The Woods

I took this picture a couple of years ago. Notice the small deer in the center.

I love the woods. It’s a year round pleasure for me; Hiking, hunting, just clearing my mind; It’s the serenity and peace and quiet I look forward to the most

I don’t always have an agenda in the woods; Does one really need it? Sometimes I go just to sit and listen

You never know what you might see in the woods; A deer, a bear, somedays the shape of a tree or the odd formation of a rock will suffice

Is there a good acorn crop this year? Beechnuts? Berries? There’s always something to find out in the woods

The woods are where I’ve learned the most from my dad; He learned from his dad; I hope to pass the knowledge down to my son; Teach him that there is much more to life than deadlines, appointments, competitive sports, and video games

Many a man or woman have asked me the question, “How can you go out in the woods and just sit there all day?” To which I answer, “How can I not?”

When I’m President 9-16-2021

I don’t plan on running for president anytime soon.  However, if I did, and was elected, things would be a whole lot different around here.  This post is not meant to get into anything political AT ALL, rather, it’s a way for me to blow off a little steam regarding a bunch of things people say WAY TOO MUCH that drive me crazy.  As there are approximately eight gazillion things that bother me, I will share a partial list, say, every Thursday.

I watch a lot of murder shows on television. It just is an interest of mine. I enjoy them all. Mysteries, cold cases, investigations, etc. That said, they are LOADED with catchphrases that drive me nuts! Here are the biggest culprits.

Everybody knows everybody, as in, “It’s such as small town where everybody knows everybody.”  I live in a small town.  I don’t even know the guy who lives across the street, let alone everyone else in town.

Everyone loved her.  This is a phrase commonly used to talk about a murder victim, as in, “I don’t know who could do something like this to her.  Everyone loved her.”  Um, somebody clearly didn’t.

This sort of thing just doesn’t happen here.  Um, it just did!

Red flags, alarm bells, bells and whistles.

Smoking gun, as in, “Police have some evidence, but they don’t have the smoking gun.”  Probably because the perpetrator threw it into the cold river bottom.

Canvasing, as in, “Police are canvasing the area.”  Sounds to me like something Picasso would do.

Hit the Pavement, as in, “Detectives hit the pavement trying to find clues.”  This seems to me like a waste of time.

Also, for the love of God, if you’re going to commit a crime as serious as murder, do yourself a Huuuuuuuuge favor:

  1. Leave your damn cell phone at home.  Don’t bring it to the scene of the crime.  I don’t know how many of these shows I’ve watched, the perpetrator was caught because his phone pinged off the cell tower next door to the house where the crime was committed.
  2. Do not attempt to cash in on the life insurance money less than eight hours from the second the victim stopped breathing.  Detectives pick up on this extremely quick.  If possible, you may want to wait 30 days or so, you know, so you can give off some impression that you were grieving your loss.
  3. Do not have your trash picked up on the street.  Instead, take the time and effort to drive your trash across at least two state lines to discard.  DNA, people.  DNA.

The Beauty of the Game

Durham Bulls Athletic Park; Durham NC; Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

It’s the fire in the belly; The steeled determination in the eyes; They haven’t accomplished anything yet

It’s the pull for their teammates; Some will become lifelong friends; They’re competing against them at the same time; For only a handful make it to the show

It’s the eagerness to sign their name to a plethora of items; Hats, gloves, jerseys, balls, programs; The spoils at the top have yet to render them inaccessible; Nobody cared this much at their high school games

It’s the conversations in the dugout, the clubhouse; Some appropriate, most not; The card games during the long, overnight bus rides

It’s the few daily dollars for fast food; Still kids-Burgers, pizza, and fries do not betray them yet

It’s the summer of being a Mud Hen, a Wildthing, a Rumble Pony

It’s the smells of the ballpark, the crack of the bat, loosening up on the field; In Midwest Americana, the Deep South, the Pacific West; Lansing, Birmingham, Sacramento

It’s the mascots, the sack races, the hula hoop competitions

It’s Mrs. Johnson in Section 8, Row A; She’s been coming here for 43 years; It’s the hopeful youngsters pleading at anyone in their vicinity holding a baseball; One day, some of them will be out here

