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What fun a few delayed flights can create! Katie, my daughter Chelsea’s friend from college, visited us over New Years.  In addition to putting 900 miles on June Bug, Chelsea’s Beetle, adorned with her seasonal Rudolph antlers and red nose, New Years dance party in an alcohol free zone with our awesome friends/business partners, a Hell On Wheels marathon via Netflix, college football (GBR!), a maniacal game of Cranium and too much sugar for New Years Day, we got to spend a wonderfully eclectic sixty minutes at Jackson Street Booksellers (look ’em up) in Omaha.

You see 4,000 delayed or canceled flights at O’Hare has a backlash even to our very remote neck of the woods. We won’t talk about when Katie is actually going to arrive home in Houston. Instead let’s review several tidbits I experienced while browsing Jackson Street Booksellers.
On entering JSB, one’s eyes fall upon a cramped little business area (we won’t call it a desk) populated by a very academic looking couple (no idea whether they actually are a couple…or academic) in large dark rimmed spectacles, comfortable sweaters, jeans and running shoes. The desk, if indeed there is one, is obscured from view by papers, an elderly computer monitor and of course stacks of books. If you listen carefully, you hear Bluegrass music emanating from somewhere in the dense mass. I found that a bit unexpected but quite interesting.
The feast for my senses now extended to the ever present and wonnnnnnderful smell of old books, books on shelves reaching well past the height of most ceilings to the overhead duct-work and other building works such as the ancient semi-circular tracks that once guided fifteen foot tall freight doors open and shut, though they hang above a solid wall now. This is, after all, the “Old Market” district of Omaha, now once again thriving with shops and eateries, the whole of which you won’t likely be able to take in with just one visit — even if your flight is delayed for half a day. Seriously, JSB required an hour just for a cursory look about. Let’s get back to the books. Picture 12 to 14 foot high shelves, reaching, I’ll wager, half a block to the back, where tiny curtained store rooms held, yes more books… and two 1930ish store-widths accross.  But don’t kid yourself, the shelves can’t hold ALL of the books.They lie in stacks in every imaginable nook and cranny. Amongst them, in one alcove, a laptop (newer than the desktop model seen back in the business area) sat perched atop a 3 foot stack on a table, where someone was apparently called away from either inventory or research.
Before I share my personal favorite thing of the day, let’s listen in on several entertaining snippets of conversation:
Patron 1: Do you know where your language section is? Storekeeper: Yes. What language? (pointing and heading in a general direction). Patron: Ancient Greek and Latin. Storekeeper: (Abruptly stopping and reversing his direction of travel) Oh, that would be over this way actually.
Experienced patron 2 to newbie patron 3:  …take a left at Psychology.
Storekeeper to Patron 4:  …they’re alphabetical by author so…
Interesting book title: “How to Write a Sentence, and Read One.” (Chelsea had to buy that one.)
Patron 5: Do you have “My Life With a Parrot?” Storekeeper: I don’t know, do you know what it is? Patron: Yeah, it’s a story about a woman who had a parrot that then took her as a mate.  Storekeeper: Mmm I think we would put that somewhere over this way if we had it.
Patron 6: Do you sell maps? Storekeeper: No
Storekeeper to Patron 7:  …there might be some Alice in Wonderlands up here.
I also enjoyed the sign-age inside and outside the tiny restroom, found by asking, then winding your way through one of the store-rooms. The restroom, once located, is found to contain random movie memorabilia and (wait for it) more books.
Handwritten sign on outside of restroom door: “This door doesn’t lock…or really even close very well. So please knock!”
Sign on inside of restroom door: Options if you get locked in here (apparently from another time when the door actually did lock, sometimes unexpectedly and without remedy) “1. call us on your cell phone, 2. call a friend on your cell phone if they’re in or near the store, 3. wait.” OK, I paraphrased that last bit because I was in a hurry to get back to the books; but it really did list options and one option really was “Call us on your cell phone”.
I must tell you that the highlight of my browsing at JSB today was a book called “Horse, Follow Closely, Native American Horsemanship” by Gawani Pony Boy with photographs by Gabrielle Boiselle. Inside, a gem of a quote from another era seemed to sum up our day of musings before Katie’s plane ride. “Certain small ways and observances sometimes have connection with large and more profound ideas.” ~ Standing Bear
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…and My New Years Resolution

Today a passing comment inspired some meaningful thought for me. I’ve had a little more time in my schedule lately so I’ve been available to chauffeur my mother-in-law around to her various errands, grocery shopping, hair, eye and doctor appointments. Patsy is preparing for a knee replacement and while she can get around unassisted, it’s much easier with help.  A comment from a lady who held the door for us made me stop and think.

As we were leaving the eye place, a woman, probably in her late thirties, held the door for us.  She had come in with an elderly woman to whom I had offered my chair as they entered the lobby.  Holding the door for us as we left, the younger lady says to me “Looks like you and I have the duty today.”  Patsy and I both thanked her for holding the door and, having a thought, I said “A privilege, not so much a duty.”  To which the lady replied “A blessing really.”  We agreed and went on our separate ways.

