I bring you greetings on behalf of March Madness and those enjoying Spring Break. It's Tuesday, March 14, 2017, and I have these items mixing it up with my gray cells this morning. March Madness is the name given to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. This is where the college teams compete to be named national championship winner. I read that last year's tournament saw a total of $9.2 billion in bets wagered. Are you kidding me? I don't really even know how to process that kind of number. What I do know is there are many who bet who probably can't afford to do so. I saw that up close and personal when I worked in public affairs for the U.S. Army back in 1968. A well-traveled, fast talking staff sergeant always had a weekly pool for the soldiers in our office to place their bets. This bet taker was good at taking advantage of people's loyalties to their particular teams. He gave odds, and while he didn't always win each individual game, he always came out ahead in the overall results. He shared with me that when people bet based on emotion, for him, it was like taking candy from a baby. I don't know how much of that $9.2 billion ended up having to be borrowed, but, there's no doubt in my mind that families all over our nation suffered as a result. I'm not saying the basketball isn't good or not worth watching, but, I can't help but wonder what it would be like if this betting machine wasn't such a dominant factor. Just me, thinking out loud.
Today's celebration of Spring Break is nothing short of amazing to me. Based on even my limited sample of folks I see on social media, there are many folks who are able to engage in some great adventures during their week-long break. All kinds of exotic cruises, trips to Disney World and other amusement centers, snow skiing excursions, and overseas travels are prominently featured as people scatter here and there. I love seeing the photos posted of families having such wonderful experiences. It caused me to think about how we spent our school breaks when I was growing up. We didn't go anywhere as best I can recollect. The only change for us is that we didn't have to get up and go to school. I'm almost certain we found enough mischief to occupy our time off. We could have easily done some fishing down on Brushy Creek which was within 30 minutes of our house. We could actually have done that almost any day of the week and my baby brother Donald did just that, year round. I don't feel deprived because we weren't able to have exciting vacations like so many do today. In fact, I may not have even thought about it, by comparison, were it not for the huge number posting about it during Spring Break. All I can say is that a whole lot of people must be doing quite well. Quite well indeed!
During time off from school, we did do some things when our boys were growing up. We would visit family, go camping, or occasionally we would take in some form of commercial amusement. I did an informal survey of a few people in my age bracket and most of them had similar recollections as mine from their growing up days. I didn't hear anyone saying not having all of those wonderful travel experiences caused them a lot of grief. Of course, it was hard to engage folks when everyone was mostly complaining about the time change and the lost hour. Yep. It's certainly darker for longer in the mornings and for us early people that is a factor, however, many are already anticipating the added hours of daylight. How did I handle the time change? I went to bed at my regular time by the old time and that made getting up Sunday morning at my early start time a no brainer. I'm sure it does a number on my body. I think there's medical evidence to support that. You know. Messing with the internal clock and all of that. I also know there's some interest here in Texas in opting out of the time change system. Some legislators tease that issue from time to time. Meanwhile, it's what they handed to us, therefore, we just have to deal with it, period, end of story. And, also to give God the glory that we are able to do so. Amen. .....More later.
Many years in this sojourn here on planet earth and I have the scars to prove it but I have been, am now, and will be blessed to have had the privilege of doing what little I've done to honor God and serve others.