Labor Day: Deal With Your Stuff

Labor Day Weekend gives Americans across the country a three-day weekend to rest, travel and celebrate our freedom to labor. The number of jobs increased by two million people in 2017 and has continued to climb in 2018. Hourly wages have seen gains and the stock market has seen twenty months of phenomenal growth. Employers across the country need workers and job seekers have options.

Not everyone will be travelling over Labor Day and I would like to suggest an activity of labor that will be mentally good for you and your entire family.

Clean out your closets, basement, attic and garage. For years Americans have been cramming “stuff” into closets, basements, attics and garages. When all of these are filled to capacity, we build storage barns in our yards. Next, we rent storage units to store more stuff.

Have you noticed how many storage units are being built everywhere? They are a big business. People who own storage units make big money because there is such a demand for them. The richest man in Kentucky is in the storage space business. We are talking about a state that has been rich in coal, natural gas and bourbon whiskey. So, this gives you an idea how many people are storing stuff.

I inherited my parents’ old house. After 11 years, I’m still throwing away stuff.

My family took what they wanted years ago, clothes and things were given away or divided up but still there was lots of things that my dad in particular had stored up over the years. Just two weekends ago, I cleaned out another old building of old tools to give and throw away.

My wife’s parents recently passed and left a house with four bedrooms, a basement and garage filled with 76 years of “stuff.” We have given away, held yard sales,

divided among family, given away more and literally still had to throw a lot in the trash. The family sold the house so it had to be emptied.

Emptying a house of an entire life of collected items is not only hard work but emotionally draining. Every item, picture, garment, old gun or piece of china has memories, and it’s tough to just throw it in the dumpster.

Why do we collect and store so much “stuff?” Most of it is socked away in a closet or attic and hardly ever used. Why do we do this? Is it because we think we might want it or need it someday or perhaps our children or grandchildren will want it?

It’s amazing how very little of our things our children want. Most of them want their own stuff. Some people do but by and large more stuff is thrown away and given away than handed down. Often, so much of the stuff we save is junk and no one wants our junk.

Do yourself and your family a favor, start cleaning out your storage spaces now and give it away yourself. Do your giving while you are living and that way you will know exactly where it’s going.

Haul the junk to the dump. Have a yard sale and if you have anything left you will know what to do with it and where to find it. Plus, when you are dead and gone your children will not have to spend their weekends cleaning out all your old stuff that you didn’t take care of yourself.

There is something really nice about having a closet that you can actually see everything that is in it. It’s also nice having a garage or an attic that is cleaned out and organized, and only contains what you really need.

After you have it all done, sit back, drink a cold glass of lemonade and give thanks for the things you have and the “stuff” you really need.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column appears in all 50 states. Contact him at: GMollette@aol.com or visit: www.glennmollette.com.

Let that old flag wave

Flying high across the sky is such a sight to me.

It represents love and a whole lot of blood given for folks like you and me.

It stands so grand across this dear land, never once has it embarrassed me. And I lift my head up high and my heart is filled with pride and I’m here cause that old flag waves!

Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! It has a lot to say. It’s our story flying high. It reminds us of our past, of our heroes who made it last, about our people who died to set us free. Let that old flag wave!

The stars and stripes remind us of a life we don’t appreciate. Freedom to pray and freedom to say, what’s on our minds. Freedom to pursue the dreams of our youth, let’s let that old flag wave!

Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! It has a lot to say. It’s our story flying high. It reminds us of our past, of our heroes who made it last, about our people who died to set us free. Let that old flag wave!

Today the flag still stands, but we live in a land of demand. We take her for all she’s got and expect her to give her best. It’s up to you and me to continue this liberty cause our children are coming this way. Let that old flag wave!

Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! It has a lot to say. It’s our story flying high. It reminds us of our past, of our heroes who made it last, about our people who died to set us free. Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave! Let that old flag wave!

Let That Old Flag Wave, © Words and Music © Glenn Mollette, Johnny House Records and Johnny House Publishing, Nashville, TN. Available at Amazon.com

Prince: Musicians die but never the music

Prince Rogers Nelson is gone but will be forever remembered by his music. We are always struck hard when an icon suddenly departs from this life. Regardless of how and why Prince left us so suddenly, his fans mourn.

