Choose Wisely

20 Feb

No talent there . . . or is there?

Let me take you back to 1957, the summer of my eighth year on this planet.  Our family took a road trip back to Charles City, Iowa, to see my dad’s family, a family he hadn’t seen in nine years since he and my mother had moved out west to Tacoma, Washington.

No freeways back then, just highway driving through small towns, across the Great Plains, over mountains, seeing the backroads of America in a Mercury, exciting stuff for me.

Charles City was magic for me in 1957.  My grandparents had a corn farm, shrunk since losing most of it in the Great Depression, but a farm nonetheless, and it was my first experience on a farm and I loved every minute of it.  Meeting all the relatives, marveling at the small town and how everyone knew everyone else, the majestic oaks and elms and lightning bugs at night, bullfrogs croaking, tractors and chickens and lemonade on the front porch . . . yes, magical indeed.

One of my uncles, Uncle Ike, was fairly famous in town for owning the only Vespa Motor Scooter.  He had it shipped from Europe following World War 2, and he was quite the sight in that farming community, puttering around town on that scooter, weaving in and out of pickup trucks, dodging tractors, a wiry man on a tiny purple scooter, and that wiry man would come to the farm each day and take me for a ride on that scooter, and I thought that was probably the coolest thing I had ever done.

Our rides would always end up at A & W where we would have either a root beer float or an ice cream cone, either one, every single day, Nirvana in Iowa, and I remember each visit to the A & W involving that one tough decision, float or ice cream cone, and Uncle Ike telling me I could only have one, so choose wisely.

It’s funny the things we remember, isn’t it?  Sixty years have passed and I still remember those words “choose wisely.”

And I remembered those words about four months ago when a very rich customer, a real estate entrepreneur in Fort Worth, Texas, asked me to fly down to Fort Worth to work on his next “inspirational business book,” as he put it.  He would pay for the airfare, of course, put me up in a hotel, and pay for my time down there while I interviewed people and discussed the parameters of the book with him.  All told it was probably going to be about a $10,000 windfall for me.

I turned him down.  It really came down to two choices: extra money or staying home with Bev and the animals.

“Choose wisely, Bill!”

I don’t need the money.  I do need Bev and the animals.

It turned out to be an easy choice.

Being in business involves choices and decisions.

Choose wisely!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”



29 Responses to “Choose Wisely”

  1. Janine Huldie February 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

    Bill, I am not going to lie but this couldn’t have come at more perfect time here as I had to make a bit of a choice with a client in the last day or so myself. And I weighed my options and also chose wisely for myself, as well as my family. See my kids are off from school this week with winter break. So, I made the only wise a decision a mom could make and do what I needed to to spend more time with my kids and turn down the job. It was a no brainer for me as my kids will always come first. So thanks for the reminder and happy Tuesday to you now!! 🙂

    • Billybuc February 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

      Exactly, Janine, it really is a no-brainer. There will always be jobs; that time with your kids is limited. Good for you!

  2. Mike February 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm #

    Hi Bill – It sounds like you had a great trip back in time. Thanks for sharing a trip to Iowa in the fifties. A&W’s and root beer floats, also sparked memories. Lucky to get a lesson on ‘Choose Wisely’ as the decisions just keep getting bigger and bigger. ‘Artistry With Words’ is my favorite Bill Holland venue.

    • Billybuc February 20, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

      Aww, thanks Mike! I love writing on this site; it’s fun telling stories with a meaning. Thank you for being here, buddy!

  3. MartieCoetser February 20, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Bill,

    Finally I know you are eight years my senior. But your childhoods sounds like my own, even the lemonade on the porch. Although ours was not lemonade but homemade ginger beer. When it lasted for three days, it would made us tipsy – and that would be the moment when fresh beer arrives with lots of swollen raisins floating on the surface. Oh, and there was large containers with cold fresh milk in the fridge, directly from the cows, and large containers with pure cream – so thick we spread it on bread and topped it with honey.

    Those were the days!

    • Billybuc February 20, 2018 at 10:46 pm #

      Love your recollections, Martie! Thanks for sharing them….cold fresh milk…yummy!

  4. Emese-Réka February 20, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

    I love reading old-time American stories… in some ways, we were not so different, after all. Family means the same all over the world, we all have favorite uncles and other relatives we remember and learn from. I believe you did choose wisely; you are absolutely right, job opportunities come and go, but spending time with those who matter to us should always come first. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • Billybuc February 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

      Emese, your statement that we are not so different is a gem. There are so many similarities we all share. Thank you for mentioning that.

