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Author Topic: Ponderings 5  (Read 2374 times)

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Magispook

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Ponderings 5
« on: June 14, 2005, 08:38:13 AM »

Fractions of Seconds - I grew up with traditional Appalachian values. A man’s responsibilities are to his family, country, and Maker – it’s his choice on the order. We also have more mundane rules such as a man does not cry in public or “cuss” in polite company. These rules are sometimes forgiven such as a display of tears at a funeral where folks will politely look away. And there are some situations where the old Appalachian saying “it’s enough to make a preacher cuss” allow excuse. We try not to stray too far from these rules of engagement though. Essentially, I talk to people for a living. I have deadlines to do this talking and often they are inflexible so I sometimes have to be assertive or aggressive in order to get done what I’m required to do. This weekend, I had a requirement to talk with a young man quickly and I called ahead to arrange to talk with him on Sunday evening. I would be traveling a long distance to talk with him and others. The young man is in the military and I had to talk with him before he left to go overseas. He asked when I would arrive as he had planned a family outing well away from the area and would have to cut it short to meet with me. Our talk was important and, professional that he is, he was willing to come back early. I’m prior military and I can tell you that time with your loved ones, even fractions of seconds, is way more precious than gold when you are going to deploy. Those seconds are important not only to the military member but also so very important to the family. Fractions of seconds–keep that thought as I will come back to that in a few sentences. So I suggested we meet the following day and let my deadline slip. The following day, I met with him and we completed our business. Being retired military, I naturally asked him what was ahead. So we talked in the way young troops talk to the old troops and the old farts talk to the young’uns. He struck me as a professional soldier in philosophy (“got a job to do and need to take care of my people”) and a person who has a lot to offer society in the future. He told me where he was going and what he would need to do–the sort of chit chat military members engage in. I finished up, wished him good luck, and left. That bright young father of a toddler and wee bit older son is going into a situation more dangerous than typical military counterparts. Unless there is some form of Divine intervention, I give him a thirty percent chance of coming home other than in a box. Most likely that precious little toddler will never remember his dad, the son will barely remember him, and the wife will become a widow saddled with raising those two kids without the assistance of her husband. I feel so impotent. The only thing I could do was what I did before I knew the situation fully. I offered that family a few extra hours together–fractions of seconds in the scheme of things. Not too long ago, I shed a tear for my country. Now, here in the privacy of my motel room, I find it necessary to do it again. Sh!t!
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Wishful Thinkin - * Staff *  

I thought of the same thing today. I heard of two jets colliding and I thought of how evey women in that company must be feeling tonight. And God help me but I can't tell you the company they were from. I only know evey women there was not living well. How they do it I SHALL NEVER KNOW. I admire each and every one of them and 2 of them tonight shall NEVER be the same. God bless them.
 
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Magispook - * Staff *

Was thinking about some of the people I've interviewed who have faced adversity. Rather than tell you their full story, I'll provide a few tidbits and a remark they made that stuck with me. Take what you will from that. Who knows, it might generate some discussion.

Most recent person first: an elderly French lady who immigrated to America with a dark complected American GI husband of Mexican descent. She encountered racial prejudice when she came to the U.S. deep South as she was obviously white and had a dark skinned husband. She was spat upon numerous times and their children were picked on. When the war with Germany started, she (a teenager) and her family had fifteen minutes advance warning to evacuate her village before the German army invaded. They walked sixty miles to southern France. They walked at night because the Luftwaffe strafed anyone/anything on the roads during the daytime. They lived off what they brought and whatever they could find. She said they didn't miss running water or electricity during the trip or at the new location because they had none in her old village anyhow. She eventually became a cabaret dancer and had boyfriends in high places including a high level diplomat. When she told him she was immigrating to the U.S. he told her "don't go to America---if you kill an American and cut out his heart, you will only find dollars."

