Monthly Archives: June 2018

Be Appreciative; Show Appreciation

In the United States of America, we often take what we have for granted. We lack appreciation for the freedom and blessings we enjoy. Let’s take a look at what we have to appreciate, and be appreciative for.

Let’s start with the basics. If you have a roof over your head and that convenience provides shelter from the elements, you are fortunate. Consider how many inhabitants of our planet sleep in squalid conditions, exposed to the elements or subjected to violence and civil unrest.

If you have air conditioning to keep you cool, there are millions of people who lack that luxury. Be thankful! In America, most of us also have refrigerators to keep our food preserved while others lack that convenience. Consider how much food we waste and discard to pile up in landfills.

If you have a comfortable bed to sleep in, show your appreciation by giving thanks for what you have. How many stories do you hear about families sharing a bed or people sleeping on park benches, under overpasses, or in the subway? How comfortable can concrete be?

We think that having electricity and running water are basic to living in America. You turn on the light without thinking and expect the power to be there. Be appreciative for what our nation’s infrastructure provides; there are millions of humans without that convenience.

It’s the same with water. You go to the faucet, turn it on, and expect there to be clean water for cooking or drinking. Be appreciative of the fact that the lion’s share of the world’s population lacks clean drinking water or the ability to shower or bathe whenever they feel like it. We let the water run and think nothing of it.

Give thanks to God. Be mindful of wasting the resources you take for granted. If possible, do something to help those who lack what you have, even if it means sacrifice on your part.


The Other Side – Grandpa John

As I develop chapters for a book on connecting with people who have passed to the other side, I certainly want to share memories of my father’s father, Grandpa John Regard.

Here’s a start for Grandpa’s chapter:

When I got home from officiating a soccer match today, I needed to shower. I had slathered on sun screen before the match and was sweaty, too. What I did, however, was not shower. Instead, I got out of my referee uniform and donned a ratty, sleeveless t-shirt with my uniform shorts. I was comfortable to watch the baseball game and snack. Yes, I was hungry.

The game started at 1:00 p.m. but I had left the house a few minutes before noon. I’d eaten a large breakfast after mowing the lawn an hour or two before.

As I pondered why I didn’t jump in the shower right away, I recalled my paternal grandfather. John Regard Misfeldt rarely dressed up, except for going to church with my grandmother. Grandpa John loved to wear comfortable clothes. I share that trait with him.

I think my grandfather was a laid-back man. He worked hard on the family farm; there was always some task to be done. He would rather tackle a chore than do nothing. His comfortable clothes might consist of bib overalls, mended and washed so often they were soft and felt better to wear than a new pair, without doubt.

Grandma Mabel made an excellent farmer’s wife. She worked as hard as grandpa, doing laundry on Monday, mending on another day, and cooking over a wood-burning stove every day for several meals.

I was only 10 years old when my grandfather passed away at the age of 81 (January 26th birth to October 31st death). I remember sitting with him in the front yard of his home when he and grandma moved into town. They had sold their Breezy Hill Farm, so he could retire. He loved to sit in an Adirondack chair and I vividly recall the bird he drew on the arm with a pencil. It was like what Audubon would paint, detailed with feathers, beak, wings, and legs; yet it was merely doodling.

Grandpa John is someone I would love to connect with on the other side.