Difficult Times Quotes

Life is not fair. This is something that should be taught early on in childhood. Bad things happen to good people; good things happen to bad people. This is just life. We’re all going to go through difficult times. Below are some difficult times quotes to help you get through them.

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Difficult Times Quotes Will Help

Why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t have an answer to that question. Reflecting on my own life there have been several difficult times. I believe I have lived a good life and consider myself a good person. Despite that, I was diagnosed with cancer at age 47. This was a difficult time in me and my family’s life. Through the right mindset and plenty of prayers, I survived.

“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.
~ Robert Kennedy

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.”
~ Zig Ziglar

An Extremely Difficult Time

Back in November, I wrote a post about losing a friend. My friend was a better person than me. Probably one of the best people I have ever met. He was always giving himself, his time, and his money towards helping other people. He died unexpectedly at the age of 63. Life isn’t fair and bad things happen to good people.

I wondered why. Were we being punished for a past transgression? Did we get closer to some unknown breakthrough and evil forces intervened to stop us? Was it just a random happening?

“There are certain life lessons that you can only learn in the struggle.”
~ Idowu Koyenikan

“I can’t control the waves of the ocean, but I can learn how to navigate my ship.”
~ Debasish Mridha

Why?

Why we go through difficult times can be answered in different ways based on our beliefs. A religious person can see it as Satan turning you against God. Scientists might look at it as just random acts with no meaning. It just happens. The pessimist says their life is just one difficult time after another. Optimists see difficult times as obstacles to overcome. These times don’t last.

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I go through difficult times frequently and they seem to hit one right after the other. Then I will have several months of good times. Once I realize that life wasn’t fair, I began to handle the difficult times better. Good things happen to bad people and good people struggle. This is life and I don’t pretend to have it figured out. These difficult times quotes help me out.

Ask The Right Question

When I go through difficult times, I no longer asked the question; why did it happen? The question I ask myself is; what am I gonna do about it? After being diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t waste time trying to figure out what caused it. I realized that I had lived a great life and I accepted it. Next, I began thinking about defeating the disease.

“You can make heaven out of hell, or hell out of heaven. The choice is yours.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
~ Dale Carnegie

It Is Not Fair

Life is not fair. Never has been, never will be. When you go through difficult times, don’t worry about the cause, focus on the solution. There isn’t anything that life throws at you that you cannot handle.

“Together with God you can successfully handle any difficulty.”
~ Jim George

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
~ Khalil Gibran

I don’t pay attention to other people, rather they are good or bad. If someone is a terrible person and becomes wealthy, and God bless them. I’m not in control of others in the way they live. I’m only in control of myself.

Don’t Waste Time

Don’t waste time on why it happened. Concentrate on why you need to get through these difficult times. Difficult times quotes can help. The Law of Attraction doesn’t differentiate between good and bad people. If you understand the Law of Attraction then you know you will become what you think. Bad people can have good thoughts. In contrast, good people can have negative thoughts. Your thoughts, good or bad, will become your reality.

“Be strong. You never know who you are inspiring.”
~ Unknown

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
~ Bruce Lee

You have too much to give to let the difficult times stop you. Focus on yourself and learn to control your thoughts. If you find yourself thinking negatively immediately speak positive affirmations. Live the life you want to live in your mind before you live it in reality. Good things happen to good people. Be the example you want others to emulate.

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Gloom Despair And Agony On Me

Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me. How those words brought back a lot of great memories. I used to watch a TV show with my mom and dad back in the 70s called, Hee Haw. It was a show with country comedians and musicians that would perform various skits. One of those skits had two performers singing the song Gloom Despair and Agony on me. Then they would say something funny about their trials and tribulations. They would repeat the song until another funny story. This was one of the funniest skits and it makes me laugh today thinking about it.

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Gloom And Despair

2021 has not been kind to me. Nope, not one bit. Most people couldn’t wait for 2020 to end. I for one wouldn’t mind going back. Yes, this is me, the guy that’s always talking about moving forward. I am that guy but I would gladly rewind the clock and go back a year.

Why you say? Well, I’ll tell you. It seems as if Life has put me in her crosshairs since the beginning of the year. I have taken blow after blow after blow. Every time I overcome one punch and think things are getting better, she throws an uppercut. Hits me right on the chin. It has been so bad I began to feel despair. The words to that song flooded my brain, Gloom Despair and Agony on me.

