August 7, 2022
Good morning my friends. I hope you are doing well and enjoying life. I’m attending a family reunion this weekend in Ohio. It began with a dessert and drinks gathering Friday night. The fun continued Saturday with an all day picnic. The family weekend will conclude today with Sunday brunch. The days have been filled with lots of cousins, family (obviously) and love. Each event (and my visit) definitely had no shortage of food, hugs, fun, awesome memories and wonderful people! When Italians throw a family party (big or small), you can bet your rear there will be a vast assortment of delicious dishes, desserts and wine. This weekend has been no exception! It’s always fabulous seeing relatives you haven’t seen in a while; no matter if it’s been a day or years. I saw some of the same family members, a couple months ago, for a wedding anniversary party. Seeing them again for this event was just as fantastic! I wish more cousins would have attended. I realize travel across the country isn’t always easy or possible for some. My question; how many more opportunities will you have to visit with family? Family and friends are the life blood of my existence and mean everything to me. I’m happy and thankful my parents instilled that amazing family gene in my sister and I. Our family picnic / reunions began years ago, in Ohio, when I was a kid. They have evolved over the years; alternating each summer between Ohio and California. I had the opportunity to host one several years ago. It was an exciting and fun day; like many others. My Dad organized so many of these family events, it was second nature for him. He provided his expertise and guidance, to assist me with my planning. I miss my Dad every day (and my Mom too). He was my best friend; always sharing his knowledge and wisdom. I wish I could have my family with me, near me or close to me every single day. Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggeration, but I think you know what I mean. Family times are fun, crazy, opinionated, happy, sad and always full of love. There is nothing better than great family and friends! I love my family!
My parents moved to Southern California, in the early 1950s, before I was born. I was lucky to have aunts, uncles and cousins living close by; with others in Ohio and some scattered from coast to coast. For a young kid, it seemed like every weekend there was a family event. We’d visit a relatives’ home, or there was someone visiting us. The rotating gatherings made it very natural to always have family around. Reunions, dinners and family events were the absolute best! Many of my most favorite childhood memories (teen and adult too), revolve around family, food, summer, reunions at the park and holiday gatherings. Living in SoCal was the best, because the weather was great all year round. Kids played outside, while the adults socialized inside. I recall; the women were inside making food, while the men were outside playing bocce or on the patio playing cards. These activities and fun stayed consistent coast to coast. I was one lucky kid; with good parents; and fun aunts, uncles and plenty of cousins. Families; large or small, close or far, are amazing and wonderful entities of support and motivation. We may not always agree (as is true for all of life’s interactions), but we always have each other’s back, not matter what.
It’s both sad and disheartening, realizing the family unit (across America), is crumbling, dissolving or just non-existent. Families, (especially parents that take an active role in their child’s life), are such an important aspect of kids development and growth. Children need focus, guidance, discipline, motivation and love. Parents who provide direction; set the example for what’s right and wrong, truth, honesty and respect; set the foundation for their child’s future. A strong support system, of a proactive family, teaches the character traits needed to succeed in life. There are times, it may be a single parent, grandparent or relative, that steps in to provide this invaluable resource. Without these fantastic and loving individuals, kids are left alone to determine their own path. Life has enough hurdles, especially today, with added peer pressure, social media and the advertising blitz from every day advertising marketing campaigns. Our children deserve all the necessary resources we can offer, to assist them in navigating the world ahead. Kids need parents, and family, to teach and help them learn, mature and become adults. It’s a crazy world out there and we’re living in dangerous times. Please give your children the support and foundational tools to be happy and successful adults. They are the future of this planet.
This weekend marks the anniversary of another significant event for our nation (and world) history. America ushered in the atomic age seventy-seven years. During World War II, America sought out our nation’s physicists. President Roosevelt put them to work developing a new bomb. Several remote locations were utilized to maintain secrecy and outside interference. Other nations were working, in the attempt, to develop similar capabilities. Many of the thousands of individuals who worked on the Manhattan Project, either didn’t know, or had little details on the projects purpose. The code names, Fat Man and Little Boy, referred to the bombs. The untested work (at the time) with uranium and plutonium, brought us into the world of nuclear weapons. On August 6th and 9th, 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The use of these newly developed weapons brought an end to World War II with Japan. The blasts killed thousands of people, both from the initial detonations and later from radiation contamination. The two cities were completely destroyed from the blasts across the sky. It’s sad the use of these weapons was necessary to end this brutal and deadly war. I doubt any of the individuals (who worked on this project) knew or understood what the consequences of their actions would be; or the devastation and death these instruments of destruction would create. From that moment on, the world be forever changed. America introduced the world to the atomic and nuclear era. Now many nations, across our planet, are armed with these catastrophic weapons of mass destruction. The locations where testing was conducted, bombs exploded or nuclear accidents occurred, have forever scarred our planet. We may never know the true numbers of individuals killed or affected by these horrific devices of death and mutilation. I pray we never witness these events again.
I love my family, friends and life. I hope and pray that no nation, deranged leader or group, now or in the future, takes us down the path to annihilation. Living in, or worrying about, the past serves no purpose. Reflecting and learning from history, and the events that shape our future, can be beneficial. Knowing the consequences and understanding the dangers of conflict and war, hopefully will restrain nations from utilizing these devices in the future. Live now, in the present, as tomorrow is not promised. Use your time on this earth wisely; spending quality time with family and friends. Tell the people you cherish, you love them. Take the time to share incredible memories together. Live your passions, dream new dreams; while you reach for your stars every day. Love your life and it will love you back. Follow your dreams. They know the way.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The puzzle of life is always changing. Change can lead to amazing opportunities. Together, let’s be healthy and strong; mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!