Cats are very aware of their surroundings. Put an open box in the room and invariably one will hop in it. If it
is big enough, you may find two or three cats in it. Put a new chair in the dining room a cat will, also, jump on top of
it. Any physical change in the room the cats become immediately aware of it and have to investigate it and explore it.
Put a bag on the floor and one eventually finds it and goes inside it. Cats are always found in the oddest places.
If we are not our brother’s keeper continue to house most of the mentally ill in jails. After all, who cares
if they get put in isolation wards when they misbehave there. So that is a form of torture. They usually are put on the
cheapest medications not always the proper ones. Families are being destroyed not to say anything of the individuals there.
I am sure the suicide rate is high.
I saw this coming decades ago when
the states started closing down their state hospitals. The money did not follow into community services but just “evaporated”.
Hospitalizations are very expensive. Partials are very cost effective. There is no way a person can be stabilized in a
few days. At least in a partial you can be monitored over a long period of time. The therapeutic level of a psychotropic
medication is often one to two weeks.
Are we our brother’s keeper?
Yes! Yes! We are commanded to take care of the weak, the infirm, those in poverty and the mentally ill. We can not turn
our heads to them. Each individual must do his/her part to alleviate their suffering. Our society has become so far away
from that. So do your part no matter the role you take. It is never too late to start.
The red bellied woodpecker was back. When the grackles took over,
they disappeared. After I figured out how to discourage them, the downy woodpeckers returned. It has been several
months since I last saw the larger woodpecker come to feed on my suet cakes. I could never figure out why they call
this bird a red bellied woodpecker. The red markings are on its head not its belly but in back of their head.
Anyway, I was thrilled to see one today and hope it comes back.
I made sure the turtle made it to the other
side. I almost ran over it. It was on the right side of the road. I decided to turn around after driving
an hundred feet. It had walked a little further towards the center of the road. It was about a five inch long
box turtle. I grabbed it and carried it safely to the other side of the road. It stood motionless for about
sixty seconds, decided it was safe and disappeared into the undergrowth.
Praise the Lord I can feed my seven cats and four dogs. The
dogs are large dogs between seventy-five and ninety pounds so it take quite a bit dog food to feed them. The cats
are not as bad although we get special cat food for them: one cat needs a certain diet and we can’t feed him
that and not the rest of the six cats a cheaper cat food. And that does not include the bird seed I put out and the
suet cakes for the woodpeckers. It is only by grace I can do all those things. Some families who are broke or
unemployed would love to have the money we spends just on our pets (and bird seed). Praise the Lord for all that.
Such diversity in our world. An example is the black-eyed
Susan. They come up every year–in different spots in our yard. They seed themselves. They are fighting
for space with other weeds. If you look at one bed, the flowers are at different heights and even at different angles.
I love looking at them. The flowers last a long time–weeks in fact. They come up a little later in the
season. Every year I await them and they never fail to please me.
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.
“Noah’s Ark” was gone. It was a big boat, over forty feet long
— really a small yacht — that sat, raised up high on a platform, in a meadow at the crest of a hill. We
passed it every time we drove home from town. I started calling the boat “Noah’s Ark”. It was
a landmark. I have lived in this town ten years and my wife even longer, and she always remembered that boat sitting
there. It stood, surrounded by high weeds, for years–maybe several decades. She told me that the owner
and his family had at one time lived in it, down in Florida. He died recently. Now The Ark was gone. I
wonder what will happen to it.
January 25, 2012
It is so easy to take your blessings for granted. Today I was grateful I could
also buy some bananas along with a gallon of milk. It is near the end of the month and we are running out of cash.
I was grateful I could buy what I could. It is always revealing what you would buy if you are down to your last dollar.
It is so easy to take your blessings for granted. God owns everything. I had to remind myself of that.
January 1st, 2012
I read in every position and in every room. I read in bed–although
not long and I am careful what I read: I don’t want nightmares if I can help it. I keep books and literary
magazines in the bathroom. In fact, my wife bought and put together a small cabinet she spent hours researching just
to keep my reading material neatly in the bathroom near the toilet. Of course, the reading I do there is in bursts.
Most of the reading I do is in bursts. It was amazing I actually made it through Keith Richard’s autobiography–all
540 pages of it. It is really rare for me to read a novel. My favorite room has a spot right next the comfortable
though ragged Lazy Boy chair where I keep my favorite devotional, “My Utmost For His Highest”, by Oswald Chambers.
Most of my favorite books are in that room so I know where to find them when I am looking for a particular passage.
I love to read and I have never had so many books in my house. I married a “book” person.
December 17, 2011
I used to be addicted to playing pinball
machines. I would be coming home from collecting money from my paper route customers. It was 42 cents for a
week of newspaper delivery and many of my customers would give me two quarters and tell me to keep the change so I often
would have a pocket full of change, particularly quarters. Before I went home, I would often play pinball at the local
candy store. That is what you called them back in those days. You know it was a long time ago. Playing
a game of pinball only cost a quarter. And not only that you got five balls per game. Today one game costs 50
cents and you only get three balls. Inflation, indeed! Of course the days of five balls per game and a quarter
each game go back almost fifty years. I am dating myself. I, also, remember when gasoline was 33 cents a gallon.
All those days are long gone. Of course, those days you made a whole lot less a week. In 1970, I made an $100
a week and thought that was a lot. Then tickets to the Fillmore East were $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50. Those were
I had to remind myself of all my bounty. I was taking a shower and reflected it was not that long ago I lived
fifteen years in a house without a shower so I should appreciate this house more. And not take it for granted.
