YoTrip-Words and Thoughts

A place and space for me to express my thoughts

Archive for the month “March, 2011”

Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for March 31, 2011-Bill’s Story Could Be Your Story -The Invisibles continued (Vol.3, Iss.3)

Flickr - …trialsanderrors - The Roads to Heave...

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Bob, Brad, or Bill could be his name but how would you know, you are so consumed with his appearance you never consider he is a human being, just like you.Sure Bill is unkempt, in need of a long hot shower,haircut, and shave, but these are luxuries to somone struggling to survive on the streets.

Bill is posted on the block and within the box made of broken blue lines on the cobbled concrete. While standing inside the box Bill can legally ask for a handout from those passing by his space.

Bill was not always relegated to a box on the block. The downturn in the economy, an injury that seems to linger and a series of losses job, family, house took away life as he knew it.

Bill was a homeowner, a husband, and a hard worker living a good life.  Currently  Bill is homeless,  separated from his family, and humbled by his new existence.  In an instant his status changed and he began a downward spiral to living life on the streets. Bill’s place, his new home, is where he walked many days yet he never imagined this would be his story.

Bill’s story is as common as the winds that swirl and quickly change. There are so many “Bill’s” out there who are trying to figure out how to make it and survive day-to-day. Be aware that in an instant Bill’s story can become your story…

“Soaring Towards Heaven in 2011″
The Sky is Limitless
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Tuesday Thinking by YoTrip for 3/29/11, March Madness Always Brings Cinderella to the Dance (Vol.1, Iss.2)

NCAA National Championship trophies, rings, wa...

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March Madness Always Brings Cinderella to the Dance

The month of March is a great time of transition, the time changes, the weather changes, and the college basketball tournament changes teams from challengers to champions. This time of the year ushers in the period known as “March Madness”. 64 teams that are invited to the NCAA tournament “big dance” play in win or go home style competition with hopes of making it to the coveted “final four” and onto becoming a champion for the season. In recent years the excitement around “March Madness” has been geared to what team will rise from the bottom to become the “Cinderella” of the big dance.

Interestingly enough, the term March Madness has been around to describe basketball tournaments since 1939. However, it initially described the Illinois State High School tournament, not the NCAA tournament. Over the years, it has become associated with the NCAA tournament to the point where it overshadows its true roots. http://www.basketball.org/march-madness-history/

The four teams that have risen from the pack of 64, University of Kentucky (Wildcats), University of Connecticut (Huskies), Butler University(Bulldogs) and Virginia Commonwealth College-VCC (Rams). This years final four teams brings together two teams who combine for nine former NCAA championships Wildcats own seven and the Huskies have two in their rafters. Butler is a team that was known as the Cinderella of 2010 after making it to the finals and losing by a few points to the powerhouse Duke Blue Devils.

The Cinderella and darling of the dance for this year is Virginia Commonwealth College. This team was rated a 350-1 chance of winning the championship at the start of the tournament, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, 42nd among the 68 teams in the field. The Rams’ chances of winning their first five games — all as underdogs — were 1,371-1, according to Pregame.com. This Cinderella team seems to thrive off of what the naysayers will offer and continue to play excellent basketball to stun  the top-seeded University of Kansas 71-61 in the Southwest Regional final.

As the Cinderella of the 2011 NCAA tournament and Final Four VCC is joining the ranks of some teams that made basketball fan sit up and take notice: Gonzaga in 1999, Kent State in 2002, George Mason in 2006 and of course Butler in 2010. Each of these teams were unknown in the major rankings of college powerhouses, but played with heart and determination to take their place on the center stage and go from a pumpkin to a prince. 

The excitement of March Madness takes the game of college basketball fans on a journey that is filled with highs, lows, tragedy and triumphs all in the name of becoming a championship team. Just when you think the floor is set and the game begins you are glued to the television because top seeds are bowing out early in defeat and the lower seeds and Cinderella’s are left standing strong and taking the last dance. 

All the best to the Final Four: Kentucky, UConn, Butler, and especially the 2011 Cinderella VCC let the Madness of March continue until the victory is won!

