Your piece popped up in my feed again and I re-read it again. Thank you, i see even more good ideas now. And I love this one, I've highlighted.


Thank you for this great list of ideas and especially thank you this one I've highlighted. I've been striving to do this deliberately since kindergarten. I've had an awesome ride through life so far.


This should never have been a thing

Each day thousands of police officers are given orders to help support citizens during Covid-19 pandemic times.
Each day thousands of police officers are given orders to help support citizens during Covid-19 pandemic times.
Police officers waiting for orders in support of public safety. Image courtesy of Alicia Zinn via Pixabay

One fine winter day in my fourth-grade classroom, every student in my classroom had to get up from their chair, march in a straight line down to the cafeteria, and chomp down a sugar cube with a dollop of pink goo on it. This was my first introduction to the idea of vaccinations because of a public health mandate.

To be clear, I was thrilled, as were my parents, that I would not get polio. That disease ruined the lives of many families. I also had to get a smallpox vaccination, and I still can make out the faint outlines…


Turkey, cranberry sauce, and the pirate life

Breaking the coronavirus rules to have a Thanksgiving holiday celebration dinner brought my family even closer together.
Breaking the coronavirus rules to have a Thanksgiving holiday celebration dinner brought my family even closer together.
A beautiful table symbolizing a Thanksgiving holiday feast during the time of COVID-19. Image by JillWellington courtesy of Pixabay.

Nobody in my family started off wanting to be a scoundrel this Thanksgiving, but we wound up as self-described pirates this year anyway.

I have a big, diverse family packed full of multiple languages, colors, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations. Everyone doesn’t always get along famously, and petty arguments can last for years.

But one thing we do agree on is the wonder of Thanksgiving.

That’s a time when folks can get together and eat. There is no requirement other than you show up to dinner hungry and leave with a full tummy.

Not that all of us get…


How The Integratron helped their clients love them even more during the pandemic

The Integratron, located in the Mojave Desert in Landers, California, which features private and public sound baths.
The Integratron, located in the Mojave Desert in Landers, California, which features private and public sound baths.
The Integratron at night located in Landers, California. Photo used by permission of the owners.

I’m lying on a blanket-covered foam mat on the upper floor of cupola shaped building on the edge of the Mojave Desert. To get here, I had driven fifteen miles north on Old Woman Springs Road from the town of Joshua Tree, California. Then followed the directional signs to The Integratron.

The Integratron, which is owned and operated by the Karl sisters: Joanne, Nancy, and Patty, bills itself as the Fusion of Art, Science, and Magic.

I’m here to have a sound bath. That means I’m going to lie on this mat under an acoustically perfect wooden parabolic ceiling while…


It’s so quiet I can hear the trees thinking

Palm trees rustling in the breeze become audible when people everywhere in the US are sheltering in place.
Palm trees rustling in the breeze become audible when people everywhere in the US are sheltering in place.
Palm trees quietly rustling. You can easily hear them when people are sheltering in place. Image by Free-Photos via Pixabay

The first thing I noticed was the quiet; the stillness of the world when I went outside to feed the birds in the morning.

That’s part of my routine; I get up before my wife, pour a cup of coffee and bring the birds some breakfast. Most days, this is the time of day when the kids are going to school.

I live in a small city that only buses students who live more than 5 miles from the school they attend. A lot of kids of all ages get brought to school by their parents. …


Dramatic Example Alert

Think twice before you answer

Example photo representing a researcher testing samples for the coronavirus
Example photo representing a researcher testing samples for the coronavirus
Photo representing a researcher testing coronavirus samples. Image courtesy of DarkoStojanovic

Before you read further, let me say I think and write about things in a different way. Not in an alarmist way, just in a way different than many folks think. I also want to say up front that I am not a doctor, a scientist or a mathematician. I just think about things in a really specific way.

State Minimum Wages

The highest minimum wage on a statewide basis right now is in the state of Washington on the West Coast. As you probably already know, Washington state is one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus.

Looking at a map of…


Magic. Electric. Sizzling. Intense.

Couple on the beach at sunset with arms wrapped around each other celebrating the intensity of love they feel for each other.
Couple on the beach at sunset with arms wrapped around each other celebrating the intensity of love they feel for each other.
Couple at a beach wrapped in the intensity of their love. Image courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

It’s February. Already.

The month when the world seems to go crazy over the idea of love. The other months of the year might be romantic (sort of), but they pale in comparison to the love that fills the air for 28, or in some years, 29 days.

Great big, beautiful, heart-rending romantic love is the topic of this invitation to write.

Maybe you have been among the fortunate folks to have felt the thunderbolt of romantic love more than once in your lifetime. That’s a beautiful and delightful experience.

Maybe it didn’t work out so well for you that…


Memories of presents past

Woman being completely shocked at the awful gift she’s just received for Christmas.
Woman being completely shocked at the awful gift she’s just received for Christmas.
A young woman demonstrated the look you have when you get an awful present. Image courtesy of RobinHiggins via Pixabay.

Holidays can bring us a plethora of gifts. Some awesome and genuinely delightful — the ones we treasure from the time of receiving them until the end of time.

And then are some which we remember just as long, but with a wince of pain tugging on our heartstrings. The kind of gifts that make us remember the giver with a single heartfelt phrase.

“What were they thinking?”

These are the gifts like the pajamas featured in that scene in the 1983 holiday classic, “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie’s aunt sends him a custom-made set of pink bunny rabbit pajamas.

Michael Shook

I see the world differently and write fiercely and honestly about that.

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