Where did respect go?

I get a little confused when people don’t except when someone shows them respect. I was raised to show my elders respect, to open doors for women and to answer with sir or ma’am at the end of a sentence.

There have been many times that I have used sir while talking to a man, just to be told “Don’t call me sir. I work for a living.” Now most of the time I am addressing a veteran when this happens. I do understand why they say this and other veterans will as well but they are taking my calling them sir in the wrong way. When I call you sir, it is because I am showing you respect and not trying to put you down.

Man holding door open

There have also been times when I have held the door for a lady and have been told that I was in the wrong by the same lady. Once this lady has told me this, she has turned from a lady to just a female with a bad attitude. I understand women’s lib and I respect it as well but let me tell you what I believe. I think a woman deserves the same pay and rights as any man. She also deserves to be respected as a woman by any man. When a woman takes away this respect, she becomes like any other man and loses the extra respect she should expect and except. Ladies, next time a man opens a door for you, you have just been put on a higher level than a man and this has nothing to do with equal rights. Women deserve to be put on a pedestal. Once you have put yourself on the same level as a man, you have just kicked your pedestal out from under you. You are now on the same level…on the ground trying to hold these pedestals up. Is that what you really want?

Respect is something that most have gotten away from in this day and age. It is really sad to see this happening. Children are no longer taught respect in most families and they in turn will not teach this to their children. I am proud to say that most of us “country folks” are still teaching our children respect and will continue to do so. I believe that respect is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn and teach our children.

Man shaking lady's hand

If I use the term of sir or ma’am, open a door for you ladies or shake a woman’s hand different then a man’s and you don’t like it, then you don’t want, desire or deserve respect. I’m not sure what you want but, I will continue what I have learned. If you don’t want respect and I know it by meeting you before, I will adhere to your wishes and let the door smack you in the face. I don’t understand it but if that’s what you want, you got it.

This all comes down to what kind of society we want to live in. Would you rather someone call you sir / ma’am or call you something that suggests how you look or are acting at the time? Maybe use a few choice curse words on you is what you desire? I, my friends, don’t want to live in a society that has a teenager call me a curse word and push me out of the way. I would rather have this same teenager call me sir and ask if I need help putting my groceries in my car.

Well, it’s all up to you. We all have to decide what kind of society / world we want to live in. Think about it and Remember, we are all in this together.

Scars bring back memories

I can recall many things from my past adventures from the scars and creaks of my body. Some were great times, that over time have left a lasting impression. Some are marks of how dumb and maybe even crazy I was in my youth. We all have our scars both mentally and physically that we live with and remind us of our past.

I look at the scar on my right forearm and it tells the story of one such time. This was caused by not only my teenage super genius but also a double barrel wood stove. Alas, the wood stove proved to be as intelligent, if not more so, then I was with all my brain power at work.

Wooden fence In the snow

It was a very cold winter’s day with snow and some ice packed ground as far as the eye could see. This was a typical winter’s day for Missouri. I wanted to get as much heat out of that stove that was possible. As a teenager and indestructible as I thought I was, the thought never crossed my mind of the dangers I was putting myself, my dad’s garage/mechanic’s business in. With the proper dried wood inserted, that stove would put out enough heat for three times the size of the shop. I wanted to get the stove going quickly because it was as cold inside as it was out. This would become a difficult task since I had been lazy the last few days, and not brought in the wood from the outside to dry out. I now found myself with wet wood to burn.

My teenage genius kicked in and I knew what to do. Being that this was an auto shop, motor oil was readily available! Instead of putting in some smaller kindling and then working my way up to larger sticks of wood, I  thought better of taking a little extra time and muscle to split the bigger logs. I stuffed that bottom barrel as full as I could with the whole logs. I also took smaller sticks and filled in alot of the cracks between the logs. Not quite sure why I did this last part with the small sticks but it felt right at the time. I left just as much room as I needed at the top to get my hand and a quart of motor oil above the wood and poured it evenly all over the wood. I took some news paper and stuffed it in, then lit the newspaper with a lighter.

