Saturday, December 3, 2016

Braña 1 Ancestor Update

Braña 1 is the name given to the 7,000 year-old blue-eyed, dark skinned caveman found in Northern Spain by hikers.  He's from the hunter-gatherer time period.  The story has personal significance for me because I learned earlier this week that the town of Rubalcaba is only a stone's throw from the excavation site where Braña 1 was discovered.  This is where my ancestors on my mother's side of the family once lived, possibly alongside Braña 1 and his brother, Braña 2.  Scientists are still analyzing the DNA, the oldest recoverable ever for modern man.

Related or not, Braña 1 is a part of me.  He first appeared to me in a dream while I was writing my first novel.  I searched the internet for a picture resembling the image haunting me and found my match in Braña 1.  He is the artist rendition created from the skull of the ancient caveman.  We are forever linked.  I'm just waiting to know if Braña 1 was left-handed.  We appear to have much in common.  That's my caveman update for the day.  Have a great day.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Please Cue the Twilight Zone Music

This is a follow-up to yesterday's story about my ancestors on my Mom's side of the family from Northern Spain.  Last year I visited my cousin Mary, the oldest member of our generation, and she told me about an upcoming family vacation she was taking in Europe.  One of my relatives told her there was a town in Spain named after our ancestors and asked if Mary might be able to check it out.  That's a needle in a haystack.  Mary found the needle on the map but she and her husband had a full itinerary and opted not to do a drive by.  They hit a detour while driving through the country and came upon a road sign indicating Rubalcaba was just minutes away.  They snapped pictures.  Here's where the story gets interesting.  Please cue the Twilight Zone music...

I had a very clear picture in my head about what the main character from The Caveman in the Mirror was supposed to look like.  It was so clear that the image was haunting me every night in my dreams.  I scoured the internet for an image of a dark-skinned, blue-eyed scraggly man who was supposed to be a distant relative.  I found him.  Click here for a link to the story about the 7,000 year-old caveman they excavated in Northern Spain.  Here's the kicker – the excavation site is only 149 miles away from Rubalcaba!  This caveman is very special.  The DNA extracted from his molar  is the oldest ever to be recovered.  I'm stunned by this revelation.  I'll write more about this in future posts.  Have a great day.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Cross of Rubalcaba

I would like to thank my cousin Mary from my dad's side of the family for sharing her vacation photos related to my ancestors on my mom's side of the family.  The photo above was shot during an unscheduled stop while Mary and her family were traversing the country side in Northern Spain.  She joked that her detour was God's way of planning her trip to Rubalcaba, a tiny town with a population of about 2,300.  A sign at the entrance to the town reads, "Cruz de Rubalcaba," meaning "Cross of Rubalcaba."  This is very personal for me because my faith can be traced back to this place.  I recall my grandmother's never-ending prayers for all of us to be under God's protection.  It all goes back to the cross.  This is my daily reminder of what's really important.  Thank you, cousin Mary, for thinking of us on the Rubalcaba side of the family.  What a wonderful Christmas present you have given us. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Cheer

Are you having trouble finding your Holiday cheer today?  This is a good day to take a look at what's stopping you.  There's still plenty of time to get in the mood.  I know first-hand how challenging it can be to erase a painful memory or to deal with personal situations.  Remember who you are – a reflection of the Creator of the universe.  He sent his only Son into the world to turn things around for all of us.  Reflect on that for a moment.  It makes everything else seem trivial.  The Holiday cheer is all about getting in the mood to celebrate the biggest birthday of all times.  You are invited to share in the celebration.  My prayer for you today is that you bury your past, stop worrying about your future and have some Holiday cheer today and all the days of your life.  Today is your day.  Savor it.  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Spirit

Remain calm and breathe.  Your calendar is full and you're wondering how you're going to survive this hectic time of year.  I have a thought for you today.  Consider it your solution for dealing with all the stress that comes with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the other man-made marketing ploys designed to cause hyper activity in the malls.  Just close your eyes and dwell on what this time of year is really all about – the Spirit of Christmas.  That's right.  It's the Holiday Spirit.  It's about giving.  Spend some time with a friend who needs comforting.  Stay away from the malls.  Slow down.  May the Holiday Spirit be with you today and remain with you throughout the New Year ahead.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Joyful Expectation

Take a look around you.  Soak it all in.  This is the season of joyful expectation.  I can't think of anything more joyful than celebrating the birth of our Savior.  Forget about the traffic.  Don't fret about the long lines.  Remember the reason for the season.  Have a great day.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's Personal

I live in a mental state I call the blue zone of happiness.  It's some sort of invisible bubble no one else can see.  There's a thermostat to control my overall mood.  Although occasional hackers attempt to override the climate control buttons, I've been able to remain happy in all circumstances.

One of my high school classmates posted a FB message yesterday thanking friends and family for caring about him during his time in the hospital while he was undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery.  I had no clue he was ill.  I also had no clue my blue zone of happiness was on the same collision course as my buddy from Snora's Spanish class at SHS.  Happiness cannot exist when you're six feet under.

I'm happy to share my life here on this blog.  I promise not to intrude on others who may choose to live in the red zone.  For those seeking alternatives, you're welcome to connect with me.  Like many others from the high school class of '78, my hope is that our loved ones can plug into something potentially helpful to themselves.  It's personal.  Have a great day.