Trusting That beyond the Darkest Hours Is the Light Hoped For
Dealing with our deepest fears, doubts, and worries in the darkest hours of our life
Being soaked in the darkest hours of the night (no electricity, electronic and luminous devices, and flashlight) and being the only one awake at night can get scary. Suddenly, certain night sounds become more audible and the imagination begins to conjure a certai . . .
Patience Is a Virtue
Why we should be patient
We’ve all heard the old cliché of patience being a virtue more than once. Today’s fast-paced world, however, is making it admittedly difficult for some of us to keep it.
Although instant gratification has benefited us in one way or another, it has caused a good chunk of us to become impatient—because we’re use . . .
Icy’s Unfriendly Passenger
The reason why the polar bear did not greet Icy
When Icy was happily and freely floating in the ocean, he got to meet and make new friends. From giant whales, school fishes, sea otter, and down to a seal, animals flocked to Icy the Iceberg to seek shelter or just to bask under the heat of the sun on his surface.
However, one animal—a polar bear—de . . .
Growth Is the Reward for Nonstop Industry and Struggle
Triumph over adversity will lead to growth
The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.
From a tiny but beautiful sn . . .
Fear of the Unknown
Why do people usually fear the unknown?
Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear is a strong emotion that prevents us from exploring new things or taking risks. There are some who fear spiders, snakes, and high places, . . .
Embracing the Unknown
What our fear can teach us
What scares you?
Are you afraid of heights? Of closed spaces? Of darkness? Of being alone?
Each of us has something we fear the most. I remember riding the bicycle for the first time. It scared me to death. I almost chickened out. Come to think of it, why did I act this way?
It is our natura . . .
Memories Are Us
How memories define who we are
Life is composed of experiences, and the greatest souvenir that you can get is the memory that you carry with you wherever you go. I can’t blame some people if they say that they want to go back to their childhood days: no heartaches, no money problems, no serious health issues. Remembering the good old days eases the stres . . .
What Is It like to Be Icy?
Icy fears losing his value and being rejected by animal friends
Several years ago, I and my wife Nancy took a sea and land trip to Alaska. The first part of the trip was an ocean cruise starting in Vancouver, Canada. Our cruise traveled along Alaska’s coastline for several days. During these days at sea, watching the ice and snow piling up and the natura . . .
Icebergs: Icy Hotspots of Life
Icebergs—how they are formed and their contribution to aquatic life
The massive floating islands that are made of freshwater ice floating around the north and south poles are called icebergs. These blue icy giants are one of the iconic symbols of the polar region together with penguins and polar bears. How are they . . .
The Significance of Icy’s Animal Companions
How friendship helped Icy on his personal journey to growth
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
Since we’re a social species by nature, it’s normal for us humans to want to feel a . . .
How I Came Up with Snowy’s Life before His Time with Us
After all these years, we still don’t know where Snowy came from. Since then, I wanted to write his story and make others aware that once in our life, a one-of-a-kind dove came to shower my family with wonderful memories. I write my new book in honor of Snowy. This book is divided into two parts—the first part narrates Snowy’s life before we found him in the backyard, and the second part . . .
My Favorite Story of Snowy
My favorite story about Snowy was the incident where Nancy placed Snowy in her glass of water and, while drinking, Snowy fell headfirst into the glass, and nobody noticed what just had happened to Snowy. A couple of seconds later, my wife Nancy exclaimed, “Oh no!” then she hurriedly jumped up and pulled Snowy’s head out of the glass.
Silence filled the room because we were so nervous . . .
Why Snowy Was with Us for 28 Year
There should have been a great reason why Snowy left his former owner and stayed with us instead. Maybe it’s due to his owner’s upbringing, which made me wonder the type of affection Snowy felt before.
Was he given enough food or a comfortable cage? Was he ever given a bath before? Did he experience the kind of freedom we gave him? Or did his previous owner hold and caress him the way m . . .
Why I Started Writing a Book about Snowy
About 35 years ago in Chicago, a stunning blessing landed on our backyard in the form of a dove. My children saw the bird first, and they thought that it was homeless, so they picked it up and brought it in our house. The children asked Nancy if they could name the bird Snowy because they think it was pretty and its feathers also were white as snow, which my wife gladly agreed.
We are very . . .
A Christmas nut for Larry and Nancy
"In December we had a snow storm. It totaled about three inches. Consequently, I had to use the snowblower and shovel. The snow crystals on the tree branches and shrubs were brilliantly reflected in the sunlight. The next morning, when I exited the side door, I noticed a perfectly round and undamaged black walnut placed outside, in front of the door. The only way that it could have been deposi . . .
Why Some People Don’t Like Squirrels
Squirrels are viewed by people in many ways. They are so much fun to watch. It is amazing how quickly they can climb up and down trees, seeming to use so little effort. It is hard to comprehend how they can jump from branch to branch, sometimes leaping 10 feet or more while over 40 feet off the ground. They construct their nests high in the trees, protecting themselves and their families, seem . . .
What Squirrelly Did After a Large Snowstorm
Squirrelly woke up and looked out of his nest. The entire area was covered by snow. He could only see the large oak tree and maple trees above the snow. When he looked down, he noticed the tops of the bushes covered by about 10 inches of snow, causing the branches to bend under the weight of the snow, almost reaching the ground.
He was very hungry. He knew he had buried nuts in the ground u . . .
Where Larry Friend Obtained Two of the Stories in Squirelly’s Book
There were many stories derived from watching the squirrels. Two of these stories I remember were humorous.
- Nancy was watching one of the squirrels trying to access a bird feeder outside her office. This feeder was one that had a metal ring at the bottom of the feeder that would rapidly spin when it detected the weight of a squirrel. As she watched, the squirrel slid down the plastic . . .
How Squirrelly the Squirrel and Starlett Originated
Nancy and I decided to leave the City of Chicago and move to Libertyville, Illinois. I have always wanted to live in a log home. We were fortunate to locate such a home on five and a half acres. The previous owners had made several changes to the log cabin and had constructed several additions to the home. I am certain one of the owners was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The logs were cut . . .
How Icy’s Book Was Put Together
Nancy and I had a friend, Brian Behling, who lived in Burbank, California, at that time. Brian was working for DreamWorks. He had given us a tour of the facilities. I knew that he had been involved in the production of several movies. We were fortunate that Brian and his wife, Sue, decided to move to Illinois to be close to their families who lived in Wisconsin. They purchased a home close to . . .