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It's a good time to appreciate one another.

It’s a good time to appreciate one another.

I have to say that John Lennon’s song, So This Is Christmas- War is Over, often runs  on the background hard drive of my brain during the holiday time. The promise of peace looms in my soul somewhat like those three-day work weeks my generation was told we’d live to see, and all due to technological advances that were to come.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

At times things don’t work out as planned.

Today, this glob writer has much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for readers in 82 countries who have clicked in almost 6 thousand times this year to check out what’s banging thru my head on a weekly basis. I have a home, and a lake home, a beach home and rentals to boot, and all from once having hitch-hiked 30 miles to a flea market with all the wares I had to sell on my back. I could go back to even worse times in my life, but I won’t. The simple truth is I’ve been lucky to live the American dream-moving from very little to something that is more than enough. And I have good friends. My job? Being a children’s librarian is about as good as it gets, but at 67 I can actually see the switch on the light at the end of the tunnel so, with luck, I’ll retire someday too soon for me. I’ve five books written. three are on Kindle and a fourth is about to come out -if I can just let go-and that’s all a blast.

This year could go head to head with any other I've had and come out well.

This year could go head to head with any other I’ve had and come out well.

It’s difficult at times for me as an American to realize much of the world’s people don’t have enough to live. It’s easy to look away.

It’s easy to forget the Lakota and other tribes still stand in freezing temperatures hoping to stop the pipeline.

I try to envision Isis truly being stopped, or morphed into a place where negotiation is possible. I still dream of massive food airlifts like the kind America ran in WW II being broadcast throughout the middle East as a huge international peace effort. Food, not bombs. I’d rather police use tranquilizer bullets when shooting people who are running away or held upon the ground by other police. Of course, our law people need to be safe as they go about their job of helping our society function.

At this point, American politics is a mosh pit of speculation. Is a boom or bust coming? Will the next four years or so be a drat splat dump we will wish to flush away in the future, or will these coming years be an awakening of a whole new kind of world-wide détente?Is prosperity our future?

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Some things are certain; the sand-hill Crane still fly south in the winter; migrations continue all over the world. Species extinctions are too prevalent and the sea levels are rising. Whether or not we have global warming, we all know CO2 emissions are not the way to go for the future of Mankind-so why the debate about global warming when the issue is emissions/pollution? Sometimes, I wonder-what’s up with the misdirection.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health - contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health – contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

In the end for now, we did just have Christmas, and we can hope for a happy New Year. Let’s hope together that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Let’s hope those who want to move forward in a kind, loving way that ‘s good for all species, the Earth and it’s people win the day.

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

So many of us pray for World Peace.

So many of us pray for World Peace.

Kindness, Truth, Justice and Life has to prevail. We can make it so-that’s the great part.

I looked different at 23 than I do today at 67, but I feel about the same inside, my hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

23 doesn’t look like 67, but I feel about the same today inside as I did back then. My hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

Peace. It's a wonderful bloom.

Peace. It’s a wonderful bloom. Let’s plant that flower.

Franque23 hopes you’ll forward this glob. Cheers

Thanks for being you.

Thanks for being you.

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(click the pic for a better view)

Having a terrible time down here....it might rain tomorrow!

I’m a nut for body surfing-the riding the ocean waves kind- more than once going out into tropical storm waves that towered over my head just to catch that ride. I’d rise and fall with those powerful waves so I might stroke at their top and slide down their belly, dragging my left arm in the water so I’d lift to the top of the same wave to slide down it once more before being smashed to the ocean floor or tumbled head over heels until my body met the bottom. My head full of salt water, my legs wobbling to straight, I’d dive under the next breaker and head out to do it over again, sometimes for hours on end.

WAVES UP!!!

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As a six-year-old, I spent glorious summer mornings on a beach blanket with my family at Long Island’s famous Jones Beach. There my sister and brother taught me how to body surf the shell stuffed, crashing waves.

The beach view stays in my head, that dazzling dark blue water line that meets a lighter blue sky so often dotted by white puffy clouds. My brother chose to live much further from the shore and once asked me what I liked most about the ocean. This view was my answer, though riding those waves…

Looking at the shrimp boat

Looking at the shrimp boat, this is the day my brother asked me about my love for the sea.

During my twenties I lived with my wife on North Tropical Trail near Cocoa Beach, Florida, swimming every morning while she and I started work in the mid-afternoons. My parents owned a house in Satellite Beach just south of Cocoa for over 35 years-that stood three blocks from the Atlantic.  We visited often with our family in tow.

 

Mom's last day at the beach....

