Exciting Year Ahead Quotes

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I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?" "Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tug saddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment. "Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more. "Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer in the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
I know the days ahead of me are fewer than those I have left behind. There is no escaping this most basic fact of accounting. A certain amount of time is allotted to each of us. How much, only God knows. We cannot invest it. We cannot hope for a return of any kind. All we can do is spend it, second by second, decade by decade, until it runs out. Still, even if our days on this Earth are limited, we can always, through toil and industry, hope to extend our influence into the future. And so it is that, having lived my life with an eye set on posterity in the hopes of improving the lives of later generations, I enter these remaining years of mine not with nostalgia for all that is gone but with a sense of excitement for what is yet to come.
Hernan Diaz (Trust)
Sensational new breakthrough in Improbability Physics. As soon as the ship’s drive reaches Infinite Improbability it passes through every point in the Universe. Be the envy of other major governments.’ Wow, this is big league stuff.” Ford hunted excitedly through the technical specs of the ship, occasionally gasping with astonishment at what he read— clearly Galactic astrotechnology had moved ahead during the years of his exile.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
Back out of all this now too much for us, Back in a time made simple by the loss Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather, There is a house that is no more a house Upon a farm that is no more a farm And in a town that is no more a town. The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you Who only has at heart your getting lost, May seem as if it should have been a quarry— Great monolithic knees the former town Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered. And there’s a story in a book about it: Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest, The chisel work of an enormous Glacier That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole. You must not mind a certain coolness from him Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain. Nor need you mind the serial ordeal Of being watched from forty cellar holes As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins. As for the woods’ excitement over you That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves, Charge that to upstart inexperience. Where were they all not twenty years ago? They think too much of having shaded out A few old pecker-fretted apple trees. Make yourself up a cheering song of how Someone’s road home from work this once was, Who may be just ahead of you on foot Or creaking with a buggy load of grain. The height of the adventure is the height Of country where two village cultures faded Into each other. Both of them are lost. And if you’re lost enough to find yourself By now, pull in your ladder road behind you And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me. Then make yourself at home. The only field Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall. First there’s the children’s house of make-believe, Some shattered dishes underneath a pine, The playthings in the playhouse of the children. Weep for what little things could make them glad. Then for the house that is no more a house, But only a belilaced cellar hole, Now slowly closing like a dent in dough. This was no playhouse but a house in earnest. Your destination and your destiny’s A brook that was the water of the house, Cold as a spring as yet so near its source, Too lofty and original to rage. (We know the valley streams that when aroused Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.) I have kept hidden in the instep arch Of an old cedar at the waterside A broken drinking goblet like the Grail Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it, So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t. (I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.) Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
Robert Frost
Your career is likely to bear more resemblance to that of a writer than that of an athlete or painter. You should look ahead to your forties as the time when you will be at your peak of creativity, technical proficiency, and energy, and also have enough phronesis to realize your potential. The more your field depends on good judgment that comes only from experience, the longer you can expect to sustain a high level of performance into your fifties and sixties. To put it another way: Even if you wait as late as thirty to start accumulating the fifty thousand chunks of expertise, you will still have completed that apprenticeship when you approach the peak of your other powers in your forties. So push out your time horizon and don’t get frustrated if what you hoped would be a meteoric rise proves to be more measured. You’re not failing; you’re getting better at your craft and can reasonably aspire to master it one day. In the meantime, consult Wikipedia to check on the lives of those who became conspicuously successful at a young age. Ted Sorenson? After JFK was assassinated, he had a financially successful career as an attorney and remained a participant in politics, but, like sports heroes, rock stars, and pure mathematicians, he had to turn forty knowing that his most exciting professional years were behind him. How sad. And how happy you should be that you aren’t going to be a famous presidential aide at thirty-two.