Thursday Thoughts by YoTrip for March 24, 2011 (Vol. 1, Iss. 2) The Unexpected Encounter

Symbol for subway / metro. NON-OFFICIAL

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Have you ever had a day of days? From the time of your rising, which was late, to your leaving your home, the day was proving to be a challenge. The travelers in traffic were tripping and every light was happy to hold you hostage. You arrived at your place of work and it was an extension of the start of your day.

The day seemed to only bring problems and few solutions to your office. Each time you found a resolution another issue of opportunity came into the mist. By lunch  time you were only halfway through the day and the possibility of seeing a happy ending seemed out of your reach for you today.

You went from meeting to meeting tuning out the monotone voices speaking long and offer little in the way of solutions. Before long you have written out an action plan for the last meeting you attended and attempted to anticipate your needs for the next meeting. You were on point about the next meeting and struggled to its completion.

After three meetings, two issues that challenged your ability to maintain your cool, and not to mention a late rising, and a major effort to even make it to work, you finally reached the end of the work day. As you sat in your office decompressing the events of the day, you remembered you had an appointment , so you quickly gathered your things and head to your car.

You drive in silence as you seek to eliminate the noise of the day playing loudly in your mind. Once you arrive at your appointment you notice an empty parking lot and wonder if your days were mixed up. Suddenly you recalled the meeting time was pushed back an hour and a half. Having time on your side you decide to get some dinner at the strip up the road. You recalled a Thai spot had moved in the strip and you never had time to try it out. As you approached the restaurant wondering if it was open, you step inside and are greeted by the hostess. The place was empty then a couple who appeared to be regulars walked in and were addressed by the staff. Nothing on the menu appealed to you so you smile politely and walk out of the restaurant.

You looked up and saw the glowing golden sign for a place that always pleases:SUBWAY. You enter the doors and hear two male voices greet you, but you barely see them as one is in the kitchen and the other in the doorway. The two young men had something that stood out, their smiles fill and light up the room. You ask what they are doing and smiling the tall slim young man  shares that he is encouraging  the  large young man with the baby face to sing. You came to Subway for a sandwich, but would enjoy a song as bonus. The slim young man egged the baby face on but immediately see the beaming smile and shyness that did not produce a song.

The slim young man offers that baby face is talent but he lacks confidence. You ask why baby face does not believe he can do anything and be great at doing it. Smiling baby face tells you he can sing but lost his desire to sing. The slim young man chimes in that he loves to sing and that a song changed his life.

For the next hour and a half you listened to how the slim young man gave his life to Christ after the tragic death of a friend during a crime gone bad. A song was birth out of the tragedy and young slim sang at his friends grave side. The death moved the slim young man from gun-carrying thug to God-fearing manager. Tears welled in his eyes as he shared his life changing testimony. You were touched and told him he was amazing and a blessing.

Baby face began to open up and share how he was a promising football star who went to school on a scholarship but got caught in a scandal that began a series of losses: scholarship, school, girlfriend, and the greatest his champion, his father. Baby face did not think he could go on and was depressed for a time. The heavenly voice of his father spoke to him and said you can make it, so he entered Devry University and got the Subway job. Writing discussion has made him want to quit, you told him to use his ability to run plays as a transferable skill, this brought the big smile back to his face. At times Baby face struggles with staying focused and thinks he needs to speak with someone for help. You tell him to utilize the school or Subway’s EAP program.
The slim young man is excited and keeps thanking you for your listening and sharing. Baby face chimes in that you were sent into this Subway for a reason, and you all smile at each other. You ask both young men to never give up on their hopes and dreams. You tell them the sky is limitless and the best was yet to come in their lives. You give them your card, a strong hug of encouragement and tell them to stay in touch.

Carrying your sandwich and drink, all you can do is wipe away a tear as this encounter has erase away all the ills and complaints of the day. You entered the Subway shop for a sandwich, and the encounter with slim young man and Baby face was much more fulfilling. Never underestimate the power of the encounter it can be the difference in turning your day around.

“Soaring Towards Heaven in 2011″

The sky is limitless…
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Tuesday Thoughts by YoTrip for March 22, 2011 Blank Pages(Vol.1,Iss.1)

Intentionally blank pages at the end of a book.

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Blank Pages

Every day starts as an open and blank page you never know what will happen to quickly fill the day pages of your day. As you started out today you were in your regular routine and going along in a normal manner. In an instant things can change and send you on a course you never expected to experience. Although, you cannot anticipated the unexpected, you can look at what comes your way and determine the best method for working through it. Remember the pages are still being written be it good, bad or indifferent.