So I’ve been thinking about perspectives. I usually enjoy going around in the car to the various appointments and errands.  I like to drive and it gives me a chance to visit with Patsy. I carry a small laptop with me so I’m never without something to do in waiting rooms and the like. Today I started this blog post in the lobby at Montage – a salon you should check out if you live anywhere near Grand Island Nebraska. Perhaps more about Montage in a later post.

But I can’t say I’m always, always, always a cheerful servant. Occasionally I will begin an inner dialogue about “that grouchy looking coot” in the shop window, only to realize it was my own reflection. Realizing you are the grouchy looking coot, even once in awhile, can be kind of a jolt.  I am going to share with you my first New Years Resolution for 2014, which I started today, a couple weeks early. Starting today, every time something goes a bit sideways to my plan, every time I think I should be somewhere else, working or whatever, I am going to remind myself to just be in this moment; find the joy that’s in this moment. We can’t get them back; we don’t get do-overs. So I’m going to do my do-overs the first time! I love the quote: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”. I usually apply that to work tasks but it applies equally to daily events, don’t you think?

I resolve to be happy in each moment, whether it was in my plan or not, whether it was my first choice or not.  My moments have already been much more enjoyable — even those that went precisely to plan. The conversations have already been richer and the time feels better spent, just because I decided to embrace every moment. I highly recommend it.

I’d love to hear your New Years Resolutions or any other thoughts you’d like to share in the comments below.

Hello again.  It’s been awhile.  Wasn’t even sure I would continue this little spot in the blogosphere. There are always so many things competing for our time. But a recent comment from someone I had just met, but who had read my old blog posts, inspired me to spend at least a wee of time back at it. There are so many wonderful things to appreciate. And that’s what I created this blog for in the first place. I read somewhere that “what you appreciate appreciates”.

So if you see something here like, welcome, feel free to pipe up too. If not, safe travels. I will endeavor to bring a slice of something positive from time to time.  Here’s to more appreciation of “the good stuff” in life.

I would love it if you would share your own positive tidbits in the comments below. Happy Holidays 2013 and may your 2014 be the best ever!

Well, Scoble‘s at rackspace now.  And, following his “Corporate Blogging Manifesto” rule #13: “don’t write if your life is in turmoil, I have left this blog silent for a time (just barely started the dang thing).

I’m sure some degree of turmoil will continue for awhile, but at least there is some new definite direction for me.

Background: My position at Hamilton was eliminated in late January.  I’ve been in power-search mode since then.  I’ve been looking in two particular directions.  In addition to looking for a new position in organizational management, I’ve explored some opportunities to expand one of my passions – writing.  The job search culminated with me accepting a position with the Merrick group of companies, which I will begin on Monday 4/6/09.  I will be handling B2B sales and marketing of the automotive product line.  Some freelance writing opportunities are also likely to bear fruit in the near future.

So that’s me up to the minute.  Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and positive influences in my life.  They have helped me stay “afloat” through an uncertain time.  I believe positive energy (good thoughts from friends, prayer, positive visuals) really does impact “real” events.  According to the “experts”, I (we) beat the statistics by 3 to 6 months…in this economy! WHAT?  In the state with the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in the nation?! Sweet!

Best wishes, v

A social media world icon, Robert Scoble is moving on from Fast Company.tv to ? A technology evangelist veteran from Microsoft to Fast Co. to co-authoring “Naked Conversations“, a book about how businesses are using blogging, The “Scobleizer” is directly responsible for energizing a move toward transparency and intimate conversation between companies and their clients and prospects.
Robert has not yet revealed his next move but I’m betting it’ll be to his and our benefit.
Here’s to your continued success Robert!

This week, I picked up some gravel for my driveway at Hooker Brothers’ Sand and Gravel in Grand Island, Nebraska.The pickup box trailer I used hadn’t hauled anything heavier than a few household items in many moons.  So when roughly a ton of gravel hit the bed, even though the operator was very gentle, the tires, with their 12 pounds of air went nearly flat!

I was just deciding I’d have to drive veerrrrry slowly and get some air at a gas station when the operator says, “you want to put some air in those tires?”  We went to the shop where the “boys” were closing up to go home.  I’d arrived at about twenty to closing time. Now it was at least five and no one was glaring at me to “hurry it up”.   On the contrary, one of the men put air in my tires while I made small talk with the “operator”, who as it turns out was Scott Hooker.

Hooker Brothers has grown to be a major player in the construction and materials world in Nebraska over the past twenty or thirty years.  It was easy to see that one contributing factor to that success has been world class customer service!  And as always, it starts at the top.  The very courteous “boys” were simply modeling their leaders.

Thanks Scott, “the boys” and the Hooker Brothers organization for an excellent customer experience.

Verlen

So I just watched my new favorite (never heard of it before) movie, “10 Items or Less”. Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega were outstandingly unexpected.  This is a life lesson in doing what you” feel”even when you’re so scared to fail that you want to puke.  If you’re looking for heartstopping action — not your movie.  A fresh encouragement to live the music that’s in you — yep this one’ll do.  Note: not a kid movie, quite a bit of lanquage.

One of my favorite bloggers Dr. Mark Goulston has a great post.  Simple, but effective habits happy couples practice that others don’t.  Check it out!

This is the day which the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Today is the day to pass on your wealth, the goodness that’s in you to someone deserving.  Guess what you don’t have to choose.  Everyone deserves your caring.

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