Won’t be long now I thought. The newspaper quickly burned up but, the wood did not. Well crap, what do I do now? Putting my super teenage brain back to work, it came to me. We had a parts washing station that used diesel fuel and solvent to clean engine parts with. Ahh, a cup of this should do the trick! A can that used to contain green beans in it was just what the doctor ordered. I filled up the can and once again reached in the barrel above the wood and poured the contents evenly ( it never crossed my mind that a small ember could ignite, from where I had lit the newspaper earlier and my whole arm would be there for the burning inside the stove! ). This, thank the Lord above did not happen. Once again, I stuffed some newspaper in and lit my masterpiece. The newspaper burned quickly and went out. Now my friends, I’m thinking, maybe I’m not quite as bright as I thought I was. No, that can’t be true, I am a teenager, the smartest person on the face of the planet! I just need a new plan, is all.

Double barrel wood stove

I sat down across from the opening of this stupid stove and once again put my genius to work. I have to come up with a solution and have the wood stove lit and shop getting warm before my dad got up and reminded me how lazy I had been for not bringing in wood the last few days to dry out. Geez, parents can be such a pain! They think they are so smart just cause they are old. That’s exactly what I was thinking at the time. Not too long after that, my thoughts would change dramatically.

I got up and walked around the shop, letting my great teenage brain do its work. My dad had told me diesel fuel was safer than gasoline because it didn’t have the explosive properties like gasoline. Actually he said the fumes of gasoline are what are so explosive but, I only remembered what I wanted to, don’t want to give the old man too much credit. So what I need is something that has that quick heat rate to get my conglomeration started!

Looking around, I couldn’t seem to find that gas can but, here’s a can of WD-40 and some paint remover. Still looking for the gasoline, I walk by the stove and sprayed some of that stuff in. Couldn’t hurt I thought. Meanwhile, all of the stuff I have put on my wood is soaking in and creating a great time bomb but I didn’t know that then, even though I was the smartest person on the planet at the time.

Low and behold, there’s that can of gas! Since I was so smart, I knew not to use to much. I don’t want to lose my eyebrows today. Keeping in this frame of mind, I got that green beans can again. How much should I use? I would use half a can but, the wood is wet, better use a whole can to be safe.

Once again I reached my hand into to stove and poured the contents in, not knowing that this is even more dangerous than before, if the smallest ember were to be present. With the gasoline added, I know that this will burn and I won’t need paper to start it. Once again my brain went to work and I decided not to put the lighter to it with the door of the stove open. I knew there would be a quick flash and as I said, I don’t want to lose any eyebrows! I closed the door and opened up the small vent in the door  to be able to lite it from. I have now created even a bigger bomb because of the closure of the door!

Lit match

I made sure the flu was all the way opened on the chimney pipe between the top barrel and the ceiling. I got a long stick, lit it and slowly led it to the small opening in the door. Baaboom!!! Not only did it ignite but it shook the whole building and moved the stove six inches to the right. I wish I could have seen the explosion from the chimney stack out of the top of the roof. I bet flames shot ten feet in the air! The heat was almost unbearable but the worst was yet to materialize.

As the heat began to build, there was a red glow coming from the top barrel and creeping on up the chimney pipe. I watched in awe and fear as my superior genius showed its effects. Oh Lord, let this thing calm down before my dad gets here. I will never hear the end of this if it doesn’t! As the super heat grew farther up the pipe, the tar that was put around the pipe on the steal roof was starting to liquefy. How do I know this? Simple deduction since the tar that was meant to keep rain out of the building, was now raining down the pipe!

Brain flying into trash can

I have to slow this down somehow. My thoughts were racing and so was I. Running around like a crazed maniac, yelling and screaming like a little girl. How do I cool this thing off? I grabbed some welders gloves and reached down and opened the door on the bottom barrel. What did this do to help? Well nothing except letting some pressure escape and filling the shop with black smoke. Running around some more and wondering where was my super genius brain now. My brain had gone on vacation and left me on my own. This was a good and bad thing. Even though my teenage brain had shut down and allowed full spread panic to set in, at least it wouldn’t come up with anymore stupid ideas. I can come up with just as much damaging ideas without the use of my brain anyway.

