Chattanooga has long been recognized for the “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, tourist attractions, and beautiful scenery, but thanks to good citizens, Chattanooga now is quickly being acknowledged as a dog friendly city.
As a native Chattanoogan, who twenty years ago, couldn’t wait to move away. After moving back, I have come to appreciate the beauty of our truly scenic city. Even more endearing, is the progression of becoming a dog friendly city.
If it weren’t for my extended “pack”, respectively, Xena and Molly, the tough times would have been so much tougher. As I have begun to explore my “new” native town, the discovery of groups such as DoGood, and cooperating shelters, rescues, and general dog loving population has become an everyday occurrence.
DoGood meets every Saturday morning at Renaissance Park for a pleasant stroll, which lasts about an hour, and offers opportunity for socialization and exercise for both human and quadruped. You will see them, the dogs, wearing their signature green bandanas representing that their family members are conscientious and responsible pet owners.
Today, I was asked,”Is this some sort of doggy parade?” As some of the four-legged friends were wearing sweaters, and tutus. I laughed and explained what was happening. Perhaps next time they will join the group?
DoGood can be found at local events around town, or you may like them and join the group on facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/dogoodchattanooga?ref=stream
If one has faith, they believe strongly in or have complete trust or confidence in someone or something, what ever it is. Hope is what you hold on to when things aren’t going according to plan, when all logic escapes you and your faith in your own abilities grows weak. When one ceases to have hope or pursue logic, it is faith that keeps them grounded.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. It often defies logic, leaving one baffled and wondering if the faith is justified.
It is by our faith in ourselves, in others, our values or belief system that we overcome the obstacles set before us in life. Faith guides us when, our paths lead us into uncharted waters, it allows us to master our fears, defeat the weaknesses of our mind, and curb our natural desires to only trust logic, or falsely feed our own egos, and embellish our own psyche.
The three in harmony balance one another and lead us to a richer life experience. This stability calms the chaos that arises in the mind. Not unlike the balance between the carnal mind (the flesh) and the spirit, it is a daily work, keeping this delicate balance. When we find ourselves in a “here and now” “hell”, our first instinct should be to reflect upon our situation, analyze what is out of balance and restore it. Do we? I would say, most of us, most of the time, uh, no.
Why do we allow such imbalance to exist? Perhaps, something comes up that is beyond our control, or it involves relationships in which there is attachment. By attachment, I do not mean relation, such as a loved one or relative. Attachment can be healthy or unhealthy. It can be a mere connection with someone or something, or it can be enmeshing and unhealthy, like an addiction; filled with unreasonable expectations and excessive dependency on the object or person.
We should never base our happiness on material things which can break, or become lost or destroyed. Neither should we have all of our hopes in another individual. We are all human and not infallible; we make mistakes. Look within yourself for your own happiness and guidance. Be true to yourself and what makes you truly happy. And certainly, do not dismiss logic, for logic is necessary. Logic is the element that helps us make a list of pros and cons when we are confused about a pressing decision that only we can decide for ourselves. Logic is imperative in developing short-term and long-term goals and plans. Logic simplifies and brings us back to reality.
So, today, don’t stress about yesterday and do not be worried about what may come tomorrow. Live in the “here” and “now”. Slow down, if even for a moment or two, and reflect upon what makes you truly happy. Set reasonable, achievable goals for yourself and seek balance in all aspects of your life. It will undoubtedly bring you a greater feeling of satisfaction, happiness and peace.
As the world around us gets seemingly infinitely busy and we face more demands than the day before, I am grateful for the moments of repose, or escape which gets me thinking about how nice it is to be surrounded by nature. Beautiful, fragrant flowers with intermittent sitting nooks, splashes of folky yard art, and a not so small garden teaming with fresh vegetables and fruits.
I am refreshed to see the resurgence of city and roof top gardens, people opting to purchase locally grown, fresh produce and patronize restaurants who do the same. This helps bring awareness to the importance of making your local town or city a self-sustaining entity. It would be a terrible mistake to forsake the knowledge of how to till the earth and feed ourselves. Why not teach our children key important facts about when to plant, what to plant and what these foods need to flourish and grow? It can’t hurt. Compare it to the other trivial knowledge that we cram at them, much of which can be considered just as useless to their survival in various societies. As our values change based on what the world around us demands, lets not allow the knowledge of how to preserve our humanity pass away!
