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Author Topic: Ponderings 12 (and a half)  (Read 5584 times)

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Magispook

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Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« on: January 09, 2007, 07:54:29 PM »

Sixty-four going on seven - I took my uncle back to the town he’s spent about forty-eight of his fifty-three years in.  He tried to leave but could not adjust to modern day.  Yep, it’s like going back in time.  The town is, in essence, dead..  The once almost filled to capacity elementary school has about one hundred students now and services a significant part of the county-very few kids from the town my uncle has decided to return to.  Most everything is closed down.  No gas station.  No fast food joints.  The movie house closed down decades ago.  The only businesses there now cater to folks on pension or SSI and are based on their market needs.  We went there to find an apartment for him to live in (I call the apartment building a flop-house BTW).  He mistakenly thought one would simply be available and had called in advance to set up a meeting with his landlord to be.  After a three hour drive, we got there.  The landlord was not at the meeting location.  We spent another three hours trying to locate him or arrange for alternate quarters.  Coming from the fast lane (by comparison) of north-central West Virginia, I got a re-education of the ways of southern WV.  We had to go through the social etiquette of inquiring about the health of various persons known prior to  my uncle’s move away from town before getting down to the business at hand.  My uncle knew everyone – all elderly for the most part.  “Well, how’s Ms X doing?”  “Oh, she passed last year and her son moved away–she was the only reason he was staying.”   And so it went.  I kid you not, at least twenty people inquired about have died during the three year absence.  Since I didn’t know any of them, I stayed politely to the side.  My uncle asked to use the telephone at one residence he visited.  Cell phones don’t work there.  It seemed so ludicrous to see a display of trak-phones at the only convenience store a couple miles out of town.  While waiting for him, over comes “Randy” to shake hands, tell me he’s going to church nowadays, have me feel his bicep, and dodge a few poorly executed fake punches.  Happy he’d done his duty, he walked on down the road.  Randy knows no strangers.  The owner of the house came out and noted I had met Randy.  “Ol’ Randy’s sixty-four going on seven,” he noted.  I said I figured as much.  No need to remark Randy’s chimney was obviously clogged or that in less politically correct times he would be called the village idiot.  Everyone in town knows Randy and his situation.  They take care of him.  Someone we had visited earlier had given him a box of candy and he carried it and showed it to all interested (or not interested) as a prize.  Good ‘ol vanishing small town America.  Makes me wonder though, given a truly TSHTF situation, what would become of Randy.  He still has brute strength.  He’s still a big ol’ boy.  Probably easily supervised.  But what about a situation such as in Lucifer’s Hammer when acceptance into a community trying to survive means having a needed skill?  The stereotypical survivalist would say Randy will just have to be turned away to starve.  So the question I have yet to make peace with regarding TSHTF scenarios, should they come to pass as some feel there is no question they will, is how to balance a need for efficiency and survival with “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  When I went into law enforcement, I had made peace with the fact that if I point my weapon at someone, I may have to kill them.  There was some probability that could happen there.  But those were narrowly defined circumstances.  What to do about Randy and kids and others who, but for the grace of God, could be me, I have yet to make peace with.  I suspect others who are not of the chairborne commando ilk, cringe at the thoughts as well.  Perhaps that makes us human, rather than critter.
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fraulibra

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 10:46:11 PM »

You evoke a bittersweet glimpse at a vanished way of life, Magispook.  Your uncle's hometown is almost beyond the imagination of most young people these days. 

You raise some tough questions.  What ABOUT people like Randy?

Last weekend I was watching Fiddler on the Roof on video.  Wonderful movie about decent, hardworking people trying to get by in life, and instead getting ripped from their homes and tossed out onto the open road to go wherever they could manage to go, just so they got out. 

At the end of the movie, as the evicted Jews leave the village and hit the road with what few belongings they have means to transport, one flat-bed wagon carries a large and stately bed.  The bed is fully made-up, piled with white pillows and comforters, and sitting up in the bed with her back against the pillows is an elderly woman.  She is bedridden and cannot travel any other way.  Her family must have had much trouble to care for her in the first place, but to take her along in such a fashion on such a journey must have been inconvenient in the extreme.  And yet, the viewer understands that the family could not have done otherwise.

In my opinion, when it comes to the Randys of the world, decent people can hardly do otherwise. 

If there comes a time when communities form based on needed skills, and those without skills are set adrift to sink or swim, there had better be provision for those who CAN'T contribute.  Anyone who is able ought to learn and work.  Those who are NOT able, whether due to age, infirmity, or lack of mental capacity, must still be cared for. 

Even among wild animals, there are some species who will not abandon a sick or dying group member.  If we reach a day when we do so, we will no longer be human and in fact will be less than some critters.
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Meme16

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 11:22:30 PM »

I like the ''Randys ''of this world- we need them - not sure about the gun part as we live in Canada and here where we live we don't do guns- I will have to ponder some more to get that part-  guess we live in a slow town- LOL- however I did like your ponderings -
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heartathome

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 09:59:09 PM »

You evoke a bittersweet glimpse at a vanished way of life, Magispook.  Your uncle's hometown is almost beyond the imagination of most young people these days. 

