Yardstick

November 13, 2019

1st communion jpg

I went to a Catholic grade school. One of the most important things you do when you are in 2nd grade is study for your 1st communion.

Back in the day we had the Baltimore Catechism. To this day, I know many people whose faith has not grown beyond what they learned in the Baltimore Catechism….

You might remember some of the questions:

1….Who made us……God made us.

2…Who is God… God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

3…..Why did God make us…. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.

To make your 1st Communion you had to not only study the Baltimore Catechism, but you were constantly quizzed on the questions and you had better know the answers.

One thing about Catholic Schools in the 1950s…. we had nuns. They were real sticklers when it came to learning your Catechism.

“I would like you to go home tonight and review all these questions and tomorrow we will have a quiz.”

I went home that night….I studied and highlighted, took notes and went over the questions and answers multiple times. I was going to be ready and know all the answers.

The next day, in class the nun decided to have an oral quiz. I was in the 1st row and she started asking the 1st question to the 1st person in my row. The 2nd question went to the person in the 2nd seat.

I sensed, there is a pattern going on here… Now let me see. I am in seat number 7, that means I am going to get question number 7. What is that question? I know I know the answer. What was that question? Let me take a sneak peek in my book.

Ahhhh. Question 7

“Mister Hutchinson. Will you please come up here.”
Why did you open the book….”

I did not open the book.

I was caught red handed. There was no lying my way out of this one…

“Come here Mister Hutchinson…
Stick your hand out.”

Wow….What is going on…. What have I got myself into…

At this point, she reaches back and on the ledge of the chalk board is a yardstick…

Uh Oh…

“I said stick out your hand…”

I’m thinking….What are you going to do with that yardstick…

Crack….

Not only did she hit my hand with the yardstick…

The yardstick breaks.

The nun is very upset now…

“Now look what you done…
you are going to have to buy me a new yardstick.”

What…

Not only am I experiencing pain…now you are going to make me pay you for your infliction…

Is this some sort of Purgatory….

“You have to bring in $2.00 tomorrow so I can buy a new yardstick.”

I am thinking…

Well the yardstick wouldn’t have broken if you didn’t hit me with it.

Lying…Is that a venial sin…

Can I still make my 1st Holy Communion…

For those of you worrying…

Yes I did receive my 1st Communion and I went on to be an altar boy in later years…

Dominus Vobiscum…..Et cum spiritu tuo…

Timetables

October 30, 2019

timetables

People always compliment my math skills. What they don’t know is the story behind my wizardry.

In 5th grade I had Mr Costigan. If you ever acted up in Mr Costigan’s class, he would give you an assignment. Do the timetables 1-10…25 times and bring them in tomorrow. That was how my year started out.

Back then I always a little bit antsy…I had trouble sitting still in my seat. I was also nosey and I liked to talk…

“Mr Hutchinson….let’s pay attention back there.”

Well as the year progressed…so did the number of timetables I had to write…

“Mr Hutchinson…do the timetables 1-10…100 times and bring them to me tomorrow before class.”

It got to a point…. if I had any spare moments…even when I was not in trouble… I was writing timetables. I knew it was only a matter of time.

In fact, I had so many timetables in storage that I sold them to other less unfortunate students who met Mr Costigan’s wrath. You need 25 or 50 of them? Here I got plenty stashed. Just give me $.25 cents a page. I’m just gonna keep on writing anyway.

Well, I made it thru 5th grade and my math skills increased dramatically. Ask me a multiplication question and I knew the answer right off the top of my head.

Guess who I had the pleasure of teaching me in 7th grade….

Good Ole Mr Costigan…

“Mr Hutchinson…I see we can pick up right where we left off. You might as well just start writing…I know you are long overdue and probably missed me…”

What a sense of humor on that guy… You gotta love Mr Costigan.

So I began 7th grade…preoccupied with trying to get ahead of the curve. Mr Hutchinson please write the 1-10 timetables 100 times and bring them into me tomorrow. (He didn’t even start at 25, for I was a veteran. He went right to the 100 category). One time I reached into my school bag and said….”Here ya go….100 timetables”…He just laughed and said…. “better keep writing.”

Well, I did make it thru 7th grade and again my math skill increased dramatically.

Did I tell you I won the math award at 8th grade graduation?

And the math award for all around excellence in math goes to George Hutchinson.

I almost fell out of my seat.

Really…A math award….Thank you Mr Costigan…

The only thing constant in life is change…

Over the last couple of years, we have seen a lot of changes in the energy industry. We have seen companies leaving the state (not selling energy in PA…NJ anymore). We have seen companies sell their books in NY and NJ to another provider and leave the state.

