Author Archive

kenshead

are you happy?

“Learn to be satisfied. It is just as easy as being dissatisfied – and much more pleasant.” – Jacob de Jager

We spend too much of our lives being dissatisfied because we found out there was something just a little bit nicer out there, and not nearly enough time being satisfied with what we have. Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with winning and wanting nicer things – they motivate us to work harder in order to have them, which is a good thing! But we can’t get so caught up in it that we end up dissatisfied and unhappy in the process.

Someone made the comment to our band manager — you’re never satisfied, are you?  His answer: Far from it. From time to time he finds himself  lowering expectations, which can be a bad thing. Our constant – Ken McKeveny – wants perfection from us. We owe him and all the musical leaders of the band >> everything we have within us << put it all out there every note, every measure, every tune, every time.

It’s like the thanksgiving table…When you are satisfied…you stop eating. You race to load up and then that’s it. Then you get tired and need to take a rest. Let’s not race to get satisfied, grow weary and stop giving thanks for what we have been given in the first place. Let’s keep wanting more for ourselves so we have a constant and steady growth – remembering why we are feeding ourselves in the first place. Because we are thankful and need to reach for more in order to move on.

None of what we do is easy. Being away from our families, dragging our families with us, the waiting around, the tuning (which is getting easier and faster), the rain, the cracked bagpipes, the cleaning the drums off…and on and on and on. We are grateful and proud of the work of our members (individually and collectively) leading up to and throughout the day in Maryville.

J. Harold Smith stated it best when he said:  “Be dissatisfied enough to improve, but satisfied enough to be happy.”

Are you happy?


muprhy-indoor-featured

Raleigh Indoor Pipe Band Competition…

On behalf of the Mike Murphy Memorial community – we are proud to announce our Inaugural Indoor Pipe Band Competition in Raleigh, NC-USA on Saturday, 23 July 2016 starting at 12:00 pm.  The contest will take place indoors at the Ravenscroft School – Fine Arts Theatre (7409 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh NC-USA).  This campus is alcohol and tobacco free.  An after-party will take place at The Piper’s Tavern just down the road.

The competition is sanctioned by the Eastern Unites States Pipe Band Association; all events will be held within the rules and regulations of the EUSPBA.  All competing bands must be registered with the EUSPBA or an affiliated organization.  A format change has been approved by the EUSPBA; bands will perform in a “concert formation” on a stage, facing the judges and audience.  Stage size and layout information will be provided so bands can rehearse accordingly.  There will be no opening or closing “massed bands”.

Registration is FREE (form below).
Bands must register by Friday, 01 July 2016.
Travel assistance will not be available for this inaugural event.
Judges include: Sandy Jones and June Hanley for piping,
Jon Quigg for drumming and Andrew Hoinacki for ensemble.

In addition to the EUSPBA required selections for odd days (G3 Medley and G4 M/S/R) bands will also be afforded the opportunity to play their alternate selections.  G5 will only perform a QMM.  You will be requested to submit complete tune lists for announcement and program purposes.  Prize monies will be awarded to the G5 QMM winners, G4 Medley and M/S/R winners and the G3 M/S/R and G3 Medley winners.  The “winning” G4 and G3 bands of the day will be based on composite scores from both selections and will receive keepsake pint glasses.   Composite awards will also be presented for best drum section and best mid-section in each grade.

prize-money

For more information about this topic, please contact Martina Murphy by calling 703.407.3880 or sending an e-mail to Murphy@raleighpipeband.com

This event is being held in partnership with Raleigh’s Pipe Band,
the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums.


ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM

Comments or questions are welcome.

* indicates required field
By checking this box, and submitting my application, I hereby waive any claims I and/or my heirs may have for damages against Mike Murphy Memorial Pipe Band Competition committee, the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums and Ravenscroft School for any injuries which may be suffered by the above contestant in events sponsored by this organization at the Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC-USA.

