Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In the Bosom of Hickory Creek

Nothing exciting going on today, so I'll dig into my mind for something to write. If you choose to read on, brace yourself. I'm not sure what's coming out or which end it's coming from.

He thought back to the first time he remembered Her. He was about two or three, playing on Her banks. He leaned over and reached for a cotton top from a dandelion that was floating near the shore. The next thing he could recall was his father picking him out of the water, laughing and squeezing the water out of his clothes. He thought it a bit funny that he could remember that time and so many others now, but the names of his children sometimes escaped him when they came to visit, which hadn't been for... how long? He'd forgotten when they had last taken time from their busy lives to come and see their mostly paralyzed father. Embarrassed most likely, that they couldn't understand him when he tried to talk. Embarrassed by the tears that streamed down his face out of the frustration. He had waited so long to tell them things. He'd always thought there would be time later for such things, personal things that he found so hard to communicate. Now time had run out, thanks to the blood clot that had, in the blink of an eye, turned him from a strong, able bodied sixty-six year old man into a denizen of this rest home full of old, smelly, senile people. He had kept up the faith that any day now he would start moving around, walking and talking as before and be back home where he ought to be. But as the weeks turned into months, and months turned into years he realized that his fate would be to rot behind these walls, just another despondent figure among so many others. An ironic torture was that this place sat right on Her banks, a wire fence separating him from Her touch, Her world.

Hickory Creek had been his playground. The creek itself was a small river, not much different from others, but what made her special was her soul. She was the master of everything from the top of the hill on one side to the top on the other side. Every creature that walked her shore or drank her waters paid proper reverence, for she could lash out with torrents to destroy or she could hold back her life-giving waters. She seemed to command, at will, the springs which fed her body. She had been generous to him when he was a young man, letting him hunt and fish, climb her rugged hills, showing him the treasures she guarded and only shared with those who had a worthy heart. Once when he had to take refuge under a rock outcropping during a thunderstorm She had let him find a diary, right there under that very rock, of a young girl who had been an escaped slave. Another time, when Her course had changed because of a new beaver dam, he found a perfectly good canoe, caught in some rocks which had created a powerful undertow before the current shifted. The creek and her domain had always been there for him right up to the time when his country told him he had to put a rifle in his hands and defend freedom in a foreign land. When his time in the service came to an end he had been enticed to take employment in the big city, far away from Her. He made a life in the city for many years, but for the last few he had longed to come back and see Her again. He had mentioned Her briefly to his children when the subject of his childhood came up, but his children seemed not to fathom the depth to which She had ingrained his soul, so he would save talk of Her until they were mature enough to understand. It would be one of those special moments when a parent shows his complete being to his children and they see him not as a parent but, perhaps for the first time, see him as an individual with dreams and aspirations. Well, that talk kept getting put off and soon he found himself at retirement age, with plans to nestle himself in Her arms for his remaining years. Real life intervened, however, as the real estate market wasn't favorable for his plans and he could find nowhere in Her lush valley to call his own, settling instead several miles away. Maybe She felt he had betrayed Her, leaving for so long, and had not allowed him entrance to her rich empire. Maybe She thought the city had driven the boy from his heart and this man would be but a trespasser on her soothing current. Whatever the reason, he felt sure that one day again he would allowed back into the wonderful realm of Hickory Creek.

Now, here he sat, a useless lump of flesh staring through the fence at the one place which he knew in his heart was where he wanted to spend his last days. As the cool afternoon breeze made its way across the expansive patio where he was allowed to park his wheelchair he saw the trees swaying, heard the water gurgling, and caught the scent of the nearby Hickory trees and it dawned on him that maybe this wasn't such a terrible fate after all. Maybe She had let him return after all.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cup of Soup and a Box of Ammo

If you decide to come and visit Ohio this week, don't. Today is the first day of gun season for deer hunting. Living in a rural area like this one, we only get to see rush-hour traffic coming into the area one time of the year, and this is it. In this case rush hour is from 4 A.M. to about 6, as people from the big cities up north make their way down here to do a lot of drinking and shooting.