We are but a reflection of our inner selves. Our journey through life may lead us down many different roads, with many challenges, twists and turns. At times we are uplifted, at others may feel down. Through it all we are touched and affected by our surroundings. Changed forever by what we allow ourselves to become.
We do have the opportunity to make choices, although they may seem limited, tough, or challenging. Just know that the words you speak are powerful tools and they can be used for good, or for evil to others. Words are permanent things, once released they cannot be taken back. Only apologies can be issued in the form of kinder words. There is NO delete button.
As I stand with my feet planted in the lands where my ancestors had lived, hunted, fished, grown their crops and raised their families, I lifted up my chin, raised my face to the sky and closed my eyes.
The wind was cool against my face. I listened to the vastness of the different birds singing and my soul began to weep for my peoples’ plight. How hellish it must have been to be uprooted from their homeland, treated as less than human and made to become “civilized” or be segregated due to the only culture they had known from birth.
To either be assimilated or separated. Like cattle, herded to a barren and seemingly desolate foreign land, compared to the one they’d known. No more to hear the song birds as they did in the woods, on the hills and valleys. To be in a land where only their God was familiar.
Have you ever had the thought, do I really want to know, when asking someone, “How are you doing?” Are you really concerned for their welfare, or is it just a formality, some sort of habit or method of greeting? When you answer such a question yourself, what is your answer?
Most folks answer with…and I do not even like writing it… “I’m good”. When I started thinking about why people usually say the same thing, my first impression was “What kind of answer is that”? I’m good. Well, good is an adjective. Adjectives are used to describe a noun. That much is literal. However, it is not proper grammatically. They should say, “I am well”. The word good only describes inanimate objects as fine, superior, excellent, and so on. In the dictionary or thesaurus, the adjective good, describing a person, lists synonyms like virtuous, righteous, moral, ethical, and high-minded. If one inserted any of these words in place of the word good, in answer to the greeting, “How are you doing?”, others would think them pompous or narcissistic.
My favorite answer ever, came from an autistic child, which quite honestly, first sparked my major inquiries into proper grammar, spoken communication, and etymology, which also brought me to the study of anthropology, making me question why different cultures view slang, and other devices in different ways. For now, back to the question at hand. I asked her how she was doing, and her reply, “I am doing coloring”. After that I clarified that the meaning of the question was to learn how the person was feeling, or how life was going for them. I got another question. “Why not ask, how are you feeling?” I thought for a moment and told the child that her question made good sense. Then explained that the question, “How are you doing?”, appeared to be a formality of both personal and non-personal conversation starters accepted among the general society in which we live. She was satisfied with that answer, she thought it was silly, but at least understood what this social interaction was about. Then she said she wanted to answer the question again and she said, “I am feeling happy, because I like to color pictures.” I was pleased with her answer as well.
So, although it is a pet peeve, which I have apparently passed on to my youngest daughter, the answer, “I’m good!”, is apparently acceptable even among educated people in positions of power, on this I will not elaborate but to say that it makes me cringe.
I wonder what folks would say or do, if, when they asked, “How are you doing?”, they received a reply, “Ecstatic, and a little mischievous today!”, or “I am a little stressed but hopeful”?
In case you were wondering. Today, I am feeling thoughtful and sad, about what was on my mind early this morning.
Perhaps, because of what was on my mind last night. The mass shooting in Connecticut, cut straight through my heart. The moment I woke up, I thought of my children, when they were little and innocent, like the victims, and of them as they are now, nearly adults. I also thought about the individual who caused the suffering of others. I wonder how this might have been avoided with communication. Unfortunately, we may never decipher the motivation of the killer, and we will definitely never know exactly what he was thinking, or feeling, as he has died.
My prayers, thoughts and meditations are towards the suffering families.
Today my thoughts are on Autumn, the way it was when I was a kid. The smell of change in the air, pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns, arrays of colored leaves, and candied or caramel apples at county fairs. The fall colors are reminders of the summer blooms, sand between my toes and not so distant memories of the lingering spring we had this year. This is the time of year for long walks, along a country lane, or a field, campfire roasts of marshmallows, making smores, and Halloween Trick or Treaters. Soon will come a time of Thanksgiving, which passes all too quickly!
This new calendar is a photographic compilation of bicycles on the streets of Amsterdam, Holland and other nearby towns. If you love Amsterdam and have ever visited, you will enjoy this calendar for months to come.