There is a ton of creative content to be found almost everywhere we turn. Some good, some bad, some thought provoking, some mind numbing. I don't have any delusions that my Andersen Years stories are at the pinnacle of literary achievement. I hope in the end a reader or two will consider my tales better than average "created for the internet" content and enjoyable reading material.
I admire people who have the discipline to go through a more formal publishing process. I am not one of those people. I have a creative jones that I sometimes need to scratch and this blog is one of my outlets. The Andersen people reach is wide enough that I hope I create some smiles, laughs, a few tears and rekindle some pleasant memories. These stories are snapshots of human behavior and interaction. As such, I hope they will have some appeal to a reader or two outside the Andersen family as well.
It is also a hope of mine to start a trend of authors (authors better than me) giving away content in exchange for contributions to benefit communities. If you like what you read here -- or if you don't like it and want me to stop - - or if you are afraid the next story may be about you and you want to buy some silence -- I would ask that you consider a donation every now and then to a worthwhile cause.
My parents married very young and we scraped by as a family for a number of years. To this day one of my biggest fears is to be homeless. It is an irrational fear for me now, but it is a very real fear for many. I think the growing gap between the haves and the have nots is the greatest cultural issue we face today. It is easy to dismiss homelessness as the fate of the lazy, criminal, or addicted. In reality, a frightening number of people we know likely are just a minor setback away from some level of financial despair. Compassion doesn't judge -- it lends a hand. The Denver Rescue Mission has for many decades been lending a hand to those who have no place to call home. Please consider supporting programs for the homeless in your community.
I recently worked on several consulting engagements with a gentleman who introduced me to an organization called Project Sanctuary. Project Sanctuary provides proactive counseling retreats to veterans and their families. I have seen firsthand the healing, learning, and growing that occur on these retreats. The need is great.
When I was in grade school we learned a song with these lyrics:
Freedom isn't free
Freedom isn't free
You got to pay the price
You got to sacrifice
For your liberty
We may disagree with politicians and their decisions. But brave men and women are making the sacrifice that we take for granted. Consider supporting Project Sanctuary or another veterans' cause as appreciation for those who pay the price.
The creature on this planet that seems to understand me best is a black lab named Xena. Many of us are fortunate to have wonderful pets throughout our lives that make us smile, bring play into our days, and are never too self absorbed to just be there when we need them. Please consider supporting an animal shelter near you that works daily to create more people/pet bonds.