Despair Defined

Despair is defined as loss of hope; a cause of hopelessness. This is what I was feeling just the other day. People have called me a lot of different things in my life. The one thing no one has ever called me was a quitter. So I fought on with every weapon I had. I wasn’t losing ground but I wasn’t gaining any either.

So as I continued to take punch after punch, bad news after bad news, I began to wonder what was coming next. Luckily I don’t ever take on these battles alone. I have my family, my friends, and God. On one particularly bad day, I went to bed and as I always do I picked up a devotional guide, Feeding On Jesus by Jennifer Arimborgo. Jennifer is a wonderful person who is a missionary in the Amazon Jungle in Peru. Her website is feedingonjesus.com.

Devotionals

The devotional I turned to that night was Isaiah 35:4, “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.’” I immediately was lifted out of my despair. God knows when you’re feeling hopeless and places hope in front of you.

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I knew right then that everything was going to be okay. In the words of Rocky Balboa, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” I knew I had to take the hits and keep moving forward.

Control

I can’t control what life throws at me. Neither can you. Two things I can control are my attitude and effort. I can control my thoughts and not give in to despair. I believe and have faith that things will turn around. Some situations are too big for you and me to handle. These are the ones I turn over to God.

Persevere

There have been several times in my life that I have sailed through troubled waters. Each time God has sent me a sign to tell me he is there and everything will be all right. I am lucky I have this great team of family, friends, and God. Together we can get through any storm. Because of them, I have been able to persevere through the difficult times in my life.

Even though this year has been a struggle for me, I know there are better times ahead. The years to come will be filled with difficulty but also with much happiness. Whatever life wants to throw at me in the future, I’m ready for it. I have God by my side. In the end, the good times will far outweigh the bad.

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How Do You Spend Your Free Time

Welcome back to my podcast! This is Episode 42 and I am talking about the question; How do you spend your free time? We all are given the same amount of time each day. Most of your time is scheduled like work, sleep, or meals. The rest is free time. Are you making the most of the way you spend your free time?

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Spending Your Free Time

I began thinking about time and what time means to us. Throughout my life, I’ve never spent much time thinking about, time. But seeing how I turned 60 and a friend of mine described it as entering the fourth quarter of life, time has pushed itself to the front of the line of my thinking process. I am now closer to the end of my life than the beginning.

The life expectancy in the United States is currently 78.93 years. That would put me at the beginning of the fourth quarter but I’m playing for overtime. Taking this number would give me 18.93 years to accomplish everything I want to accomplish in life. That’s a lot of time and I can accomplish a lot of things. It all depends on how I use my remaining years.

1440 Minutes

When we break downtime into clock minutes, there are 1440 minutes in a day. That gives us 525,600 minutes every year. If we all live for 80 years, that would equal 42,048,000 minutes. That’s how many minutes we would have in a lifetime. An important fact to remember is, everyone has the same amount of minutes, 1440, every day. No one is different. None of us have fewer minutes than somebody else. We are all allotted 1440 minutes a day. How do you spend your free time?

One thing that I have noticed as I’ve gotten older is that time is very fleeting. I’ve heard a lot of people say this and I have also experienced this. Time seems to speed up as we age. I think back on my life and my school years. High school and college each last four years. Eight years passed by in a blink of an eye. My career, marriage, and raising my children all passed by in a blink of an eye.

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Life Can Be Cruel

I believe what started me on the topic of time was two recent events that have happened in my life. Last fall I had a friend pass away unexpectedly. He was only a couple of years older than me and lived a very healthy lifestyle. One day he is fine and the next he is in an ambulance headed for the hospital. The other event was that my sister-in-law passed away last summer. She was only 55 years old. Like my friend, she was fine one day, in the hospital the next, and died two days later. We don’t know how much time we have. How do you spend your free time?

Death is inevitable, no one can escape it. I have been in dangerous situations and have cheated death on more than one occasion. I have been shot at and one time could even feel the bullet as it passed behind my neck. I’ve been on helicopters that almost crashed on more than one occasion and have beaten cancer. So Death and I have had several conversations and they have all ended with the words of Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, “Not Today.”

What Would You Do Different

Would you do anything different in your life if you knew exactly how much time you had left? I don’t know how much time I have left, but I choose to spend it spreading positivity and inspiration. The news media does a good enough job of spreading negativity, they don’t need any help. It wasn’t always like that. When I grew up they just told you what was happening, the good and the bad. Today, unfortunately, negativity and fear sell. So that’s what we get.