 Never allow the madness of the day to take you to a place where you believe things will only go downhill. All to often so much happens in the course of a day to take you off of your routine, that you miss the magical moments. It is in the magical moments that the difference is made and you find a way to fill the blank pages with great life lesson and memorable moments to take you throughout your lifetime. Make this day a day full of possibilities even if it seems impossible to achieve. ~~YoTrip

Soaring Towards Heaven In 2011″
The Sky Is Limitless

Yolanda Clay Triplett
Follow me on Twitter:@yotrip729

Find me on Facebook: facebook.com/yolanda.c.triplett
“Words the joyful noise of my
mouth, sweet sounds to my ears.The
results of a love affair between
pen and paper, words”

Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for March 10, 2011-“The Invisible” (Vol.3,Iss.2)

It's a Small World, Disneyland, 1979

Image by Distraction Limited via Flickr

The segment on the issue of Homelessness in Central Florida ran again last night on 60 Minutes. I thought I would re-run my posts on the situation. This is part one…
The “Invisible” in our Communities

Last Sunday, the long-running news show 60 Minutes featured a segment on the homeless children in the Central Florida area. The show focused on the plight of children who, along with their families are homeless as a result of the residual effects of the economic downturn. The correspondent Scott Pelley saw a projection by the Congressional Budget Office that the poverty rate among children was moving towards 25 percent, and wanted to look at how homeless children and their families were coping. The show placed some emphasis on the notion all this was going on right in the backyard of the land of Disney.  Can you can hear “It’s a Small World After All” playing in your mind right now?

The land of Disney is full of fantasy, fun and flocking for the hundreds of thousands who come from all over the world to experience the magic of Mickey Mouse. Yet the reality is all of what Disney projects pales in the face of what is the plight of the homeless in Central Florida. The 60 Minutes show chronicled the lives of two children and their families who live a world away from Disney in Seminole County (Casselberry). One family lives in an extended stay type hotel and the other family lives with some neighbors. The current living condition of these families shows the outside world that even in the land of Mickey Mouse you can be in a poverty-stricken state of homelessness.

Since the show aired there has been an outcry from people who live in the Central Florida and were unaware that there is a large population of families who are in varying states of homelessness. For the people who viewed this show and were upset to learn that children were hungry and homeless, it was an awakening of a sad state of affairs in this country. Countless numbers of people were applauded to learn that seemingly regular or normal looking children were reduced to doing homework in a car and cleaning up in the restrooms of fast-food restaurants. The descriptive activity of the hungry and homeless is a sad testament to what has plagued many in our society.

In most cities big and small in this country you can find individuals or groups of people who exist and survive without the comforts of a warm cozy home, meals of their choosing, a closet full of clothes or a vehicle to get them from to and fro. These individuals and groups of people are not a part of the mainstream of society and are “invisible” to people who do not encounter them each and every day. The “Invisible” are men and women, boys and girls, young and old, brown, white, yellow and black in color. The “Invisible” are typically former in their profession doctors, lawyers, soldiers, accountants, engineers, teachers, and such. For the most part, “Invisible” are people who have for whatever reason have lost their way of regular everyday living and are now the product of their predicament: THEY ARE HOMELESS!

The bigger question is what the community can do to help the hopeless find hope, heal the pains of hunger in the children and their families, and harness healthy ways to get people back on track. As easy as it was for some people to spiral out of control, it is going to be a challenge to move people back to a place of wholeness. It is critical that people not look down on those who have come to a place of homelessness and hunger, in these economic times it can so easily be any one of us.
To be continued…


“Soaring Towards Heaven In 2011”
The Sky Is Limitless…

Yolanda Clay Triplett
Follow me on Twitter:@yotrip729
Find me on Facebook: facebook.com/yolanda.c.triplett
“Words the joyful noise of my
mouth, sweet sounds to my ears.The
results of a love affair between
pen and paper, words”

Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for March 3, 2011-The Fair Then, The Fair Now (Vol.3, Iss.1)

