Saturday, August 30, 2008

How I Became an Inadvertent Aloe Farmer


 "You have to love your children unselfishly. That's hard. But it's the only way. "
Barbara Bush

I wasn't trying to become an Aloe Farmer, but I became one anyway. You see I bought one at the Acme one day, because "You never know when you'll get a kitchen burn, or a sun burn, and Aloe is of course the great herbal healer of all things skin." I did have 3 young children, you know, and a husband who's an eagle scout, so I've learned to "Be Prepared."

I managed to get it home safely, without breaking off any limbs, so  That day was uneventful, as were the 7 years that followed, until one day, in December I decided to move my Aloe Plant as well as the others that were in my sun room to a new location. The only interesting thing that had happened to it prior to this move, had been a couple re- pottings as it had grown, although it hadn't grown much. It had, although, been a tricky little bugger to re pot. I took great care in centering it squarely in the middle of it's new and improved larger pot, so that it could spread its roots and stretch out. As I said, it was a tricky little bugger, for after it was successfully re- potted, it appeared to have moved off to the right somewhat, and was now not centered at all. I was baffled, and tried to center it once again, being fairly anal about such things. Days would pass, and it kept moving back. it clearly had a mind of it's own.

But back to the plant relocation. I did this because we like to put our Christmas tree in the sun room, and we like to buy the largest one we can fit there, and sometimes even larger. Therefore, we had to make room for our dead tree, by moving the Living plants to a new locale. I thought it best not to make the move too drastic, and the plants in the sun room really did seem to like their location, so I opted for a lateral move, two rooms over, into the uninhabited, by plant or person, "living Room." Funny name, since no one lives there. But, occasionally, our 16 year old geriatric dog Marlin did like to crap there, which did, I have to admit, give it that "Lived in " feel, and smell.

 At the time, We liked to keep other folks abandoned furniture there; china cabinets from grandmother's homes, "Antique"rickety "pie safes," and "dough trays," and reupholstered Martha Washington Chairs from other grandmother's homes. The usual. You know, to make the room look lived in. One thing's for sure, Our kids and our Dogs had unlimited permission to go in there, since the furniture was, you know, not your typical off limits living Room furniture.

   One by one, I carried the various plants to their new resting spot, complete with the wrought iron stand that housed them. I rearranged the abandoned furniture to make room for the new living room members, choosing  a window in which to place them near which faced the same direction as the sun room's windows. 

I have to admit, I was worried about them.As I worry about my kids and my pets, and everything else. Not the windows, but the plants. I have heard that plants don't like to be moved, and well, you know what "They'" Say, If it ain't broke, Don't fix it. But things being as they were, we had to make room for that 11 ft Christmas Tree. Of course, that meant not only moving out the living plants to make way for the temporary  11 ft dead one, but cutting " a few inches" off the bottom, (and the top) to allow it to fit in under our 10 ft ceiling. The ceiling  is  vaulted, so, as you can imagine, it can be deceiving.
 Clark Griswold's Got Nothing on us. 

So back to the Aloe Plants. Yes, this is about Aloe Plants, and How I became an inadvertent Aloe Farmer. After they were all situated, the plants and the furniture, I got my watering can, and began over watering them, you know, to give them a little extra love to make up  for disrupting their otherwise uneventful lives. A little "somethin'-somethin'." You see, aloe plants are succulents, and need infrequent watering as they are native to arid climates. They store water in their leaves, which become swollen with moisture for that time when their owners go on vacation, and they must conserve their resources. They are the eagle scouts of the plant World. They're always prepared.

Setting the can down, and looking around, I just had to rearrange the furniture one more time, as it just didn't look quite as nice as it did when it was just abandoned furniture in an unused room. Now, the room did indeed have a purpose. And as such, it needed to feel that way. It needed to feel like a guest room, and the guests needed to feel Welcome. After all, they serve a potentially very important purpose as the first responders in the Ives Family  Burn Unit. The only thing that was missing now was some of those  disposable, just for guests hand towels that look like really expensive, and oversized, extra decorative napkins. That would really make them feel welcome, you know, in case there were some unexpected spills that needed to be cleaned or picked up, or leaks from over watering that needed to be addressed.