  5. Sageleaf February 21, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Funny…I had a choice to make this week, too. They offered me a full time position teaching Spanish and doing marketing at the school where I work. I turned them down. To be sure, I could probably use the money, but I am happy as a clam doing all the things I’m doing right now and I have time to also spend with husby. But I have figured out I don’t do well doing full time something and then not having enough time to work on my own biz and brand. It wasn’t a hard choice: time with John, happiness, less stress…thank you very much. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week, Big Bro. 🙂

    • Billybuc February 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

      It appears, Lil Sis, we both made wise choices. Life is too short, my friend. We need to enjoy that which is most important and not let anything get in the way.

  6. divalounger February 21, 2018 at 2:25 am #

    Such sage advise–I recently turned down a writing gig that paid really well, but I felt like a legal weasel when I looked closely at it –I think those things seep out into our life and into our souls–I will miss the money though

    • Billybuc February 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

      Perfectly stated, Audrey…seep out into our life and into our souls. Beautiful!

  7. Nikki khan February 21, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Bill,,you did the right thing,,family is more important than money.
    Money comes and goes, it doesn’t effect much but family is your part and you can’t get separated from them.

    • Billybuc February 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

      All true, Nikki! I have no regrets about that decision at all. Thank you!

  8. February 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm #

    Lots of chuckles in this one. I would need Bev and the animals myself. Who wouldn’t? Great choice!

    Your sage advice I got from reading the work of a Sage, Swami Kriyanananda. He said that when one duty clashes with another, the greater duty should always take precedence. Sharing a little, some say that the Bhagavad Gita, is the Hindu version of the New Testament.
    Bhishma was a great Sage who fought on the side of the King in battle, because he wanted to remain dutiful, loyal, even while knowing that the King was unjust. Tough one. Ask me the story one day. Suffice it to say he made the wrong choice. But again, seen from a higher standpoint, everything is a play of the Divine; a play of Love.

    I admire your grit.

    • Billybuc February 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

      Thank you sir! Grit? I love that word. I can gladly accept that compliment.

  9. Sarah Potter Writes February 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

    That’s a lovely magical story that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂

    I think you made the right choice, Bill, choosing being at home with the person you most love. I’m also happy for you and Bev that you’re comfortably enough off for you to have made that choice, otherwise the turning down of that job might have caused a teeny bit of a dilemma — perhaps.

    Wishing you a wonderful week, where you are the happiest — at home 🙂

    • Billybuc February 21, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

      I am happiest at home, Sarah. I’ve traveled a great deal in my lifetime. Relocated to several different states, but this is where I finally found happiness and this is where I will stay.

      Sending you warm friendship on this chilly day.

      • Sarah Potter Writes February 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

        I’m happiest at home, too, not that I’ve travelled much in my life. I’ve been to France twice for the weekend — once 24 years ago and once 40 years ago — plus, when I was 11, I went on a Christmas/New Year cruise that stopped at Lisbon, Casablanca, Agadir, and the Canary Islands. That’s it. full stop. Any other travelling I’ve done is in my head! I’m not sure whether going to the Isle of Wight to visit my daughter and grandchildren counts as travelling, as it’s still the UK, even if there is a stretch of water between it and the mainland. All I know is, that’s all the adventuring I can take nowadays, as the roads are too crowded and the public transport unreliable!

        It’s chilly here, today, with a biting easterly wind blowing in from Europe. But I’ll forgive it its bite, as the sun is shining and my first daffodil has opened its petals.

      • Billybuc February 22, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

        Mexico and Canada for me, Sarah! And 38 states. That’s all and that’s all I plan on doing.

  10. suziehq February 22, 2018 at 12:21 am #

    How I love reading your stories of growing up in America, what wonderful memories and experiences. Our time here is precious so good on you for choosing to spend time with loved ones over financial gain Bill.

    • Billybuc February 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

      Thank you Irish! My loved ones saved me and it is with them I plan on ending my days.

      Hugs from chilly Olympia!

  11. 1authorcygnetbrown February 22, 2018 at 4:08 am #

    Hi Bill, I am so proud of you for choosing your wife over money. Money is easy to get. Having a loyal wife is priceless!

    • Billybuc February 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

      Thank you very much, Donna! The choice was a simple one.

  12. Dee February 25, 2018 at 12:43 am #

    Great bit of wisdom from your Uncle. It’s better to choose the simpler things of life than to chase after wealth and fame.

    • Billybuc February 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

      It is for me, Dee, for sure. Thank you my friend.

  13. phoenix2327 March 4, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

    Wow, Bill. You really do have your priorities right. I don’t know of anyone else who would opt for family over money. Many, of course, could justify it by saying the money is for the family. Fair enough. But I have to admire you decision. And I do. 🙂

    • Billybuc March 4, 2018 at 3:29 pm #

      Thank you Zulma! It’s just not important to me anymore. We have our priorities paid for and we really don’t need anything else. And that’s what it boils down to for me….need vs desire! I desire to be home with Bev.

      • phoenix2327 March 4, 2018 at 9:14 pm #

        That is so sweet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: