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short stories

To hold anger is to blacken one’s soul

We all have feelings. This is what we are born with, and we separate them farther from one another as we get older. Using these emotions to the fullness of their power is what shows how humans are different from other creatures on earth. Below, you will see a list of human emotions. I ask that you read each word and decide what these words mean to you. I also want you to notice that love is at the top and fear is at the bottom of the list. 

Definition of Fear is:

  1. (countable) A phobia, a sense of fear induced by something or someone.Not everybody has the same fears.  I have a fear of ants.
  2. (uncountable) A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion or feeling caused by actual or perceived danger or threat. He was struck by fear on seeing the snake.
  3. (uncountableTerrified veneration  or reverence, particularly towards God.
A woman bound, blindfolded and beaten shows true fear

Love is the most positive emotion we have, while fear is the most negative. All other emotions may be placed in a different order than seen here. This is just the way I lined them up from positive to negative in my thought process. If you wish to move the emotions in the list the way you feel they should fall, I suggest you do so. Furthermore, I maintain that “love” and “fear” remain in the positions I have assigned them. You may disagree with the statement that fear is the furthest from love, but that is because we have been describing this emotion incorrectly for many years. Fear is very powerful and not to be used lightly. When someone jumps out and scares you, this may be “surprise” or cause “anxiety,” but not true fear. One could even use annoyance, frustration, confusion, and many other emotions, but not necessarily “fear.”

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Satisfaction
  • Affection
  • Self-confidence
  • Gratitude
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Frustration
  • Embarrassment
  • Confusion
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety 
  • Shame
  • Annoyance
  • Disappointment
  • Jealousy
  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Disgust
  • Loathing
  • Anger
  • Fear

 

There are many that can be mixed with each other to form a hybrid of emotions. For example, we can take surprise and embarrassment and put them together to form a hybrid of what a certain situation may call for.

Many of the emotions listed above fall into the positive realm, like affection and gratitude. Others land in the negative realm, like fear and envy. Some may even teeter between the two realms, like surprise and pride. Although these last two can clearly be put on one side or the other, there are times when they may lean to the other side, given the right circumstance. Furthermore, they may be used in one realm while being misinterpreted by others or landing on the opposite side from what was meant. A great example is when a woman cries (in happiness or sadness).

Looking again at our list above, choose which of these words holds the most power. I would venture to guess that “love” is the response of more than 98 percent of those reading this post. I will not argue the point that “love” is a very powerful emotion. This is an emotion that is hard to explain but is very powerful when one experiences it. This is the emotion we all wish to have in our lives, and for good reason. The old adage, “Love makes the world go round,” holds a lot of truth to it. Besides, who doesn’t want love in their lives?

So, if love is the most powerful emotion, then we see the positive side as the powerful side. However, with the positive, there are also negatives. This is the side I wish to talk about today. Although the positive makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, we must also be aware of the negative. The negative can and will destroy all that we wish to experience in life. We look for love, but we dismiss what may keep us from achieving it. Take another look at the list above and see which word stands out other than love. Did you find it? Many of you may want to choose the opposite of love and choose fear. This would be a great choice, but not what I am aiming for.

Anger blackens one’s soul!

Man, in a shroud, yells with anger, consuming him.

Anger that is not released will do more destruction to your body than you will ever know. Anger that is not released will continue to build and consume whoever holds it close! Do you have true anger, or is it annoyance or maybe frustration? This is a question you must ask yourself. Anger is a black hole that will continue to consume you until all other emotions are devoured within its impenetrable shield! Anger is very dangerous to play with. Do we get angry once in a while? Of course we do. This is human nature. What is not in our nature is to hold onto anger and feed it until it consumes us. Let it go! Release the anger before it becomes the cancer it can become. Replace your anger with forgiveness and allow your innermost core to heal itself.

One thing you may consider is that it is easy to stay angry and build a life around it. It takes a stronger person to use his or her strength to release the anger and allow your insides some much-needed rest. When we are angry, our whole body, inside and out, is tensed up. This can cause harm to the body over time. not to mention the psychological pressure we are putting on ourselves. Think of how you feel when you are angry and the difference you feel when you practice forgiveness. Your body and mind will show you the difference. Do you want to feel the stress of anger, or would you rather feel the relief of peace? You can’t have both at the same time. Anger and rest are not compatible and can’t coexist. You must choose!

A person on the beach at sunset completely at peace

You may take my advice on anger or kick it to the curb. This is completely up to you. However, from one soul to another, I have lived with and without holding anger. I can honestly say that living without it is a better and healthier way to live. Take care, my friends, and remember, we are all in this together. 

Categories
short stories

Every day I die a little, yet every day I live a little too

I die a little to let the old go away, and I live a little for the new beginning coming my way.

      “When we are born, we are already heading towards death.” To think in this way, life can be a horrible thing, unless we look towards what happens once we die. Each individual has their own beliefs about what happens when we cease to exist here on earth. Some would believe there is a great place called Heaven. Others believe we come back as other people or life forms. There are people who believe we go to the planet of the aliens that made us. There are even those who believe there is nothing after death. I’m sure there are many other beliefs that are not coming to mind right now, but for this post, I will be talking about those I have mentioned.

Tomb in a graveyard

       Before I get into these different beliefs about what happens to us once we die, I believe we must first ask ourselves how we came to be. There are many different beliefs in this aspect as well. Some believe we started as an amoeba and worked our way up to monkeys, from which the lucky ones were able to evolve into humans. I suppose the monkeys left behind weren’t quite ready to evolve when others were. I question this belief due to the fact of where did the amoeba come from. Others believe we were planted by aliens from a far-off planet, and we are more like a science experiment. I also question this, due to the fact that I don’t know where these aliens come from and who created them. There are those who believe in multiple gods, and yet others who believe in one. The problem we have as humans is that we think we know or must know everything. We believe there must be a beginning and an end, or do we believe in an end? As I stated above, the only ones who believe in an end are those who believe our deaths are the end, while others believe there is something after. So who is right, and who is wrong? The only way we will find this is after death, or is it?

       Those who believe there is nothing after death are those I want to talk about first. Fear not, I am not here to tell you if I think you are right or wrong. I just have a hard time believing that this is it. All the hard work through life with no reward for it I think everything that humans do has a purpose, and I think it’s sad to believe that we really don’t after all. What is the purpose of life? Why are we here in the first place? If death is the ultimate end, isn’t life just a cruel joke? I’m sorry, my friends; I can’t buy into this one. I think it would make me empty inside to believe this is all there is. What am I working for if not to become the dirt beneath my feet? I think it would make me just want to go through life with no hope. Humans without hope are sad people, indeed. I think I will stay clear of the nothing theory. 

