Archive for March, 2010


A Story for Spring Break

March 26, 2010

My entire blog is one big quote.  If you’re on a beach over spring break, think of this…

An American businessman was at the pier of a coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied that it only took a little while. The American then asked why he didn’t want to stay out longer and catch more fish, but the Mexican said that it was enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “’But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late; fish a little; play with my children; take siesta with my wife, Maria; and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The businessman scoffed. “I’m a Harvard MBA, and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats; soon you’d have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, the processing, and distribution. You’d have to leave this small village and more to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you’d run you expanding enterprise.”

But senor, how long wills this entire take?”

“15-20 years”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed. “That’s the best par. When you time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire. You would move to a small coastal fishing village where you’d sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, and stroll in to the village in the evening where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”

-from EARTH MAGIC by Steven Farmer


Who’s knockin’ at my Door?

March 1, 2010

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.

-Boris Pasternak

A good friend from long ago happened on my doorstep not long ago. In our early twenties we worked together, travelled together, and shared many good times.

Before Steph arrived with her twin boys and her parents, I told my kids a few things about her. She had the ability to make even the dullest job fun. When we travelled, there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t try, and together we explored most of Europe and North Africa. Over dinner, Steph recounted those stories to my kids, and slipped into accents that had them in hysterics.

Once Steph told me that she was the kind of kid who opened all her presents before Christmas, then rewrapped them so her parents would still think she was surprised. As a writer, I used that story in a character sketch. But when I recounted this piece of trivia to my kids, they were baffled…who would want to ruin a surprise? Why did it matter, then, if she rewrapped the gifts? It wouldn’t be a true surprise at all.

When I think of surprise, I think of Steph. She might have opened her gifts before she was supposed to, but her entire personality epitomizes surprise. Spending time with a friend like Steph, opens the door to unexpected adventure. Seeing her reminded me to add more to my own life. And while I don’t get to see her much anymore, a surprise knock on the door was the greatest surprise of my week.