I've always been on the borderline in my opinion of deer hunting. I'm not totally against hunting them for meat, but so many people go into the woods for a chance just to kill something and call it a sport. I see it as a cruel ritual. When six or seven guys are yelling and making a lot of noise to herd the deer toward other fifteen other guys waiting to shoot them I see no sport at all. My son went out this morning with a large group of hunters. My wife commented that if they only get a couple of deer that he wouldn't get much of the meat. He said that most of the guys don't even want any, they just want to shoot something. I know that I'm in the minority in my thinking, but I just can't believe that the community could welcome all the chaos each year. Sure, the convenience stores and gas stations benefit from additional sales, but there are quite a few women's groups who host a "hunter's breakfast" or a soup kitchen where they can go and get a hot meal served to them... free. This might have been an excellent idea way back when men went out and hunted so their families would have food for the long winter, but personally I would take offense if my wife wanted to donate her time and her food so that a businessman from Akron can pull up in his Hummer and get some breakfast before tramping over a farmer's fence and shooting his horse in the excitement of seeing something moving in the field.

My views on the mass charge into the woods by the armed swarm probably were formed when, as a youngster growing up in the country, I would witness hoards of people going across our property, ignoring the signs we put up telling them they couldn't hunt there, climbing over and breaking down our fences, and generally making it unsafe to step foot out the door. We had our house hit one year by a stray shotgun slug that hit the outside wall near my parents' bedroom while my mom was in the room.
I'd just like to see a little civility brought to the season, but I'm sure nothing will change anytime soon. So if you do decide to come and visit me soon...don't wear your reindeer costume.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Good Guys vs. Bad guys

A few years ago one of the Cleveland tv stations started showing reruns of The Fugitive, the 60's tv series that was so popular back then. I started watching and soon found myself drawn into each show. I had seen the show when I was a kid but I was too young to pay a lot of attention to it. I rediscovered it and found out why it was such a huge hit... good acting and a great plot for each show which built on the underlying storyline of an innocent man trying to clear himself.
More recently I've found another oldie that I watch as often as I can - Gunsmoke. I can see why it was the longest running series for a long time. Great acting and great writing.
I'm also taking a look at some of the older movies I never paid attention to. I think the thing that made those old shows and movies so good was simplicity. There weren't a lot of subplots and hard-to-follow jumping around. They told a story which was pretty straightforward and put a lot of action and suspense in it without the audience having to do a lot of thinking to try and keep up with what was going on. And of course almost all of them were able to be viewed by all family members without a rating popping up in the corner of the screen. I guess that's why I find myself drawn to those old shows... I have a fairly simple mind and watching those shows once in awhile is a refreshing change from some of the nonsense that has infiltrated the boob tube.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Post-Thanksgiving Happenings

Today was not really my day, but first about yesterday - the Friday after turkey day. We had a family get-together at my sister's which was really nice. My one sister who lives in Pennsylvania came with her family. She only makes it back once or twice a year, so we always have some sort of shindig when she gets here. It was also a rare occasion that all nine of us kids made it and were there at the same time. I don't think anyone was counting, but there were probably between 60 - 80 people that showed up. There were quite a few who didn't make it, so I guess if everyone had shown up there would have been over 100. Our family just keeps on growing.
Today was another great looking day... warm with lots of sunshine. I went out to the land to put up some "No Hunting" signs. The very first sign I was stapling to a piece of cardboard and put a staple into my finger. It started bleeding pretty bad from the two holes the staple made. I got it bandaged up and started up the hill. Part way up I felt all the turkey and trimmings starting to take their toll, as I was huffing and puffing and my heart was racing. I figured I would keep on walking and I'd either drop dead of a heart attack or work a few calories off. I don't think I dropped dead, so maybe I got a little exercise. After that I had to take my youngest to a scout thingy, then headed back out to the land to do some more work. I was standing on part of a wall of the house that is mostly fallen down and my feet slid out from under me. Not wanting to fall into the basement, because I might never get out, I grabbed onto the edge of the window. Even as I was reaching for it I knew it was going to have a nail sticking out... it did. I pulled my hand up and it was dripping blood from a big ripped-out piece of skin. I bandaged that finger up and went about my business, which was burning some leaves and other things. Just as it was getting dark a truck turned and pulled up the hill onto the property. I didn't know who it was, and there was nobody else around, so I was a little nervous, especially since my rifle was in the trunk of the car. It turned out he lived closeby and knew the land I'd bought pretty well, telling me a few things about when they had strip mined the land.
I guess it wasn't that bad of a day after all. Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday night!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Let Me Do The Shopping Honey

