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I was thinking about that keynote presentation we did for the Florida Prosperity Partnerships' Annual Conference years ago, and how much fun it was to tailor our presentation to the conference theme, The Wizard of Oz.


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What made you think of that? I know they play all the old classics over the holidays. Was the movie on last weekend?


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No, I was wearing the UGG slippers you got me (I love them!) and putting away the new sneakers you just gave me. It reminded me how with you it's always about the shoes. That got me thinking about how you used Dorothy's ruby slippers, and your stiletto heels, to make a point (no pun intended).


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That although we were the keynote speakers, we were not the experts? I merely pointed out the obvious – that the audience was the "boots on the ground".


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Yes, exactly. At the event, it was all the community organizations helping people with financial stability. But now, with everything going on due to the pandemic, "boots on the ground" applies to so many people … healthcare workers, first-responders, community organizations, teachers, parents, the list goes on-and-on.

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Make sure to include scientists and businesses. But, what is your point?


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We all get so wrapped up in our day-to-day life, and the changes that we're having to make, that we sometimes forget there are so many people working to help us all. Including many who are behind-the-scenes, so never are even noticed.


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"We are all in this together" is not just a slogan.


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I know. Unfortunately, the more people say it, the more it just becomes white noise. At that presentation, I could see the difference it made when you acknowledged they were the "boots on the ground". It wasn't that they wanted to be thanked, although we did that, too. They just really appreciated not being taken for granted.


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I call it as I see it.


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Well, although I always make a point to thank the workers at the grocery store, I'm going to make more of an effort to remember to thank all people who are making a difference for being the "boots on the ground". It's the least I can do. Actually, it's the least we can all do.


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Maybe it would be easier to remember if you just remembered … "It is all about the shoes."

Red's two Labradoodles

Photo taken by Red

If you asked Black about National Pet Month, she’d probably quote you statistics about the number of people who have pets and the health benefits, conveniently “forgetting” what she told Red about unconditional love. But Red would tell you that she celebrates Moo (read the original post to learn about the other “unusual names” of her four-legged family members) every day, letting her know with a hug and a cuddle how much she’s loved.



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Well, this month marks 18 years since you changed my life, so I wanted to thank you. Again. For bringing such happiness into the lives of the girls and me, although some heartbreaking sadness, too. But there's nothing like unconditional love.


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OK, but can you tell me what you are talking about?


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Do you remember when I moved to Houston after living overseas, and we started going to the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio for Memorial Day weekend? You were married to Larry, and his girls were young, and Natasha and Sawyer were even younger. Well, in 2003 you asked me if it was OK if you got us a puppy.


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You had always talked about getting a dog but wanted to have children first. The timing seemed right, but given your allergies, the options were limited. Until I learned about a new breed, well technically a mixed breed, originally developed in Australia to be hypoallergenic guide dogs.


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I'll never forget you showing me photos of the most incredibly adorable dogs I'd ever seen. The fact Labradoodles were half standard poodle, which was what I had initially thought we'd get, and half Labrador Retriever was amazing. But only you could find the perfect dog from an article in a business magazine.
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Photo courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Last night began Holocaust Remembrance Day, which ends today at sunset. A day when Jews around the world stop to reflect on a horror beyond comprehension. Yet, in light of the atrocities being committed in Ukraine, it should make us all stop, think, and promise to “never forget.” As we see images that are hard to believe are happening now, there are some Holocaust images that will always be imprinted in our minds and hearts … all serving as a reminder that, regardless of your religion, evil is evil.

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Shoes. Seemingly endless shoes. That’s all I can think about.


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I know you cannot be talking about my closet.


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Far from it! It’s an image that’s forever burned in my memory. A pile of shoes, each one representing a life lost. Each one a story onto itself. Each one proof of something we should never forget.


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Normally, I would ask you to tell me what you are talking about or accuse you of being overly dramatic. But, not this time.
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For golfers, spring means another Masters golf tournament. Last year, everyone talked about the 35th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’s amazing come-from-behind victory to claim his 18th major championship. What made it even more amazing was that, at 46, no one thought he would ever win another major. This year, the talk’s all about Tiger Woods (now 46) competing on the 25th anniversary of his first Masters win. It’s a comeback story straight out of Hollywood as a serious car accident 14 months ago initially left people wondering if he would survive, let alone ever play golf again. (Which is reminiscent of when Ben Hogan, one of golf’s all-time greats, came back after a horrific car accident in 1949 to win The U.S. Open in 1950.)

For most golf fans and lovers of great sports comebacks stories, those are inspirational examples of never giving up. And although I was in the crowd around the 18th hole in 1986 when Jack Nicklaus raised his putter in triumph, that was my second favorite Masters memory. And my greatest memory at the Masters didn’t actually take place at the Masters. Well, not at the golf course, anyway.

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