Musicians leave a print on the earth. Elvis fans remember the moment and the very place they were when they first heard his death announced. Many of us will never forget the chilling news of John Lennon’s assassination. Only recently we mourned the death of David Bowie and Merle Haggard.

Some musicians it seems are eternal as Chuck Berry almost 90 and Jerry Lee Lewis who is 80, both entertained forever it seems. I saw Jerry Lee in Owensboro, Kentucky well into his seventies. He could actually still play the piano very well. The hip gyration move had lost some of it gravitas but hey he was still entertaining 4000 people that night. And then of course there is Tony Bennett who is approaching 90 and still performing. Some of us wonder if The Rolling Stones will be touring when they hit 80. Paul McCartney is still rocking at age 73. All of these people will die but their music never will.

Life is great when people are still able to participate and enjoy life. Prince leaving us at age 57 makes it all the more shocking. Reports are that Prince recently presented great concerts in Georgia. Over the weekend he entertained a small gathering in Minnesota and as always, he presented his music with passion, genius and celebration. Such musical celebration mystifies us even more. It’s hard for anyone to fathom something being wrong when an artist is seemingly hitting all the right keys.

However, the greatest artists fool us. David Bowie was sick but managed to squeeze out one last album. Glen Frey of The Eagles wowed us last summer on tour but is now gone. Robin Williams, of course not a singer but a famed comedian, could always make us laugh but he masked the internal demons that overtook his life. Elvis could still sing and entertain us even though we were not aware of his prescription addiction until his death.

More will be said about Prince’s untimely death in the days ahead. In the meantime his life will live on through his music and his music will live on in us.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and the author of eleven books and his column appears in all fifty states. Mollette’s books are available at: Amazon.com

Iowa Caucus reminds me of Groundhog Day

I have watched the movie titled “Groundhog Day” with actor Bill Murray. Looking back, I’m wondering if that movie was about the Iowa Caucus. The caucus just keeps coming back and back and it seems we just can’t escape the Iowa Caucus.

Groundhog Day is coming and the best news about the annual holiday is that the Iowa Caucus will be over! There is a bad rumor though that if the groundhog sees his shadow we will have six more weeks of Iowa!

I know Iowa is a great state with great people but why must our country be pounded with the ongoing onslaught of Iowa, Iowa and more Iowa Caucus? Personally, I’m sick of hearing about the Iowa Caucus. CNN and Fox news started talking about the Iowa Caucus over a year ago and for the last six months it seems Iowa has been mentioned every day.

I get it. Iowa is the first rung on the ladder to the presidency. Candidates who miss this rung have further to step up to New Hampshire and with a little less momentum.

Although it appears Donald Trump could lose both caucuses and still be the Republican nominee, he isn’t taking any chances. Iowa is being treated to about as much Trump as they can probably stand.

Past presidents have gladly taken Iowa and then moved on with the wind behind their march to victory. You remember George W. Bush in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008. However, winning Iowa has not always been the answer. John Kerry won the Caucus in 2004. Robert Dole won it in 1988. Rick Santorum won Iowa in 2012 and it led to nothing except a life of more campaigning, raising money and speaking to hamburger joint crowds who are killing time before their next doctors’ appointments.

Mike Huckabee won Iowa and had a lot of momentum in 2008. Unfortunately, Iowans hardly knew who is as he moves along in his RV speaking to crowds that he could almost fit in an old fashioned telephone booth, if anybody remembers what those were. I actually thought Huckabee would do a little better than he is doing. He had a national television program on Fox that aired on prime Saturday and Sunday evenings. Iowans and apparently few others were paying attention to his program, or maybe they were.

I started to say I feel sorry for Huckabee, Santorum, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Martin O’ Malley and others but I don’t. I feel sorry for the people in Iowa. The good people in Iowa can’t go to the local Dairy Queen without having a political candidate staring at them or trying to shake hands. I would say the people of Iowa might be more tired of the Iowa Caucus than most Americans. At least we can turn off the television. They can’t step for politicians and media people.

Groundhog Day is coming Iowa and when the day finally comes they will all be gone. Rest awhile and reclaim your lives because unfortunately in two years we will have to go through the caucus again and then again and then again. Now, I’m starting to understand a little more what Bill Murray’s character was going through in the movie Groundhog Day.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and the author of 11 books. His column appears in all 50 states. For more information, visit: www.keepourfreedom.com.

