Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Island of Romance

Valentine’s Day is over but lest we forget, I decided to write a blog post about our recent trip to Santa Catalina, California—The Island of Romance. Most of you will probably remember that catchy song from 1958 written and sung by the musical group known as the Four Preps. “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waitin for me … the island of romance, romance.”  It was a top ten hit when I was a teenager and some place I hoped to visit one day. Over fifty years later, I finally got to go.
Charles and I boarded a high speed catamaran in Newport Beach for the hour long journey across the sea. The island was shrouded in fog and mist and appeared very mysterious as we approached. After docking, we boarded a bus to tour the island. The sign said, “This bus will take sharp turns, and the roads are very bumpy.” I survived the choppy waters of the Pacific by eating ginger chews for motion sickness, so I swallowed another one as we headed out. Now I had to conquer my fear of heights. Our destination was the “Airport in the Sky.” In his early flying career, Charles had landed a single-engine plane on that small landing strip 3,000 feet above sea level on top of Catalina Island. It couldn’t have been any more death defying than the journey to get there by bus. The quaint city of Avalon disappeared from view as we began our ascent. Around one hair pin turn after another, I hung on to Charles for dear life as we climbed higher and higher. I guess I thought if we plunged off the cliffs we would go together. Now wasn’t that a romantic thought?
A breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean was visible after every turn. An hour later we reached the Airport in the Sky. It was good to get my legs back on solid ground. People who had flown in were eating $100 hamburgers in the small café. That’s a pilot’s joke about how much aviation fuel it takes to fly somewhere for lunch. After a photo shoot, we headed back down to Avalon, and my idea of a romantic time. We found lots of interesting shops and a Mediterranean café with delicious sandwiches and pastries.
I am so very thankful that we both still have the health and ability to share new adventures. I am humbled that God enables me to reclaim the years of my life that I lost to liver disease and allows me to experience some of the desires of my heart. The Bible verse in Lamentations 3:22-23 expresses my feelings. “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tweet, Link, Pin, Like

Albert Einstein once said: “The same thinking that has led you to where you are is not going to lead you to where you want to go.” He was a brilliant man who was never satisfied with the scientific status quo. His original thinking enabled him to discover the Theory of Relativity. 
For some reason, his quote strikes a chord with me. It challenges me to step out of my comfort zone and ask myself some questions. What is my present way of thinking–stick with the status quo, don’t rock the boat, remain in my comfort zone. What should be my new way of thinking–challenge the status quo, shake things up, stay open to new ideas. The first way of thinking is very comfortable and the second quite scary. 

A recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lifestyle section, tells about a retirement community that is teaching its 80 and 90 year old residents how to use computers. A 71 year old man teaches the students how to use email and Google for information. A group of retirees called the “Geezer Squad” provides in-between class support. I predict those folks will remain mentally sharp for a long time to come. 

For me, becoming proficient with Social Media requires a whole new way of thinking. I much prefer talking with folks or writing letters and emails. But I have to think differently to learn the social media language, connect with family and friends, and increase my visibility as an author and blogger. I’ve become familiar enough with Facebook to read and “Like.” I recently joined LinkedIn and several writing groups that I am navigating by trial and error. I have several requests to “Tweet” and join Twitter, so that it next on my list. To “Pin” or not to “Pin” is another issue to resolve. When am I going to have time to write?
We can’t be an influence on the younger generation unless we learn to speak their language, and dare I say, “Like” their music – at least some of it!!  Jesus challenged his followers to think in a new way and not be bound by the legalism of the past. For all of us, a new way of thinking is the key to a happier life.