There are some men who only go into the grocery store a couple of times in their life, as buying the food is "woman's work" to them. They can always be spotted, and frequently are in need of assistance because... they just can't find the frozen peas. Hmm you'd think they'd be right here in the wine section, right? Often they'll complain about things as they march confidently down each aisle, sure that they know exactly what they're getting and how much it should be. Since they haven't seen the inside of a store since the Carter Administration, they naturally are outraged to see where their hard-earned dollars are going every time the wife goes to town. "Hell, you gotta be kiddin me, $1.25 for a carton of eggs!!? I used to go to Berni's and get em for 29 cents." Um, sure but Berni's has been closed for fifteen years dude... And they always have to voice their opinion on "new" products... "Well by golly there really IS such a thing as frozen pizza." And of course we, the store management, are always trying to confuse them... on purpose... to amuse ourselves. "You people are always moving stuff so I never know where it is! The pudding used to be over there in the other aisle and the coffee was up by the bread! This is the last time I come to this store if you keep pulling that shit!" We'll sure miss ya buddy, and by the way, that stuff's been in the same place since the store was opened. Maybe you're in the wrong store, eh? But the infrequent guy-shopper is also welcome at times because some of them just enjoy piling their cart full, heedless to the mounting cost... not sure if they've gotten enough of the $5/lb. butter( that girl on the label is so cute that it must be the best), so throw a few more in there.

I'm really tired after a long day and I'll probably look at this tomorrow and wonder what the heck I was trying to write, and why.... oh well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's.... Santa?

When Super K-Mart opened some years ago my wife and I went late at night to do some Christmas shopping. There weren't many people there at that time, being past ten o'clock if I recall correctly. As we swung into the back aisle of the store I saw an unusual sight at the far end of the store, coming down the aisle toward us. It was a man on stilts, wearing a santa suit. Now ordinarily you'd expect to see santa being mobbed by children, but at this time of the night, and I think the weather was bad too so not many people out, there was no one around him at all. As he got closer to us something just wasn't right. He wasn't walking as if on stilts. I briefly thought there were two people, one on the other's shoulders, wearing one suit. However, as he walked by us and said "Hello" I realized this was definately not the jolly St. Nick in most of the pictures you see, for he was the skinniest, tallest elf I'd ever seen, and though not unfriendly, he looked uncomfortable being Santa Claus. I later found out that he was 7'6" and doing some sort of promotion as part of the grand opening of that store.
It's just the sort of thing you see late at night when you're half asleep.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Vacation Story

One year, shortly after my father had retired, he and mom decided to take a rare vacation together. Since there had been nine kids in the family it wasn't often that they got time to themselves, but now all the kids had grown and it was just my two sisters and me at home so they had a chance to get away for a week. My sister had a new van that she let them use, which was good because dad never had a new car and the ones he had were frequently at risk of breaking down. I'm not sure where the went, exactly, but it was out west somewhere. They got back late at night and mom told me something that had happened-or almost happened-to them. They were at a rest stop in Iowa having a picnic lunch when a man walked up to them and started talking. Mom said he was dressed nicely and had a southern drawl that she always loved. At one point he ask if that was their van, and she said it was. He then said "We're gonna take a ride". Mom froze, petrified because she knew he wanted the van for...whatever reason. My father, who was hard of hearing, still sat eating as he hadn't heard what was said. The guy repeated himself and dad heard, but didn't comprehend what was taking place, and said something like "No, we're going to finish eating". The guy then told them to get up and walk to the van. Mom thought maybe he had a gun in his pocket, and was naturally terrified. Dad now caught on and, being the stubborn person he was, grabbed a butter knife and stood up, saying"No we aren't. We're not going anywhere!". Mom said the guy looked confused and scared then, and ran off, getting in his car and leaving. They stopped a state trooper a little ways down the road from the rest stop and told him what happened. He took off in the direction the guy went, and shortly thereafter several more patrol cars passed them with sirens and lights going. They never did find out who the guy was, or what became of him. Mom said he probably saw them sitting there and thought they would be an easy target, two old people with a new van. But...He made the mistake of misjudging my father.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nature Connection

First of all...BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!
In case you were off the planet for the day Ohio State beat Michigan in a great football game, the hardest win all season, and with good reason, Michigan has a super team. Way to go O.S.U. !

Earlier in the day I went out to the land and walked to the top of the hill. I stood there for a while and spooked a deer out of hiding. It went over the fence and on across the hill. I walked around for a little bit, checking things out because I'd only been to the other side of the hill a couple of times. I had to keep reminding myself that this was my land I was standing on, because I kept feeling like I was trespassing. Probably because I never go to that side. Anyway, I sat down on a large rock and was just enjoying the woods when I saw movement to my right. A small doe came through the brush and wandered toward me, looking at me from time to time. She laid down about 20 feet from me, just glancing over my way now and then. Not far behind her came a large buck, a six pointer, in no hurry, just rooting through the leaves for something to eat. They both eventually strolled on down the hill. It was really neat that I could sit there and exchange looks with them, with me full view, and not have them bolt off. Maybe they sensed I was no threat to them... or maybe they liked my cologne.... either way it made my day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

THE Game

Well, tomorrow is THE day. If you don't know what day I'm talking about then you obviously aren't from Ohio or Michigan or else you'd know that it's the most anticipated day of the year, even outranking Free Beer Day. Of course I'm talking about the Ohio State/Michigan College football game which is the most important game every year to fans of either team. I'm not going to say much about it because you can't help hearing about it from everyone else. I know I'll be watching the game, despite any plans (haha) my wife has for me.

In other news, I was pleasantly surprised to see a newspaper article on a former co-worker when I opened the paper today. Ashley had been a cashier at the store where I work, and is always so nice and friendly with such a sincere, wonderful smile. One year for Halloween she dressed as a farm girl with a straw hat and bibs and it was absolutely amazing how stunning she looked wearing those old clothes. I thought right then that she would make a great model. The article in the paper today was about her being on tv in a show and hoping to become a wardrobe stylist. It's nice when you see people like her getting ahead in life!

Monday, November 13, 2006

All As It's Meant To Be

When my wife and I had been married for about three months she became pregnant. It was news that was a positive in a time of much sadness and confusion in my family that summer. Everyone was happy for us, and of course we were both excited about becoming parents, picking out names and making plans. It was an event that got us more focused on the future, even though we didn't know it at the time. The happiness we felt was short-lived, however, as my wife miscarried and lost the baby. It was very hard for us because we had directed so much of our hopes into having a child, and now it seemed like the world was crashing in on us. In an unexplainable way, we had connected with the unborn child and it was a very real death for us, weighing heavily on our hearts. Less than a year later she was pregnant again and the excitement started all over for us. We still had worries, but when she had made it through the first trimester we relaxed a little bit, and eventually our son was born (not before a lot of tense moments while she was giving birth, but that's another story).
The years have gone by and the family has grown with the addition of two more sons, and we all have settled into one mostly-happy family. There have been quite a few times, however, when we will sit down together to eat, or will be doing something as a family, and there is a feeling that we're missing someone. I think that feeling comes from the child we lost. Even though we never even knew it's sex, it stamped its existence on our hearts without us ever seeing it, and it's death left a void that's lasted all these years.

Though it was a hard time to go through, I believe that the miscarriage was one of those things that was pre-destined in order to help us grow and mature into adults. There have been a few more of those kinds of events in our life, and I'm sure that there is a plan in place by the Creator for more of them, but that one came to mind today, 22 years after it happened.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Rifleman

My oldest son opted to go to a career center his last two years of high school and took Law Enforcement with the hope of going on to the police academy one day, then joining the police force. They did a lot of target practicing his second year and he always scored highest in his class. He hasn't gone on to the academy yet, but his love of shooting has grown. Last year when he went to New Orleans to clean up after Katrina he earned a good bit of money and spent most of it building up a small arsenal. He's always asking me about a certain rifle or type of ammo and I found out that I don't know as much about firearms as I thought I did. Luckily, the internet provides almost all the answers to questions like; "Is $700 a good price for an M-1 Garand?" or "Where can I find a stock for my .30-06 Springfield?", and "Why aren't these 8mm tracer rounds as accurate as regular shells?". Thank you Google, for making me look like a genius.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Many Miles Away

