On waterways


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Motivational Monday

Mondays are difficult days. It’s not easy to come back to work after weekends.

Pictures below shot to motivate everybody.

Please look at them, meditate on them and start your working week with great pleasure.

Best to you!
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We live many lives

One week after I started this blog I published a post “We live many lives”. Today I decided to copy it here because it is a central post to my understanding of life and pursuit of happiness.

I want to stress that life always requires to make risky choices. When you decide to marry or not to marry it is one of the riskiest choices in your life.

I also want to stress one sentence in the post below:

“a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!”
  • ” Man is born to be happy as a bird is born to fly”.

                                                         V. Korolenko

First of all, what is life?

There are different definitions of it.

Here are some of them:

-sequences of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual

– spiritual existence transcending physical death

– the period from birth to death
– a specific phase of earthly existence. 

It’s easy to see that they have different meaning and some of
them are contradictory.
If life is “the period from birth to death” how can it also be “spiritual existence transcending physical death”?
If life is “a specific phase of earthly existence” it definitely means
that all of us live many lives.
My memory keeps happy days of childhood in Odessa (Ukraine),
a beautiful port city.
June 22 was my mother’s birthday and has always been a very
joyful  day for my family.
However, on June 22 1941 Germany attacked the USSR and
a terrible war started. My happy first life ended that day.
I also remember my life in Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan), It was
so different from my first life. New city, new people, new language.
My father was in the army,  my mother worked in the hospital in
another city and I lived with my grandparents in a tiny room with a clay
floor. There was too little food, we were lacking many necessities
but  my grandparents loved me very much and l loved going to school.
We had wonderful teachers, real professionals who loved their
Then there was a life in Moscow where I graduated from college, met my
wonderful wife and we started our family.
That life was very difficult too.
We lived in the totalitarian country where people could disappear at any
moment. My wife did not know her father. He was arrested and
executed a month before she was born.  28 years later my mother-in-law
received an official letter that he was innocent.
Three of us lived in a small apartment with three other families.
There was only a big sofa in our room, so my mother-in-law
had to go to sleep to her sister who lived nearby..
My wife was a designer and I worked on my dissertation at that
time and our love, our interesting work, love of our relatives and
friends made us happy.
A year after our marriage our son was born.
He had to sleep in the crib on the wide windowsill as there was no
other place for him in our room.
Our dream was also to have a girl. But first we needed  a better
place for our family,
So we worked very hard for years. Besides working in research I
wrote books. We saved money and realized our dream by buying a  nice
two bedroom apartment. And we were happy to live there with our
two children.(a boy and a girl).
Yes, a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!.
Every person must grow mentally and spiritually. And with the growth new
goals come.
We were happy to live in our new apartment. Both of us were successful in
our careers. We lived in the center of Moscow and had many friends,
But gradually we came to understanding that it was our duty to leave the
USSR, to bring our children into the free world and to experience freedom
of a democratic society.
We made a very risky choice to apply for a permission to emigrate.
Nobody knew if the permission would be granted. We had to resign from
our jobs and to keep our children at home.
We were lucky to get a permission to emigrate after waiting for
five months.  In February of 1975 we left the Soviet Union and then
a new cycle of lives in USA started.

My painting #13

A man with a shovel

I know that many bloggers have only seconds to look at a post.

However, I want to share with you a video below.

Please look at the man, at .his eyes, at results of his efforts.

I am very impressed!

He found his path, he followed it for years.

It was not easy but he was happy.

Is not it what everyone wants?

What’s your opinion?


Below are my pictures for Nancy Merrill’s “A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE: VIEW”.










What is excess? What is justice? Should we all try to succeed and to become rich or should we solve all problems only by increasing taxes? What is too much and too little? Please read my thoughts in the old post in the writing challenge and don’t miss facts about rich people in the post.


“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little”. – Edna Ferber

Do you agree with this statement on excess?

First of all, with all due respect to Edna Ferber, who was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright, I believe that the quote above is very bad from many points of view.

Words “too much” and “too little” are not applicable to many things. For example, it can’t be too little ocean, too much beauty or too little children.

It also can’t be too little criminals or too many competent people in the government.

In general, “too little” and “too much” are subjective terms. In my country many people believe that $10 per hour for their work is too little. In some countries it is “too much”.

