Remembering and treasuring those remembrances is special indeed. This is a time when I often remember and treasure many of the amazing persons and events which have been and are so much a part of my life. I recount here only several of the many such persons and events that are so meaningful to me.

It was in 1937 and I was seven years of age. Our family decided to build a new dairy barn. Construction began early in the year. I remember being utterly amazed with the strength of the team of horses as they pulled the dump scraper to dig out the underground setting for the structure. What a tremendous show of strength! The carpenters worked daily on the construction. Finally, the time came on a brilliant Saturday morning; the neighboring folks from all around came to help with to the awesome task of the "barn raising." Post and beam construction had been laid out by the carpenters beforehand. And then, with strong ropes fastened to the posts and beams, the crew of neighboring folks began the awesome task of lifting the mighty structural sections into place. By the end of the day, the framework was solidly erected and affixed. As a seven year old, I was awestruck with the strength exuded by the neighboring folks. To this day, that sight of strength and ingenuity remains ensconced in my memory bank. "Absolute Amazement" best describes that event.

You know, being amazed during my past eighty-eight years is no stranger. I never cease to be amazed that after a long, cold, snow -blustering winter, the spring vegetation burst forth in abundance with brilliant colors and green foliage. And then also amazing.... was the time when I was nine years of age, our family went to see Niagara Falls. It was my first time there. I was utterly amazed at the sight of such a gargantuan flow of water cascading into the mighty Niagara gorge. What a spectacular sight to behold!

Amazing too, is to hear a young child for the first time read words from the printed page and declares "I am reading; did you hear me?" Amazing too, is to hear our young grandchildren for the first time, play a tune on their musical instruments or to make their first patchwork sewing project with needle and thread. And, amazing too, was to see our grandchildren make their first home run or touchdown in an athletic event and to see our young granddaughters participate in an equestrian horseback riding event or perform extraordinary gymnastic feats. Ah yes, the list goes on...all amazing to be sure!

I am still utterly amazed at the musical talent possessed by my wife Elaine. It seems she can hear a piece of music a time or two...classical or otherwise...and can perform by ear flawlessly the piece on piano or organ. And then, even more amazing, she can transpose the selection into whatever key one might desire... all by ear, no less. Now, that is a God-given gift. For sure, it takes hard work, practice, and confidence. Truly, a key to achievement is self-confidence which includes preparation, concentration, and trust. In short, each person can develop the kind of "self’ one desires to be by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of creative accomplishment. For you see, with confidence and faith, one can open the doors to one’s inner personal potential. To be sure, one’s inner motivation is a gift to be treasured.

As I see it, true accomplishment is stirred by the flame of self-confidence that shines from the inside out. You know, people are like stained -glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed by the light from within which shines out from one’s appreciative heart. Confidence comes by being "you" and not trying to be someone we are not. For by being oneself and by cherishing the things of which you are capable, you are illuminating the flame of potentiality within yourself. To be sure, the light of possibility from within burns brightest when one does that which speaks from the depth of the treasury of one’s heart. Amazing? To be sure, it is just that! And we cannot and will not forget.