As the weeks went on, they settled in nicely. I felt bad that they weren't part of the Christmas fun, residing now two rooms down from the festivities that were rightfully theirs, but they were stoic troopers, and deep inside, they knew they'd be returned to their original room, after the intruder was dragged out, leaving all of its  brittle needles behind in a trail that only a pyro could love.

That year, our 11 ft Christmas Tree had a short stay, as we were off for a family vacation to St. Martin one day Post Christmas. You know, you can't  in good faith, leave a dead Christmas Tree in the house unwatered for a week. That would be a fire hazard. We'd forgotten to water it for a week already, so it was pretty imperative that we drag it out onto the deck where it would sit until we forgot that it was tree pick up day. Then we'd drag it out faithfully to the curb for the next pick up, which wouldn't occur for another week or so, which was a good thing, because in our rush to get it out the door and start packing for the islands, we might have overlooked a few rogue ornaments-- You know, some of those irreplaceable ones that you found in the drawers of your grandmother's china cabinet. Driving past it each morning as you left for your daily activities, sometimes something shiny would catch your eye, and you'd thank your lucky stars, cause grandmas like to visit their grand kids and their ornaments over the holidays, and making sure that you actually still have them is always wise.

With that out of the way, and as many tree needles vacuumed as we could, I began my pilgrimage to the living Room to prepare the plants for their homecoming.
 
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, 
but a new appendage on my Aloe plant, 
not in the front, but the rear.
I blinked out my eyes
It wasn't a leaf
It was more like a stalk
it was growing a flower
and all I could do was gawk

For seven years I had owned it
 and never seen such a sight
 never used it for burns
or injuries from fights

Maybe it liked its location so much
that it sprouted a flower  to tell us and such.
 But nevertheless, I was moving it back
Since the Sun room was empty
and it was time now to pack.

I shook my head and carried the plants back to the sun room one by one trying to remember where they'd originally resided.

Before long we were at the airport, awaiting our departure to St. Martin that never happened that day. After waiting for hours, at the hands of an extremely understaffed Us air Terminal,we missed our boarding and we gathered up our things to return the next morning. Upon our Arrival on the St. Martin Shores, we breathed a sigh of relief, changing into our bathing suits, and finding the closest rum drink we could muster.
 
The next day brought a trip to the local beach where the kids were introduced to the local European Island culture of sunbathing topless. We waited for our 13 year old son to notice, and snickered to ourselves explaining to our son and daughters that these women were from a different country and it was "part" of their culture. Actually two parts.  Before long we were greeted by one of the natives carrying a back pack and hawking a special skin care aid for sun burns. His large dark hands encased the plump familiar looking leaves. Apparently, he wasn't allowed to sell his wares on the public part of the beach, but before he got kicked off by he authorities, which he was well accustomed to, he found us, and my husband gladly agreed to buy some of his wares. Not all of the patrons were as eager to interact with this local, but we figured he had something useful that we actually wanted, and so it was a win- win.
 
Yes, dear reader, this is an important part of the story, because remember, this story is about how I became an inadvertent Aloe Farmer, and this man was indeed selling Aloe, to address the highly likely possibility that one or two of us might inadvertently  get overdosed By the St. Martin Sun. So pay attention.

We agreed on a price of 15 American dollars for our share of the spoils of the Aloe crop in his hand. Whereby, he now reached into his back pack and removed a glass rum bottle, unscrewed the  metal cap, and proceeded to use it as a tool to split the edge of the aloe leaf, all the way to the tip, opened it like a book, and then used the cap to scoop the  rich contents of the leaf into the glass rum bottle. He continued this process until the aloe bunch was gone, and it occurred to me that this Aloe farmer might know why, after seven years, my own Aloe plant had all of a sudden grown a stalk and flowered. 
I was at the right place at the right time.

This man, who the other vacationers thought was a menace, hawking his crop to make a living, gave me the answer that would allow me to become an Aloe farmer myself. Albeit, an inadvertent one.
The answer he gave me was this:
"Your plant has become mature. It's going to have Babies."
Quick! Someone start boiling the water.
With a little Internet research, I probably could have found that out myself, although at the time, I probably wasn't savvy enough to  figure it out.
That was the first and last time I used fresh Aloe to treat a sunburn. And in hindsight, my Aloe plant was now mature, whether the native man  had told me or not, and it would still  have done what mature plants all over the world have done for millennia: reproduce. 
But, that, as Winnie the Pooh would say, is "neither here nor  there."
I still think it's interesting how I found out what was to come.