You can choose to use your free time any way you want. Why not use them to:

      – Make someone feel better.

      – Improve yourself.

      – Be positive.

      – Change your mindset.

      – Tell yourself how good and deserving you are.

      – Write a plan for yourself.

      – Set some goals.

      – Do better things today than you did yesterday.

      – Have a wonderful conversation with your significant other.

      – Say hello to strangers.

      – Give thanks for everything you have, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Sometimes It’s A Struggle

You know I don’t always wake up with a positive mindset. Sometimes I have to talk my way into being positive. Some days the Doubt Demons win. The next day I have to continue the fight until I win and get back my positive mindset. Every day is different but the one constant is that I am in control of what I think and say. The choice is always mine on how I spend my 1440 minutes.

I don’t know how much time I have left, none of us do. We do know that we are all allotted our 1440 minutes each day to choose how we are going to spend them. So don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you want to do. Get out there today and live the life you want to live. Know what your worth and don’t settle for anything less. Go become that person others want to be.

No one is promised tomorrow.

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Negative Personality Traits Part 2

In this continuation of my last podcast, I will talk about the power of releasing negative personality traits. By releasing and eliminating these destructive traits you can become a new person. I hope you enjoy, Episode 37 Negative Personality Traits Part 2, and don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast.

In Part I, I talked about the unlimited power of the human mind. I recounted some amazing and inspirational stories of people overcoming severe medical situations only using their minds. Cathy Goodman was diagnosed with cancer and healed herself with her strong beliefs. Morris Goodman was paralyzed in an airplane crash yet walked out of the hospital. He wouldn’t accept that he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

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Negative Personality Traits Part 2

In Negative Personality Traits Part 2, I want to talk about how you limit your possibilities by holding onto negative energy. Remember that the human mind is limitless and we can do all things if we believe in our hearts. To put it simply, your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your reality. I am living proof of this.

I believe in positive affirmations. Positive affirmations and changing your thought process will change the person that you are. I know this works because I am a completely different person than I was even a few years ago. Two things were limiting me. First, I was putting a time limit on my change. If it wasn’t happening quickly enough, I would say it didn’t work. Second, I held onto a lot of negative energy.

I Was A Negative Personality Trait

I held a lot of anger inside me but I didn’t know where it came from. There was no reason to feel angry because I was living a very good life. Through many hours of retrospection, I finally realized where my anger was coming from. I lacked self-confidence which was a result of always feeling that I was unworthy. I never felt good enough and always felt everyone else was better than me.

Living in South Florida and having to drive an hour to Miami to work each morning did not help with my anger. If you’ve ever driven in South Florida you know what I mean. South Floridians drive very aggressively and don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. They will cut in front of you and almost hit you without even a second thought. I arrived at my office every day with an angry disposition. In every situation, I encountered I immediately looked for the negative aspects. I was always thinking negatively.

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A New Me

My anger carried on even after my retirement. I remember one day I realized I wasn’t happy and didn’t want to live the rest of my life like this. So I decided to release the negativity in my life. I asked God to take away my anger. When I did I immediately became calmer and felt peace inside of me.

For the most part, I’m able to drive around without getting angry but……… there are times. Anger is hard to eliminate when you have to drive in South Florida. One particular incident happened not long ago and had me backsliding into my old ways.

If you live in a normal state or part of the world, you might not understand this. Drivers in South Florida like to get in the passing or “fast” lane and drive very slow. They do not care and immediately go to the fast lane and plant themselves there for the duration of their trip. They will not move over for anything. Most of the time they are driving the speed limit or below. It got so bad that they had to pass a law and post a minimum speed you can drive on the interstate.

My Calming Factor, My Wife

My wife and I had been visiting our daughter who attends college in Orlando and we were coming home. We were driving south on interstate 95 and I was in the middle lane. The driver to my left was approaching one of these slow drivers. Instead of looking in his mirror to see if the lane was clear he just changed lanes. Luckily, he saw me before he hit me and swerved back.

All that was fine, that’s just part of South Florida driving. What pushed the old nuclear anger button was he decided he would rather hit me than slow down for the car in front of him. With total disregard, he came back into my lane and I had to hit my brakes to avoid a collision. That sent me into a tirade and the backsliding began.

