An Old Farmer’s Advice:

Cut from an anonymous donor on Facebook

* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.

* Keep skunks, bankers and lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.

* Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies, it messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

* It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

* Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Live a good and honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

* Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

* If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is to stop diggin’.

* Sometimes you get and sometimes you get got.

* The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

* Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

* If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

*Leave the rest to God.

Rambling Man Annoying and Creepy

When I was very young I enjoyed listening to the stories of my grandfather. He and his farm buddies often sat under the big willow tree sipping beer and spinning yarns. Most of the time they spoke in Hungarian and I could only decipher words they used most often and generously within their conversation. It was many years later that I learned that these words were obscenities, and curses.

Now it is my turn. I am the old guy who loves to spin yarns except not-one of my kids or grand kids listen. Instead I write the stories and post them onto WordPress to an invisible audience. I’ll never know if the stories I post made a difference in someone else’s life. What I do know is that writing stories about life experiences makes a difference in my life. It is cathartic to spill my heart into the computer chip of my laptop. What does happen sometimes is that I slip up and reveal too many clues of my personal life and a friend will write or call me to ask what I meant.

Slowly my writing has evolved from the third person style of reporting facts to that of the narrative which I hope means I show rather than tell the story. For years I was stuck in the style of report writing which is stiff and boring as hell, but is the style of my profession. At first, I couldn’t even recognize what showing meant. At least now, when I read I can tell when an author is showing, and I really can’t tell when he is telling. Does that make sense? No? Me either.

When I read fiction today, I am mesmerized by the amount of a page an author will devote to psychoanalyzing the character’s thoughts and feelings. I tend to spend time on physical traits rather than inner thoughts. Perhaps if I read another couple hundred books and write another thousand posts I will begin to develop characters that a reader will love.

I’m traveling now, but when I return to my home base I will visit the library to select some new reading. Our library is staffed heavily by women. Nothing wrong with women here. What they often do is select and feature books that are authored by women. Again, nothing wrong with women authors, but I tend to like male authors better. There is much more action and gore in a man authored book than in one written by a woman. That, of course, is only my personal observation and opinion. I have read many fictional tales written by women and have loved them. Many take place in the summer on a beach in a remote area away from people. Most I have read are loaded with love and the emotions stimulated by love. I have nothing against love, but I tend to lean toward action and intrigue. If an author includes love with action and intrigue I will eagerly read the work.

WTF! Suddenly the bottom half of my screen has turned black. Has that ever happened to you? The only way to see what I am writing is to change the background color to white, or to make the text color white on a black background. If this is a WordPress improvement I suggest they pull their head from their ass and shit-can this feature immediately.

I suspect this happened because I am typing on a laptop and inadvertently dragged my thumb across the touch pad while at the same moment I brushed over a magic key which then turned on some super secret feature invented by WordPress to make more money. I’m sorry, but I can’t continue this way. It is super annoying and creepy.

Grief Made Me Do It

The Great Last Time Around Tour

One of the things I have done recently that I consider to be productive is to come up with an idea that would take my mind away from grief. This one is fabulous in my mind and my friends get excited for me when I talk about it. I sat at my desk one day and began to think about all my friends and relatives that live outside of the Socialist-Democrat bastion of the mid-west. I started a list. I finally ran out of gas at twenty-four. I’m sure there are more, but I would have to change the rules to include a wider span of friendship and relations. What if I were to visit all of these people on one big trip around the United States? I am also hankering to see some of my favorite sites again, like Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier NP, Redwoods, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and of course Crazy Horse Mountain. The last time I saw Crazy Horse it was just a scratch on the side of a mountain in the Black Hills. If I remember right, the original sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was still alive in the seventies when I was there, blasting this mountain-sculpt by himself. As I continued to envision the trip it expanded more and more, and the miles began to add up. Hell, I might even have an excuse to buy a new car for this idea.