When we got back home, we drove up the driveway, past our now  deader Christmas tree at the curb, parked and unloaded and I rushed in to see My now matronly Aloe Plant who soon would be with Child. Indeed, she was just glowing, as all mothers-to-be do. She'd never looked better. Of course, before that, I'd never known that she was a she. I still don't, but I was beaming with pride. We must have done something right, and all of that extra guilty water I had delivered, must have been well received. After all, she was eating for two.
I got  some extra decorative, extra guest hand towels to await the arrival of our new little guest. Because when an Aloe Plant's water Breaks, you need to "Be Prepared." And since I'm Italian, I wanted to do it in a decorative way.

Before long, the day indeed arrived, and the young sprout had made its way through the surface of it's over watered soil without even one contraction, becoming the newest member of the of the Ives Family greenhouse. As our kind Native friend had told us, we should wait until the babies are about  four or five inches tall, before separating them and placing them in pots of their own. And as predicted, there were additional babies to follow. There would be hiatuses, and then for some as yet unknown reason, and unknown time, more young ins' would break the surface, and the race was on. 

Transplanting them, at first was an anxious procedure. As our Aloe Mentor had told us,

  the roots wouldn't be that big, or many, but to have faith, and plant them, nonetheless.
 
We did. And we watched and we waited. Before long, we were gifting them proudly to those who came to visit.
 
And Before long I realized why the Mother kept shifting in it's new and improved transplanted pot: It was making room for its babies, and
 
despite my re-arranging it, so that it was centered in the pot,
 It knew something that I did not.
 It knew better,
 and as any loving mother will do, It was paving the way, making room for her brood, all the while knowing that 
their time would come.
 The time would come when they felt the urge to spread their roots wider than the family pot could offer. A time when they need to branch out on their own, and one day become mature enough to live near by, in a pot of their own, to raise Kids of their own.

Indeed, that's just what's happened. We now have three Monstrous Aloe plants, all mature, and all producing babies out of control. We've slowed down with our transplanting, because we're running out of pots, and people to give them to. They seemed to have matured a little sooner than their mother did. It's funny how life immitates nature. They have over taken the sun room and have crept into the family room and kitchen window sill, and most of the babies are ready to be repotted again and form their first flowers.
 
It never ends.

When I brought that lone Aloe plant home from the Acme that day, I had no idea that it would produce a family of its own, be a source of gift giving, and have such a story to tell. I had no idea that it would prepare for its young by shifting and re shifting in its pot to make room for their arrival. I just thought It would be neat to have a plant we could use as a first aid source. A source of pride, Sort of like growing and using your own herbs. A way to live simply as our ancestors did, by gratefully accepting what the earth provided.

But, that's not exactly how it happened. in fact, although we are now surrounded by Aloe plants, I don't remember ever using it to dress a burn, or fix a wound.
 But We're Prepared, should we ever need to. If a Volcano ever erupts in our neighborhood here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, We've gotcha' covered.

And By the By, our Living Room isn't a Living Room any more. We just weren't using it. Now it's a Pool Room. Which means we may have to put on an  addition--a guest room of sorts. You see,  I have a Christmas Cactus that's lost a few branches and I've got them rooting in a vase in the kitchen. I'll be planting them in soil soon. And you just never can tell with plants. 
We'd Better Be Prepared.

"Good, honest, hardheaded character is a function of the home.  If the proper seed is sown there and properly nourished for a few years, it will not be easy for that plant to be uprooted."                                                                           

 ~George A. Dorsey

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tandem Intuition


On Tandem Bicycle
They're Peddling Together
Longer Legs
and
Shorter Legs
Experienced Legs
and
Legs Less so

Yellow Shirts
Matching Shirts
Long Hair and Beard
and
Young Girl all Aglow

Peddling Together
United as One
Father and Daughter
Tandem Fun

Matching Shirts
Connect These Two
To Untold Resources
Time Spent is the Glue

They'll sense What They need to
With Every Stroke
He'll intuit when she's tires
for that's what she'll evoke

And if They Continue
The Bond Will Grow Strong
Like the Roots of a Family
should Be all Along
and
She'll Be Confident When
she presents you a plan
She'll be calm and at ease
Because of your open hand
And Take it she will
When times are Amiss
She'll know what to expect
and She'll speak you the list
of things that she's pondered
and things that she's feared
The sand in the Hourglass
Its Motion is stilled.

