It’s gotten easier

Here begins the story of a former rule follower.

When my wife and I decided to get married (42 years ago now) one of the spin off issues, right out of the gate was our different spiritual backgrounds. Won’t bore you with all the details, only to say, I decided to defer to her in that department, because she was worth it.

On a practical level, I was just going through the motions.

I hadn’t really given it (the spiritual component of my life) too much thought.

Period.

Until I started to.

I started asking “why?” questions.

The more I read, the more questions. I was like a coon dog on a scent.

I finally had a list of 8 to 10 questions that I needed answers to.

I made an appointment to meet with the guy who was our pastor at the time. Took my questions, along with a few handouts I’d come across along the way. He was a sharp, younger man as I recall, he really listened. By the end of our meeting, I was convinced it was time to move on. The official answers I was given that day just did not add up nor satisfy my intellectual curiosity.

The good thing was, during all of those months and weeks leading up to that meeting, I had been processing out loud. Asking my wife what about this? What about that? So by accident, she too had begun to question some of the fundamental things she had been taught from her youth.

We decided it was time to make some tough choices that we knew might not set well with some of her extended family. But staying where we was not an option.

The fear of what other people think is a snare….it’s called “The fear of man” It is a tough place to live.

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10 years later, I found myself in familiar waters.

(This would have been in the early 1990’s.)

Wife was concerned, even back then, on some of the trends happening in education.

She had heard a program on the radio about home schooling, an interview with Dr Raymond and Dorothy Moore.

My first thought was, no way, no how. That’s just plain crazy talk.

Thing about marriage and parenting is, it’s a joint effort. and over the next while, she continued to read and get more information. She didn’t nag, didn’t talk too much about it, but my lack of support and encouragement, didn’t stop her from doing her own research. It finally came to a head (that whole issue of possibly home schooling our kids) With tears in her eyes, she shared her heart with me. At the end our meeting, we agreed we were not going to just jump because this was not some simple thing. We didn’t know anyone else locally at the time who was doing it. We agreed we would take the next year to learn about it, and then decide.

Looking back, that was one of the best decisions we made while the kids were in the home. Ended up doing it for 9 years. Involved the kids in the decision making process as they got older. I could write a blog post on that season of our life.

Actually I have… here.

Emotionally, those same people pleasing fears were in the air. They were in my head. Especially in the early 1990’s, there were a lot of people who thought we were nuts. We’d stepped off the deep end. We probably thought the earth was flat.

Didn’t matter.

The rule follower in me had already tasted the freedom of making decisions not based on what other people might think, but on what make sense to me intellectually after weighing the information. There are relatives to this day, who probably think we were nuts.

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Got time for one more?

COVID-19 and the plethora of spin off issues and questions.

I like that word plethora. Like how it rolls off my tongue.

I have to be honest.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I have been intellectually lazy on this one.

Hasn’t meant I haven’t been dealing with stuff, just like the rest of you, because I have. It’s just I’ve not been motivated to learn. So I’ve been quiet.

The vitriol once you step foot in the public square, feels like someone has a wood chipper outside my door. Last thing I want to do is get anywhere close to that sucker.

Then I read something in one of the McGuffey readers I bought for fun last winter… It was an essay on the value of Time and Knowledge

“The…value of mental cultivation is another weighty motive for giving attention to reading. What is it that mainly distinguishes a man from a brute? Knowledge…

Knowledge is power. It is the philosopher’s stone, the true alchemy that turns everything it touches into gold…and opens to us the treasures of the universe…”

Knowledge.

Knowledge is power.

So I have started to peck away at the mass of information on the current virus, the history of viruses, prevention, treatment options, vaccinations, and get a working knowledge of it for myself. My baby sister is an RN, works in a local hospital. She has been a good starting place, and continues to let me ask her hard questions.

This feels familiar. Digging in. Reading, Thinking. Asking hard questions.

I will say this,

Once you step away from the wood chipper, there are some things that just do not add up.

OF Grit and Bone 8/7/2021

Phone rang about 5:40 AM a week ago Friday.

When the phone rings @ 5:40 AM, that’s normally not good.

