How’s Your Health (Mental & Physical) These Holy Days?

Happy Friday, All!

If we can manage a TGIF, I’d appreciate it!  TGIF!!  Thank you very kindly!!

It’s the Holy Days y’all, and there’s a lot going down.  First, I want to thank Derek Chauvin … in a sense … for finally admitting that he KNEW that he was violating George Floyd’s civil rights as he squeezed the life out of Mr. Floyd. You see, “bad cops” know that they are “bad cops”.  They KNOW that they are “not well” and should NOT be in a uniform that says they “protect and serve”.  Why don’t the superiors who hire them know?!?  Now, there’s a situation where a Louisiana Judge (Odinet) has been “caught” with a soundtrack that included calling African Americans the “n-word” and comparing them to cockroaches!!  Wt@!!?  You see, many people of color have to deal with attitudes like this MULTIPLE times a day!!  Educate yourselves and cut that crap out!!  Lives are at stake!!  At least don’t encourage or be complicit with ignorance.

So, I am sure most of us know how challenging “holy days” can be for folks.  We all know that there are those of us who can have everything in the world and still be unhappy.  Meanwhile, there are those among us who have very little but know how to be appreciative of those “things” and STILL be kind to others.  Why is that?

Well, Thursday, I served as “Caribbean Claus” down by the “boat area” in Puerto Viejo!  It was my second year posing as Mr. Claus for the population here in Puerto Viejo.  The desire to see people smile when they see my version of “Santa”, Caribbean colors and Bob Marley gear is priceless!  The organizer of the event, “Erin”, whom I thought was Mrs. Claus said, “No, I’m dressed as your helper – an Elf!”  There were vendors out by what is called “Chino Beach”, there was a DJ set up on the deck of Puerto Pirata, and throngs of folks from all over the world!  I felt blessed and extremely appreciated by all the guests who wanted pictures with Santa!  It brought smiles to my face to see folks happy and vibing positively out there!

Those of “us” who have it all should be happy and share, according to The Season.  Some of us need to be grateful for what we have, no matter how small it is!  During these Holy Days, I still get nostalgic remembering how Mom and Dad played Christmas songs, both religious and popular, to enhance the ambiance of our tiny three-bedroom apartment in The Winbrook Apartments, White Plains, NY to be exact!  The little kitchen was filled with aromas of Mom’s fine “holiday” foods.  The music flowed from the old stereo console in the living room with Mahalia Jackson (Mom’s favorite) and the popular Christmas carols by Frank Sinatra or Lou Rawls.  It was Christmas at the Cook’s home as indicated by the “angel hair” and colored lights adorning the tiny star-topped pine tree that Big Ike had put his touch on near the little living room window …  Ahhh, thanks for those memories Mom and Dad!

Check on each other over these holy days.  The festivities yesterday included donations of dry foods for the people in the community and were organized by a few different humanitarian groups out here in Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Limon … Costa Rica!  It’s the simple things that one needs to appreciate in life, including each other!

Peace and Holy Day Blessings,

John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading! Visit the website,, click on “Publications”, and select your “Cook Book” to read for the Season! Namaste

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