As I was looking for the standard black and white tube of ChapStick this morning. I found at least six flavors. I remember when ChapStick came in one flavor….NONE. I only use one stick per year so I passed on the pumpkin. Somehow I can’t see smearing pumpkin on my lips in June. ChapStick was invented in the early 1880s, by Dr. Charles Browne Fleet in Lynchburg, Va. While ChapStick worked Charles had little success, selling the business to a hometown friend six years later, for five dollars. In those days it was not called ChapStick, and did not come in a tube. ChapStick has seen many flavors added through the years, and even sun block. ChapStick started selling well in the mid 1930’s. The company has changed hands at least six times since it’s inception. Happy smearing.
M Alton Headley
Cyprus is a small country located in the Mediterranean sea, made up of 70% Greek Cypriots, and 30% Turk Cypriots. Greece and Turkey controlled this small nation off and on for 500 years until the arrival of the British. In Cyprus you have the old problem of Christians and Muslims not being able to share a country. So they fought a civil war in the 1970s. Thank Goodness, by the time I arrived in 1980, the United Nations blue helmets had divided the country into north and south. With the south having more land.
Thanks to the British the world has been the beneficiary of several phenomena not the least of which includes split front teeth, Bangers and Mash, Warm Beer, Toad in a Hole, and driving on the “wrong” side of the road. The British granted Cyprus its sovereignty in 1960. How kind of them, Stiff upper lip old boy, God save the Queen, and all that rot.
Have you ever driven on the left side of the road, I mean, while sober? I decided to rent a car while vacationing in Cyprus. It was a Morris Mini, not like the ones built today by BMW. This car was the 1970s version. Think of a go cart with two doors and a roof. The driving position leaves your buttocks happily riding only six inches from the asphalt … or that is what it felt like.
The sun was shining; a beautiful day for a drive. Being a wrong-side-of-the-road driving novice things seemed to be OK until arriving at my first right turn. I had no idea Cypriots would so vehemently express their displeasure of my driving. Their profuse expressions included the international hand sign, among other protestations. I will admit I was wrong, but give me a break, the people at the car rental office never ask if I had ever driven on the … oh, never mind.
Nicosia (a city divided by the UN) is the capital of the Greek prosperous south with Famagusta the capital of the Turkish poor north. I never made it to the Turkish side but had the pleasure of driving through a valley with the Greek and Turk artillery batteries facing each other from opposing hills. Stopping for a picnic lunch on a trip from Nicosia back to Larnaca, I had a great view of the opposing batteries. Not wanting to picnic in the car I found a grassy area near a fence. Arriving at my picnic location I looked over to see a sign which read (in English and Greek). “Do not proceed beyond this fence LIVE LAND MINES.” I was having a great bottle of Cypriot red wine, some outstanding cheese, meat, and fresh baked bread. However, after reading that sign the picnic did not go down as smoothly as I would have hoped. After scaring the bejeebers out of the southern part of Cyprus, I decided to give car rentals a rest. I did rent a motorbike … with little improvement in my motoring skills. But enjoy myself greatly, even if the locals were unhappy.
From my hotel window I could see the beach by the sea. Sauntering out the front of my hotel, clothed in my swim trunks, I joined the others on the beach. I am no prude … and some europeans find nudity no big deal. Walking along the beach I noticed several small multi-colored bathing suit changing tents, however one fellow chose to change into his swim trunks alfresco. The Americans seemed to be the only people aghast. The water temperature was great considering the time of year and I enjoyed my swim.
Wishing to see some tourist attractions, I purchased a ticket for a ride to the place where Aphrodite rose from the sea. I know Aphrodite was a Greek myth but at the time it seemed like a good idea. After a two hour bus ride west I had a a great lunch with shish kabobs. Upon arrival, the bus driver informed us this was the exact location where Aphrodite arose from the sea. As I looked down from that rock cliff, all I saw was more of the same rock cliffs that I had seen for the last ten miles. It became clear that this was the only location the bus driver had to properly pull off the two lane road with room for us to have a look without falling over the cliff. You gotta love Greek Goddess tours.
I had a great week in Cyprus and while there had a custom leather jacket made for 15% the cost of a custom leather jacket made in the US. The Cypriots also do a very nice job creating beautiful Cypriot lace. A skill they learned from the Belgian Monarchy who spent vacations on the island two hundred years ago. If there was a downside to the trip it was that Saudia Airlines lost my bags … which didn’t arrive until the third day. I definitely recommend Cyprus. Just remember to pack a small carry on with a change of underwear.
M Alton Headley
I know it’s early but you may need a bit of time in order to shop for an Advent calendar.
And Advent is defined as the arrival of a notable person. Most scholars agree that the comming of the Christ child more that likely occurred around four AD, and that it happened in the summer. (The shepherds were in the fields watching the sheep by night.) For our family it is of little importance the exact date, as long as it took place.
For the 2017 holiday season there are a number of reasonably priced Advent calendars available in a number of stores, not to mention the internet. Some will be secular, and playful. While many will be of a religious nature. The prices range from fifteen dollars to well over a hundred.
Some are plain, others are rather elaborate. Many have pockets, others have small drawers where treats, small gifts, or messages can be placed for a child, or grandchild. This way the children can look forward to each calendar day. The calendar starts on December first, and most conclude on the 24th, a few go through Christmas Day.
If one so desires the Advent calendar can be a family fun time to spend a few minutes together each evening as Christmas approaches. Kohl’s, Walmart, plus Target, and if someone wants to go for the top of the line check out Pottery Barn, at one hundred dollars plus. Anyway it’s all about remembering the reason for the season, Christ was born in Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas from the Headleys
I think we can all agree on the old adage “a goal never set, is never kept”….. Right? OK I have set a most noble goal. That goal is to eat all the leftover Halloween candy in the house before Thanksgiving. Before you start with the Bwahaha, I have a perfectly good reason. The Thanksgiving guess would know in an instance I am trying to serve them, leftover Halloween candy. I am happy to say, I am well on my way to my goal. I may even finish a few days early. See I told you setting goals is a good thing.
M Alton Headley
The detritus I have created.
The days I have wasted.
The times I have spent not being what I could be.
The days I could have spent focused on others, not me.
The people I have walked by, then look away.
If I had smiled, perhaps making someone’s day.
The joy I could have known if I had but a kind word shared.
The joy I could have known, if I had been there.
If there is good news for me I can change, if I choose.
I can share a smile, a kind word to say, and not turn way.
I can make someone’s day, if I will but come their way.
M Alton Headley