It wasn’t.

Our neighbor to the west was calling. I could hear panic in her voice.

Doug, can you help me?

D. (her sister) had fallen again.

D lives alone. She is in her 80’s. Sharp as a tack mentally, but her body is falling apart.

This was the 2nd time in a week, I’d gotten a call to ask if I could help with D. A week ago, I built her a couple of ramps so she could maneuver her walker into the bathroom, and a second larger ramp to get out of the house:

Before

After

D is wrestling with the same issue some of you and all of us eventually get to wrestle with if we live long enough. Physically no longer able to live alone yet unwilling to relocate to some type of care facility.

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On a completely different note. I had another successful “walk away bee split” this week. That makes three for three.

What a rush to pop open the hive and see new brood! (Brood are eggs that have been capped)

Capped brood (photo by others)
I was telling my son about the inner workings of a honeybee hive, and how they instinctively sense when there is no queen.

It has not lost it’s magic…. the gentle manipulation and management of honeybees.

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On Wednesday, I made a trip to the University of Iowa hospitals to see a retina specialist. (I had cataract laser surgery and tri-focal implants late February and early March.) Left eye has not been right ever since.

It turns out I have a large blob of normal age related protein that has somehow “folded in on itself” and is floating in the jelly portion of my eye, right in the line of sight. (It moves back and forth, and blocks 1/4 to 1/3 of my vision. There are three options…

#1 Do nothing, it “will probably eventually settle.”

#2 Attempt to blow it to smithereens with a laser.”

#3, “Make some small incisions and scrape all of the jelly out of your eye and replace it with some made made solution.”

Options # 2 and 3 both carry with them a fair amount of risk, and are not guaranteed.

Compared to my friend “D” whose ramp I built a week ago. my quality of life is right @ the top of the scale. Funny how that works. It’s all about perspective.

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Last night our family got together to celebrate my parents 65th wedding anniversary.

65 years!

It seems almost surreal.

We had a house guest live with us back in 2013. Liberal young woman from the East coast. She could not get over how many long term relationships there were in the people she met in our area. We were talking about the 5 serious relationships she’d had up until then, was single again, and wondered if she’d ever find someone else.

Before we left the party last night I attacked by one of my grandchildren: She snuggled and hugged me profusely. It was the highlight of my night. 🙂

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Thanks for staying in touch. Always enjoy bantering with each and every one of you!

ps We also had a serendipitous visit from a fellow blogger last week. She was traveling from Colorado to Pennsylvania. She spent two nights our B and B suite. It was good to catch up.

You probably already know this, but if @ any time you that I regularly banter with are in our neck of the woods, don’t hesitate to reach out. I get that some of you prefer to keep your identity obscure. I get it. If on the other hand you’re like me, and love to meet your fellow bloggers, we’ll leave the light on.

The Coronavirus,the Bible, and I

Quick story…

I was about 18 years old the first time it happened. I was not a religious/ spiritual person @ this point in my life.  I was living my version of La Vita Loca. work crew 1977

Anyway, one evening, I was just  randomly thumbing through the good book, and a sentence  jumped off the page:

     “ Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”  Proverbs 17:28

Bam/ right along side the head.

My mouth had been getting me into trouble fairly regularly at that point. and I was tired of it.  I resolved right then and there, to take this pithy proverb to heart.  I would keep quiet the next time I was temped to spout off.

Ever so slowly my interactions with people began to improve.

Side note… On this blog, I assume most of you  do not necessarily share my understanding of the Bible, spirituality, etc.  although a few of you do.  I rarely go there on this space.  I have another blog specifically devoted to spiritual stuff, just like I have a “farm blog” more geared to farmish stuff….but I woke up this morning thinking,  I would really like to write something that touches on  the   the coronavirus, the Bible  and our current situation, so I am going to go there….

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The bible has quite a bit to say about the  coronavirus actually , but not in the way you might expect.  For example, right now these words have taken on a whole new meaning to me the past month:

For the righteous  (righteous = a person of faith)  will never be moved: ….
He is not afraid of evil tidings;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady, he will not be afraid.”  Psalm 112

I have those words on a 3 by 5 index card on the dashboard of my pickup.  I’ve been chewing on them the past few weeks.  Evil tidings is a great way to characterize most of what passes for “news” these days.