 


To be remembered is to live on.


southern

graciousness is armor and weapon…

Southern Hospitality…it’s complicated. Yes, we welcome you. We welcome you to come sit at our supper tables, stay awhile at our bed and breakfasts, and sleep late in our famous hotels. And we’ll give you a smile as big as you’ve ever seen. But abide by our manners, please. And don’t leave early, please. We might be a little offended if you do. Thank you for your kindness. Now, flip the page, and enjoy our look at Southern hospitality in North Carolina. Do it. Please.

A single fact renders pointless all debate about whether to live north or south of the Mason-Dixon Line. You can talk about college basketball or NASCAR or barbecue or grits until the metaphorical cows come home — you’ll alienate as many people as you convince, I’m sure of it. Those are all topics that prompt debate, that profit from debate. But when I moved to North Carolina from Philadelphia, within a week I realized I had come home. My awakening involved soda pop.

In a cozy booth with coworkers, I decided to give myself the treat of a second Diet Pepsi as I lingered over lunch with these newfound friends. The waitress refilled my glass and did an amazing thing — she did not pick up the bill and scrawl in another drink, the way Philadelphia waitresses did to my lunch checks for a decade. I thought I’d found a special restaurant I’d return to for years. That happened to be true, but by the end of the first week of those welcome-to-town lunches, I realized something: That’s just how it works here in the South. You get as many sodas — or iced teas — as you want with lunch. You can get involved in a good conversation, decide the heck with work, and sit there until 3 p.m. And the drinks just keep coming.

To me, that tastes a lot like heaven.

Of course, I soon realized: That’s not heaven; it’s just the perfect expression of Southern hospitality. The endless soda pop refill is “Go on, set a spell” made flesh. The free refill says, “You had enough, Sug? You sure? Lemme just get you a little more. Stick around. Don’t hurry off. Be comfortable. Stay.”

But hospitality has another side, of course, and soon after I moved to the South — 20 years ago, mind you — I experienced that, too. I went to dinner at a nationally known Durham restaurant one evening and emerged four hours later, glassy eyed, with the Northern members of my party delighted: “Now that,” they said, “was Southern hospitality.”

“No,” I said. “That was a hostage drama.” That wasn’t, Welcome. That was, Stick around whether you like it or not; you are going to sit there and claw your way through our food performance and our three different dessert services, and we’ll tell you when you’re full. That wasn’t hospitality — that was showing off. It was manipulation served on a bed of grits. “Oh, no, folks, you ain’t done yet,” that restaurant said. “Stay.”

•••

Stay: that ultimate expression of hospitality, somewhere between request and command, not only the urge to a beloved guest, but also the rebuke to a misbehaving child or dog. In the lunch booth, with the free soda pop and the ceiling fans and the chummy waitress, Southern hospitality is all it’s chalked up to be: It’s 12-molar, 190-proof distilled essence of welcome, and aren’t you sweet? But at the restaurant where you can’t leave until they bring you a bill, and they won’t bring it until they’re good and done with you, it’s about control, not welcome. It’s a little bit more like Grandma’s insistence on red velvet cake and seven-layer cake and chocolate cake after Sunday dinner — but everybody has to make one and bring it, and don’t even think about getting up from the table until you’ve tried all three, and, meanwhile, greens turn to glop on the stove and dressing dries out in the oven and Grandma accidentally lays the potatoes down on the settee, a case of nerves brought on by the strain of all these guests that she demanded come over. I have endured this kind of hospitality in the family of my beloved wife, a native of this state, and I have seen the toll it takes on host and guest alike. “A tyrannical Southern insistence on hospitality” is how David Denby described it in a recent New Yorker review. “Graciousness,” he concluded, “is both armor and a weapon.”

Denby is far from the first to note that Southern hospitality has its dark side. Roy Blount Jr. discussed it in his famous essay “The Lowdown on Southern Hospitality.” “The truth is, irritation is involved in Southern hospitality,” Blount writes. “Nothing … is sweeter than mounting irritation prolongedly held close to the bosom.”