Mom’s last day at the beach….at her home by the sea in Satellite Beach

14495454_10210068251967873_7571947101147003435_n If  you get to Ormomd Beach enjoy the Beach Bucket chow-14433094_10210068251527862_6345061734774287213_n Dale and I hung out and ate right on the beach side-standard fish place fare with a most spectacular view…

It wasn’t until this past weekend while spending three nights ocean side in Ormomd Beach that the question came to my mind once more: why do I love the beach so much?

the mornings are incredible at the beach,, and I did catch one--my wife took this shot.

The mornings are incredible at the beach,, and I did catch one-but my wife took this shot.

the balcony gave a great view....

The balcony gave a great view….

The sky trumpeted a light, bright fluorescent blue amusingly streaked in wispy white strands of clouds;

14502877_10210069047427759_894359846325182830_n the birds flew by in numbers I hadn’t seen for years; the waves, still driven by a recent tropical storm, crashed the even sandy shore making thunderous rumbling sounds one after the other, again and again.  I fell into a trance with my next sip of coffee.

I felt the warm sun, the breeze blew by feeling like a comforting newly washed bed sheet. Children’s laughter, the calling birds, waves crashing, all of it combined to even my breathing and still my head. Suddenly, as if I’d slipped, I felt as though I was inside the womb of the world, a startling place, a living, breathing , pulsating place of life so large it contained the entire earth.

That’s when it hit me.

I imagined myself back in my mother’s womb, resting comfortably with little to do but listen to the ongoing sound of blood rushing through my Mother’s veins and arteries as she breathed. One wave of rushing blood after another, and each with a slight pause before the next loud roar of life-giving blood and oxygen rattled my senses. This was the first I knew, maybe all I knew, and if I’d a thought, it would’ve been that this would go on forever since it had all come without rhyme or reason.  Does a newly conceived fetus decide to stay or go back? No. They stay inside within the ever flowing sounds of life.

Those same ocean waves, their crashing foam, their retreat only to smash the shore line once more has always tingled my ears and thrilled my being. Is it because they resonate so much like the first sounds I’d heard while inside my mother’s womb? To me, the likeness between the two lined up so well that the thought fit. I came to from my trance sitting in a place I’d always been. Yes, I’d arrived and walked away from my birth, but maybe merely from one womb into another, a much larger all-encompassing one; earth. And one sound the earth makes while breathing is that of the crashing sea upon any shore.

Up, down, in, out, over and under, swirling left or right, the waves move on and they’re never as far away as they might seem. The world is ever connected, including us. We are born to be born to be born. If we are not in our mother’s womb, then we romp in the womb of life. It’s nice to see it all now-the sea and life.

You've helped make our day, year-life.Way young but my shirt says it all….never far from the sea.

securedownloadPeace….we all love peace.

Franque23

My books are on Kindle…. The Avatar Magic series, by Gerald Franquemont..I hope you’ll read them….

 


The tide went out by afternoon and left the standing on bare ground.

The tide went out by afternoon and left the Torii gate standing on bare ground.

​It wasn’t too far from my daughter’s home in Kitsuki….a quick hour train ride-several hundred miles-and then a ferry over to this famous Island spot -the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyagima–We’d just arrived when a helpful person took our picture, and we would spend the entire day there–Kelly and I climbed up a steep path cut in stone to the top of a mountain higher than the one in the background…We had about 300 more yards to go to reach the top when we both decided to turn around and go back. The view was fab.

One thing-there’s a strong tide here–by afternoon the famous shrine stood completely on dry sea bed,,,people were everywhere digging up clams…we walked under the shrine that has stood in place since 1875. There had been a series of others in its place before then. The structure is made entirely of camphor logs…way thick, maybe fifteen feet around at the bases, and that thing stands about fifty or more feet tall……

Wild, miniature deer were everywhere to pet, feed or just enjoy.

soft and warm....

soft and warm….

The smell of easy to eat nibbles- skewered veggies and various meats-drifted through the air. A bunch of shops and vendors selling wares of every type lined the land side of the ocean walkway—As in many of the places we saw in Japan, there was an abundance of finely made china for sale, cups, plates, every kind of bowl. Most places offered to ship either for free or for  very little cost.

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Kelly’s home in Kitsuki was flanked by large bamboo….

The streets were crowded with open fish markets and veggie stands in some parts of Beppu.

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We strolled by thermally heated smoking land vents that hissed in many places about the town.

This pic is taken at a local park,, but steaming vents like this one is common around town.

This pic is taken at a local park,, but steaming vents like this one are common around town in Beppu.