I sat on the hood of my car, watching the sun start to peek over the treetops and listening to the birds start their day with a song or two. As the sun got higher in the October morning sky it started to become obscured by the fog descending from above and settling on the stillness of the lake in front of me. Back home, miles away, I knew my wife and kids would still be asleep, not knowing I had departed to start my new life under cover of darkness. Sitting there watching the calm water give way to slight ripples as a cool breeze blew from the far end of the lake I wondered where I'd be tomorrow at this time. Or next week. Would I be sitting on the shore of a mountain lake in Montana? Or listening to the morning sounds of a large city awakening from a motel room in St. Louis. It was all so exciting, this adventure that I'd embarked upon with no concrete plans as to direction or means. A carefree life from now on, that was my dream, and it had taken me twenty years to find the courage to start living it. No more worries about picking up after kids. No wife nagging when things didn't get done. No bills piling up so high that there was little chance of ever getting out of debt. I was going to be my own boss, maybe settle someplace out west and find a good-paying job so I could send some back to my family. It wouldn't be right not to. Maybe find a nice woman, someone who could put up with my idiosyncrasies like my wife has for all these years. Do the things I loved to do but never had much time to do them, like fishing and camping. The life that I'd built over the last twenty years or so, my daily routine, my job, friends, were all going to be things from my left-behind past as I started that first day of independence. I briefly thought of the list of things to do that I'd left back home, little household fix & repair things that needed done. I wouldn't have to worry about that list anymore. Those things wouldn't get done, but that wasn't my problem now. I was soon going to be celebrating the upcoming holidays in a different state, a different time zone, maybe even a different country. Someplace fun. With no worries of trying to figure out schedules for dinners, times to visit family, no need bothering to make those dreaded last-minute -Christmas -present buying runs. I'd be relaxing by myself when that time rolled around. No more hassle, no more family, no Yes, I had to admit to myself that there were those precious few times when our family joined as one and we all felt the comfort of each other's presence. It was worth putting up with all the trouble of the holidays just to have that one day. But I didn't need that from now on. A line was going across the lake, leaving a small wake as it came closer to the shore near me. I saw that it was a snake swimming toward the rocks, probably where it called home. I didn't think I'd ever seen a snake out this late in the year. Besides me, it was the only other living thing at the lake that day. I unconciously fingered my wedding ring, a habit I'd had for years. Staring at it for a while I thought of our wedding day. There had been so much promise for those two young people just starting out, but over the years the marriage had deteriorated into.... boredom..? No, maybe just a little bit of boredom, but I really couldn't complain. As our family had grown, the weight of responsibility I felt kept pressing me into the same routine, molding me into a shape that I didn't envision when my first child was born. That was the beginning to the end of my carefree life... Wasn't it? I loved all my children and wanted to be the responsible parent, right? But now I was here, sitting at the edge of a lake, ready to end all those responsibilities for a chance at.... what?
It was time to get going. I started the car and slowly drove down the gravel road that parallelled the lake, taking a long, last look at the serene setting where I'd just spent the past few hours. At the end of the gravel road I looked to the left, the way I'd come, the direction of home, then to the right. That was the direction of my new, different, exciting life, just waiting for me to venture into it. I knew which direction my destiny lay, and I left my fleeting thoughts of a new life where they'd been all along, many miles away.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Sometimes when I have the time I search the internet for the.... unusual. To be more specific, articles on things that baffle people and have no explanation. For example, I read of coal miners who broke open a large chunk of coal and found a copper pot inside, dated to millions of years before man supposedly walked the earth. Several models of airplanes have been found in places they didn't belong, like an Egyptian tomb, or in Central America, dating to over a thousand years old. Ancient texts from India describe vehicles that fly, and even described anti-gravity machines that, by description, would resemble flying saucers.
Many myths and legends exist that have been passed down for hundreds or thousands of years, and even though most people dismiss them as nothing more than stories, I'm not totally against the possibility that things like ancient, advanced civilizations once existed long before us. When people start talking about the evolution of the human race there are huge time gaps which are unaccounted for. Who's to say that advanced peoples could not have prospered within those periods? If you look at our world today, we came from stones and clubs to modern technology in about five thousand years. What could ancient man have done in a span of fifty thousand years? Several different peoples could have advanced and been prominent, even to the extent of creating a more advanced society than we have now. Then why is there no proof? Why didn't they survive to the present day? Probably simple. The same problems would have plagued them that plague us today. War, depletion of natural resources, apathy and complacency. Or a global catastrophe. We all have heard of the Great Flood which destroyed the Earth, but the Mayans (or maybe it was the Inca) tell of nine different events that devastated the planet. So there are many reasons that no proof exists of ancient people. I just think it's an exciting possibility that somewhere, someday, something will come to light of these mysteries. I just hope I'm still around when it happens.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Photographs and Memories