Good point, but I have to ask: That applies to all hospitality, does it not? I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and although I welcome guests and love to share bed, board, and company, I’m usually tired of the visitors almost from the moment they take off their coats. In any case, I’m internally rehearsing my many sacrifices on their behalf and looking forward to when they leave. I think that irritation attends all hospitality, and it highlights the complexity of the human condition rather than anything particularly Southern.

Not so the free soda pop — that is definitely a Southern thing. Seriously — I return to this time after time because it has real meaning to me. I have encouraged people to move to North Carolina for the free soda pop alone. I have grown so familiar with the free refills at some of my favorite haunts that I have been welcomed to go behind the bar and get it myself, like a houseguest finally, after a prolonged stay, no longer waited on but given free rein to the fridge and cupboards. Now that is hospitality.

I came to the South as a journalist, so from the start, I was showing up on people’s porches and doorsteps, imposing on their hospitality, and let me say straightforwardly: That hospitality never failed. I would ask shocking questions about their organ transplants and their murdered children, their strange customs and their perplexing works of art. They would share their stories with me, and we would laugh together, cry together, eat together. I used to drive home from one tidy farm or another, heading back to Raleigh, sun dipping low, and remind myself: Every person I met that day — every person who cooked me hot dogs or brought me cookies from the pot luck or, yes, endlessly refilled my glass — every one of those people probably voted for … for someone for whom I would never vote. But there I went, and they opened their homes and their lives to me, and sent me on my way with not just a good story but, chances are, a plate covered with foil for my wife. Remember this, I would say to myself. This is where you live. This is how people do here.

•••

So, OK, there’s something to this hospitality business. But from where? And since when? If you go to the books — I always go to the books — you quickly learn that like many things perceived as stereotypically Southern, hospitality has a flavor more rural than simply Southern. That is, the roots of this famous hospitality probably stem from the fact that the South, unlike the citified North, was a community of mostly farms, large and small.

In A History of the South, Francis Butler Simkins and Charles Pierce Roland say “the cult of Southern hospitality” expressed “a means of relieving the loneliness of those living far from each other.” A new friend once pressed hospitality on me on Malta, the island at the belly button of the Mediterranean. When I suggested I could not possibly be as welcome a guest as he made me seem, he explained: “We live on an island. We wait for people like you.” Loneliness powerfully motivates hospitality. On a more basic level, when it took half a day to get to the neighbors, you’d better get more than a ladle of water and a nod from the porch when you rode up.

On the other hand, Frederick Law Olmsted, who traveled throughout the South before the Civil War and wrote of his experiences, expected to pay 75 cents or more each night for the hospitality he received. Hospitality had become a myth even before then. Jacob Abbott’s 1835New England, and Her Institutions describes a traveler riding “through Virginia or Carolina” who is all but kidnapped for no other reason than for the householder he visits to shower him with hospitality. Abbott claims that such hospitality explains why the taverns of the South were so poor: “so they must continue, as long as Southerners are as free, and generous, and open-hearted as they now are.” Apocryphal stories abounded of plantation owners who had slaves waylay strangers into their clutches, the better to demonstrate hospitality. The slaves, meanwhile, presumably knew what it felt like to be required to stay rather longer than they might have wished.

The competitive hospitality macho of, say, the Twelve Oaks barbecue in Gone with the Wind is long gone, and with it the perceived need to try to dress up the overzealous hospitality of slavery. The “cult of hospitality,” however, remains. As late as 1972, Simkins and Roland explained that in the Old South “the forests, the fields, and the streams gave abundantly of their produce,” and even a small Southern farm encouraged hospitality by providing its owner with “nearly all the vegetables known to the American housekeeper of the twentieth century.” In some ways that seems to predict the modern Southern gardener creeping to the neighbor’s door in dark of night to “hospitably” abandon a bushel of excess zucchini. More important, of course, it seems highly optimistic, as does their claim that frugality was unnecessary because “everything was plentiful and inexpensive.” On the other hand, it seems reasonable that “vegetables and eggs were perishable” — every Carolina child less than a couple of generations from the fields knows that pound cake was just a way to find a way to store a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Still, with hungry family and farmhands — to say nothing of slaves — it seems unlikely that farmers were inveigling unwary passersby to their overburdened groaning boards just to avoid throwing away good food.

