Friday, September 2, 2011

Rain, fun, lightning, writing and being alone

What a pleasant surprise this morning to wake up to a lightning display filling the night skies with a cacophony of fireworks crossing this way and that. Rain pounding the windows and thunder rolling like drums through the darkness. Why in the world I am so fond of these natural wonders goes too far back in my childhood to remember exactly. But, I think perhaps it may be connected with what my folks had us do when torrential storms came. After the threat of lightning passed it was our job as kids to go outside and jump into and splash around in the puddles and temporary rivers, be they in the yard or in the streets. It was exhilarating, refreshing and a welcome relief from the summer heat. When the storms come now I can almost feel the excitement I felt back then. I guess maybe that's it. Whatever, I enjoy summer storms, particularly at night. During the day, one of my greatest pleasures is riding my bicycle in the rain. However, do to a close encounter with a random bolt of lightning hitting a telephone pole just a few feet away from me on one occasion I keep my riding to a minimum when I hear thunder. I can still feel the electricity going into my feet and lower legs resting in a puddle, the numbness in my ears from the loud cracking when it hit and the lingering smell of burning ozone strong enough to tickle the inside of my nose. Still, there is a subtle thrill connected with the whole lightning and rain storm thing.

Today will end with the beginning of a three day holiday weekend. I'm not used to two days off in a row let alone three. Should I plan every minute so as not to waste them or should I fly by the seat of my pants and enjoy the spontaneity of no structure whatsoever? If I was going to be alone for three days I would absolutely not plan at all, I'd just go with the flow. Meet new people, do new things I'd never heard of or considered before, taste new food, go somewhere I've never been, take a nap under a tree somewhere in the middle of the day and savor the experience. A close relative of mine has traveled the world and he has some stories to tell about those travels. Some of the most exciting and thrilling are those unplanned times saturated with the element of surprise. I am not a world traveler but I am certainly up for that element of surprise thing sometime over this weekend. We'll have to see if I manage to have any alone time. I am very comfortable being alone, maybe that is the one thing I should plan eh? Go splash in a puddle in the street maybe. Of course, if I do that I should be ready for a trip in the police cruiser to the hospital for an evaluation too. That'd sure be a new experience.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fishing, hunting and canoodling

Reach under a dead log in the river and pull out a catfish! That's what canoodling is all about I guess. At least according to a news feature on TV in the twilight hours this morning. I thought I was dreaming but there it was on the screen. Some guy reaching down into the muddy waters of some river in the South somewhere. He pulls out this huge cat fish he grabbed by the bottom lip. Of course that fish was not wanting much to be made into dinner for this guys family so it was squirming all over the place, but to no avail. He's probably cut into a hundred nuggets, deep fried and digested by now. I think you've got to hand it to those folks for figuring out how to still get fish when they aren't biting on a fishing line in the middle of the hot summer. Downright ingenious! In my opinion. Short of the fact that copper head snakes also lay in the places too that is. The same program covered shooting feral hogs from a helicopter too. I thought there must be too much expense involved in that one. Grabbing a fish is free. I like the free part, that sort of thing we can all participate in.

Over the years the things we are able to do around this neck of the woods has changed. The TV news I just mentioned was mostly concerned about how the laws in the South that were changed to allow those two pursuits. People have done them for years but now they are legal as well. Up North here the laws are usually made to restrict what we do. I used to be able to herd cat fish and suckers up a creek and hit them onto shore with a baseball bat for harvesting for food or fertilizer. We didn't have to worry about grabbing snakes either. I'm thinking that would be way outside of the law these days. I wouldn't necessarily be the one canoodling anywhere but I'd really like the fact that it was legal. I honestly don't know what exactly is legal and what isn't any more when it comes to putting some fish or game on the table. I wonder if some of those folks that make the laws ever did any fishing or hunting of their own.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lions, tigers, bears, snakes and people too

A few years back someone scheduled a female comedian to sing the national anthem at a baseball game. She scratched and spit and made fun of baseball and the players. People were so aghast at such a disrespectful spectacle. Her response, "What'd they expect, I'm a comedian." I agree.

