Nine Years Ago Today….

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Just got a notice from WordPress that I (DM) have been blogging for nine years as of today.

Nine years!!!

Eight hundred some blog posts later I’m still taking  my mentor’s advice and still plodding along….

“Work with all your intelligence and love.  Work freely and rollickingly as though talking to a friend who loves you…thumb your nose at all the know-it-alls,  jeerers, critics, and doubters…”   Brenda Ueland

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Had some snuggle time with three grand babies yesterday..Owen, Alcina, and Kasen.   (Our extended family got together for a Thanksgiving meal.)

I am a rich man.

Kasen, who turned one this past June,  was born with an extra chromosome.

When Kasen arrived at my sisters house, he was all  smiles,  doing some  sign language,  army crawling,  playing catch with a tiny brown, soft rubber football, etc.   One of the characteristics of Downs Syndrome children is they tend to be happy and good-natured.   This is not a hard and fast rule but Kasen definitely falls into that camp.

As our Thanksgiving family time began to wind down, I got down to play with Kasen one more time before it was time  to go.  His eyes teared up, and his smile vanished.

At first I thought, maybe I’d startled him, so I passed him over to Uncle Steve..I didn’t want to be the bad guy . 😉

Daughter Kathy informed us, it was way past Kasen’s nap time, and he was getting fussy.

I was relieved to know I hadn’t brought it on, it was simply time for him to take a break.

As upbeat and positive as Kasen  normally is…there is a limit.

Read a true story yesterday about a family who lost their only son because of a freak accident in a high school football game.  The dad recounted how afterwards, he was so beside himself with grief, that for days he could not even get out of bed..and there were several weeks he could not even go back to work.  (that is not the first time I’ve read about someone unable to get out of bed as they were broadsided by a loss)…  (I take notes on stuff like this, because it helps me to understand the wide range of what are normal human reactions to life experiences.)

Not sure where you are at as you’re reading this..but if you’re not you’re normal upbeat self,  I am pretty sure Kasen would tell you (if he could) that maybe it’s nap time?

Or, maybe because of what you have had on your plate, you’ll need to take a whole day, or week, or longer  to recover….

There is no shame in getting grumpy.  It means you are alive.

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Picture of Kasen when he’s on his game.

 

Appointment With Love

I can still remember a Christmas eve, doesn’t seem that long ago…I was @ my grandparents, talking with Uncle Bill.

I remember telling him I wished I had a girl friend.  In my heart of hearts, I had the strongest urge  to settle down and start a family….I didn’t voice all of that to Uncle Bill  but it was there, and it was real.

The ironic thing was, there were absolutely no prospects on the horizon…none...nada…

Bill said to me, “You never know...that special someone might be just around the corner!”

Would you believe less that two months later, I met her.

Mrs DM and I celebrated 36 years together this past April.  I could write a blog post (book?)  on the life lessons I’ve learned during this time….

The humbling thing for me is, we are closer now than ever.  It has not always been like that and has definitely not been easy.

I am not the easiest person in the world to deal with on a daily basis.  You can fool the people you only see once in a while, but the people you live with on a daily basis…not a chance.

Came across the following story in A  3rd serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul.  DM

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      Six minutes to six, said the great round clock over the information booth in Grand Central Station.  The tall young Army lieutenant who had just come from the direction of the tracks lifted his sunburned face, and his eyes narrowed to note the exact time.  His heart was pounding with a beat that shocked him because he could not control it.  In six minutes, he would see the woman who had filled such a special place in his life for the past 13 months, the woman he had never seen, yet whose written words had been with him and sustained him unfailingly.

     He placed himself as close as he could to the information booth, just beyond the ring of people besieging the clerks…

      Lieutenant Blanford remembered one night in particular, the worst of the fighting, when his plane had been caught in the midst of a pack of Zeros.  He had seen the grinning face of one of the enemy pilots.

     In one of his letters, he had confessed to her that he often felt fear, and only a few days before this battle, he had received her answer: “Of course you fear…all brave men do.  Didn’t King David know fear?  That’s why he wrote the 23rd Psalm.  Next time you doubt yourself, I want you to hear my voice reciting to you, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”  And he had remembered;  he had heard her imagined voice, and it had renewed his strength and skill.

     Now he was going to hear her real voice.  Four minutes to six.  His face grew sharp. 

       Under the immense, starred roof, people were walking fast, like threads of color being woven into a grey web.  A girl passed close to him,  and Lieutenant Blanford started.  She was wearing a red flower in her suit lapel, but it was a crimson sweet pea, not the little red rose they had agreed upon.  Besides this girl was too young, about 18, whereas Hollis Meynell had frankly told him she was 30.  “Well, what of it?” he had answered.  “I’m 32.  He was 29.

     His mind went back to that book- the book the Lord Himself must have put into his hands out of the hundreds of Army  library books sent to the Florida training camp.  Of Human Bondage, it was; and throughout the book were notes in a woman’s writing.  He had always hated that writing-in habit, but these remarks were different.  He had never believed that a woman could see into a man’s heart so tenderly, so understandingly.  Her name was on the book-plate  Hollis Meynell.  He had got hold of a New York City telephone book and found her address.  He had written, she had answered.  Next day he had been shipped out, but they had gone on writing.

     For 13 months, she had faithfully replied, and more than replied.  When his letters did not arrive, she wrote anyway, and now he believed he loved her, and she loved him.

