As we head north with the family on the interstate to North Georgia for Thanksgiving- it’s over the river and through the traffic jungle we go, in the blue Chevy Silverado. Times do change, it’s nice to sit in the passenger seat and let our High School senior Marcus take the wheel. It’s not that easy though to relax and let your 17 old take your life in their hands at the wheel in the insane holiday traffic in the rain! We all need to just relax and breath! For those of us who learned directions, read a map and follow signs, it’s a whole new world to ask someone under 30 who's only used GPS to navigate the old fashioned way. What happens if the phone stops working?
Those of us in harm’s way of Harvey, Maria and Irma have experienced troubles ranging from life threatening to inconvenience at worst. Life has its challenges and it’s our response to them that builds the character in our lives. Holding on to our values and beliefs can sometime be the only anchor that keeps us from being blown away by the winds of chaos, confusion and we’ve now witnessed one of the most horrific mass shootings in modern history recently in Las Vegas which has left us dumbfounded and very concerned for our country. Growing up, we never experienced such madness and evil yet each occurrence of these killings has us questioning where this country is headed. We all have our thoughts on how these trends are developing but my theory is that when a country turns its back on God, even prohibiting the display of the Ten Commandments in public places, where is there any definition of right and wrong? What moral compass remains to steer the ship of private and public consciences? The morass of public opinion or political sway will not suffice. The immediate outcry from certain political persuasions blaming gun toting “R________”s who voted for T___and used this opportunity for their own political gain defies belief. If we can’t come together and unite in the wake of such a tragedy to focus on the overarching problem at a time like this, when will we ever?
In my childhood, both parents were relegated to working in low paying employment situations that were not fulfilling and struggled to pay the bills. There was not any financial instruction for me or my two older sisters on saving, budgeting, let along things like investing, insurance and basic wills. Looking back, they had few options since their educations were limited, my mom only finished High School and dad had an art degree but was trapped in a job he detested as a theater manager. Without any funds for college, I joined the Army out of high school and was able to use the GI Bill to pay for undergraduate school and later for part of my MBA degree. In addition, I started a small business to help pay for other expenses.
Our teenage daughter Vika graduated eighth grade this month from Junior High after being at the St. Barnabas school for over eight years. It’s a milestone for her and a giant step toward becoming a young lady. I was choking back tears seeing her walking down the aisle wearing the classy dress, white gloves, make up and nice conservative pumps! There’s something about seeing your daughter grow up and all of the sudden you wonder, “what happened to my little girl?” Remember the song “Butterfly kisses”? It kills me every time I hear it. She really progressed this last year academically, emotionally, spiritually even though she still has her teenage drama, hormonal over-reactions and a few conniving moments.
Our grandson Calvin spent some fun days with us recently while our daughter and son-in-law took a needed break on a cruise for their anniversary. It's hard to explain the pride, joy and sense of wonder in seeing the legacy of your family continue through the next generations. We all hope and pray they live lives of honor, integrity and make significant contributions to make a difference in the really short lives we have here on earth.
At its March 15 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee did what many expected: raised the target federal funds rate to between 0.75% and 1%. The 25-basis-point increase was in line with market expectations and reflected “the economy’s continued progress toward the employment and price stability objectives,” according to Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen. The central bankers last raised rates three months ago at their mid-December meeting.
Americans are living longer, and that means a higher chance of requiring long term care. Long-term care insurance can help you plan for the unexpected and protect your financial legacy.
Everyone usually thinks fondly or has fond memories of their grandparents. But I still cannot grasp the reality of being a grandparent; I think I look and feel younger than my age but when I think of my grandfather, who was born in 1879, was 90 when he passed and I was only 13.
Many investors believe Republican presidents mean better investment performance. However, the president—and the president’s party affiliation—have less to do with market performance than you might expect.
If you have any inkling for enjoying the outdoors and especially canoeing or kayaking, this trip is for you. For the second summer in a row, I took a three day canoe/kayak trip down the gorgeously remote Suwannee River with my kids and another family. It takes some decent planning for meals, equipment and overnight camping supplies. In three days, we covered about 27 miles of the river averaging about nine miles a day. During the trip, we saw maybe 4-5 boats or a jet ski but for the most part, for a few random vacation homes along the river, it is still how Botanist William Bartram may have seen the river during his travels there in the late 1770s. The most fun is the numerous absolutely stunning natural springs that flow into the river where you can pull in, snorkel, rope swing or jump into the cool 72 degree water. There are usually some very interesting and colorful local folks that make the experience even more unique.
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