Tee Shirt Wisdom–Food For Thought

It’s strange where we pick up nuggets of wisdom and food for thought. Some people find them in Holy Scriptures like Ecclesiastes, and there’s some good stuff there. Sometimes we find those nuggets in secular books we read. I’ve found good mental nudges on bumper stickers, too, though the only thing that pops into my mind at the moment is “My kid can beat up your honor roll student!”

Today as I was riding down the hill to do some grocery shopping in David the young kid who is sort of the bus “conductor” was wearing a tee shirt with a phrase written in English. I wonder if he knew what it said or if he’d had someone interpret it for him. I’ve often wondered whether people in my travels know what it says on the clothes they wear. I remember once seeing a Mayan Indian woman in Fronteras, Guatemala, with a tee shirt that said “Sometimes I wake up grumpy and sometimes I let him sleep in.” I doubt if she had a clue.

Anyway, what this young man’s tee shirt said I liked so much that I dug out my shopping list and wrote the phrase on the back of the list. It read…

The Most Important Things In Life Aren’t Things



Filed under Living Abroad, panama

3 responses to “Tee Shirt Wisdom–Food For Thought

  1. Isn’t that just the truth. Now that mom’s come to the point where she’s going to have to move to an assisted living/nursing home place when she gets out of the hospital, we’ve given the dreaded 60 day notice on her apartment, and I have the joy of figuring out what to do with the “stuff”.

    Some decisions are easy. All the coffee mugs and pie plates and plastic hangers are garage sale or Goodwill. And the really valuable items – the family sterling, some jewelry, a couple of original oils – will be kept without thought. But most of the stuff is in-between, and it’s clear as I think about it that the decision-making process involves memories. A little music box that also held cigarettes is a keeper – I remember it from my childhood. The needlework pillows Mom made are keepers. A cranberry glass dish always held the cranberry sauce at holiday dinners – keeper. The relatively valuable Hummel figurines and plates? Gonzo. They may be “worth something”, but they’re flat ugly. 😉

    In the end, it’s the memories that are important, not so much the items themselves. Which is sort of your point.

    So sorry to hear about your mom’s situation. The decisions we have to make are often horrible and as much as we would like to defer them it’s just not possible. I don’t envy your position one bit and I wish the best to the both of you.

    I’m also reminded of two quotes I’ve kept in my journal…

    “If we’re really going to start a new life, we have to kill the old one. That’s why most people never really start anything new. They’re claimed by old lamps and bureaus left to them by their grandmothers.
    Betty Wilson-Away from it All (Sloan Wilson’s wife.)

    I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Henry David Thoreau.

  2. Oh, my – I remember you quoting Betty Wilson before, but I’ve not seen that quotation from Thoreau. Isn’t that just the truth! He was such a wise dude!

    A lot of us Yankees are wise dudes.

  3. Capt Dan

    Richard, I really enjoy most of your stuff – even though you’ve personally talked me out of making the move to Panama. I thank you for this – I’m not as flexible or “spartan” as you. I do however, note with some glee, that you’re caving in a little on the no car biz by getting a Panama lic. Hmm.
    Back at Michigan State Univ. in the mid 60s, I worked very hard to make the most all inclusive, globally offensive bumper sticker I could. It still works quite well today, so I print up a few hundred every now and then to pass around. Ready? Nuke the unborn, gay baby whales. It’s got something for most everyone without a sense of humor to be pissed at.
    I admire both your industriousness and energy you expend in your projects. I’m currently stuck in a rut where I try to be productive, yet end up playing video games for hours on end as Rome burns around me. You inspire me to try to break out of my self -imposed prison and explore new avenues and I thank you for it. I’ve written and or co/authored several books and sold hundreds of thousands of them the old way. Perhaps I’ll get off my ass and try some of the new ways you’ve been talking about.
    I leave you with what I consider to be an apt palindrome for you to have in your Panamanian quiver: A man, a plan, a canal – Panama

    Capt. Dan of the Proud Penmanship

    Dan…Where do I know you from? Your appellation seems familiar but I can’t place it. I thought you’d posted a comment previously and I went checking through all the comments without finding you. However I wasted the last two hours going through them and replaying the videos found therein.

    I’m sorry that I talked you out of making the move to Panama, I think it’s a great place and I’m really enjoying the adventure of it all. But it’s true, it takes a special mind-set to be able to do this sort of thing and most people shouldn’t remove themselves from their comfort zone. As I’ve written before a lot of my friends think it’s a cool thing to do but I tell them “you couldn’t do it.” They don’t have what it takes to adapt. Of all the people I know only ONE, Capt. Mr. Bill could and I know because he has. He’s lived in France, Spain, Mexico and elsewhere.

    I LOVE your bumper sticker. It reminds me of a tee shirt I saw when I was running a boat that spent the summer of ’87 in Provincetown, Mass. There’s a big whale-watching fleet there. The tee shirt said, “Fuck the Whales! Save plankton!”

    What kinds of books did you write? Are any still available on Amazon? Right now I’m almost finished editing another sea adventure book that was written at the end of the 1800s and hope to have it published, electronically in the next couple of weeks. The whole ebook thing is really exciting. I’m certainly not getting rich off it but it’s fun.

    Getting a Panama driver’s license isn’t “caving in.” Should I want to rent a car here or if friends come to visit and rent a car I’d do the driving so they could just concentrate entirely on the scenery and to do that I’d need to have a Panamanian DL. Once you’ve been granted your Pensionado you’re only allowed 90 days to drive on your state-side license without getting into trouble. And they have road blocks all over the place here ALL the time checking people’s licenses so the odds of getting caught are pretty good. My one concession to personal transportation is going to be a motorcycle which I will be buying soon.