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Another Excerpt From Life of a Baby Boomer

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     “I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17 NIV

My husband and I went to see the movie, “Do You Believe?” http://centurylink.net/search/index.php?context=homepage&tab=Web&q=Do+You+Believe%2Fthe+movie and it reminded me of my husband’s struggle growing up and trying to keep his faith, in spite of being disappointed by adults countless times. At least God always had his back and made it possible for him to continue to believe there was something greater than himself.

“Do You Believe?” is an Indie movie and it’s a great film to see at the Easter season. Be prepared to bring plenty of Kleenex! Below is an excerpt from Steve’s book, “Life of a Baby Boomer.” http://www.amazon.com/LIFE-BABY-BOOMER-Steven-Stinnett-ebook/dp/B00CMTCGT0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1427166777&sr=8-4&keywords=life+of+a+baby+boomer

So my family moved to Downey, California, and that’s where I completed the rest of my education. This was only a mile from where I spent the first four years of my life with my Grandma and Grandpa Rockwell.

The previous owner of the house had left a rowboat in the garage, and I mentioned to my mother that we could go boating. Her answer was that was a nice idea. Within a few weeks, I came home from school one day to discover the boat was gone, never to be mentioned again. I had grown used to being disappointed by adults, but I could still be surprised, and I never gave up hoping that, just once, an adult in my life would follow through with keeping a promise.

Nevertheless, as I grew up, I continued to have the faith of a child, believing my Father in heaven would answer my prayers. Even with my family, I never quite gave up believing one day my mother would keep her promises and that my life would get better.

Every Christmas, and on my birthday, I would ask for a bicycle, and my mother would promise me one next year. Instead, I inherited my brother’s old bike. One day, I was walking home from my new school, and spotted a brand-new ten-speed bicycle by our front porch. Heart pounding, I started running as fast as I could toward the house, but then the paperboy came out of our house, hopped onto the bike, and sped away.

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I’d grown quite accustomed to disappointment, but the bicycle incident had huge repercussions for me in my new school. I had high hopes for this school since I was no longer taken out of class for my learning disabilities. I was in regular class, no longer a rider of the short bus, no longer receiving special instruction. I was now a regular student in regular classes with no special needs and with dreams of happiness and success on my horizon.

West Junior High was an upper-middle class school, a far cry from the lower socioeconomic school in Compton where I had come from, but the bicycle rack managed to single me out as being different once again. The bike rack determined who and what I was. Most of the kids had new ten-speed bikes, and here I was, riding my brother’s old bike, a throw-back from the fifties, and this put me in the social standing of a near-zero. At least I wasn’t still on the short bus, so this shame was fairly minor on my scale of public humiliations…

In spite of my disappointments as a child, I still understood what it took to maintain the faith of a little child, and, through God’s grace, I maintained that faith my entire life, knowing deep down inside that God always had a plan for me. During the scariest moments of my life, He was always there, if I only took the time to listen, but sometimes, I forgot.

Thanks for stopping by. This was an excerpt from Steve Stinnett’s memoir, Life of a Baby Boomer.

Bren

 

 

At The Copacabana in Rio!

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We did a Princess cruise to celebrate our 41st anniversary and my husband’s 68th birthday. The cruise started in Ft. Lauderdale and wound up in Rio de Janeiro. We spent three nights in Rio before we flew back home.

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Our hotel, the Windsor Hotel Atlantica, was right across the street from the Copacabana Beach, and I’m sure you’ve all got the Barry Manilow song running through your head now, even though there’s no relation between the beach and the song. All I can say is, better that than to have The Girl From Ipanema running through your brain for four straight days! Interesting factoid about that girl, she is now in her sixties, has a shop that sells bikinis on the street across from the beach, and has been the victim of too much plastic surgery. This info was from our tour guide, because I did not see her personally.

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Above is a picture of our hotel, the really tall building. It was a fantastic hotel with great service. Steve is in the ocean on the Copacabana Beach, which is right across the street from the hotel. We were sort of lucky because we got there the day after Carnival, so everybody was recuperating from all the partying, so for the first two days we had the beach to ourselves.

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Above is a view of Copacabana Beach and the city of Rio. When people say that Rio is a city of contrasts, they are not kidding. There is this amazing wealth right next door to incredible poverty. The hills are covered with shanties, and there is enormous poverty in the city itself. Yet there is an eternal optimism within these Brazilians who take great pride in explaining that all these tenement  buildings near the beach will be torn down and replaced by the time of the 2016 Olympics. I can only hope they are faster than our construction on the highways in Florida!

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Above are pictures of the cable cars that lead to Sugarloaf, a landmark where you can get spectacular views of the city. If you are sixty-two,or older, you can purchase your cable car ticket for half-price, provided you have your driver’s license to prove your age.  Below is the amazing statue of Christ the Redeemer, the imposing statue that stands guard over Rio.

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Since we arrived in Rio at the end of the celebrations, we still got to see the Carnival decorations and some of the floats and costumes. On a practical note, at the time we were there, it took 2.74 Brazilian dollars to 1.00 US dollar, which made things economical for us. The food was fabulous, especially the steaks!

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Another surprise for us was the resort town of Peteropolis where Brazil’s emperor, Peter II had a summer palace. I found this amazing because I did not know Brazil had an emperor in the nineteenth century. This town is two hours outside of Rio and well worth visiting. It has a much more peaceful feel than the hustle and bustle of Rio. You get an immediate feel that the people of Peteropolis live a very different lifestyle than those folks in Rio. Below are some pictures of Peteropolis.

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Above is a picture of the summer palace of Peter II of Brazil and the church is where he and his wife are buried. If you do visit Rio de Janeiro, making a side trip to Peteropolis is well worth the time and money. Brazil is definitely worth visiting at least once in your lifetime.  I would love to see what changes are made in Rio for the 2016 Olympics. When you travel in Brazil, be prepared for extreme contrasts, both geographically and socially.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little bit of my travels. Also, thanks for all the well wishes for our 41st anniversary. That means a lot to me!

Bren

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy, happy birthday to you, Tiff!

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Time certainly flies when you’re having fun, Tiff! Happy birthday to you! It has all passed so quickly, sometimes it doesn’t seem like we have time to say how much you mean to us and how proud we are of the amazing woman you’ve become.

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Through the years, you’ve celebrated the years with family and friends, and while you might not see them very often, I believe those experiences and memories have made you the wonderful woman that you’ve grown into. While we are experiencing those moments, we have no idea how fast they will go by. You grew up in a time where Facebook meant a book with your face on it, Twitter was what the birds did, and I don’t even want to talk about what i-pod meant! LOL! Life changes so quickly, and the childhood you grew up in is nothing like the childhood your children are growing up in. But again, my childhood was nothing like yours.  It’s what life’s about, change and growth, and I want you to know that we are proud of  you.

Before there was karaoke, there was lip-syncing, and I remember when you and your friends didn’t mind dressing up and singing along to Madonna or Cyndi Lauper at a birthday bash. And we got to share good times with our friends, while you were enjoying your party with your friends.

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Sometimes when we get so busy in our lives that we don’t have a moment to spare, that’s when we need to take a deep breath and just live in the moment, turn off the technology, and just appreciate what’s right in front of us.

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It meant so much to me when you and I went on the Marion Pilgrimage last year, giving us the opportunity to reconnect as mother and daughter, and allowing me more time to learn more about who you are as an adult. Our children remain our children forever, and yet they become adults with lives of their own as well.

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Once again, just want to say happy, happy birthday! And you are a very lucky woman to be blessed with such a wonderful family!

Thanks for stopping by.

Mom

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