Memories are like things that are crammed into a cupboard, put away along with a ton of other things that you forget about. Once in awhile you dig in there to get something out and all the contents come crashing on top of you. So it was for me last night when I heard the title song by Jim Croce, which opened the door to my cupboard.

June, 1984, was the most eventful and emotional time of my life. The time was rapidly approaching when I was to be married, on the 16th. Lots of last minute planning and change of plans were taking place in preparation for that event. My younger sister had her wedding planned for two weeks after mine, so our household was a hub of activity. My father had just gotten out of the hospital after being in for a few days with a heart condition, if I remember correctly, and my older sisters were spending a lot of time at the house helping out. On the night of the 8th most of my sisters were there doing things because mom wasn't feeling very well. About 9 o'clock she suddenly collapsed on the floor. My oldest sister and I tried to use CPR to revive her, but to no avail. The ambulance took her away, and a while later we got a call from the hospital saying she was gone. Our once-solid world crumbled that night. Mom was the glue that held the family together, and she was gone. My marriage the next Saturday, a day which was supposed to be filled with joy and celebration for all, was mostly a superficial ceremony with barely- concealed undertones of mourning for my mother, who had been buried just four days earlier. No one from my mother's side of the family attended, except her mother - my grandmother. I certainly understood this, since I had serious misgivings about going through with the wedding instead of postponing it until a later date. But, we went ahead with it, and my sister did the same two weeks later. She and I were the last to leave home, so my father was left by himself in a quiet, empty house, where just weeks earlier there had been carefree happiness and security and an excited anticipation of the future.
My wife and I moved into an apartment and for the first time I was away from home on my own. That was an exciting venture, but all the changes also played on my emotions. For a very long time I would have dreams where my mother would be taken to the hospital after she collapsed, then would come home alive, only to die again. Many nights I woke up filled with sadness. Also at that time I was working nights in the automotive department of a large department store. On many slow nights I had too much time to think and grief would set in as I thought of my father all alone and the mother I would never see again and the family that I had been so much a part of, now disbanded, seemingly. The song, Photographs and Memories, seemed to be playing all the time over the store's Musak system, each time stirring me to think of mom. The weeks and months following June, 1984, were spent in a daze, filled mostly with sorrow, but beneath that was a tiny light that was the new life I was starting with my wife. That light gradually got brighter and, eventually, pushed the pain and sadness into the cupboard. Occasionally, like last night, everything falls on top of me and I spend hours thinking about things and feeling feelings I hadn't felt in a long time. I think it's good to remember, but it still hurts terribly, even after all this time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Faith Of Our Fathers

