Halloween night back then

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Back when I was young, there were no Halloween costumes for which to shop. No superstores, no online shopping.

Halloween was then, quite quaint.

We made our own costumes, or more truthfully, mom did. A ghoulie was dressed in tattered old clothes, with white flour caked on the face, a ghost was an old white sheet with holes cut out to see. A witch was a black dress and cape, a straggly wig, and a broom. A pirate was a pair of cut-off khaki pants, a torn plaid shirt, a bandana, and an eye patch.

Back then you’d find a cowboy or Indian, not now.

Houses were closer together back then. Mr. Levitt designed them like that, for convenience I imagine. There were rows of houses and scores of kids who poured outat dusk, when the shadows lengthened. Kids gathering in groups of six to ten, and swarming like a flock of swallows, or worse, like a biblical plague, lighting for a moment at one door then the next.

Your favorite candy was always a Hershey or a Mars bar and if you were lucky, you got the really big bar, not the pop-in-your-mouth kind they sell at stores by the bag full. Stories spread quickly of who had the best and likewise who had the worst. Steer clear of the penny candy and the mean guy who flicked his finger with a snap in the paper bag we carried, he pretending he was giving when really he wasn’t.

And who doesn’t remember the brown bag, loaded with loot, ripping and tearing, candy showering all over the lawn? The mad dash of dirty dogs to grab what they could.

Back then, Halloween lasted for days.

Back then, when I was young, we played pranks. No, not the overturned outhouse that our parents claimed they did. Our trick was the tiny brown bag with a fresh dog turd, lit on fire, left at the door step, set aflame, door bell rung, and, quick, flee into the dark. Did we really do this or was it all a big dream.

Back then, Halloween was just for kids. Parents stayed at home, tending the fire in the hearth, stirring the chili in the pot, and listening from a tune from Fantasia, no doubt Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain; praying and hoping their neighbor’s trees would be draped in toilet paper come All Saints Day morn.

Not their own.

And we kids, when we were done, took our loot to our rooms and our beds, separating our candy, gloating with brothers and sisters over who had the best and who had the worst. Tired as we were, we stayed up late in the night, until dad thundered, enough fun, lights out!

Under the covers, head on the pillow, before we slipped into slumber, we uttered one final prayer:

 

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

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Back to school supplies

 

 

The kids are up early, fed, and ready to go.

“Honey, what day is it?” he asks.

“Hooray, it is Back-to-School Day!” she says.

“How are we going to celebrate?” he asks.

“Stresslessly!”

 

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Celebrate Back-to-school Day

The end of August means back to school.

Today, kids are sentenced to 9 months of reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic; and, let’s hope, a topic that will prepare the little tykes to take over when parents are ready for the easy chair. It is time to think about how we are going to pay for those college years.

Back-to-School Day, what a relief.

Super-moms and Super-dads celebrate the day Stresslessly.

Find your favorite school supply, a Stressless recliner at Traditions Home

 

Where will you be Father’s Day?

Happy Father’s Day

To quote Mark Twain, I would say, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” And baseball great Harmon Killebrew had it right when he said, “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’”

 

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Where will you be Father’s Day?

Me, … remembering Dad – playing ball on weekends, picturing his outdated Fedora hat and Panama shirt, the smell of his after-shave, and how happy he was at the end of each day sitting in his favorite chair reading the sports.

Stressless Strategies

Strategy – a plan of action or policy designed to achieve an overall aim. Accomplished by choosing wisely from a selection of choices.

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Santa Claus in Leon, Spain
pausing before the cathedral de Santa María de León

 

How do I make this work. Choices can be confusing and a strategy hard to come by. Just ask Santa. He’s got to pick out the right gifts, please a couple billion children, and do it all in one night. Tough act.

Choices can make all the difference in the world or none at all.

But given a choice make it your own, otherwise someone else will and get the credit. “When you come to a turn in the road take it,” Yogi Berra is said to have said, or something like it. The point, I think, is to go with the flow even if the reason for the choice is not obvious.

In time your path is revealed.

To help map out your strategy to remain relaxed in this season of stress, we have assembled a few choices. Consider them carefully, but we don’t think you can go wrong:

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something white for two

When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative, happy or sad, an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s more fun.

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something blue just for you

The choice that work best for me is the one I make.I know I cannot please everyone, and that’s fine because it pleases me.

Hey, who out there remembers Ricky Nelson and his single Garden Party? It went something like, “You can’t please everybody, so you got to please yourself.” I know this may sound selfish, but you got to take care of yourself to take care of others.

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make bold choices

Make bold choices and make mistakes. Fortune favors the bold and rewards the risk taker.

Babe Ruth lead the Yankees in both home runs and strikeouts. He was not afraid to taunt a pitcher and point to the fence with his bat. Here is his advice:

“How to hit home runs: I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball… The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.”

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catch a nap if you want

I’m continually making new choices.  This expands my comfort zone. It is how I grow and how I relax.

Remember making decisions can sometimes be lonely thing.

 

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in two sizes, regular and large, always comfortable, always Stressless

Still stumped? It doesn’t hurt to ask for help from above.

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Catedral de Santa María de León, Espana

Sykkylven and Stressless

Sykkylvsfjorden

To those who live and work there, Sykkylven is the loveliest landscape of Sunnmøre, in the western county of Møre og Romsdal, Norway. And those who come to visit are quickly enchanted.

What makes it so is not one thing, not its fjord which stretches out blue as the sky, not the mountains green and serene, not its ice-blue glaciers, lakes and rivers that cool the air, nor the valley full of colorful flowers, but all these things on a summer’s day and a Stressless recliner from which to take it all in.

Sykklven, Norway, home to Stressless chairs and sofas.

Sykkylvsfjorden
Sykkylvsfjorden and Stressless