I love you but…..

Divorce is happening more often as a percentage not because of growing apart but because of the selfishness of both partners. Neither side of the relationship is willing to grow up and take responsibility. This has caused a trigger in alot of young adults to have babies but never get married. The thought of divorce has caused overwhelming fear of commitment. If you believe in marriage or not, is your business. But without this bond, you are just telling your partner that you don’t love them enough to sign the contract. You never have to say this aloud but mentally, this is what is being picked up. The male will always have in the back of his mind that she will leave him any day now. The female will always believe she is not worthy of him.

Man and woman sitting on couch. Man looking away and woman looking sad
Together without true bond

Another reason, is that the government is pushing people away from getting hitched. It is becoming easier to make a living when the contract isn’t signed. The tax break for being married is weakening and it is much easier to get government help if you don’t have to show that there is a spouse helping with the children. Divorce, in most states, consists of the parents doing their due diligence until the youngest child turns eighteen (in some cases until the child is twenty-one). It is much easier for the partners, if the marriage never exists, depending on state laws, of course.

Young people no longer want to be tied down until death do them part. Of course, if there are children, then the parents will still be attached if they like it or not. But who is it that truly pays for this lack of commitment? The children of course and their children. You have taught your children this is the way to live. We all learn the environment we are in.

Father and mother holding hands with their daughter taking a walk
Your children deserve your commitment

Leaving the door open and not sealing it with the commitment of marriage is just like quitting before you even begin. This is just a way to play house without taking on your responsibilities. Of course you are going to be completely destroyed if your partner cheats on you but without the commitment, are they truly cheating or using this time to expand their horizon? There is no contract to break other than the verbal boyfriend/girlfriend rules. Neither one of you have taken a stand for yourself to be with this one man or woman. You have also decided not to take a stand for your partner or, worse of all, your children.  All you have done is split the bills and hope the other doesn’t do you wrong. At the same time you are telling your partner that you are also looking around, even if you aren’t.

Another way to think about this is, both of you buy a car together or house and both of your names are on the contract. You are betting on each other that both of you will hold up responsibilities of making the payments on said property.  So what both of you have decided is that car or house deserves a contract signed by each of you but neither of you are good enough to have a contract with. I could go on and on about this subject. I choose to leave it as it is because I believe I have given you something to think about. No matter what your religion is or your thoughts of marriage as an institution, don’t your children deserve this commitment in their lives? Your marriage may or may not work out but don’t let the fear hold you back. Take a chance on your beloved and no matter what happens, your children will reap the benefits of your commitment.

Man and woman getting married
True faith and belief in each other

These ideas are truly of my own thinking and not to dismantle anyone who doesn’t agree with me. If I didn’t write what I feel in my heart, then I’m just writing to pass the time. I will never publish anything that I don’t truly believe and feel that it needs to be written. Take care, love one another, step up to the plate and Remember, we are all in this together.

Thoughts for my readers

When I write a post, these  are either what I believe in and/or what I have lived through. I always leave my post open for not only agreeing with me but also for those that disagree. I wanted to write this today because I think some have gotten the wrong impressions of why I write the way I do and about the subjects I pick. If you disagree with me and want it to be posted, all I ask is you don’t use foul language. If you can do this, all reviews will be posted! These are my opinions and views that I pull out of my head and my heart. My post are just my way of giving you, my readers, a chance for a fresh view to process on your own or discuss with your friends and family. Also, a word of advice, if your not sure of something you read, do some research. Don’t just take everything to heart because someone published it. They may be wrong.

I may not always be the most articulate writer and this is because of two distinct reasons. The first is because, I want to do my writing as though I am talking directly with you and not at you. The second is because, I don’t use big words myself and it would be unrealistic for me to write in a way that I don’t think or talk. I write from my heart not from a dictionary and I plan to continue to do so.

Man typing on laptop looking at his notes on paper
Incorporating teachings

I do try to put teaching within my writings, using lessons that I have learned. I feel if I am not teaching what I have learned, then I’m just writing for myself. This is not what I want to accomplish. I am a teacher at heart, so I must follow the way I am led. I do write about parts of my life that I have lived through, usually with funny things that have happened. When I write about my adventures, I always let my readers know, this is what I have done. When I write my stories about my adventures, I try to put it as close to what happened as I can. I do try to leave foul language out because I don’t want to be known as a writer of foul language. This is a personal choice and in no way a slam on anyone who chooses another path.

I have written before that I write about things as they come to me and tonight this is where this post comes from. I will continue to write my teachings and my life stories as long as you will have me.

I want to thank each and everyone of you that continue to read my post. I also ask that you let me know if I hit a nerve with you, whether good or bad, so don’t be shy and tell me. If you wish to send me a direct email without it going on the post, here is my email; tailfeathers32@protonmail.com        Just make sure you are off my website when you send it. I will be happy to discuss any problems you have with my post. Thank you for reading and Remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Funny True Stories short stories

Dad did doughnuts in my car!

This is an adventure I had with one of my friends that I ran around with in my teen years. Kevin and I were and still are good friends. Unlike me, he is still in the Missouri Ozarks. This is a place I have great memories of and miss a great deal. In the area where we lived, it was almost impossible to get to someone’s house without driving on a dirt road. My house was no different. We lived at the bottom and in between two hills. One was steeper but shorter, the other was quite a bit longer but not as steep. This longer route was the one that was used the most because it emptied out on a blacktop road. The other went into another dirt road before it hit blacktop. The shorter of the two was also the wrong way to go in the winter because it was so steep and snow and ice would make it incredibly slick.

