I am often asked why Brian and I enjoy Palm Springs California so much. Well, outside of the obvious (the weather) there are many other reasons. We have been so blessed to know the wonderful people we have met there.
When we moved to the block where we live now back in 2007, there was a woman there battling cancer. Every day since we first met, I have seen Pat out walking with her walker, with her makeup, hair, and nails all done and a huge smile on her face. Our neighbors had to declare bankruptcy several years ago, and on top of that, they lost their only son to a vehicle accident, yet when we talk they are the most optimistic people, focusing on the good, not the bad. A 91-year-old we know went paragliding for his birthday. Friends have taught us to give bags of food and hygiene items to the homeless. We don’t just hand the bags to them, but we spend time talking with them as well. They are also the first to put together an SOS for an area devastated by floods or for children in need. Friends have shared their stories of growing up gay and the judgment they endured, and how they never want that to happen to someone else. They have witnessed more of their friends die of AIDS than most of us have probably ever witnessed death. They walk their talk and their examples have helped me improve.
So you see it is the weather but more importantly, I become a better person each season I have the opportunity of spending time with all these Americans.
There is an old Chinese proverb that goes, two people were moving to other cities and wanted to talk to the guru about what the move would be like. The wise guru asked the first person, “what is it like where you live now?” The person answered, “terrible, the people are not nice”. The wise guru replied, “your new city will be just like that!” The second man appeared with the same question. Again, the wise guru asked, “ tell me what it is like where you live now?”. The man replied, “The people are amazing. I am going to be so sad to leave them.” The guru replied,” your new home will be just like this.”
There is an old proverb, “ you are what you are reaping”. My question to all of us is, what are we seeding? Are we like my mentors in Palm Springs or like the person for whom everything is wrong? The choice is ours!
The Makin’ a Difference Program is Airline Hotels’ new initiative to help promote environmental sustainability, giving back to our communities, and to reduce housekeeping costs. The program allows guests to decline housekeeping service during their stay, if they stay for more than one night, and in turn a donation to charity is made on their behalf.
With 1517 rooms across Canada, that is a lot of guests and a lot of towels, soaps, shampoo, energy and time that is consumed every day!
Thanks to our guests and their support of our Makin’ a Difference Program, we’ve been able to set aside $7790 since May to give back to our communities!
Airline Hotels President, Betty Anne Latrace-Henderson was proud to present a check for $2,500 to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, one of three National charities selected for the program. Shelley Dodds, Manager of Resource Development, Saskatchewan Branch was pleased to receive the check on behalf of the National office.
Checks are on the way to Canadian Blood Services, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Thank you again to our guests – together we are ‘Makin’ a Difference’!
How many times have we ourselves said, “wow, that was a miracle!” but do we really believe in miracles?
As the world witnessed one of the largest miracles, the rescue of the Thai soccer team from the cave, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. News reporters called it the biggest miracle. Adun, who was one of the boys rescued said, “I thought this was really a miracle. I didn’t know how to respond.” That is exactly how I reacted, I was overwhelmed with joy and a flood of huge relief. During all the negative world news, the world actually stopped and focused on the rescue of these 12 boys and their coach. The naysayers were having their hay day about the stupidity of this attempt, the skeptics were saying how maybe 1 or 2 might get rescued and on and on yet the rescue held the world captive. Maybe because we all needed something positive and something that would give us hope. Gov. Osatanakom said, “We did something nobody thought possible.” Yet this miracle happened, and the world needed it as a reminder that miracles really do happen.
Adun was asked what lessons were learned and he replied, “live life more carefully. I feel stronger, I have more patience, endurance, and tolerance.” My interpretation of live life more carefully is to respect the life I am given. Tim McGraw summed it up in his hit song, “Live Life as if you are dying.” He talks about why the need for this song and this is what he said, “So from there, we started talking about people, when they’re faced with some sort of crisis in their life, they respond in this really unique, cool way. And so we were throwing out stuff like, ‘Dying to live,’ phrases like that, and Craig spit out, ‘Live like you were dying.’ I said, ‘I love that,’ and we got a verse and a chorus.
I am sure these Thai boys and their coach felt at times that they were going to die but they never gave up hope. I am a firm believer that I have been given the privilege of this life of mine and every day I am alive is my gift. I haven’t often mentioned this in my newsletters but there are days and times when I struggle with really believing it. However, if I was faced with an ordeal, the reality would be that I need to live life as if I am dying and this makes me appreciate everything. I realize the bad isn’t so bad and the good is really good. I am my own pebble creating my own waves affecting many others and what ripple do I want to send out to others? This is my choice!
A Thai navy seal said, “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science or what” but I believe it was a miracle just like every day that is my gift.