Christmas day, presents unwrapped, huge meal three digesting, and settling in after a neighborhood walk.
A small side note: My family is getting used to me typing my 365 entries, so no matter what is going on, I’m usually somewhere in the background, writing away. Even now, as I journal this entry, across the room from me is my family, happily playing Mexican Trains.
For those of you who have never played the game, think of one part comedy improve, one part espionage and one part large-scale dominos, and you have the game. Bottom line, as my wife puts it, “It’s family feud.”
The game is a blast to play, but even with the blurt, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” delivered by my brother-in-law, I remain glued to my laptop. Day 108, there is no way I’m stopping 365.
This last week has been filled with hopeful wishes for the future. Again, I state, “It looks like the best of humanity comes out of people at the year-end.”
With that said, it does not surprise me to have chatted with a couple who share this positive outlook for what’s to come and an affirmation for dealing with the present.
I ran into them during our earlier walk, grabbed by the sounds of family laughter.
That laughter I am speaking of is coming from the home of Eric and Ivona, my newest Arizona friends. Only a dozen or so houses from my sister-in-law’s is where I met them as they shared their front yard “good-night” to family and friends.
We keep the meeting brief. It’s family time, and with my own family waiting in the wings, all is well.
Their comments are hopeful and thoughtful. And what is especially uplifting is meeting a united couple. I notice this in the way they respond, answering as one to all of my questions.
“Our advice to the world…” they stop for a moment of shared contemplation.
A minute or two passes, and while looking eye to eye at each other, they reply, “…enjoy what you have, don’t stress the small things. What is important is family and friends. They are your support system. Especially your family.”
“We are optimists. People need to think more about each other, not like in politics, where the thinking is not always about the people.”
Tomorrow we travel home. What I will take with me is the peace of a comfortable suburban neighborhood. Streets that are busy with families, quite skylines and groups of children playing.
I had grand intentions of a deep message for my Christmas day entry. But the more I think, the more I realize, it’s better to be short.
We’ve spent over one hundred days meeting a plethora of personalities, in becoming a community and reaching out to simply say, “This is who we are and what we believe.”
Just a friendly hello to the world. An invitation to appreciate your neighbors for who they are, no more, no less. And a call to do what you can to make the world a better world.
It can start with the voice of one. From the one can become many, and who know what can happen.
257 more day to go, with every day of 365 making me less aware of the end, and more present to the now.
And for now, the words of Eric and Ivona are ringing in my ears, “Family is first and enjoy what you have.”
Let’s just leave it at that for tonight.
Tomorrow, we travel back to Los Angeles. We’ll see who we can find on the way.
If anyone in the Phoenix area is looking for a great realtor, give Ivona a shout out, she may be able to find you your dream home: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell her Richard sent you.