All of us at the time did a lot of engine work on our vehicles to make them faster than stock, and Kevin’s truck was no different. Of course, at our age, getting on dirt was a reason to spin the tires. Asphalt tears up tires, but a good dirt road is fun without the cost of tearing things up, usually. We all worked on our own vehicles and helped each other out when we could. Kevin was very good at mechanics, so his vehicles always ran top-notch.

Up at the top of the hill, close to the paved road, there was a man that lived in a ground set trailer. It sat back, maybe two acres off the dirt road. He kept pretty much to himself, except he really didn’t like when we drove past his house kicking up dust. I kinda considered him more of a city man instead of a country man. He really didn’t belong there. I never really had many dealings with him because he didn’t do any kind of farming, and he didn’t want to have anything to do with us farmers. Like I said, he didn’t fit in.

Chevy pickup on a dirt road

I’m not sure if we were coming home from school, but that is how I remember it. On this day, when we pulled off the paved road onto the dirt road, Kevin gave a little more throttle to his Chevy than was needed, and it caused the truck to slide sideways.  It wasn’t a full on rip up the road kind of thing. It was just enough to make the truck “fishtail” to one side and make us both laugh. I was a little upset that he didn’t give it more gas then he did. We headed on down the hill to my house. My dad was out front working on a tree he had just planted. Kevin and I went into the house to get something to drink.

Policeman explains the complaint he received about our driving

It was maybe fifteen minutes later and my dad yells for us to come outside. We went out and there was a cop talking to my dad. Oh no, what’s going on?, I thought to myself. This officer asked why we had been doing doughnuts at the top of the hill. Kevin and I looked shocked. We both denied it. Kevin told the officer that maybe he was going faster than he should, but we weren’t doing doughnuts.  I agreed with him and said if we were doing doughnuts, the tire tracks would most definitely show. The officer told us that he knew the guy at the top of the hill was a grouch and for us to please slow down going past his house. We said we would, and the cop shook our hands and left.

After the cop left, my dad looked at us and asked what we really did. I had probably the best dad ever. Anybody that knew him would agree that he was one of a kind. Kevin and I both told him about the small fishtail we had done and dad just said don’t do it again. It wasn’t long after that that Kevin went on home. After Kevin left, my dad asked me again what we had done. Again I told him what had happened and said if he wanted to, we could go up and look at the tracks. He said, “ok, let’s go.” This came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it is what it is I guess. We went to the backyard and got into my Ranchero and I drove us up to the spot, so my dad could look at the tracks. We both got out and looked. It was a little worse than I thought, but it was still a fishtail to one side like we had said. Dad told me to get in the passenger side, so he could drive. I got in and dad got behind the wheel.

Inside of old 60s Ford vehicle

Then it happened, my dad put the car in first gear, slammed on the gas pedal, let out the clutch and did three perfectly executed doughnuts in the middle of this dirt road, directly across from the man’s house that had called the cops on us. After, he stopped the car, he got out and yelled at the man. “Hey stupid! You see that? That’s a doughnut! Now call the cops you moron!” We went home and I was in awe of what my dad had just done. He told me that we were wrong to spin the tires like we had done and not to do it again. I answered, “Yes sir, but what about what you just did?” Dad explained, “I just wanted to make sure that idiot knew what a doughnut was!” Then he smiled and said, “Maybe next time he will come talk to me so I can handle it, instead of calling the cops like we live in the city or something.” That man never called the cops and he made sure to always wave politely anytime we drove past. I guess he figured he didn’t want to mess with dad. Kevin and I kept our promise to the cop and to dad, we never spun our tires in front of this man’s house again. Oh, we wanted to real bad, but we didn’t.

Front fender of 1960's car

I hope you enjoyed this story from my youth. I have many more to come in the future. Sometimes I wonder why I ever grew up. These were good times, but the past is the past, and we must move on. Take care and remember, we are all in this together.

Surrounded yet alone

Depression is very real. It comes from all directions, in many different ways and with many different levels. Others that pay attention to their friends and family, can see when depression is starting but many times, the person with the symptoms, don’t know it’s coming or even real. They just feel like it’s just a bad day, need better or more sleep or need to eat better. There are all kinds of things for this person to blame it on. The best way for this person to feel like something is wrong is when he or she is surrounded by people that love and care for them, yet they still feel alone.

Everyone at one time or another have dealt with some form of depression. Sometimes it is a chemical imbalance and that is why I believe it shows up in teenagers so frequently. Their whole body including their brains have chemicals changing so much during those years. After women have their babies, it can show up. Once again a great chemical change has happened. When it shows up in later years, it sometimes makes a difference what that person has gone through in their life. This last one is where I fit in. I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist but I do understand depression. I suffer from depression and there are times I feel like it is taking over. Most of the time, depression can be helped with  medication and having people around that care about you is also of great help.

Not all depression shows up with the “poor Ole me” syndrome. Actually, most of the time the people that are showing the “poor Ole me” syndrome are just trying to get attention. When real depression hits, it can’t be explained by the person having it because it is unexplainable. This can show up in eating habits, changing of speech, worry without cause, sleep disorders and many other things. Of course the worst is self destruction. It takes people that really know you, to be able to pick up on it.

Man laying on mattress looking depressed

The hardest part about dealing with someone that has depression is convincing them to talk to a doctor. This is a real tricky health issue that is very hard for you to believe you have. I had myself convinced that I was just having bad days and all would be fine if I just kept plugging along. It didn’t matter that it was day after day after day. If at anytime, I laughed about anything, then I was convinced that I was okay. I didn’t want to believe it and I put my family through alot because I wouldn’t believe anything was wrong.