Setting a goal for 2016!

We hear the same messages a lot this time of year. Put the past behind. Look to the future. Let bygones be bygones. Make a new commitment. Claim the new you in the New Year.

We are determined to lose weight. We decide that we aren’t going to do some things or we decide to start doing something. Life is filled with commitments, failures and recommitments. It’s okay.

We all make commitments and then fail to follow through. We diet for a day and then blow it the next. We join a gym and then never get around to working out. We aim to start a new endeavor, a new hobby or a new lifestyle. Sometimes we follow through and sometimes we don’t.

It’s not the end of the world if you’ve broken a resolution. We are human beings filled with flaws and inadequacies. Actually, all of life is trying again and again and again.

Part of life is the fun of having a target. We all need to aim our lives in a meaningful direction. Your goal may be starting a business, a new career, retirement, writing a book, writing a song, running for public office or just living healthy. Everybody’s goals are different but it’s healthy to have one or two.

We all need something to live for. Having a purpose increases our zest and passion for life. Having nothing to work toward leaves us a bit limp in our energy and sometimes hopeless and depressed.

After you read this article, determine what it is you want to do and go for it. Write your goal down and put it where you will see it often. Some days you’ll get sick of seeing your goal. Other days you will be reminded that you are either doing great or maybe you need to pick up the pace a little in effort.

I hope you make your goal in 2016. Good luck!

How to make Christmas

I received a call from an old friend this morning. I’ve known him now for over forty years. When I was twenty years old I lived for four months with him and his family in Dayton, Ohio, while I attended Wright State University.

The call was a simple, Merry Christmas call that caught us up on family and life in general. The call began to wind up with him telling me about all the times that he thinks about me, and how much he loves our family. The sentiment is mutual I expressed and we were able to exchange warm Christmas greetings. The call made my day.

I brought my Army son home from the airport Sunday evening. After a long flight home he relaxed in our family room as we caught up on small talk. Just the fact that he was in our home and was safe made my day.

A couple that works with us at our office came by our home last week bringing gifts. The gifts are beautiful but the effort they made to tell us how much they enjoy working with us and that they love their jobs still after seven years meant a lot.

We often make Christmas difficult. We stress ourselves out. We get into fiascos over gifts, travel, money and how to celebrate the holiday.

The first Christmas was about the birth of a baby. People around the world have tried to find all kinds of ways to celebrate his birth for over 2000 years. It’s amazing how we sometimes mess up his birthday and the holiday.

This week try focusing on enjoying and loving people. It’s often the simple conversations we have along the way that makes Christmas!

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and the author of eleven books. His column appears all fifty states. For more information, visit: www.keepourfreedom.com.

New exit polls reveal: 100 percent death rate!

Exit polls are conclusive— 100 percent of us will die. The way we die will vary somewhat, but die we will. Many people in the world will never vote, own a new house, drive a new car or eat in a nice restaurant but all will experience death.

My father-in-law passed suddenly last week. On a routine Thursday morning, he was taking my mother-in-law for a typical medical appointment and apparently had a heart attack while behind the wheel. He managed to pull off to the side of the road before he gasped and left the world with his wife in the passenger seat.

The trauma of receiving a call from a stranger stating he was not responsive nor could a heartbeat be found was very unexpected. He essentially did most of the same stuff we all did and we estimated he had another twenty years. Again, it was proven there are never any guarantees when it comes to additional time on this planet.

I don’t know how anyone can totally prepare for death but being at peace with God and man should be at the forefront. This is surely a day-by-day activity because we all have days where we certainly are not pleasing our creator 100 percent. We go through life fretting, miffed at people, thinking bad thoughts and sometimes even doing the wrong things. We fall out with people or people fall out with us and often these relationships only go further south and they are never repaired before death.

As hard as it may be to believe, nobody ever had a bad thing to say about my father-in-law. He never had anything bad to say about anybody. I asked one of the clerks at a small store in town if he could think of anything bad about him and we both agreed it would be impossible. I realize no one is perfect but it’s nice when everyone speaks so highly of you. They didn’t even do that about Jesus.

You also need to either pay for your funeral costs before you die, have insurance or have some cash set aside for your family. A moderate funeral including grave, marker, casket, etc could easily cost you $15,000. I said moderate but I suspect you could easily bump this up to $18,000 and of course you can always go higher or more extravagant.

