Take It All In


Happy Friday, All!

We’ve got to put one in for the TEAM … so … T.G.I.F.!

“What would you do if I sang out of tune?!” …  What would you say if I told you that I WASN’T having a nice day?!  Would you encourage me to do better or simply criticize me and try to make me feel worse?!  We all know that encouragement only goes so far … yet is far better than harsh criticism.  Still, I remember my Dad who used to come at me pretty hard when I wasn’t “in tune”!  Yet, he was my “father” … I could take that though I had to learn that it meant that he loved me … wanted to see me do better.  His life had been hard for him so he seldom “sugar coated” anything.  Perhaps, that is why I try to encourage people to better themselves in a “kinder” fashion … when possible!

Yes, I am still abroad from the USA … I don’t miss the drama and politics of a country that once claimed to be “the land of the free” and “the home of the brave”.  We have been divided beyond recognition … in my opinion … by a political apparatus that seeks to do just that … divide and conquer … or something like that.  Many folks are still choosing “sides” and acting as if it is a “game” we are playing with our lives … our children’s lives … and our planet!  Peace be still …

While I am not a pessimist, I am a realist in terms of accepting what is to come … like death … Don’t get me wrong, now.  I am NOT thinking about suicide or any crazy behavior that could lead to my death.  I passed that stage back when I was about 12 or 13 years of age.  Thank you Mom!!  But I do know that I won’t live for ever … and that it could end at any time … this life I have been gifted.  Is it really “mine”?  Or must I share it with others?!?  I embrace both “schools” of thought”, so to speak, and care for myself dearly as well as share of myself … yes … dearly!  I am enjoying a good “90 day” vacation and am still in Spain.  The reality is that I am looking for a place to retire … outside of the USA … as so many “ex-pats” have been doing for years!  I want to be “at peace with the universe” in my last days and time and pay homage to “My Creator” … the rest of these “mofos” can “Get In Line!”  Next weekend, I want to travel to Valencia one more time before I go back to the USA.  I truly enjoy the ambiance of the Mediterranean Sea … as I do most beaches and bodies of water … and Valencia stole my heart!  So, I will spend a weekend there, return to Sabadell, Barcelona, hopefully get to see “Montserrat” and prepare to arrive back at stateside around October 18th.  One thing that I have been sure to do … even when working through the challenge of arthritis in both hips, sometimes walking with a cane, other times “roughing it” … is taking it all in!  I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the coolest most real people in my entire life … and I’ve been around for a few “24 hours”!  I am appreciative of the “new friends” that I have been able to meet whom I would NEVER have met stateside!  Beautiful young people, charming Parisians and Barcelonians, funny and curious Germans and happy go lucky “Amsterdamians”!  Needless to say, I am loving it and “taking it ALL in”!  Who knows when I will be able to come this way again?!?  Make sure that when you are given an opportunity of a lifetime that you do exactly this … take it ALL in!

Enjoy your weekends!


John I. Cook, Director

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