Showing how the teenager thinks, I wasn’t panicking because of the possible life and death situation I had put myself in. I was panicking because of what my dad would say, think, do or whatever that crazy old man might have in store for me. I knew I had to do something and quickly but what? Looking back, I could’ve just let it calm itself down. It was contained, no fire had come out of the stove and it would’ve slowed down given enough time. But, Dad could be here anytime now. Come on Billy, think!

Cartoon showing a human head open with brain peaking out

I guess my brain had decided to return which was not a good thing for me. I slowed down a little caught my breath, between coughs of smoke that was filling my lungs, and seen a steal bucket of water, which we used in case of burns or whatnot, sitting in the corner of the building. I ran over and grabbed it. I decided I didn’t want to throw it in the opening of the stove because, this might cause the smoke and burning wood to come out towards me. I decided to throw the water on the side of the barrel. This was one of the greatest mistakes I have ever made in my life!

As the water from my bucket hit this glowing red hot stove, it turned immediately to super heated steam that blasted me in the face which made me fall down. I was fortunate not to get major burns from this blast. I truly believe, by this time, God was feeling sorry for me and my stupidity. He would however allow me to take something away from this disaster to remind me for the rest of my life.

Something else happened when that water hit. It created my final bomb like effect. From cool meeting hot, an explosion erupted threw the stove and up the pipe with a huge bang, sounding like a cannon being shot, right there in the shop! With the tar melting and rolling down the chimney pipe, the thunderous shake from this final explosion was enough to once again move the stove farther out of place and send showers of tar flying this way and that. A chunk of this tar, approximately six inches in length an about one inch wide, landed on my right forearm continuing to burn and now adding my flesh to the substance that it could devour in its path.

Picture of scar on my forearm

Lying on the concrete floor now with my ears ringing from the blast, choking from the smoke in my lungs and cringing in pain from the hot tar on my arm, I came to the conclusion that I was no longer the smartest person on the planet. Actually I could think of plant life that had more intelligence then me.

My dad showed up shortly after this  picked me up, carrying me outside, where he dumped me on the ground. He quickly checked me over and then went and opened up the big doors on the shop to let the smoke clear out. He checked to make sure the stove was cooling down and that there was nothing flammable close to it. Returning to me, he asked what happened. I explained what I could and showed him my arm. He said, “Bet that hurts, huh?” “Yes sir.” I said choking down the pain. “I guess from now on you will bring the wood in to dry like I told you too.” I groaned, waiting for the lecture, “Yes sir,” That was it, no lecture. He told me to go put some ice on my burn and get my a$$ back here and clean up my mess.

Nowadays, I would have probably been going to the emergency room but, back then, it just wasn’t necessary unless there was a broken bone, a lot of blood or alot more flesh burning, especially with a father that had been a Marine in the Vietnam War. It may not have been considered the smartest thing, according to today’s standards but, it did make me alot tougher then today’s teens.

The burning lasted for days and it was months before all of the tar disappeared from my arm. This left me with a scar and a memory of times gone by.

I have many stories of my youth and I’m sure you do as well. Slowly but surely, I will post these stories and the lessons learned from them. We make many mistakes growing up and depending how we react to each of these situations, will depend how much of a well rounded person we grow up to be. I hope you have enjoyed a small look into my past and will share this post with your teenagers. Maybe, just maybe, they will learn something from it.

I always welcome your thoughts and you are more then welcome to share my post. Take care, God bless and Remember, we are all in this together.

Sounds of nature remind me, I’m still alive

I realize that is a strange title to start off with, but, there is a lot of truth to it. I wake up every day not knowing if this is my last day, minute or even second to be amongst the living of our fair earth. This doesn’t bother me, it just makes me wonder if I have done all that I’m supposed to do before the time comes for me to move on. I listen to nature because it relaxes me and lets me know, for that amount of time, that I am alive and still have some time left to accomplish what I need to.