Not going to let it suck me in if I can help.

(side note:  In case you didn’t know, the Psalms are actually a  compilation of various styles of writings… part song book, part personal journal,  personal prayers, etc.  (think blogger from 3500 years ago).

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One last verse on the media..

 “…. whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 

I (DM) learned my lesson after 9/11.  I continue to watch my media intake.  No binge watching.  I have no interest in keeping up to speed on the day to day updates.

PS.  I appreciate each and every one of you that has written and continues to write  about what has been happening in your neck of the woods  in terms of the coronavirus.

Would much rather read your stories.

Take care. DM

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That sweet spot of Contentment

Contentment.

Ranks right up there with peace of mind. (They are not the same).

Both are life skills that (in my mind) are underrated.

Both can be cultivated.

Underrated: Not rated or valued highly enough. When something great doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.

Last weekend, a good friend at church said to me. “You are not normal.”

That I already knew.

He meant it as a compliment. 🙂

I asked him to clarify what he meant, because I wasn’t 100% sure.

He said he can see it in my attitude about “stuff” and money.

I’m not driven. Doesn’t mean I don’t love putting in a hard days work, Didn’t mean I was lazy. Didn’t mean I don’t see the value in saving money for the future, because I do..

Give you an example. Saw this picture last week about vehicles. It captures my attitude about my work truck that I picked up from my dad:

My work truck is simply a tool. A tool for me to do my job. As long as it’s mechanically sound, it doesn’t have to be pretty.

I used to work with a young man on a regular basis who was just getting into construction. At this time, he had 4 or 5 years experience under his belt. I had 35 years. He came to work one morning with an almost new truck. Parked next to my 15 year old Tundra. He told me to watch out, make sure I didn’t scratch anything, not to accidentally bump against it with my tool belt when I got something out of it.

Who would you rather hire to remodel your home?

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Wealth is a tricky thing to keep the right attitude about.

It’s all about balance.

It’s like riding a bike. You can tip over any time.

I can be strapped and worry about money all the time, or rich and worry about it all the time. Afraid I won’t be able to pay my bills or afraid I’m going to loose what I have. Another big contentment stealer is chasing after the mirage of, if I just had____________ then I’ll be happy.

Is it even possible to be content when it comes to wealth and materialism?

Back in 2014, I came across the book Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt.

(Notice I don’t have a link to that book, you’re smart enough to track it down if you’re interested.) I don’t do this (blogging) for the money.

I do it because I enjoy it. Period.

Hunt’s book completely transformed my attitudes about money.

(I’ve written about this before, so if you’re a long time reader you may remember).

We were ten’s of thousands of dollars in the hole at that point. Financial stress was always in the back ground of my mind. It felt (to use a word picture) like I was piloting a 747 and we were literally 20 feet above the surface of the ocean. The plane was still in the air, and it was moving, BUT the waves were lapping @ my wings.

Hunt wrote about that season in her life, and she was a lot deeper in the hole than we were. Her words gave me hope. More than that, she touched on issues of contentment and how to find that sweet spot of contentment.

That was in the spring of 2014, and I’ve never looked back.

Hunt’s book gave me a game plan.

I made a chart, pinned it on the wall in front of my desk. I drew a picture of an airliner skimming the water…then slowly gaining altitude and speed as different debts were paid, and money was saved for emergencies. Just making that chart gave me hope, even though initially nothing had changed in the short term. We’ve stayed on that trajectory ever since.

Early on, we looked at every detail of our lives, trying to figure out where we could cut. (Health care, heating system in the house, all of the normal things you look, even had the house appraised because we thought we might need to move)

Everything was on the table.

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Enough

It’s not just about money.

It can just as easily apply to how many bee hives are “enough.” (I’ve wrestled with that)

How many laying hens, or number of apple trees to manage or hobby expenses, or (fill in the blank), how much is enough? You know as well as I do, whenever a person focuses on an area of life, it’s real easy for that area to take on a life of it’s own.

