FLOWER POWER

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”

Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of The United States

 

The first time someone gave me flowers was in the Spring of 1972. The Aircraft Carrier USS Oriskany was gliding out of San Francisco Bay. I was on board with a group of Marines. The ship was headed for Southeast Asia where the Vietnam War was still dragging on. A group of people had gathered on the Bay Bridge to protest our part in the war. As the ship passed under the bridge, the protesters dropped flowers on us.

“Flower Power” was a popular chant by young people protesting the war in Vietnam. The young people doing the protesting and chanting were called “Flower Children” The war ended long ago, “Flower Children” grew up and had children of their own. You don’t hear the chant much these days but “Flower Power” is still around.

In romance, flowers play an important part in winning someone’s heart. When you hurt someone, flowers are often used to say, “I’m sorry.” Weddings and funerals are big money makers for those in the flower business. For a friend in the hospital or down in the dumps, flowers are a way to say, “Hang in there.”

Mark Twain said, ”Whatever a man’s age he can reduce it several years by putting a bright colored flower in his buttonhole.”

Today, because you’re special and you know it, give yourself flowers. Put flowers on your desk at work, your kitchen table and in your hair. If you can find a field full of flowers, go dancing among them. Surround yourself with the power and magic of flowers, their fragrance and color will bring new hope and spirit to your life. They will make a good attitude even better.

Like many people not all flowers are given a fair chance in life. And like some people, no matter what happens to them, there are still some flowers that make a colorful contribution to the world.

Have you ever noticed a wildflower that has worked its way through a crack in the sidewalk. When the flower was a tiny seed, did it ask to be covered with cement? My guess is no. The seed probably thought it was entitled to fresh air, sunshine, and some top quality dirt to nourish its soul.

The wildflower that overcame the bad breaks and difficult conditions to work its way through the concrete knew what wise men have been trying to teach us since time began.

“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

Anyone with big plans and new ideas sooner or later finds a big chunk of concrete in the middle of their path. The secret is not to give up. The flower that keeps on believing and working no matter what gets in their way, always blooms a little brighter. If flowers can find their way to the top so can you.

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com

YOU WERE LOUSY

“You always pass failure on the way to success.”

Micky Rooney, actor

 

Giggles Comedy Club – October 11, 1951

I’m there to celebrate my 30th birthday and test my skills as a stand-up comic.

Here is a sample of my act.

“Hi folks. I’m glad to be here. I was almost late, you see two and a half days ago I met a friend for lunch. We made the mistake of ordering turtle soup and we just finished eating ten minutes ago.

I’m afraid of heights which is why, except for special occasions, I never wear high heel shoes.

Yesterday, over at the Pentagon the air conditioning went out. It got so hot that some of the colonels started popping.

I saw two mimes get into an argument, now they’re speaking to each other.

My Uncle Fred was a waiter. He wasn’t very good at it. He didn’t make much money. One night, after working at the restaurant, he got the not so bright idea to shop lift some food. Still wearing his waiter’s jacket when he entered the grocery store, he started stuffing food inside his pockets. Then he tried to stuff a can of soup in the front of his pants. That’s when he got caught. As they were putting handcuffs on him, the policeman said to Uncle Fred, “Waiter, what’s that soup doing in your fly?”

*      *      *

I took a tiny tape recorder with me to the comedy club. My daughter was almost six at the time. After my performance, the first chance I got, I played it for her. There were a lot of gaps in the recording where there should have been laughter and applause. Clicking the off button, I waited for her review.

It was short and to the point, “You were lousy!”

From the viewpoint of the audience, she was right. But as a wise man said long ago, “If you laugh at your own jokes you’ve made at least one person happy.”

And now that I think about it, I’ve been lousy at a lot of things.

The story of the lost musician walking down the streets of New York City comes to mind.

He stops to ask someone for directions, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

The answer he got, “Practice, practice, practice.”

Believing in yourself is the first ingredient of success. And part of believing in yourself is the willingness to be lousy for a while. Singer and songwriter Johnny Cash said,

“You build on failure.

You use it as a stepping stone.

Close the door on the past.

You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it.

You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

I intend to embrace lousiness in all my future adventures. You should too. Lousiness is your friend.

Be willing to fail on your road to greatness.

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERMON ON THE FLEA COLLAR

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”

Seth Godin, entrepreneur

God spoke to me from a flea collar.

Yes, I said flea collar.

And no, I am not crazy.

It was the Summer of 1983.

I took my seven year old daughter to visit the local animal shelter. And soon the furry little critter in cage number 823 became “Lady the Wonder Dog.” The newest and fastest growing member of our family.

Minutes later, cash register bells were ringing. We started with a food dish, a water dish, a collar and a leash. Add to that a large bag of puppy chow, a box of doggie treats and a good deal on a doghouse from my neighbor. But still on the shopping list were a license, grooming brush, nail clippers, shampoo, soap and toys. Almost out of money, we topped off the day with a checkup at the veterinarian’s office and some picture taking.

We were making memories. “Lady the Wonder Dog” was winning the hearts of everyone she met, including a pack of fleas. No problem. A trip to the pet store and a few more dollars later, our doggie was stepping out in a fashionable flea and tick collar.

Now, here comes the sermon. The flea and tick collar came in a tiny box. Within the box, the collar was coiled and sealed in a foil pouch. According to instructions, the collar was to be unrolled, then cut to the proper length to comfortably fit our dog. Once fitted, and in place, a tiny latch was pressed down to keep it secure. But first, and this is a very important “But First” in order to get the flea and tick fighting chemicals working the instructions read “Stretch to Activate.”

