Goulash Philosophically speaking ...

About relationships: I have grown an inch with each tear I have shed and I came to realize that tears are to human spirit like rain is to flowers -- they cause you to grow or to develop root rot. When I found myself in a bad relationship or situation, I was lucky enough to have the good sense to transplant myself to a more nourishing garden before I withered and died. I have written volumes on this subject and you will find some of it on this page from time to time. Being an Army veteran, who has been married to a career soldier for nearly twenty years, you will also find a lot of poems and thoughts about the military ... but most of the things I've written that are relevant to the military, will be on my military pages.

About Parenthood: I have also written volumes on this subject. I was blessed to have an incredibly wise mother who was a great role model (as a writer as well as a parent) and I have a daughter who has given me two grandchildren who continue to provide me with material.  

Every once in a while I come across something that just "fits" with my goulash philosophy so I will include it too. You will find two examples of "poems I wish I had written" at the bottom of this page. Both poems came to me as "author unknown" so if you can tell me the name of the author of either poem; I would be pleased to give them credit.

ode of the military wife 

i am proud to be
a military wife and
i strive to adjust to
military life but
some letters can almost
make you cry -
like PCS or TDY!
whether FM or RA
our lives are affected every day.
our favorite uncle has a plan
to be the most well known acronym.
by now we all know the story,
SAM means
Sacrifices Are Mandatory!  chh

 

Gulf War - Day 45 (1991)
(Observations of a military wife)

It's 0400. Get up. Alarm clock off. CNN on.
Sadam Hussien is still free.
Baghdad is claiming victory.
Jordan is still damning the United States.
Israel is still without a country.
Iran still holds American hostages and
harbors Iraqi war planes.
Saudi Arabia still cultivates terrorists.
Iraqi soldiers who haven't heard "they lost the war"
are still firing on allied troops. And while an American General briefs us on "offensive plans", President Bush says, "soon our troops will return home."
On hearing these words my thoughts recall
another time. Another war.
Tears well up in my eyes as I once again
pin on my yellow ribbon,
for the POW's and MIA's from Viet Nam
as well as for our soldiers of now.
I say a fervent prayer for real peace
because I just found out that our
troops will start "rotation." chh

 

tdy

you held me close and i
could feel your tears
running down my cheek.
i locked my arms around you
in a futile effort to prevent
your leaving. i felt numb.
in my head a thousand voices
screamed, "don't go!"
but no words came from my lips.
there was only silence because
hearts don't make a sound
        when they break.   chh

My Goulash Philosophy© is an attempt to make sense of what we know as life on earth.  It is not my intention to persuade anyone to agree with my philosophy but I do hope to be able to entertain and enlighten you. If my words are able to invoke tears or laughter, if I cause you to look at yourself or someone else with more compassion, from a more loving and understanding perspective, then I will have accomplished the goal I set for myself when I decided to put my thoughts in writing. My goulash philosophy is rather like "Chicken Soup for the Soul" but with much more meat (pun intended). If you find something you like on my site that you wish to pass along, all I ask is that you give me credit as the author and if you use it on a website, please provide a link to my website. From time to time I will change the poems and stories.

parent reality©

my child's first word

was, "no!"

and her first steps were

away from me. chh

first child - first steps

just yesterday she stood up.
she was delighted as her wobbly,
chubby, bowed legs supported
her body for the first time.
her huge green eyes opened wide.
first came that smug little smirk.
then she started to giggle. then laugh.
to be sure we were all watching,
she let loose a squeal of delight.
as her two stocky little legs began to
move as fast as they could possibly go.
she was so pleased with herself and
once she gets up enough courage to
let go of the side of her crib...
there will be no stopping her. chh

teenager

lovely
child of my soul
;
carrier of my dreams.
runs through my expectations to
          freedom.      chh

grandchild

miniature person lying there so
beautiful and serene; looking like
a reflection of your mother at that age.
perfect little features. perfect hands with
long fingers and those chubby little feet.
you even have her smile;
that impish grin that my mother says
you got from me. you are our future,
little one, and the best reflection of
our past. you are our hopes
and dreams inherent. our promise for
a brighter tomorrow. it is no wonder
that you are able to keep us
totally captivated even ...
          while you sleep.   chh

©Beauty is a temporary thing. Even the most beautiful flower will eventually wither and die and all it leaves behind is the memory of its beauty.  The same is true of people.  A person is only as beautiful as the memory they leave behind. I hope to be a beautiful memory. chh

No limitations – excerpts from Goulash Philosophy©

            Fortunately for me, I had a mother who drilled it into my head early on that my only limitations in life would be in my own mind so; therefore, I had no limitations. Lucky for me, ignorance really is bliss at times. Over the course of my life I have had far too many jobs and occupations to even attempt to list them. Like all of us, I did what I needed to do to survive and raise my child. Hunger is a great motivator. Fear of poverty is another. When you have the responsibility of another human being, you become very resourceful. When I found out that bookkeepers made twice as much as secretaries, never mind that I couldn't even balance my own check book, I applied for the job. I not only became a bookkeeper, I became a damn good one. 

