Mmmm…Only Cuppa Coffee

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Mmmm…Only Cuppa Coffee

Buy me a cup of coffee. I love coffee. I drink coffee 24 x 7. More so, when I write articles. Donate $5.00 for a cup of coffee. You can buy me a cup of coffee once, or once a week, or everyday for that matter. This could inspire me to write more. Any money leftover from the cost of a cup of coffee per day and other expenses; will be donated to buying someone in need of a cup of coffee, a meal or food groceries. We care. We share.

$5.00

An Autumn Window in Illinois

What seems like a sad sky, displays gloomy daytime. At times, at midday, for a little while, here and there; the sun manages to sneak past the greyness, to shine brightly. Just for a little while, as it is engulfed once again by the greyness. Did the sun move away? Or was it switched off? Only the sun can answer that.

The un-leaved, naked branches, dried bark trees, shivers when the strong winds blow. Yet they stand tall above the rooflines in the homes of many.

Just past the walkway, the cobble-stone paved street is disturbed from its slumber with the rumbling noises caused by the rubber tyres of vehicles as they drive across it. No long, peaceful rest for it.

In the not too distant distance; a gigantic, steroid-muscled goods train can be heard blaring its horns, awakening the silence; as it effortlessly pulls hundreds of goods carriages along its railway tracks. As it pulls further away from here, its bull horns can still be heard for miles.

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Far away from home…delighted to have Kopiko coffee sweets (candy, now that I am in the U.S.) to keep me company. We (Jeannie and I) brought these sweets over for our daughter, Laura. But I have already had one too many. Not complaining. Just saying.

I would be fibbing to say that the countdown to our reunion just started a few days ago. No, the countdown began 7 weeks from the time we would be at the airport. Our Emirates flight was at 1.45am on Dec 1st.

As the weeks wound down to our flight departure date, Jeannie, Laura and I were calm, cool and collected.

All our usual monthly errands were done in advance. Our bags were packed, Laura made arrangements for Jeannie and I to be picked up at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. So, we were set.

We were down to the last 3 nights before the flight. We were on “eagerly couldn’t wait” mode, as though we had a choice to hurry time up if we could.

Our good friend, Richard Kok; drove to our place at around 6.00pm to give us a lift (not fetch us) to the airport. We grabbed noodles dinner at New Apollos, our neighborhood restaurant (used to be known as “coffee shops” before the ’90s). Our last local, Malaysian meal before our flight.

We arrived at KLIA airport at 7.45pm on November 30th. Just thought we’d get there early to avoid any unforseen traffic jams.

Our two Emirates flights, first to Dubai, then, onwards to Chicago; story may be told soon. May throw in bits of the SUV ride from Chicago to Decatur, too.

Thursday, Dec 1st., our REUNION. The feeling was “1“. We did not say much, but a trillion or more volts of love and joy passed through us.

At Tabor School.

Laura got me to work, almost right away. She handed me a book, “What Money Can’t Buy” by Michael J. Sandel; asked me to read it within 3 – 4 days, and tell her what I think of it. She knows that I am into this type of literature and at times, have unconventional views.

Working

I have some new essay start-up ideas, which I am considering putting up. One of them is about implanting a microchip in a human brain. Something to think about..

Where’s Cleopetra? She got stuck in Dubai – something about wanting to ride a camel.

Decatur gets a lot of the Chicago winds, I think. And, you would have to have a weather temperature thermometer on the go, as temperatures can be fickle. One moment it can be barely bearable, on the other; there will be a whole lot of shaking going on. Then, the next, the sun is fully up in the sky. Yet, Laura can be seen with her frayed pants.

Laura and Jeannie, preparing a local dinner

Laura has turned out to be quite the chef. She has entertained her American friends with nasi lemak – a favourite Malaysian meal. Included in that meal were 4 different levels of spicyness of sambal (chili side dish). I’m not sure if the word “spicyness” exists. If it does not, make sure you tell them you saw it here first. She included a plate of fried anchovies, served separately. In a short span of time, she has built up a menu of food offerings, both Malaysian, as well as American.

