-keepers who keep the family together through all its trials and tribulations, and want to have all the answers at the ready.

I’ve talked about this in my books – it is not all that uncommon for families to lose more than one child, or sibling. Sometimes, this pattern runs through extended families. For example, both my grandmothers lost sons. And as those who know me realize, I also lost a nephew, who was a “son” to me.

Now, guys . . . please . . . don’t go nuts on me here. I’m not saying that this will happen to you. It is just a phenomenon that I have experienced along my own path, and in doing my work. There are more families that have not had such a series of intense losses, but instead have had lots of kids and siblings go on forever, and parents who live well into their nineties!

So please remember: we each walk our own path, and we each have the capability to enjoy every moment along the way, because each day is just that, another day in the life!

On a lighter note, I, for one, am still living off tomatoes from my garden in upstate New York. I’ve been giving away as many as I can to any pantry or church that will have the tomatoes for themselves, or others in need. So, summer continues. And although we are soon to be in the Fall Equinox, September 22nd to be exact, we have a good chunk of beautiful summer weather ahead: sunrises, sunsets, walks in the parks, hikes everywhere, strolls along the shore, a day at the beach, etc., etc., etc. Enjoy and embrace those warm daily journeys for we know, at least here in the Northeast, what is just around the corner.

Please note that I’ll be doing another event in the Capital region as it’s called in NY, returning to Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, the Cape in Mass, the West Coast, Virginia Beach, and Roanoke just to name a few of my fall visits. And as always so looking forward to all I meet on my journey!

Summer Fun and Doing Good Deeds

Don’t panic! It’s still summer. August is a long month so keep the summer fun going.

I recently asked a friend of mine if he were enjoying summer. His reply: “Honestly it isn’t different than any other season since I work just as much.” He did add though that he would be taking a short trip up north at the end of August.

I was left thinking that although I too work in the summer, it’s a time when I can’t help but play a little hooky. Okay, maybe more than a little, but after all . . . it is summer! Of course if you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I would bet that you are sometimes actually guilted into playing hooky to be with them. It’s just the way our energy flows in August – a time to play hooky.

There is no time like summer when we feel that we have license to relax with Nature. Being outdoors and in awe of all the wonderful beauty the earth has to offer is simply marvelous. After all, in summer, Mother Nature is presenting herself in all her glory, giving us the opportunity to breathe in every enchanting moment. Do it!

And make the most of it; for, as we know, life can change in a heartbeat. That’s one more reason why it is so important not to miss an opportunity to experience the joy of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

I recently received an email from a father who attended an event of mine with his son. He was thanking me for saying really cool things about kids of his son’s generation. I’m not sure but apparently he had heard me mention that there are many young people who are involved in wonderful causes – from dealing with climate change to volunteering to walking abused horses, planting trees and working gardens, following what impassions them. Of special mention are those youngsters who want to help other children who have some sort of disability and can’t play the way others do.

I was touched that this young man expressed to his father that he had been wanting to help an older woman who lived down the street from them. He talked about how sometimes he sees her struggling with her groceries, or walking her dog. He remembers how kind she was to him when his mother was dying. The father had no idea that his son had felt this way, but I was honored that the father had reached out to me to let me know that what I had said at the event was true, and resonated with his son. As I often say, there is nothing more precious than helping others for no reason except to be kind. “Altruism,” we call it. Or as the Boy Scouts say, “Doing a good deed.”

As one more example, let me also share a precious “little thing” I experienced recently. Here, I was blessed to be on the receiving end of the kindness in humans that I so much admire and appreciate.

I had to go to my hometown to see my mom this past weekend. Most of you know that I was raised in a small rural town in upstate NY. The trip is about four hours from my apartment in Manhattan. It’s a beautiful drive with not a lot of cars on the road. Now, let me tell you that I’m really concerned about having enough gasoline, a trait that I picked up from my mother who is always intense about making sure you don’t leave her car without enough gas. In any event, my 2003 Jeep, “Glinda,” has over 200,000 miles on her but the gas gauge is broken. So I have to calculate my gas mileage. Well, somehow I had miscalculated and didn’t get gas before I left to see my mom.

So there I am on Route 88, a road that you can drive on for miles and not see any other cars. All of a sudden Glinda starts to sputter and I said out loud, “&%$#@$%^%$!” or something like that. Having been trained in car mechanics by my dad, I immediately realized that I was out of gas. I get out of Glinda, put on her flashers, and start to head up the hill looking for someone to take me to the nearest gas station.

Suddenly I see a guy pull up to the exit corner. I approached and asked him if he knew the area and if he could take me to nearest gas station. He said yes and drove me there. I run in, buy a gas can, and fill it up. I walk back across the street, hail down another car with a very sweet young girl driving, and ask her if she could take me back to my car. She agreed. We get there and as I jump out of her car, she says “God Bless!” before she leaves. Hmmmm.

Then a mother/daughter duo pull up and stop to see if I was okay. I’m glad they did, because I couldn’t figure out what the spring to the gas can sprout was all about. The daughter knew and gave me directions. Gotta love rural folks, they know these little but important survival deals! They waited patiently as I put the gas in the tank and started up Glinda. I thanked them again, and was on my way. More evidence that there are many many fine folks in the world just wanting to help out others in need.

After I got to my mother’s house, I read an article about how Harrison Ford was driving through my mom’s town and got a flat tire. Three cars stopped by to see if he needed help. So, it’s clearly in the water!

Love these little adventures, they always keep us in-check about all the good people in the world. I, for one, refuse to believe any different.

Okay then, kids . . . get back in the pool, on onto the trail, or along the sandy shore. Whatever. It’s August. Enjoy!