Old Las Vegas

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This is not  an old casino in Las Vegas. It is commonly known as a “locals” casino- for the locals who rarely travel to the strip. It is in Henderson NV, about 15 minutes from where we live. In a town where you can gamble the moment you get off a plane- while waiting to claim your baggage- we, the locals, can gamble even in our super markets. This town is dangerous

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Not So Wordless Wednesday

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“Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.” ~~ Jennifer M. Granholm (Governor of Michigan, 2003-2011)

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Memorial Day-8195 Both photos were taken at Riverside National Cemetery, adjacent to March Air Force Base, Riverside CA on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.

Abandoned and Unloved

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“My childhood was rough, we were poor and my parents were alcoholics, but nobody was mean. I knew I was loved. We were on welfare, but I never felt abandoned or unloved.” ~~ Carol Burnett

OK, folks. I am going to reveal a bit of autobiographical detail which might bore some of you. There will be no test to follow so you may stop reading here if you have no interest in my sordid past. It is a story filled with betrayal, murder and intrigue, lust, car chases, one atomic explosion and a denouement to rival…, oh, wait. That was the movie I watched last night. Nothing to do with my formative years!

Anyway, the above quote, attributed to Carol Burnett, made me stop and think about my own childhood and what it was like. My parents were very much in love and continued to hold hands up until my mother died in 2001. I don’t think they ever really made room for my sister and me. Less so for me. My parents were both hard working with not much formal education- my mother graduated high school but my father did not. Neither did my sister. I, on the other hand, went to university and even entered a master’s program- though I never completed my written dissertation. There were many other differences too- ones that made them joke that I had been adopted. And made me believe that maybe I was. They had no interest in reading, writing, art, music. I did not look like either of them. I was sensitive, introverted, easy to cry. This has nothing to do with the quote above except to make a point. There are all kinds of abuse. Never having time for your child or showing no interest in the things he or she is interested in can hurt as much as a word or a slap. It will mold that child into the person they become. So be careful.

Be love!

All You Have

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“Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.” ~~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

13928526677_bf4dbea619_bI’m tired of avoiding, or trying to minimize, where we live. I tend to say “the desert”, which it is, or “20 minutes south of the strip”, where we are. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit to living in Las Vegas. I never even liked it when I was a kid and my parents would drag my sister and me to a long weekend vacation here. And yet, here we are. The business of life does not usually accommodate where you get to rest your head. Sure, I want to live in a small town like Fontanarosa, where my family comes from and where, I’m told, we still have relatives. But would I really be any happier? I moved here in 1999 to help take care of my grandfather who retired here around 1985. I met my wife in 2009. Online. A free dating site called “Plenty Of Fish” (probably because we were both too cheap to actually use a pay site). How romantic, right? But if I hadn’t moved here, think of all I would have missed. These have been the happiest days, weeks, months, years of my life so far. (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration but chances are she’ll read this one day!) What would I have been, where would I have been, if not for Las Vegas? No we don’t live in Las Vegas. We live on the outskirts where we “occupy the southern rim of the Las Vegas Valley stretching west of Boulder Highway to just east of Interstate 15. Features include … access to the Colorado River, Lake Mead and Sloan Canyon National Conservation area, along with Black Mountain River and McCullough Mountains.” But I work in Las Vegas. In an industry unrelated to hotels and gambling and restaurants. Yes, we are just like any other suburb of any other city. And this week we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. And this year my grandfather will be 92! And maybe next year I’ll be able to rid myself of this damn insecurity.

What Would Mother Do?

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“Food, love, career, and mothers, the four major guilt groups.” ~~ Cathy Guisewite

I know it’s not your typical Mothers Day image nor quote but I didn’t start out today to applaud or congratulate mothers. There is something just so inherently true about the quote. Even if your mother was a saint, as were June Cleaver and Harriet Nelson and probably every mother under Dwight D. Eisenhower, you still do not pass a day without thinking, “What would mother do”? Mother’s stand in the yard yelling, “Don’t go in the street”! Fathers advise you to run! So here’s to all you mothers out there. Have a happy! And as for the photo? Well, there was just something soothing to me about it. Sort of like a mother!

Valley Of Fire

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14112912241_57585b44ce_bValley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, dedicated in 1935. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs, both easily accesible to the most timid of hikers. Exit 75 is just 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas off Interstate 15. The historic cabins, pictured above, were built with Valley of Fire sandstone by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930’s for travelers.