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  We always convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, thenanother. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content whenthey are. After that we' re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly behappy when they are out of that stage.


  We always tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her acttogether, when we get a nicer car, and are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. Thetruth is, there's no better time than right now. If not now, when? Our life will always be filledwith challenges. It's best to admit this to ourselves and decide to be happy anyway.


  One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred Souza. He said, "For a long time it had seemed tome that life was about to begin-real life.But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, someunfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last itdawned onto me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see thatthere is no way to happiness.


  Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment that you have.And remember that time waits for no one. So stop waiting until you finish school, until you goback to school; until you get married, until you get divorced; until you have kids, until your kidsleave home; until you start work, until you retire; until you get a new car or home; untilspring; until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to behappy....


  Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So,Work like you don't need money,


  Love like you've never been hurt,And dance like no one's watching.


  to love, like never been hurt,to dance,like no one appreciate;


  to sing, like no one listen to,to work, like no need of money;


  to life, like today is the end.



  "Everything happens for the best," my mother said whenever I faced disappointment. "If you carry on, one day something good will happen. And you'll realize that it wouldn't have happened if not for that previous disappointment."


  Mother was right, as I discovered after graduating from college in 1932. I had decided to try for a job in radio, then work my way up to sports announcer. I hitchhiked to Chicago and knocked on the door of every station - and got turned down every time.


  In one studio, a kind lady told me that big stations couldn't risk hiring an inexperienced person. "Go out in the sticks and find a small station that'll give you a chance," she said.


  I thumbed home to Dixon, Illinois. While there was no radio-announcing jobs in Dixon, my father said Montgomery Ward had opened a store and wanted a local athlete to manage its sports department. Since Dixon was where I had played high school football, I applied. The job sounded just right for me. But I wasn't hired.


  My disappointment must have shown. "Everything happens for the best," Mom reminded me. Dad offered me the car to job hunt. I tried WOC Radio in Davenport, Iowa. The program director, a wonderful Scotsman named Peter MacArthur, told me they had already hired an announcer.


  As I left his office, my frustration boiled over. I asked aloud, "How can a fellow get to be a sports announcer if he can't get a job in a radio station?"


  I was waiting for the elevator when I heard MacArthur calling, "What was that you said about sports? Do you know anything about football?" Then he stood me before a microphone and asked me to broadcast an imaginary game.


  On my way home, as I have many times since, I thought of my mother's words: "If you carry on, one day something good will happen. Something wouldn't have happened if not for that previous disappointment."


  I often wonder what direction my life might have taken if I'd gotten the job at Montgomery Ward.

  我常想,如果我当年得到了蒙哥马利·沃德的那份工作,我的Grandmother didn't just like her coffee, and it wouldn't really do her justice to say she loved her coffee. Grandmother was to coffee what a sommelier is to wine. She knew the intricacies of coffee, the different tastes and even the textures. And only the best would do for her. No instant coffee, or coffee bought at the grocery store. She had to have fresh coffee, from a respectable coffee shop. “The morning cup of coffee sets the tone for the whole day,” she used to say.


  I used to go to Grandmother's every Sunday morning. Her routine was always the same. She would kiss me once on each cheek, hang up my coat and lead me into the kitchen, slice a piece of banana bread right out of the oven (sometimes cranberry), and pour a cup of freshly brewed coffee.


  “Alexa,” she said to me one day. “Did you know that every person's personality is like a flavor of coffee?”


  “Really?” I said, amused at how Grandmotherrelished her coffee so much that she related everything to it.


  “Ye” she said. “You, my dear, are French vanilla. You are sweet, almost sickeningly so at times to the discerning coffee drinker.” I slightly recoiled at Grandmother's assessment of me. You expect your grandmother to call you sweet, but never sickeningly sweet.


  “Your father is espresso,” she continued. “He comes on strong. There are many people who don't like him, but others can't live without that high feeling that he gives them. He has an addictive personality that many people can't let go of.”


  “Let me gues Grandmother. You're hazelnut.”


  “Hazelnut? Why on earth would you say that?”


  “Because I find your coffee talk a bit nutty.”


  I smiled at Grandmother, but I could tell she was not amused. “Alexa dear, I am trying to teach you a lesson about life here. I do not need you poking fun at me.”


  A lesson about life? Is she kidding? “Grandmother, you can't dissect a person's personality by comparing them to a cup of coffee. People are more complex than that. Everyone has nuance personality quirk things that make them different. You just can't go around saying, 'She's a dark roast, he's an instant, he's a mocha almond.”


  Grandmother looked at me, almost a blank, dull stare. “Then you just don't understand coffee,” she snapped, clearing my plate and coffee cup from the table. “I guess not,” I sighed, exasperated at my hazelnut grandmother.


  I went to Grandmother's house many more times after that, and she always kept her same routine. It was a welcome routine, one that I enjoyed every week. Grandmother didn't talk to me after that about the “coffee catastrophe” as I called it, but eventually, she did start to make more ridiculous claims concerning her favorite drink.


