Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A New Take on Big Rocks

A couple years ago, there was a similar forward about Big Rocks. This is a variation, but a really good one. I especially like the ending.


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember this story about a mayonnaise jar and 2
cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class with several items in
front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the
students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was
full they agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar .
Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the
jar was full and the students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space
between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things- your God, your family, your children, your health, your
friends, and your favorite passions — things that if everything else was
lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,
and your car.
“The sand is everything else — the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the
small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play
with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out
to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and
fix the disposal.”

Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set
your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that
no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of
cups of coffee with a friend.”

January 8, 2007 Posted by | Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Spiritual | 6 Comments


This was a forward I received today. I don’t know where the statistics come from, so I can’t verify. If true, it is pretty amazing what a difference 100 years can make.

The year is 1906.
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes !
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1906

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa , and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California .

With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union .

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !

The average wage in the US was 22 cents per hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,

a dentist $2,500 per year,

a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,

and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at HOME

Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION !

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “sub-standard.”

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair

once a month,

and used borax

or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from

entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona , Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30 !!!!

Crossword puzzles,

canned beer,

and ice tea

hadn’t been invented yet.

There was no Mother’s Day

or Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine

were all available over

the counter

at the local corner drugstores.

Pharmacists said,

“Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders

in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

January 8, 2007 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Generational, Living Conditions, Shopping, Social Issues, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Alhamdallah for the Trip from Hell

Remember what my husband says? A good flight is where the number of landings equals the number of take-offs? Alhamdallah, I am safely arrived back in Kuwait and the safe landings equalled the take-offs.

Having said that, this trip back to Kuwait was not a trip I want to do again any time soon. It’s all small stuff. Small stuff adds up. (Sigh.) It gets old.

There’s a direct flight from Seattle to Amsterdam. Because I booked so late, I couldn’t get on it. I kept trying, KLM kept laughing and saying “it is BOOKED!” I made use of that “weather window” to drive to the airport a little early, hoping a seat might open up, someone might now show up. No such luch. Even as the flight boarded, I asked if there was any possibility of getting on and they just laughed.

No big deal. My flight to Minneapolis was just a little later, and it was uneventful, except for leaving late enough that I had to RUN from one end of the Minneapolis airport to the other to reach the gate for my Amsterdam flight, and it was a long long way! Most people were already on board, but I had an aisle seat and I was just happy to make the flight. This flight, too, was fully booked. I didn’t see a single empty seat.

And that was not good news. I was tired, so quickly fell asleep, only to awake to the sound of a flight attendant using her loud voice to say “Sir! Sir! Can you hear me? Can you hear me? If you can hear me, you need to respond!” and when the man sitting behind me didn’t respond she was about to call for medical assistance. At that moment, he vomited copiously all over himself and all over his seat. Pretty awful, awful for him, awful for everyone sitting around him. Ummm, remember when I told you there were no empty seats?

They did their best to clean things up. Oh well. Safe landing.

Boarded the flight to Kuwait in Amsterdam, uneventful, smooth . . . “hmmmmm, haven’t we been sitting here a while? We were supposed to take off half an hour ago . . .?” The pilot comes on and says the plane has been loaded with contaminated fuel and they are trying to figure out what they are going to do. Three hours after we boarded we are deplaned, given vouchers for dinner and a phone call and 50 Euro coupon toward our next flight. We are told to be back at 9 to reboard.

So I go once again for the upgrade – I really need more space to sleep, and I really need some sleep. I tried to use that fancy-schmancy 50 Euro coupon but the ticketing office said it is only good for booking a totally NEW ticket. Ah well, I paid 100 Euro to upgrade, worth EVERY centime. I was asleep even before the plane taxied down the runway for takeoff. My sweet husband was there to meet me at the ungodly hour we landed in Kuwait. The air was cool and fresh and smelled clean.

OK, OK, nothing major, just a lot of small annoyances. The number of safe landings equalled the number of takeoffs. Alhamdallah.

January 8, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Travel, Weather | 11 Comments