Then we have providers involved in outright sales…Struggling companies or upstarts are being bought out by the bigger providers.

The one fallacy you will always hear when something like this happens is….

Everything will remain the same…

The transition will be seamless…

When I hear those words…you know it is time to worry…

Yes, there has been a lot of movement in the industry. And what we find as a result is….

Lack of continuity

People like to deal with people they know, feel comfortable with and can trust. Business is all about building relationships.

Our clients tell us they get a couple of calls a week from people trying to bird dog and sell them energy. To get their attention, they will say just about anything….

You are probably paying too much for your electric. We have a 5 cent rate that can really save you money.

I met with one prospect who proudly showed me their contract. Yep, the contract said 5 cents but it also stated the price did not include transmission cost, line loss and taxes. When we reviewed their current bill, the owner found out they were actually paying over $.14 cents per KWH.

They turned to me and said…

How could they do that…

Can I get out of this contract…

One of our clients recently received an email from a new broker stating…

Gas prices are at all-time lows through 2023 at the moment.

Our client bit the bait and sent it to me.

Can you call me about this…

Please be careful…

Many salespeople will say just about anything to get your attention. They are not looking to build a relationship. They are looking for a quick sale…

A hit and run.

The old bait and switch….

However, they fail to provide all the facts.

Chances are… if you try to contact them in a year or so to resolve an issue or discuss your renewal…..

They will be long gone.

At HBS…

Continuity is the most important thing we can offer. We pride ourselves on the relationships we have built over the last 20 years. Customer satisfaction has played a major role in the success of our company.

We are committed to providing the best solutions for our clients.

And as an added bonus…

We even service your account thru the length of the contract, and we will work with you during your renewal.

In Our Blood

June 24, 2019

margate beach

How many of you like going to the beach…

Our family has been going to the shore since 1956
I think our love for the beach…
Is in our blood

Growing up…
Our family would rent a house down the shore
For the month of August
Each weekend all the aunts…uncles and cousins
Would show up at the house and…
To see us all head for the beach
Probably looked like an invasion…

Here comes the Hutchinsons…

Umbrellas…chairs…blankets…kids…shovels and balls

Did I say kids….
There were 28 grandchildren
We stormed the beaches and…
Took over
There were Hutchinsons everywhere…

As we grew older and started having our own families
The tradition continued…
My Pop and Mom built a house
Designed to hold 6 children… their spouses
Plus 18 grandchildren

The people down the street once referred to our house as…
The orphanage
There was always so many kids running around

People often say…
History repeats itself

Just like when we were growing up
Every weekend…
All the siblings would head to the shore…

More…
Umbrellas…chairs…blankets…shovels and balls

As our children started to get older
We were fortunate enough…
To buy our own shore house

Our children were able to live my dream…
Spending the whole summer at the shore

It is our love for the shore
That sparked me to write my first book…

Beach Etiquette
https://beachetiquettebook.com/

Our beautiful beaches hold memories
For generations of vacationers and locals alike…

This book is a tribute to all who share the beaches…

With a little Beach Etiquette
We will preserve its’ beauty
And pay it forward…

Our book is available on Amazon
And makes a great gift to anyone who love the beach
https://beachetiquettebook.com/

Speaking about paying it forward
As I said earlier…
The Beach is in our families’ blood…

Our son Brenton has recently developed…

The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Beach Chair

He is another ocean child
Looking to aid the environment…

Introducing Low Tides Ocean Products
https://lowtidesop.com/

Each Lowtides chair is made with…
2.5 pounds of upcycled
Ocean bound plastics

With over 8 million tons of plastic flowing into our oceans each year,
Stopping the flow of waste into our oceans and upcycling the plastic
Can be the solution to cleaner tides.

Lowtides has just began a kickstarter campaign
To introduce their chairs to the general public

As part of their kickstarter campaign…

Lowtides is currently offering special pricing options
With up to 30-40% off

Their chairs are designed to be…
Durable…stylish…and ecofriendly

They are also making a children’s chair

We invite you to learn more about Lowtides Ocean Products

https://lowtidesop.com/

With your purchase and support…

You will help begin to…
Turn the tide on ocean pollution
Preserve its’ beauty
And pay it forward…

Going to the shore and hanging at the beach
Has always held a special place in my heart
Heading over the bridge
Smelling the salt air
Has always been special

You can sense a transformation…

The ocean calls us to be one
Allowing us to create memories
That will live on and be shared for a lifetime

Every Day is a Gift…

Thought for the Day

May 6, 2019

Thought for the day

I like to start each day reading…
An inspirational thought
It helps to provide a little guidance…
And continues to nudge me in the right direction