       When it comes to the aliens planting us, this is a little intriguing. However, I just can’t wrap my head around this one. Is there life on other planets? Possibly. I would think if we were from aliens, we would be contacted directly by them and not just flown by every now and then. I guess it’s kind of like having a pet. Would you put your pet somewhere and never have contact with it or want to play with it? Besides, I don’t like to think of myself as a pet in the first place. So, sorry, I just can’t imagine this is where we came from.

Female alien holding flowers

     Is there such a thing as reincarnation? And, if there is, do we get to choose what form we come back as? If I had a choice and I wanted to come back as my dog, what if my dog was my great-uncle Albert from a life before? Do I displace him, or am I given a second choice? How many deaths would it take to finish using up all life forms? Furthermore, who is giving me this choice or making the choice for me? This one sounds interesting; however, too many moving parts could cause many collisions. I mean, if five hundred people wanted to come back to the same spot, who makes the decision of who gets first choice? Furthermore, does the cycle end, or do we have to keep coming back time and time again? I think I will leave this one alone for others to figure out the logistics for.

       So how about the multiple gods? Well, the first thing I would want to know is, “Who is the Supreme One?” And, if there is one Supreme over the others, wouldn’t this mean he/she/it was actually the one and the others were just wannabes? That would mean the other gods couldn’t be gods at all. What would they be, mini gods? This just doesn’t fly in my judgment. It seems like a lot of thought had to go into this one. Too complicated for my thinking. It makes my brain hurt just trying to figure out who to follow with this theory. Sorry, but one is enough for me.

       So we came from monkeys, huh? This is the belief of those who follow evolution. I don’t know about you, but this one is difficult as well. I have gone to the zoo and seen these creatures, and even though I have seen a few people that had the big ears and hairy backs, I have to question it. If we evolved from monkeys, what kept the others from evolving with us? Why haven’t we seen any change in the monkeys at the zoo? Why are we keeping our ancestors locked up in the first place? Why is there very little difference from one monkey to the next? Wouldn’t you think, if this were true, there would be some that maybe evolved half way between monkey and human? This seems like too difficult a solution for me as well. 

Monkeys huddled together

What caused the big bang, and did it come from nothingness? Were there a billion big bangs to create the multi-universes, or were rocks just thrown here and there throughout space? And if the big bang started everything, then why do we have all the life here on earth, while the moon is void of such things? Furthermore, who created the mass to cause the big bang in the first place? An awful lot of thought went into this one. Sorry, I just can’t swallow it.

      So we’ve come down to one Almighty who created everything, and when we die, we go on to live with him, depending on how you believe, of course. Well, this solves a couple of the problems. For one, there is a creator who covers all, including the planets, stars, moons, and life. One being created all; that somewhat sews things up. This would explain how everything started, not just us. It does sound better, but there are still questions that must be asked. Things like, “Whose god is the true God?” I mean, different sets of people believe they have the right one and everyone else is wrong. I guess I’d choose mine, because it’s nice to know that I was made in God’s image. Some gods have gone on to die and will never be seen or heard from again. These gods want to leave the rest of the story up to the humans, his creation. That doesn’t seem right. I mean, he’s God; how could we go on if he didn’t take care of us? The Christian God has a son who died and came back to life for the sole purpose of taking care of us. Well, I guess if he were God, he wouldn’t stay dead, right? If he created all of this, he would have to be very powerful. This God and the story of creation seem to be the simplest solutions to our problems, and it’s nice to think that life doesn’t end after death; it just changes. This makes me feel better about how things came to be. And these Christians seem to love and want peace. That sounds like a good thing. I think I like this explanation; it seems to cover all the bases without the stumbling blocks. I think this is the one I will seek out and follow. 

Necklace with a cross hanging from a rod, with sunset in the background.

We all have our own beliefs about how things came to be. Not all beliefs can be correct, and nobody will know for sure until their time comes to meet the one who created them. I challenge you to look deep into your beliefs and pick the one who shows true love for his creation. If you feel that you have found the truth without a doubt in your heart, you have definitely found the truth. If you have doubts, maybe you have been living a fantasy. We don’t have to know everything about creation, but we shouldn’t have any doubts about who we are following. 

I completely understand how some may cheer what I have written while others will hate that I ever put pen to paper. Either way is fine with me because I believe in “free will” as well. I believe God gave us a brain for a reason other than keeping our heads from collapsing. Don’t be afraid to question your existence. Some will get it right, while many others will be wrong, and we will all know who in due time. Take care, my friends. I shall write again soon. 

Categories
short stories

The Challenge of Raising Children

Brothers and Sisters, Brothers and Brothers, or Sisters and Sisters, close enough in teenage years, and let the wars begin. Who is right or who is wrong does not matter. The casualties of these wars are parents. Early gray hair and shaking hands are what parents have to look forward to. Oh, the joys of having children! And, Lord help me; I would not give my children up for the world.

Three young brothers, all about the same age, play together

It always looks like a good idea, at the time, to have our children close in age. This way, your child will have a playmate to grow up with. Right? We also see it as a good idea to have our children at an earlier age, so we will not be quite as up in age when they are out of the house on their own. We realize that our parents give us advice, but they are old and probably do not know anything about how things are done in this day and age. (I see a lot of head nodding and hear a lot of laughter from the older folks out there, right now).

Let us say you have two children in your early twenties that are eighteen months apart. You have set yourself up to have them raised and on their own by the time you hit your mid-forties. You and your spouse can enjoy your later years before entering the retirement age. Well, it may seem to be a smart plan, but it is not necessarily a good idea at all. You and your spouse have not had the time yet to mature as much as you need to be parents. This is not meant to be a slam on you, but there is a lot of truth to it. If you wait until you both are in your thirties to have children, there is a better chance that you will be better prepared for what is about to happen in your lives.

Children turn your lives upside down in ways that are never expected, and are different with every set of parents. The unexpected becomes your norm! If you believe that you know what it is like to have kids, and you do not have any yet, lord help you. You are about to be educated in ways you could never dream of. You think school was hard to get through; welcome to true schooling! The adventures you will go through with these brighteyed little ones are a joy, but also a wake-up call to even the strongest, most levelheaded parents alive.

