Panic Attack or Dementia?

 "From the text, write a comment," is the teacher's instruction. What text? Where am I supposed to write the comment? I try to get an answer, but get ignored, while the rest of the class seems to get it. I wake up in panic. What was the teacher's instruction? Am I getting dementia? 

Just read an article the other day about Alzheimers, and how to delay its development. Maybe I need to read it again. How come everybody else in the class seems to get it? Maybe I am not smart enough. Why does the teacher ignore me? Can't get rid of the thought. It's like the police officer, who clocked a driver speeding 84 mph in a 45 mph zone and prepares to chase him and give him a ticket. But his cruiser won't start. Fining the speeder is an un-enforceable rule, just as understanding the teacher's assignment in my dream. C.S. Lewis states we are always trying to be somewhere we are not, trying to be inside the inner ring. Instead, do what you love to do and create your own inner ring. 

 I get out of bed to work on a computer project for a while. I can't find the project! More frustration. 

In looking for my project, I find a podcast about "not giving up". Stop listening to that voice of not understanding the teacher; that is only a feeling left over from a dream, but it is not necessarily true. Look for the facts. Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly. He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame. 

I follow "Storyworthy" by Matthew Dicks. The purpose of this course is to help you find stories. Even if you never want to tell a story to another person in the world, you should be actively, aggressively, relentlessly looking for stories in your life to tell yourself. You are the most important audience you will ever have for your stories. And as you start to collect stories in the ways that I'm going to teach you over the course of the next several lessons, you're going to discover that you lead a life that you never understood before. You'll discover that your life is filled with stories, and the more stories you start to see, collect, and hold on to, the better you'll feel about your life. 

Looking for facts requires knowing how to Google them, or looking them up in my Brain app. Not exactly do-able if you have dementia. We all have scary dreams from time to time. What do we do with them?  

Matthew Dicks continues with: We're here to collect stories. We're here to find them. hold on to them, and speak them, maybe to other people, but first to ourselves. But my promise to you is this. At the end of this course, you will have many strategies to find new stories in your life.

With those thoughts I went back to bed, fell asleep and woke up in the morning ready to face the day. 

Great Loop Cruising

The dream of boaters! Take out a year to do this route. A year? Yes, after all, you don't want to be in New York or on the Great Lakes in the winter!

What Exactly is the Great Loop?

The Great Loop is a circumnavigation of the eastern U.S., and part of Canada.  The route includes the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the New York State Canals, the Canadian Canals, the Great Lakes, the inland rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico. "Loopers" take on this adventure of a lifetime aboard their own boat.

How long does it take to do the Great Loop?

The Great Loop has been done in as little as two months and in as much as 12 years.  Traditionally, Loopers have spent about a year on the route.  After all, it is a seasonal trip.  You’ll want to be on the northern part of the Loop during the warm summer months, the inland rivers in the fall, spend the winter in Florida, and the spring following the warm weather up the eastern portion of the route.

We’re seeing a trend towards people doing the Great Loop in segments, cruising for a few weeks or months, and then returning home to take care of business or other responsibilities, and returning to the boat for another segment when possible. 

Why is the Loop usually done counter-clockwise?

Although the Great Loop has been done in both directions, it’s usually done counter-clockwise so that you are going with the current, not against it, on the inland rivers.

Positive Latitude just started their voyage on this Loop. You can see a video clip, below.

George Washington's Passion for Dancing

Mrs Tierney assigned the history paper on the subject they have been studying: George Washington. 

"Do we have to do this?" 
"Yes, it is more than just history. You have to do the research, go back to your notes of the past lessons, and it needs to be in good English, so people can understand it. You will need those skills in the future." 

That's the story Natalie came home with, not very enthusiastic. Her mind was already on the next dance class. That was fun! They were practicing for the next performance, only four weeks away. This writing project, due in two weeks was not exactly helping. Mrs Tierney had mixed feelings about it herself, figuring at least 50% of the papers will be just about the same based on past experience. The kids don't want to do it; it is boring history to them, she grades them, many with just a C, but if they put effort into it, write good English sentences and neatly, it may become a B. Only a few exceptional ones receive an A. At home their parents may or may not read them and soon the project is forgotten. 
"See, I told you it would be boring!"
It does not exactly boost the kids confidence level either. Years later, when they have to write a resume, they may vaguely make the connection again, recognizing the steps are the same.

"You like your dancing class, right?" dad asked.
"So, why don't you write the essay on dancing in George Washington's time?"
"Huh ...??"
"What kind of dances did they do then?"

As a young officer, George Washington gained a reputation as a skillful and polished dancer, sometimes taking the floor at the start of a ball to begin the evening with a minuet. ... If he hadn't excelled at dance, George Washington might have been known merely as an accomplished dodger of musket balls.

