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A Christmas Letter to my friends here on Sparks

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hello Friends!

Hope this Christmas season is finding all of you healthy, happy and in the spirit of Christmas!

Over 2000 years ago, 3 wise men followed a star and their hearts to a humble manger where an infant lie. Like all of us, they probably had incredibly busy lives. Lives filled with responsibilities and things that just needed to get done. But for them a star compelled them to drop everything and pursue the coming of a Messiah, a king, a teacher, a child that was going to change the world forever.
Today, that star is still there for us to follow and is showing us the way, but we too need take the time from our busy lives to see where it is leading us. It’s time for us to bear our gifts to the new born king, but perhaps instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, maybe our gifts should be that which the babe has taught us to give. The gift of love; of giving of ourselves: a visit to someone who is lonely or depressed; a visit to a shut-in or someone in a nursing home; maybe a phone call, text or email to someone just to let them know that you’re thinking of them; or at the very least, a smile and a “Merry Christmas” to the cashier, to the mailman or to the stranger on the street. Where will the star lead you?

Today, the star has led us to you and we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and in our hearts. May your Christmas be filled with light of the star and the love of “The Child”.

Merry Christmas!

Larry and Gloria (Woodheat and Luvquilting)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 12/17/2014 9:48AM

    Sharing ourselves is truly a gift that benefits both the giver and the receiver! Wonderful message, Wood, thanks for your gift of words! emoticon emoticon

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BOBBYD31 12/15/2014 9:44PM

    merry christmas to you and gloria also, that is a wonderful message and a great reminder. we have had a rough start to the month, my dad went into the hospital on the 3rd and passed on the 7th. anne has been having health issues, lots of tests and dr appts the past several months with another 2 this week. all in all we stay strong because "life is good"
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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CASSIOEPIA 12/15/2014 7:03PM

    I think of you often. Merry Christmas to you and Luv!

emoticon emoticon

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MONTREALESTMOI 12/15/2014 1:10PM

    Merry Christmas to you as well!

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RUNNINGWILD 12/15/2014 12:34PM

    Merry Christmas!!

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BRAINBENTT 12/15/2014 12:10PM


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Boston - The Love Continues

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I know that I said yesterday that I was going to blog on the Boston horror story, but somehow I haven't been quite able to wrap myself around this. I'm not sure why? As most of you know from repeated exposure to my meanderings, words usually come easily to me. Not this time. I wonder why? However there have been many out there who have said it well and have said it beautifully and I am grateful for their words. The other team that I have many friends on is "The Rookie Runners". Of course, this event hit them hard. Thankfully, It doesn't appear that any of them were directly involved. However their remarkable leader "Trish" added a sticky thread for runners to comment on. There are a couple that are very well said and you might want to visit them. Trish also suggested that this week we "run, walk or bike" as a tribute to Boston and the people there. I think that's a wonderful idea. Luv and I rode 13 miles and certainly had those injured, physically or emotionally, at Boston in our thoughts. Trish also recommended wearing race shirts or some type of clothing that tells people that you are still out there and will not be intimidated by cowardly terrorism. I also support that idea.

Snow stated that we should get out there and make sure we tell those that are close to our hearts that we love them. Always good advice, but essential right now! Snow I love you!!!

Maui tells us to focus on the good people out there and there are MANY and to focus on the fun in this world. Again excellent advice! Yes Maui, I love you too!

Through Choc we are reminded that even our daily life is filled with tragedy, but somehow we work around those storm clouds and we move on and we bask in the sunshine. Yep, love Choc too!

Then there's the rest of you on the deck who are literally residing all over the world: Canada, U.S., France, New Zealand - thousands of miles between us, but with close bond of friendship and support. Somehow this bonding helps us see past the terrorists, the global crises, the nay-sayers and opens our eyes to all the good out there, as already mentioned by Maui. Love you all!

Not sure how I wasn't able to write my blog, but this felt so natural.

Peace my friends,
There's still a lot of good in the world.

This was a post of mine on Outdoor People, but I wanted to include all my Rookie Runner friends as well so posted it here. Love you all.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANTASM01 9/24/2013 4:41PM

I'm surfing motivational pages today and yours came up. What a nice tribute to the Boston tragedy you wrote and paraphrased from other friends. Our world has changed but I totally agree with a previous response that good will beat evil and good people will keep on doing things they love no matter what. I can see by your pictures that you are indeed a very active and daring person. The glacier tracking photo is very cool. I hope you have that one blown up and framed on a wall in your home. It should be. You are indeed an inspirational sparker. emoticon

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KAYOTIC 4/18/2013 12:30PM

    We'll be getting out today too....and feeling the love more than ever, looking for the goodness.