Love to hear your thoughts.

DM

You never know

When I got my monthly statement from XYZ lumberyard in February I questioned the balance due. It said I had a credit almost $2,000.00, when I thought, I owed them about $1900.00. I usually have a pretty good idea on who I owe what to, so when I look in the check book, I know now much is really mine. 🙂

I called and talked to book keeper, just to make sure.

She reassured me, that yes, I had overpaid, everything was correct.

Christmas in February. 🙂

“Would you mind sending me a check for $1000.00 of that, and keep the rest for credit?”

Couple of days later, I had the refund check.

We were framing walls in a basement, later that week and my phone rang. Didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voice mail. Turned out it was the secretary at the lumberyard. She was calling me on her personal cell phone. Asked me to call her @ the store, she sounded a little stressed.

I called right back, and she started to apologize . Turned out I was correct. She had accidentally, double credited my account. I did not have a surplus.

She was sick.

I need to mention also, that she had only been working there maybe 4 months.

I said to her “It’s OK. Stuff happens. It was a good thing I hadn’t spent any of it yet.”

So, what is my balance then?” I asked…

You actually owe $54.19.”

When I sat down to pay bills a few days, later, when I wrote the check to XYZ lumberyard, I put a little 🙂 (Smiley face) on the memo area.

Next time I was in to that store, the secretary thanked me again for my response to the whole thing and appreciated the memo.

The next time after that, when I stopped into the lumberyard, the secretary asked me about my last name, “Was I any relation, to so and so?”

Yep”

“Well, so is my dad. She is my dad’s first cousin.”

30 seconds later, we realized her dad and my dad were first cousins.

My grandpa was one of 12 children, and while I knew some of the extended relatives, there are dozens, (my generation) I have no idea about.

My grandpa (Opa‘s) family. He’s in the back row, far left.

My hunch is, the way I responded (or didn’t respond, in this case) to the new secretary @ XYZ lumberyard with the book keeping error, put me on her radar, which in turn opened up a door…

Of Grit and Bone 6/6/2021

Regarding the title, read this first.

Several short stories from the past week.

The centenarian

My wife has a friend Betty who is 106.

One hundred and six!

We stopped to see Betty yesterday for a few minutes. One of her sons and his family were in town, they wanted to see us while they were in town. Betty has spent most of the last year (due to COVID restrictions) sitting alone in her room at a care facility.

This was the first time I’ve seen her in well over a year. She was reminiscing about her days as a teacher. She loved being a teacher. Then she remembered her principal, Sister Lucia. “She was a good principal. Had the biggest laugh. I loved to hear Sister Lucia laugh.”

(Wouldn’t that be a legacy to be remembered by your laughter?)

It made me think.

As Betty was attempting to figure out who was in the room, (there were 6 of us), when she got to me, boy did she light up.

Made me feel like a local hero.

You see, my wife has been the eyes and ears for Betty’s family for the past year. All of Betty’s children live several hours away, all in their 70’s and 80’s. With her loss of hearing and sight, even phone calls have been a challenge. So in order to have something to talk about with Betty, my wife and I often make a list things she can talk to Betty about. (Honey bees, apple trees, harvest tables, baby chickens, wild flowers, starting tomato seeds, etc)

So many of the things they’ve talked about this past year, have involved me in one way or the other.

So there I was, in her room, in the flesh.

I could tell she was trying to find the right words to describe me to her family…“This is the guy who builds tables out of reclaimed barn wood then ships them all over the United States! He has so many interests! He is such an interesting person!

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Roofing

Son and I started another house roof this week. 2600 square feet. Two existing layers that need to come off. 100 square foot of shingle weighs 240 pounds. Doing the math, we will handle close to 4 ton of shingles between the two of us, the next couple of days. Temperatures are in the upper 80’s. Perfect hay bailing weather.

This may sound like one of those “When I grew up, we walked to school, up hill both ways stories”

But I’m going to tell it anyway.

Growing up on a farm in the 1970’s, the weather (hot or cold) was not the big deal it’s made out to be today.

