Roy Exum: Two For Tuesday

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

On Monday morning I grabbed a Diet Coke at dawn’s first light and went out on the porch to watch the birds come into feed. Brother, that Diet Coke turned into a steaming cup of coffee in a flash; my thermometer read 49 degrees yesterday early. It’s not just going to be sweater weather before we know it, the season has already reached my porch.

Face it, today is the first official day of fall - the autumnal equinox was set at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

Ironically, in my morning emails came a story from a friend who wrote, “I started reading this email, and was reading fast until I got to the third sentence.

I stopped and started over, reading slower and thinking about every word. This email is very thought-provoking and tends to make you stop and think. Read and savor it slowly … “

Lest you think this is stuff we old guys send back and forth; I can tell anyone who is not yet on Social Security that wherever this originated it was written with a precious commodity – wisdom. This will happen to each and every one in a given time.

There is another story that was shared over the weekend, “Sack Lunches,” that describes who each of us ought to aspire to be. Here are two wonderful lessons …

* * *

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

(Author unknown)

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.  It seems just yesterday that I was young and embarking on my new life.  Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But here it is... on ‘the back nine’ of my life’s golf course, and it catches me by surprise. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me, and that I was only on the first hole, and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But here it is. My best friends are retired and getting gray. They move slower and I see an older person now.  Some are in better and some worse shape than me... but, I see the great change. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant, but, like me, their age is beginning to show, and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of  strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But at least I know, that though I’m on the “back nine,” and I'm not sure how long it will last, this I know, that when it's over on this earth, it's over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done... things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.

If you're not on the “back nine” yet, let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by very fast. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you're on the “back nine” or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life.... so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember, and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past.

"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

- - -

Live it well. Do something fun. Be happy. Have a great day.

Remember: "It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

Live happy in 2020!

Lastly, consider this:

* -- Going out is good. Coming back home is better!

* -- You forget names, but it's okay because some people forgot they even knew you!

* -- You realize you're never going to be really good at anything like golf.

* -- The things you used to care to do, you aren't as interested in anymore, but you really don't care that you aren't as interested.

* -- You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV 'ON' than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep".

* -- You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch.

* -- You tend to use more four-letter words ... "what? “...”when?"

* -- You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"

* -- What used to be freckles are now liver spots.

* -- Everybody whispers.

* -- You have three sizes of clothes in your closet... two of which you will never wear.

 * -- But Old is good in some things: Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!

 Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!"

Send this on to other "Old Friends!" and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!!! It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind of Life You Have Lived.

* * *

THE STORY OF THE ‘SACK LUNCHES’

(Author Unknown)

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to the base.' His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty-dollar bill.  'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up 10 sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

'This is your thanks.'

 After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.

A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me $25.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the flight captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt, I stood and took the captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another $25 in my palm.

When we landed, I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another $25!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.

I walked over to them and handed them $75. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich.  God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country 'for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

May God give you the strength and courage to pass this along to everyone on your email buddy list....

I JUST DID

Let us pray...Prayer chain for our Military... Don't break it!

Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayer for our soldiers -- Don't break it!

Prayer: 'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

* * *

Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.

royexum@aol.com


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