The Happy Surfer

You may have heard this one before, but that’s okay. Today is a great day to stop and think about the blessings in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving 2013!


There once was a surfer in a remote beach town who led a quiet and simple life. He lived on a beautiful bay where the sun danced off the sparkling blue water. He owned very little and did not desire more.

He was grateful for the blessings in his life and he was very happy.

Beach Shack by Dave Hunt - Sydney

The land he lived on had been in his family for generations. He made his home in a small comfortable cottage. Down a path and next to the bay, the surfer had built a thatch roof cabana. Each day he would awaken from a peaceful sleep, take his coffee to the cabana and watch the sun rise. He would spend the rest of his morning surfing, fishing, and gardening. He would escape the afternoon heat by napping under the cabana, and in the evening he would walk into town to meet his friends. They would drink sangria, dine on fresh fish, sing, tell stories and laugh until their bellies hurt. He would walk home under a starry sky and fall asleep to the night sounds while watching the moon cross the heavens.

Late one afternoon, a businessman from the big city parked an expensive car on the gravel road in front of the cottage. He knocked firmly on the cottage door, introduced himself and handed the surfer a business card. He represented a very large corporation that wanted to buy this piece of land. They were prepared to offer a handsome sum of money for the land, a sum that would change the surfer’s life forever.

“What would I do with all that money?” asked the surfer.

The businessman explained “The money will open many doors. For example, you could invest in the stock market. In a bull market like this, your money will quickly grow into an even larger fortune.”

“Sounds interesting,” said the surfer “but what happens then?”

“That’s when the real fun begins!” explained the businessman. “You’ll move out of this little cottage into a huge mansion in the city with maids and luxury cars. You’ll invest even more money in real estate. You’ll join a country club and mingle with famous people. You’ll wear the finest clothes, drink the finest wines, and travel the country visiting your properties.” The businessman assured the surfer that this was absolutely the opportunity of a lifetime.

“Hmmmm, I don’t know,” said the surfer. “It sounds exhausting.”

“Not to worry!” explained the businessman. “A man with your means will be able to relax in style! You’ll be able to buy a place overlooking the ocean and take week long vacations three or four times a year. You’ll wake up, sip some coffee and watch the sun rise.  You’ll be able to spend your mornings surfing and fishing. In the afternoons, you’ll be able to nap under a cabana, and in the evenings you’ll be able to visit with your friends. You’ll drink sangria, dine on fresh fish, sing, tell stories and laugh until your belly hurts. When your night is over,  you’ll be able to walk home under a starry sky and fall asleep to the night sounds while watching the moon cross the heavens.”

“Doesn’t that sound like a grand and exciting life?” asked the businessman from the big city. “Take my offer and follow my directives – I guarantee this huge amount of money will change your life and make you happy.”

The surfer shook the businessman’s hand and told him he’d think about the offer. The businessman hurried back to his expensive car and rushed out of town. On his drive back to the city, he called his boss and smiled as he told about the poor, simple surfer. This should be easy he told his boss… and they both started to laugh.

After the businessman left, the surfer returned to his cabana. As he sat on the sand and mended a hole in a old pair of shorts, he thought about the businessman’s visit. He smiled when he saw the sun peek through the clouds and begin to descend over the bay. Then he started to laugh.

New and Improved!

I’m working on a revision to the ‘Short Stories’ section of this website. The new and improved version will match the new look of the site.

I intend to publish one or two short stories each month in 2014. The old stories will be mixed in with the new ones. Like Forrest Gump would say, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Drost Park in Maryville, IL

The ‘travel’ in this entry was a 2 minute walk from the front door of my workplace. Drost Park in Maryville, IL is a great little park with a seven acre lake, sports fields, a large children’s playground, a community garden and several miles of walking/running trails. The park is approximately 18 miles from downtown St. Louis and sits right on the Madison County Schoolhouse Trail, a 15.9 mile paved trail that ends at Horseshoe Lake State Park. It is also just a mile from the Villa Marie Winery.

These photos were taken during a beautiful late afternoon walk in September.

Li’l D’s Syllabus

To my Daughter…

In no particular order, here is a list of things you and I should do or learn together.  We can add to this list as the years go on and we’ll check off the ones we have completed:

  1. Visit a cave
  2. Swim in the ocean
  3. Study the Holocaust
  4. Change a flat tire
  5. Dig a hole
  6. Drive a nail
  7. Pan for Gold
  8. Run 10 miles
  9. Sleep in a tent
  10. Watch the sun rise
  11. Watch the sun set
  12. Build a fire
  13. Volunteer for something
  14. Open your first savings account
  15. Hang a picture
  16. Build something from wood
  17. Plant a tree
  18. Shovel snow
  19. Trim a palm tree
  20. Catch a fish
  21. Find a sand dollar
  22. Write a song
  23. Drive through the night
  24. Build a pond
  25. Take a long distance bike trip
  26. Go sailing
  27. Ride a horse
  28. Live in a foreign country for 3 months