When it was time to make hay, we just did it.

Yes, we listened to the forecast, and might hold off mowing hay if there was rain predicted, but other than that, I had no idea of how hot it was.

“Heat index”… Never heard of it.

These days when the temperatures are in the upper 80’s and 90’s, mentally, I just shift gears.

It’s hay baling weather.

Drink lots of water, wear a hat, If you start to feel woozy/ take a break. Savor the breeze, savor the cloud cover. Just don’t talk to me about how hot it is.

You think this is hot? You ought to be in the haymow.

Nothing more exhilarating than sliding down the hay elevator after stacking a couple of hundred bales of hay.

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Had to put her down

I’ll keep the next story short.

Needs to be told.

We have about 20 chickens. Couple of them I’m especially fond of.

It’s their personalities. The ones that come up to me to say “Hi” when I get home from work. Or they’ll let me pick them up and sit on my lap.

Docile.

And in one case, it was because she was the low chicken on the pecking order. Everybody else bullied her.

Last week I had to put the my favorite chicken down. Wife noticed some blood on her back side. She had been acting a little “off” the past week. Couple of nights when I went to lock them up, she was not in the roost. I had to go find her. That is not normal.

Sure enough, when I went to check her, her back side looked infected. Way beyond the point, of taking her to the vet. I hate watching anything suffer. So I did what any good farmer would do. I put her down. Carried her gently over to an area that I’ve used before to butcher chickens put her in cone and did what I had to do.

This all transpired in just a few minutes. (From the time my wife mentioned seeing blood, to me finding the chicken, then deciding what I needed to do. It was not an act (for me) that I did lightly. But it was the right thing to do.

Then I buried her.

Here’s the thing. We live in such a sanitized culture.

Sometimes life is messy.

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Speaking of messy

Son and family are camping this weekend.

We stopped by their campsite last night for an hour.

At one point, I noticed the15 month old , sitting on the ground, playing on top old campfire spot.

I watched as he sprinkled fine grey ash over his legs.

Did my heart good.

His parents didn’t just rush in and stop him..

His mom said, “Why is he doing that????

I said “I think it is instinctive. Lots of animals do that.

Horses love to roll around in the dust…and chickens too. Ever see a chicken give itself a dust bath?

Fruit

I wrote a mini series earlier this year on our time living in New Jersey.

Left off thinking I might come back to it, but then I wonder, who is really reading this stuff.

I do appreciate all of you that take the time to read and interact. It’s one of the highlights of my day.

But then this morning I was thinking about my most recent interaction with the lady whose roof I wrote about in my last post...Michelle, made a comment about me being direct, and I thought, you know, that is one of the fruits of our time living @ Gilgal.

The importance of addressing issues head on.

Bible calls it “speaking the truth in love.” Not going to go and quote verses for you on it. You’ll have to trust me on this one…but they are there. It’s a part of the Christian life .

There are two parts to that life skill…

Speaking the truth.

Doing it with love.

If either part is missing, you have a problem.

When I say things that may have truth in them, but don’t do it out of love, it’s like someone trying to prune me with butter knife. I’ve had that happen. I don’t like it.

The other extreme, is thinking we love someone, but we’re not honest, that too is a perversion.

Give you an example.

When we moved back to Iowa, I was not the same person I was when I’d left. When we left. I would say I was pretty passive. A doormat. Not only hated conflict but didn’t go there. I would keep quiet if someone tried to manipulate and or intimidate me. Had that type of relationship with one of my uncles. He didn’t know what to do with me when I no longer took it. It’s taken about 25 years, but I think he finally gets it. 🙂

There was also a re-calibration of my relationship with my dad, whom I genuinely respect and love. I’d put up with a level of sarcasm for 40 years, until that one morning (after we returned to Iowa). I’ve mentioned it before.

He called 6:30 one morning to touch bases about a job. In the context of our conversation, he sarcastically said “Don’t you listen to the radio?” (Had to do with me not knowing the weather forecast for the day)

Probably had something to do with me just waking up, but out of my mouth came the words, “I don’t like it when you talk to me like that.”