Reading parent guide books can give you simple solutions to try with your children. You will not find solutions to all the problems you will face as a parent in these books. There will be times when you will have to come up with solutions for your child’s life on your own. You will face problems that have never been written by any author of any book. At times children will send you into the Twilight Zone, pushing every one of your buttons. You are being tested by the best! These angels will at some point become the little monsters you have seen in other children. How about that child yelling at the top of his lungs in the store because he did not get a toy? You will at times, hear people murmur, “They need to teach their children better”. Could you be this parent talked about one day? If you are mentally able enough to handle this once in a while, you are well on your way to having well-behaved children. If you let your little darlings run over you one time, you are in for a long road. This road will lead you into a disaster zone called “The Ultimate Teenager“!

All teenagers are, to put it nicely, a nightmare! If you think your children will be the same lovable creatures when they hit the “Teenage Zone” as they are; now, you are in for the ride of a lifetime! You will swear this cannot be your child. Parents that believe it is easier to raise children close in age will be hit with the double feature of nightmares.

As a parent, you will learn how mentally stable you are. Children will take you to the edge of your sanity and then push harder. This is all in the growing phase for the child as well as the parents. I have heard said, You pay for your sins with your children. This is a distressing reference, but it does hold some truth. You will start to understand the pain your parents went through with you. You will appreciate your parents more. This is the circle of life.

You are a legal adult by age, but you become a grown-up when your first child arrives. You believe you can do a better job than your parents did. This in some cases is true, but for most of us, it is a wake-up call about the wonderful job our parents did to raise us.

Grandparents enjoying each other's company with no children in sight.

How can a grandparent enjoy a child more than the parents? Now, I am a grandparent, and it is becoming clearer to me why this is. I am now going to lay this secret out for you. Grandparents enjoy their grandchildren because once the visit is over, the children go back home! Grandparents are on cloud nine watching as their own children go through child raising struggles. Your parents tried to teach you. Well, now it is your turn! You will find yourself acting the same as your parents did with you. You will finally know the nightmare you put them through.

You will start looking forward to the day that you and your spouse can have your home all to yourselves. Your parents will ask you, “Do you remember when we told you to wait to have children and not rush into it?” They will laugh when you answer, “No.” They will always be there for you, as you will be with your children. However, the advice for you will only come when you ask for it. No longer are your parents bound to raise you. They tried their best with you, and now get to sit back and watch how their teachings took hold. Yes, your parents made mistakes, and yes, you will too!

Parents have the hardest job known to the human race! We do not understand this until we become parents ourselves. You may look at the way other parents raise their children and try to follow them. This will help in some ways to give you a starting point. However, children need unique teaching designs set for their understanding. Parents with multiple children understand this. Although you love each child with the fullness of your heart, you will find your love different for each of them. This is the awesome thing about love, it can expand in as many ways as is needed. If you do not think so, just talk to parents who have four, five, six kids or more. They will tell you they love all their children, but in different ways for each one. Because of this, I believe the definition of love should be a bunch of question marks expanding into the unknown.

Young boy at the table with his family, holding hands for prayer before dinner.

Children are a blessing from the good Lord above. Children may bring you closer to God as you cry out for his help. Be patient with your children and allow them to go through the different phases of life. This will help your offspring to become well-rounded adults. Disciplining your children is showing the love you have for them to grow up to be the good people they can be. Allowing your children to “run the show” is telling them you do not care how they turn out in life. A respectful adult comes from the years of love and training given by their parents. There is no magic formula for raising your children, but you must do the best you can for them, as your parents did for you.

Children are hard to raise. They, at times, will have you wondering if there is a grand solution to raising children. The only thing I can tell you is, do not rush into having them, and love them no matter how crazy things may seem. I hope in some way this helps. If you are a teenager reading this, try to take it easy on your parents. They are doing their best for you. Take care, my friends, and do not forget to follow me. Remember, we are all in this together.

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extras short stories

It’s official!! CSI Flipside is now available. Go to csi-extras.com to read the first story of many that I will start putting up. Let me know what you think. These stories will fall into different genres as my brain comes up with them. I hope to see you there!

Categories
short stories

What kinds of situations are you willing to put up with to call a place home?

     Depending on what you are willing to put up with, will determine where you want to live and call your home.

      As I write this, I am thinking of the different states within the United States of America as those I will be discussing. However, this post can be used anywhere in the world. We all have our breaking points, which will move us from one place to another.

Saguaro cacti in Arizona desert
Looks like my backyard

      I currently live in Arizona, which has its beautiful along with its dangers. When someone thinks of this state, the first thing that comes to mind is heat. However, if you were to travel in northern Arizona, such as Flagstaff, in the winter months, you may be surprised by the massive amounts of snow you’d encounter. I, myself, reside in the middle of this great state and see cool winters, but still very high temperatures in summer. There are also many other dangers, these come in forms of rattlesnakes, scorpions, Gila monsters, and many other poisonous things. Cacti are also very troublesome to put up with. Speaking of cacti, this is the only place in the world where the giant saguaros live. So if you are willing to put up with the various dangers here, you will be given beautiful landscapes, awesome lightning shows, and of course, sunshine with clear skies most of the year.

       Another place I have lived is in the Midwest, in the state of Missouri, where I spent many years of my youth. This is a beautiful state, full of farm land, lakes, rivers and woods. Here, you will have wonderful fishing and hunting opportunities. You can easily live off the land since water is abundant, and growing your own food in the fertile land is fairly easy. Raising your own livestock is also a plus, with the grasslands for your cattle and other farm animals is easily found. The downside to this great countryside comes in the form of high humidity in the summer and hard freezes in the winter. It is a well known place to carry a sweater, light jacket, raincoat and heavy coat most of the wintertime. The weather can change rapidly, and being prepared is sometimes a challenge.

Missouri River in Missouri
Missouri River

       North Carolina is a place I lived during my time in the Navy. While it is an absolutely beautiful state, hard freezes and hurricane weather is something that may keep you from this state. Some of the friendliest people I have ever met, live here. The hunting is absolutely wonderful and fishing is great as well. The winters are fairly hard, and wet weather is an understatement. This state has very fertile land for growing whatever you wish in your garden. You can also live near the Atlantic Ocean, with some beautiful beaches to enjoy. If you are willing to deal with the harsh winters and hard rains here, you have found one of my favorite states.