Lady walking on a log in the forest

The trees are a great source of sounds. There is the rustle of the leaves, the creak of a branch about to give way, and the peace that comes from listening to small animals feet along the branches. Other sounds are just as important in nature but, the trees seems to be the foundation of what I feel and understand. This may be strange to some people, I guess because, a tree just stands there in its majestic awesomeness. To me, they are so much more than just sticks coming from the ground. They have great meaning to me and most other country folks as well. Other sources of nature seem to always lead me back to the trees.

Creatures of all the wooded land have their own sounds that most people miss when they are in the countryside. Of course, the birds are always noticed but, the different songs of the birds are seldom distinguish one from the other. Of all the different birds that I have heard sing, the “whip-poor-will” has the most beautiful sound to my ears. If you have never heard of this bird, don’t feel bad, most people haven’t. Take a few minutes and look this bird up. Maybe you can find some audio to hear his song. You won’t be disappointed.

Squirrel on a oak tree

When I notice other creatures of the forest, the playful squirrels sound amazing in the loose leaves of the forest floor. Running this way and that, storing the nuts and seeds for the long winter ahead. If you take time, sit down and lean against a mighty oak tree, these little furry creatures can bring you hours of enjoyment.

The soft crunch of the frozen leaves in the winter time of the deer slowly making their way to the water hole is a sound like none other. If you are lucky enough to get a glimpse of them in the wild, your heart will speed up tenfold! They are a wondrous sight to see.

Deer walking in the snow

No forest would be true without the running of a spring, creek or river cutting through the soil and rocks. The trickling of the water as it makes its way downhill is awesome. And where the water starts rushing to its destination will have you in awe. A waterfall is an added bonus, not only of the site but, the sound will capture your spirit and allow you to wonder off into a daydream like none other. Amazing how water like that will capture your full attention, but, water from the faucet in your home is just an everyday sound.

River running through the woods

I have mentioned a few of the many sounds I enjoy, and yes they do remind me I am alive and still here. So many people miss what nature has to offer, and that is a true shame. I live in the country, and it would be very hard for me to live in the city, however if I were in the city, I would still find the sounds of nature. It may be more difficult there but, I know there would be a park somewhere close that I could get back to the nature I so love.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my little journey through nature. I welcome your feedback and feel free to share this with your friends and neighbors. Take care, God bless and as always remember, we are all in this together.


Which way to Heaven?

Text about a saying "which way to Heaven" with a background of city and mountains at sunset

Speck on a marble in a universe

Do you feel like you are more important than others around you? Are you bigger then life itself? Time to come off your high horse and stare at the stars.

I’m not trying to make you feel insignificant or trying to tell you not to do your best in everything. I just want you to take a few moments and realize what is really out there and what your place truly is. I find that people can become so into themselves that they can’t see how small of a footprint they are making in life. If you believe that a king, president or ruler of any kind is better than the man or woman that spends their time picking up roadkill for a living, you are sadly mistaken.

Baby sleeping in basket

Everyone of us arrived in this world in basically the same way. Some people grew up to strive for greatness, some born into money and others that are filling in the gaps. What I’m trying to get at is, we are all as important as the other person. People in higher ranks of life have more responsibility but, that does not in anyway make them better then anyone else. I myself will talk to you the same and show you the same respect, regardless of wether you are President of the United States or the janitor at the local high school. We are all just as important as the next guy.

The reason I brought up how insignificant we really are is not to suggest anything bad. This is to put into perspective how small we truly are. Have you ever taken the time to stare at the stars? When we look into the vastness of space, we realize how much bigger things are then our little home that we call Earth. Heck, we could put one million of our earth’s into the space our sun occupies. Just imagine how much time has gone by from any single star to the point when we see it. There is alot more out there than our tiny planet.