Dead silence on the phone.

Took both of us by surprise.

I didn’t say it, disrespectfully, but I didn’t pussy foot around either.

I just said it.

It was a watershed point in our relationship. Happened 25 years ago. He has never used that sarcastic tone of voice with me since. Couple of times, it was close, and I found myself push back.

Told my mom about that conversation later that week, and do you know what she said?….

“I’ve been waiting for you to do that.”

So there you go. One of the biggest life lessons I came away from that season of my life living in New Jersey was how to cultivate, authentic, deep, honest, relationships with other imperfect people. And less you think, it only happens in the context of your family..

Nope.

Works just as powerfully on the job, with your kids, with the guys in the lumberyard, and even in the blog-o-sphere, it can happen.

Do I do it perfectly.

Nope.

But the quality of my relationships as a whole are on a whole different level than they used to be.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! DM

Did not see that coming

Life is good.

We are busy.

On Friday I stopped by a home to drop off shingle samples.

We’re scheduled to build a new garage for her, but we still need to firm up a shingle color. She lost her garage last Fall in the Durecho, and just heard from her insurance company they will now also pay her to completely re-shingle and reside her house. I had mixed feelings about bidding on this additional work, because I’ve already picked up a few red flags. But, she’s a widow, seems to have quite a bit of stress on her plate, so I figured if I could alleviate some of that stress, that would be the right thing to do.

The roof on her house has a steep pitch and it sounded like the existing shingles would need to be taken off. (stripped) It’s just my son and I, we just finished two other roofing projects, with everything else going on , I knew I didn’t want to do her roof if that needed to happen.

Side note- when a house roof only has one layer of shingles , and there are no pre-existing leaks, you can install a 2nd layer over the first, and save yourself a lot of money at the same time. I mentioned that to her, and sensed she didn’t know whether or not to trust me on that. (There have been several other times as she and I have talked about certain details, that I have also picked up that same vibe )

She’s not 100% sure about me.

I get that. She doesn’t know me from the man on the moon. My son had done work for her son in the past, which is how we got the lead on this project in the first place.

When I was at the roofing store on Thursday, I got into a short conversation with another contractor also in line. Found out he was not overly busy, so I asked him if he would be willing to work with me on this roof project.

Yes!

I would still be the contractor in charge, but hire him and his crew to help us bang out the steep roof.

Win/ win.

Or not…

When the homeowner and I talked about this, she got real testy with me. I told her the buck still stopped with me, but her project was simply too much for just my son and I. (That conversation happened Thursday afternoon.)

I woke up Friday morning thinking to myself. I changed my mind. I am not going to mess with that roof. In fact, I was not really interested in doing anything more than build her garage. I have had it with this undercurrent of suspicion.

So on Friday, when I dropped the shingle samples off and she started in on me with more questions, more suspicions, I looked at her and said, “I changed my mind. Decided I am not doing your house roof.”

“Why?”

I looked at her and thought, Do I tell her the truth or do I keep my mouth shut and just say we are too busy. I changed my mind

I decided to tell her the truth…

“I was just doing this to try and help you out. I don’t need the work. And when you started grilling me about that extra help, well, that ticked me off.

Then I got choked up.

Random bit of trivia about me and getting choked up.

It rarely happens.

But when it does, I don’t get all blubbery. I can be very articulate. It’s like an out of body experience. With my mind I can observe..oh, look, I’m starting to choke up. Isn’t that interesting. And at the same time, I keep talking and say what I have to say.

“I am not going to do your roof.”

“What about the siding?”

“Don’t think I want to do that either.”

We shall see

Very, Very Thankful

I (Doug) was very, very fortunate today.

While driving home from work, the ball joint (or maybe tie rod) went out in my truck. It felt like someone suddenly shoved my vehicle to the right (drivers tire suddenly turned sideways. I was going all of 65 MPH at the time, with cars around me. As I was headed into the ditch, it looked like the truck was going to roll.

Two different vehicles stopped to check on me.

I was very touched by their kindness.

The one lady, asked me to come to her car and sit in the passenger seat while we called for a tow truck.