Laura has involved herself whenever she can, with community work.

Laura, with a group of friends, “gotong royong” picking trash up around the neighbourhood.

The time is about 5pm. The autumn window of Illinois goes dark as nightfall takes over. Another goods train sounds its horn as it rolls along its tracks to its next destination….

She Said, “I’m all alone”

My God-daughter, K (her name I will not disclose for her privacy); is a bright young 13-year old. Born from an extra-marital affair, where her father, a doctor and married to someone else; had an affair with an intern, who was not married. Her father did not want to have anything to do with her. Her mother migrated to another country with the promise of returning back soon. It has been nearly 5 years.

She is being looked after and cared for by a gem of a person, who is not of the same race nor religion as her.

She is a typical teenager who has the general same likes and dislikes as any other teenager around her age. Shy, she is a very sheltered “away from crowds” girl.

Young K, recently started having a health issue where her legs just collapse under her when she walks or stands. She was very reluctant to turn up for her appointment with the specialist for fear of bad news. A hospital diagnosed her to have fluid in her her spine, somewhere at the base.

This news itself, had literally frightened this little girl.

What more, now, she has to go for a 4 hour surgical procedure to remove the fluid. Her procedure is scheduled for December 21st. She will still be in hospital on Christmas day. She hopes to be out of hospital by her birthday on December 31st.

Her schoolmates, have been labelling her all sorts of names such as handicapped and “not one of us”. This has affected her badly.

She cried out, “I’m all alone!”.

I am making an appeal to all the 8 billion people of this world to like, send encouraging messages – to let her know that we, the people of this big blue planet, CARE, THAT SHE IS NOT ALONE.

You can send your care messages in the comments section of this article, share this article with everyone else on social media. You can even send messages through my email: alan@leatherpotato.com

K needs all the love and support she can get. On behalf of K, I thank you in advance.

A lovely song to show that WE, the 8 billion people; ARE THE WORLD.

SCARES, YET EXCITES

It is a little more than a month away to the new year. This is the time to set goals for the new year.

How many times have you set a goal that is so big that it scares you? The fear of not being able to achieve it.

At the same time the goal is so exhilarating that it excites you.

~ ALAN IAN ATKINSON
Writer, Author, Storyteller

IS THE COMPETITION THAT GREAT?

In order to get ahead, and stay ahead; You’ve got to beat the competition: YOU!

The question should be, “How can I be better than the last or previous me, which was the best a moment or second ago?”

There really is no such thing as a plateau or “maintain” my self-being as I am.

If we are not challenged or do not challenge ourselves, we may fall in the trap of being stuck in the past.

Or is the competition that great?

Life should be based on kaizen, or continuous improvement. Aim at being the better of you.

Doing your best is an excuse! Challenge yourself to do better than your best. Add that special agreement of “having fun”.

Are you game?

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Becoming Successful

“I want to be successful”, is a good start to having a positive outlook in your career.

A key ingredient to becoming successful is to accept challenges…not just some challenges. You can’t just accept the ones you like. You have to accept to challenges.

Staying successful – That takes a special kind of person.

~ ALAN IAN ATKINSON
Writer. Author, Storyteller

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HAPPINESS IS INFECTIOUS

Happiness has its own set of problems.

It is contagious. Happiness is a “bug”. It is infectious. Spreads beyond our control. Spreads by sight. Spreads by sound. Spreads by feelings.

Happiness absorbs all spoken languages. It is understood in all languages. Happiness says a lot even without having to utter a word.

Not having plenty in worldly possessions does not hinder you from having plenty in happiness.

Happiness is over-flowing in abundance. It is not far away, it is everywhere.

Just reach out and “touch” it without having to physically touch it.

The greatest thing about happiness is the ability for it to be shared by you, to others.

Press the “ACCEPT” button in your life to activate happiness.

~ ALAN IAN ATKINSON
Writer, Author, Storyteller

P.S.: Remember to take your daily dose of Vitamin “h” for happiness and spread it to others.