•••

Whatever its origins and however extreme its exaggerations, only a fool would claim that hospitality has vanished from the modern South. If you think I was thrilled when I first discovered the Miracle of the Endless Soda Pop, I only wish you could have seen me at my first NASCAR race, wandering the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway from grill to grill, from cooler to cooler, getting fuller and more hospitable with every step. One almost had to duck to avoid the constantly proffered beer, the beckoning burger or barbecue. And if the cries at bikini-clad women in the infield strained propriety, nobody who has walked the infield trails can deny that in the face of such rudeness many a young woman has been moved nonetheless to show her … hospitality.

An even greater modern expression of Southern hospitality comes at the end of a pickup tailgate in the parking lot around, say, Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh any time after 10 a.m. on a home Saturday in the fall (although the stadium could just as easily be Dowdy-Ficklen in Greenville, or Kidd Brewer in Boone; this tradition spreads over the state like red clay runoff from a construction site). In these pregame parking rituals, that antebellum competitive hospitality has returned: Graciousness, Denby said, is both armor and weapon. The clang of battle rings, with SUVs rocking cookware that would make the chef at that restaurant that once held me hostage weep with envy. And high-end bourbon whiskey? You don’t even have to bring your own cup. These people want you to have a good time — and to admit how much better their Bloody Mary or barbecue sauce is than the one across the lane.

Yes, graciousness is armor and weapon. But it’s also, simply, gracious. Southern hospitality may have started because Southerners were a rural people, and it may have codified into a fierce code and a laughable myth — how many steps from Scarlett to Clampett? It may cover our greatest sins and enable our most manipulative behaviors. But it also lets us, as a group, agree on something. Down here, in the South, we’re nice to each other. We’re nice to whoever shows up. We share; we’ve got enough. Stick around and enjoy a little more. Don’t hurry off. Sure, you’re a Yankee, but here you are, and here we are, and have a little more soda pop, and tell me something I don’t know yet. Be with us — be one of us. Be comfortable.

We’re glad you’re here.

Stay.


From Our State —  Scott Huler’s articles appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, and Backpacker and Fortune magazines. He has written several books, including his most recent, On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood and the Systems that make Our World Work. He served as the 2011 Piedmont Laureate and lives in Raleigh with his wife and two children. Scott’s most recent story forOur State was “The Space to Improvise” (April 2012).


10-years-running

looking ahead…

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”   – Graham Greene

In 2005 – under the leadership of veteran Chicago police officer and long-time piper Joe Brady, the members of the Carolina Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society had worked in the Johnston County area to build a public safety pipe band. At the same time, an interest in piping was growing within the Wake County EMS Division as several interested potential piping students pressed Wake County EMS Chief and resident piper – Skip Kirkwood – to help them learn to play the pipes (one of those interested medics was Assistant Chief Tony Crawford).

On May 6, 2006 – while attending the dedication of the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Raleigh, Brady (that day performing with the Charlotte Fire Department pipe band) met Crawford.  Also in attendance that day were Raleigh Firefighters Jason Lane, Joe Harwell, Lloyd Johnson and Garner Firefighter Michael Bishop.   This was the moment from which to look back on.

We often start things with a very good reason behind why we are doing it. There is typically a motivation that is driving us forward. But sometimes we can get so busy doing something that we totally lose sight of WHY we started doing it in the first place!  It’s so critical for each of us to set check points where we stop and remember WHY we started doing it to begin with and then ask yourself if where you are now is fulfilling your reason WHY you started down the path.

We can be doing something so fast and furiously and with so much intent that we get sucked into a tide that just keeps carrying us forward, and we can go weeks and even months or years before we stop and check to see if what we are doing is fulfilling the WHY we did it.