If you are dealing with someone that you believe may have depression, be very careful how and when you bring it to their attention. Don’t bring it up when they are really upset. Bring it up when things are calm and make sure to back off if they argue with you about it. Just show them that you care and want them to know that you see a difference in their behavior. Then back off and let that sink in. It’s almost like dealing with an alcoholic or someone that is hooked on drugs. The person that has the problem has to see it for themselves and just telling them they have a problem usually doesn’t work. It takes finesse and kindness and a strong will to help someone with depression.

After the depressed person decides to get help, the battle is very near an end. Even though this person may have issues for the rest of their life, they will be able to see who they are and want to change for the better. There are many different drugs to help with depression and it may take quite sometime to find the right prescription that helps. Once found though, it is like a new beginning.

For those of you that feel you may suffer from depression, don’t ignore it. Seek help and I promise, you will be glad you did. I’m not saying that you won’t have trouble with it even after you get help, but the understanding of it is the greatest feeling in the world. You too can feel better and function like yourself again. I got help and I have learned how and when it is going to come upon me. This has been my greatest accomplishment to date. Don’t ignore when your body and mind are telling you that you need help. Be well my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

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Blog posts

Father’s vs Daddy’s

     I believe we need to change the name from Father’s Day to Daddy’s Day. This is something that I have always believed. I think if you read on, you may understand where I’m coming from.

      What is a father? According to the dictionary, it is: a man in relation to his child or children. This is a pretty vague and open description. Daddy is an informal way of saying father, however in a child’s eyes, there is a big difference.  Any male figure can become a father, but not all fathers can or choose to be a daddy. There are many men who have created children, including very bad men. This includes abusive men, rapists or even murderers of their children. Why are we allowing these men to be celebrated? This is the first part of why I believe the name change is in order.

Daddy reading to his daughter while they sit in tent

      To all fathers that are taking care of their children, whether being in the same household or not, I salute you. The men that have stepped up for their children can be considered father and daddy. Remember, just because you helped create a child, does not make you a daddy.

        What about a man that steps up to raise a child that they did not create? Those that are stepdads and those that adopt children and become dads can possibly be considered daddy, but not always. If the men in these cases raise these children with love, compassion and respect, they may and possibly will become a daddy. However, in the stepdad position, this may or may not be the case. If the father is still in the child’s life and also shows the child love, compassion and respect, then this will trump the stepdad’s claim on the term daddy. As long as the stepdad shows love, compassion and respect for the child, then these are still great men to be respected.

Daddy sleeping with his child on his chest

       It takes a special man to be a daddy, It only takes sex to become a father. There is a huge difference in these two terms. Why are we celebrating all fathers when so many don’t deserve to be celebrated? Why are we leaving out the daddys that deserves to be celebrated? Some families do celebrate daddys on Fathers Day as well they should, but the name in the holiday doesn’t fit.

       I never knew my father and have not seen him since I was a baby. Do I believe this man deserves to be celebrated on Father’s Day? Without ever meeting this man, I would have to say no for now. I am now in my fifties and this man has never tried to contact me in any way. The man that became my stepdad at the age of four earned the role of daddy through the years. This man showed me love, compassion and respect until the day he died. I never called him daddy because I was raised in the time when that was only a term said out loud by the girls in the family. Dads and sons in my day didn’t hug or show much emotion. Shaking hands was the highest respect that was used to show love. I called him dad, but in my mind’s eye, I was always saying daddy.

Picture of my Daddy

       I will spend another Father’s Day this year without my daddy, and I miss him so much. If you have a daddy, make sure you show this great man love. Even though some of us old men are still stuck in the handshake mode, we still love our hugs.

       I hope I have made my case for the name change of this holiday. Some people never realize how special a daddy can be until they are gone. Have a  Happy Daddy’s Day!

Use words carefully

The strongest power you have is your words. Be careful how you use them. Words can make or break you. Worse yet, your words can help or hurt others.

I know you have heard the old adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words (names) can never hurt me.” The first part is correct, however, words can hurt. Words can destroy! Not only do we need to watch our words for our own sake, we need to be mindful of them for others too. A wise man once said to listen is our greatest gift. What exactly did he mean by this?

Does it mean that we are never to talk and only listen? Of course not. We were given a mouth for a reason. But we were given only one mouth and two ears! We need to listen twice as much as we talk and we will learn a whole lot more. When we are talking, it is hard to listen and we will miss alot that is going on around us. Not only are we affecting our own hearing by talking too much, we are also affecting those around us. Case in point, how can we have a truly meaningful conversation with someone if we are doing all the talking? I have a real bad habit of this that I am trying to fix myself.

Four teenage girls talking and laughing

Have you ever tried to have a thought of your own while listening to three or more teenage girls talking? If you can, then you are an exception to the human race. If you want to know if these young ladies are really listening try this. Ask a question of them that is off subject and watch their responses. Make sure you have your camera ready because you will get some really strange looks. Everyone of them will tell you they know what the other is saying, but if you  really pay attention, you will notice some very distinct differences of what they are saying to each other. Now I will admit that girls are much better at this than boys but they aren’t as good as they think they are. Actually if you dare to record their conversation and play it back to them, there may even be some hurt feelings between at least two of them.

As far as your words hurting yourself, try this and see what happens. Take one day and do nothing but call yourself stupid, moron or what ever bad thing you can come up with. Then take another day and praise yourself. Tell yourself how you are doing such a great job, how good you look and how nice of a person you are. After this little experiment, ask yourself which day you felt good at the end of the day and which day you felt terrible. Be careful not to overdue the bad things you say because this is very powerful stuff you’re dealing with.

What about your words hurting others? Well after you tried your little experiment on yourself, imagine how it feels coming from someone else. There is a real truth to this that you will have to test for yourself. But if you really try it, you will learn to choose your words a little more carefully. Try to change words like “hate” to “dislike” and see if you yourself don’t feel better about yourself after talking to your neighbor about the old grumpy man down the street.