Most memorable was lying in the naturally heated black beach sand by the ocean-quite the thing. Dale noted that after that hour-long rest, and quick shower, the heated summer day felt remarkably cool. The process was simple enough.

Someone shovels the heated sand on you...

Someone shovels the heated sand on you…

Then you lay like a heated lump on the beach for about an hour.

Then you lay like a heated lump on the beach for about an hour.

 

205626_1996162468753_7543855_nOf course, we had to go to the famous Gion district of Kyoto where Memoirs of a Geisha took place. We saw several Geisha impersonators,,posing for pictures as if they were Geisha’s, which our daughter explained would never happen. Then, by stroke of luck, we came upon a gang of paparazzi who were wanting in the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of a real geisha as she excited her apartment and fled into a waiting taxi… But best of all was the, “All my favorite things,” (omyyakamomy -maybe) pancakie thingy I ate in some off-street food joint that served beer as well…really fun,,,and the whole scene(abstractly written) is in my second book of Avatar Magic-The Code of Avatar Magic-*

The sakura, cheery blossoms, were in full swing that May-

The sakura, cherry blossoms, were in full swing that May-

We were lucky to hit the Sakura bloom just right. The land blazed light pink and cherry colors everywhere. While this riotous season is happening, the Japanese talk among themselves as if reporting the blooms like a weather event….It’s not a 90 % chance of rain, but rather, “The Sakura is at 85% south of Kitsuki.” Another might respond, “No, I think it’s more like 90%.”

The shrines, the Sakura, tha mountains and ocean, all of it made Japan a magical place to see.

The shrines, the Sakura, the mountains and ocean, all of it made Japan a magical place to see.

Kelly lived in Japan for five years teaching English to middle schoolers.

Kelly lived in Japan for five years teaching English to middle schoolers.

I loved every minute we spent in Japan--you really should go.

I loved every minute we spent in Japan–you really should go.

One of our first stops that visit was the Emperor’s palace and garden grounds…Hello…really? Disney can’t touch this.

I believe this is where Dale and I saw a wedding taking place on the Emporer's grounds....

I believe this is where Dale and I saw a wedding taking place on the Emperor’s grounds….

The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura....

The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura….

So yeah, even though I’ve previously posted three other globs covering our visits to Japan, there’s still so much more to tell. The last samurai castle to once have actively guarded a place in Japan, Kitsuki; the one million monkeys of Monkey Mountain; Oita and the walk on my back; ground zero at Hiroshima and the real beef of Kobe that I got to eat ON MY Birthday! Wowowow….Tender gains a new meaning.

We really need to talk this over in an onsen. There’s nothing like a Japanese hot public bath house….I’ve completely covered the procedure to follow in one of these houses* in another blog/glob so you won’t be freaked when we meet there…

The Japanese Onsen-a better part of our world.

The Japanese Onsen-a better part of our world.

You can go men/ women or separated-up to you.

You can go men/ women or separated-up to you.

But I have to say, going to men only and then bowing to a cleaning lady/girl while standing butt naked felt a bit off…

Cheers from the beautiful memories of Japan….

Franque23.

 

Exactly how to do an Onsen in Japan…https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/onsens-for-a-clean-life/

 


You know the type- the annoying workmate that smiles even in the morning, lends you two helping hands when all you asked for was one, continually makes the day better and makes you forget you wish it were over. I’m surrounded by the type-turkey’s every one of them.12279013_10208140762667012_8713307563898335197_n (1)

Odette’s turkey hat craft tortured old and young alike this year.AlachuaCountyLibraryDowntown_100kW

http://www.aclib.us/headquarters(link-a-dink to the Alachua County Library district.)The main, Headquarter’s branch is a big deal building, housing over 250,000 items, visited by 3,000 people on a slow day and checking out over 1 million items per year.

Sometimes, I just have to put one foot in front of the other and drag myself in to work with our rafter of Youth Service people. Imagine the whole flock being made up of people who like to help others on a daily basis, and it only gets worse. These liberrians( from the often used pronunciation, most seem to think we grow on trees.) like to share information, read, laugh, smile-never yell-stay pleasant, think proactively, design endless displays, tell stories during elaborate story hours presented throughout the county, and they like to nibble. Real Gobblers this group. In fact, I think we should call one table inside our office the official, Nibble Table-wait, the entire office-The Nibble Office. Better. In all, it’s a disgusting display of happiness around here-a nightmare montage of good feelings I must navigate through every working hour!

This is giving me an idea…..

images (23) Ya know how we have all those happy days like Thanksgiving, the Holidays(code for Christmas) Thank God for Parents day(wait-do we have one of these?) Anyway….what we need around here is an official crappy day -a cathartic day of the year, one left open for only complaints, grips, groans, pukey ideas, grumbling and saying what’s on our mind day. We could call it, The Colossal Crappy Day. But why stop at one, when we could have,say,,, four a year?!?!?!