Members of pipe bands often find themselves in this situation. Some start a band with the goal of honoring fallen police officers and firefighters and others start it with the goal of becoming G1 World Champions. There is a big difference between those two and both come at very different costs.

All of us find ourselves in this situation in our own personal lives as well. Our goal may be to take on a new hobby for the sheer enjoyment, yet as we do it more it becomes competitive for us and we can become obsessed with being the very best. In that process we suck the sheer enjoyment out of it and we find that we are no longer achieving the WHY we had hoped to.

When our journey began 10 years ago none of us realized we would have come so far, so fast. It wasn’t luck by any means – rather a simple case of preparedness meeting opportunity. The band is a volunteer group – and their dedication has shined all the way through and leading up to 07 May 2016 at the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial – that moment where we now find ourselves looking ahead…


moms

to our band moms…

“Successful Mothers are not the ones that have never struggled, they are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”  This weekend we will be celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s a time we all take a moment to think about all the things our Mothers do for us in life. It’s also a time when those of us who have become Mothers ourselves feel gratitude for the blessing of being a mom to our children.

My Mother gave birth to and raised TEN CHILDREN! Ten! I had no idea what being a Mother to ten children actually entailed until I gave birth to two little children of my own. As I went through labor and delivery for the first time I thought to myself “she must have been insane to do this ten times!” And as I was running around the house trying to keep my two little children from falling off furniture and putting garbage in their mouths it hit me just how incredible my Mother was to have dealt with chasing ten little children around. How did she do it?!  How did she handle never having a moment to herself? How did she handle little knocks at the bathroom door that wouldn’t go away until she opened it? How did she handle making ten kids’ school lunches and driving ten kids to every sports and dance practice? And how in heaven’s name did she handle going to ten parent teacher conferences every year?  Not to mention having to sit through every band concert and every Halloween parade and every school play. And what about all the Girl Scout cookie drives and the Boy Scout jamborees? Think of ten birthday parties to throw every year and ten kids to wrap Christmas presents for not to mention all the toys to assemble!  I literally can’t even imagine how she juggled everything in those early years as she raised ten children.

And what about the teenage years? Can you imagine raising ten teenagers? Teaching ten teenagers to drive a car. Waiting up for ten teenagers to come home from their dates at night. Arguing and negotiating with ten teenagers on every subject imaginable. Doing laundry for ten teenagers. Buying carloads of groceries and making dinner for ten hungry teenagers every single night. Helping ten teenagers with their Calculus homework and their English essays. Worrying endlessly about what mistakes each of the ten teenagers would make and wondering how she could help them recover from their consequences.

One might think it got easier when the ten kids reached adulthood, but that would be false. There were ten adults that needed help paying for college educations, and five boys to help pay for their church missions. Ten adults to console as they cried about their latest dating heartbreaks. Ten adults to worry about finding the right partner in life. Then ten weddings to pay for which expanded their children to twenty! So there are 20 people to comfort when marriage relationships have struggled, or when divorce has occurred, or when jobs have been lost, or when health problems have arisen.  But it doesn’t end there…

As if that wasn’t enough to be a Mother of 19 (one divorced), enter the grandchildren. First one, then two, and today 37 and still counting! And of course Mother was always there to help as each of her own daughters and daughters-in-law became Mother’s themselves. She is there to hold the grandbabies and to babysit time and time again.  Oh, and did I mention the Great-grandchildren? Because she is up to 10 of those so far!

67 people (yes I can add but you gotta throw her husband in as all of us who are married know there are   times are husbands are like a child too. That is the number of people my Mother mothers today – 67!!!  I cannot even imagine how big her heart must be to love 67 people with a Mother’s unconditional love. Heck, my heart is overwhelmed with caring for and loving my own four (two children, one daughter-in-law, and of course one husband.   I truly can’t fathom how my Mother does it. At the age of 74 she still isn’t finished yet.  There will be more grandkids and more great-grandkids still to come and with each new addition she will be there…because that’s what a Mother does. Because being a Mom is a noun, an adjective, and a verb –

“Mom is one who does whatever it takes to get whatever it is done. Period.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t take time to say “I love you Mom! Thank you for everything you do for me and the 66 other children in your life who wouldn’t have the gift of our own lives if it wasn’t for you and the sacrifices you chose to make to bring us into this world. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!”

