‘Every family has baggage’ in the words of my friend’s wife.  I never gave it a whole lot of thought but she considered my two sisters to be successful.  Both graduated from college (one with a Master’s) and held good jobs for decades.  In contrast, my friend’s two sisters are struggling supporting themselves and alcoholism.  I always criticized my family and saw their shortcomings and was blind to their successes.  It made me think a little harder about the word success.

The purchase of five chocolate bars made me feel rich. It was nearing the end of the month and money was tight. I bought some basics like toilet paper, etc. I had enough money left for five chocolate bars. I had everything I needed till next month. This final purchase made me feel rich. Wealth is all relative.

I praised the Lord, again. I took a shower and had hot water. To many that may be a small thing but for months our hot water heater kept shutting down. We were able to buy another one and have pay someone to install it. Now we have hot water every time. On demand. I forget all those times we did not have hot water. It went on for months. So, again, I praise the Lord for this luxury. Yes, luxury. Hot water. For that matter, there are literally millions, maybe billions, of people in this world who do not have plumbing. Or even clean water. And I am considered poor in this country. Americans are so spoiled and have no idea how rich the average person in this country is. Compare yourself to the multitudes who do not have plumbing in their house. Or worse yet have no clean water. Americans are so spoiled.

I Thirst

Author: siggy

I thirst. The drink I had with me for my picnic had spilled out. We ate and all I could think of was to drink some water. Usually when I become thirsty I immediately drink something but this time I did not have any thing to drink. The park did not have any drinking water. Minutes later we stopped at a store and bought a large container of water, which I consumed. I now knew what it meant to be thirsty. That was all I could think about: drinking something. Now I knew what it meant to be thirsty.

I wanted to stick in my house today.  There was nothing I was going to run out of today.  I had enough milk, chocolate and cigars.  What else that I need?  I took a shower and dressed in my sweats.  I had no need to put on regular clothes.  Everything I needed I had. There was no need to go out.  Even make a short trip into town to buy or pick up anything.

Our involvement in the Middle East (after 9/11) was really about vengeance.  The American people wanted someone to pay for the thousands who died at the world trade centers.  And our president used that as an excuse to invade Iraq and have a greater presence in the Middle East and to this day we don’t know whether he outright lied or was deliberately fed faulty intelligence when he claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  And it was not true.  Terrorism got worse there.  And we are still in Afghanistan–the longest war we have ever been in and we don’t hear about much but we are still there.  And you have to wonder why.  Much money is being made and no one is honest:  we are there because of the oil.  We want a greater presence in the Middle East because of the oil there.  None of the politicians want to say that openly but that is the truth.  We are there because of the oil.  Fighting terrorism is just an excuse.

Give us today our daily bread.  The prayer we give every day is God satisfies our daily needs.  This is illustrated by one of Jesus’ parables.  A farmer had a great crop and he built a gigantic store house.  And Jesus came to him and called him a fool.  Jesus informed him his time has come.  You don’t have to stock up.  He will take care of us every day.  And it is a day at a time. That should be our prayer:  He fulfills all our physical needs a day at a time.  Each day you face.

I like wearing out my clothing.  I have a favorite tee shirt that has holes in it.  I want to wear it until I can’t any longer.  I remember my friend giving me a hard time for my tee shirt had some holes in it.  I really don’t care but he did.  I had to remember he worked his whole life for one company as an engineer.  He simply threw out clothing that had holes in it.  He never lacked for money.  I am torn between being concerned about what other people will think and simply being comfortable.

I Am A Homebody

Author: siggy

I am a homebody.  The grass is not, necessarily, greener somewhere else.  One of my sisters loves to travel.  I don’t have the same wanderlust.  It is true I don’t have the financial means she has.  Nevertheless, I like being home.  I still make discoveries every day in my backyard and in my house.  I am surrounded by my books and music.  I like having them at my fingertips.  I do have seven cats and four dogs that make it more difficult to just leave and go somewhere but I love my animals, particularly my dogs, and always miss them when we go away once or twice a year.  Sometimes I visit my oldest friend in New Orleans.  And I go by myself.  It is just easier that way.  When I return from a trip, home is just that much sweeter.  As Richard Thompson says in a song, ‘Every heart needs a home.’  Even when I am home I only go out briefly.

If America Is So Free…

Author: siggy

If America is so free, why do we have the biggest population of prisoners in the world?  That is a good question.  A disproportionate number of prisoners are black and poor.  I guess if you have a good lawyer, you usually do not end up in jail.  Many of the prisoners are in for non-violent crimes–mostly drugs.

Another travesty is there are more mentally ill in our prisons than in hospitals.  And many are not getting proper care.  Also, corporate profits are at a sixty year high.  And their taxes are at a sixty year low.

I just read if you factor inflation in, the minimum wage would be over twenty dollars.  It is not, so where are the profits coming from?  I thought I read that in the US one in five collect food stamps.  All that is not right.  Are we really our brother’s keeper?  Our leaders have a vested interest in keeping our population poor.  Our politicians may be elected by the people but most of them do not answer to the general population.  It is big money that they answer to.

In the words of Fidel Castro’s brother (during a Sean Penn interview), the politicians in America are the ‘ruling class.’  And now the government wants to run the medical profession.  As more and more details come in, instead of the price of medical insurance going down it might double or triple for some people in 2014.  It is enough to really get discouraged with our country.  Our land of the free.

You just have to look at the Dollar Store to realize how far inflation has gone.  The Five And Ten Cent Store was a new idea decades ago.  I really do not know how old that chain was but now the Dollar Store has replaced that chain.  Everything a dollar can buy.  It actually cost more than a cent for the Mint to produce a cent.  Eliminate the sales tax and the cent goes.  The Dollar Store chains tells me how much prices have gone up.  Now it is a dollar not five or ten cents that products often cost.

It is easier to spend less than to make more.  Your money goes further.  There is no end of desiring more and more.  Less not more.  Being satisfied with what you have is the trick.  There is a reason thou shall not covet is one of the ten commandments.  There is no end to coveting.  You want more and more the more you have.  It is just easier to be satisfied with the portion the Lord has given you.  And there is less and more from the beginning of the ages.  And the commercials you see on TV feed on that desire:  you have to have this.  You have to have that.  A bigger car.  A bigger house.  A bigger TV.  The list is endless.  Then you will be happy.  It is all lies.  There is an end to this:  just be happy with what you got.  And thank the Lord for all his provisions.  Give us our daily bread.  That should be your prayer: give us today what I need.  Our essentials.  That is it.