Sunday, December 11, 2016

Warmest Regards

Saturday, October 6, 2012

When my daughter Maria came to visit for almost three weeks, she got a close-up look at how things work in the Mihalik-Allen household.

I think it was good for her to see how a strong marriage sustains itself, especially one between two strongly independent individuals.

Yes, I know. A clergyman has told me that "independent" and marriage don't mix.

"The thing wrong with marriages today," he said, "is that a couple continues to think as two separate units. They need to forget the word 'I' and think in terms of 'we.'"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

One of the things I try to do is to celebrate every aspect of life.

I think life is this huge, incredible smorgasbord of delights and I want to savor every bite.

I do it by "inhaling the moment." I try to pause during the small moments of life that make up daily life to really feel with all my senses.

First thing every morning, I smell the freshly brewed pot of coffee and celebrate the goodness of that first sip.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Last week my friend Janice asked me a simple question: Does my daughter like ice cream. I had to say I didn't know.

"What do you mean, you don't know. You don't know if your own daughter eats ice cream?" she retorted.

My two daughters and I are faithful in keeping in touch via phone at least twice a week. We are "sharers" and I think we have plenty of in-depth conversations, way beyond superficial talk.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

While I was waiting my turn in a beauty salon, several mothers struck up an interesting conversation. They were debating how far parents should go to help their children.

Their kids never did anything for themselves, they said, and it's getting worse as they get older.

It's so bad, one woman said, that her son refuses to fill out his own college application. She has to do it for him.

"I don't know where he would be without me," she said, "because he won't do anything for himself."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

When it comes to hurricanes, there are two major types of people.

One group is adventurous enough to think hurricanes are just one more adventure.

The other group gets anxiety ridden as a hurricane nears.

I used to belong to the adventurous group. Because we usually vacationed at the Outer Banks of North Carolina during hurricane season, we were there during four or five hurricanes. We regarded each one as an adventure with never a thought given to danger.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How loud would you sing if you didn't know you couldn't carry a tune?

How long would you dance if you didn't know you can't dance?

How differently would you live life if you didn't say the words, "I can't?"

We all have voices that guide and shape us parents, teachers, perhaps loved ones. But the most powerful and influential voice in our life is the voice inside our head.

That inner voice controls our actions. Sometimes our inner voice clips our wings and stops us from doing something we would enjoy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What's the biggest mistake you ever made in life?

My answer is, I gave into a lifelong dream and bought a boat.

When I landed my first job, the first thing I did after I saved some money was to buy my own car. Then I wanted to buy a boat.

I still recall the day I was riding with my dad and saw a bright red boat with a for sale sign sitting on a lawn. It listed $500 as the asking price.

"Dad, I can afford to buy that boat," I said.

I will never forget his answer.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's the most important thing you ever lost?

I thought about that question this week when I lost my cell phone. For 10 days, I went crazy searching every corner of our home.

Being without a cell phone makes me feel vulnerable. Leaving home without my cell phone is almost akin to going nude – I am completely aware something essential is missing.

How did we ever manage without cell phones?

One thing is certain: I feel safer driving with my cell phone handy in case of emergency. I especially feel that way when it comes to biking.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

When I called a relative to wish him a happy 65th birthday, he said the day was nothing special. He was just having a quiet day at home.

His good news was that for the first time in four years, he received a birthday card from his estranged daughter. It was just a small, generic card, he says. Totally without sentiment. Not enough of a gesture to heal whatever happened between them. But perhaps it's a start.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Near twilight, I sit outdoors behind my home, totally content as I listen to the sounds of summer.

The tree frogs are serenading and a bird that sounds more like a goose with a cold is making itself heard.

Then I hear a discordant sound that it is out of place at this hour trucks with big engines. When I go to check it out, I see a fire truck, two emergency response trucks and two police cars, all idling in front of my friend Kay's house.