Charles Murray (The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life)
The necessary special effects are not in my possession, but what I’d like for you to imagine is Clementine’s white face coming close to mine, her sleepy eyes closing, her medicine-sweet lips puckering up, and all the other sounds of the world going silent—the rustling of our dresses, her mother counting leg lifts downstairs, the airplane outside making an exclamation mark in the sky—all silent, as Clementine’s highly educated, eight-year-old lips met mine. And then, somewhere below this, my heart reacting. Not a thump exactly. Not even a leap. But a kind of swish, like a frog kicking off from a muddy bank. My heart, that amphibian, moving that moment between two elements: one, excitement; the other, fear. I tried to pay attention. I tried to hold up my end of things. But Clementine was way ahead of me. She swiveled her head back and forth the way actresses did in the movies. I started doing the same, but out of the corner of her mouth she scolded, “You’re the man.” So I stopped. I stood stiffly with arms at my sides. Finally Clementine broke off the kiss. She looked at me blankly a moment, and then responded, “Not bad for your first time.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
Shakespeare’s way out of the dilemma of writing plays as pleasing at court as they were at the public theater was counterintuitive. Rather than searching for the lowest common denominator, he decided instead to write increasingly complicated plays that dispensed with easy pleasures and made both sets of playgoers work harder than they had ever worked before. It’s not something that he could have imagined doing five years earlier (when he lacked the authority, and London audiences the sophistication, to manage this). And this challenge to the status quo is probably not something that would have gone down well at the Curtain in 1599. But Shakespeare had a clear sense of what veteran playgoers were capable of and saw past their cries for old favorites and the stereotypes that branded them as shallow “groundlings.” He committed himself not only to writing great plays for the Globe but also to nurturing an audience comfortable with their increased complexity. Even before the Theatre was dismantled he must have been excitedly thinking ahead, realizing how crucial his first few plays at the Globe would be. It was a gamble, and there was the possibility that he might overreach and lose both popular and courtly audiences.
James Shapiro (A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare)
My Definite Chief Aim I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness. My aim is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread all over the U.S. (I have set a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. The motives are many and among them are: I like to let the world know about the greatness of this Chinese art; I enjoy teaching and helping people; I like to have a well-to-do home for my family; I like to originate something; and the last but yet one of the most important is because gung fu is part of myself. … Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future. I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in a basement, but once my imagination has got up a full head of steam, I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six story Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States. I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives.
Bruce Lee
A Time for Everything To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven. ECCLESIASTES 3:1 If it seems you have been struggling forever with negative things in your life, don’t despair. There is a time and season for everything, and bad things ultimately give way to better things. Even the good things going on in your life may not stay exactly the same, because things are always changing. Sometimes changes are exciting . . . and sometimes they are difficult. But Jesus never changes—and as long as you keep your eyes on Him, you will make it through the changes in your life and continue growing. Be careful not to get too attached to people, places, positions, or things, but always be free to move with the Spirit. Let go of what lies behind and press on to what lies ahead (see Philippians 3:13-14). Reach toward the new horizon God has for you. You will be glad you did.
Joyce Meyer (Ending Your Day Right: Devotions for Every Evening of the Year)
Thanksgiving has become the first day of what in now thought of as the “Holy or Holiday Season.” The “holidays” as they are generally known, are an annually recurring period of time from late November to early January. These days are also recognized by many other countries as well, with the “Christmas Tree” and all the trimmings, generally being considered secular. This period of time incorporates the shopping days, which comprises a peak season for the retail market. Regardless of religious affiliation, children and adults alike enjoy the many window displays and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. To a great extent it really doesn’t matter that there are still some people believing that the commercialism of these holidays is blasphemy and that they should be reserved strictly for worship. There are virtually, no valid reasons why we can’t all enjoy these days in our own way. Children of all faiths and ages should be able to understand the true meaning and still be able to enjoy the music, surprises and magic of the season… This year we are again faced with a severely, politically divided country; with a great number