And Happy Mother’s Day Sunday to all of you other Moms reading this too!


From Amy Rees Anderson


teamwork

teamwork…

The difference between success and failure is a great team.   When we first started Wake and District in the spring of 2006, we were not certain of what was to come.  We were police officers, lawyers, engineers, students, machinists, Doctors to name but a few — all tremendous individuals who shared a common goal of being a successful and driven pipe band standing ready to honor our fallen.

Ten years, three competition bands, 100+ members (past, present, traveling and guest) and hundreds of chanter reeds later, we’ve learned the only way to build a band with great success and scale is to build a great team.

No matter how smart, talented, driven, or passionate you are, your success as a band depends on your ability to build and inspire a team; members working well together toward a common mission and goals.   

Teams need to believe that their work is important.  Teams need to feel their work is personally meaningful.  Teams need clear goals and defined roles.  Team members need to know they can depend on one another.  But, most important, teams need psychological safety.  How do you do this?   Listen to one another.  Don’t interrupt.  Admit what we don’t know.  Don’t make excuses.

We need to encourage one another (especially when we are upset) to express frustrations and encourage teammates to respond in nonjudgmental ways; call out intergroup conflicts and resolve them through open discussions.

Bands succeed when everyone feels like they can speak up and when members show they are sensitive to how one another feels.

To inspire one another, we talk. We hate meetings, but love short huddles to inform, align and motivate one another. One effective way to begin or end a huddle is by sharing a quote. Here are 15 quotes from well-known coaches, athletes, business leaders, and authors that will compel you and your band members to work well together:

  1. “Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi
  2. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan
  3. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie
  4. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller
  5. “Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” –Patrick Lencioni
  6. “I invite everyone to choose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition.” –Jean-Francois Cope
  7. “None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard
  8. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford
  9. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” –Henry Ford
  10. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson
  11. “Collaboration allows teachers to capture each other’s fund of collective intelligence.” –Mike Schmoker
  12. “It takes two flints to make a fire.” –-Louisa May Alcott
  13. “Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek
  14. “To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” –Mike Krzyzewski
  15. “The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” –James Cash Penney

You can do better with your team than you can alone. Here’s to your–and your team’s–success!


fof

the sacrifices we make…

Sacrifice – the act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.

Sacrificing isn’t easy and it sure as heck isn’t always a whole lot of fun. But we make sacrifices because deep down in our hearts we recognize that there is a greater cause at stake. For some the cause is doing charitable service, for some the cause is family, for some the cause is religious, for some it may be friendship.

Whether it is the father that gives up golfing or fishing trips to be able to spend more time with his children, or it’s the mother who sets aside some of her own aspirations to be able to dedicate her days to raising her children, or it’s the person who donates their time and talents to serve their church, or it’s the person who gives up a fancy toy or belonging in order to help someone in need – All of those are examples of someone making a significant sacrifice. But sacrifice can also be as small as giving your time to open the door for someone, or it can be paying a few dollars for the meal of the person behind you at the drive through, or it can be turning off a favorite television show to read a book to a child, or it can be showing up at an event even when you are worn out to let someone else know they matter to you. All of those sacrifices – whether big or small – matter. They all make a difference. They all serve to improve the life of another. They are all important.

Investment – a devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, etc., as for a purpose or to achieve something

Life is full of hard choice on which sacrifices to make and the only way I know how to get through those hard choices is to step back and ask myself if the thing I am hanging onto is of greater value than the purpose that could be served if I make the sacrifice? Then to emotionally get through the blow of making the sacrifice I remind myself that what I am actually doing is making an investment into something of far greater value.