I am also including the cost of placing an obituary in our regional paper. Can you believe it cost our family over $600 for an obituary? This was just one newspaper! No, newspapers do not run obituaries for free!

There are all kinds of little hidden expenses when it comes to funerals. Be forewarned my friend and be prepared.

Last weekend, a young couple we know lost two parents due to a motorcycle crash. I can only imagine the costs. I must hasten to say that the same funeral home that took care of my father-in-law also had two children from a family lost in a fire in our county. We were told the funeral home was taking care of all the costs.

I realize there are lots of things to write about today. I could write about the big Republican debate and the candidates who are politically dying before our eyes. Most of them are trying to suck in a few more breaths of oxygen before they finally expire into political has-beens.

However, after grieving with family and loved ones at the funeral home and graveside for the entire weekend, I just couldn’t really think of anything that seemed more important. Please give some thought about being prepared for exiting this life.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and his column appears in all fifty states. To contact him, visit: https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette

Baltimore mother could save this nation!

Three cheers for the Baltimore mommy who was slapping and whipping the heck out of her son. Mommy Toya Graham saw her 16-year-old son Michael in the rioting crowd with a hoodie and a mask this past week and immediately went to him and took him off the street. She should be America’s poster mommy this Mother’s day for parenting.

Kids in this country are starving for a mommy and a daddy to step up to the plate and be real parents. As much as ever before the youth of America need to be loved, mentored, tutored through school, spend time with loving parents and then a good kick to the backside every now and then.

My mother slapped my face once. She slapped me hard enough that I honestly don’t remember what I sassed her about. She took me out to the peach tree and whipped me with a peach tree limb (switch) on more than one occasion.

My daddy gave me the belt more than once. Honestly, these are not my fond family memories. However, they were on the scene. They weren’t missing in action. They were at home being parents. They cared enough about me to try to drive me in the right direction.

I regret every spanking I gave my two sons. I wish I could go back and undo every swat I ever gave them on the rear end. I never enjoyed that.

However, they both finished school, never have been arrested and both are serving our country today in the military. We had some tough times like all families do but God by his grace gave me enough strength and wherewithal to stay with my family and stay with my boys.

Looking back, I know they needed even more than what I gave but I am so glad I gave everything I did.

During her childhood our youngest daughter would occasionally threaten that she was calling social services on us. This was usually due to our insistence that she do some homework, clean her room a little or just go to bed. It was amusing but we encouraged her to go ahead if she thought she could find a better deal. She backtracked on that threat.

Like Toya Graham moms and dads are the answer to many of America’s problems. We must step up to the plate and be adults. Take responsibility for our families welfare, education and what they are doing and when necessary go to the war zone like Mommy Graham and take action in order to save our children and this nation.

Glenn Mollette is the author of eleven books and his column “American Issues” is read across the country. To contact him, go to https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette

Don’t kick Santa across the yard: Move on, give and celebrate Christmas

This Christmas give somebody the gift of mercy and forgiveness. Actually be broad with your giving and generosity. We all need a lot of both. For such a joyful holiday of cheer, giving and yuletide merriment, there are certainly a lot of stressed out sourpuss faces and agitated people.

If you haven’t seen any of these you probably haven’t been to the mall or busy shopping districts. People get tense over decorating, shopping, spending and fitting all the jolly dinners, gatherings and religious services into their schedules.

You may have watched Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” He becomes over the top stressed out when his Christmas lights don’t work and literally kicks, stomps and curses a blue streak across his yard. It’s a funny scene. Mostly because in some way we’ve all been there a time or two.

We go crazy at Christmas. Everything is totally and abnormally different from the rest of the year. We spend money, eat, cook, travel and over schedule more than any other time of the year. By the time December 26 rolls around we’re sick of Christmas. We start making a list of New Year’s resolutions that include never doing some of the stuff ever again that we did at Christmas! By the time the next Christmas rolls around we do it all over again and often worse than the year before. We promise and swear we are going to do things differently but as long as we are able we do it over and again.