There is a story from the past about a guy walking up a mountain, just above the freeze line he comes across a snake dying from the cold. "Please sir, wrap me in your cloak and carry me down to the warm place below or I will certainly die." The guys says, "You are a snake, if I put you in my cloak you will bite me and I will die." The snake replies, "No, I will not bite you, you are saving my life." The guy relents, picks up the freezing snake, wraps him in his cloak and carries him down to the warm place farther down the mountain. When the guy pulls the snake out to place him on the ground the snake bites him and fills him with poisonous venom. As he is laying on the ground dying the guys asks the snake, "Why did you bite me? I saved your life and you promised not to bite." As he slowly writhed away, the snake looked back and said, "You knew I was a snake! What did you expect?"

There was a guy who lived up in Alaska and hung around with Grizzly bears, he did it for years. He felt that they were misunderstood and he knew the secret to getting along with grizzly bears. I saw a picture of what those misunderstood grizzly bears did to him when they got tired of being understood. They had a picnic. It was terrible. A popular lion tamer with an act in Los Vegas was attacked by one of his lions or maybe it was a tiger but either way he was almost killed. This guy wasn't surprised though. He was almost killed has been physically maimed for the rest of his life. His response, "He's a wild cat. I knew it could happen and it did, It wasn't the cat's fault."

Throughout life we all come face to face with people that have shown themselves to be lions, tigers, bears or snakes. We hear stories of how this person did this or did that. "But I trusted them!" We say. A person was sitting on the witness stand, the prosecutor asked her, "You've lied time after time all through this trial. Why should we believe you now?" The witness answered, "Because this time I'm telling then truth."??????

I think it's good to remember that:
A grizzly bear is better off being understood from a distance.
A snake is better off being allowed to die in the snow than to bite you where its' warm.
A comedian is better off not singing the national anthem.
A liar is better off not being trusted, ever.

In our dealings with people in politics, religion, relationships, and families we may wish to remember that if they look, talk and act like a snake, bear, tiger or lion, they probably are. It's more important that we understand that than if they are understood. Yeah, I think so.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Snake Oil salesmen

Just because something pops up on your screen when you're using the Internet don't bet on it being legitimate. We all know and understand that right? An ad just flashed across the screen this morning filled with wonderful ways to save money and get cheap financing on homes in "Neraska." Yesterday it was "We have ways you wish need to buys expensive goods less money and save." That one sure got me all ways excited to need.

Long before any of us were born, there were traveling "snake oil" salesmen. They sold alcohol or codeine laced, natural medicines for relief of anything from the miseries to arthritis. In truth, they probably offered some very welcome relief through their numbing affects. At a buck a bottle it was a deal back then. But now, in these days of Nigerian scams running rampant and the news filled with stories of trusted employees getting arrested for embezzlement on an every day basis it makes me wonder. At least a person could probably guess if someone was a snake oil salesman or not. Today with the obscurity of electronic media it's kind of difficult sometimes. And, rest assured if one of us attempts to take advantage of some scheme that promises to get us rich quick we will most certainly be losing way more than a buck.

This all came to a head yesterday when an acquaintance showed me a copy of the email he just received stating he won an Irish sweepstakes lottery he hadn't even entered. It was almost a miracle because he could sure use the cash right now. All he had to do was send $1400 to this special tax account to pay the taxes due and they will transfer the $1,560,000 into his personal account. "Wow! It sounds too good to be true", I said. He said "yeah it does but sometimes things like this just fall into your lap." We had a real serious talk. I am hopeful he doesn't send the $1400. Quite a few words in the email were misspelled by the way. Just in case you were wondering. And, the bank was in Nigeria. Irish sweepstakes my........................Be vigilant.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What happened to Sunday?

This morning, before the sun rose I was startled by a strange, loud, very irritating noise. I went outside into the dim predawn light and had a look around. A neighbor a few doors down had a table saw in his driveway and was cutting up some 2X4's and plywood panels by a floodlight on his garage....................Am I that out of touch with the times that I didn't catch the part about Sunday morning no longer being a time to respect your neighbors quiet time whatever they may choose to use it for? I suppose it was bound to happen what with the wide diversity we have today. There are no norms or boundaries to go by any more. The idea of Sunday being a day of rest went out the window a long time ago I know but somehow I held onto the idea that it meant something meaningful in these sometimes confusing times. Something we could hold onto. And, at the very least have at least one solitary day where we could sleep in. Not any more!

Lawn mowers are being fired up by 8am, loud radios by 9am and the telephone solicitors ringing off the hook by 9am also. What to do? What to do? After serious meditation, prayer and consideration I have decided I will drown out all that cacophony with an unmistakable silence. Yup! That's what I'm going to do. Stay just as quiet and respectful of every one else as I always have. They just might see something in there that they like..........SSHH!
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