     But she had refused all his pleas to sent him a photograph.  That seemed rather bad, of course.  But she had explained: “If your feeling for me has any reality, any honest basis, what I look like won’t matter.  Suppose I’m beautiful.  I’d always be haunted by the feeling that you had been taking a chance on just that, and that kind of love would disgust me.  Suppose I’m plain (and you must admit that this is more likely) Then I’d always fear that you were going on writing me only because you were lonely and had no one else.  No, don’t ask for my picture.  When you come to New York, you shall see me and they you shall make your decision.  Remember, both of us are free to stop or go on after that- whichever we choose…”

      One minute to six- he pulled hard on the cigarette.

     Then Lieutenant Blanford’s heard leaped higher than his plane had ever done.

     A young woman was coming toward him.  Her figure was long and slim; her blond hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears.  Her eyes were blue and flowers, her lips and chin had a gentle firmness.  In her pale green suit, she was like springtime come alive.

     He started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was wearing no rose, and as he moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips.

      Going my way soldier?” she murmured.

      Uncontrollably, he made one step closer to her.  Then he saw Hollis Meynell.

      She was standing almost directly behind the girl, a woman well past 40, her greying hair tucked under a worn hat.  She was more than plump; her thick-ankled feet were thrust into low-heeled shoes.  But she wore a red rose in a rumpled lapel of her brown coat.

     The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away.

     Blanford felt that though he were being split in two, so keen was his desire to follow the girl, yet so deep was his longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companion-ed and upheld his own; and there she stood.  Her pale  plump face was gentle and sensible;  he could see that now.  Her gray eyes had a warm, kindly twinkle.

     Lieutenant Blanford did not hesitate.  His fingers gripped the small, worn, blue leather copy of Of Human Bondage, which was to identify him to her.  This would  not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even rarer than love- a friendship for which he had been and must ever be grateful.

     He squared his broad shoulders, saluted and held the book out toward the woman, although even while he spoke, he felt shocked by the bitterness of his disappointment.

      “I”m lieutenant John Blanford, and you- you are Miss Meynell.  I’m so glad you could meet me.  May…..may I take you to dinner?”

      The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile.  “I don’t know what this is all about, son,” she answered.  “That young lady in the green suit- the one who just went by- begged me to wear this rose on my coat.  And she said that if you asked me to go out with you, I should tell you that she’s waiting for you in that big restaurant across the street.  She said it was some kind of a test.  I’ve got two boys with Uncle Sam myself, so I didn’t mind to oblige you.”

Sulamith Ish-Kishor

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“One measure of a man’s relationship with the Almighty can be seen on the countenance of his wife’s face…” 

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Mrs DM and I in Grand Central Station

And Then They Were Gone…

Woke up this morning again thinking about something I saw when I was framing a garage on  the Johnny Jones farm.

Just to the east of the garage was a large pasture.  Probably 75 to 100 acres.  There was a small creek cutting diagonally through the pasture.  If you were a cow, that would have been paradise.  Steve Leytem (another farmer)  had a small herd of beef cattle grazing the field.  Once a day, Steve would stop by with a tractor and feed wagon, to supplement what they were getting off the field.  He had 4 or 5 long wooden bunks in the middle of the field, as soon as the cattle could hear the tractor coming down the road they would head to the feed bunks.

(Think Pavlov’s dog) 😉

One morning when we arrived at the job, I noticed several gates  set up close to the feed bunks…not all the way around mind  you just on 2 sides.

Cows are simple creatures, but they are not stupid. ….introduce something new in their environment, and they get nervous.

Steve dumped the feed into the bunks like normal, and within just a few minutes, the herd, overcame their fear of the gates,  crowded up to the feed bunks and that was that.

Two days later I noticed more gates had been set up..this time they were on 3 sides of the feed bunks…

Same  thing happened…when the cows heard the tractor coming down the road they got excited, ran over to the feed bunk area, but weren’t quite sure what to think of this new section of fence…eventually their desire for feed overcame their fear of the unknown and life was back to normal.

When we got to work two days later, there was an eerie silence in the field.

All of the cattle were gone.

They’d been loaded up.

I looked over @ the feed bunk area and it was completely surrounded by cattle fence…one last panel had swung open…to accommodate the cattle truck that had backed up to the enclosure.

The cows never saw it coming.

One minute they were free, the next, they were gone.

I’m tempted to tell you about the fences I see being set up right now in our country.

Not physical fences, mind you but just as real.

I can see them and  want to stay as far away from them as I possibly can.

Problem is, most of the herd doesn’t seem to care.

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I wrote this post November of 2012.  When I wrote it, while I could have listed specific fences  I chose not to.  It is three years later and I finally  get it.

After watching the Kitty Werthmann presentation and the way she described  the quiet, slow, intentional, methodical way Austria was taken over I now have a name for it.

Socialism.

When Socialism, (or any other freedom  sucking belief system comes to power, then look out.)

That cattle feed that magically gets delivered every morning by that nice farmer comes with a price.

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Just For The Heck Of It….

I’m going to give you a peek into my head tonight as I wind it down.

The song  Silent Running by Mike and the Mechanics is playing.

Actually, that song is the background music on a powerful 6 minute tribute to Anne Frank (Diary Of Anne Frank)

Mrs DM attended our local  high schools drama department’s performance of A Diary Of Anne Frank Friday night.

Saturday morning on my WordPress feed I read, then watched  Silent Running.

Then this afternoon Mrs DM  went to a short presentation by Kitty Werthmann an 89 year old woman who grew up in Austria and talked about her experience watching Hitler come to power in that country.  I had some errands to do so I didn’t go, but I did agree to watch the 50 minute DVD she brought home.

Wow.

Combine those two presentations and it puts several current events into  fresh historical perspective.

“When people fear the government, that is called tyranny, but when the government fears the people that is called liberty.”

Kitty  Werthmann

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(Normally I don’t have quite this much rolling around in my head as I hit the sack..wanted to share the joy.)  DM