Right now,  what’s amazing is that this post has nothing in it that even closely resembles what I meant to write about. No, this post is about the Library building I put on display, how much awful fun it was creating, and how many patrons regrettably enjoy it.12195848_1049487265082047_5704119365050262721_n

So yeah, it’s like a doll house, you can even find stacks of books and stuff by looking into the side windows or into the second story window.12191492_1049487311748709_2641903970150508098_n

I’m using the bright reflective neon paper that’s attached to the backside of the trees to get the added fall reflection look.

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Have trees, have squirrels*(God’s motto.)…Well,  one thing’s certain-this squirrel’s not the only one who has a bunch of nuts around him.

red team winners

I ask you! Who are these people!

And my director(she’s really my supervisor, but, shhh, don’t mention that to her) keeps thinking of more to do, more to eat and stuff.1965012_786280751406619_7639099478551129472_n

She keeps an eye on me.

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And really, all the gals I work with wear a bunch of hats on a daily basis- it’s that do this, do that, get stuff done attitude they all don that screws up many perfectly good, non-productive days.

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Personally, I have to ask, why so many hats? It’s only one job!?!?!

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I’m your basic one hat sort of guy, period. (Pay no attention to the stuffed animals, puppets, clown shoes, tinsel or that other hat on my desk.)

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Okay, also pay no attention to maybe a second hat, or four, or the Grinch, the moose, the royal carriage, and the winged Pegasus you can’t see to boot. There, that’s as far as I take it-the rest is all hard work; end of story-sorta. Let the others do all the miserable laughing.

Merry Thanksgiving anyway, and enjoy the turkey’s-I do.

Franque23

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Time to eat.

Book one of the Avatar magic Trilogy, Avatar Magic, and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic, and the final book of this trilogy, Survival, are on kindle now. Please enjoy this Sci-fi romance. I hope you buy the books; I hope you enjoy reading the books; I hope you will review the books; I hope you will share the books.

Book One: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0NYO80
Book Two: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXMIIOK

Book Three: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018RX67BW

 

 

 

 

 


There was an odd thing about this latest cruise-I couldn’t lose weight no matter how much I ate!*

Honestly, I stayed dedicated to the diet, the attempt of a lifetime, certain to drain some of those unwanted pounds right into the ocean, but it was a no go.

I tried every thing.

Maybe, this guy did, too.

Maybe, not everything…

 

No amount of fruit-all kinds- or drinks, smashes, frozen, a zillion shots in one cup!, beer(s) on tap, iced funny named booze, rum-filled pineapples that mysteriously looked like coconuts to me by day four, hot coffee, cold soda and one million gallons of water-forget it, nothing washed away the pounds!

I hammered the pork loin, roast beef, filet mignon(s), Chateaubriand-I can’t Belize how much they expected me to eat. But, I only ate two lobsters-this the weakest link of my feel and look young again planned execution for the cruise.

I had a solid, well thought out plan in place.

I had a solid, well thought out plan in place.

Lobsters swam through my dreams by night; veggies up the kazoo filled my plate by day. Omelets included kitchen sinks, and why not bacon, sausage, and chicken fingers for breakfast(?). I was tempted to pass up the cookies but never the flanges, meringues, I never tasted mango cream pie like that-not to mention the mango soup-but was there a type of cake I missed?-I think not. Still, I knew several helpings of cherry, blueberry or whatever berry crumb pie wouldn’t tilt my scale an inch. NO. I needed something more, but what?

Late night BUFFETS had to be the key to losing weight.

Of course, there was still a chance those mid-afternoon fix-a-stomach-slump piled a mile high burgers and fat fries would do the trick. Lord knows having four appetizers before dinner had failed miserably. Added to my chagrin, fellow sail-mate, Mike, could very well have been out eating me! I could see his face getting thinner by the day!

In the end, there was still more to eat.

I mean, one day is only one day. It was time to eat on. That’s when those late night pizza’s, sandwiches, surprise open buffet-Look more deserts!- came in handy to the plate before me. Fortunately for my eat away fat plan, the plates offered resembled foot ball fields that had been molded upward at the edges and stacked so they might be passed off as lunch/dinner dishes. They barely cleared the doorways. It was so simple to choose what to take from the selections offered-everything would fit nicely on those plates.

This cruiser was starting to get the idea.....

This cruiser was starting to get the idea…..