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BOBBYD31 4/17/2013 8:26PM

    well said my friend. this was a tragic event

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    Thank you Wood. Like DEBBYFROMMT, I am also joining the Boston 26.2 Race. This is very sad and I am more determined now to run a half-marathon this year. I ran yesterday and wore a race shirt to show support. I will start my 26.2 count tomorrow.
Good will conquer evil.

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MAUIMA 4/17/2013 5:25PM

    Yes...Love you too my friend.
emoticon emoticon Goodness is alive, therefore, hope is as well.

Comment edited on: 4/17/2013 5:26:20 PM

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SNOWSNAKE 4/17/2013 11:43AM

    The best words are ones that flow from the H E A R T. Your river never runs dry, your heart is what people "see" first about you..... emoticon well said and you already know that I love you!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/17/2013 11:44:45 AM

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RUNNINGWILD 4/17/2013 11:29AM

    Love you right back!!

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RUNNINGWILD 4/17/2013 11:29AM

    Love you right back!!

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DEBBYFROMMT 4/17/2013 9:52AM


I joined this, You might want to also.

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MNABOY 4/17/2013 9:10AM

    My prayers go out for all.

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KELPIE57 4/17/2013 9:02AM

    The love continues, and like topsy it grows and grows!

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CASSIOEPIA 4/17/2013 8:59AM

    Love you too!

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Musings with Sandy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Yeah, I know, you've heard from me before about how I like big storms! I like blizzards and hurricanes, northeasters, tornadoes, and torrential rains! My heart quickens as soon as a severe storm warning comes over the airs. I'm afraid I'm one of those guys who doesn't have the common sense to stay indoors in this kind of weather either. I get an extreme case of cabin fever real quick and I need to go out and experience the weather face to face! Yeah I quess I'm sort of a storm sick-o - an extreme weather junkie! But before you judge me too harshly, let me explain that I'm not heartless. I worry about the safety of others. I'll be one of the first to start making phone calls to the ones I love to make sure they've done what they can to be prepared. And I do sympathize with those who have lost much to these storms, both in property damage and much worse through the loss of live of people close to them.

So what is it that gets my juices flowing so freely here? First of all, I love excitement! I love almost anything that gets my endrenoline pumped up: roller coasters, fast cars, zip lines, rappeling down the side of a mountain, leaning hard into a slalom ski behind a boat, etc., etc. So it only follows that dark rolling clouds, flashes of lightning, turbulent water would all bring on that same kind of rush. It's that feeling of not quite being in control that sharpen all of my senses!

In fact, that may be the biggest thing I like about the big storms - the fact that we're no longer in control. Man is an arrogant animal thinking that he can rule over the world and that everything is within his control and then something like Sandy comes along and we find out how insignificant we truely are. For at least a short period of time, we are truely humbled!

Violent weather tends also to bring out the best in people. Before Sandy arrived I started getting emails, texts and phone calls from friends around the country who knew that we were in Sandy's path. I assure you, that felt wonderful, knowing that people cared. But its during and after the storms that suddenly men and women who have been too busy with the business of everyday living are out there helping friends, neighbors and total strangers: some by assisting physically and sometimes by supporting the groups and organizations like the Red Cross. Everywhere ordinary people become heros, responding to someone in need. How can you not be moved by that?

I watched the special on tv last night about the aftermath of Sandy. The destruction indeed was beyond words, but with that destruction came proof that we Americans can respond quickly to help others and to do so we'll cross the boundaries that so often restrict us. For at least a little while, we can forget about our political, social, religious, racial differences and just allow ourselves to be human. And that my friend gives me hope.

Once again, I still think
Life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 11/2/2012 4:47AM

    Well said (and not only Americans! )

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KAYOTIC 11/1/2012 8:46AM

    A storm that big is a humbling experience for sure, and if you have to go through it, you may as well take what you can from it, if it's the thrill of the excitement let it happen! And watching people pull together as a community afterward to offer what they can, it's a great picture of humanity in action...

life is good, indeed!

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BOBBYD31 10/31/2012 9:54PM

    wow. we are brothers, i am the the same way! in the middle of sandy arriving over here tuesday afternoon i went out for a 4 mile run and went out again today.

