Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sad Day

Today is a sad day.  My brother and sister-n-law's 6-year-old Boxer Sammy (short for Sampson) lost his battle with cancer.  That is sad enough.  What makes it worse is that they didn't get to say goodbye to him.

I did get to say goodbye to my furry pal (aka child) 11 years ago and it was horrible enough.  He was 12.5 years old and had lived a long, full life.  Sammy was young.

But a couple things I'm reminded of today.  First, in some ways, I need to live my life like Sammy did.  Love life.  Love people.  Forgive fast.  Play whenever possible.  Love hard.

Second, I need to remember that a dog's unconditional love is a reminder of how God loves me.  He doesn't mind when I'm in a bad mood.  He doesn't seem to notice when I don't look my best.  Whether it's been 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days or 5 months, He's just as happy to see me.  He gazes at me with eyes of love and devotion.  He loves me without question.  He forgives me completely.  He wants nothing else than to be with me and love me.

Thanks for loving my family, Sammy.  You were such a good buddy.  You've been so brave these past few months fighting hard against the cancer.  I'm glad you're no longer feeling bad.  I hope they have plenty of string balls in doggie heaven!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Mid-Week 20-hour Free Vacation

So I had a very nice, unexpected treat a couple weeks ago.  I needed to go to a conference for work. The location was here:

Since it was technically local, at first I was just planning on driving back and forth.  But then I got to thinking that since the times were 5-9:30 Tuesday night and 7-12 Wednesday and it was about 45 minutes away across the city, it would be great to just stay in a hotel.  Notice I said a hotel.  So I asked my boss.  He said "of course.  Just stay in THE hotel" (emphasis mine).

Here was my room:
Super comfortable bed!
I didn't have time to watch TV, but this gives you a bit of an idea of how big the room was.
This was my view out the window - the beautiful golf course!  Because I got my room at the last minutte, I was in the "East Villas".  It was a 2-3 minute walk from the main hotel.  Would have been a great opportunity for exercise had I not had a bum leg.  But they had 24/7 golf cart shuttle you could call whenever you needed!
And this was my bathroom.  Pure luxury! The shower was huge and the faucet was like a rain shower - so much water, was so wonderful!

The best part of my stay was what I wasn't allowed to take a picture of.  My boss told me I took take part of one of the "activities" offered.  Well, I had already packed my suitcase when that e-mail came in and didn't have suitable clothes for most of the activities, nor would my leg allow things like art museum or the 6th floor (JFK) museum that would have been interesting.  Alas, it was my lot to undergo a free massage!!  The firm would cover the service and I was responsible for gratuity.  I could handle that!  Well, it gets even better!  After a fantastic massage, I got up to the counter and they told me even the gratuity had been covered!!

So that is my tale of a 20-hour mid-week vacation and peek inside how (as my Dad says) "the other half lives".  It was fabulous!