And It is partially since
You peddled with her
You became so In Sync
That You peddled some more

And Even when you can't
Ride Tandem Again
Just By Talking
Just Talking
You experience it Again

For a mentor is such
That you anticipate When
You need to engage
Take Stock and Defend
The needs that are growing
The skills that need care
The hearts that are fragile
Before these moments
become rare

Because growing means trying
To ride your own race
They'll need to ride solo
and set their own pace

But You'll Be Proud
and Be sure
That you've taught what you should
cause your presence meant more
than any words could

So I watch as you peddle
And I Resonate With
-The Intention of Connection-
And The Love that You Give.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Making the Most of It

Dogs and children, I've noticed, make the most of every moment. If they're at the beach, they're really at the beach. They're running and swimming and building castles, and the 4 legged among them are running as fast as they possibly can for the sheer enjoyment that running full speed brings; chasing some birds along the way, but that was just an after thought. They're catching balls, and throwing balls, making crab swimming pools and drip castles.
They are Investigating life as it is in the here and now,
not a thought for tomorrow or yesterday.

They're savoring every moment here at the Jersey Shore, because they know their time at the beach has an expiration date, and they know they'll have to go back to the old grind, if in fact dogs have a grind. I'd still take theirs over mine any day, as I have a tendency sometimes to get stuck in the muck, and I don't realize it, until I'm climbing back up.

My kids make the most of this change of scenery, by actually
becoming a part of the scenery,
That is, inserting themselves, as it were, into a modern day Norman Rockwell Scenario. Choosing to eat their lunch in the gazebo in town, making friends with the trolley driver, and actually using it for transportation to and from their friends homes. They ride their bikes barefoot wherever they go, and post their babysitting signs at all of their haunts.

They find lost dogs and get unexpected rewards, go fishing, crabbing, clamming, and bring their catch home to fillet, eat, and learn how to prepare. Although they're teenagers now, they remember the joy and tribulation that a hermit crab can bring, and revisit an old pastime, buying feisty new hermit crabs replete with cottages and extra shells so their crabs can have choices. When we hear loud splashes on the bay in the evenings, they carefully slide the screen door open, so as not to disturb the possibility of an otter sighting, which has alluded most of us on the basin. He's a tricky little bugger, but he leaves signs of his visits on our floating dock; signs you'd rather not see. But he gives them good reasons to go outdoors in the evening, and though he alludes us, he gives us an opportunity to shift our gaze skyward, where we seek out the big and little dippers, and if It's clear enough, catch a glimpse of the milky way itself.

I am observing and marveling at their ability to make the most of every moment and make a mental note to myself, that
my time Down the Shore also has a shelf life, and that
the here and now, is here right now, for me to savor.
I think I'll walk to the beach tonight and let Captain run free.
Maybe I'll see a shooting star.

Old Friends in Unexpected Places, and Lessons from Complete Strangers

*                   To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.

         Bruce Lee (1940 - 1973)

There is nothing more enjoyable than running into an old friend in an unexpected place, or learning a valuable lesson from a complete stranger. I got to experience both at a family Wedding in Vermont. Family and friends were gathering from far and wide to celebrate the wedding of my Husband's cousin, and we were eagerly a part, arriving just before the rehearsal dinner festivities to be enjoyed at their farm in Middlebury, Vermont, one of my favorite places to be.

 It was sadly a little rainy, and as we followed the trail from the house to the fields where the guests were about to enjoy a crawfish bake, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, an out of context, but familiar face from my past. It was a friend whom I hadn't seen since my sophomore year in college; a friend who had done me an indispensable service once, who I may not have thanked quite fervently enough. Oh, I'm sure that I thanked him at the time, but with twenty more years of mistakes and introspection under my belt, this time, I made it abundantly clear, how much I appreciated his thoughtful care when I was in need. I believe it was not only therapeutic for me, but for him as well, to know that he had been appreciated so long ago, and how even to this day, his efforts were still recognized.