Forest trees in the fall, North Carolina
Fall in North Carolina

      Virginia is an interesting state with abundant historical American sites of the Civil War. Many other states have places to see involved with this war, but Virginia stands out in this category.  This state also has many woods as well as beaches to enjoy. The weather is much like North Carolina, with fairly hard winters and hurricane weather to put up with. Furthermore, this state contains the military city of Norfolk. While other states contain military cities, this one stands out as one of the greatest. I was stationed there and can honestly say, if you are not military, you are of the few, not the many in this city.

Welcome highway sign entering Virginia
Welcome to Virginia

      I, personally, have been to every state of the United States, except two. These two states are Alaska and Hawaii. I would like to visit both of these states before I die. I have only lived in a few, but have traveled through many, forty-eight, to be exact. One thing I have noticed is the difference from state to state. It amazes me how much difference there can be, just by crossing an invisible line from one to the other. We can freely move from one state to the other and live  as though we have always been there. The language may be the same, but accents can be extreme from one state to the other. All in all, we are Americans. We stand as one with completely different ways of life. All we have to do, is decide what weather we are willing to put up with, and in a short period of time, we can live out our dreams in the place we choose. If this place gets old to us, we just pack up and move to another state and try something completely different. We can do this as many times as we wish, as long as we live. We may have to learn a different accent, but we will be welcome.

Northern lights in Alaska
Northern lights as seen In Alaska

      I may be a little prejudice, but I feel that I live in the greatest country in the world. This is not because I don’t like other places, this is just because I love my country with all my heart. I have been to many countries, and enjoyed the sites, but I like it here and believe I will stay. As I mentioned from the beginning, this post speaks of what one is willing to put up with to live somewhere. I used the United States because this is where I live. However, you can use these thoughts anywhere in the world. Do you like the woods, desert, plains or beach? What kind of weather are you willing to put up with to live there? There are natural disasters everywhere in the world. Which ones do you deal with? Mother nature is e everywhere, and she will use her power, one way or another. What disaster can you handle to live where you wish? These are questions we must ask ourselves to be happy of our surroundings.

       Fortunately, in this day and age, it is easy to find that perfect spot we wish to live. With the availability of the internet, we can find that special place where we wish to live and raise our families. It wasn’t many years ago that people had to travel to a place before they knew what mother nature had in store for them. So with that in mind, where is your perfect place? Have you even thought about moving, or are you content where you are? I’m curious to know, for I have yet to  live in my perfect spot. I am however looking, as we speak. Furthermore, I’m very close, but these summers are getting to be too hard as I grow older and feel I need to head more north. I thank God that I live in a country where I can move to different parts of the country, without any trouble.

      I hope this post has brought you to a decision of where you want to be, and what you are willing to put up with to live there. I would like to hear of the place you live, and some of the issues you face. Do you have hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat or cold? Maybe you have found your Utopia. My readers and I want to hear. Feel free to leave a reply, and I will answer as soon as I can. My readers will likely chime in as well. Take care, and I hope today finds you well. I look forward to discussing this post with you.

Categories
short stories

What is Abuse and how do I get away from it?

First off, before I even get into the subject the title shows, I must say a few things. I am not a physician, psychologist or a psychiatrist. I am going to simply put out some information, from my years of knowing people on both sides of this issue. If you are in an abusive situation, I urge you to seek help now! I believe that I can put a spin on things that may help you see what I have found to be a problem and a possible solution to that problem. Please do not take my word as gospel of what you are going through. Keep in mind, I am just a writer, giving my opinion. If you are in danger, get help immediately!

A woman sitting on the floor with her hands up in a defensive matter, protecting herself

Let’s first look at what is considered abuse. Most people believe abuse as a physical hurting of another, usually a husband hitting his wife. This is abuse, but there is another form of abuse that most people never think about. Verbal abuse can destroy a person as fast as physical abuse, and in many ways become the worst case scenario. Verbal abuse can lead into physical abuse.

I want to first talk about physical abuse. If you are a man and are hitting your wife or children, you have a problem that needs to be taken care of immediately! You should never hit your wife, period! As far as your children, if you are spanking them, make sure you never do so out of anger. Any other type of hitting your children is an absolute wrong. I will not lean one way or the other on this issue. You are responsible for the discipline of your children. To further your education on spanking, let’s take a look at what the definition of spanking is.

noun

  1. an act of slapping, especially on the buttocks as a punishment for children.”you deserve a good spanking”

The key factor about spanking, is never do so when you are angry. You have to remember how much strength you have and how easily you can hurt your child. By the way, this goes for you too, ladies, never spank your child while you are angry. Spanking can be a form of discipline however, if done while in an angry state of mind constitutes abuse.

A man points and verbally abuses his spouse

Men, Never hit a woman! Part of being a man is learning control of your body and emotions. You should have been taught that growing up, but some of you did not receive that lesson of life. Men are naturally stronger than women, especially in our upper bodies. Not only is it the wrong thing to do, it can cause great harm to whom you are hitting. Men are known for their self-control for a reason. If you lose control, make sure you are alone or with your male buddies, who can help control you. This is a huge #1 lesson for a man to learn. Don’t let your true temper show when there are women or children around. None of us really want to hurt our bride or children. Don’t allow it to happen, because being sorry later doesn’t fix anything. They may forgive you, given time, but you will never forgive yourself.

I have talked a little about Men hitting women, but ladies, I have something to tell you as well, and you’re probably not going to like it. It takes great control for a man to hold his temper to a lower level, if you ladies hit your man, you may be tempting fate. Don’t hit him and hope he doesn’t hit you back. Most of us have control to not snap, but there are those that don’t have this control, especially while drinking or under other forms of mind-altering substances. If he hits you, he is completely in the wrong, but just don’t help him get there by hitting him first. I want to add here that I have been talking about husbands and wives, this also is for boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancée, or any other couple out there. I guess the biggest difference is, if your boyfriend is beating you up, and you go ahead and marry him, you are asking for trouble. It would be bad enough to keep dating and see how many times he hurts you. Remember, if he will do it once, there’s a great chance there will be a repeat in your future.

A man yells at his spouse, while their daughter sits on the floor, covering her ears in fear

The main issue people are not learning is, “we must respect each other“. If you are hitting one another, there is no respect, and you shouldn’t be together in the first place. Of course, there are always the instances where people change and become someone else. If this is the case, there is a reason, and it usually involves the substances, mentioned above, like alcohol. Ladies and gentlemen, if you meet your mate in a bar, the writing should be in letters ten feet tall to look deeper before you commit to a relationship.

