Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Day of My Seventieth Birthday!

On my *seventieth birthday

I never could imagine that I would reach *this age. 

I must admit: on *that front, I am a lucky bastard! 
You must know folks: my ancestors - my two grandmothers - one grandfather, and both my parents only reached the age of sixty! 
They all died from heart failure.
My father died just one year after my moms dead.
It made me realize that I had to do something to break the circle.
I would not get heart problems too.
From then on I began to live healthier and to exercise in a responsible manner.
I'm sure that the decision that I made then - now more than 35 years ago - has paid off.
Even now I go running every other day about 6 km without problems. 
I best "knock on wood" and hope that I can continue to do that for a very long time.
I know that I'm not breaking records,  that's also not my aim. 
Many people of my age can do much better than I. 
I run because it makes me feel good and to stay in shape, not to break records.
Running is not only good for your physical health but also for your mental health.
It brings me peace of mind and it makes me tired on a healthy way. 
It makes that I can sleep better and afterwards I've a lot more energy than before.

So folks: my advise! 
Look at your food! Have well balanced meals without having hunger!  
Put on your running shoes and start running on your own level. 
You can see it as a kind of life insurance policy - one that at the end is bearing fruits!
I can assure you ........ the fruits taste great!
That you may enjoy the fruits which you've harvested for a very long time!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

 Between these two pictures sits a time span of 49 years!

I still can't believe that it all went so fast. 
At this picture, taken in 1964, I was 21 years old and whole alone with my little boy. 

The first two years of his life I cared and raised my son on my own.  
 Although it was not only a lonely, but also a hard time for me, 
I cherish this picture because his presence made my life worth living.
He was my little sunshine!
Later  - when he left home - I had the luck to find Pipke.
Then she became my little sunshine. 

At this picture, which was taken this year, we're celebrating my son's 49th birthday!  

We both experienced happy times and bad times. 

The worst time came after Pipke died and believe me: it has scarred us both.

We both grown not only older but - also wiser! 

And now - I'm alone again,
 and - although life it isn't easy - I'm trying to make the best of it!


Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 
It might have been.” 
John Greenleaf Whittier —

Saturday, September 14, 2013

In Loving Memory of my Best Friend Pipke

May 25, 1995 – September 14, 2009
Always on my mind, for ever in my heart
To watch her Memorial slideshow - 
 click on the *YouTube link above!
PS: After I heard this song for the first time on the radio, I've had it stuck in my head ever since. 
It seemed almost as if the song was written for my dear Pipke.
I was curious and so I went to search on the internet and so I found out that Karla Bonoff  wrote this beautiful touching song: "Goodbye My Friend" after she had lost her cat.
She described the bond we share with our pets and the grief we must endure when they leave this earth so very well.

Listen to the lyrics carefully, then you will understand what it means to loose what was the most precious to you!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fran and the Lucky Little Duckling

Probably you're all thinking now that I'm talking about Pipke and me.

Of course: Pipke was a lucky little critter because I was there to save her during a heavy rainstorm at the moment that she was born in an abandoned nest.

The human Fran and her lucky baby duckling Pipke

But – there's now also an other little duckling that was saved by someone who's called: Fran.
You will never guess it; that last Fran where I'm talking about “isn't a human”.
No - it's a friendly giant: a gorilla at the Bronx Zoo in New York.
I want to explain how I discovered this. Actually it happened pure by chance.
Already quite some time ago someone has sent me an endearing picture of a gorilla and a tiny duckling.
(What the sender probably did not know was that “that friendly gorilla”, who's the savior of the duckling is also called: Fran.)
Of course the picture touched me because it brings back memories.
So - because I'm someone who wants to know the story behind the picture - who goes more profound into things - I went to search on the Internet and found out this wonderful story that follows in this post.
Only by reading the touching story I discovered that I have an “animal namesake” with also a lot of empathy.

And yes, also the “behavior” of those great giant Fran got my interest, I wanted to know more about that. I'm not going to bother you with *all the interesting information I found on *Wikipedia. You know where to find it.
The main point is that they say there that: Primates and in particular great apes are candidates for highly developed capabilities for empathy .
So - when people say as an insult: “you behave as an animal”, I actually see this rather as a compliment.
I also discovered there the story about Koko the female gorilla with also a lot of empathy. If you don't know her already down below in this post you can find a link to a YouTube film about her.