If that wasn't a blessing enough, the wedding that followed was as idyllic as any Vermont wedding could be. It was held  on the shores of Lake Champlain at Shelburne Farms, a beautiful expansive working farm and historic Inn, not to mention spectacularly serene views. 

The ceremony took place amidst the sprawling acreage, the bride arriving by Clydesdale horse driven carriage, and accompanied by her dog who served both as ring bearer, and escort to the Mother of the bride. All the while, a violinist added another lyrical layer to the already serene backdrop. When the bride began to make her entrance, and the groom stood awaiting her arrival, a trumpeter, who was also the brother of the groom,  began to provide a musical red carpet of sorts.  But, The closer the bride got to her beaming groom, the more strained the trumpet became, and then, ultimately, the violinist effortlessly took over, intuitively noting the trumpeter's inability to continue at his best; too filled with emotion to continue. 

It was an important moment for me to witness, since I was soon to sing for my own brother's wedding--the last of my siblings to marry, and the last family wedding for which I'd sing.
It was a song that moved me so much that I couldn't sing it while listening to the c.d. without crying. It was a Hawaiian Wedding Song about family and friends, and the ability of the two to support and uplift the wedding couple in their journey as one:

"...Love is a circle that surrounds you.
You can find it on the faces of your family and friends.
Love, Let it wrap its arms around you, 
and guide you on your journey down the road that never ends..."

I didn't stand a chance. I had been worrying about what would happen if I became too overcome. I had planned to perform this particular song as a surprise, with all of my nieces and nephews, and it was bound to be a tear- jerker. When I had the chance, I commended him for his bravery and asked told him what I'd be up against. I marveled at his ability to try to compose himself and continue, and asked him, "What do you do if you get too overcome?"

He gave me a simple reply. "Just let it happen"
The answer was as plain as the Italian nose on my face, which is quite plain.

Something about the straightforwardness of his reply eased my concern, and I put it on the back burner until the wedding came around. As much as I like to sing for family weddings, (which is about the only time I ever sing  with an  audience,) I never get by with out a healthy dose of stagefright. This time was no different. As usual, I armed myself with hot honey and lemon. When the moment came, and the children began their procession to the altar, I was ready to express the song's heart-felt message, but when the final chorus came, my voice wavered, and I made no effort to correct it. I did indeed, allow, and in the allowing, I realized that it was alright.

 After all, it was my baby brother's wedding ceremony,
 and
 After all, there were emotions that needed to be expressed.
 And
 After all, I am Human, and as such, we have the ability to emote,
 which is
After all, an indisputable component of our being.

There is nothing more enjoyable than running into an old friend in an unexpected place, or learning a valuable lesson from a complete stranger. I got to experience both at a family Wedding in Vermont.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Becoming a Mentor: We Should Bother

to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)
When my children were born I eagerly ran to the bookstore. I wanted to share with them the literature of my youth. With great enthusiasm, I scoured the shelves looking for the books I remembered so well. In the process, I discovered so many more; so many I'll look forward to reading to grand-children some day.
My intention, born from nostalgia was two-fold:
to introduce them to themes I thought were important,
and also,
to get them to love reading; to really love reading.
My intention in getting them to love reading was also two-fold;
first,
because it brings great joy to the reader,
and second,
because it breeds a love of learning;
a yearning to make connections.

On one of my Barnes and Noble excursions, I came across a book entitled, Really Reading. This little book really got me thinking--about the process of learning to read--the mechanics, and the subtleties, and now,as the parent of three High school and Middle School age Children, I realize that
what it takes to become a really good reader, is also what it takes to become a really good mentor.

But What is a Good Reader? And How does one become one? And what is a good Mentor, and Why should we bother?

The process begins with the mechanics:

The very basics of sounding out words, and also recognizing words by sight.

These skills can only be gained by practice.
The mechanics of becoming a good mentor consist of:
-sounding out, or having conversations with those to whom you might be of service.
-recognizing, by observing, with the intention to find, opportunities to share what we know, with those who are developing, who could use the voice of experience, and especially encouragement to develop skills which may still be dormant.
These skills can only be gained by practice.
Next comes fluency:
Fluency is the ability to read orally with accuracy, speed, and vocal expression.
With practice, a good mentor can accurately identify and address, those who might benefit from their abilities and experience, and express it accordingly--that is, in a nurturing way.
And...Vocabulary:
A critical aspect of reading development is word understanding. As the child learns to read, he will begin decoding unfamiliar words, and as his fluency develops, his vocabulary must also build, in order to be ready for the next important step which is comprehension.
A good mentor has a good vocabulary indeed, for he must be able to express himself with clarity and of course care, in order to gently guide.