The anger inside me went on for several minutes. My wife who is described as beautiful and vivacious but also a fiery Latina sat there calmly. My favorite way to describe my wife is she is funny. She always makes us laugh. In a very soothing voice, she said,

Scott be like Frozen.

What? I said angrily.

“Let it go.” She said with a straight face. We began laughing and my anger disappeared.

Release your anger, it is just holding you back.

Your Fears

You should also release your fears. Your fears are manifestations of your thoughts. Look into your eyes in a mirror and say, “I release all my fears, I am a strong confident person.” As I’ve said many times I believe in faith over fear. My faith that I will succeed is stronger than my fear that I will not.  If you cannot eliminate your fears you can still control them. Don’t let them control you. Step out of your comfort zone.

“I release all my fears and do not let them control me. My faith is my guiding light.”

Pride

Another limiting trait we should release is pride. Be proud of who you are and what you will accomplish. Don’t limit yourself by being prideful. Be humble and thankful in everything. Always treat others as you would want someone to treat you or your family.

“I release my pride. I am humbled and thankful in everything I do.”

Resentment

You must release resentment. Do not resent others for their success. Never compare yourself to other people. Always be happy for everyone and wish abundance for them. The success of other people is no reflection on you. Release your feelings of resentment and go be the best you.

I release the resentment I have for others. I wish abundance for everyone.”

Limiting Mindset

One of the most important things you can release is your limiting mindset. You must understand that you can have and be anything you want to be because the universe is unlimited. There is no competition. Don’t believe you have to compete for everything. There is more than enough for everyone. Don’t set limits on your thinking. Remember, your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your reality.

“I release the limits I place on myself. My mind is unlimited and I can have anything I want.”

Let’s Do Something Great Together!

Your reality of today is based on your past thoughts. Your future reality is based on the thoughts that you’re having today. So, dream big. Next year you can be a different person than you are today. You can be living a different lifestyle. My business motto is, “Helping You to Become The Person Others Want to Be.” Don’t go and try to be like a certain sports hero or actor. Go be the kind of person that they want to become.

I hope you enjoyed my podcast/blog Negative Personality traits Part 2. Don’t forget to like, comment and follow.

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The Importance Of Retirement Planning

I have been retired for seven years now and I enjoy every minute of it. I retired when I was 53 years old but could have (and should have) retired at the age of 50. There has been a lot to learn in my retirement. I can describe my retirement in one word, options. There are unlimited options for me now that I didn’t have when I worked for the government. I can be or do anything I want now. Today I want to discuss the importance of retirement planning.

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Planning For Retirement

When I was working, I attended a pre-retirement seminar a couple of years before I retired. We were allowed to request attendance five years before our minimum retirement date. At the end of the seminar, I wrote on my evaluation that it was great information. The only problem was we needed the information sooner. It was too late for a lot of people to do what was needed for a comfortable retirement. Here are five things to do for a comfortable retirement.

  1. Begin Planning Early.
  2. Develop Specialized Knowledge and Skills.
  3. Find a Good Financial Planner.
  4. Begin Saving Early.
  5. Pay off Your Mortgage.

Begin Planning For Retirement Early

When I started my career I was 23 years old. Two things that I never thought were going to happen back then were: I would retire; I would get old. When you’re young you never think about getting old but it is inevitable. It happens to all of us. Importance of retirement planning is crucial. Starting your career is when you should start planning for your retirement. Begin thinking about what you want to do and how you want to live when that day finally comes.

Beginning your plan early will allow you to adjust to everything life throws your way. Sometimes life throws you the good things, marriage, children, etc. Other times the bad things death, injury, sickness, etc. Good things and bad will affect your retirement. By planning for the future early in your career you can minimize the impact.

Specialized Skills And Knowledge In Retirement

During my 30 year career, I developed certain skills and knowledge. After I retired I learned that most of my skills and knowledge didn’t transfer to my new life. If you have generalized skills and knowledge, you will learn that everyone is retired with the same skills. There’s a lot of competition. Finding your niche will help you stand out against the competition. I suggest that you research throughout your career skills that are needed in the private sector. Take courses and study those skills to gain the knowledge that you need.

A Financial Planner Is Important

Find a good financial planner. Unless you are an expert on finances you will need a financial planner. They can help you make the right decisions with your money. This will allow you to keep as much money as you can before retirement. It is a big change to go from knowing a check is coming every two weeks to a smaller check once a month. You will need to supplement your retirement with other sources of income if you want to maintain your current lifestyle.