Whenever we sacrifice something what we are really doing is making one of the smartest investments we could ever make…we are investing into the greater good and what better investment could we make than that?

Have a glorious day!


from Amy Rees-Anderson

 


tattoo2016

Virginia International Tattoo…

Members of the Wake and District Pipe Band (and some guest players) are on the road to Norfolk, Virginia to participate in the Virginia International Tattoo as part of the largest cast of over 1,500 performers! Military bands, drill teams, bagpipers, drummers, celtic dancers, choirs and more from around the globe will create a series of spectacular performances throughout the week of 18 April 2016.
What is a tattoo? A tattoo is a military performance of music or display of armed forces in general. The term comes from the early 17th century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe (“turn off the tap”), a signal sounded by drummers or trumpeters to instruct innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer and for soldiers to return to their barracks.
The tattoo was originally a form of military music, but the practice has evolved into more elaborate shows involving theatrics and musical performances. It is also used to designate military exhibitions such as the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The term dates from around 1600 during the Thirty Years’ War in the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands). The Dutch fortresses were garrisoned with mercenary troops that were under federal command since 1594. The Dutch States Army had become a federal army, consisting mostly of Scottish, English, German and Swiss mercenaries, but commanded by a Dutch officer corps. Drummers from the garrison were sent out into the towns at 21:30 hrs (9:30PM) each evening to inform the soldiers that it was time to return to barracks. The process was known as doe den tap toe (Dutch for “turn off the tap”), an instruction to innkeepers to stop serving beer and send the soldiers home for the night. The drummers continued to play until the curfew at 22:00 hrs (10:00PM). Tattoo, earlier tap-too and taptoo, are alterations of the Dutch words tap toe which have the same meaning.
Over the years, the process became more of a show and often included the playing of the first post at 21:30 hrs and the last post at 22:00. Bands and displays were included and shows were often conducted by floodlight or searchlight. Tattoos were commonplace in the late 19th century with most military and garrison towns putting on some kind of show or entertainment during the summer months. Between the First World War and the Second World War elaborate tattoos were held in many towns, with the largest in Aldershot, England.
Canada’s Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the largest annual indoor tattoo, each year featuring over 2000 performers from around the world. The tattoo has been produced since 1979 by Colonel Ian Fraser, who also produced the1967 Canadian Centennial Tattoo, the world’s largest travelling show. Through the course of his career Fraser has produced and / or directed more than 1000 international tattoo productions across the globe.
The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is unique in that it is a full theatrical production, comprising costume designers, props designers, full wardrobe staff, and is presented as ‘theatre in the round’. The show is intensely rehearsed over a two-week period and is a wholly combined military and civilian production. The Nova Scotia Tattoo was the first tattoo to receive royal designation on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th Birthday in 2006

The largest tattoo in the United States is the Virginia International Tattoo, held every year in Norfolk, Virginia.  Over 1,500 performers play traditional music and many international acts join every branch of the Armed Forces.

The United States Air Force holds tattoos for many different events and celebrations, like base openings and closers, and special events like the 21st Annual Langley Tattoo.[2] The Air Force’s largest tattoo is held the last Friday of June each year at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The 2010 tattoo there drew an estimated 75,000 people and featured the rock group .38 Special. The 2011 event featured aircraft flyovers and music by country group Lonestar.
The now-defunct Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands, and its Quebec City Military Tattoo, took place in August between 1998 and 2013.

reagan2

talk to each other, not about each other…

“I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.” — Ronald Reagan

All of us have made the mistake of believing gossip to be true at one time or another. I know there was a time many years ago when I myself got sucked into believing gossip that was shared with me by one person about another person I knew. This one person told me that this other person had said all kinds of horrible things about me. Rather than going directly to the source to ask if this other person had truly said these negative things about me I just believed it and as a result I stopped communicating with this other person altogether. It wasn’t until several years later I was with this other person again and we opened up to one another and I shared why I had stayed away. She shared that she had been told the very same thing about me by this person…we both had spent years feeling hurt about something that was totally untrue! Neither of us had felt the way the person told each of us we did…it was nothing more than gossip from someone who was insecure and looking to drive a wedge in our relationship so they could feel more important themselves and we were both dumb enough to believe it. Even worse we were both dumb enough to react to it by cutting the other person off! I decided that very day that I would never make that mistake again. I would never take gossip as truth. I would always commit to going directly to the source to obtain truth and then and ONLY THEN would I react to it.