  “I knew your grandfather was the right man for me because we loved our coffee the same way,” she said. “Cream with just a touch of sugar.”


  I rolled my eyes. “Grandmother, many people like it that way.”


  “I disagree,” she said. “For most people, if they prefer cream, they like a lot of sugar, or at least a moderate amount. Those who drink it with just a touch of sugar usually put milk in it, or drink it black.”


  “So what if Papa preferred his coffee black? Or with milk and sweetener? Does that mean that you would have never married? That I wouldn't be here today?”


  “Oh don't be silly,” Grandmother said. “I won't think about your grandfather preferring his coffee any differently. I don't know what would have become of us. But you, my dear Alexa, belong to me. You would be here no matter what.”


  The last time I saw Grandmother was a Sunday just like all the others. I sat down at the table with Grandmother and she looked at me with a very intense look in her eyes.


  “Do you ever think about heaven?” she asked me.


  I stared at Grandmother and stopped chewing for a moment.


  “Well, do you?” she asked again.


  “Umm, not really,” I said, growing increasingly uncomfortable with this line of conversation.


  “Well, I've been thinking about it lately,” Grandmother said. “I mean, I am getting to that age where I realize that I don't have much more time here on earth. And I've just been thinking lately about heaven—and what's there and what's not. And I just hope that when it's my time to leave this world, the next one has everything that I love here.”


  “And what's that, Grandmother?”


  “Good food, good people, and good coffee.”


  I smiled at Grandmother's simplicity and love for the good things in life. And I hoped that she would find exactly what she would be looking for in the next world.


  Grandmother passed away later that week. They found her sitting in her favorite rocker in the living room, half a cup of freshly brewed coffee by her side. And somehow, I knew that it was a sign that everything would be all right for Grandmother.


  Now, years later, I'm frequently reminded of my Grandmother. The scent of freshly baked banana bread, or the way someone will kiss me on my cheek will bring a quick flashback of her. But my memories are always most vivid when I step foot into a coffee shop, the aroma of freshly roasted beans and brewed coffee livening my senses.


  “What would you like?” the person at the counter asks me.


  “A medium hazelnut,” I say. “Cream with just a touch of sugar.”


  拥抱明天 Embrace today

  Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows, we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.

  我们的潜意识里藏着一派田园诗般的风光! 我们仿佛身处一次横贯大陆的漫漫旅程之中! 乘着火车, 我们领略着窗外流动的景色:附近高速公路上奔驰的汽车、十字路口处招手的孩童、远山上吃草的牛群、源源不断地从电厂排放出的烟尘、一片片的玉米和小麦、平原与山谷、群山与绵延的丘陵、天空映衬下城市的轮廓, 以及乡间的庄园宅第!

  But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour, we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering --waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

  然而我们心里想得最多的却是最终的目的地! 在某一天的某一时刻, 我们将会抵达进站! 迎接我们的将是乐队和飘舞的彩旗! 一旦到了那儿, 多少美梦将成为现实, 我们的生活也将变得完整, 如同一块理好了的拼图! 可是我们现在在过道里不耐烦地踱来踱去, 咒骂火车的拖拖拉拉! 我们期待着, 期待着, 期待着火车进站的那一刻!

  "When we reach the station, that will be it! "we cry. "When I'm 18. ""When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes Benz! ""When I put the last kid through college. ""When I have paid off the mortgage!""When I get a promotion.""When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after! "

  "当我们到站的时候, 一切就都好了! "我们呼喊着! "当我18岁的时候! ""当我有了一辆新450SL奔驰的时候! ""当我供最小的孩子念完大学的时候! ""当我偿清贷款的时候! ""当我官升高任的时候! ""当我到了退休的时候, 就可以从此过上幸福的生活啦! "

  Sooner or later, we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

  可是我们终究会认识到人生的旅途中并没有车站, 也没有能够"一到永逸"的地方!生活的真正乐趣在于旅行的过程, 而车站不过是个梦, 它始终遥遥领先于我们!

  "Relish the moment "is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24:"This is the day which the Lord hath made;we will rejoice and be glad in it. "It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

  "享受现在"是句很好的箴言, 尤其是当它与《圣经·诗篇》中第118页24行的一段话相映衬的时候, 更是如此:"今日乃主所创造;生活在今日我们将欢欣、高兴! "真正令人发疯的不是今日的负担, 而是对昨日的悔恨及对明日的恐惧! 悔恨与恐惧是一对孪生窃贼, 将今天从你我身边偷走!

  So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. In stead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

  那么就不要在过道里徘徊吧, 别老惦记着你离车站还有多远! 何不换一种活法, 将更多的高山攀爬, 多吃点儿冰淇淋甜甜嘴巴, 经常光着脚板儿溜达溜达, 在更多的河流里畅游, 多看看夕阳西下, 多点欢笑哈哈, 少让泪水滴答! 生活得一边过一边瞧! 车站就会很快到达!







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