Too little of pain is better than too much pain.

If too little people can hack in your bank…

View original post 197 more words

One family’s kingdom

There are many hundreds of two-stories sections in the area where we live.

The photo below shows the one that is about 100 metres from our apartment house.

I love this one family’s beautiful kingdom. I am sorry that I am unable to show you a tiny stream with waterfalls among greenery as it’s not running at the moment.

We build families, kingdoms, beauty, happiness.

Surely, our lives have sense!


ONE FAMILY’S KINGDOM                                                                            by JF

Why do I love Pocono Manor?

You already saw many photos of Pocono Manor’s houses, views and animals here.

Is it possible to love a place so much to return to it for many years?

Believe me it is.

It is possible if you can walk to the Pocono Manor Inn every morning and see a view like this one:


A MORNING VIEW                                                                                                             by JF

It is possible if you can enter the Pocono Manor Inn and take the photo below (it is my hat on the chair).


INSIDE THE INN                                                                                                         by JF

It is possible if you enjoy two paintings below:


PAINTING IN THE INN                                                                                                 by JF



PAINTING IN THE INN                                                                                             by JF

It is possible if you can go in the library (usually there is nobody there) and find many precious books of long forgotten wonderful authors.

Add to all these reasons sweet memories of wonderful times here with family and friends.

I am sure that you understand that my love to this place grows with each year.


I started this blog on 10/03/2013. At that time I had no idea where it will go. I only knew that I was close to 80 and so I chose the name of the blog “closetoeighty”.

In the beginning of November I published the post below, then I published many other posts about happiness and pursuit of happiness. I am going to combine them later on a separate page.

In the meantime I decided to reblog this post.

After I became 80 I decided to change the name of the blog to “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”. All people want to be happy. However, I am convinced that it is impossible to be happy without pursuing happiness.

A treasure hunt?

I am learning to use a digital camera. I already learned how to take photos, how to remove them from a camera, how to transfer them to my PC. Yesterday night my youngest grandson helped me to recharge a battery of my camera.

I am using Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS. It is tiny and it feels very good in my pocket.

After many years of not taking pictures (15 or 20) I enjoy learning photography again using new kind of camera.

Below is my second digital picture.



My painting #13.

Dear friends,

I’ll have to stop blogging for some time.

Today I show you my painting #13. I made it using paint program on PC.

You’ll have enough time to comment.

Best wishes!


We build our worlds!

This morning I found a post with a photo that I liked very much.

You can see the post below.


The post is properly categorized and tagged. There is Absence and Emptiness in the photo. It is definitely black-and-white. It is fine art. It is easy to see mystery there too. There is also beauty there.

However, I can’t agree with the title of the post.

I believe that from early childhood we must start building our own worlds.

We must understand ourselves, choose our priorities, take risks, work hard and build our own personal wonderful worlds.

We are born to enjoy life!

It is our major task to create happiness where we are!






Life is the best motivator!

There are many good motivational blogs in the WordPress blogosphere. They are well written and many of them contain beautiful uplifting photos and wise quotes of famous people.

However, I believe that life is the best motivator.

Let me share with you our experience.

My wife and I came in the USA in 1975 with two children. My wife did not know English at all. I believed that I knew English as in the USSR I translated many scientific papers and was able to communicate with foreigners in English. However, my first days in New York were terrible. I could not understand people and people could not understand me.

What did we do?

I found a job as a cutter in a tie factory. I worked 8 hours daily and spent 4 hours to go to work and back. There were 4-5 hours for sleep. All remaining hours I read books by Irving Shaw, The New York Times and watched news on TV. In six months my English improved drastically. Then I was able to find a better job.

During those six months my wife attended English classes and then she found a job as a clerk.

Our jobs were not interesting for us (my wife was a designer of the textile machinery in the USSR and I was a scientist) and our salaries were very low.

We had to learn new occupations. After work I went to Queens College and in two years got a BS in accounting. Then I got a job as an accountant in a publishing company..

My wife took a course of designing pipes for nuclear power stations. After graduation she found a very good job as a technician.

Our life improved drastically. We were happy to earn enough money for living and have more time for loving our children, for our friends, for enjoying life.

Our happy life did not last long. In three years almost at the same time we lost our jobs.

Then a new difficult and exciting phase of our life started.

Life is the best motivator!