New 2018 calendars are a must for me. Not only are the pictured scenes so beautiful and great places to visit, but they provide some space to log in my doctor appointments, anniversaries to remember, and other such remembrances. I do take time to read the subject matter that is offered, including when the four seasons open. Spring is set for March 20 and summer on June 21.
One of the busier months, based on my American Legion calendar, is February. There’s National Freedom Day on the 1st, Groundhog Day on the 2nd, Lincoln’s Birthday on the 12th, Mardi Gras on the 13th, Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday on the 14th followed by Washington’s Birthday, Iwo Jima Flag Day and the dates of Operation Desert Storm. If you remember, the Desert Storm action was short indeed, only 4 days back in 1991. Of course, any war is not short enough to avoid casualties.
Those 12-month composites of months and days definitely contain more than pretty pictures. And what a reminder they become as we go deeper into the year. Still, I sometimes miss an important date.
Think about this: it wasn’t yet called the Super Bowl when Green Bay played in the World Championship game Jan. 15, 1967, at Los Angeles. Such names as Max McGee, Willie Wood and Coach Lombardi were “bigger than life” back then, and so too Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr, who was named MVP in the 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It was another couple years later that the American Football League champion Jets came of age and beat the Baltimore Colts and Johnny Unitas. And yes, the Green Bay-Kansas City game was televised by both CBS and NBC.
Back then, double-breasted plaid jackets were popular with the men. Twiggy was setting the world on fire with her short skirt, boots and contrasting colors. Coed dorms hit the campus scene. Muhammad Ali was denied conscientious objector status, and the “Phil Donahue Show” and the “Carol Burnett Show” premiered on television. The U.S. troop level in Vietnam reached 525,000.
We loss astronauts Chaffee, Grissom and White in an Apollo test launch.
A couple commercial products told us they were good for our health. Lifebuoy soap’s ad said: “Every bit of Lifebuoy possesses life-saving qualities for it is a Sanitary, Antiseptic, Disinfectant Soap.” As to Quaker Oats, the cereal “Puts off old age by nourishing the entire system. Makes your blood tingle, nerves strong and steady, brain clear and active, muscles powerful.” I’m all for “putting off old age.”
As to some food for thought:
- “I can’t understand why so many parents tie up their dogs, but let their children run loose.” Francis Steiner
- “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.” To which Fr. Joe Diermeier added: “I’ve learned from my dog that when the wind changes direction, he simply adjusts his ears.”
- “Everyone smiles in the same language.”
This story is one to cause some “thinking about” as we enter 2018. Call it a fable if you wish. It does carry a healthy dose of truth to remind us as to what we have and what we wish for”
“The man was well off. There were things he still wanted and couldn’t afford. One night he had a dream. In it, a spirit appeared and told him to go down to the river the next morning and he would encounter a monk carrying a rock and that the monk would gladly hand over this rock, and that once this happened, the man would find himself rich. He would be able to get everything he wanted.”
When the man awoke the next day, he raced to the river. Sure enough, a monk was sitting by the water’s edge. He asked the monk, “Do you have a rock you can give me?” “Yes’ came the monk’s response. He reached into his backpack and said, “Here, take it. I don’t really need it.”
The man stared at the rock in disbelief. He immediately recognized that he had been handed the largest diamond he had ever seen. He raced back home and hid it where he thought no one could find it. “Now I’m rich,” he thought.
The man had great trouble sleeping. “What if I lose it?” Finally, overcome with anxiety and exhausted from insomnia, he returned to the river with the diamond.
“Take it back,” he told the monk. “It’s not what I really want. I want something else you have — the ability to give up such a beautiful and precious thing. For that, and only that, is true wealth.”