I have discussed abusing and being abused, but how do we change what is happening? If you are the abuser, you need to move out and seek help immediately! It may be hard to leave your family, but until you get help, you need to get out before things get worse. If you love your family, get help, and there may be a chance of getting them back. If you lose them because you left, at least you will have peace in your heart that your family is safe. This would be the hard lesson #2. Remember, there is help for you, and you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of places willing to help you with your anger issues.

Woman and her child pack a suitcase to leave.

Ladies, if you are being physically abused, get your children and leave. The longer you stay, the harder it will be, and the chances of serious injury or even death for you and your children will gain in percentage, not lower. If he is out of control, it will continue to get worse until he gets the help he needs. He can apologize all he wants, but if he has let the beast out more than once, it will continue. I say more than once, I would like to say the first time, but I know that I would be talking to a brick wall. I know you women always want to believe it was a one time thing. Furthermore, I pray that you are right, but studies show this not with good odds. When he beats you or your children up the second time, will you give him a third?

It’s very scary to be in a situation where you think of being trapped or that he will find you. I feel for you, I really do, but if you don’t get out of that situation, it is only going to get worse. You know when he won’t be home. You know where you can find a police station, or a relative to get to. Don’t let yourself or your children become a statistic on the news. Especially if you have children, get them out of this situation to a safe place.

Now, most people don’t want to talk about it, but there are instances where the wife is the physical abuser. This doesn’t happen as often, but it does happen. The same goes for you gentlemen, if your wife is abusive to you, you need to get out. If your wife is abusive to your children, get them out and make sure to seek help with the nearest authorities. By authorities, I mean the police. This falls under a little different circumstance, because it is rare and people don’t want to believe the wife as the abusive one. You want to make sure to go directly to the authorities, so your wife can’t say you kidnapped your children. If you do anything else, you might be charged for kidnapping, since you are the man. I know this isn’t right, but society is what it is. Get your children to safety, this is the most important thing.

I have gone over what I believe about physical abuse. Now let’s talk a little about verbal abuse. Do you realize that verbal abuse, even though not taken care of by authorities as it should be, can actually be worse than physical abuse? First let me say that physical abuse usually consists of verbal abuse at the same time, but not mentioned very often. Verbal abuse, by itself, can be a lifelong tragedy. Someone can verbally cause their partner to commit suicide. If the verbally abused person does get out and away from their abuser, they may never be able to trust another person, ever. They can lose the ability to function in society, because they have been torn down so badly, they can no longer make decisions on their own. Verbal abuse can become a brainwashing that may never be fixed. Verbally abused people lose all self-esteem and can go into deep depression that may control the rest of their lives.

A man, with his hand raised, has a woman up against a wall, using verbal abuse.

Most of the time, verbal abuse starts slow and grows from there (degrading your spouse, calling him/her hurtful names or telling him/her they are useless). It is a constant tear down of one’s mind. The abused person becomes dependent upon the one that is abusing them, and believing they themselves can’t get along without the one abusing them. Verbal abuse may later become physical abuse, but they are so beaten down by then, they start feeling they deserve the physical abuse. Do you see why I say verbal abuse can be worse than physical abuse? It is a tear down of one’s mental ability, and can be considered brainwashing. If this is done slowly enough, the person doesn’t even realize it’s happening until it’s beyond repair.

I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, however I have known people in all aspects of what I have written. I hope that you have found some comfort in and possibly even some helpful advice. If you are in an abusive situation, whether you are the abused person or the one being abusive, there are those of us who care and want you to get help. Take care and remember, God loves you, and we love you too. Don’t give up who you are! Take care my friends, I wholeheartedly believe in you, and believe you can make, and have a better life.

Categories
short stories

Calming Pure Anger

If you are one of my readers, I’m sure you have noticed that I haven’t written a post of my own for a couple of weeks. I want to apologize, and I have decided to let you know why. I did get some great guest post writers during this time to make sure that you guys had something to read and learn from. I would like to thank Laura Moseley and Julia Mitchell for their great post, especially during this time. I believe they are both outstanding writers and feel you should go to their websites and see what else they have to offer. I hope to have them both back very soon.

Some of you know that I suffer nerve damage from an accident I had while working in a copper mine in Arizona. This is not an excuse for not writing, however, it has something to do with my absence. Just about everybody understands what nerve damage can do and the pain that goes with it. Things such as burning, losing control of extremities, itching, tightness and swelling to name a few. What those that have never experienced nerve damage don’t understand is the anxiety, depression and anger that come along as though the pain alone isn’t enough.

My anxiety has been through the roof, as of late, but that I handle with medication. The problem that has sidelined me has been pure anger. How can I write an uplifting post for my readers if I can’t even uplift myself? You may ask yourself why the anger? This I will try to explain the best that I can. Those of you in this position understand, but may not be able to find a way out of it. Although, I myself have been having great struggles with anger as of late, I have also been able to finally curtail it, but it has not been easy.

I have always been a person who jumps to get done whatever it is to be done in the safest, yet fastest way possible. I may complain and use some choice words during this time, but I was always working to finish the job, even while using the childish “complain phase”. Furthermore, I’ve done jobs that I hated, but I still got the job done. After becoming disabled, my whole world got turned upside down. All of a sudden, I can no longer jump right in and get the job done. No longer can I do what I want and speed through any situation. I now have to slow down and not do the things I used to be able to do, without major struggles. This alone makes me angry. And yet there is so much more to it.

Some things that I go through, have no explanations, and I will not try to explain to you what I can’t even explain to myself. The focus of this is to explain what I do know. I know that when I lose control of my hand and drop or crush a can of soda, anger is quick to come. I know that when I fall down in front of someone, without an obstacle causing it, first comes embarrassment, but anger is not far behind. The falls I keep to a minimum using a cane, yet even the stick fails me now and then.

So, throughout all my rambling and complaining, am I looking for sympathy? No, I am not! I am getting angry just admitting some of the things that make me angry. Crazy, huh? The only reason I decided to write this is to help others, in the same situation, to know there are others of us, and we need to be open about it and stop allowing the anger to get the best of us. Holding the anger in just multiplies it, however, we don’t want it to come out on others around us. I have found going to be by myself is the best I can do.

There are things like mindfulness that help in these situations, but I have found, I still must be alone for it to work. So alone time is the way to go in my opinion. The only thing to keep in mind, is don’t allow negative thoughts come in while relieving myself of anger. This is what I have been going through as of late. I believe I now have it under control, for the meantime. I am generally a kind person and when the anger hits, it is a shock to my system.

