May 16, 2013

What Is Priceless To You?

Written by BPK on Saturday March 13, 2010 at 0900!

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back." — Harvey MacKay

What do these hats with a lake in the background have to do with my time being priceless?

How should a person spend a "rainy" winter day in South Florida?

Rogers Hornsby gave me a hint when he said, "People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window & wait for spring."

Even though the so called weather experts predicted a 40% chance of thunderstorms throughout the day & a 60% chance of the same throughout the night, I was off on a journey to Jupiter at 0930!

Arrival in Jupiter was at 1120! Memories of Jack Buck on KMOX filled my mind & even though many Cardinals fans would think of "Go crazy, folks. Go crazy!" I remembered the heartfelt poem Jack wrote just days after 9/11.

Jack Buck’s Tribute to America after 9/11
September 17, 2001 @ Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri

Rick Weinberg
Special to

Six days had passed since the horrific, unspeakable terrorist attack that took the lives of more than 3,500 people and destroyed extraordinary buildings in ugly clouds of black and gray dust and ash.

Only six days had passed, and the world was no longer the same. For certain, America was no longer the same. Hearts were heavy. There was still disbelief in the air. Sadness too. Fear and anger, as well.

But life, at some point, had to return to some kind of normalcy. The anger and sadness felt for the families of the victims, for all the heroes of 9/11, will never subside, ever, but life still had to go on. Family beckoned. Work and chores too. Living life as it should be, the way it’s supposed to be.

The entertainment and sports world had to get back to work too. People had to start laughing again, even though it hurt a little, even made you feel a little guilty. Sports was needed, only if to take your mind off that unforgettable day of horror, despair and helplessness.

It’s September 17, 2001. Baseball returns. In St. Louis, the Cardinals prepare to take the field against the Milwaukee Brewers. Sadness permeates the air. Broken hearts need mending.

Everyone in the stadium wave small American flags. Nearly 500 firefighters and police officers line the warning track from the left field line to first base, honoring the heroes who perished six days earlier. There are tears in their eyes, emptiness in their hearts.

As firefighters unfurl a huge American flag in center field, a video tribute plays on the scoreboard accompanied by the beautifully chilling Lee Greenwood song, "Proud to be an American."

Then longtime Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, wearing a bright red jacket with an American flag pin on his lapel, strolls to the microphone. There is total silence in the huge stadium. Buck is shaking because of his infirmities and the emotion of the night, the despondency of the moment. He looks out at the crowd, normally a sea of red but on this night it is a pulsating, patriotic sea of red, white, and blue.

Buck reaches into his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper. He leans forward, puts his lips to the microphone and begins reading a poem, a moving, spectacularly heartwarming and patriotic poem that he wrote.

Since this nation was founded…under God
More than 200 years ago
We have been the bastion of freedom
The light that keeps the free world aglow
We do not covet the possessions of others
We are blessed with the bounty we share.

We have rushed to help other nations

War is just not our nature
We won’t start…but we will end the fight
If we are involved we shall be resolved
To protect what we know is right.

We have been challenged by a cowardly foe
Who strikes and then hides from our view.

With one voice we say, "There is no choice today,
There is only one thing to do."

Everyone is saying — the same thing — and praying
That we end these senseless moments we are living.

As our fathers did before…we will win this unwanted war
And our children…will enjoy the future…we’ll be giving.

His voice cracks as he utters the final words of the poem. His eyes are watery. So are the eyes of everyone in the stadium. Tears are shed. Then, following a poignant "21 gun" salute sprinkled with fireworks above the stadium, the game begins with players wearing US flags on their jerseys, helmets and caps.

Leo Durocher said, "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

I understood as I relaxed on the berm at Roger Dean Stadium as the Florida Marlins hosted the St. Louis Cardinals.

REALLY? It almost seemed like I was back in St. Louis enjoying a Cardinals home game as red was worn by 90% of the people.

A pitching duel with numerous sparkling defensive plays, reminded me of what former LA Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said, "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference."

After 6 innings there was no score but the Marlins scored a run in the 7th & another in 8th to make a Cardinals win unlikely.