And that’s the sermon on the flea collar, “Stretch to Activate.”

I start my day stretching with 20 minutes of yoga.

I read everyday to stretch my mind.

I write everyday to stretch my talent.

Sometimes it’s a stretch to practice the golden rule but that’s what I try to do.

A happy, healthy, and creative life calls for a lot of stretching.

And now that I’ve rounded the corner on my 60th birthday, I’m looking forward to even more stretching.

“Do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new.” Isaiah 43:18,19

There are places to go; London, Paris, and Rome.

There are people to meet; the president, the pope, and Patch Adams.

There are talents to cultivate; singing, dancing, and playing the drums.

There are plays to watch, plays to write, and plays to act in.

There are people who need my help.

Yoda from Star Wars had this to say on the subject, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

So what are you waiting for? Stretch to activate; your gifts, talents, and contribution to the world.

We’re waiting.

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com

NEXT STOP, LISBON

“Wake up and find your moxie”

Anonymous

Lisbon, California?

Lisbon, Connecticut?

Lisbon, Iowa?

There are thirty-seven towns in the United States named Lisbon. But only one celebrates Moxie.

And that town is Lisbon, Maine – home of The Moxie Festival.

Moxie is the name of a soft drink – the official soft drink of Maine. And the first carbonated drink sold in America.

Dr. Augustin Thompson got the “Moxie” ball rolling in 1876. Taken by the spoonful he promised it would cure a whole bunch of problems including…“loss of manhood, paralysis, and softening of the brain.” In 1884, the good doctor decided to mass market Moxie as a soft drink.

The Moxie Festival has been celebrated the second weekend in July since 1982.

Starting with a fireworks display on Friday, the action picks up again on Saturday with a parade, a 5k road race, Moxie recipe contest, concert, and car show. And if you decide to enter the chug-n-challenge, here’s what you’re up against, last year’s champion drank ten cans of Moxie in 2 minutes.

Good luck!

 

*      *      *

Before it was a drink, moxie was and still is a word meaning, “Force of character, determination, or nerve.”

ON FORCE OF CHARACTER

I ran my first marathon race (26.2 miles) in 1986.  I was inspired by Bob Wieland, a man who a week before had finished the New York Marathon. It took me five hours to finish my race. It took Bob four days to finish his.Why so long? Bob had no legs. Without crutches or a wheelchair, using just his hands to swing his lower body forward, he did it one step at a time. Years before, serving as a medic in

Vietnam and trying to save the wounded, he stepped on a booby-trapped mortar shell. In his words,

“My legs went in one direction, my life another.”

ON DETERMINATION

Once upon a time there was a flood. And as floods go, it was pretty bad. The rain was coming down and the water was rising fast. People had to climb on the rooftops of their houses to escape drowning.

While they were waiting to be rescued, they noticed a hat going back and forth in long straight lines in front of one house. Everyone pointed to the hat. What was going on? Finally, one lady stood up and told everyone, “Don’t worry about that hat. That’s my husband, he said that today, come hell or high water, he was going to mow the grass.”

ON NERVE

“Anything is possible, if you have enough nerve.”

J.K.Rowling, author of Harry Potter

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, the first book written by Dr. Seuss, was rejected by twenty-seven publishers. He did not give up. He got a yes from publisher number twenty-eight and Dr. Seuss has now sold over 100 million books.

KEEP CALM

BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS

AND PASS ME A CAN OF  MOXIE!

 

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com

TILLIE, MARGRET, AND LUCY

“What we have learned from others becomes our own reflection.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and poet

My mother had eleven brothers and sisters. Some of them I never met. But there were three who made a healthy contribution to my adolescence. And now, I would like to say thank you.

CALL ME JOEY

 

“Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don’t take anything too seriously, it’ll all work out in the end.”

David Niven, actor and novelist

My name is Jerry. And no matter how many times I told Aunt Tillie, she still called me Joey. If another family member corrected her, it made no difference. Whether she saw me two minutes or two weeks later, I heard, “Hello, Joey.” In speaking to others about me, “Joey did this, Joey did that or Joey did whatever.”

Years later, I made a discovery that made me feel a whole lot better about my Aunt Tillie.  In circus lingo, the word Joey means clown. It honors Joseph Grimaldi, a clown who became famous in England many years ago.

Clowns make people happy. So If what I do or say makes someone laugh, I don’t mind being called Joey.

Thank you, Aunt Tillie.

 

GOOD MORNING

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.

The process never ends until we die.

And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, politician and diplomat

Many years ago my Aunt Margret worked at a school for the blind. As she entered the class room, before she had a chance to speak, the class would greet her, “Good morning Margret.”

They had been listening to the sound of her footsteps coming down the hallway.

Ever think about what impression you would make if the only way to evaluate you was by the sound of your footsteps?

The way you walk, just like the words you say to yourself, set the tone for your day.

So why not walk tall, walk proud, and walk confident.

Make people glad to know you’re on the way.

Thank you, Aunt Margret.

 

NAME THAT TUNE

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”

Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz singer

My Aunt Lucy was the last of my mother’s family to leave this world for the next. I don’t remember a particular tune, only that she was singing something upbeat and cheerful every time I saw her. Not complaining, just singing her way through life. A life that was not always easy. But for her, part of the solution to every problem was a song.

Apparently her strategy worked – she lived 103 years.

And If it worked for Aunt Lucy, It just might work for the rest of us.

So let’s start the day tomorrow with a song in the shower. Then sing every chance we get during the day.

Don’t forget to give yourself a standing ovation before saying good night.

Thank you, Aunt Lucy.

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com