of people fearing for their future. It might be too much to hope for, that politicians will be able to put aside their differences. Unfortunately many of them still believe that their hypocritical concept of Christianity is greater than that of their opposition. Regardless, they should however understand that we are all equal in the eyes of God as well as the law, and that America was built by a diverse people. Let us not slip back into a newer form of “Small Minded Bigotry,” but rather forge ahead in a unified way making our country stronger. The time has come to energize our nation by rebuilding our bridges and highways. Rebuilding our airports, investing in high-speed trains, and making education affordable is the way to a more productive future. If we head down this ambitious path of development, we will create jobs and put more people to work. It will help the middle class to regain their footing and it will strengthen our slowly growing economy. When our citizens earn more, the economy will lift us all out of the recession that so many.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
My favourite quotes, Part Two -- from Michael Connelly's "Harry Bosch" series The Black Box On Bosch’s first call to Henrik, the twin brother of Anneke - Henrik: "I am happy to talk now. Please, go ahead.” “Thank you. I, uh, first want to say as I said in my email that the investigation of your sister’s death is high priority. I am actively working on it. Though it was twenty years ago, I’m sure your sister’s death is something that hurts till this day. I’m sorry for your loss.” “Thank you, Detective. She was very beautiful and very excited about things. I miss her very much.” “I’m sure you do.” Over the years, Bosch had talked to many people who had lost loved ones to violence. There were too many to count but it never got any easier and his empathy never withered. The Burning Room 2 Grace was a young saxophonist with a powerful sound. She also sang. The song was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and she produced a sound from the horn that no human voice could ever touch. It was plaintive and sad but it came with an undeniable wave of underlying hope. It made Bosch think that there was still a chance for him, that he could still find whatever it was he was looking for, no matter how short his time was. ---------------- He grabbed his briefcase off his chair and walked toward the exit door. Before he got there, he heard someone clapping behind him. He turned back and saw it was Soto, standing by her desk. Soon Tim Marcia rose up from his cubicle and started to clap. Then Mitzi Roberts did the same and then the other detectives. Bosch put his back against the door, ready to push through. He nodded his thanks and held his fist up at chest level and shook it. He then went through the door and was gone. The Burning Room 3 “What do you want to know, Bosch?” Harry nodded. His instinct was right. The good ones all had that hollow space inside. The empty place where the fire always burns. For something. Call it justice. Call it the need to know. Call it the need to believe that those who are evil will not remain hidden in darkness forever. At the end of the day Rodriguez was a good cop and he wanted what Bosch wanted. He could not remain angry and mute if it might cost Orlando Merced his due. ------------ “I have waited twenty years for this phone call . . . and all this time I thought it would go away. I knew I would always be sad for my sister. But I thought the other would go away.” “What is the other, Henrik?” Though he knew the answer. “Anger . . . I am still angry, Detective Bosch.” Bosch nodded. He looked down at his desk, at the photos of all the victims under the glass top. Cases and faces. His eyes moved from the photo of Anneke Jespersen to some of the others. The ones he had not yet spoken for. “So am I, Henrik,” he said. “So am I.” Angle of Investigation 1972 They were heading south on Vermont through territory unfamiliar to him. It was only his second day with Eckersly and his second on the job. Now He knew that passion was a key element in any investigation. Passion was the fuel that kept his fire burning. So he purposely sought the personal connection or, short of that, the personal outrage in every case. It kept him locked in and focused. But it wasn’t the Laura syndrome. It wasn’t the same as falling in love with a dead woman. By no means was Bosch in love with June Wilkins. He was in love with the idea of reaching back across time and catching the man who had killed her. The Scarecrow At one time the newsroom was the best place in the world to work. A bustling place of camaraderie, competition, gossip, cynical wit and humor, it was at the crossroads of ideas and debate. It produced stories and pages that were vibrant and intelligent, that set the agenda for what was discussed and considered important in a city as diverse and exciting as Los Angeles.
Michael Connelly
Thinking ahead, Batista had handpicked Carlos Saladrigas Zayas as his replacement. However, this scheme was not to be, when the people defeated Saladrigas Zayas and voted for Batista’s adversary, the popular former President Ramón Grau. Four years later Grau was followed by Carlos Prío. Halfway through Ramón Grau’s administration, just before Christmas in 1946 at the Hotel Nacional, a meeting of Meyer Lansky and other underworld figures planned the future of Havana as a playground for the Americas. Drugs, prostitution, shows and casinos started to flourish in Havana. In the post war years prior to Las Vegas, people came, and Havana became an instant success!