The next step I took involved Google Maps. I could plan the trip from person to person and city to city in a way that didn’t waste too many miles. I lost faith in Google Maps when I ran out of space to enter more cities at about Phoenix. Hell, so much for all this wonderful technology that can only go so far. I’m sure if I were still eighteen, I would have figured out how to make it all work. As it was I just started a new map and charted the second half of the trip on a second map. After looking at the route on the two maps I realized I missed a huge part of the country by skipping the northwest and northern states. That’s when I decided I wanted to see the Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier again. Another idea came back to me. As long as I’m driving all around the USA why not visit the four corners. I been to two of them(Key West and Washington) but I missed the point in Maine and the one south of San Diego. The problem with the four points route is that I would miss the entire center of the country. Missing so much started me to thinking of revising the whole idea to one where I visit every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. I don’t have friends in every state but I could fix that by making some.

As I write this I am reminded that Peggy and I traveled extensively in Canada. We took several driving trips. She wouldn’t fly nor take a boat so I said okay we’ll drive. It took three separate trips but we made it from Quebec city to Vancouver. I loved those trips and I wouldn’t mind exploring all the Provinces by car. One of my work acquaintances, Myles Murphy, migrated to the USA from Labrador which is still somewhat primitive compared to New York or Chicago. He often told me some funny stories about his relatives whom he visited yearly. He drove and then boarded a ferry. One of his stories involved his mother. It seems she got into his suitcase out of curiosity and found a grooming mirror. She picked it up and held it to her face. She saw the image of a woman, and said to herself,  “look at the ugly old woman he is carrying on with.”

The bottom line here is that the trip I routed on Google maps involves driving for 130 hours over 8500 miles. Since I am only physically able to drive five hundred miles a day or eight hours which ever comes first that amounts to seventeen days. If I spend a minimum of three days at each location that would add another 75 days. The whole trip would last three months provided I live through it.

Least of all I had to name this venture. I call it “The Great Last Time Around Tour.”

. . . and I still haven’t touched Alaska or Hawaii.

Wisdom Shared

I love when friends send me stuff. The wisdom being passed around on the internet is amazing. All we have to do is separate the facts from the fiction and we are safe.

“SIX LITTLE STORIES” –

 

{1} Once all villagers decided to  pray for rain  On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s FAITH.

 

{2}  When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them.

That’s TRUST.

 

{3}  Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That’s HOPE.

 

{4}  We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

That’s CONFIDENCE

 

{5}  We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children.

That’s LOVE.

 

 {6}  On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence ‘I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’

That’s ATTITUDE.

 

Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories.

When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation.

 

“GOOD FRIENDS ARE THE RARE JEWELS OF LIFE. DIFFICULT TO FIND AND IMPOSSIBLE TO REPLACE!

Remember When?


Children of the greatest generation

Born in the 1930's to the early 1940's, we exist as a very special age group.

We are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900's.

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.

We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren't available.

We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.

We saw the 'boys' home from the war, build their little houses - Jones Park?

We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.

As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood "playing outside”.
There was no city playground for kids. Soccer was unheard of.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies gave us newsreels sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons that were at least a week old.
Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines) and hung on the wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy).

Computers were called calculators, they were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The 'INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our radio in the evening by Paul Harvey.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans opened many factories for work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility. New cars averaged $2,000 full price.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren't neglected, but we weren't today's all-consuming family focus.

They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on or Mom called us for supper - by hollering!

They were busy discovering the post war world.

We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed, enjoyed ourselves and felt secure in our future.

Although depression poverty was deeply remembered.

Polio was still a crippler.

We came of age in the 50s and 60s.

The Korean War was a dark passage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China.

Eisenhower sent the first 'Army Advisers' to Vietnam.

Castro took over in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power in Russia.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland. The war was over and the cold war, Muslim terrorism, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty, we lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better, not worse."

We are “The Last Ones”.

More than 99 % of us are either retired or deceased, and we feel privileged to have “lived in the best of times”!

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