Words & Banter

Happiness And Gratitude Comes In Many Forms … And Flavors

The anticipation grows as the year's quickly coming to an end, but I know better than to take anything for granted. But that doesn't stop me from hoping that it will happen again this year. When the doorbell rings and I see the delivery man holding a shopping bag from Sprinkles, I can't help but smile. In that moment, I'm so excited that once again I'll be able to indulge in amazing cupcakes, pushing the calories out of my mind, convincing myself that it's a sweet treat to celebrate not only a New Year, but a very special relationship.

You see, the giver of this wonderful New Year gift is Kris Kleis, the graphic artist that Black and I first started working with when she designed our bestselling book, which is now over a decade ago. But rather than focusing on how many years have passed and how quickly they have flown by, it reminds me of how lucky we are to have Kris in our lives.

Of course, Black receives her own delivery of cupcakes, and how she manages the temptation I'll never know, as her dedication to remaining a size 2 is almost incomprehensible. Although she did mention that one of the many reasons why cupcakes are so popular is because they're the epitome of portion control. But for me, cupcakes don't need to be analyzed – just enjoyed. And Kris's New Year cupcakes are even more special as they're a sweet reminder of another year of us working together … and one of the reasons I look forward to them every year. Plus, who doesn't love cupcakes?!

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What do you get when you cross Flag Day (June 14) with June being Effective Communication Month? Well, if you include Black in the mix, you get one of Red’s favorite memories … and a unique way to think about the importance of communicating – whether in your personal or professional life. And especially if you’re in a racecar!


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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Photo by John Gomez on iStock

There’s much debate about the role America should play in world politics and standing by our allies, and we can’t help but wonder … how many people look at history before forming their opinions? Which is why we feel so strongly about remembering D-Day (and are rerunning the post below), which is about so much more than just a day …


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I still can’t believe you didn’t know what D-Day was.


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All I knew was it had to do with World War II and beaches. And, required lots of strategic planning. Remember, I am not a history buff like you.


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Or a movie buff. There has been an assortment of D-Day movies, and I wouldn’t expect you to have watched the older movies, like “ The Longest Day” with John Wayne, but I figured you’d have seen “ Saving Private Ryan .”


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The Tom Hanks movie? It was a great war movie, but from what I remember, it was about the search for a particular soldier during WWII. Although I remember the opening scene showed the horrors of war. Regardless, I do not get my “history” from movies that might take literary license for the sake of storytelling, even if Steven Spielberg’s movies are mostly accurate.


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That opening scene WAS D-Day.
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Photo by Iam Anupong on iStock

Some memories fade with time, but others remain as vivid as the day they happened. Like the day my big sister and I played golf together (an extremely rare event), although the memory isn’t about golf, but about how a sister’s flippant comment can stay with you for over 40 years …

There was no way to know it would become a highly effective way of remembering the importance of sunscreen. Especially as it happened before May was declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and May 27 became National Sunscreen Day.

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

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