Hank Bracker
But of course, she wouldn’t. She would avoid the confrontation, as usual. Typical Sera. “Josh, you and Lauren start recording the location of the necklace,” he said. She did a double take. He was assigning undergrads to a find of this magnitude? “I’m okay,” she said shakily as Nora helped her to her feet. “I’ll work on the amulet.” Chad’s eyebrows pulled together. “The what?” “It’s an amulet. To protect the temple.” She did her best not to cringe from his glare as she explained. “It sure did a piss-poor job,” Nora huffed. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You’re going to rest.” He turned around. “Back to work, everyone. We’ll have time to gawk at the pretty necklace later.” Sera frowned as he casually dismissed her and walked away. World-renowned archaeologist Dr. Charles Lambert—Chad, as he preferred to be called by students—made significant advancements in remote sensing technology in the last decade, sending his career skyrocketing. Her college’s archaeology department had been using his new methodology last year when they discovered the buried temple in Campania, Italy. After requesting to lead their excavation this summer, Chad had agreed to return to the university as a visiting scholar for the next school year, much to the excitement of the entire archaeology department.
Stephanie Mirro (Curse of the Vampire (Immortal Relics #1))
Prepare drones," Metatron commanded. Nephilim grabbed her backpack and put it on the ground beside her feet. She opened it and revealed a black metallic cube. It made a soft click as it came to life. Within seconds it enfolded itself and turned into a flying drone—slightly resembling a black firefly—that was about the size of a small eagle. It hovered next to Nephilim's head, humming softly. Each one of the soldiers had unique drones, directly linked to their neural system. Some drones had flying capabilities, others resembled ground predators in the form of insects or mammals. To be able to simultaneously, mentally control a drone during actual combat was difficult, required years of practice, and brought the term multi-tasking to a whole new level. However, once mastered, it was an incredibly effective combat tool. Nephilim held still and waited for the commander to order the assault. She wasn't excited or scared that she was about to go into battle. Her artificially augmented heart didn't beat faster. Her lungs, securely sealed through a silicate membrane from any kind of poison or chemical warfare attack, didn't enhance their pace. Her mind was focused and clear. So were her ice-cold, artificially blue eyes, studying the target area. She came here to do her job, her duty. What she had been created for. The righteous thing. Furthermore, it was something she was very good at. Adriel had stated, prior to leaving Olympias, that they should be back by breakfast. The target area ahead was in shabby condition. Shacks and makeshift houses built in and around the ruins of old, overgrown
Anna Mocikat (Behind Blue Eyes (Behind Blue Eyes #1))
Prepare drones," Metatron commanded. Nephilim grabbed her backpack and put it on the ground beside her feet. She opened it and revealed a black metallic cube. It made a soft click as it came to life. Within seconds it enfolded itself and turned into a flying drone—slightly resembling a black firefly—that was about the size of a small eagle. It hovered next to Nephilim's head, humming softly. Each one of the soldiers had unique drones, directly linked to their neural system. Some drones had flying capabilities, others resembled ground predators in the form of insects or mammals. To be able to simultaneously, mentally control a drone during actual combat was difficult, required years of practice, and brought the term multi-tasking to a whole new level. However, once mastered, it was an incredibly effective combat tool. Nephilim held still and waited for the commander to order the assault. She wasn't excited or scared that she was about to go into battle. Her artificially augmented heart didn't beat faster. Her lungs, securely sealed through a silicate membrane from any kind of poison or chemical warfare attack, didn't enhance their pace. Her mind was focused and clear. So were her ice-cold, artificially blue eyes, studying the target area. She came here to do her job, her duty. What she had been created for. The righteous thing. Furthermore, it was something she was very good at. Adriel had stated, prior to leaving Olympias, that they should be back by breakfast. The target area ahead was in shabby condition. Shacks and makeshift houses built in and around the ruins of old, overgrown industrial premises. The location was partly hidden by the remains