Stars in the sky from country setting

Here we are in all our glory and yet, we are nothing when it comes to everything that is in the universe. We think of ourselves as bigger than life but in actuality, we are but specks in a universe. Why are we so great? What makes us so special? Read on and maybe you will understand what I have finally learned after years of thought in my own little world.

We are special because we are chosen to be what no other creature can claim. We are a reflection of the one whom created all the stars, planets and vastness of space that we are such a small part of. We are but a speck riding on a marble tumbling around in one of many universes and yet, we are truly spectacular. We hold the glory of the one whom created it all.

This my friends brings up a thought of how crazy it is for us to fight each other over things that really don’t matter. Things like rich versus poor or black versus white. How stupid can we be? Let’s see if we can get some sort of example of the way things should be. How about ants? These small creatures work together to create massive empires in their small world. Why can’t we come together and build our empire in our small world? We fight each other and destroy instead of building what could be the greatest empire we could ever conceive.

Looking at the earth from the moon

I believe we were put on this earth to perform a service for the one whom created us. I believe this is not to destroy but, rather save and build to the greatness that we have the ability to achieve. This means we must work together and love one another, not to hate and destroy each other. We have the ability to do anything we desire as long as we work together like the ants do.

Next time you feel that you are better then your fellow human, look up in the sky and remember that we are but a very small part of the vastness that is. We must work together because we do hold a great responsibility and the only way to keep it is to bind together. We all have our part to play and it won’t work without working together.

Man starring at the stars from a lookout

Will you join with me, not as my superior or as my subordinate but, as my equal to achieve greatness? Are you ready to show our creator what we can do? We all have our special gifts to apply to the empire. If we can learn to share our gifts instead of keeping them to ourselves, we can create what will make our creator proud.

Mankind, such a small creature with such big ego’s. If we are to be as great as we think we are, we better start thinking more like the ants. So so small but, with the greatness of giants within us. It is true that we are a very small part of the massive amount of what is. Yet, we hold the true heart of our creator. We are a great part of the universes, small as we are, we should learn to live together with humbleness and set aside our egos. Will we show the creator what a great creature he has created on this our tiny planet or will he wander where he could’ve done a better job?

I come to you with love and a humble heart to ask that we come together the way we were meant to be. Our world is huge to us as a small patch of land is to the ants. Just remember, we are smaller than the ants when we see what is truly out there. Spend some time looking at the stars and be proud that we are the chosen planet. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

What impression will you leave behind?

If you were to die today, would you leave behind the impression you want to? Of course everybody would talk about how nice you were because that’s what people do. Do you believe in your heart all the nice things are true that are being said about you? Are you who you want people to remember or will they have to tell lies or think really hard to come up with something nice to say at your funeral?

There are alot of people that think they are good people because they say thank you or say pardon me some times. Or maybe they put some change in the bucket during Christmas when the bells are ringing. Does this make you a good person or are you just trying to make other people think you are. Who are you really?

These questions should be asked by everyone of themselves if they truly care. Possibly you don’t care and that’s fine by me. I have always tried to find the good in people, no matter what kind of person I’m dealing with. You maybe a 100% jerk but, I’m looking at more then you think you are showing to me.

It doesn’t matter if your rich, poor or what ethnic background you have. I’m looking for the true you and I want others to do the same with me. I have known people that have shown an outward appearance of being a good person, when they are really masking who they are. I believe that most people want to be good but, some don’t know how.

Woman looking over the top of a book

When I tell you that I am looking at more than your outwardly appearance, I really do mean it. You have probably heard the expression “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. There is some truth to this even though it is a little off the mark in my opinion. I believe the eyes can show the spirit of a person in who they truly are. We are a trinity. We are a spirt with a soul incased in a body.

If you don’t believe the eyes tell who a person is, focus on someone’s eyes without thinking of any other part of their body and see what you will. Let’s look at a example. If there is a person who has bandages covering their face with only their eyes visible, tell me you can’t see what they are thinking or feeling.