Second person: a guy now aged about 65. His father was a Wehrmacht soldier and was killed on the Russian front. When the Russians came to Germany, they raped women and went on a general revenge killing spree. His mother was forced to flee with her toddler (him) toward the American sector. The term for he and his mother was "DP" (Displaced Person). They lived in camps and wherever else they could find shelter. Food was scarce. They eventually got to the American sector and his mother eventually married an American GI. His remark about the months on the run: "we ate a lot of potatoes." He added: "America is the greatest place to live."

Third person: a young guy who escaped a brutal regime in the Middle East. He paid a smuggler to get him out of the country and to the border of a neutral country. He left his family to face persecution for his defection and they did. Almost every step of the way, he suspected the smuggler would hand him over to the police. He eventually made his way to the United States. His remark: "it was worth it--this is the greatest country on Earth."

The full stories of those folks are really interesting but it's not ethical of me to tell their full stories without their permission. Their remarks stay with me. I take what I can from their views and experiences, then integrate that into my personal what-ifs. Perhaps these will stimulate some discussion, eh?
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Magispook

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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2005, 04:06:06 PM »

Sweat - I bought three tons of pellet stove pellets and had to pick 'em up before the end of July.  I save about $100 buying them in the off-season and transporting them myself.  And that's one prep I don't have to worry about come Fall.  Since I'm out of work right now, I figured now would be the best time to get 'em.  They come in 40 pound bags.  My truck will only hold one ton at a time so I had to make three trips, hand load them onto the truck, hand off-load them from the truck, then stack 'em--all by myself, 6000 freakin' pounds.  Took awhile.  I have the sore back to prove it.  I must've sweated a gallon or so.  I haven't done manual labor work, other than yard work and stacking firewood, for years.  When I was young, manual labor was simply something that had to be done when your prospects were limited.  Education or family connections do improve one's lot in life sweat-expenditure-wise.  Education was my route away.  I am sore.  I feel my almost 50 years.  But, guess what?  I also have a sense of accomplishment.  I felt the goodness a body feels when performing manual labor, when old muscle memories reactivate.  It's kinda like meeting up with childhood friends and shooting hoops or doing something from your youth you haven't done since so long ago.  Yes, manual labor has its own advantages.  I almost forgot that.  Of course, it also has its disadvantages if overdone or without thought for safety.  Got to say though, honest sweat from hard work is good sweat and is worth the effort.   Well worth the lesson, you betcha, by golly. :thumbup
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Magispook

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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2005, 10:02:49 AM »