of an old Highway bridge, its old asphalt cracked, with weeds growing everywhere, and some of its circling sidearms had collapsed. The ancient roads and self-made paths were covered with mud. It had been raining a lot, as it almost always did in this area. This was only one of the reasons why any sane person would never understand that people actually chose to live here. The small settlement was surrounded by some archaic plantations and little fields, hidden in between old buildings. Everything here was designed to stay unnoticed, to not be found. And yet they had been discovered. Eventually, all of them were. Metatron was right. These subjects here were completely oblivious of what was coming their way. Only a few guards were on duty, sitting on two of the old chimneys of the facility. They would have no chance to spot the attacking troops before sharpshooters took them out. After that, they would ambush those that remained in their sleep. Standard procedure, requiring a minimum of time, resources, and casualties. Nephilim's scanner showed one hundred twenty-six human life forms in the settlement. There wouldn't be any left when the sun rose in less than an hour. *** Jeff woke up from a bad dream. He couldn't remember what it was he had dreamt, but it had left him with this uneasy feeling
Anna Mocikat (Behind Blue Eyes (Behind Blue Eyes #1))
Perhaps a long, long time. Perhaps many years. But what better way could there be to spend our lives?” I turned to stare at her. “Whatever are you talking about?” “These young women. That girl back at the bunkers. Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes. . . .” She went on, almost forgetting in her excitement to keep her voice to a whisper, while I slowly took in the fact that she was talking about our guards. I glanced at the matron seated at the desk ahead of us. I saw a gray uniform and a visored hat; Betsie saw a wounded human being. And I wondered, not for the first time, what sort of a person she was, this sister of mine . . . what kind of road she followed while I trudged beside her on the all-too-solid earth.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
I think many people love their problems. Gives them all sorts of excuses for not growing up and getting on with life.’ Myrna leaned back again in her chair and took a long breath. ‘Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead. Most of these people are very immature. They lead “still” lives, waiting.’ ‘Waiting for what?’ ‘Waiting for someone to save them. Expecting someone to save them or at least protect them from the big, bad world. The thing is no one else can save them because the problem is theirs and so is the solution. Only they can get out of it.’ ‘“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.”’ Myrna leaned forward, animated, ‘That’s it. The fault lies with us, and only us. It’s not fate, not genetics, not bad luck, and it’s definitely not Mom and Dad. Ultimately it’s us and our choices. But, but’ – now her eyes shone and she almost vibrated with excitement – ‘the most powerful, spectacular thing is that the solution rests with us as well. We’re the only ones who can change our lives, turn them around. So all those years waiting for someone else to do it are wasted. I used to love talking about this with Timmer. Now there was a bright woman. I miss her.’ Myrna threw herself
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
Ugh!” Julie let out a frustrated noise and crossed her arms. He really didn’t get it. This was going through her dream box and insisting she join the band all over again. She knew it was his dream and he sometimes got carried away when it came to his music. She knew that but it didn’t make it ok to put his needs ahead of everything else. She had come a long way from thinking Luke only cared about himself but she also wasn’t about to let him off the hook for just assuming everyone around him would jump when he said to. It was less like he only cared about himself and more like he was just so passionate that he couldn’t imagine everyone else wasn’t just as excited as he was. It wasn’t malicious but that didn’t make it ok. Especially when Julie was trying so hard to help them already even though they didn’t know it. “Is that a good ugh or a bad ugh?” Luke asked, earning him a completely incredulous look from Julie. “Do you really think there’s a possibility it was a good ugh?” He winced. “I was hoping maybe it was an “ugh, I’ve recovered from the shock now and I’m super excited to join Sunset Curve” or something,” Luke said dejectedly. Julie just shook her head. This boy really was something regardless of what year she knew him in. “No, Luke. It wasn’t that kind of ugh.