I wish I had the faith that my father had. A staunch Catholic his whole life, he never had a doubt about his religion, and his faith was something that carried him through his difficult life. He liked to make his point when it came to opinions on God, and everyone else's opinions were just wrong. He would argue with one of my brothers, or one of my uncles about an article of the church and his voice would get louder and louder until finally, whoever he was arguing with, would give up. I think he loved it when the Jehovah's Witness paid a visit to the house. He would meet them in the yard or on the porch and explain to them that they were wrong in their thinking and their beliefs.... they wouldn't get a word in edgewise.
As for my father's third son, me, I've had serious questions about the Catholic faith and it's role in modern times. I think the Mass is too ritualistic and the church does little to address the human needs of it's parishioners. Also, I'm not in favor of the biblical account of creation. I'm leaning toward thinking that Man is only another step in the evolutionary process, and not the masters of the planet. This thinking goes against what Christians the world over are taught.
Having said that, why is it that I feel guilty all week long if I miss Mass on Sunday, or that I say prayers in earnest when I do go? I think it's because I still believe in God, even though I might disagree with the way the church worships Him. When you start picking apart elements of the Mass it's hard to keep on the track that the church says you should stay on. That's where Faith plays its part. The very definition is to believe without seeing, and that's what I lack, that complete trust in the Catholic church to guide me in the right path. My dad had that, and he stayed on that path right to the end. Dad had gotten cancer and when he started to get sick the priest came to the house to visit him on several occasions. On the last trip there he said to the priest "Father, I'm ready to go", and he did. I wish I could believe like he did.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ass Scratchin Day

Ok, I started three different posts and didn't like any of them, so I'll just put down what I did today, which won't take long. Actually I had a pretty good day, but didn't get anything done that I should have (painting the bathroom, for example). My youngest son and I went to the land and worked in the woods. When I was younger I made a sort of tent-looking shelter out of sticks and leaves, and I was trying to do that today. Got a good start on it, and also took a hike to the other side of the hill. Hopefully I can get back there to get the shelter done before the snow flies. No big deal if not, but it's just something fun to do.
Ummm... right now I'm fixing supper, sausage stir fry. Wife will probably turn her nose up at it, or she'll come in and say she already ate on the way home.
Umm... ok that's about it.
Oh yeah.........GO BUCKEYES!!!! Winners again today!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ramblin Man

You are walking down a country road. It is a quiet afternoon. You look up and far, far down the road you see someone walking toward you. You are surprised to have noticed someone so far away. But you keep walking, expecting nothing more than a friendly nod as you pass. He gets closer. You see he has bright orange hair. He is closer- a white satin suit spotted with colored dots. Closer-a painted white face and red lips. You and he are fifty yards apart. You, and a full-fledged clown holding a bicycle horn are twenty yards apart. You approach on the lonely country road. You nod. He honks and passes.
Steve Martin, Cruel Shoes

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Old Man Down The Road

Just another day pining for the "good old days" when I was young and free to take off and do as I please. That time of my life seems like it came and went so fast... The period between when I got out of school and when I got married. Actually it was a total of seven years and even though I packed a lot of good times in there it still sped by way too fast. Not to say that married life hasn't been a good time (yes, my wife reads this once in awhile) but everything new and exciting came into play during that time period.The great 80's music explosion (title is a great song), all the riches I had that-at the time- I didn't know I had, the feeling of being in control of my own destiny without the constraints of school. If I could go back in time I'd probably be at the skating rink right now, listening to AC-DC and checking out the girls.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Non-Stick Frying Pan....and Other Myths

In this household a lot of the products you see advertised do not live up to their claim. Our house consists of four males and one female, all who could be the consumer test researchers that the companies don't want to see test their products. Ten year mattresses? Ha! Three years and it looks like a flat bean bag that's permanently disfigured. Scotchguarded, wear-ever carpet? After the first year we realized we should have gone with a darker color... more of a muddy shoeprint design. Lifetime muffler? Is it covered if it has a construction barrel jammed sideways against it? Probably not. Sparkly clean dishes from Super Dooper Dish detergent? Hard to tell, since each person seems to get about 12 drinks a day and uses a different glass each time, therefore it's difficult to see the glasses shine in that nanosecond of cleanliness. And of course, the non-stick frying pan which, when first purchased, is something to gather around and marvel at as fried foods slide effortlessly over the side and into the fire when you try to turn them. But then after a little while you make scrambled eggs and you need to use a metal spatula and three pound sledgehammer to dislodge them from the bottom of the pan, and you have little tasty bits of Teflon stuff all over them that you tell the kids is pepper.
So if you come for a visit be sure to try out our new furniture with the 15 year warranty. Just be careful where you sit.