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CASSIOEPIA 10/31/2012 9:49PM

    Love your musings. I'm so glad that you and Luv are okay, and your family. Storms can bring out the better side of people for sure, as we reach out to each other, and are all drawn towards a greater purpose.

Take care, and give Luv a hug for me.

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DEBBYFROMMT 10/31/2012 9:48PM

    You're right about bad weather bringing out the best in people. It seems like in a community, if your not affected, your helping. Even some of the people who were affected were helping others. I didn't realize you were in the path of Sandy. But then again the only reason anyone knows where I am is because it's in my name!

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RUNNINGWILD 10/31/2012 9:10PM

    Life *IS* good.
I'm glad you're safe.

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MAUIMA 10/31/2012 9:00PM

    Quickened heart, reassured that many care, renewed hope. You bet.
I too love the power of storms and the reminder we are not in control. We are little specks. Nature is so big...
Knowing this truth is healthy. So enjoy your storms. :)

Thanks for writing.
Thanks for the reminder.

Glad you are safe and was there to help others, as we knew you would.

Life is good.
Nice blog. :)

Comment edited on: 10/31/2012 9:01:16 PM

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Father's Day

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Luv and I got married in the very early 70's. Viet Nam was still an American nightmare, doomsdayers were predicting not only an economic meltdown, but a complete self-destruction of our democratic way of life. Unemployment was high. Most important, I was young an impressionable and allowed myself to be drug down to the level of the pessimists that seemed to be so well informed. Somehow I missed focusing on all the good people and the good things in life that surrounded me even then. I didn't think bringing childeren into this kind of world was fair to the children and had decided not to have any. Fortunately, Luv didn't share my cloud of dripping negatives and "accidentally" got pregnant!
By far the best accident that ever occurred in my life!

Today I can't imagine a world without my sons and now their families. As they grew up, I grew up. Sharing my world with them turned into a life of adventure and excitement. In place of worrying about the status of the world, life became a personal challenge and although difficult at times, it became very satisying. Life was no longer focused on me, but became focused on us and it's been about US ever since.

Then and now, we played together, worked together, solved problems together, met the challenges of life together. Back when the boys were 13 and 15 we borrowed the money and bought an old used pop up camper and spent 6 weeks touring America! We were told if we didn't do it then, the boys would get to that stage where they didn't want to do things with their parents anymore. Well that was an amazing trip, BUT we never got to that stage that was predicted. They never stopped traveling with us and doing things with us. To this day, we take a family trip every year with everyone - our sons, their wives and now their children! Life is good!

Yesterday, the boys and I celebrated Father's Day a day early with what has become an annual event for us. The 3 of us headed out for a day on the stream. We packed our kayaks with our fishing equipment and beer, slopped on the sun screen and had an amazing day together fishing, laughing and simply enjoying our relationship to one another. We even caught about 60 fish! It just doesn't get any better than this!

Now life is focused on staying healthy and fit, so that adventures like these with my sons and now my grandchildren (my 9 yo gd just got her own kayak) will continue for many years down the road.

So now I look back on that pessimistic young man that I once was and can't even imagine what life would have been like if that first accident hadn't occurred. (BTW, I don't think there was any real accident involved.) I am a very blessed man!

Life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNSAHM 7/21/2012 2:18PM

    Just read your blog now... getting back to SP to continue a healthier me. Love this post.

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K-PO110 6/18/2012 3:18PM

    She is a special lady! And you an incredible lesson, because you "got it" and continue to get it. You have incredible values and I love hearing about your family.

I hope to report a story like this of my own one day.

Well done Wood on your family, your life, your learning.

I am so glad to have you in my life.


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DEBBYFROMMT 6/18/2012 9:47AM

    Happy Father's Day Wood! Life IS good!

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NEILITHICMAN 6/17/2012 6:19PM

    Sounds like an awesome day.

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RUNNINGWILD 6/17/2012 2:20PM

    I just cannot imagine you as pessimistic.
Have a very happy Father's Day!!

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KAYOTIC 6/17/2012 1:48PM

    emoticonHappy Father's Day, what a great tradition you have!

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LIWARD3 6/17/2012 12:35PM

    HAPPY DADDYS DAY!!!!! amazing post

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BOBBYD31 6/17/2012 10:08AM

    awesome buddy, sounds like a great tradition for all of you. happy fathers day from one father to another

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CASSIOEPIA 6/17/2012 9:43AM

    Yes, that wife of yours is one special lady. Thank goodness she had the great sense to have that first "accident". I love the relationship you share with your family. It is a great example for the rest of us.