Most of us enjoy giving if we can. We enjoy giving to the people we love. Christmas trees, decorating, eating and gatherings are all a part of the season. However, we become frustrated when we lose sight of the big picture. The big picture includes looking around and beyond our Christmas pain. Millions of people would simply be thrilled to have the problems that some of us have. Many people are in nursing homes and will never go to the mall again. Some have a terminal disease and this may be their last Christmas. Others would simply love to have a house to decorate or someone to buy a gift for.

Celebrate Christmas this year. Give away some special gifts. Give gifts that money can’t buy or time cannot fade. Give love, give forgiveness and give mercy. Extend these generously to yourself. If you can’t give them to yourself it’s impossible to give them to others. The little baby that Christmas celebrates became a man and taught people that we should love God and love others as we love ourselves.

Herein is part of the rub, too often people stop loving themselves. Life becomes imperfect, we fail, get hurt or mad and we kick Santa or the reindeer across the yard. Unfortunately, we stop there. We go into Ebenezer Scrooge bah humbug mode. We don’t get our groove back and miss out on some of Christmas’ most wonderful characteristics— mercy and forgiveness.

The Christmas story is about a child who came to show us the way. He showed us how to love, forgive and be merciful. Some of the people in your life probably need it more than you know. Give generously and start with yourself.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author. He is read in all 50 states. To contact him, visit: www.glennmollette.com.

This Thanksgiving: Shine like the stars

Surely, most of us have something to give thanks for. We all have problems, aches and things that we desire.

Many of us have felt like we missed out on something. Everybody has a regret or two. Most of us have grumbled a bit about most everything. In the midst of it all, surely we can find some way to give thanks.

A thankful spirit eases the spirit. Surely it’s good for blood pressure, chest pains, anxiety and a better night’s sleep.

We have worries. We stress out about life even if the problems are small. While many have big problems, others people’s problems are small in comparison.

Thousands of Americans are homeless. We are having temperatures in the low twenties in November. Many homeless people who I have personally talked to deal with not knowing where they will sleep or what they will eat. Many have small tents, or even try to sleep on park benches. I can’t imagine.

About twenty years ago, I was only about twelve months into buying a house when I lost my job. The house payment was hefty plus I had two car payments, a very sick wife and two small boys. We were living paycheck to paycheck and suddenly I was on the bottom, terrified and desperate to quickly find a job. I learned at that time that the toughest time to find a job is when you desperately need one. I drove everywhere in search of a job. Prospective employers were kind by suggesting that maybe later down the road they might have an opportunity. I needed something immediately. There was almost never a moment that I slept at night.

After becoming unemployed, I also felt friendless. For years, I thought I had zillions of friends. Suddenly, it seemed as if no one knew me. I felt as if I had been dropped into a bottomless chasm, and nobody cared.

I came up with a solution. I would end my life. Briefly I felt uplifted and hopeful. This would be the way out of what seemed to be no way out. I lived in a nice neighborhood at the time and decided to take a walk at 1 a.m. The sky was clear and it appeared as if every star was shining that night. It was one of those nights when I felt like I could touch each star. As I walked through the neighborhood that late summer evening, I was very alone without the sound of cars or children playing. It was dead silent. I could hear my heart beating in the quiet of the night. I started thinking, ‘I have a wonderful family who needs me. I have to be here for them. Taking my life would be a horrific act of selfishness.’

I went back home and got on my knees and asked God to lead me and help me. If I ever needed a miracle from God it was then. I told God I would do anything, go anywhere.

About two weeks later, a man from Indiana called me and said, “Glenn, would you be interested in moving to Indiana?”

Quietly, I thought to myself, God, anything but Indiana! However, our family pulled up, moved and it ended up being the most empowering twenty years of my life. God took care of our family in an incredible way.

Looking back twenty years ago, I felt like we were just a month or two away from being homeless. It was a frightening feeling. I am sad for the thousands of Americans who do not have a place to sleep. I try to do what I can yet it never feels like it’s enough.

I am so grateful. I’m grateful for a warm house and comfortable bed. I’m thankful for food to eat and work that I love to do. I’m thankful for my loving wife, family and so much more.

Maybe this Thanksgiving you are having trouble being thankful. Maybe your life is painful and you are spiraling downward into a dark chasm. My hope for you is that one night you might see the stars in their entire splendor and that your life will soon shine among them full of thanksgiving.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author. His columns appear in all 50 states. For more information, visit: www.glennmollette.com.