Most people that read this post will have no real idea of what I’m explaining. I would like to tell those people, there are people you know that are dealing with this and if they say to give them some space, time or to leave them alone, please give them this time to refocus. There is very little you can say to help other than you are there for them when needed.

Once again, I want to apologize to my readers for my absence. I will try to get back to my normal writing soon. I also am in the mist of creating a second website, where I have been writing short stories in various genres and will attach it to this website for those that have an interest, once it goes live. Furthermore, I want to thank you for sticking with me during this time, and I hope to bring more followers on board to help C.S.I grow. Take care, my friends, and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Guest post short stories

The Art of Forgiveness

Written by Laura Moseley

My guest today is Laura Moseley from The DV Walking Wounded. Thank you, Laura, for sharing something that is so important for others to see! I commend you for your strength and for teaching other women, all is not lost. Laura is a survivor, and you can be too!

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”

CS Lewis

I learned about forgiveness early on, as a young child. My father always told me, “Those who anger you, own you.” That was the way that he instructed me to not let others dictate my behavior, which opened the door to forgiveness of others. My family was very ingrained in our church, so I was taught to receive forgiveness, I myself had to forgive. It wasn’t until I was a married adult, did I learn the proper way to forgive and “mean it.”

I had NO idea that there was a formula to forgiveness, until recently. I always knew that there was a technique to it, but not that there was an actual formula. I am going to break down the formula, putting my spin on it. I feel like I have massive experience in the “forgiveness” department, after surviving a twenty-six-year marriage to an abusive man AND surviving and healing from sexual abuse from a former boyfriend when I was just a teenager. I have had to forgive these people, even though I’ll never receive a formal apology, to live my life. I also will not allow them to do anything else, ever again. It’s the “Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!” principle.

Step 1: Acknowledge

Acknowledge that an offense happened, one that hurt the recipient (you). Be specific. Example: “My co-worker lied to our boss about taking sole credit for our project.”

Step 2: Consider

How did that offense make you feel? Has it changed your thinking or perception? Mull over what has happened, not making any decisions under stress (either anger or sadness).

Step 3: Accept

Please accept that what has happened (the past) cannot be undone. It is done and acknowledges that it has happened — and do not alter that perception. There is NO guarantee that the other party accepts that. What-ifs are not allowed here!

Step 4: Determine

This is the step where you will “determine” whether or not you intend to forgive the other party/person. This is a pivotal point. DO NOT take this lightly. This point can also dictate the future relationship you will have with the offending party, if any.

Step 5: Repair

Repair the relationship with the person who wronged you. Before any act of forgiveness or reconciliation, rebuild the connection you used to have with this person. For instance, if someone at work has wronged you, you may not necessarily forgive them, but you can let them know that you all have to work together, and you will be professional and courteous to each other. If you say something, keep your word! In most cases, you will be the instigator of this “olive branch,” so to speak. Many people know that they have inflicted a wrong, but “freeze up” and do not try to repair, only to avoid it. Keep in mind that you are “repairing” not “restoring.” If you are going about as if nothing is wrong, that does not solve any problems, but just creates more instances for you to be wronged.

Step 6: Learn

What does the term “forgiveness” mean to you? You really need to define that at this point. To me, I acknowledge the wrong and what you plan to do (or need to do) to correct that wrong. However, I will not forget this wrong, I just will no longer acknowledge that once forgiveness is granted. I am not allowing that wrong to own my thoughts and feelings. BUT, that is my interpretation. As a child, I had an adult tell me that you cannot forgive a person if they do not ask for it. I don’t believe this to be true, now that I am an adult. I have to get to a point of forgiveness for what they did to no longer control my feelings and perceptions. That person may no longer be in your life or may have passed away. You can forgive them and move on, based on time and feelings.

Step 7: Forgive

Actively forgive the person who has wronged you. This may be silent forgiveness, doing so in your mind. However, if you have an issue with someone currently in your life, you should speak the forgiveness. Example: “I forgive you for lying to me about _______. However, this has made me not trust you. I realize that we still have to work together. I will treat you with kindness and professionalism as I always have, but I may not entirely trust you.” The verbal statement may not be met with penitence or compassion, but it is your statement to make. Doing so in a non-threatening way is the way to go. Waiting to introduce it into a conversation, when it is just you and the other party, is best. The silent version is helpful in all aspects, as it helps you to let it go and move on! You may never truly get an apology or acknowledgment that the other party wronged you!

Conclusion

Another point is never to bring this past transgression up if you all have a later disagreement or argument. If you have truly forgiven someone, this is not fair to what is going on in the present! You may recall the past transgression also if there is a history of disagreements or misunderstandings. This may help you to know if you need to cut off the relationship, as a negative history, but DO NOT verbally bring that up. That only adds fuel to the fire and illustrates that it was truly not forgiven. You want to be a person of your word and if you want others to forgive you, you don’t want that thrown in your face. Each transgression merits its own attention! I definitely learned this from being in a romantic/intimate relationship. No one is perfect and I don’t expect my partner to be. I know I am not perfect, so I can extend grace to them — once we talk things through, that is. Communication should be a vital part of any relationship. If it is not, the relationship is not a positive one. Understanding why the transgression happened takes time, but try not to dwell on it too much. You may never fully understand why or how, but acknowledge that you can no longer worry about it! Worrying causes stress, which can shorten our lives. And I’m going to be darned if anyone gets to own my feelings! They are no longer allowed to pay rent inside my head! I release them from that, through forgiveness. I have found life is too short for that, honestly. After everything I have been through personally, I hate no one. Hate is a strong emotion that can kill you. Plus, I do not want to stoop to my transgressors’ negative levels. I am better than that and will conduct myself as such. Not better than the person, but better than the bitterness. Love and light!

Picture of the author Laura Moseley
Laura Moseley

BIO: Laura is a single Mom of three, Nana to one grandbaby, who survived 23+ years of sexual or domestic abuse. I work for a federal social services organization, and also am a DV advocate, activist, speaker, writer/author, and blogger. I enjoy helping victims survivors get out of abuse and never go back! https://dvwalkingwounded.me/
Categories
Guest post short stories

5 Ways You Can Better Your Health and Increase Your Confidence on a Budget

C.S.I is proud to present another great guest post by Julia Mitchell from http://outspiration.net/

Believe it or not, a health-conscious lifestyle does not have to be expensive. In fact, you can eat well and take care of your mental health even when you’re on a tight budget. Here are some ways to live healthily and make money, courtesy of Common-Sense Interaction.