Not so fast my friend. Let’s not forget Yogi Berra who grew up on "The Hill" in St. Louis. He said, "It ain’t over ‘til it’s over."

This game was a perfect example of why I don’t leave games early as the Cardinals scored 5 runs in the 9th to take the lead.

Surely the Cardinals were assured of a victory, or maybe not?

What was going on in the mind of the Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa as the Marlins scored a run in the bottom of the 9th & had the winning run at the plate?

I hope it wasn’t another Yogi Berra quote like this one, "90% of baseball is mental. The other half is physical."

The final score was the St. Louis Cardinals 5 & the Florida Marlins 3!

Was it time to make the 2 hour drive back to Homestead?

Have you already forgotten the photo of the 2 hats with Lake Wolfe in the background only 10 yards from my patio?

The Cardinals baseball cap has "STL" on it & the unmistakable "[]_[]" is for the University of Miami Hurricanes.

So I went to another baseball game?

"College football would be much more interesting if the faculty played instead of the students, and even more interesting if the trustees played. There would be a great increase in broken arms, legs, and necks, and simultaneously an appreciable diminution in the loss of humanity." — H.L. Mencken

Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale was the place to be that night for the 2010 Spring Scrimmage of the University of Miami Hurricanes Football Team.

In addition to enjoying the athletic talent on the field, I was encouraged as a quote from the coach who won the first 2 Super Bowls came to life while young men battled their teammates on the field.

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." — Vince Lombardi

How did that quote come to life for me?

If you check out my Facebook photo album "The Storm Emerges!" you will hopefully see in a sequence of 20 photos how powerful the will in a young man is!

The will to be great has been a common trait among former Hurricanes players that are now enjoying success in the NFL such as these former CANES "Flashing The []_[]" after this years Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami!

Vince Lombardi did not believe that perfection was attainable but that did not stop him from trying to be perfect. "Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence."

So how did someone like me who was born in Minnesota, who began ice skating at 2 & started playing ice hockey at 3 become a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals & the University of Miami Hurricanes?

It didn’t hurt that I have spent more time living in St. Louis than any other one place & that I currently am on my second stint of living in South Florida.

BUT, the main reason may be the Cardinal Nation & “The []_[] Family" that exist.


Former Cardinal players are always welcome in the clubhouse or spring training & I saw the best base stealer of all time & the player who made me a front row in the left field bleachers fanatic…#20…Lou Brock!

"The []_[]" takes the family aspect to another level as former CANES who are playing in the NFL regularly workout together on campus during the summer & helping out at spring practices is also a common happening.

A recent example of this was on Saturday March 6 when former QB Ken Dorsey, Safety Ed Reed from the Baltimore Ravens, & Linebacker Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers were all part of practice.

"The []_[]" family is not limited to just players as former Wide Receiver Coach at "The []_[]" & current Wide Receiver Coach for the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints Curtis Johnson was a guest speaker on Friday March 5.

What is my conclusion?

For me . . . it's virtually impossible to find anything better than enjoying Cardinal Baseball or Hurricane Football & to enjoy both on the same day . . . priceless!

But if you don't like the St. Louis Cardinals or the Miami Hurricanes, don't fret . . . there is hope for you!

Whatever is important to you is worth spending time doing as it helps to fill your life with memories that last a lifetime & that my friends is truly priceless! 

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May 12, 2013

Mother's Day!

My mother is a Christian,
In every important way;
The fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT
Is displayed in her every day.
My mother is filled with kindness,
With love and joy and peace;
Her patience and her goodness
Inspire, and never cease.
She follows our LORD JESUS
With faithfulness, and more;
She’s gentle and has self control,
She knows what prayer is for.
Thanks, Mom, for being a Christian,
And showing me how to be;
I’ll follow your example
For all eternity.
by Joanna Fuchs

"Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me." — PSALM 27:10

Even though I was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota & was not adopted by you & Dad until I was a year old, you are the only mother I know.