If you will take my advice and start monitoring the words you use and how many words you use, I will guarantee, you will feel better and so will those around you. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

Tell me I can’t, Please!!!

The best way to get a positive person to achieve something is to tell them they can’t do it. On the other hand, if you tell a negative person the same thing, they will quit.

I refuse to let anybody convince me I can’t accomplish what I strive to do. I will never say something is impossible because I have learned this statement to be untrue. The impossible is very possible given the right circumstances. The impossible has become possible over and over again. There was a time not too long ago when the thought of getting into a machine that could fly was an absolute impossibility. Yet here we are with not just one machine that can fly, but thousands of them all over the world.

Commercial airliner flying

A positive person will continue to work on a problem until a solution is presented. A negative person will quit as soon as the problem becomes too much of a stretch. I have had times that I have been a negative person, usually after a great hurt in my life. For the most part, I am a very positive person and I love it when someone tells me I can’t do something. This creates a great drive in my spirit and I am able to achieve things that even I wasn’t sure I could do.

Not once but a few times in my lifetime, I have had people say that they are positive they can’t do something. Even worse, I have had someone tell me that they are positive that I can’t do something. This, even if it is meant to be funny, is an ugly thing to say. This my friends, is what is known as a double negative and will in turn teach your brain to be negative.

How do we live being positive and not negative through life? I was lucky to have parents that started me on my journey of a positive life. After I left to be on my own, the United States Navy helped me to become even more positive. I learned to accomplish things that seemed impossible until I achieved them. I thought this was where becoming a positive person came from. Even though this did help me on my path, this was not ultimately the answer to the question.

Typewriter with Goals typed on paper

Becoming a positive person starts with a kind of stubbornness of refusing to quit. This is a mindset that you put upon yourself. It comes from the accomplishment of finding the solution to a problem. How can you say that you are a positive person, if you have never reached a goal? Now this is where I’m going to tell you something that may upset you. If you don’t set goals, this is also a way of being a negative person. That’s right! You cannot be a truly positive person without goals. Just acting the part of saying things like, yes you can or yes I can, is not being positive. These are just empty words to make yourself and others feel good. You must accomplish something, then you can claim positivity.

Are you a positive person? What have you accomplished to claim this award? Are you setting and achieving goals? I sure hope that if you aren’t already, you will now after reading this post. Be positive my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

When ideas meet paper

I never really know what I will write about until I sit down and get started. Most bloggers can write story after story without stumbling, but I must get inspired at the exact moment of pen hitting paper, or in this case, fingers hitting keys.

Man typing on old typewriter

I have plenty of stories to tell, however I want to make sure that when I tell my stories, it means something to the one that is reading it. The things I have lived through mean alot to me, but to my readers, it may be a waste of their time. Even though I have really started to enjoy writing, there is no need to publish what I have written if nobody is reading.

Taking all of this into account tonight, it hit me, what about inventors? I mean, the one thing that helps a inventor is to put ideas to paper. This being said, what about other people that put their ideas on paper? Am I not an inventor right now? I’m taking ideas directly from my brain and putting these ideas in print. Once, twice and sometimes many more times I go back and change things until I have it the way I want it. This may not always be the best for my readers, but I do what I can to make it the way I would like to read it. I don’t use a ton of big words on purpose because I think that takes away from the objective of the stories or lessons that I am presenting.

Let’s get this straight right off the bat. This is not in any way a lesson to teach writing. I am simply bringing up a case for what I’m about to explain to you.

Dream circle with a light bulb in the middle

When it came across my mind about inventing and writing, it really started to turn the murky waters crystal clear for me. We have been taught the best way to learn something is to write it down. I never believed in this because I have always been a hands on type of person. Now that I have started this writing gig, I have been learning alot from what I have been writing. Although in the deep recesses of my mind, I truly do believe in all that I’m teaching, I have gotten more use from this knowledge after writing it down. So I am a living example of learning by writing.

When a inventor gets that glimmer of an idea for a new product, they write it down and continue to add to that idea until it comes into existence. They are an exceptional people because they truly bring their dreams into existence for the rest of us to enjoy. What about others in their lines of work? Let’s take the carpenter for example. This person can take a hammer, nails and some wood and make a beautiful house! However, before hammer ever hits that nail, there are blueprints to be used, which means writing is involved.

If you take what ever occupation that you do for a job, I’ll bet somewhere there is something that is written down for that job. So while this is all fine and dandy, what am I trying to get at? What’s the lesson? Let me see if I can help you make your murky water crystal clear as well.

Person writing on papers with question marks on them

We all have dreams of what we want out of life. How do we fulfill these dreams? You got it, write them down. Study them and keep your dream alive. As you find something to add or take away to get closer to your dream, you are just rewriting your new draft. Your dreams will become more and more real to you if you take time to write them down. Then study your writing. Do you want a beautiful house? Great, what color is it? How many bedrooms does it have? Is it in the city or the country? These are things you have to ask yourself and add to your writings of it. Trust me, the more specific you can be the better and more real it will become. This also allows your brain to figure out how you are going to be able to achieve your dream. If you just write down that you want a yellow house and don’t put in the details, you probably won’t even get close to what your dream is.

It is said that we only use ten percent of our brain. So what’s the other ninety percent for? Maybe the ninety percent is meant to serve as our own personal dream catchers. If humanity can accomplish everything that we have done using only ten percent, imagine what we could do with fifteen percent. Write down your dreams and allow your dream catchers to go to work for you. Keep your dreams alive and Remember, we are all in this together.

Don’t get offended

Why are you worrying about what others think of you? Are you secure in who you are or not? Are you going to let the ignorant or stupid people control and destroy you?