It is so easy to slip and forget all we need to thank God for. That was just one
small example. And there are many more. We are able to pay our bills on time.
We could feed the birds and watch a steady parade of them come to our feeders. We have hot water when we want
it. Much of the world do not have basics that we have like plumbing.
have to remind myself again and again to thank God for all his gifts including my wife. Good medical care, health
insurance. And the list goes on.
‘Your window to the world might be your own front door. Your shiniest day might
come in the middle of the night.’ Two lines from the Blackhawk song “That’s Just About Right”.
I identify with those two lines.
I am not sure I will ever do any thing earthshaking. Nor
will I ever be the President or some CEO of a corporation. I realize maybe what I do in my own backyard might be important.
Notoriety or fame is overrated. I remember reading in Bob Dylan’s autobiography how he wanted
fame early on and then got it and wished he didn’t have it. He wanted his children to have a normal existence
and they could not.
Some weirdo was always showing up on his doorsteps. Anonymity is really
a gift. And the famous lose it. Dylan bemoaned its loss. And realized fame was not what it was cut out to
I will continue to do what the Lord has called me to do. Whether or not others recognize
it. The words I write if they impact at least one person they served their purpose. I will continue to reach out
and love the people around me.
The words from this song remind me to continue writing for it
still matters to me no matter how many people read it. So I continue for I know I have to.
Love is everything. Strip away everything from you–all your material wealth,
your health. That is all that remains–love. And some people are so stingy with it. You can not run
out of love.
It comes from the Source–a bottomless pit known as the Almighty. He never runs out of love
to give. If you continually tap the source, you will never run out of love. There is not an finite amount.
Never give up a chance
to love another. This world is full of people who are starving for love, people who never had an ear to listen.
Never walk away when
you could have given something valuable to another. That is all any person remembers–how much they were loved
really does not matter how much money you made, or how many things you accumulated. People always respond to genuineness–honesty
and kindness. That is all they remember from you.
You can never have too many friends or ever turn down a chance to make another
is all that remains when everything is stripped from you–love. That is all people respond to and remember.
Love. So be careless. Scatter your love like Johnny Appleseed did his seeds all over the country.
here's one from April 2009:
April 16, 2009
I was looking out my back door
window and just thinking. A large section of our front yard no longer has grass and for a short time my wife was considering
laying down sod. I really do not care. I always felt American’s obsession with having a large neatly manicured
lawn was and is an exercise in futility. I want a garden not a lawn. In fact, a landscaper is going to help us
with developing that.
The back yard is another story: most of it is wild. Toads appear at our doorstep
every year–all sizes from tiny to humongous. They are attracted to the bugs that come to the porch light.
There is a small creek in the back–most of the time just a trickle. You never know when a box turtle
will appear. We also saw wonderfully orange colored salamanders at least twice. Rabbits play in the undergrowth.
I do not want to cultivate this area. I love not knowing what I will see next, what unusual bird or whatever
comes my way.
I love the wild. It gives me a sense of the mysterious, the
unknown, a feeling I love. That is why I won’t cultivate the back of our property.
Last year after living here for over four years, to my delight and amazement I discovered a large patch of wild raspberries
on the far corner of my property. And I love raspberries. I even picked enough berries for two pies.
I do not know exactly what lives there but I am always expectant when I peer out my kitchen window wondering
what will come along next. It is out of my control. That is the way I want it. This is one plot of land
that will grow wild. I rejoice in it.
Sometimes I Leave My Newspapers (and Magazines) Unread
March 30, 2009
Sometimes I leave my newspapers (and magazines) unread and eventually pitch them. I
have no illusions. If I miss one story or one article, my life goes on. I never forgot what Thoreau said in “Walden“:
why read the same thing rehashed over and over? (my words)
There is a glut of information out there. One thing has never changed: the saturation point. There
is so much information you can absorb at one time. As King Solomon says in the bible: you can be weary of too
These words were written several thousand years
ago. Nothing has changed in that regard. There is so much you can study, read. You still have to live your
life. Sure you can learn from newspapers, books and magazines but if you do not integrate that knowledge into your life
it is all for naught.
Thus, I have no reservations about
not getting to any written material. There is so much you can read and so much you can absorb at one time and you certainly
have to live your life. I have absolutely no guilt about leaving any newspapers, (etc.) unread.
another entry, from March 2009:
Do You Walk To A Tune Of A Different Drummer?
I really can’t answer that. Only
you. Do you listen to the tiny voice only you can hear? This can be very difficult in a society that values conformity.
There are so many pressures you face–inward and outside. Your conscience can be a dictator (or free you).
There are no easy answers. To love another means to be able to reach out to others and forget yourself. First,
though you have to like and love yourself. Respect starts with you. If you do not respect yourself how can you
possibly respect others? Listening to a tune of a different drummer (words coined by Thoreau) means having the courage
to follow the path only you truly can follow. There are no lack of people to tell you how to lead your life and somehow
you need to respect the lives of those closest to you. That is truly a balancing act. Maybe now you can answer
that question a little better: Do you walk to a tune of a different drummer? Only you know to what degree that
might be true.
one from February 2009:
We Are Wired To Love
You Can Change the World
Life is very precious.
Every day. Yes, we can squander some time. And that is okay. But if you live as if your life does not matter,
it is a life of despair. You have to feel what you do matters and you can change the world. It does not revolve
around you. Nevertheless you have to feel you make a difference in someones life otherwise it is a squandered life.
All we have to do is look around at the lives God put next to you. There are always needs out there and hurting people.
You have to figure out how you can reach out to these people your lives are intertwined with. You just have to open
your eyes and listen. The people are always there. We were meant to love. We are wired that way.