Monthly Archives: June 2015

What’s in Your Treasure Chest?

KEYS SUNRISE, PELICANS, TARPONS AT ROBBIES JUNE 8 152  #2_edPirates have long enjoyed the notorious reputation of burying chests laden with treasure. Most of the stories are myth, but today I’m asking you, “What’s in your treasure chest? What kind of booty are you after?”

For some of us, it’s houses, cars, and fancy toys. For others adventure is the very touchstone of their soul. It’s why people travel, scuba dive, and jump out of airplanes.

For others it‘s health. Or a satisfied mind. It’s the reason both the Serenity Prayer of St. Francis and Buddhism have been so popular.

For many of us, family and friends are our greatest treasure. For others, it’s using their talents to make a difference. Van Gogh was hardly recognized in his lifetime, yet his  treasure chest was chock full of good things. Sadly, only Vincent knew it.

Figuratively speaking, we’re all on the High Seas of Life, swinging our cutlasses, gleefully shouting, “Arrrgh!”  Each day we set sail, striving to fill our lives with all the happiness, adventure, and contentment our pirate hearts can hold. Yet everyone’s chest has its own unique mix of  treasure, and not one of us can tell another his chest is all wrong. That’s something everyone has to figure out for himself.

Once in a while, we need to drop anchor and dig through our booty. Lots of good stuff in there! But are you missing anything? A better relationship? A dream you left to wither in a shadowy corner of your soul?

Or perhaps your treasure chest has gotten filled with things that no longer work for you. Things that have become more of a burden than a joy. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself, “How does this serve me now?” Letting go of what we cling to opens our hands to new treasure.

Go ahead. Take a look inside that chest of yours before you drop off to sleep tonight. Do you like what you see? Anything missing? Time to make a few adjustments?

When you make that final voyage on the Sea of Life and the Great Mariner greets you, maybe he’ll be grinning more than you when you open your chest and show him what you’ve got.

The Time Pirate

It was a pretty daunting Tuesday that lay before me. My check-in for my colonoscopy was at 8:00 am. The procedure was at 9:00. With any luck, I’d be sitting in the Applewood House of Pancakes by 11:00, savoring Amy’s Awesome shrimp omelet and a stack of hot pancakes. The preparation leading up to my procedure involved the unavoidable misery the day before. So when my wife pulled into the hospital parking lot at 7:22, It was comforting to know I had time to spare.

Fifteen minutes later, my day began to unwind quicker than the threadbare sails of an aging galleon. “You’re all set,” the receptionist said, as she signed me in. Then there was a long pause as she glanced at the number written next to Tuesday.

“Seventeen.”

“Seventeen what?” I asked.

“The secretary scheduled you for the seventeenth.”

“Yes. Tuesday. It says so right there.”

“She wrote the wrong date,” she replied. “You’re in the computer for tomorrow.”

If there had been anything in my stomach, it certainly would have growled in protest. “Don’t worry. We won’t make you do that preparation again. They’ll have to squeeze you in.”

As I climbed out of the wheel chair and into the waiting car seven hours later, I glanced at my wife. Lunch had proved as elusive as Amy‘s Awesome omelet. But at least my troubles were behind me.

Flashback to a little over four hundred years ago. Sailors hustled on the Cuban dock as a restless breeze rocked the ships that lay at anchor. Noblemen and slaves alike were abuzz as they made final preparations for their trip to Spain. Unimaginable wealth was stored in the ships’ hulls: gold, emeralds, and silver bars. Carefully packed in crates were chalices, plates of silver, and finely crafted jewelry. Then there was the loot the greedy had smuggled aboard to avoid the ship‘s manifest.

Somewhere two hundred miles to the east, a monster with massive arms swirled clouds, wind, and rain wildly in its path. Two days later, the Atocha and twenty-seven other ships in a caravan struggled in mountainous seas. The Atocha and the Margarita were among the unlucky ones, sinking in fifty-five feet of water. As primitive as their forecasting was, the people of the day had warning of what was to come. Yet greed, restlessness, and a yearning to return home overcame their better judgment. Continue reading →

Twenty-five Signs You May Be a Pirate

You May Be a Pirate if…JANUARY ODYSSEY116

  1. … You’ve ever been thrown out of a baseball game because you stole one of the bases and you weren’t even playing.
  1. … After you brush your teeth, you g-Arrgh-le with rum.
  1. … Your friends keep telling you to take a shower.
  1. … All your pets are parrots.
  1. … The Lone Ranger was your hero, but you liked his horse Silver even more.
  1. … You’re the only one in your neighborhood with the Jolly Roger flying from your flagpole.
  1. … You have a bumper sticker on your car that says, “My other car is a pirate ship.”
  1. … You spend all your free time listening to Kenney Chesney or Jimmy Buffett music.
  1. … Instead of a savings account, you bury all your money in the backyard.
  1. … Your only camera is a Cannon.
  1. … While everyone else is shaking their booty to the music, you start jingling the coins in your pocket.
  1. … Your favorite game as a kid was Hide and Sneak.
  1. … Your favorite instrument is the steal guitar.
  1. … You think a baby boomer is a small cannon.
  1. … You’re willing to pay an arm and a leg for a bottle of rum.
  1. … You have a dog named Rover.
  1. … You only watch movies rated Aaarrrrrgh.
  1. … At church you always sing, “Preys the Lord!”
  1. …When you got your ears pierced, you paid a buccaneer.
  1. … You’re a plumber and you keep asking your helper for your wench.
  1. … The only book you’ve ever read was Treasure Island.
  1. … Instead of wearing sunglasses, you wear an eye patch.
  1. … You think Jolly Ranchers are candies made just for pirates.
  1. You can’t understand why the woman in the supermarket slapped you in the face when you complimented her on her broadside.
  1. Your favorite blog is Pirates, Mariners, and the Eternal Sea.

How did you do? Less than five and you’re no pirate at all. Six to ten and you’ll be pillagin’ and plunderin’ in no time with a little more practice. Fifteen correct and you must have a pirate ship waiting to whisk you away. Twenty correct and you deserve the Golden Doubloon Award. Let me dig into my pirate’s chest. I think I have one in here somewhere. Oh, yeah! Here it is…

Ten Disturbing Things You Should Know about the Sea and What You Can Do about it

IMG_3544  June 08 is World Ocean Day. Soon many of us will be gearing up for a nice vacation at our favorite beach or looking forward to a relaxing weekend at the shore, but June’s also a good time to reflect on what the sea means to us and what we can do to make it healthier. Here are a few things to consider over the next few days.

  1. Fourteen billion pounds of garbage ends up in the ocean every year. How much of that is yours? Recycling really does make a difference.
  1. Most of the protein humans consume comes from fish. What happens when pollution makes fish so sick they become inedible? And what becomes of us when we over fish and our oceans are void of life? It’s a problem we really can solve.
  1. Plastic in our oceans accounts for the deaths of more than a million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals. Do you really want to be part of that problem?
  1. Deaths from shark bites average about seven to ten a year worldwide. In the U.S. alone, deaths from bee stings number around 53. Lightning kills about 9o people. Don’t believe the hype created by Hollywood movies.
  1. Because of the similarities between coral and human bones, coral is being used to repair bones. Kill off the coral reefs and you’re killing off a lot more than one of Mother Ocean’s precious nurseries, nurseries that harbor thousands of fish vital to our food chain.

Continue reading →