Black girl making fun of white girl who has turned away

In today’s world, it’s hard to speak of anything because someone somewhere is going to to be offended. It doesn’t matter what it is. I could say that I don’t like mustard and if the right person hears this, it will be on tomorrow’s news that I’m prejudice against mustard. What the heck is going on? Did you know we have a bigger problem with prejudices today then we did in the ’70s? That is scary! We are headed backwards.

I have come to the conclusion that society is getting weaker by the year and within ten more years, we will no longer be allowed to talk at all. For some people being quite would be best, however it’s going to be hard to order a hamburger through the clowns head at the drive-thru.

I spoke earlier about ignorant and stupid people. There is a huge difference. Ignorant people are uninformed while stupid people are informed but choose to go with the wrong anyway. This is where I believe we have lost our way. Parents are no longer teaching their children right from wrong, just how to feel in any given situation. This means that the more people raised in this society, the higher the percentage is of ignorance. But we have feeling people. Ugh!

Years ago we had plenty of stupid people that found everything they could possibly think of to tear down another person. It didn’t matter if it was race, religion, sex or what language they spoke. It’s all really stupid to include these things when thinking of someone anyway. Of course in the ’80s and earlier years, it was easy to deal with because it was very easy to see the stupid ones and separate them out of main society. They stuck out like a sore thumb and you just stayed away from that crowd.

Teenage girl sitting in corner

In the ’90s things started to change in a big way. We stopped allowing teachers to have any authority over our children in schools and the parents were shunned if they tried to discipline their  children at home. (Sit in the corner Jr. until you have learned your lesson). For the love of all that is holy, Jr. is thirteen years old! All that kid is learning, sitting in a corner, is how he or she is going to make your life worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about abuse, Anybody that abuses a child should be strung up by their thumbs! (That’s putting it nicely). But there are disciplinary ways to teach a child other than timeouts. We didn’t have as many issues with our children in the ’80s as parents have today. Old school thought fits right in here my friends.

Now back to ignorant and stupid people and those offended by them. Which side is truly in the wrong here? The ignorant or stupid person is saying something that has upset someone else. The upset person has just allowed the ignorant or stupid person to be the master of them because of being offended and showing their feelings in the first place.

Do you want to stop prejudices? I’m talking about all prejudices. It’s real simple. Pay attention now. Stop getting offended. If nobody gets offended, all prejudices cease to exist. Be proud of who your are and stop letting the ignorant and stupid people ruin society. Take back what we have given away in the last thirty plus years, our pride! Why allow the few to destroy the many?

Next time someone says something that hurts your feelings, don’t let them see the hurt. Don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing they hurt you. If you show the hurt, it’s like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. Don’t fuel the flames. You can go home and cry in your pillow if you want, but when you are faced with the situation, stand tall and proud. There is nobody that is better than anyone else. Only you can allow someone to offend you. I personally don’t care what race, religion or sex you are. We are all human beings living on the same planet trying to do the best we can with what we have.

A man turned around showing the back of his shirt

If you wish to reply and tell me how wrong I am, please do. I don’t get offended. Take care and Remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Funny True Stories short stories

Teenage years can be interesting

One of my friends that I ran around with and got into trouble with was Eugene. There were a few others, however Eugene seemed to be the one that helped me create some of my greatest, craziest and fondest memories.

To say my teenage years were interesting would be an understatement. I grew up on a farm in Missouri during my high school years. We didn’t have all the luxuries kids have today, like cell phones and computers, so we had to come up with things to do. This is what happens when you leave farm boys to their own devices…

I’m going to give you a little background into my life, so the pieces will fit together. My family had some property up on the highway a few miles from our house. The property had two large buildings on it. In the smaller of the two, we had a convenience store called “Linda’s Nut House.” I know that’s a funny name, and I will probably write about how that name came to be in a future post. The other larger building was an auto shop that my dad ran. Since I had the availability of an auto shop, all the tools that you could think of and of course snacks from the store, I had friends come over to work on their cars after hours quite often. One of the main ones that showed up a lot was my friend Eugene and his ’65 Ford Mustang.

Front right side of Ford Mustang

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was in the shop alone tinkering on my ’66 Ford Ranchero, when I saw that Eugene pulled up. He came in and told me that he had bought a new steering wheel for his car and asked if I would help him install it. “Of course” I told him. I had him pull his car in, and we went to work. I had changed out the steering wheel in my own car not too long before and knew exactly how to do it.

I gathered the tools we needed, and we removed his original steering wheel. I told him to get the new one. He reached in the back seat and pulled out the box with the new wheel in it and handed it to me. I set it aside and said that I needed the adapter box first. Eugene looked at me kind of funny and asked, “What adapter?” I told him the one that you put on the original bolt pattern, so his new GT steering wheel would bolt to it. “I don’t have an adapter” he said. “Well we can’t put it on without it” I explained.

There was only one auto parts store in our little town, and it was now closed. It wouldn’t be open until tomorrow, but we had school in the morning. Even though we didn’t live but about two miles apart, down a couple of dirt roads, we went to different high schools. This meant I wouldn’t be able to drive him to school, and there was nobody else around that neck of the woods that went to school with him. He absolutely refused to ride the school bus.

As we walked around the car, I was making fun of the situation, He did not see the comedy in this. I told him that we would just have to put the old one back on until he got the adapter we needed. He sat down in the driver’s seat with the new steering wheel in his hands and seemed to get an idea. This worried me. It always seemed like when he got an idea, I was about to get into trouble. He took the new steering wheel and stuck it onto the shaft. He then proceeded to turn the wheel back and forth, feeling the front tires turn under him. “Can’t I just drive it like this?” He asked. “I guess so, but there’s nothing holding it on but you. Any little bump and you’re going to be going down the road with it in your lap!” I answered with a laugh. My laughter soon turned into concern. He’s seriously thinking about this!