Happy Father's Day Wood.

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CHOCLAHOLIC 6/17/2012 8:18AM

    Great blog!....Happy Fathers Day Wood !!!!! Choc

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Sunday morning's contemplations - come meander with me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We often find ourselves totally astonished by modern technology - cell phones that access the internet and rearrange our lives; instant messaging with which we can communicate at a whim with others around the world; lasers, once the weapon of science fiction now a precision tool in modern surgery; energy captured from the sun or wind or an atom and put to use in maintaining our everyday lives. None of these modrn innovations com anwhere close to being able to understood with my limited training in these areas and, to me, all seem impossible.

But even the most amazing inventions of our technological world come close to the mind boogleing miracles that have always been around us every day - living things - very complex things that seem to come from nothing and then later become nothing again - completing the cycle.

The most amazing thing of all is the "self", the "ME", the "soul" - the part of us that is much more than the physical structure of tissue and bones. It's there when we're born and I tend to believe that it's there after we die - it's our connection to God, the Universe, Eternity.

The anser to William Shakespear's most famous question, "To Be or Not to Be" cecomes an easy answer. "To be" - forever.


Life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITS4CHANGE 6/12/2012 7:40AM

    This might be a bit off topic but the technology part reminded me of this. While we were in Yosemite, my husband had to take a conference call for work. Thanks to our technology, our work now comes on vacation with us. :( Cell service wasn't the greatest so he sat out in the campground's amphitheater to be on the call. A squirrel jumped up on the bench with him. Then he noticed he was sitting right by the squirrel's hole in the ground. He said he was in awe just sitting there looking up at the majestic granite walls surrounding him. Even though he wasn't happy about having a meeting during his vacation, he said he couldn't have asked for a better setting. Not sure where I'm going with this. I just think his surroundings kept him from being upset with the situation. Maybe it was his soul being connected to nature at that moment that made it ok.

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SNOWSNAKE 6/11/2012 12:25PM

    emoticonI choose "To Be"..... because I can choose! Another concept to awe, our minds are so complex, to be thinking and contemplating - sometimes random thoughts- sometimes intricate patterns to arrive at solutions to problems. Our imaginations......what the heck? Who ever planned that? Will computers ever have an imagination.... Technology can only replicate things to a certain degree, atleast up to now that is. The body is amazing, the mind.... a universe not easily explained. Thanks for the time to contemplate.....***SNOW*** emoticon

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NEILITHICMAN 6/10/2012 9:09PM

    I remember seeing a piece on "Family Guy" where Peter was marvelling at the beauty of a plastic bag blowing in the wind a la American Beauty. They cut to a shot of God looking down saying "It's just a piece of trash blowing in the wind!!! Do you have any idea how complicated your circulatory system is???"

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MAUIMA 6/10/2012 5:48PM

    Yes...Thank you Wood!
I too will meander with you any time...any where...lucky for us, we have (like Cassie said) thanks to technology, had the chance to meander.

The wonder of the individual... Its hard to get my mind to even come close to understanding the magnitude, that, all of mankind, each individual who has ever lived...is just that, an individual. Mind boggling indeed.

And each tree, each bird, each stream...all unique.

My friend, I am glad you are here...
Glad I get to 'be' with you. Like Kay said, eyes open , Like you and K-Po said, miraculous.

Thanks for sharing your musing. Always a joy.

Comment edited on: 6/10/2012 5:50:33 PM

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K-PO110 6/10/2012 2:37PM

    Beautifully said, we are most definitely the most miraculous creation, I fully agree that science will never create a wonder that rivals natures.

Go "Be" Sir! emoticon

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KAYOTIC 6/10/2012 11:00AM

    I think it's so easy to take technology for granted...and not to see the wonder of life all around, thanks for reminding us to open our eyes and see it again!

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CASSIOEPIA 6/10/2012 10:43AM

    I'll meander with you anytime my friend. I always love your ramblings! These are things beyond my understanding as well, but I'm glad the technology gave us the chance to meet. You are a treasure.

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BOBBYD31 6/10/2012 9:49AM

    thanks wood i needed this today. it is too easy to forget about the simple things around that just happen and we take for granted. then of course there is the "me" equation, what a wonderful thing that we tend to forget about. thanks

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