A Trip Around The Sun
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 05/22/2021 - 13:24
May is my birthday month, and I really loved having a May birthday when I was growing up. It broke up my year of receiving gifts into a nice triad: August – new school clothes (gifts); Christmas – obvious gift-receiving time; and pre-summer – my birthday!
May is also a time of year I fondly recall some of the silliness connected to my maternal grandmother, Rosemary. For as long as I can remember, she had a different view on how “old” someone was. According to Rosemary, when you had a birthday, say it was your 10th birthday, she would say that “you completed 10 years around the sun, and you are now in your 11th year.” To her, this meant that you were now 11. This conversation continued every year, and she would repeat her viewpoint to everyone in the family. We, the family, carried on Rosemary’s tradition after she passed away until, one day, the tradition ended abruptly.
How Many Inches Tall Are You?
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 05/15/2021 - 13:22
When you were a kid, roughly between the ages of 4-10, did you and your friends compare one another by how tall you were in inches? Among my daughters and their friends, this seemed to be their only concern until they reached the all-important 54” mark. That’s the height one is officially tall enough to ride everything that Cedar Point has to offer.
For those of you who are either not from the Mid-West or an amusement park enthusiast, Cedar Point is located on the southern shores of Lake Erie. When asked where I live, I often just tell people “near Cedar Point” instead of my actual town. A simple internet search of “top amusement parks in the world” will have Cedar Point ranked in the top 10. (I did find one search that did not include Cedar Point in their top ten. I immediately dismissed the search results as “fake”). Between the years 1997 – 2013 Cedar Point held the title of “Best Amusement Park in the World” by Amusement Today.
A Mother Lode of Positive Resonance
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 05/08/2021 - 13:20
This weekend is Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has had many different iterations throughout history. Oddly enough the woman, Anna Jarvis, who organized the first observance of today’s version of Mother’s Day in the United States (1908), ended up petitioning against Mother’s Day for the latter portion of her life. Interestingly, Anna Jarvis wasn’t a mother herself. https://www.rd.com/list/history-of-mothers-day/
Twice the Heart
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 05/01/2021 - 16:18
Do you like sports? I do! I remember when ESPN (and cable) first came to our area. I was spending the night at my Grandparents’ house and they had this channel that would show sports 24 hours a day. I recall my mother picking me up the next day and my Grandfather relaying my behavior “I heard a noise at 1:00, came out into the living room and he was watching racing!” Now, it was Formula One racing which I’ve never seen before nor even knew it existed. It was a race in some foreign land I couldn’t pronounce and to this day can’t even remember. However, it was a sport and I loved it!
A House Divided
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 04/24/2021 - 10:36
In the area where I live, generally, a “house divided” refers to a residence that inhabits those that are fans of The Ohio State University Buckeyes and some that cheer on a team geographically north of Ohio. I do not have that issue in my house – although my wife, who is sport agnostic, does like to push my buttons when she speaks of universities as only institutions of higher learning. However, I do live in a divided house: half are extroverts, half are introverts. This revelation, although not new to me, hit me especially hard this morning as I was continuously interrupted making breakfast.
The Unsinkable 42
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 04/17/2021 - 13:35
Last weekend we laid my mother in-law, Connie Link, to rest in her final resting place. Connie wasn’t just my mother in-law; she is someone I had the privileged to be part of my life since childhood – she was my Junior High Health and Reading teacher. Being a teach for nearly 30 years, she touched the lives of many, many people. A lot of them were able to express their memories of how Connie impacted their life and shared them with us, through the modern convenience of Facebook in this pandemic new world. I must give a special shout out to my mother for collecting everyone’s comments and compiling them into the booklet she put together (yes, my mother reads my weekend writings every week). My wife, Heather, read some of the comments at the grave side service we held. Even as the rain fell (GREAT Ohio weather) I could hear some chuckles from under the umbrellas as Heather shared some of the memories and special descriptions former students had for Connie.
“You Can’t Die with Me.” -- Easter Weekend 2021
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 04/03/2021 - 13:40
I began writing my weekly thoughts to you last Easter, nearly one year ago. My initial purpose was to share information, be a resource if you will, to help us all not feel isolated. My purpose quickly morphed into three tenets that I still try to achieve: Can I provide something that is helpful? Can I find something interesting to share? And at the very least, can I make it entertaining? I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, “Why do you write that stuff? Why don’t you send out stuff on the markets?” Honestly, you can get “stuff on the markets” nearly anyplace you want. That being said, we are going to begin providing (compliance approved, of course) investment related material very soon. We’re still trying to determine the best way to implement that process. When I sit down to write to you for the time being though, I want to write about things in our lives, and get the focus off of investments. To me, living a better life is not dependent on the investment markets. We have some control over how we live our lives; we don’t have the same control over the markets.
How Rachel Became "Rachel"
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 03/27/2021 - 13:43
Personally, I cannot believe it is nearly the end of March. To me it seems like only “a couple of days ago” it was February and I was trying to find something really good for my wife’s birthday (which I didn’t find by the way). Now – poof – in less than a week it will be April, Easter weekend and, of course, April Fools’ Day. As a man raising two daughters, I will not let March past without touching upon Women’s History Month.
Happy Spring Equinox!
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Sat, 03/20/2021 - 13:47
Greetings to you on the first day of Spring 2021! What a different view, to me anyway, the beginning of this Spring holds versus past Springs, especially if we travel back a mere 12 months to last March. This time last year, parts of our country and economy were shutting down, pausing, closing, whatever term you want to use. Now? The opposite. There is a systemic loosening of restrictions as children are (mostly) back to schools, restaurants are accommodating more patrons, and, as I personally witnessed last weekend, airline travel seems to be picking up.
Don't Click on It- Call Me!
Posted by Jonathan Merckens on Fri, 03/05/2021 - 13:50
Do you remember when you were younger and went trick or treating for Halloween? Did one of your parents check the candy packaging to see if it had been tampered with by someone? Or were they overly cautious of which neighborhoods or houses you went to? When I was a kid, I remember thinking “why would someone put a razor in a candy bar?” But hey, there are strange people out there! In a similar fashion of being cautious with “free” Halloween candy we must also remain cautious of “free” --well, free anything to be truthful--on the internet or in traditional mail.