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Baldwin Park Living
Baldwin Park Living Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 1 month ago

Former Baldwin Park Residential Owners Association President shares some wise words

Denny O’Neil discusses upcoming events, shares favorite phrases and offers advice to community.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

Submitted by Denny O'Neil

Well, (another hole in the ground) (a verbal pause) it has been a slow news cycle in Baldwin Park, so I won’t be giving you important advice about some crime development from the Orlando Police Department or news from the Residential Owners Association Board of Directors latest meeting. However, I would like to mention that the Neighborhood Watch 2021 National Night Out Event will be Oct. 5, maybe in a location near you. Check with your Neighborhood Watch Block Captain for more information.

I’ve been keeping material for this article for a couple of years, and this seemed like a good time to write it. In March 2018 and April 2018 editions of Baldwin Park Living, I related to you some of the sayings and phrases my mother used routinely while bringing up my siblings and me. This is the last of the sayings and phrases that I have, and I thought that you might enjoy them.

First, from the kitchen: “A watched pot never boils.” Now, I know this to be true. I don’t know how many times I have stood there waiting for the water to boil as I was wanting to make some ramen noodles for lunch. So, so true. “You are what you eat.” That makes me salty and sweet! “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” I thought this one was a little foreboding, that is until my Vietnam War experience. For those of you who don’t know much about history — apologies to Sam Cooke: “Wonderful World,” great song — the Vietnam War was at one time our longest war, recently outdone by our Afghanistan War, and the Vietnam War ended in 2005. Or maybe that’s not the date, look it up. Anyhow, while I was in Vietnam, I lived life to the fullest, because one never knew when the game was up. “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Beside the kitchen, this means occupations (e.g. stressful job) and locations (e.g. California, New York or Chicago), among other things.

Time: Now the “Eat, drink and …” could have been included here, but I already used it in the kitchen. “Tomorrow never comes” (which became a title of a Zac Brown Band song — I don’t know if he ever spoke to my mother), which I took to mean don’t procrastinate. So, I finally have decided to spend a lot more time painting canvases and doing artwork, in general. Related is “Time and tide wait for no one.” My mother also said, “Time goes faster when you get older.” I never believed that one when I was younger, but now I do. I can’t explain it, but it does go faster.

Behavior: “You are known by the company you keep.” Self-explanatory. So, hang with decent people. “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” I find this one very true. I always feel better when I get ahead on my list of things to do. “As ye sow, so shall you reap.” Raised a Lutheran, I was used to language like this, because a lot of our liturgy and hymns used words like this (from the Bible). (I particularly liked the pronouns “Thee” and “Thou” and the adjective “Thy.”) “It is better to give than to receive,” As a kid, this always rubbed me the wrong way, especially at Christmas. “Never look a gift horse in the mouth,” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These are good pieces of advice. “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.” This is good advice. I am usually upbeat and when asked how I am, I answer with “wonderful.” A college-age administrative person where I get my acupuncture has told me that he hopes when he gets to be my age, he can give that answer to that question. “Eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves.”

And some that are just good advice: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” “Believe half of what you see, and nothing of what you hear.” That last one is really important in today’s world. “Self-praise stinks,” as I tell my many followers who love me. “Beauty is only skin deep” and “Pretty is as pretty does,” which contradict today’s view that physical beauty is everything. “Cleanliness is next to godliness” — this lacks meaning for atheists. “A barking dog never bites” — not sure about this one if it really applies to dogs, but I think it means something more like a dog’s bark is worse than its bite, i.e. someone just mouthing off is probably better than someone who physically assaults you. And, I’m sure that you have heard this one, “The pen is mightier that the sword” (unless you get the point of the thrust; ask anyone in a communist country). “Better to be a true enemy than a false friend.”

And finally, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” “Cold hands, warm heart.” I once dated a woman who reminded me of this every time I held her hand (which was always cold). And, some of my personal favorites: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” And last but not least, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.”

Therein ends the article (Lutheran speak).


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