Foodish cruisin’ connoisseurs needed a fork and a fork lift to help haul food plates around as they selected seating. Mostly, the passengers were your average folk.

Some looked familiar.

Some looked familiar.

Others had a vague look in their eye, like ones  seen on mathematicians or scientists.

Others had a vague look in their eye, like ones seen on the faces of mathematicians or scientists.

It was around Thursday, the fifth day of this cruising for losing voyage,  when my eat-the-galley-empty platform began to kick in. The ocean had been rockin’ for days, now my stomach had learned the tune. Nah, I wasn’t sea-sick, not at all-loved the rocking.(perk for alcoholics–no one could tell a drunk from someone sober when most people were banging against stairwells and corridor walls as they motivated to the next buffet line-honest.) Anyway, it was on Thursday afternoon when I looked upon the beautiful Caribbean turquoise waters and knew I’d succeeded.  I couldn’t eat another thing! I was done, finished, call it a wrap, over, full, completely out of the eating running game….until dinner. Those two hours were amazing, but for the hamburger…

Random idea-thought I’d float this on by.

images (23)The Spa really needs to add mouth stretching to its list of optional treatments.

About those burgers. The miracle was there. You get one, simple cheese burger and then float by a buffet add-on deal. Pickles, onion, olives, peppers, chili peppers, mushrooms, need more lettuce? and what about that special sauce anyway? Thing is, by the time I reached the other end of the maybe add this bar I didn’t have a hamburger anymore. It was more like a miniature Mount Everest had settled on my plate, and then it soon landed in my stomach.

I think this guy forgot the onions.....

I think this guy forgot the onions…..

I remember thinking that my stomach had come to resemble a ski-slope. That’s why I went down the three water work slides-somehow it all made sense.

When I add up the cost of all the food I diligently ate in an effort to lose weight, I figure the cruise ship lost about five thousand dollars on me. NO need to worry-I noticed most nights people were only eating one or two entrees at dinner. Certainly, the normal run-of-the-mill guest didn’t touch the five entrees I’d once ordered on a cruise some time back.( I am forever family famous for that as being one who’d mastered a gluttonous expertise.)

The SunShine six! Funny how the police give you a name and it somehow sticks!

The SunShine six! Funny how the police give you a name and it somehow sticks!

It is with a remorseful sense of failure to comply to the strictest of standards when it comes to dietary eating that I must confess I am not lacking a single pound that I’d carried on board that ship at the start of the cruise. NO, the chocolate mousse, cheese Danish, Russian knock-offs and Istanbul wannabe cream puffs, the meringues, melting cups, cheese cakes, so many flange cakes of every flavor, those dang mango mille feuilles and panna cottas all went for naught.

I stared out our cabin window wondering where all that food i"d eaten had gone?!?! Then, I looked down. (Hint:Never look down on a cruise.)

I stared out our cabin window wondering where all that food I’d eaten had gone?!?! Then, I looked down. (Hint: Never look down on a cruise.)

Thing is, nothing worked about my plan, and I blame this all on those two nights I passed up the cream brulee. What was I thinking! I guess there’s always next time. “Try harder!” That’s what dad used to say.

Franquefood.

* Absolutely my wife’s joke.

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

 

 

 


(click on pictures to make them larger.)

No, the country didn’t land in our lap, our daughter and family flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa to help pick and eat our oranges.  My daughter has been picking oranges all her life, starting with my dad’s trees in Satellite Beach, Florida. She’s an absolute pickin’ pro, and when she heard about our crop this year, she had to come( She may have had one or two more reasons for making he two-day flight.) About that orange crop in our yard this year! Boom! Smash, whoa-what a doozy, who could count all of them? Well, me-almost down to the last orange-those are still left to pick.

We've picked over 1200 oranges form our property since Nov. 1st*

We’ve picked over 1200 oranges from our property since Nov. 1st* This tree has about 200 more on it, the Valencia will ripen now through February …

We have so many oranges, I’ve started throwing them for Shadow to chase instead of using tennis balls—it’s all good!

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits bye

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits by.

Then, I fling an orange and wait for its return.

At first, I didn't think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything....

At first, I didn’t think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything….the oranges are fine to use after double tasking as balls

Speaking of eating, like I said, Kelly and her family came to eat.

The plane flight was worth it

The plane flight was worth it—-her daughter didn’t fall far from the tree! She’s not letting go of that orange.

But, it wasn’t all about eating oranges. Reading was a foot!

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning....

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning….Shadow, however, only wanted to watch his ‘T.V.’

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

Of the 1200 hundred we’ve picked so far, only about 55 have gone to waste, thanks to our daughter’s families appetites, our neighbors, church groups and workmates got bunches, too. Heck, even our doctors got oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

So it was an orange you glad to see me kinda of Holiday this year. Next season-who knows?!?! It’s mostly all in the weather.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit form Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit from Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It’s such a joy to see family, and to grow food, too.  See one another whenever you can, and plant those trees and seeds as well.

Cheers from Florida! Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

It’s said that the rainbow is God’s promise to us that it won’t rain again too badly ever again.

a sign that we are in the clear

a sign that we are in the clear

Thing is, he gave us another sign, too. That sign is called snow.

favorite picture of number two daughter

favorite picture of number two daughter standing in God’s second sign….( taken at Natural Bridge, New York.)

Yeah, that’s right. The white covered trees, snow-covered roofs and crystal white ground is a clear message sent to us from above. It’s God’s way of putting out a white flag, covering areas of the earth with the flag of surrender, as in give up on this place. He begs us each year with a blanket of freezing white to heed his warning and go forth, go to the light, and prosper. But do we listen? It’s no accident that the word snow has the word “no” inside it.

I did have fun building snow men.....

I did have fun building snow men…..

Few know that the word snow stands for, “Sweet Jesus, no one will live here.” This is because the original, S.J.N.O.W. L.H., group, back in bazillion BC , or twelve years ago, received the message but didn’t listen. Not that they were Hebrews, but doesn’t this sound familiar? I mean, we have a whole book about those gifted with knowledge who didn’t listen. Anyway, this S.J.N.O.W.L.H. group went forward into the land of snow and froze their gonads off. Soon, the entire race perished-no off spring, (no surprise here).All that was left of the entire disobedient race was a simple fragmented wall etching that read ** S.N.O.W.** What I’m thinking is that snow is frozen water, and people are made up of over 50% water! Hello, which half of you would you like to freeze off today? See? None of this I’m gonna live in a frozen tundra makes sense. Plus, who the hell shovels a driveway and then goes to work?  No. Me? I go back to bed-‘Honey the driveway is clear’.

A friends house up  in Northern New State near our Lake house.....

A friend’s house up in Northern New State. Sometimes, I think people up North haven’t noticed that it’s cold?

Fact: the word slosh first came into our vernacular once brain surgery became an item.  It was then, when surgeons, and scientists like Frankincense,(not the weird-o Frankenstein-geez, that’d be lame) where opening a frozen northern person’s left and right brain lobe that a pizza delivery boy said, “Wow, what would you call that? Slosh?” The term stuck on through sleet and snow and objections from the House of Representatives. In the end, snow days aren’t worth loosing appendages. It beats me why people would stay in a place that God has already plainly marked a no unzip your fly zone, throw in the towel cause the water lines are rock solid frozen zone, and a look out, that roof might collapse catastrophic set. I wonder as much as the Hebrew’s wandered about all of this-but at least that lost tribe was in a desert, so they had it good.

our home up north.....but a summer home.

our home up north. (Lake Bonaparte) ….but a summer home.

There’s  a reason they call a joke a snow job. You know what? Come to think of it, I agree with you Northern shoveling people-why sell your homes? Why leave your snow plow behind and buy cheaper homes down south were your heating bills won’t matter and your back won’t hurt? There are so many puddles down here, and that dang ocean nearby is full of water.

Having a terrible time down here....it might rain tomorrow!

Having a terrible time down here….it might rain tomorrow!

Plus, our empty roads are such a sleeper. You’ve got it good. Free ice, too! You know what they say; numb toes still add up to ten if you have them! Cheers. Franque23 is cold at fifty degrees-who’d like that?

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

It’s a big house, we have so many rooms.  They all seem full. Our daughter and family from South Africa will stay for many days, but never enough.  Added, we have more family visits-a montage of cousins, their parents and relatives happily shuffle in and out. Some days, I cook for thirteen, other days, just for  five.

rockin- around the Christmas tree...rooms full of crumpled wrapping paper, toys and people.

rockin- around the Christmas tree…rooms full of crumpled wrapping paper, toys and people.

Of course, the stay means more than just having numbers of special people in our house. My two daughters and their children light the moon and beyond with their glow. My ears hear their laughter and the children’s mischief-rocking, rolling, young ones banging against banisters and struggling to open outside doors we have locked for security.

The ruckus really starts outside. So many riders-rolling plastic look-a- like cars, peddle pushers and simple gliders-wheels roaring down our block of a hill as our grandchildren swift by while beaming smiles through their cheeks and eyes.

(I think if you log into FB you can watch this one minute clip.)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10205477937698786&set=vb.1561249536&type=2&theater

There’s no sense of urgency; no bills to pay; no time to keep. Today is forever. For a brief moment, my daughter from Africa can share a face to face laugh with my daughter who lives a mere thirty minutes from our house. We can can make faces, laugh, and even touch one another.

There is a world full of sand to discover and mold in our hands!

There is a world full of sand to discover and mold in our hands!

Cousins  best teach one another how to slide through life!

Cousins best teach one another how to slide through life!

Heaven arrives in many unexpected ways.  Now, part of that light is gone. Our house, the halls and the rooms feel empty, maybe forgotten?

Our oldest daughter has left for Africa.

It's time to cross another bridge.....(Kelly and Hiro in Africa)

It’s time to cross another bridge…..(Kelly and Hiro in Africa-Swaziland , I believe.)

The company is gone, and my wife and I are back to two.  We sit tonight in such a house, full of empty halls and unused bedrooms.

It was a great Holiday for us.....

It was a great Holiday for us…..

Our home feels as empty as my work place a few days before the holidays.

Tonight our home feels as empty as my work place was a few days before the holidays.

The road doesn’t thunder with the sound of fun that should never stop. Life, or maybe the lack of it, is back. My wife and I sit together as two grandparents on a couch once more…waiting; loving; hoping; and praying for safe journeys.

Safe travels as our loved ones take off into the sunset or motor back home.*

Safe travels as our loved ones take off into the sunset or motor back home.*

Franque23

*This is Cassie Anderson’s first acrylic painting. She gifted me this painting. It depicts my cousin and I fishing in the sunset-a favorite pastime of ours.

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

The Man with a Wave….
 

I first saw him very close to New Year’s day. It was early morning. He stood by the roadside wearing a tattered suit coat that hung loosely from his shoulders. To his back stretched a long dirt road that was lined on each side by towering oaks. I imagined the man to be as old as they were. He was about six feet tall, thin, and I thought at once he should have a cane to help support his stature against the wind, but his hands were free. He donned a grey, wide-brimmed crumpled hat, and then he waved.

This is the exact intersection where I first and last  saw the man with the wave

This is the exact intersection where I first and last saw the man with the wave(pictured 30 years later)

The man’s wave startled me and my cup of coffee. It was a simple wave, one he capped off with an earnest smile.  I never could have guessed I’d see him so many days from then on, standing by his lonesome along the roadside waving to me each morning, or in my memory so vividly some thirty years later.

It is a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

It’s a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

 I found myself waving back to this man each day as I zoomed on to work. I’d yell out, “The man with the wave!” and extend my hand toward the man in triumphant affirmation that life was good. The event became so important to my mental health that each morning I hoped the man would be in place to issue the new day and my life his ‘official’ greeting. If not, I got gloomy. Who’d have ever have thought a wave could do that?

The months passed, soon a year slipped by. But, he was still there by the roadside every morning, waving to me and making my day. I often wondered if he’d walked down the dirt road to the hard top just to wave to me. I thought it possible that someone dropped him off at the corner.  Maybe he was waiting for a bus or, perhaps, for another person to pick him up? Certainly, he must have realized by my return smile and wave how his simple gesture of kindness lifted my spirits! I wish I’d asked, or told him.

I never stopped to speak with this man. Why? In retrospect I can say that his wave meant so much to me that there seemed to be no need to expand our interaction! I carried his wave and smile with me all day as I assumed he would mine-or so I hoped. Then, it happened.

The first few days I didn’t see the man with a wave found me holding out hope that I’d see him the next.  More than once, I waved at the empty roadside corner, and peered down the dirt road hoping to see if he was coming along the way. This went on for weeks.

.IMG0026B

I quickly looked down the road to see if the man was there as I drove past.

But, finally, I had to give up hope. His absence was a bitter loss. My heart found peace only when I promised myself never to forget the man with the wave, and how his smile and raised hand had meant so much to me. I also promised to write his story.

So, now you know.

I'll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

I’ll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

Every day around this time of year I remember the man with a wave. I smile to a stranger and raise my hand to say hello as I pass them by. I owe that to the mysterious man who gave me his wave. Plus, it’s fun to see people’s faces light up when I greet them for no apparent reason. Of course, secretly, I hope that they, too, will never forget.

Happy Holidays. Peace.

Franque23.

here are the links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

I see your four.....

I see your four…..

and raise you seven.....

and raise you seven…..

It is fun to give and receive, but many of us live buried by a mountain of fun stuff made of things we very often can’t find when we want too. Maybe, this season, it’s time to dig out, and to keep only the one thing that matters most-love. But not, however, if you have pets or small children.