The Luther Burger

Image by iamataman via Flickr

 Growing up in LA (Lovely Augusta) was so much fun, I have a treasure chest full of memories that I find myself revisiting from time to time.
A good friend knew that I was attending the Central Florida Fair and she gave me eight dollars and a mission: “get me a Polish Sausage. I will text you to pick it up from you later.”  I looked at my friend and was immediately taken back in time.
My dear old Dad (God rest his soul) would make that same request to my sister Greta and I as he dropped us at the Hale Street gate for the Exchange Club Fair in Augusta. Our first task was to find the first stand selling the Polish sausages, buy it and meet Daddy at the gate. The real skill came in getting the “hot-tin foil wrapped dog” through the holes in the chain linked fence.
Completing the Polish sausage dog exchange mission bought us bonus hours at the fair. I learned the power and passion of food as a teenager growing up LA. Over twenty-five years have passed and I found myself smiling as my past and my present came together over a dog of a sausage of the Polish variety.

I had the pleasure of attending the Central Florida Fair to feed my need to participate in two of my favorite sports: people-watching and eating greasy, fattening, and dirty “fair food”. Every year I look forward with child-like anticipation to making a trip to the hot and dusty area known as the fair grounds. My friend Linda and I will block off time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to attend the Fair. Last year our busy schedules did not afford us the opportunity to attend  the Fair, so we had to makeup for time loss. 

The Fair is always sure to do two things: provide great entertainment and great greasy food.

 This year the Fair did not come up short in the area of entertainment. From the moment we walked past the turnstile entrance the “people show” was in full swing. People watching is so much fun to do, and I was happy to pay to watch people and their antics at the Fair. Watching people, I saw the strangest combination of clothing and shoes, wild and colorful hairdo’s, and couples that caused you to shake your head in wonderment.

The food at the Fair is the best and the worst offerings you can ever imagine. Remember my one friend and my Daddy would pay to have “Fair food” delivered to them. The “Fair food” is a drug and we just have to have it.

 The very first stand on “Fair food” row is the cup of fries with malt vinegar, a true staple that has been around forever. There are corn dogs,hot dogs, sausage dogs, chicken wings, chicken on a stick, chicken strips, onion rings, gyros,fried fish, turkey ribs smothered in sauce, turkey drumsticks, roasted corn, funnel cakes, sweet potato fries, kettle corn, cotton candy,  funnel cakes, and  ice cream. Did I mention all things fried? The grease supported a little bit of everything from pickles to rice and zingers to candy bars and honey buns, just to name a few. The “Fair food” has an offering for all who care to partake in the guilty pleasure of grease.

I enjoyed walking from row to row watching the corn roasting, seeing the metal basket go up and down in grease. The paper plates holding the funnel cakes covered in powdered sugar, chill cheese fries, twisted twirls of ice cream on waffle and sugar cones, pizza slices full of cheese and toppings, candy apples all red or caramel goo calling you over to the stands to take them home with you. The aroma draws you in and captures your attention, you just have to have it, whatever is your “Fair food” of choice.

The “Fair food” that stopped me in my tracks and made me and others do a double take was the Krispy Kreme Donut Burger with Sweet Potato Fries. Yes I said Krispy Kreme Donuts and burger in the same sentence. This oddity of combinations has quickly become a fair favorite for those who wish to dive in to the food dubbed the “Luther burger” after legendary R&B crooner the late great Luther Vandross. The burger is also known as the “cardiologist nightmare”, two grill hot Krispy Kreme donuts, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, melted cheese, and a homemade burger. I was told the burger was invented during a drunken escapade of hunger when two guys made burgers and had no buns so they substituted the donuts and the rest is history. I was skeptical at first, but after walking off my turkey ribs, fries, and roasted corn I had to see what this madness of Krispy Kreme donut burgers was all about. Linda and I decided to split a burger, I had already had fries but guys (Stacey and Adam) let me sample the vanilla and honey coated shoestrings fries. I have to admit the marriage of Krispy Kreme sweet and homemade tangy burger juices was great, the lettuce, tomatoes, pickle and onion blended in well. The Krispy Kreme donut burger was the finale and it put a perfect finish on another year at the Fair.

See the link below for an interesting story on the people known as “Carnies” and the city they live in and retire to once “fair life” is over for them. Thanks to Stacey at the Krispy Kreme stand for sharing the great back story.

In ‘Gibtown,’ Life Is A Carnival.

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