“It ain’t no big deal, Bill, I can get the adapter tomorrow and put it on tomorrow night.” He said. One thing I knew about my friend, when he decided to do something, it was going to happen. So he left the new one on there, fired up the Stang and backed it out of the garage. “Let’s take a run down the road and see how she does.” He said. “Why not?” I said. I got into the passenger seat and away we went.

Front end of a 1965 Ford Mustang

I fully expected to be in a wreck, but I’ve been in worse situations. We went down the road a piece, and he held nothing back. Full speed ahead and worry about disaster when it happens, I guess. After going maybe five miles, he turned around and headed back. Maybe two miles back down the road, he told me it was working great and asked if I wanted to drive. “Sure.” I said. I figured he just wanted a second opinion. Going down the road at maybe fifty miles an hour, he pulls the steering wheel off and offers it to me! “Put that damn thing back on!” I exclaimed. It took him a couple of seconds, but he got it back on and said “Cool!” “Are you crazy?” I exclaimed. He laughed, which made me laugh. How I kept my underwear clean in that few seconds, I will never know.

A couple of days later, he did it to me again. “You haven’t got that adapter yet?” I asked. “Nope, having too much fun and besides, nobody can steal my car. Hell, I just take the steering wheel with me,” He said with a crooked smile.. He always had a way to make sense out of the dumbest things. After about the third time he did this, I didn’t panic anymore. I would even take the offered steering wheel, act like I was driving from the passenger seat for a second or two and hand it back to him to put back on going down the road. We actually got perfect at it and decided this would be fun to mess with other teens.

We were at a bonfire party where we met a couple of girls. Eugene asked if they would like to run to the store with us to pick up a couple of things? They said they would. So we piled into his car. We made the girls sit in the back seat. Our first victims! Going down the road, Eugene asked if I would like to drive. Of course my response was, “sure.” He pulls off the steering wheel and hands it to me. I made a couple of quick gestures like driving and handed it back to him. He puts it back on and everything was great! Well, except for the blood-curdling screams from the back seat, of course! It was kinda of funny, for a short period of time, these girls wanted to kill us. But after it was all said and done, they wanted to kiss us, and of course we let them. For some reason, girls like to be scared as long as everyone is okay afterwards. We used this tactic a couple more times on girls and sure enough, blood-curdling screams and then kisses.  Oh, life was good!

The final time we used our little ‘you want to drive trick’ was with a guy we knew. His name was Floyd. Floyd drove this bright yellow beat up Ford pickup, and he was always running out of gas. He carried a five gallon gas can in the back of his truck all the time, so he could go get gas if and when he ran out. We never understood how one person could run out of gas so many times, but Floyd always was.

Eugene and I were running down a side road and there was Floyd. He had his pickup parked in the ditch and standing on the side of the road with that five gallon can of his. Eugene pulled up and asked if he was okay. Floyd said he ran out of gas and was wandering if we could take him down to the station and back. Eugene told him that he would. I opened the passenger door and pulled the seat forward so he could get in the back seat. Now Floyd was a mountain of a man and if you have seen the back seat of a ’65 mustang, you would know, there’s not much room at all. Floyd had to squeeze himself in and sit across both seats just to have enough room for his massive body and gas can which he sat in the floorboard.

Paved road going through woods

We took him down to the filling station where he filled up his can. He set the can in the floorboard and crammed himself back in there. Eugene couldn’t help but to laugh on and off through this ordeal, and he had a very interesting laugh that made me laugh. On the way back to Floyd’s truck, Eugene smiled at me, and then the words came. “Bill, do you want to drive?” I gave the proper response, “sure”. Eugene pulled the steering wheel off and handed it to me. I did my little number, handed it back to him, and he went to put it back on. This time, it didn’t work! Neither one of us had thought about it, but before when we had done this little trick, it was either on a flat dirt road or the US highway which was also fairly flat. This time we were on a back paved road that was not flat. It was convexed. They design roads like this in cold climates to help snow and ice run off. When Eugene tried to put the wheel back on, he couldn’t because the shaft it goes on was turning since the wheels were following the drop of the road! We were heading into the ditch, and this was no small ditch either. Just beyond the ditch was a barbed wire fence that was coming up on my side in a hurry! Into the ditch we went and up the other side. Just before we hit the fence, Eugene was able to get the steering wheel back on and turned as hard as he could. This slung the car away from the fence back down to the bottom of the ditch where the car came to rest.

Eugene and I both bailed out of the car and because we had been involved many times with stupid things like this, our full focus was to check the car. Our health and well-being was never even a thought. Looking around both sides of the car and underneath, there was no damage. We always called this a successful wreck. By the time we got to the front of the car checking for damage, it dawned on me. I looked over the hood from my kneeling position and asked, “Hey Eugene, where’s Floyd?” We both looked back through the windshield. No Floyd. Did he get out? Neither one of us seen him get out. So where’s Floyd? We both got up off of our knees, walked back and looked into the back seat. There’s Floyd, this mountain of a man, bent over hugging that five gallon can of gasoline, tears streaming down his face. Eugene was the first to speak. “Are you okay, Floyd?” He asked. Floyd yelled,”You crazy A**h***s, we could have blown up!”