The pets and children, if you can, should be found under an avalanche of  gifts to unwrap. treats and planted kisses during the holidays. They won’t get spoiled, and pets will rip up the toys so you can throw them out, or young children will forget the next day what they got-those can get recycled to others.

Pets give us comfort year round.....they need a break!

Pets give us comfort year round…..they need a break!

Even wrapped empty boxes will do fine. I remember empty boxes. You could get pulled or pushed around in them, go outside and slide down hills of grass or snow on them, line them up inside or out to create tunnels to crawl through or wear them and become a space monster or robot instantly.

NO hidden fees here...

NO hidden fees here…wait-these children have ‘cubic’ feet? WTH?

A tunnel of love...speaking of love-

A tunnel of love…speaking of love-

Parents and small children can search together and thrash around inside an empty box to find what’s really there: love. That’s the best surprise of all!

Most of us older folks want to find the same surprise inside.

People know it’s true.  We need to let things go, or come to us; we should care but not control, at least, not too much. If we keep an open mine, relax, accept what comes and make the most of our lot, then, more often than not,  magical doors open without us knowing. We glide along without too much strife and end up sitting on soft couches. The clock-work of Life turns in our favor and we run in places we are meant to be. That seems simple enough, but it’s not.

Not sure-maybe a ruff photo shop....

Not sure-maybe a ruff ruff photo shop….

One zillion added features to the jaunt we call Life muck up our daily living. We all live as if  surrounded by shutters that keep us from enjoying a clear vision when it comes to what we should do and where we should live, or who we really are or could be. Too shy, so overly timid, easily swayed, it’s as the horses say: you can lead people to knowledge, but you can’t make them think….

For most, Life is a selection process; even happiness is a choice.

This post’s random shot.

Lovers unite....

Lovers unite….

A person could search for one hundred years and never find another of beauty if their head is turned the wrong way, and their mind lured by only what it sees and not by what it knows. It’s obvious that beauty is in the soul, and that joining with people who seek to be real, honest, caring, inquisitive and enduring creates the path that best leads to a lifetime of peace and understanding. But so few follow that road.

One sign is a lie....

One sign is a lie….

Why?  Our mind is like a crow, that collects all that glitters no matter how uncomfortable our nests get*….and when we do this, no matter what we have or who we are, we live in solitude, alone in the middle of so much meaningless stuff…Welcome to Christmas.

The Holidays. It used to be the season of joyful feelings meant a wassail drink shared with a friend,

I remember back in my college days hearing someone say, "Let's aprty til we puke!" Of course, I never did that, not weekly-that would've been soooo wrong.

I remember back in my college days hearing someone say, “Let’s party til we puke!” Of course, I never did that, not weekly-that would’ve been soooo wrong.

or warm home-fires,

Keep them burning....

Keep them burning….

a nod hello, maybe a helping hand and, perhaps, a small gift-one more thoughtful than expensive.

"psst....it's Christmas!"

“psst….it’s Christmas!”

Now? TV Land pictures new cars outrageously priced parked in driveways with bows on them. Buick runs an add today that features people who’ve been trashed-black eyes, frazzled faces- by shopping the wee hours of black Friday. They claim to have saved several hundred dollars on items they bought while their neighbor points to a new car they bought the same day during normal business hours. “We saved thousands!”, the new car owners exclaim!!! Here’s an idea—don’t buy the car at all and save , oh, about, 45 grand….Cheers!**

Life’s in the eye of the beholder, and there’s no better sight than seeing true love in another’s eye.

Love is our best reflection.....(photo: Lachan Franquemont.)

Love is our best reflection…..(photo: Lachlan Franquemont.)

Be that vision a flash from a child to a parent, a glance between loved ones, or blossomed in the rare moment when two strangers meet on the street and care about one another for just an instant, Love radiates and collects at the same time. Love is the energy, the light, the comfort and wisdom we all seek.

We all feel the force(Picture by, Lachan Franquemont, you should see his others!)

We all feel the force of Love. (Picture by, Lachlan Franquemont, you should see his others!)

Here’s to us all opening up that box  of feelings we keep so well wrapped inside us for most of the year-those innermost needs we all have to share our love and receive this gift from others. No, we can’t light up a room by opening up, but we can light up another. More. Maybe, we could light up several hundred people by the time the New Year comes!?!?! Wouldn’t that be fun? I think so.

Holiday Cheer. Tis’ is the Season so don’t tussle with the small stuff when it comes to sharing your love.  And, oh, wanna smile…check this out…

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=743472852398048&fref=nf

Franque23

* Zen-baby…

** My brother-in-laws idea…

here’s links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

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