It’s our greatest game in its purist form; So close to glory, yet never having been pampered by it; It’s a game still being played by kids who would rather be doing nothing else; Most will not make it, but that matters little right now; Responsibility will have to wait

There’s nothing in this world like Minor League Baseball

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

I pulled up behind a car at a red light this morning. When the light turned green, the car did not move. Normally, I would get impatient and tap my horn, but something stopped me this time. Through the side view mirror I noticed that the driver was resting her her head in her hands, appearing to be in distress. She soon realized the delay and drove off. I couldn’t be certain, but it looked like she could have been crying.

Oh boy. I’ve been married and divorced more than once. I understand that I am not in a situation I want anything to do with. The PTSD is coming at me full force.

However, I’ve been in exactly this type of situation before. About a year ago, I pulled up to a gas pump and noticed a young lady in the car at the pump beside mine. She was clearly crying, choosing to stay inside her car instead of coming out into the open. Whatever her scenario was, it was definitely upsetting. Without warning, I made eye contact with her. She looked away and put her head into her hands and continued to sob.

What happened? Did she pull up to the pump and get a devastating phone call? Maybe a loved one passed away. Or was she in the middle of leaving a romantic partner and was filling up her car before leaving the state? Is she battling an addiction, illness, or depression and this is where her emotions flooded over?

I stood at the gas pump and filled my car, looking away the whole time. This is awkward. I don’t know what to do. Buying time to think about my next (first?) move, I walked into the store and bought a soda, even though I didn’t necessarily want one. Maybe she will drive away and I can avoid this altogether.

Alas, I got out to my car and she was still there, head still in her hands. Whatever the situation, it had still not passed. My decision was to drive away. I don’t know what ever became of her.

Fast forward to this morning, and I had another decision to make. The lady in the car at the light finally drove and pulled into the right-hand land. I passed her and took a look through her window. Yup. She was crying, looking straight ahead, paying me no attention. Now what do I do?

I pulled into another gas station. The girl follows me into the parking lot and pulls up to the gas pump. What are the odds? This time, she gets out and pumps gas, all the while sniffling and rubbing her eyes. Without thinking, I grabbed a tissue out of my car, walked over and handed it to her, and asked if she was all right. She smiled and told me she was okay and thanked me for the gesture. I pulled away and drove off.

Where Did The Comradery Go?

I do not post these pictures as a way to haunt anyone. While I steadfastly believe in the importance of remembering and honoring those who lost their lives that day, I am fully aware that I have published several posts focusing on the September 11 attacks. Recently, however, I have realized another reason to talk about the events.

Does everyone remember the horror felt as we were watching the tragedy unfold before our very eyes, either in person or on television? How about in the hours and days afterward? Remember the member of congress standing together to sing, “God Bless America?”

I’ll tell you what I remember in the aftermath of the attacks. I recall all Americans looking out for each other; holding the door for someone, letting someone go ahead of them in line at the grocery store, letting them into traffic. We were more than cordial. We were accommodating, caring, and respectful. We loved one another.

It’s funny what the September 11 attacks did to the people of the nation. They united us. They inspired us to be in it together. Of course, since the events hit each and every one of us like a cannonball to the gut, we couldn’t act in any other way but in total togetherness.

Things are different now, though. There is little resemblance of the, “We are one,” mentality in this country nowadays. I refuse to do a deep dive into politics (at least in this post), but it is clear that the line in the sand has been drawn. We are either Republican or we are Democrat. The two parties simply refuse to see the other’s point of view. Today, people are ridiculing, mocking, and intimidating others who may see things differently from themselves. This is true whether one is a Republican or a Democrat. Far from a perfect human being, I am guilty of this from time to time, as well.

While the United States has acknowledged and marked 20 years since 9-11, it appears the comradery and good will generated by that day was simply a fad. And that’s extremely difficult to write. Please tell me this country doesn’t require another 9-11 as a reminder to behave ethically and morally and to treat others with love, respect, and understanding.

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