Jefferson had long been fond of dancing — he was a fiddler and used to play duets with that other Virginia-born Founding Father, Patrick Henry. He was known to play his violin for parties at the White House. ... Dancing, Jefferson wrote, “is a healthy exercise, elegant and very attractive for young people.”

"You can find other relevant information to describe that period in history?" dad continued.

John Hanson (April 14 [O.S. April 3] 1721 – November 15, 1783) was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. In 1779, Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress after serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland. He signed the Articles of Confederation in 1781 after Maryland finally joined the other states in ratifying them. In November 1781, he was elected as first President of the Confederation Congress (sometimes styled President of the United States in Congress assembled), following ratification of the articles. For this reason, some of Hanson's biographers have argued that he was actually the first holder of the office of President of the United States.[1]

Many see Washington as a stoic and unapproachable figure, but in reality he was a man who loved entertainment and the company of others. There are many accounts of his dancing late into the night at various balls and parties. He loved theater and attended plays of all sorts throughout his life. 

Did you know that there was a dance season, usually held in February, to deal with the cold boring winter? There also were children's classes in George Washington's day. Every child learned how to dance! The last day of his presidency, the people of Philadelphia organized a huge ball. They put up a circus tent next to a hotel and broke out a wall so the guests could go directly from the tent into the hotel. They fed over 1,200 guests! Martha wrote in her diary that George broke down in the end, that night. He was so emotional...

"What do you think Mrs. Tierney will say. You think she would have known all these things?" dad asked. 
"Hmmm, I get it. I like that!"

Natalie went to work, stayed up half the night, got an A+ and her work was displayed on the bulletin board. You think that boosted her ego? 

In High School, her mom and dad created a blog for her, and included this essay on it. What do you think an employer will think once he sees Natalie's portfolio, going all the way back to six grade?

     for more information, go to:


I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis. For others it is working 60 hours a week remotely with no break.

For some that live alone they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.

With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Many others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.

Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.

Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.

Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal. And others are in total denial.

Some have faith in God and expect AND Receive miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.

We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a different journey.


Author unknown

A Long Walk to Water

The Rotary Foundation has six main categories to fund projects all over the world. One of them is Water and Sanitation. A lot of deals with drilling wells. Wells have been drilled all over Africa, for example, for many years, by various non-profit organizations, the United Nations, etc. Sadly, many of those are now overgrown, rusty and not working anymore. After several years the local population could not afford parts, neither did they have the engineering capacity to keep them running, long after the organization that started the project, was gone. Over the past 4-5 years, Rotary has implemented a requirement, that the project has to be sustainable. In other words, the means to keep the project running, once the project is complete and the Rotarians have gone home. There are a multitude of these projects going on. Which one do you choose to support? 

In her novel, A Long Walk To Water, Linda Sue Park explains drilling a well is only the beginning! She describes, what is based on a true story, in the area of Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenia. There is a lot of desert. People move toward the wetter areas during the rainy season and return to wherever a little water remains, the rest of the year. Typically, the girls fetch water every day, which takes half a day traveling both ways. It is not the best water either; muddy and often contaminated. Peoples from two different tribes, the Nuer and the Dinka fight over water in the only lake remaining during the drought. Fights happen, people die. On top, a civil war rages through the South of Sudan, trying to keep their own religions instead of being forced by government troops from the North to accept the Muslim religion. One day, two visitors came to Nya's village. They spoke with the village counsel, something about water. 

They brought in all kinds of equipment, Nya had never seen. After weeks of work and through unexpected challenges, water came out of a pump, if you swung the handle up and down.

 "A miracle," said her uncle."I used to sit here all the time, and never knew I was sitting on top of water!" 

Once the strangers were gone, the villagers were building something, next to the well.

"What is that?" Nya asked her uncle.

"A school for boys AND girls! Now that we have water here, the girls do not have to travel half a day anymore." The project resulted in meeting the next important area of Rotary: Basic Education and Literacy

Next came a clinic, so the villagers did not have to travel a full day to the nearest one. This satisfied the area of Disease Prevention And Treatment, and over time resulted in Maternal And Child Health

Now that the villagers did not have to spend all their time getting water, having to boil it, and manage water storage, they could spend time on other projects, resulting in compliance with the next area: Economic And Community Development

"Remember those two visitors who came to talk to our elders?"

"Yea," Nya replied.

"Did you see the scar on the arm of the assistant?"

"Yes, that was from our tribe, the Nuer."

"And what about the leader?"

"He did not have any marks, so we do not know from which tribe he was." You will have to read the book, to find that answer. but it resulted in covering the last important area: Peace and Conflict Prevention / Resolution

All of a sudden I get it! Water and Sanitation form the basics, but the consequences are far bigger and include all six important areas of projects funded by the Rotary Foundation!