Knowing What We’ve Got

Being sick while on vacation has put me in a philosophical mood.  Yesterday I reflected on the labyrinth.

Today I was well enough to fully appreciate an easy jog on a cactus-lined trail.  My senses were heightened as I savored every minute of my normally routine and bland morning exercise.    The old adage “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” kept repeating in my formerly stuffed head.


Then I started branching my thoughts and thinking of other things I have taken for granted and don’t appreciate enough.

Things like Integrity.

Honesty. Liberty.  Respect.

Things like Health, Happiness and Serenity.

Priceless things like Gratitude, Friendship and Honor.

I take none of the things for granted and cherish them more each day.   It’s amazing what a clear head in the desert can do for you!

The Power of the Poppy

I’ve known for a long time that the power of the poppy was strong and now, based on the events of the past 3 months, I feel that the significance and impact of the fragile, red flower is immense.

One hundred years ago today, 3 May 1915, the “In Flanders Fields” poem was inspired and is an enduring and powerful symbol of the sacrifices made on the battlefield.SmallPoppypillow

In the coming days, I will share with you the story of a former Poppy Queen who paid tribute to her veteran Father and now wishes to honor and remember another Veteran and Father who recently passed away, but not before he proudly watched his daughter be crowned the Poppy Queen of VFW Post 1.

Now I take up the torch and hold it high for all to see so that those who fought so valiantly are not forgotten.

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In Flanders Fields 

by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Letting The World Know

A good Public Relations (PR) team shares and communicates the value of their organization to the outside world in a compelling way with impactful and inspirational stories and images.

The heart and soul of  Toastmasters International’s mission is to provide and foster a supportive environment where members can find their voice and share their stories.

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As I clarified in my mind the message I want to share with the world about Toastmasters, I wrote this short poem.

 “How lives are changed

How barriers are overcome

How bridges are built

How connections are made

How fear is tamed

How dreams are realized

How goals are reached

How friends are made

How community is strengthened.

At Toastmasters, I am letting the world know,

How Leaders are Made.”

This year marks my 20-year anniversary at Toastmasters and I am honored and excited to be the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for District 26.

Please share with me your stories about ways in which being a member of Toastmasters has benefited you and others you know in Toastmasters.  Reach me at Pro1415@d26leaders.org .