            When I found out that the local radio station needed a manager and learned that the salary was twice as much as what I was making as a bookkeeper – well, I had listened to radio all of my life so I told myself that I was more than qualified. I applied for the job and got it. After a brief learning curve was rounded, I ended up making some creative changes in the station which boosted our ratings considerably. And on and on it has gone throughout my life. 

            For a few years, after surviving two divorces and cancer, I worked as a motivational speaker. I learned to maintain a sense of humor during the most dismal of times. It wasn't always that way; believe me. I did my share of crying and feeling sorry for myself. I went through some truly despondent periods where I felt abandoned by God and felt He was going out of His way to punish me for some mortal sin I had apparently forgotten about. There were times when I was so weary that I just didn't see how I could go on and then I would look at my daughter; I derived immeasurable strength from her. She needed me so I learned to laugh more, cry less, and over a period of time it really did get easier.

            It's all about choices and making the best of the hand you have been dealt by life.  You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy. I chose to be happy.

The most profound thing happened to me the day that I decided that being diagnosed with cancer was a blessing instead of a curse. I decided to look at it as an opportunity to get my life in order. Overnight I made sweeping adjustments in my priorities. Things that had seemed so important suddenly didn’t matter at all. Other things that had been so unimportant became very important. It was a reality check. My “wake-up” call. I learned to take nothing for granted. I eventually made peace with God and myself and I never looked back. I became intensely appreciative of every blessing and was truly grateful for every day I lived and I still am. It's been a bumpy ride but I'm going to enjoy it to the end and have come to realize that everyone would benefit if they lived every day like it was their last.

            In the midst of a crisis the human body adapts in many ways which helps us cope and endure. I am firmly convinced that being able to see (or recall) humor in even the most desperate of situations, is one of the keys to surviving hardships. At the most desperate of times I would recall my mother saying, "Don't take life to seriously because you will never get out of it alive" (you can see where I got the weird sense of humor). Remembering this helps to keep things in perspective and makes laughter a viable alternative to tears. I really do want to exit laughing and it truly is one of the most cathartic, natural and beneficial exercises. 

          As you read through my goulash philosophy – of what I hope will be a complete book some day – I am totally confident that you will recognize someone you know; possibly yourself, in these words. I hope that it will help you to see that we are all pretty extraordinary in our own way – it’s just that some of us have yet to be challenged.

I have learned that the only true legacy is the memory you leave behind and the only true measure of wealth is the sum total of what you give away; not what you accumulate. To that end, I give freely of my material possessions but, more importantly, I also give freely of my heart. My life goal is that every person I meet, whether for a few seconds or many years, will benefit from the encounter.

Life is so much easier when you finally realize that just by putting a little “extra” in front of “ordinary,” it isn't all that difficult to be extraordinary.

Sometimes it's hard to believe there's a God
-- to have faith in an unseen power --

To know there's a force you can call on for help
in your darkest, most desperate hour.
I know it's not easy -- I've been there myself,
though our problems are not just the same.
I know how it feels when no one is there --
when "God" is no more than a name.
But I'll tell you a secret; I pray anyhow,
to something I can't hear or see.
I pray to the darkness. I pray to the light,
or to what might be holy in me.
And sometimes -- not always --
there comes a deep change.
I feel peaceful, set free and made whole.
Is it God? Is it me?
Has some power of the universe
helped me to heal my own soul?
I don't know the answer. I can't say for sure
that what I believe in in true.
But if God were a fact, we wouldn't need faith,
So I say, "I believe" ... and I do.

author unknown

at
times
the
shape of a
poem
is
more
in
ter
rest
ing
than it's
con       tent.

               chh

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen.
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then a stranger print appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?
This print is large and round and neat,
But Lord, it is too big for feet."

My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to live by faith,
Pick up your cross and walk in grace.
You disobeyed, you would not grow,
You would not stand against the flow.
Your neck was stiff, your ears were shut,
So there I dropped you on your butt.

Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, when one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave a butt print in the sand."

author unknown

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