Kindness is alive and well here where we live.

My mind is still mostly numb…

if I would have been in the other lane, and there had been a vehicle on my right….

If it would have been the other tire/ (would have meant going into oncoming traffic)

If I had been on a corner, rather than a straightaway..

If the ditch had been a little steeper, I would have rolled…

Jumped off the page

Reading through the Parent-Teachers guide of the McGuffey Reader  couple of nights ago, the following jumped off the page:

“The phonics controversy does not need to be an either/or argument;  you need not align yourself “for” or “against” phonics.”  

That thought, “it does not need to be an either/or argument; you need not align yourself “for” or “against…” has broad implications for our day.

The discourse in the public square has turned into a bar-room brawl.

Have you ever experienced one first hand? (bar room brawl)

I have.

It was crazy.

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Pick a topic.

Vaccinations.

I’m not 100% for, or against.

Is there a place in the public square for me to say that, or will I be shoved to the side by the thugs from both extremes?

I absolutely believe there is a place for vaccinations.  (Measles, mumps and small pox comes to mind.)

When our kids were little, (early/ mid 1980’s) they were given a series of 12 shots/ 8 diseases.

Here’s a little chart I  pulled off the Internet:

 

Today, your child will be given quadruple that number of shots.

During that same time period,  there has been an exponential increase  of autism in children.  You probably already knew that.

Could there be a connection?

In simple terms. when our eldest was born in 1980,  the chance of  her developing autism was  one in 2000.

My eldest

1 out of  every 2000 children had a chance of developing some form of autism in 1980.

Twenty years later, in the year 2000,  you had a 1 in 150 of developing some form of autism.

1 in 150.

Today, 2021, that number is now 1 in 54.

From 1 out of every 2000, to 1 out of every 54.

The medical profession as a whole says, “It’s a mystery.”

What changed during that time?…humm….

I think you can absolutely make a case for parents who are leery of pumping there precious child full of vaccines.

Instead of deriding all  parents who have questions about vaccines as “anti science,” I believe it is still we the parents, the mom and dad, not some federal government bureaucrat  that has the final say….but for how long?

Someone recently asked… Do I plan to get vaccinated?

No I will not voluntarily chose to get the vaccinations that have been “safely fast tracked.”

That’s my choice. Not imposing that on anyone else, or think less of anyone else who chooses otherwise. These are hard, personal, intimate, potentially life and death choices.  We have to start giving each other the freedom to make these decisions without mockery.

I am not anti medicine.  I love my local Doctors, absolutely love them, my urologist, my local hospital.   My sister is an RN.  She and I talk about all things medical, all the time. I am not anti medicine.  Having said that, the only medicine I am currently on is coffee. Just coffee.  My job is physical, I sleep like a baby, have never, ever had a vaccination for the flue before the flue season.  Made that choice, years before COVID-19 was in the news.  Do you think I’m going to change my mind now, just because the CDC says it’s safe?   What do you think….

 

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For years, there has been a similar debate in the public square about the link between Roundup and various cancers.  Round up and honey bee loss.  Round up and…..

Monsanto (the corporation that owned Roundup) did all it could to discredit any nay-sayers.

My neighbor Paul/ the one who used to plow out our driveway after a snow, died five years ago, in his mid 50’s from a rare blood  cancer.  As a farmer, even with the proper protection, he exposed himself to a butt load of toxic chemicals.  I heard later, the Doctors  suspected, that maybe there was a link to pesticide exposure and his rare cancer.

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Language is powerful.

Thugs have taken over the public square.

I shake my head.

I really, really would love to interact with some of you on a host of topics, without snark or sarcasm, but probably not in an on line comment thread.  I don’t do on line debates in comment threads. There is so much that I don’t know. Maybe via e-mail, or in person….

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This post could just as well be about sexuality…

Stewardship of the earth, of which climate change is one piece,

Mr and Mrs Potato Head,

Election integrity, National sovereignty,  or twenty other topics.

I have decided I can no long sit on the sidelines and stay completely silent.

Honestly I do not know how much longer we who live in the middle will have the freedom to speak our minds.