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." — Oprah Winfrey

The courthouse in Stillwater, Minnesota is where you officially became my mother & I thank our Sweet Heavenly FATHER for that!

"The adopted child is treated by law as if he or she had been born to the adopting parents upon the entry of the final adoption decree." — Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Here is the definition of adoption from Wikipedia: Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another who is not kin and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.

Why have I not filled out the paperwork to begin the process of finding information about my birth mother?

"On Mother's Day I have written a poem for you. In the interest of poetic economy and truth, I have succeeded in concentrating my deepest feelings and beliefs into two perfectly crafted lines: You're my mother, I would have no other!" —  Forest Houtenschil

"Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water." — EZEKIEL 19:10

What exemplifies the kind of mother you have been to me?

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." — Tenneva Jordan

Peter said to HIM, "We have left everything to follow YOU!" "I tell you the truth," JESUS replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for ME and the Gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life." — MARK 10:28-30

The LORD had many plans for me to do in my life that would have been impossible without your love!

"Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible." — Marion C. Garretty

"Praise be to the GOD and FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in CHRIST.

For HE chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in HIS sight.

In love HE predestined us to be adopted as HIS sons through JESUS CHRIST, in accordance with HIS pleasure and will — to the praise of HIS glorious grace, which HE has freely given us in the ONE HE loves." — EPHESIANS 1:3-6

Just as GOD the FATHER predestined all who know JESUS CHRIST as their LORD & SAVIOR, HE also knew all along that the best possible way for me to have a life full of blessings, was for you to be my mother!

Since I am unable to give you an orchid in person, I hope that you will enjoy this cyber-orchid even though it fails to compare to the variety of beautiful orchids that I see in my lakeside garden & patio!


"When you look into your mothers eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth." — Mitch Albom 

If you have a few moments, enjoy these photos that express the tenderness that I was blessed to experience because you're my Mom!

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things & crushes down remorselessly all that stands it its path." — Agatha Christie

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May 5, 2013



All of us long for a place to call home.

Home is a peaceful refuge where we are safe & become strong.

Remembering our home is intensely personal & those memories are filled with emotions & feelings.

Can you feel the hugs from Dad?

Can you hear the voices of loved ones?

Can you see family, friends, & your pets?

Can you smell the crackling of the fireplace?

Can you taste the Thanksgiving turkey & all the fixings?

We feel unconditional love through Mom’s warm embrace.

Those familiar voices encourage us, inspire us, & nurture us.

Home is a comfortable place where we can be ourselves & feel safe.

The smells of our childhood take us back home if only for just a moment.

Our favorite food isn’t just because of the taste, it’s all of the wonderful memories that surround us.

But … what … if … your … home … was … only … filled … with … horrific … memories?

Instead of hugs you were physically & sexually abused!

Instead of being encouraged you were ridiculed every day!

Instead of enjoying memories, you try to forget & end your living nightmare!

Instead of pleasant smells, you only recall the stench of pain that won’t go away!

Instead of the holidays being a wonderful thing, they only make you feel alone, angry, & sad!

"He fills my thoughts, my dreams, & my nightmares. The memory of him, & his touch, pound on the door to my soul with such force that cracks are forming in the wood. I do my best to act like no one is home by keeping the door locked & the lights off." ― Andrea Randall, Reckless Abandon

There are thousands of children who are abandoned, abused & forced into homelessness every year & the multiple homes they have had in their lives are the last place in the world they want to be!

Do you & your family have homes where unconditional love touches all who enter?

What am I doing to ensure home is where children are safe & know joy, love, & peace?

For my answer to that question & much more, don’t miss my next blog entry!

December 12, 2013

I am so thankful for my friendship with Nadine Lee & through understanding her passion & the amazing work that Speak The Dream Foundation is doing in southern California, the LORD reignited a desire within me to make sure that all children see home as a "¡Dulce Refugio!" aka Sweet Refuge!

"He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." ― Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

What has changed in my life since I wrote "HOME!" on May 5, 2013?

If you're asking that question, then all you need to do is check out my latest blogs &/or give me a call, but beware ... I'm fired up & you may get fired up too!

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