Now, let me point out before I tell you what I told Floyd at that moment.  My dad was a mechanic. He taught me that it’s not the gas that blows up, it’s the fumes from the gas that causes explosions. “Floyd, is that gas can full?” I asked. He yelled, “Of course it’s full, you seen me fill it up!” “Well then you are safe because it’s the fumes that blow up and if the can is full, heh, no fumes.” I said with a half smile on my face. This did not help him feel any better. He squeezed out of the car, (which was like watching a hamster give birth to an elephant), grabbed his gas can and started walking toward the direction of his truck. “Hey Floyd, it’s still two miles to your truck. Are you sure you don’t want a ride?” Eugene asked with that undertone of his funny laugh. All we heard out of Floyd was a grunt as he kept walking. The next time we saw Floyd out of gas and offered him a ride, he refused. We never did our little trick again. I guess Floyd took all the fun out of it.

Years later after my time in the Navy, I went back to visit my friend Eugene. I asked if he still had the old Mustang. He raised the garage door and there on jack stands was the old girl herself. I had told alot of my shipmates about our adventures and a thought came to me. I walked over to the driver’s side of his car, reached in the window and grabbed the steering wheel. And guess what? It came off with a slight tug. My friend never did get that adapter kit. Good Ole’ Eugene.

I have many more stories of my adventures with Eugene along with some other friends that I will write about soon enough. We may be the reason they say don’t try this at home on those crazy television shows.

My friend Eugene is in Heaven now due to a boating accident years ago. I would like to dedicate this story to him. I miss you, my friend.

Picture above clouds with sun shining symbolizing Heaven

I hope you enjoyed this. Take care of yourselves and remember, we are all in this together.

(Floyd’s name was changed to hide his identity)

Why the drama!?

Why so many people want all the drama in their lives is beyond my comprehension. Certain people seem to thrive on drama and feel without it, there’s no satisfaction in their lives. People that live with drama all the time get to the point where they have to have it to be happy. These people feel for them to fit in and be socially accepted, there must be this powerful and yet painful experience. Usually this is because they are either hiding something or have low self esteem.

Have you ever noticed, no matter the area that you live in, there is always that one person ( or sometimes a whole family) that drama surrounds at all times? The drama may be with neighbors, with there own family or possibly even both. There is a reason for this. Someone is searching for and wanting to live within it’s destructive power. They don’t necessarily see the destruction side that it causes until it becomes a part of them and may even bleed into their family, friends or both. This can start with something as simple as gossip and balloon into a force that cannot be contained. People talk about women gossiping, however men are just as guilty as women in this terrible act. People need to think before they talk bad or make up stories about someone. There is always hurt involved. It may not be that day but hurt will show it’s ugly head and cause drama. Why must we feel the need to hurt someone’s feelings to make us feel special?

Girl walking off crying as two boys behind are talking about her

Drama can be and alot of the time is learned in school, especially high school, but lower grades as well. When kids get together in their little clicks or groups and turn their nose up to someone that doesn’t fit their ideas of who you should be, hurt has begun. Because we moved around alot, I was never in one of these clicks. I was lucky because I learned to get along with any and everybody regardless of what click someone was in. This was extremely unusual because most others that didn’t fit into a click was picked on and shamed. I was the one that also made friends with the others that didn’t fit and stood up for them whenever I could.

Someone that was mistreated in school (picked on constantly because they didn’t fit in) can create alot of drama later in life if they use this hurt against others once they become an adult. They are not necessarily trying to hurt anybody but using things like gossip to gain attention and sometimes even ‘so called friends’ within their community. These people have never known true friendship and use hurt because this is all they know. This is the saddest kind of drama coming to life.

On the flip side, someone that was always the bully in school brings drama to themselves like a magnet as an adult. The only way the bully can escape drama is to change their ways and become the giving and loving type of person they weren’t in school. If this change doesn’t happen, hurt and drama will chase them forever.

Lady with her hands over her ears while a bunch of hands are pointing at her from both sides

Almost always the drama is brought on by one person and alot of the time it will infect a whole family. Sometimes this single person that brings this destructive force upon the family is considered the head of the family. This person can be male or female and most of the time they are actually trying to help their family. The drama comes when there is a backlash from others within the family against this head person. While the head is telling the others how to live their lives, some family members will not except this and push back. This is usually the case when marriages start happening and different ideas are brought in from other families that are not necessarily welcome. All is good at first until the push back begins.

These are my experiences with drama. It is an ugly and destructive way to live. I know there will always be drama out there but I hope that this post will help stop maybe a little bit of it. Once you allow drama to take hold, it is hard to stop. It grows at a rapid pace and will hang on you with talons of steel. When the drama starts, stamp it out before it latches on. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

Who’s helping me?

“Who’s going to help me this time?” Have you ever said or thought this way? Maybe the answer is simpler than you think. Everyone needs help sometimes but getting it can be a dangerous thing. Maybe you are taking this ‘help me’ attitude thing too far.

Have you ever thought maybe you should be the one to help you? Maybe others are busy helping themselves or others. Maybe if you work hard enough and use some brain power, you can get all the help you need by yourself?

To some people this sounds really mean and unsympathetic but this is the truth. The more help you receive, the more it becomes a habit. This my friends is a habit I hope to help you break.

My two sons are quite a bit older than my two youngest daughters. There are ten plus years difference from boys to girls. When the oldest of these two girls was just learning to walk, it took her longer than usual. This is because my boys found it easier to pick her up and carry her everywhere instead of letting her learn to walk. She found that all she had to do was cry a little and one of the boys would go pick her up and carry her to wherever it was she wanted to go. She got used to getting help and found it easier than doing the work of learning to walk herself. This is one classic example.

Screaming kid with hands outstretched

Here is another example of a younger child learning how to get things the easy way. If the child is used to getting a toy anytime they cry for it in the store, guess what happens next time the child is in the store? You guessed it, there will be crocodile tears running down the young ones face. This child has figured out it is easier to cry and throw a fit to get what he or she wants instead of  doing the work of behaving his or herself.