It can be so easy to get caught up in our daily routines…

Do you find yourself running around…
Constantly putting out fires…
Pulling you away from what you do best…

Being you…

How can we connect with the inner you…

Many of us are so busy being the person
Everyone wants us to be…
We do not have the time to be…
Who we really are…

We all have been blessed with a special talent
That is what makes us unique

Identifying that talent can be difficult

We are always told to look inside

What am I supposed to be looking for…

I close my eye and try to slow down
And my mind starts racing…

How do I try to slow down…

I start each day with an inspirational thought

They serve as a reinforcement…
And coaches me to stay on
The right path

They help to capture
How or what I am feeling at that moment
And many times…
They just bring a smile to my face

When I first started working after college
I had a great uncle who used to call me everyday

He would say…

“George…take out your day timer and write this down
Here is the word for the day”…

He would give me a word with its’ definition and say…

“OK…read it back to me”…

I always admired the fact
That he took time out of his day
To think of me…

I have been forever grateful

I have used the thought for the day
As my vehicle to grow

About 5 years ago
I started sending out my thought for the day

At first…
It was only sent to our children
Then I started sharing it with
Our nieces and nephews…

As my confidence grew…
I expanded it…
Sending it to friends and people I have known
Thru the years

I have received great feedback from sharing…

These thoughts…

People say…

Thank you for sending out your thought for the day
I look forward to it…
It normally makes me stop and think
And many times… I just smile

I saw your thought for the day and…
It came at a perfect time

I look forward to getting your thought for the day…
Do you mind if I share it with a friend…

Could you add my son and daughter to your…
Thought for the day…
I read it to them all the time

I have people thank me for my consistency
In sharing these thoughts
During the week

I have also had people say…

How many of these thoughts do you have…

I guess I can’t please everyone

I only know that each thought for the day
Has helped me to grow as an individual…

It continues to center me

Life is a journey and…
I am embracing each day

We are all blessed…

PS: Should you like to be included in my Thought for the Day email, just hit reply and I will be glad to send them to you.

The Hand of God

March 20, 2019

hand of God

I walked into a coffee house the other day
And saw a friend of mine
After chatting for a few minutes
He said…

I love your newsletters
Keep them coming
In fact I used one of your newsletters
To help support a conversation I had recently

I must say
I was surprised yet humbled…

Several years ago a close friend told me…

God is where your shadow falls…

Without realizing it…

We are always touching people…
Making an impression with
The things we say…
The things we do…

My Pop used to say…

Be careful…
People see you before they hear you
You only get one chance to make
A good first impression

I have always carried those words to heart

We happen to take so much of what we do
For granted…

Have you ever been feeling low….
And someone took the time to…
Just listen…
Possibly offer words of encouragement

Have you ever needed a helping hand…
And someone turns up and says…
How can I help you

Have you received a call
From an old friend or acquaintance…
Hey…How are you doing
I was just thinking of you
I wanted to touch base and
See how you are

Listening
Sharing
Giving of yourself
Service to others

This is the hand of God in motion
We are blessed…
To be able to bring it to others

Thank you Jay for the kind words…

Every Day is a Gift…..

Check out the link to our new book…

Beach Etiquette

Available on Amazon
https://beachetiquettebook.com/

A perfect gift for family and friends ….

Thank you for your referrals

In The Moment

January 4, 2019

in the moment

I hope you had a nice holiday….

It seems like a lot of planning goes into
The Christmas celebrations and then…
In a blink of an eye
The holidays slip by…

Our family was able to get together a few times
During the holiday season

I found myself eating…
Way too much and thinking…

All the time I put toward healthy eating
Trying to maintain my weight all year
Just… went out the window

I hid my scale…

I think I will start dieting tomorrow…

Now it is back to reality…

2019 kicks off and I am excited about…
The possibilities

For the last 35+ years
I start each year
By going on a retreat

I approach each retreat with
No expectations…

However….I find Malvern has always been
A humbling experience

Our lives are so fast paced
We find ourselves running in 10 different directions
Constantly putting out fires

Our minds are racing…
We are thinking about….