People can look at others body motions, like the hands or the way they stand and usually tell alot about what that person is thinking. If a person has their arms folded while talking to you, they are either insecure or very upset. Taking the rest of the body language with this motion will tell you which one it is. Police officers are trained alot in body language to help them with their jobs along with keeping themselves safe.

Body language can be deceiving with someone that has trained themselves to not use the same body language that is normal though. This is what makes the eyes so important. The only thing a person can train to change what the eyes show is a dead stare or crying of course. But the eyes are truly the one thing that will tell you more about a person then anything. The eyes are so special and not to be ignored. If I talk to you face to face, you will notice that I watch your eyes. I want to know what kind of person I am dealing with. Even the police officers will ask you to remove your sunglasses when they are telling you what you did wrong. Why would they do this unless your eyes tell them something about what you are thinking? Do you have a kind spirit that wants to be good or not. Your eyes tell the truth.

Are you being what you want people to remember you by? Money means nothing to you when your gone. Can’t take it with you. You will leave all that you have for others to use, whether for good or bad. Your memory however, will last and will be the only thing others  truly have of you. All the possessions are just things you once owned.

Men carrying casket

If you die today, what kind of memories are you leaving for others? Do you care? If not then you are probably not a good person and the nice things said at your funeral will be false.

Let’s all try to live like we want to be remembered. Love, forgiveness and hope for ourselves as well as others. Be a good spirit with a clean and clear soul. We never know when our last breath may come. God Bless you and your families. Remember, we are all in this together.

What is your beauty?

Beauty is different for everyone. I will be discussing different kinds in this post. Come along for the ride and see if you fit into any of these things that I discuss. Maybe you can add to my list. Feel free to comment below.

First off, I will not be using humans in this context. This is because, if you ask a male what is beauty, guarantee that ninety-five percent of them will name a female and if you ask a female, ninety-five percent of them will mention a newborn baby. The beauty I am discussing must be something other than people.

Man welding

I remember a time when I was attending a Vo-tech class to learn welding. The beauty of the perfect bead was what made my heart skip a beat. Welders all over the world can understand my excitement of this. So melting two pieces of metal together can show beauty to the builder. What other kinds of beauty are there?

An archeologist can see beauty in a dusty, broken old pot pulled from the ground that has been buried for hundreds of years. A painter may find beauty in the shadow of a scenery. A musician will find beauty in a single note played on a piano.

Beauty is all around us at all times. We must slow down long enough to embrace and enjoy it. Watching ants prepare for a storm that is coming is a beautiful site. The trees swaying slightly with the wind in the woods is beauty. New born animals are true beauty, even when you know what they will look like when they get older.

Poetry book

Poetry is well known as beauty. This is not because of the rhyming. Some Poetry has no rhymes. The reason Poetry is so beautiful is because of the thought process it took the writer to write it and where it takes the reader while reading it. Poetry actually will take you into the dreams of the writer so, this will show how your dreams can have beauty as well.

So where is beauty? It is all around us, if we are just willing to look and listen for it. I love walking in the woods and looking at all the beautiful things. I grew up mostly living in the woods so I have learned a true joy of it. The cities can be beautiful but, for me it’s the countryside.

Do you live so fast and frantic that you don’t have time for the beautiful things around you? If you do, you are truly missing out on alot of life fulfilling things. I know that life can be hectic and sometimes it’s hard to slow down but, give it a try. It doesn’t take long to enjoy what is around you and it will help you mentally, physically and spiritually. Taking this small amount of time during each day will show you more to life then just rushing though it.

Clouds of a storm

I myself have found beauty in some of the strangest places. It can be something as small as a leaf falling to the ground or maybe as large as cloud formations in the sky. It is truly all around us in good and bad times alike. We just have to be willing to look and listen for it.

I challenge you today to take five minutes out of your busy day to find the beauty around you. If you will except this challenge, I will lay odds that tomorrow, you will be looking and listening again. Allow your heart to leap at something beautiful today. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.