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Save Early And Often

Begin saving as early as you can. The earlier you begin the more money you will have in retirement. I always put money into my Thrift Savings Account, which is the government 401(k). If I had to do it over again I would maximize my contributions. In retirement, you can use your savings to supplement your retirement. I withdraw a certain amount every month. Because the stock market has done so well, my savings have increased.

Saving early is probably the most important thing you can do. I recommend setting a goal for the amount of money you want to save before retirement. For me, the best thing was having it withdrawn from my paycheck and placed into my account. Out of sight, out of mind. Since I never saw the money it was like it never existed. My savings account would grow every two weeks without me doing anything.

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Eliminate That Big Debt

Pay off your mortgage. My mortgage is my biggest expense as it is for most people. Since I transferred a lot during my career I was not able to pay off my last mortgage. I bought houses and sold houses; made and lost money. If I had stayed in one location, in the same house, I wouldn’t have to worry about a mortgage now. I think about what I could do in the places I could go if I didn’t have a mortgage. If at all possible, pay off your mortgage before you retire.

These are just five things I wish I had known before retirement. One can’t overstate the importance of retirement planning. I am not an expert on retirement or financial planning. I hope that you will begin thinking about retirement now that you are young and not wait until it’s too late. Do your research, make a plan, and find a financial planner to help you. Always remember to start saving early.

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Perseverance Is The Key To Success

Do you ever wonder, why isn’t anything easy? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could go through life without any struggles? Especially during these trying times in which we are currently living. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen because life itself is a struggle and it takes strength and perseverance to get by. People who succeed in life are persistent. They learn how to improvise, adapt, and overcome. This is a phrase that Clint Eastwood made famous in his movie, Heartbreak Ridge. Perseverance is the key to success.

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Perseverance Is The Key To Success

You can’t get something great without giving something up. The struggles that we go through are necessary in order to accomplish our goals. God presents these struggles to us and we must learn to overcome them. Even though our struggles seem mighty, God never gives us more than we can handle. Whatever you’re going through, rest assured that it’s already inside you to overcome that struggle. The comedian Steve Harvey talks about his struggles when he first tried to make it in comedy. Looking at him now you would never know that he had to live in his car for three years while he was struggling to make it. He persevered and now leads an abundant wealthy lifestyle. He had no idea how long it would take him to achieve his goals.

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Persevere, Your Struggles Don’t Last Forever

We must persevere because our struggles don’t last forever. As I said earlier, they can never be too hard because God never gives us more than we can handle. If you improvise, adapt, and overcome, you will come out stronger and better. You can have the life you always wanted. In order to persevere, you must have a definitive purpose, a big WHY. This will get you through when it gets too hard, and you don’t feel like it’s worth the struggle. Do a little bit every day to get you closer to your goals and always keep moving forward, never go back. A great book to read on perseverance is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

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Are you hurting right now? Is life kicking you in the teeth and every day is a struggle?  We are all going through tough times these days and no one knows when it will end.  All we can do is improvise, adapt, and overcome. Set your goals, make a plan, and put action to that plan. Find your definitive purpose and if you don’t have one, ask. It will be shown to you. Keep things simple and form a team of people who will support you until your struggle ends. Were all in this together and we will need the help of each other to get through. Perseverance is the key to success.

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The Fateful Day That Changed My Life

Almost 30 years ago I sat on my bunk inside our tent in the jungles of Peru. It was 10 o’clock in the morning and as the sweat rolled down my face, I looked at the thermometer and the temperature read 104 degrees. As I buttoned my shirt, I realized that this was the first time I had worn my civilian clothes in three weeks. I looked down at my laundry bag and rucksack which were both full. I was excited, because today I was going to Lima for a much-needed three day R & R (rest and relaxation). I picked up my bags and headed out of the tent into the intense heat of the Upper Huallaga Valley. As I passed the sandbag wall that protected our tent, I turned left and walked down the dirt road that circled inside our encampment. I could smell the food cooking in the mess hall and was thankful I would be eating in a restaurant that evening. I spoke with some of the Peruvian National Police officers while walking past their barracks. I realized and was thankful that the bags I was carrying were much lighter than all the ammunition and explosives I normally carried on an operation. Walking past the helicopters, I waved goodbye to the mechanics and pilots who were performing maintenance. I then turned and walked past the mortar positions and out the gate, which was covered in concertina wire, onto the airstrip. There I met up with my two buddies who were making the trip with me. We were all excited about eating good food, sleeping in a comfortable bed, and meeting beautiful Peruvian ladies. I didn’t know at the time but this trip would change my life forever.

