Friday, October 30, 2009

The Starfish Story

Many years ago I learned of a wonderful organization called The Family Giving Tree. Their mission "is to provide the exact holiday wish, or a backpack filled with school supplies, to those children in the most need in our communities while striving to inspire the values of kindness, philanthropy and volunteerism. "

Most of us may not realize how many children go to school without even a pencil. How fun do you think kindergarten would be without crayons? A kindergarten teacher working in a low income school knows what it's like not to have crayons. She literally cried when receiving backpacks for her kids because she could now plan activities using crayons. I was surprised when I heard that. I mean, I've been working with this organization for years. Certainly a school has a way to fund crayons? Apparently not.

I'm reminded of a story I've heard a few times.

The Starfish Story

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Author Unknown

I'm going to post some touching letters this organization put on their Facebook page. These letters are from the children who received brand new backpacks with brand new supplies. It made a different to that one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vignettes of Cabo ~ October 2009

My friend of over 15 years and I went on a week long trip to Baja California also known as Cabo. We had a fabulous time together. I've attached some pictures down below.

Vignettes of Cabo ~ October 2009

1. While casually walking back to the resort swinging her hands, the water bottle Sandra held flies out of her hand, thru the air landing in a ditch in the street. The width of the ditch was so narrow, you couldn't have made the shot if you tried. Since it is pitch black in the ditch Sandra yells for help. HELP. A strange man appears. However, she chooses to get the bottle herself. Sandra removes her shoes to wade thru the mud to retrieve the worlds smallest bottle of water. All the while, Kim stands on the sidelines laughing hysterically.

2. While in town visiting a popular destination known as Cabo Wabo, Kim and Sandra are approached by a cute blue eyed guy who calls himself Tom. Tom is smitten by Kim so he proceeds to buy them drinks to keep them there. They oblige. A set of cute guys sit behind them. The tall skinny guy who turned 40 invites them back to their resort that night, but they don't take them up on their offer. Instead, they head back to their own resort where Kim starts working on #3.

3. Kim takes a serious approach to getting out of timeshare spiels by concocting a never before had condition, known only to others, and gets a ride via ambulance in a major tropical storm to the Mexican hospital where mystery meds are put into her body. She spends the entire day resting (stoned) on drugs. She is on vacation after all. She receives a $4000 bill, more drugs and slippers for her trouble but still had to go to timeshare presentation. They are ruthless people after all.

4. Brewhoe the horse trots quickly in an attempt to take first position over the other horse ridden by Kim named Toy Story, and his master Martin (pronounced Marteen). "I know the way!" Sadly, Brewhoe is squeezed back into his pre-determined position by his master. Can't blame him for trying.

5. The Playa Grande Resort thought long and hard about how to confuse their patrons. We prefer to think of it that way rather than the patrons just being confused. Elevators at the Ridge, a private section of the resort, are a never-ending sense of amusement. 2 is really 1 and 4 is out. Sometimes 3 is the required number to get out but yet again, sometimes 2 gets you out. It all depends on which elevator you choose. In addition, they created walkways that lead to no where. Ceilings go lower and lower like a fun house taking you to a dead end. Take the 2nd floor elevator from the lobby to the 3rd floor. Walk 1/4 mile down one hill and up another hill to yet another elevator on the 4th floor. Walk down the breezeway to another elevator where you can get to the main lobby on the 2nd floor that cannot be accessed any other way. Getting out of the resort on our first try will forever be our goal.

6. If you want to fly to and from Cabo and choose American Airlines, you'll be happy to know that not only do you get to visit Cabo, but you'll visit Dallas and L.A. as well. On the brighter side, you get a lot of extra miles!

7. When you observe a group of people sitting around the outside of a Jacuzzi instead of enjoying the warmth inside of it, one might reconsider the action of walking directly into the said Jacuzzi since the temperature might be 109 degrees. Don’t mind the skin hanging from her body as she exits the water at lightening speed.

Bar menu at Cabo Wabo, owned by Sammy Hagar

Sandra trying to get a picture with Cabo Wabo in the background. Kim found this very amusing.

Someone else took our picture

Kim has chest pains so she gets a ride in an ambulance to a Mexican hospital. Here she is being pampered by the paramedics

Sandra following Kim who is on the gourney. Smile!

The 3 day tropical storm was amazing. 90 degree weather and tons of rain. This is one of the clouds about to unleash itself on us.

Apple tart dessert at Galeons Italian restaurant in Cabo. Delic.

Sandra and Kim at Galeons. I left feeling like a weeble wobble.

City lights from our balcony.

Kim rides Toy Story, I ride Brewhoe. (spelled differently I'm sure)

On the beach

This one one helluva large cacti

Mexican saddle horns are huge. Had to take a picture of it.

Desert sunset

Looks like a good place for tires

More cactus

We zip lined. Fun Fun fun!

3 days of tropical storms caused the desert to turn a beautiful green

Friday night a Mexican rodeo group came to our resort for a show.

When I returned home my kids were of course thrilled to see me. I opened a package I received and Shawna promptly turned the box into a toy.

These flowers were delivered to my work as a thank you gift from Kim.

"Thank you for the trip man!"