1. See a Doctor

Part of properly caring for yourself is going to the doctor for a health evaluation and talking about any current health issues. You can save on visits by scheduling an online consultation with a doctor and going over possible medications to treat your condition. Talk to the doctor about what generic medications are available at a lower cost than the brand name medicines. Then the doctor will send the prescription to your local pharmacy electronically for pick up.

2. Practice Your Favorite Self-Care Routine

Research shows that self-care enhances your overall wellness by boosting self-esteem and acknowledging self-worth. If you live a busy life, self-care can be something as simple as saying self-affirmations or making sure you have your favorite morning coffee. Occasionally, take yourself on a wellness vacation and spend some time doing the things you love the most. 

3. Change Your Diet

Gut health affects your energy level and even mood. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of what food you eat. Processed foods can sometimes provide very little nutrition, leaving the body feeling tired and sluggish. A well-balanced diet will change your physical and mental health. You can save money by shopping for fruits and vegetables when they are in season and cheapest and cut back on eating out which typically means more expensive meals and larger portions. 

4. Make Your Home a Place of Peace

Your home is the one place where you should get the most comfort in your life. Whether you live alone or with a big family, you can turn it into a more positive and stress-free environment. Start by cleaning and removing unwanted clutter. You can sell items you don’t need to make extra cash. Then find a space in the home where you can relax and meditate. It could be a spot in the backyard, an area of the basement, or just your bed. Wherever you feel more comfortable and can find quiet is the perfect place to reflect and relax.

5. Monetize Your New Knowledge

With your new lifestyle, you can turn some of your healthy habits into a lucrative business. For example, if you developed a love for cooking, you could start an affiliate marketing blog sharing your healthy recipes and the nutrients they provide. You could open a yoga studio or freelance as a life coach. Quick tip: these days, you’ll probably be conducting a lot of your business communications on the fly, so here’s how to save an email message as a PDF and share it from your Phone.

Reaching your optimal health is a process that may take a long time. Find a doctor, practice self-care, change your diet, create a stress-free home, and maybe even start your own health-related business. Appreciate the journey and the passions you develop along the way. The more invested and dedicated you are, the more you will get from the process.

Brought to you by Common-Sense Interaction, who shares short stories using Old School thought for today’s society. Join “William (Billy) Scaggs” and let’s change the way we think today for a greater world tomorrow. Feel free to contact him directly at joinme@readcsi.com.

Categories
short stories

Toxic, Bubbly, or Blah

A Guide to Navigate Through Your Social Circle

Author’s note: I originally wrote this as a guest post a month ago for “Wellbeing Media“. I decided to run the post now, on my site, so all of my readers can read it first hand. Furthermore, I will be adding my own pictures. If you would like to see how the original post was printed, I urge you to visit their site. They also have many other great articles to read. Tap here

      We all have them friends that are either toxic, bubbly or blah. Heck, some of us may fit into one of those categories. Actually, it’s very difficult not to fit onto one of those. All three are hard for the “well-adjusted” people to handle. Of course, who is well-adjusted anymore? It’s very difficult to find someone that doesn’t fit into one of these categories, in this day and age. The well-adjusted, or “normal”, would be those that at times can enter into all three of these categories without being stuck into one all the time. The only position the normal people should lean into more is the bubbly crowd.

Girl sitting at desk alone looking miserable and blah. Two other girls in background talking happily.

     Let’s talk for a minute about the “blah” person first and work out to the other two extremes from there. The blah person is the one that you may know that is, the most part, very boring. Never showing happiness or sadness and seems to be in the exact same place of life, at any given part of time. These people are the most reliable of the three because they are always found at the same places, at the same time, every day. If you need to talk out your own problems with someone, and just need a sounding board, these are those to seek out. These people have no true opinion, one way or the other. It’s kind of like talking to a mirror. You probably won’t get an answer to your problem from them, but instead, you talk your problem out, and find a solution for yourself. Of course, if you have good news, these are probably not the ones you want to tell it to.

Lady with a dead stare, looks like a trouble maker

      The “toxic” person is the worst type of friend to have. Although toxic, we all have this type of friend, and it’s hard not to keep them. We feel sorry for these people, and are always looking for a way to put a smile on their face (this smile rarely, if ever manifest). These people are always in the dumps and never happy. You could hand a toxic person $1,000,000, and they would think you don’t like them because you didn’t give them $1,000,001. These people could make the happiest person in the world want to give up within five minutes of conversation. Although we always want to help them, a toxic person’s only help is to help themselves. They must change their own attitude towards life, before they will ever be happy. Toxic people will not listen or change for anyone, but themselves. Another way to describe a toxic person is the “Poor ole me Syndrome“.  If you are a toxic person, I suggest you read this paragraph again and again until it sinks in!

Very happy girl sitting slumped in a chair with a big smile. Looks like a bubbly person.

     The “bubbly” person is the rarest of the three, and although sometimes they are too much to handle, these are wonderful people to know. These people bring joy to others and are a blessing to all they meet. Never showing a downside to anything. Bubbly people have a love for life in their hearts and don’t mind sharing with everyone. These people are the only type that can bring a smile to the blah person and make the toxic person feel good, (for a short period of time). Are you a bubbly person? If you are, then you have people wanting to be around you all the time. This may be overwhelming to you sometimes, but don’t quit being who you are, we need more of your kind in the world today.

      Lastly, there are, what I like to call the well-adjusted or, “normal” people. These are the vast majority of people on earth today. These people switch between all three at different times. Usually, these people change according to those they are around. If you are one of these, I suggest trying to stay around the blah and bubbly people as much as possible. Try to stay away from the toxic folks if you have a problem with becoming who they are when in their vicinity.

GIF of a  woman changing emotions and deciding which to choose to be normal

      My question for you today is, which type of person are you? Is there a category that you would rather be then where you are now? The change is most definitely possible, however, going from a toxic person to a bubbly person is a huge jump! If you are toxic and want to change, I suggest working on being a blah person first, then working towards bubbly. Going from toxic to bubbly in a single leap might just overload your system, and scare the heck out of those that know you.

      I hope this helps in some small way of assisting you in discovery of yourselves. It is possible to change, if you wish to do so. I don’t have a lot of hope for the middle age to elderly people who are toxic, but anything is possible. Take care, my friends and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
short stories

Life’s a Vacation

What kind of vacation are you planning to have?