Concertina Wire
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I saw the aircraft approaching the runway and was thankful that it was a beautiful day, which meant the flight wouldn’t be canceled because of bad weather. The plane was a gray C-123 cargo plane. It had two propeller engines and was short and fat. We had nicknamed the plane “El Burro” because it kind of resembled a small donkey. I could smell the aviation fuel as the plane taxied to the end of the runway and turned around to prepare for takeoff. We helped unload supplies for the camp and load things that needed to be transported to Lima. By the time we were finished, our clothes were wet, and we were covered in sweat. It was something you just got used to, living in the jungle. I walked up the ramp at the tail of the plane and found a seat at the front of the cargo section. The seats were made out of cargo netting but were still comfortable. I found my oxygen mask which I would be needing later. The aircraft was not pressurized so once we climbed above 10,000 feet we would need to put on our masks and breathe oxygen, if not we would pass out. We called the trip from the jungle to Lima, “Over the Hump,” because we had to fly over the Andes Mountains. We were told that the pilots had to take the aircraft up as high as it could go to get over the mountains. I took a paperback out of my bag and turned to the dog-eared page where I’d left off. I read a lot in the jungle because when we weren’t on operations or preparing for the next operation, there was nothing else to do. I heard the propellers begin to crank up and the noise then turned into a deafening roar as they got up to full speed. El Burro launched forward and gained momentum as it traveled down the airstrip. We were all bouncing around the back of the aircraft, then everything got smooth as we lifted off. In a little over an hour we would be in Lima and amongst their 5.8 million inhabitants.

The Burro

Later that evening, after a shower and change of clothes, my friends and I decided to go to a British Pub for a good meal and some beers. As I walked in the front door I saw her standing at the end of the bar. She might not have been the most beautiful girl in the room, or the tallest, but she was the only person in the room that I saw. I’ll never forget it, she was wearing a white top, a short blue jean skirt, and blue pumps. She was leaning against the wall with her right leg bent and her foot against the wall. She was standing there talking to some other people, but I couldn’t even tell you who she was talking to because the only person I saw was her. There was an instant attraction. I was told that she was friends with the owner of the pub and that she was dating a German who worked for the airlines. I didn’t even talk to her that evening.

British Pub
Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash

I went back to the jungle, finished my tour, and returned to the states. About a year later, I was on another tour and once again went to the pub. I was sitting at a table, eating, and drinking with my friends. The pub was packed that night and filled with laughter and rock music. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and say excuse me, when I turned around it was her. She said she needed to go to the restroom and asked if I could lean up so she could squeeze between my chair and the pole behind me. About a minute later, she came back and I leaned up to let her through. She came up to me, asking to get by, two more times within a half-hour. After the third time, I was thinking that this girl must have a tiny bladder. I remember her saying, in the sweetest voice, “you must hate me.” I just smiled and said it wasn’t a problem. I still thought she was in a relationship so I didn’t bother trying to talk to her, even though I was still very attracted to her. After a few beers, I saw a very pretty girl standing near the bathrooms and decided to take a shot. I went up to her and asked, “Do you speak English?” She replied, “No, but my friend does.” She then pointed to her friend; the girl I had been attracted to. That was all it took and I went up and introduced myself. She said her name was Sofia and we talked and had a wonderful night. I then went back to the jungle and back to the states without seeing her again.

What A Good Looking Couple!

Several months later, I was back in Lima and ran into Sofia. She gave me her phone number and I was off once again to the jungle. A few weeks later I made another trip, “Over the Hump,” to Lima. The Burro had been delayed because of the weather and we arrived close to 6 o’clock. I had debated on the flight whether to call Sofia or not. As we landed I rushed to our office at the airport and decided if it was still open that was a sign I should call Sofia. I found the office open even though everyone would’ve normally left around five. I gave her a call and asked her out on a date. She accepted and even though I didn’t know it at the time, that phone call was going to change my life forever.

Napa Valley

This week we will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. It has been 27 wonderful years and has produced two beautiful successful daughters. I want to wish Sofia a Happy Mother’s Day. She has been the best example to our two daughters, is the glue that holds our family together, and always keeps us laughing.

I also want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, in heaven. She always told me, “You can do anything you put your mind to. You can be anything you want to be.”