What just happened and….
What are we going to do next…

What happens to the time in the middle of…
What just happened….and what to do next…

It is called…The Present

I think John Lennon said it best…

Life is what happens
While we are busy making other plans

While at Malvern
I pray to slow down…

Help me to appreciate
The moment

I force myself
To take time and
Look at the gifts
I have been blessed with

Then I ask myself…

Am I using these gifts
To the best of my ability…

That is always the toughest question to answer
We may beat ourselves up at times
But we make it easy to give ourselves a pass

However…
This is a very important question…

My life question…

What am I doing with the gifts I have been given…

Malvern gives me the time to reflect on…
What is my life’s purpose…

I pray for the grace…
To help me to be present
In every moment

And…

To use these gifts
To the best of my ability

We Have a Choice

December 6, 2018

Courtesy

An article caught my eye recently

A high school football coach

Suspended his entire team

After the school’s guidance counselor alerted him

Of an online bullying incident

Involving some of the players

The coach couldn’t be sure

Which players were responsible

Since the site allows users to

Remain anonymous

So…. he suspended all the players

At that point…

The coach outlined

A community outreach program

That would allow the student-athletes

To earn their jerseys back

The coach went on to say….

“Good character is more to be praised
Than outstanding talent…

Most talents are, to some extent, a gift…
Good character, by contrast, is not given to us.
We have to build it…piece-by-piece…

By thought…By choice…Courage… and Determination.”

This coach showed

Great leadership and character…

Handling this incident

I am thankful for the years I participated in sports

We had great coaches over the years

Who taught me great discipline and humility…

I have seen many individuals

Blessed with great talents

Come and go…

They were expecting…

Not accepting

Humility…is accepting these talents

As a gift…

Using them to make the people around you better

A good friend shared the below saying

After they read one of my newsletters

I think it ties in perfectly…

Thoughts become words

Words become actions

Actions become habits

Habits become character

Character is everything

Every Day is a Gift…..

Christmas is upon us…

We may have the perfect present to decorate the coffee table

Help your friends or love ones brush up on their Beach Etiquette…

Check out the link to my new book…

Beach Etiquette

Available on Amazon and selected stores in the area.

https://beachetiquettebook.com/

We find ways to save you money…

Thank you for your referrals

Blossomed

October 22, 2018

better life

I received news the other day
That one of our aunts died…
Good ole Aunt Joe
She was one of my father’s sisters

I have a lot of fond memories of her
While we were growing up

She was a great lady
Always smiling…
A quick wit
Loved her family
Loved my dad

She would always say…

I was his baby sister
Until Boots came along

It got me thinking…

We shared so many memories with…
Our parents…Grandparents…
Aunts and Uncles
While we were growing up
But we knew so little about them

Thinking back
I remember all of us getting together…
Family holidays…Family parties
Trips to the shore

Everyone was….
Laughing…Teasing…Taunting each other
Just like all siblings do

You could feel the love they all had for each other

Yet…when they were on their own
They became very private

My sister Mo was speaking with our Dad
Several years before he passed away

She said…

I have known you my whole life
But I find I don’t even know you

Do you mind if I ask you some questions
About your life growing up

His response…

No real personal ones…

That answer stopped her in her tracks…
She hesitated to proceed

Today…Things are different
People are living their lives…
All over facebook…

I am eating dinner at….
I just went for a bike ride thru…
Can’t wait to go to…
The conversations go on and on…

I worked with my Pop
For 25 years
He was a great inspiration
And a mentor…

Yet I find…
I knew very little about
The influences
That made him the man
We all admired

Growing up
Living thru the depression
Fighting in World War II

Those issues
May that have silenced him
As it silenced others…

Those experiences
May have also drove him
As it drove others

Their whole generation
Came out of the depression
Came out of the war
With a vision to…

Never let that happen again

Working to establish a career
Wanting to provide for their family

Never let that happen again

With this attitude…
Many went on to
Exceed their expectations

Many did find the American Dream

The United States grew as a nation and…

Blossomed

May we all learn from the example they set

The Magic Bank Account

July 27, 2018

Magic bank account

Recently, a friend reached out to me and sent the below message. Thank you, John, for thinking of me. I would like to share it with you…

George, This is you!

John

THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN.   IT WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD OF
COACH PAUL BEAR BRYANT, ALABAMA, AFTER HE DIED IN 1982.

The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the Following *PRIZE* in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 In your private account
for your use…..
However, this prize has Rules:
The set of Rules:

1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from
you.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.

3. You may only spend It.

4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another
$86,400 for that Day.

5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say,

Game Over!” It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right?  Not only
for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for.  Even for
people you don’t know because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on
yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew
it would be replenished in the morning, right?

ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL…   Shocked ???
YES!

Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see
it.

The PRIZE is *TIME*

1. Each morning we awaken to Receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of Life.

2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us.

3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.

4. Yesterday is forever gone.

5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your
account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.
Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because
time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be Happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day…
Start spending….

“DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD!”

SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE!

 

Every Day is a Gift