Tag Archives: life

New Jersey in the Rearview Mirror

One week from today I will realize a long-delayed dream of moving away from New Jersey. When I moved here in 2000 from Iowa, it was with the intention of staying at

LifeIsHOTBlog, Brad W. Smith photographer, edge of the ocean along the Jersey shore, hand-printed words in sand Good-bye New Jersey

A fond farewell to a place that has provided more experiences than I ever could have imagined.

least three years, and no more than five. Here it is 13 years and six months later. Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.

I looked forward to the move to New Jersey for a job in New York that I enjoyed – and the cultural diversity and experiences that are only possible when you live in a true melting pot area. If you’ve ever lived in this part of the country, you know what I mean.

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Five Minute Friday: Broken

“You’re too quick to want to be discontent,” the woman said to me on the phone.

I had misunderstood what she meant when she suggested I do something, and had interpreted it in a way that would cost me even more money when I could barely afford the purchase I needed to make.

late-day sun illuminates a bank of dark clouds, sky below the clouds is orange; blue ocean

Without clouds, the sun cannot delight us with color. Without adversity, we cannot know happiness.

I had thought her suggestion impertinent and insensitive, in a ‘let them eat cake’ sort of way. At that moment, I thought all of my plans were broken; I was not going to be able to do what I had set my heart on doing.

I should have trusted that what she was offering was logical and reasonable. I should have trusted that I just needed to work harder to understand her meaning. Continue reading

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Five Minute Friday: In-Between

We begin our lives in birth. We end our lives in death. In between, we live a life that is not always what we think we want, but often gives us more than we ever could believe we could have. 

an elderly man in wheel chair in a nursing home, holding a sleeping newborn

A bittersweet celebration of the circle of life, the time in between the start of one new life, and of another one about to end.

When Dad had a spinal stroke in 2007, we knew that the long-term prognosis was there was no long term. It was fall, not quite two months after he had learned he was going to be a first-time great-grandfather. The day it happened, he had driven five hours to a board meeting, and then, instead of staying for the evening events, he drove five hours home again. He knew something wasn’t right. But he went down to the basement to ride his exercise bike, like he did every night. Mom found him on the floor, the bike on top of him, a short time later. 

 In a few seconds, Dad’s life changed from being involved in a half-dozen major projects that kept him out of the house eight-and-a-half days a week, as Mom called it, to being bed-ridden. Continue reading

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