Observations of Life. Life is a journey, metaphorically speaking. And sometimes you will take real ones. We have just returned from one of our trips as kind of a gift to each other for our 33rd wedding anniversary. Our journey took us to North Carolina and Virginia. We have been to both states before on our road trips, but this year we had some specific destinations and things in mind to do.
To give a quick recap, we went to a major antiques show, a zoological park, did gem mining, and saw natural wonders, mountain scenery, and museums, all within about 8 days. As you can see it was a very diverse itinerary. We did a lot of driving, stayed in a variety of motels, ate at some good and not so good restaurants, met new people and had an overall great time. It was fun, educational and I personally got to do some things I always wanted to do. For Patti it gave a time of relaxation from her regular work, plus she got to see interesting sites and just have some fun. For me, the same was true, but with a very specific intent in mind.
Over the years, whether locally or as we traveled, we started looking at estate jewelry, pawn shops, garage sales, and other venues for better quality jewelry. Patti enjoys it, and I am happy when we can find things that she likes and we can afford. About ten years ago I decided since we were buying more and more of the better stuff, I thought I should find out what the better stuff really was, and not rely solely on the word of those trying to sell it to us. I acquired and read a number of books, talked to jewelers, pawn shop owners and other informed people to educate myself on not just gold & silver, but diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones. As I was going through this learning process, I also learned some of the inside or dealer knowledge of the jewelry trade. On a number of occasions, I went to special jewelry shows and even obtained admittance to the dealer area. I developed a taste for certain likes and dislikes in styles, designs, stones and metals. Even the study of antique jewelry was fascinating to me. Things such as human hair jewelry, as well as steel and aluminum jewelry, had their place at one time or another in the history of jewelry and held my attention.
Eventually, I had a good basic as well as somewhat advanced knowledge of jewelry. This knowledge gave me confidence to buy jewelry (for Patti) and not feel that I might be taken advantage of. At garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, auctions and other non- traditional places to buy jewelry, I would look and examine with my 10 power loop and if pleased, made an offer or bid. Sometimes we got deals, sometimes we walked away. But I never left the table feeling that I had gotten taken.
In learning about jewelry, as I said before, it is more than just gold and silver. There are other very nice things to consider; the stones, rocks, or ice as some would say. Whether they are diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, garnets, topaz or some of many more gems, I had to get a working knowledge of them also. The color, the clarity and cut are what most consider when talking about diamonds. But what these all meant required some study as to, "What was a good cut?", or "How clear is clear?", and "What colors are considered good and not so good?" Then you had the other stones such as emeralds that will almost always have cracks, but still be a fine stone to have. Some differently named stones are actually the same stone, but with trace minerals that give different colors, such as sapphires and rubies. But overall the learning process is fun and one that goes on.
For a while, I spent some time learning about diamonds and enjoyed seeing what the good ones looked like and the lesser ones lacked. The fire of a good diamond is amazing to see. Once about five years ago we were at a large antique show and saw a ring with a light blue stone that caught our eyes. We asked to see it closer. It was an amazing ring. When the light hit it just right, you saw the "fire". We learned that it was a blue diamond and it was priced to match its beauty. In a small way it was exciting to hold and examine it the way we did. In the end, we handed it back to the dealer and thanked him for letting us see it, knowing that its several thousand dollars price tag was more than we were willing to spend that day.
Back when I first started my study of jewelry and gemstones I ran across a book in the library titled, GEMS FOR THE TAKING, by Mary L. T. Brown. It was an older book from the early 70's, but still looked interesting. Ms. Brown tells of her first time learning about and traveling to North Carolina to hunt for gems. Almost instantly she fell in love with the adventure of sifting and washing buckets of mud and sometimes finding rubies, sapphires and other stones. She then goes to educate the reader on the process not only there, but where to do it in almost every state in the country. She educates the reader on the different kinds of precious stones and their individual traits. It was a fascinating read and one that got me more interested in the gems themselves.
From that book I learned more about gem hunting and decided that one day I wanted to do that at least once in my life. And that is what we did on our trip this year. Both Patti and myself went to two gem mines in western North Carolina and, as I like to put it, "played in the mud". For two days and at two different locations, we sat or stood by a water flume, shook dirt from purchased buckets of mined dirt into a screened tray, and began searching for gems. First, we would dip the tray into the flume and then wash as much of the mud off as possible. We would lift it out and push the remaining stones around and then do some more washing. We would do it again and again until we had the stones cleared of all the mud and then examine our stones. We were instructed on how to recognize the rubies and sapphires and what to throw away. Most were thrown away. When we werenít sure, someone would come over and help us to see if we had anything. Finally, we started to find tiny little stones that could be "keepers" but not big enough to have cut. But in the end, we did get a couple of small stones that had potential to become small, polished gems to be made into jewelry.