Full Moon - I’m not getting much sleep this week.  Neither is my daughter.  She has been sluggish and short tempered just like me.  I recently made the connection about “it” and my daughter.  Very interesting in a scientific kind of way as we’re not related by blood.  I’ve come to accept “it” after I finally figured “it” out a few years ago.   The other inhabitants of our household, my wife and my niece, are unaffected other than having to deal with my daughter and me while “it” occurs.  I’m talking about the effects of a full moon.  My daughter exhibits similar behaviors as I did as a child.  She cannot get to sleep and tries every subterfuge to stay up beyond her bedtime.  The quality of sleep is very poor.  As a parent, I still take time to watch her sleep.  Her sleep is fitful during full moon.  I know "it" well.  There are different levels of sleep and we are both stuck in a detoured stage between just starting to sleep and deep, restful sleep.  I can describe this detoured sleep level well having experienced and wondered about it for about forty-five years.   You are held captive in the dreams(?) as both a participant and sometimes as puppet master because you have some control over what is presented next in the sequence of actions.  All the while, you view everything from a remote level, looking at what is happening while being forced to participate.  For example, just prior to waking up this morning, I dreamed I knew the owner of a dog hole punch mine (a dog hole is a coal mine with small seams that you cannot stand up to work in and a punch mine is one opened purely to exploit the coal and then leave without any thought of the environmental impact).  The owner had finished with it and said I could go camp in it if I wanted to.  It was interesting in there.  There was no rock or coal dust.  There was a bath house in the mine instead of outside it.  There were people walking through on the way to picnics.  There was an exit out the other side of the mountain and I saw little green dead birds inside walnut casings (the casings you see after they fall off the tree and before you stain your hands getting to the walnut inside).  There were also dull silver pterodactyl  mummies on shelves by the road I walked on.  Weird, huh?  You don’t have control over what is presented as a consequence of the action you enable either.  And you jump around a lot without any seeming connection to whatever is happening.  It’s like holding the TV remote control channel button down and watching each station quickly come and go while being part of what is presented on the TV at the same time.  To complicate things, lots of attention seems to be paid to what turns out to be ephemeral minutia--a waste of dream time to me.  And the colors.  They are vivid.  There is a version of my favorite color, blue, that presents in various manners such as lightning, speckles, quick flash sheets, and the sky at night only all the stars are the same vivid, very vivid, blue color that I have not seen the match of while awake.  I’m sure if I go blind, which could happen because I’m diabetic, that I will look forward to these presentations as I will get to see something at least.  I came to the conclusion lighting may be the culprit in the modified sleep so I have tried using a sleep mask on my daughter and myself.  There has been limited improvement but neither she nor I find wearing a sleep mask comfortable.  Adjusting window shades has no effect whatsoever.  I got the idea from experiments with folks using a Ouija board.  Researchers noted there were no words spelled anytime at all when all the participants were blindfolded.  They could not see the board’s letters and had no idea where to place the planchette either subconsciously or consciously.  By now, you’re probably wondering where this paragraph is taking you and you are getting fed up with all this blasted jumping around.  I seem to be going on and on about this and that and it all doesn’t seem to lead to anything of importance.  The only control you have is to stop reading the paragraph but you have invested this much time and effort so will continue on to the end.  Congratulations.  Welcome to what my sleep world is like when there is a full moon.  :giggle
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CountryLady

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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2005, 12:17:48 AM »

Stinker~! :giggle

Maybe I need to pay attention to what the moon is doing
when I'm having trouble sleeping. Thanks for the tip.

 :smihearts
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Magispook

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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2005, 09:57:27 PM »

The End of the World as WE Know It - Those of us who prep most likely take a look at the other prep boards on occasion.  I do.  What strikes a visitor to the other boards immediately is all the doom and gloom.  TEOTWAWKI.  Notice I made an emphasis by capitalizing (shouting) "WE" when I typed my title.  Been thinking about this a wee bit.  Grid failure, poverty, government against or doesn't care about the people, riots, pestilence, lack of toilet paper, ad nauseum.  Scary stuff.  "We're all gonna die!"  Folks, I can really only go by my own personal experience.  But I have lived and worked all over the world.  I've been in third world countries where the contrast between the "haves" and the "have nots" is so striking Ray Charles could have seen it.  Government in those countries was corrupt and oppressive.  Often, there was no electricity, clean water, sewage service, adequate food supply, minimal or nonexistent health care, etc.---Stuff we take for granted here in the Western world.  Quality of life and life expectancy for those folks is pee-poor compared to us.  But, get this:  THEY STILL LIVE.  They still laugh and smile.  They still cry.  They still hope.  They still have their humanity to the best of their ability and resources.  So if there is TEOTWAWKI here in our part of the world, it doesn't necessarity mean the end of the world.  It may simply mean the end of the world as WE know it.  Not quite the same as total oblivion.  Think about that the next time the gloom and doomers really unnerve you.  It's all a matter of perspective.  :thumbup
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CountryLady

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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2005, 11:04:19 PM »

Preach it Magispook...!

SOMETHING is gonna happen SOMEWHERE, SOMETIME, to EVERYBODY.

I think its fun to figure out ways to have the BEST possible life,
NO MATTER WHAT!

We don't have to be all GLUM about it... ?
Life IS an adventure~! If it isn't... you ain't living~!

 :lolred
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Nurseforlife

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2005, 06:07:24 AM »

Those are some very wise words Magispook  :tysign
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sparrowhill

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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2005, 03:56:46 PM »

:tysign   for putting everything all back into perspective.

 :banghead   How could I have been so scared.  You're right.  Life goes on.   :thumbup

 :smihearts
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