“life in lower case letters”

When my Dad passed away unexpectedly in January from a very brief illness that evening I stayed up very late and wrote down memories about him.   The several pages of my notes were the basis for his eulogy I was honored to present at the Memorial Service.

One of Dad’s lessons he taught me (and I’ll quote myself here) “He taught me not to take life so seriously:   I remember in high school for a week every night we had chatted for at least an hour after dinner each night about “Life” and “the future” and what was “out there”.    On the fourth night of this same routine, Dad left the kitchen table, came back with a stack of National Geographic magazines and told me to read them so we would have something new to talk about, that I was to take the capital letter L out of Life –  to look at is as life, life in lowercase letters.”

While traveling enroute to get to the Memorial Service my quest in the airport was successful – getting my hands on the January issue of the National Geographic Magazine, which I carried with me everywhere on that trip.

In Praise of Nat Geo:  Upon arriving home one of the first things I did was to go online and order from the National Geographic website:

  • National Geographic Magazine print subscription ($15 for the year), Item#:10001, 12 issues a year
  • National Geographic Traveler U.S. Delivery ($10 for the year) Item 10004. Published 8 times a year.
  • “The Complete National Geographic: 125th Anniversary Edition” – complete NG set of 7 Discs.  The 125 years disc set begins with 1888 and spanned to 2012.  The version I got was on sale, and if you will enter into search “2002405” as of writing this blogpost it is still showing on sale for $14.99.
  • The site accepts PayPal.

The first item to arrive was the 125th Anniversary Edition DVD set.  Next came the January and February issues of the National Geographic magazine – the January issue was the same one I had picked up at the airport traveling enroute, since then the March issue has arrived.    The National Geographic Traveler Feb/March issue arrived, and now the April Traveler issue.

And then three days ago, no kidding, IT arrived printed on parchment paper my very own personal Membership Certificate.   It says the Officers and Board of Trustees have enrolled me as a member of the National Geographic Society, January 1, 2015.    It has their beautiful seal with the globe on it.

Receiving my personal Membership Certificate called to mind the scene from the classic movie,  It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) where a young George Bailey tells a young Mary when she declines his suggestion of coconuts – “Say, brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from?” And he pulls out his issue of the National Geographic magazine with Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, and Coral Sea.  He informs her it is just for explorers and he’s been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society.

Consider making the time today to check out the National Geographic website if you haven’t been there lately.  If you already have your subscription read one of the articles from this month’s issue.   Here’s to us each having a wonderful life – for me that’s life in lowercase letters and with coconuts!

Anchors Aweigh,  




Select Month