Now back to the main topic: Fran the gorilla and the lucky little duckling. 
(Actually the reason why I planned to write this post.)

Here follows a part of the story published in the newspaper The telegraph
published on October 7, 2011. Click on the link to read the full story. 
(Note: Look how good the quality of the pictures taken by Tom Warren is. You must know they were taken through a thick piece of plexiglass!)

A wonderful moment between two unlikely friends
This huge gorilla and tiny duckling became unlikely friends after the bird escaped into the ape's zoo enclosure. Visitors to the zoo ware stunned when the baby duckling suddenly appeared inches from the primate. Feeling the 90kg western lowland gorilla might react badly to the feathered visitor, onlookers held their breath to see what would happen. The gorilla became fascinated with the bird and inspected its new friend with a stick. The 15 year ols female ape, called Fran, happily let the duckling waddle about before it was removed by the zookeepers.
Photographer Tom Warren captured the scene at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

Tom Warren/Solent News.

Twigged ... Fran checks out her new feathery chum with a stick
Tom Warren/Solent News.

The duckling is accepted into the gorilla group
Tom Warren/Solent News.

The frendly gorilla Fran
 has a quacking time with a tiny duckling
Tom Warren/Solent News.

I hope the great giant Fran could capture your heart.
She surely has captured mine.
I have used this quote already before but, here - at this place - it's really an appropriate quote to close this post with:
"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."
James Herriot
Fran the gentle gorilla is a confirmation of it!

PS: May I invite you to look at this endearing YouTube film about Koko the gorilla.
Here you see Koko who expressed sadness over the death of her cat All Ball. Look how she shows her empathy and how lovingly she treats the kittens.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Can you guess who ......

Can you guess who has written this highly sensitive and meaningful text

(The name of the writer you can find below.)

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” 
Written by Bob Marley

My conclusion from these words: 
it's not always what you see what you get.
Because - often it's the case that one thinks that one can't associate a "mindful and sensitive personality" to a person who seems to be a kinda hippy, but - as it's also often the case:
 it's only the outside that one sees. 
It's the inner that counts.

I want to close this post with this quote written by Storms Jameson: 
"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."
Thanks for reading! 

PS: I would already give away that my next post will be a very special one. 
It's by pure chance that I can write this story.
The title will be: Fran and the lucky little duckling.
Till then.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Updating: Our Garden Pipke's Little World.


Reminiscing the good times


Some time ago I went to check the contents of my blog. 

I went to dig back into the posts I've published over the years and reread some of them. 
I wanted to cherish the good times which I've experienced when Pipke was still alive. 
So I came to the post: Our Garden …. Pipke's Little World. (Published on August 9, 2009).
To read this original post click on the link above.

You can see there how it all started at the end of October 1994. At that time the garden even didn't exist: it was still unprocessed soil. There you can see Pipke's parents and ancestors visiting our mud puddle. I describe there the construction of our garden and how it has evolved after more than fourteen years.  

While rereading that particular post that I've mentioned above, I discovered that the slide show that I've installed at that time was now no longer available.
I really found this a pity because – it means so much to me.
It shows the place where Pipke has lived her whole life. There I've spend the happiest time of my life so – the images belong to this blog.
Therefore – for those who are interested and/or haven't seen it yet before: I want to share it with you. So I've installed a new version of the photo-album/slide show on that original post.

If you're not interested to read the original post and just want to see the photo-album/slideshow, just click on this link to watch the new version. 
The pictures you can see there were taken on August 6, 2009.
I hope you will enjoy it.
You must know folks: I had to leave the place where Pipke was born.
I live there anymore. 
It wasn't at all my choice to leave this place. It were the circumstances – “what happened” – that made it inevitable I had to go with much pain in my heart.

And - although I live there anymore - in my thoughts
I still walk every day through the garden and sit on the bench together with Pipke.
Her memory is still the handhold in my life! 
She still brightens up my days!
Thanks for your visit.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Continuing with Pipke's Life Story.

Dear followers and readers

Concerns: Pipke's Life Story on my blog:

In case you are still interested in Pipke's story!
Herewith I want you to let you know that I will continue to publish Pipke's story.
I hope you will drop by from time to time.
Mind you: this is without any obligation!

Thanks in advance.
Till soon - I hope.


PS: see also link Pipke's Life story on the right side above in this blog.