When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take a precious penny of my own and hide it for someone else to find. It was a curious compulsion; sadly, I’ve never been seized by it since. For some reason I always “hid” the penny along the same stretch of sidewalk up the street. I would cradle it at the roots of a sycamore, say, or in a hole left by a chipped-off piece of sidewalk. Then I would take a piece of chalk, and, starting at either end of the block, draw huge arrows leading up to the penny from both directions. After I learned to write I labeled the arrows: SURPRISE AHEAD or MONEY THIS WAY. I was greatly excited, during all this arrow-drawing, at the thought of the first lucky passer-by who would receive in this way, regardless of merit, a free gift from the universe. But I never lurked about. I would go straight home and not give the matter another thought, until, some months later, I would be gripped again by the impulse to hide another penny.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Traditions are conditioned reflexes. Throughout Part 2 of this book, you will find suggestions for establishing family traditions that will trigger happy anticipation and leave lasting, cherished memories. Traditions around major holidays and minor holidays. Bedtime, bath-time, and mealtime traditions; sports and pastime traditions; birthday and anniversary traditions; charitable and educational traditions. If your family’s traditions coincide with others’ observances, such as celebrating Thanksgiving, you will still make those traditions unique to your family because of the personal nuances you add. Volunteering at the food bank on Thanksgiving morning, measuring and marking their heights on the door frame in the basement, Grandpa’s artistic carving of the turkey, and their uncle’s famous gravy are the traditions our kids salivated about when they were younger, and still do on their long plane rides home at the end of November each year. (By the way, our dog Lizzy has confirmed Pavlov’s observations; when the carving knife turns on, cue the saliva, tail wagging, and doggy squealing.) But don’t limit your family’s traditions to the big and obvious events like Thanksgiving. Weekly taco nights, family book club and movie nights, pajama walks, ice cream sundaes on Sundays, backyard football during halftime of TV games, pancakes in Mom and Dad’s bed on weekends, leaf fights in the fall, walks to the sledding hill on the season’s first snow, Chinese food on anniversaries, Indian food for big occasions, and balloons hanging from the ceiling around the breakfast table on birthday mornings. Be creative, even silly. Make a secret family noise together when you’re the only ones in the elevator. When you share a secret that “can’t leave this room,” everybody knows to reach up in the air and grab the imaginary tidbit before it can get away. Have a family comedy night or a talent show on each birthday. Make holiday cards from scratch. Celebrate major family events by writing personalized lyrics to an old song and karaoking your new composition together. There are two keys to establishing family traditions: repetition and anticipation. When you find something that brings out excitement and smiles in your kids, keep doing it. Not so often that it becomes mundane, but on a regular and predictable enough basis that it becomes an ingrained part of the family repertoire. And begin talking about the traditional event days ahead of time so by the time it finally happens, your kids are beside themselves with excitement. Anticipation can be as much fun as the tradition itself.
Harley A. Rotbart (No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids)
During the first century ravens or crows were often taken on board “Viking Knarr’s,” to be released thinking that they would fly in the direction of land. The lookout would observe the direction the birds flew in, so that the navigator could follow their course. Since the crow's nest is high from the vessel’s center of gravity it is subject to violent motion in relatively calm or moderate seas. Any amount of movement of the ship is amplified, causing even seasoned sailors to become sea-sick. Therefore, being sent to the crow's nest was certainly not for everyone. More recently but still prior to the advent of radar, when the visibility from the bridge of the ship was inhibited by fog, heavy seas or limited night vision lookouts were posted on the bow or high on a mast, above the low lying sea fog. By tradition the protected structure fitted to the foremast high above the deck was named the crow’s nest in deference to the earlier Viking traditions. During the 19th century this vantage point was simply made out of a barrel lashed to the highest mast that allowed the lookout to look ahead for land, other ships, flotsam or other obstructions. In later years the crow’s nest was sometimes enclosed and even electrically heated. As a young midshipman I was assigned to the bow as lookout. Peering into the dark of night I suddenly saw a bright light on the horizon. Sighting this light was a thrill and an experience that validated my usefulness! Excited with my find and without a moment’s hesitation I hurried back to where I was within shouting distance from the ships bridge and loudly announced the light as being 2 points on the starboard bow. Proud of my announced discovery, I returned to my station at the bow only to discover that what I had reported was now obviously the tip of a Sickle Moon rising in the east. At the time everyone had a good laugh but I was told that I did the right thing. It took a while but eventually I lived it down and now it makes for a good “Sea Story!”!
Hank Bracker
I felt that combination of excitement at what lay ahead and panic at potentially missing the bird. That pit in the stomach is a common feeling for birders, whose lives are defined by that short distance between emotional extremes of jubilation and “that’s it—I’m never doing this again!
Neil Hayward (Lost Among the Birds: Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year)