The Meaning of Life

You might find that some people have a smile on their face all the time. Perhaps they discovered the meaning of life; or, it’s possible that they’ve finally found the right combination of medications.

You might find that some people are constantly boasting about their newest grand purchase. Continue reading “The Meaning of Life”

Resolve to Revolutionize My Life

This is it. This is the one. This is the day when everything changes: You will make and save more money today than ever before. You will lose that last (or first) pound toward then next ten. You will find a meaningful hobby. You will volunteer in a way that changes lives. You will rehab your home, add a new shirt to your warn out wardrobe, and even start reading War & Peace. Continue reading “Resolve to Revolutionize My Life”

Don’t Mention It

Lately, I’ve had a hard time carrying on a conversation with people in my life. For some unknown reason, there is a disconnect that never existed before. Perhaps it’s my age. It could be my new aftershave. It’s possible I’ve lost my mind and everyone else is completely sane. Whatever the source of the problem, I just can’t get through a conversation without someone pointing out the evils of my life and how I am responsible for the destruction of the planet.

While I know that many topics have passionate supporters or detractors, I simply didn’t realize they were all around me. Continue reading “Don’t Mention It”

1000-Foot View

You’ve heard the phrase and you’ve probably said it yourself:  “Can’t see the forest for the trees“. And, if your life is anything like my own, it is often so very true. We examine the situation, we study the problem, we analyze the issue, but the closer we look the less we see a solution. We can’t think about the bigger picture because we’re so worried about the details of the problem.

You know the solution. You know the answer. Take a step back. Continue reading “1000-Foot View”

Brad Pitt and Me

Uncanny.

If I had a dime for every time I’ve been mistaken for Brad Pitt, I would owe myself $32.40.  That mirror gets me every time.

Obfuscate; to render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

You’ve seen it before. The facts and figures tell one story but the spin doctors tell another. The officer’s radar gun reports one speed but the driver is convinced it was much lower than that and has several good reasons why it cannot be correct. Some might call it a lie.  Others might say it’s nothing more than fudging the numbers. Whatever you call it in your day-to-day life, it is nothing more than obfuscation.

When the truth is hard to swallow… Continue reading “Obfuscate; to render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.”

Spreading the Word

Do you know someone who might be interested in getting a short story that can make their day better, give them something to think about, or make them ponder the mysteries of life?

Do you know someone who likes to chuckle once and a while?

Do you know someone who already gets too much email but would love to get one more?

Why not pass along a link to curtaustin.com?  Or you can send them directly to the curtaustin.com BLOG.  You could send it to them, they could sign up, for regular notifications of posts, and it could make their life better.

Well, that might be too much…but it certainly could increase traffic to my site and I would be so very grateful!

GRACE HOUSE

There are a few places in my life that bring deep peace to my heart and soul.  They are spaces where I find comfort and ease. Some of these sanctuaries of solace include the obvious locations: The church of my youth and a local chapel I visit from time to time.

Others are more obscure: McGregor Park, Turkey Run State Park, The Rocky Mountains, The Library. But one haven of healing stands out above all others.

Of all my precious asylums, our abode is my favorite. Continue reading “GRACE HOUSE”

My Newest Venture

By all accounts, I am an entrepreneur. With a little creativity and a lot of hard work, I’ve been able to earn funds from funerals and gather wealth from weddings. I’ve written blog posts for-profit and gardened for a little green. I was lucrative at landscaping and remunerated for my writings. In short, I am always looking for a way to make money.

And so, when I bought my new-to-me John Deere L130 garden tractor last fall, I knew there had to be a way to cash in: Enter my neighbor.

Having hired my kids to mow his yard each summer for the past decade, I knew he would be seeking a replacement lawn-boy after the boys moved out last autumn. As the grass turned green this spring, I subtly dropped the hint that I would be happy to mow his yard, but of course, only if he wanted me to. I knew I could knock his yard out in record time with my new 48-inch cutting deck and the teeth-rattling 23-horsepower under the green hood. Reluctant at first, he quickly signed on after he mowed his own yard the first time this year.

I was thrilled! A yard that took my boys 60 minutes to push mow would take me a mere 20 minutes of comfortable riding. For very little effort, I would make quite a bit of dough.

My neighbor paid the boys $25 per mowing job. However, because we are friends, I’m only charging $20. Unfortunately, problems started early on when my “friend” texted me one evening as the thunderclouds began to form on the horizon. He wanted me to mow before the rain hit; a difficult task as I was just finishing my own perfectly manicured lawn. The tension began to rise when I explained how his last-minute request fit into my pricing schedule:

  1. The Friend and Family Rate ($20) = This is subject to change by how snotty you are if I don’t respond to your beck and call (See #4)
  2. The Convenience Rate ($35) = I mow at my own convenience
  3. The Use-To-Be Friends & Family Rate ($50 + the cost of gas) = (See #1)
  4. The Emergency Rate ($75) = My car payment is due so I’m mowing your yard whether you need me to or not.
  5. The It’s About To Rain Rate ($85) = You didn’t look at the weather and now you need your yard mowed right away.

His text request clearly fell into price #5. However, the argument was entirely my fault. I failed to provide my pricing schedule upfront.  My neighbor was under the impression that every yard mowing came in at the Friends & Family Rate.

To alleviate any future confusion…or fistfights…I’ve decided that I should print business cards with my services outlined (blog writing, weddings, funerals, lawn mowing) and the pricing schedule for each. I expect that I should soon be able to retire from my day job and simply drive around the neighborhood on my mower, cutting grass, performing weddings, the occasional funeral, and writing blogs about my experience, raking in the cash as I roll!

Trouble At The Office

A word of advice: Do not take your kids with you to work. No matter what the child psychologists say, nothing good can ever come from it. It is a very bad thing.

For instance, when my career was still young I took my even younger son to the office. This was a family-friendly place and children were encouraged to participate. Actually, it was a large church and we ran a small Day Care. I was the Associate Pastor of this particular church and my son attended this particular pre-school. So it was inevitable that the Senior Pastor and my son would meet, no matter how much I tried to prevent this from happening. Continue reading “Trouble At The Office”