Now I just used two different instances with children, but what about adults? Sorry but there’s not alot of difference between the two. If an adult gets used to, let’s say the government doing everything for him or her, guess what happens? Once again, you are correct. Why go to work if the government is going to pay you to stay home? I’m not saying that if you need the assistance, you shouldn’t take it, but living on it through generations is just not right unless you absolutely can’t work due to a handicap that makes work impossible.

Here is another example that happened to me when I was a truck driver. I had just pulled into the parking lot of a small truck stop outside of Houston Texas. I was going to be there all night because my load wasn’t going to be ready until the next morning. There was a small restaurant and I decided to go have dinner. The restaurant turned out to be a all you can eat smorgasbord, so I was full when I left. When I walked out the door, there was a man begging for change. This man was dirty and looked like he hadn’t had a decent meal in quite a while.

I decided I wanted to help this man and figured the first thing to do was get some food in his belly. I told him I would take him into the restaurant and get him some food. I told him it was a smorgasbord and he could eat all he wanted.  He told me they wouldn’t let him in. I said “They aren’t going to stop him because I was going with him.” He said, “Just give me some change and I’ll be on my way.” I said “No, let’s go get you some food.” He refused, so I headed back to my truck and started catching up on some paperwork.

Homeless man laying in a box

It was probably an hour later when I seen this same half starved man sitting against the wall with a bottle of cheap wine he was guzzling. Apparently,  someone else had given him the change he was looking for. Disgusted, I climbed out of my truck and walked over to him. I addressed him and asked if he was happy with his decision. He looked me dead in the eye and said that someone else had answered his request. I then explained that if he would’ve taken me up on my offer, not only would he have a full belly, but I would’ve bought him a better bottle of wine  and put him up for the night at the motel across the street. Then I turned and walked back to my truck and went to sleep.

Everything I told this man was true, I had every intention to do just what I told him but he chose to stick with the change and cheap booze. I understand he was an alcoholic and I felt sad but I stuck to my guns. I hope next time, he thinks twice about turning down a meal. He chose the easy hand out instead of the full blown help not because he was a drunk but because he had gotten used to the change game.

Handouts can be useful if one really needs it, but don’t let it become your goal in life. If you do, there is no way but down and being keep down. Take some pride in yourself and achieve the help you need by yourself. Don’t be afraid to step up and step out into the world. I believe in you and I want you to believe in you. Until next time, take care and Remember, we are all in this together.

Don’t stay stagnant, learn something new

It doesn’t matter what age you are, we are still learning. If you believe that you have learned enough about anything, it’s time to start learning something new today.

Years ago I met a wise man while I was an over the road truck driver. He too was a truck driver probably three times my age at the time. I still consider this man one of the smartest people I have ever met just because of a simple request he asked of me and the explanation afterward.

There is a saying in the truck driving world that goes ‘Don’t be a lazy truck driver’. What this means is, if you are not sure while backing up, then get out and look. It’s really a good rule to follow but sometimes hard because you just want to hurry up and get loaded or unloaded so you can get going again.l

Shows back of semi trailer as it is being pulled through gate by guard shack

I was heading into a warehouse that my company had a contract with to run their freight. This particular place, had docks on one side of the building that was extremely hard to back into. I would say a silent prayer before getting there that the easy docks would be open.

This particular day, I showed up with another truck driver that had been driving over the road for thirty plus years. His CB handle was Broomstick and who I considered a true professional truck driver. Of all the truck drivers I met while I was driving trucks, his was the one name I will never forget. I myself had only been driving trucks for a couple of years and still making my fair share of mistakes.

Three semi trailers backed up to docks

When we showed up at this warehouse to get loaded, sure enough, there was only two docks open. One was on the easy side, the other on the nightmare side. I was the front truck so when we pulled up to the building I stopped in the driveway and studied the two docks. I really didn’t want to choose the hard one to get into but I didn’t want to look like a bad person to Broomstick by choosing the easy one.

My CB came to life and it was Broomstick calling. “Tailfeathers (this was my CB handle), go ahead and take the easy dock, I will take the other one.” I felt a wash of relief all over but I still asked, “are you sure?” He assured me it was fine so I headed to the easy side and backed in in a matter of seconds. After I finished backing in, I looked over to watch him on the hard side. I figured, I may learn something from watching this master get into the nightmare dock and boy did I learn something that day!

Inside of a semi cab

Broomstick turned his truck around to where he was heading in the general direction of the dock. As I expected, he got out of his truck and took a good look around. What I didn’t expect was him waving me over. I thought, great he is going to give me some pointers for next time. I got out of my truck and headed over to where he was.

“Hey, Tailfeathers, would you mind spotting me?”He asked. “Excuse me, you want me to help you?” I asked. “Of course, I’m no idiot!” He said. I was more than happy to help watch for him so he could back in easily. I asked him after I seen how easily he backed that big truck in why he asked me for help. I seen he had no problem whatsoever by himself. He told me if there is help, don’t be afraid to ask. A cocky truck driver won’t ask for help and it will catch up to them somewhere down the road.

This very wise man told me, never get so full of yourself that you can’t ask for help and never go a day of your life without learning something. He told me he had been driving this big truck for over thirty years and loves it but if the day ever comes that he feels he has learned everything about it it would be time to retire and learn something else.

I learned a lot from that man that day and I used it for the rest of my truck driving days as well as for the short time I was an instructor at a truck driving school in Tucson. Of course I taught my students these valuable lessons and I made sure to give all the credit to Broomstick.

I hope telling you about my experience has opened your eyes and will continue to help you now and in your future endeavors. Don’t forget to learn something every day. Remember, we are all in this together.