It was fun and in ways, exciting, not knowing if that next handful of dirt may have the next "rock" in it to dazzle friends and family. This being the first time, I looked at it as a learning experience that had the "thrill of the hunt" and if we actually got something, great. But again, it was the learning experience that I can build on. I now have a hands-on working knowledge of what certain precious stones look like. I now have an interest that I can expand on. I now want to do more of it. It is something that is not only fun, but relatively inexpensive to do. You donít need a lot of special equipment; old clothes and maybe a pair of rubber gloves. If you really get into it, a shovel, rock pick and a homemade screened tray would be all you need. Add that to your time to get away for several days and youíll just have fun and maybe, just maybe, find something that will be worth something. But like always, when you learn and do something new, you always have something that can never be taken away. Memories, a new experience and some new knowledge that will stay with you for the rest of your life come to mind.
I hope you enjoy this little journey into something new and different. I plan on more journeys in life. Some places will be revisited, while other times, new ones found. I hope that no matter how big or small, you can also take journeys to enrich your life, for as long as you can.
Books We Liked. As Iíve said before, I like humor. Some of the best humor is the illustrative kind. Whether subtle or overt, cartoon painting and drawing have been used to cause a chuckle or two down through the ages. Today we have the daily comics in the newspaper. There are editorial cartoons that many times try to be funny, but poignant at the same time. Sometimes not.
But I do enjoy a good cartoon. Sometimes I may have to think just for a moment about it, while other times the humor hits me like a pie in the face. This monthís book is huge. It is what most would call a coffee table book. It is THE COMPLETE CARTOONS OF THE NEW YORKER, edited by Robert Mankoff. If you ever went to the dentistís or doctorís office, you probably had a little bit of a wait. Most of the time, there were stacks of the New Yorker magazine lying to look at. As for myself, I knew I never would have time to read one of the articles, but there was always time to flip through and read the cartoons. Most were enjoyable with a few exceptions where you think youíre supposed to know some insider information of the intellectual and social elite to understand. But overall, it is a fun book to have. It covers cartoons from the 1920s through the 21st century. The book comes with two computer CDs, which include all 68,647 cartoons ever published in the magazine up until the time of this bookís printing. It is physically large, 11" by 13" and over an inch thick. It is a difficult book to read in bed. Iíve tried. Watch for copies on sale through your favorite mail order book club or a larger bookstore, as it is on sale often.
Quotes we liked. "Don't wait for a funeral to pay a compliment. You may not make it in time." by Harvey Mackay. This quote reminds me of all the times that I did not stop and take the time to say hello to a friend when I really could have. Also of times when I should have sent a note of thanks or just to ask, "How are you doing?" I donít dwell on a lot of "would have, could have, and should have" but I know I can be a better person if I just take a little time to not just think of others, but to take some action to connect with them. Loving and caring actions, many times, once missed, can never be made up.
How many times have you longed for that touch (metaphorically or physically) from someone else. Sometimes it happens at just the right time when you need it and it feels so great. A note, a call, a drop-in visit to someone who needs it is a great gift to give. Rarely does it cost much of anything financially. But the giving of your time is a valued and wonderful gift appreciated and many times needed by many.
Take a moment and think of just a few people in your life who would appreciate that touch (a call, note or visit) from you. Do it now or make a plan and a commitment to do it. Then do it. It will make you feel great and the recipient even better.
What to expect.The primary concern of all of our clients and other well-trained and caring hypnotists is the best interests of the client. This is the first and foremost concern that we have. This applies to the techniques and the ways we operate as a business. We not only want the client to feel safe when being hypnotized, we want them to know that they are, without any doubts, safe as anyone can possibly be.
Today electronic devices help in securing the safety of the client. In our center, like most other hypnosis offices, the experience is recorded. An audio and video recording is automatically made to protect the client and the hypnotist. The recording is made primarily for this purpose, but can also be used to refresh the clientís memory of the session if necessary. Sometimes the hypnotist will review the recording to enhance his or her notes to better serve the client in the following sessions. The recorded sessions are never seen by anyone else without the permission of the client or unless directed by the laws of the state they are in. Which means, no one else gets to see them unless a judge orders it, which is more rare than gasoline at $2.00 a gallon.
Some hypnotists make audio recordings of the sessions and then give them to their clients. At our center we do not do that at this time. We find that they are not suited for repetitive listening after a session. We do make some special recordings that are more of a maintenance to enhance the previous sessions and we find these to be more beneficial. But not with every problem or issue is this done.
We donít have a problem with self-hypnosis recordings that other hypnotists produce and sell. It is just not part of our business model at this time. We want to give the client that one on one, individualized service we believe they expect and need.
So, when you come in, donít be surprised when you are told that everything is being recorded, even if you donít see the video camera, because itís there. Just sit back, relax and let the amazing process begin.
For more information on hypnosis and how it can help you, call us at 717-872-7561.
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Enlightenment. The time we spend writing and rewriting it helps to remind us why we do what we do, which is to be in service to others both professionally and personally. By also sharing these observations, ideas, and information, we also learn new things. Please share this newsletter with others who you feel would enjoy and/or benefit from it. If you are receiving this newsletter secondhand and want to receive your own copy, just send us an email and we will put you on either our snail mail list or email list. So until next month, best wishes to all.
Roger & Patti