Comprehension:

Now that the mechanics are under our belt, the question is, Do we understand what we've read? or are we just on auto pilot.

Comprehension is defined by Webster as
1. a. the act or action of grasping with the intellect: understanding
b. knowledge gained by comprehending,
c. the capacity for understanding fully.
Comprehension develops actively when the reader is now encouraged to have an
intentional awareness of what he has read.
A good mentor must have an understanding of his mentor, be able to really comprehend him. He must, that is be empathic. With empathy, the mentor and the mentored thrive and move forward, with knowing.

Without Vocabulary acquisition, fluency, the mechanics of sounding out, and recognizing words by sight, Comprehension is impossible. Mentoring, on the other hand is very possible. Each one of us has the potential to become a mentor, and each one of us is a mentor, if but only through our observed actions.

A mentor is a trusted friend, counselor and teacher, and usually a more experienced person.
A mentor introduces important themes, and encourages a yearning for growth, which ultimately instills a joyous love of learning, and an ability to make connections, so that they may become dedicated to becoming indeed a mentor to themselves, and possibly then to others.
And that's why we should bother.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Riding Jet Skis and Opposable Thumbs

In the summertime, we like to ride jet skis. Our dog even likes to hop aboard. And it's no wonder, his name, after all, is Captain. I have no doubt, in fact, that, if he had opposable thumbs, he'd jump on and take off all on his own. Our friends have a Jet Ski they keep at our house, so sometimes, instead of riding together on ours, we'll each drive our own,
as
Driving your own Jet Ski, and just being along for the ride, are two very different experiences.

When you are driving your own jet ski, you are responsible for your own, and your passengers safety. Since they steer from the rear, and not the front, like a car does, the maneuverability is much different. And operating them takes practice.

When you are driving your own Jet Ski, you can see first hand what is coming your way--the waves you're approaching, and the possible obstacles in your path. You know what bumps you are approaching, and can brace yourself better than your passenger, who can't see nearly as well, sitting behind the one who's driving.

As a passenger, you are just along for the ride. Oh, it's still exhilerating and adventuresome, but

you just don't know what's coming, and it can be a much bumpier ride that way, and for some of us, a little anxiety producing, because
your own judgement is after all, your own,
and another's just can't be predicted.

When you are a child, being a passenger is a way of life, and of course, a precursor to being the driver. In the beginning, you know where you stand. Dad and Mom are the Chauffeurs, and you are the passenger, firmly belted into your car seat. The thought of driving never enters your mind, you're just happy you're going to McDonalds.

As you get older, however, the urge to drive your own watercraft can't be denied. And shouldn't, really. It's a natural progression, and a step towards adulthood. If it's denied, we are left as passengers on someone else's excursion. Not our own.
And We are each entitled to our own excursion, fueled by our own voice, which is the gasoline.
And since we Do have opposeable thumbs, we are able to jump on and take off all on our own. We can ride along side other Jet Skis out there in the blue, but if we'd rather ride in the bay, than in the ocean, We need to change our direction and ride in the bay,
and it's not only OK, it's imperative that We do.
Your own judgement is after all your own, and another's just cant be predicted.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

On Overcoming Fear: Be Bold, and Mighty Forces Will Come To Your Aid

"Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot?
What puts the "ape" in apricot? 
What have they got that I ain't got?" 
-Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz

Note to Self:
"Be Bold, and Mighty Forces Will Come to Your Aid"

In order to Make a Difference, I must be Bold.

In order to Be an example, I must be Bold.

In order to be a vehicle for change, I must be Bold.

In order to encourage others, at times I have to take a deep Breath and Be Bold.

In order to enlist a forward propulsion, I must be Bold.

And Mighty forces have

and will Continue

to come to my aid.

Reminder: This Will Require Courage.

It Resides behind Fear in the Back of your mind

You can get them to trade places

You're in charge of your Thoughts

Decide which one makes Your choices

It won't be for naught.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing which you think you can not do."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

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