If you want to truly know what a person thinks or feels then ask THAT person directly, and stop asking everyone else. Far too many relationships fall apart because someone talked about a person instead of to a person. And once a person lets themselves engage in gossip and speculation it is far too easy for them to cling to it as if it is truth when in reality it isn’t truth at all. From there it become a rapidly downward slide…they work themselves into a frenzy, their anger grows, and then they lash out…all as a reaction to gossip and speculation…sadly when the truth ends up being something totally different it is too late…the damage is done…relationships are ruined…

If a person is truly seeking the truth they will go directly to the source and get it firsthand – When a person doesn’t go to the source and instead they go to other people to discuss it, they don’t really want truth at all…they simply want to gossip.

My favorite quote to those who gossip is: “If you didn’t see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears, don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth.”

And to those who hear gossip I would suggest they learn from my previous mistake – don’t believe it, and for heaven’s sake don’t allow yourself to react to it or lash out over it because once your words are spoken they can never be taken back…

If you want your relationships to last – talk to each other, not about each other.


From Amy Rees Anderson

 


haters

your biggest haters are really your biggest fans…

Haters, bullies, mean people…they all have one thing in common…they all suffer from one of the following:

1.  They hate themselves,

2.  They want to be you, or

3.  They see you as a threat

Think about it – “Have you ever met a hater doing better than you? Me Neither….”

There are far too many examples of haters in the world today. Our schools are full of bullies. Our political arena is full of haters throwing shade at one another. Our news broadcasts are far too full of hateful stories or angry interviews. And then there are those adults who are bullies, haters, and just plain mean people. They use profanity as their means of communication, they call people vulgar names, they make up rumors and spread gossip, and they flat out lie in an attempt to vilify others…and they do all of this because they believe somehow it will make themselves feel better about who they are. They are wrong.

The truth is that anyone who hates or bullies is unhappy and insecure…Period. Even more disturbing is that they have led themselves to believe that if they put other people down they will then feel better themselves…but they won’t. They will only sink deeper into their black hole of unhappiness because hate only begets more hate…

So what do you do if there is a hater or a bully in your life?

  1.  I learned long ago that you can’t change someone else – they have to be the ones to change themselves. You cannot fool yourself into believing that if you stay around the other person you will eventually change them. You won’t.
  2. My father told me long ago that if you lie down with dogs you will get fleas. That is a fact. So by allowing bullies and haters to stay in your life you open yourself to catching fleas and no one should want that. You have the choice to walk away from that person and not let them continue to be a part of your life. No one benefits from allowing a toxic person into their life. No one.
  3. For our own sake we have to forgive the haters. No exceptions. However, forgiving does not mean allowing them to stay in your life. You can completely forgive someone, wish them the best, and still choose to remove them from your life. God expects us to forgive. God doesn’t expect us to subject ourselves to abusive situations. You have the right to remove yourself from people who are abusive with you or toxic to be around.
  4. Never be less than who you are meant to be in an attempt to please a hater. You can never do enough to make that hater happy. Happiness is a choice we all make for ourselves, no one makes it for us. So focus your attention on being the best you can be. Focus on improving yourself. Choose to be happy. And deep down just realize that your biggest haters are actually your biggest fans

Have the strength to shut the negative out and allow all of your room for the positive. And BE HAPPY because clearly you must be TOTALLY AWESOME or no one would have hated on you in the first place.


From Amy Rees Anderson