You raise some tough questions.  What ABOUT people like Randy?

Last weekend I was watching Fiddler on the Roof on video.  Wonderful movie about decent, hardworking people trying to get by in life, and instead getting ripped from their homes and tossed out onto the open road to go wherever they could manage to go, just so they got out. 

At the end of the movie, as the evicted Jews leave the village and hit the road with what few belongings they have means to transport, one flat-bed wagon carries a large and stately bed.  The bed is fully made-up, piled with white pillows and comforters, and sitting up in the bed with her back against the pillows is an elderly woman.  She is bedridden and cannot travel any other way.  Her family must have had much trouble to care for her in the first place, but to take her along in such a fashion on such a journey must have been inconvenient in the extreme.  And yet, the viewer understands that the family could not have done otherwise.

In my opinion, when it comes to the Randys of the world, decent people can hardly do otherwise. 

If there comes a time when communities form based on needed skills, and those without skills are set adrift to sink or swim, there had better be provision for those who CAN'T contribute.  Anyone who is able ought to learn and work.  Those who are NOT able, whether due to age, infirmity, or lack of mental capacity, must still be cared for. 

Even among wild animals, there are some species who will not abandon a sick or dying group member.  If we reach a day when we do so, we will no longer be human and in fact will be less than some critters.

What a beautiful response Fraulibra   :4u   Well said!!
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tomiearl

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 10:56:29 PM »

I agree, today most people think of only themselves and what someone can do for them.

We have mostly gotten away from the fact that families helped and took care of the sick and elderly, Not turned them out.

tomi
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Magpie

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 11:45:10 AM »

I have found in my life that the Randy's of the world DO have a place. We just have to be willing to open, not just our hearts... but our heads and we can see that. One of my great uncles was a Randy. Sweet, strong, and if given simple instructions - able to complete tasks. In a large family, that was invaluable. He was the one that watched the cows, helped in the barn, helped in the house. Where an adult might think it "beneath" them to be stuck out in a field all day doing nothing much but making sure the cows didn't wander... uncle Jim was happy as long as he had some butterflies to watch and some birds to talk with. He helped in the wool room, packed down bales. Sat happily with my grandmother and listened to stories as she wound yarn around his open hands. Would sit and chatter happily with a sick kid, could comfort a hurt pet with a gentle hand.

Sometimes... we need to be reminded what free and open love and trust is like. The Randy's make us BE better. Talk a little softer, explain a little simpler, take a moment to enjoy a moment. As for those who can't DO things? Sometimes, simply being is enough. They make us soften our edges and remember how to be human. One thing that always bothers me in so many books about what-ifs, the goal is survival.

I don't want to survive. I want to thrive. I want my family to grow, be happy and healthy. We need the Randy's to keep us from forgetting that there is more than just surviving the moments. There's living the lifetime.
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fraulibra

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2007, 12:44:39 PM »

One thing that always bothers me in so many books about what-ifs, the goal is survival.
I don't want to survive. I want to thrive. I want my family to grow, be happy and healthy. We need the Randy's to keep us from forgetting that there is more than just surviving the moments. There's living the lifetime.

AMEN!   :)

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Magispook

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2007, 05:54:24 AM »

One Bark - I heard my four legged son bark one time this morning about 4:00 a.m.  Not the plaintive one for help to get up on the bed because of his age.  Not the warning bark.  It was his unique authoritative "I'm running the show" bark.  Naturally I got up and checked on the kids and the house.  All was in order.  Just the one bark.  That's all.  I held him as the vet put him down on December 30th last year.  Still miss him terribly.  Strange, the things we encounter when halfway between the dream world and being fully awake.
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Magispook

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2007, 07:03:20 PM »

- “and this is why” – When I was in the Air Force, we had a different troop management philosophy than that of our sister services.  Their style was “that’s an order—do it!”  Our style strayed somewhat.  It was “this is our objective and this is why.”  Our style had advantages.  Since the objective was known, unforeseen obstacles to mission accomplishment could be overcome through innovation instead thus reducing the possibility of failure.  Blind obedience to an order translates to an inability to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.  I tell you that so I can tell you this:  I interviewed an experienced firefighter this week.  I always take advantage of opportunities to learn from the experts so I picked his brain on home fire safety.  I had already done all the things he suggested.  He made a point to ask if I had a fire evacuation plan and especially if I had a designated place for the family to meet after evacuation.  Yes, I had a plan and had briefed my family on a designated meet location and even an alternate meet location.  All the advice on fire evacuations say to have one and so I had complied.  He said the meet location is extremely important and here’s why:  when he was a young firefighter, he fought a fire at a single family dwelling.  The parents in the house exited the back door to safety.  Their daughter exited the front door to safety.  They didn’t have a designated meet location and consequently did not see each other.  The girl’s father, because he did not know she was safe and did not see her, concluded she was in the burning house and went into the fire to save his little girl.  He perished.  Needlessly.  That’s why.
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CountryLady

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Re: Ponderings 12 (and a half)
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2007, 01:42:48 AM »

As a former Firefighter, Thank you for sharing this important message. :smihearts

And :pplease folks... PRACTICE THIS~! :ty
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