      Think of life as a vacation. When we are born, the vacation starts. At first, it seems like this vacation will last for a very long time. However, as we grow older, our vacation soon speeds up and will all too soon be over. The hardest thing about the greatest gift (life or shall we say vacation) is we never know when it will end. Like any extended vacation, there will be ups and downs that we will go through.

       This vacation starts out great, with nothing to do but enjoy the playtime. Soon, as we grow a little older, we must pay our dues, so we can continue to enjoy our vacation. If we don’t work hard, the vacation soon starts to fall apart. We can no longer enjoy the finer things without putting in the work. If you want to be enrolled in your college of choice one day, you must put in the work to add that to your itinerary. The first thing that is thought of when someone says college is the money it cost. You may have wealthy parents to foot the bill, but you still have to keep them grades up, not only to get in, but to stay once you are there. How about being able to visit a different part of this great park, we call earth. The money must be saved and spent to visit different countries. You may need to learn different languages and customs to be able to stay for an extended amount of time. This all comes down to, how much do you want it, and are you willing to put in the work to get it?

      Most people think of the one or two week vacations you get after you have worked a job for a year. If we think of life as a vacation, then we are working many years to enjoy it until we leave. This vacation can be as good or bad as we make it. This can truly be a lifelong wonderful vacation, if we want it to be. We can also have a miserable vacation, if we allow ourselves to let it be.

Two small children talking, one in wheelchair and one sits in chair

      Here is a thought for you to put into perspective, why are people that are born with disabilities, usually the happiest people to meet? These people accomplish more and enjoy life more than the fully functioning person out there. Maybe, just maybe, they see life as a vacation they have been granted. This thing we call life, most people don’t think of more than just a struggle, but those with afflictions (who should be the ones complaining), are those that find the good things about life and live it to the fullest. These people truly enjoy life because they can see what a gift they have been given. They also know to make the best of it before their vacation runs out. Why can’t we all see life in this way? Why take this gift and make it a nightmare? The breath of life is a gift, if you want to believe it or not.

        The middle of our vacation is the hardest. This is the part of the vacation we must work, not only for our own vacation, but for our families as well. As a man, I can say with all honesty, once my children started being born, all I thought about was them. I didn’t worry about me anymore, I wanted to make sure they had a better life (vacation) than me. Children make us want to work harder, so they may have the better things in life. If we are to have the nice homes, cars and family to put into our vacation, we must be willing to sacrifice a great deal for the reward. We, along with our significant other, might have to put aside what we want, in order for our children to do better than we did.

William Scaggs holding his grandson
I’m a proud grandfather holding my grandson

      As you get older and look into your grandchildren’s eyes, you can see what you have passed down into their vacations. Furthermore, we become older, and our vacation is coming to an end. Did we get to see and do all the things we wanted to earlier in life? You would probably answer no to this question. So, if we didn’t get to enjoy the whole park (or world) did we at least get to enjoy most of life up to this point? If your answer to this is no, then it’s make-up time before the park closes. Few people get to visit even half of the park. The question is, did you get to enjoy the part of the park you have seen? Are you happy with the part of the park you are at? Can you be content to finish the rest of your vacation where you are, with happiness in your heart? If the answer is yes, then you, my friend, have been successful in life and your vacation has been wonderful indeed! If you have answered no to this question, then maybe it’s time for a few changes. You have worked hard all through life, and you deserve to end your vacation on a high note.

      Let’s take a for instance and look at what you believe should be the high point of leaving this vacation. Have you been saving your money for that rainy day, but always wanted to go on a cruise? It is a good thought to be prepared, but if you are just holding money with no more reason than, if something should happen, you are letting your vacation slip away. I’m not saying to spend your life savings, but don’t just rot away on that old couch, either. Enjoy some of what you have worked so hard for. It’s a fact that you can’t take that money with you, it will stay at the park when you’re gone. You may be saving it for your loved ones to have, but you should have rights to some of it, shouldn’t you? Your loved ones should want you to enjoy the park before it closes. They are working on their own vacations, and what you leave them should be considered a bonus, not a fully paid vacation.

       So let’s look back at what life is. Life is a vacation that we have no idea how long it will last. If life is a vacation, then we must work hard to make it the best vacation that we can. If we want to make the best of our vacation and truly enjoy this great park, (earth) we better do the best we can every day and not wait. Those that wait, may miss a ride if the park should close before they decide to enjoy it. Our families are also here on vacation, and we must help them make the best of the park as well. If you want to accomplish something that you have dreamed of, don’t put it off too long, or the park may close on you before you can.

       This maybe the wildest way to look at life like a vacation, but isn’t better than thinking of life as a struggle? There is good and bad here at the park we call earth, but searching for the good is better than accepting the bad. We have no idea how long we will live. When your number is up, it’s up and that’s it. No matter how bad things are right now, if you look for the good, life is better. The world is not a perfect place, and we must overcome many obstacles, but overcome them and move on. Don’t give up when you’re down, keep getting up and go again. Let’s make life the best vacation ever!

Categories
short stories

Tips on Drawing on Your Inner Strength

Written by special guest Julia Mitchell of  outspiration.net for Common-Sense Interaction.

Emerge Stronger and More Resilient Than Ever

Woman writer in her office typing on computer
Image via Pexels

If your desire is to not only achieve more for yourself in this life, but also to grow in ways you never imagined, you’ll likely have to dig deep and draw strength from those reserves you never knew you had. Here are some helpful tips from outspiration.net on how to achieve that level of growth you always knew you were capable of.

Practice self-care more often

If you want to achieve more and be more, then you must be willing to put in the time to take care of yourself first. Some would even argue that without self-care, you aren’t likely to make it as far because you forget about the most crucial person in your growth journey – you!

Breaking out of your comfort zone

Perhaps the one thing that’s limiting you from achieving your dreams is your current career, in which case now may be the perfect time to step out to pursue that dream job you’ve always wanted. But first, you’ll probably have to think of redoing your resume to put your best self out there. Speaking of, you can create a phenomenal-looking resume from scratch with a resume builder if you’re stuck for inspiration. Just select a suitable template online and add your information, your photo, the relevant colors, etc.

Tidying up your home

Two ladies putting on rubber gloves to clean the house

The condition of your home could also be something that’s hindering your personal growth due to bad energy that’s just sapping every ounce of creativity out of you. If this is the case, then it may be beneficial to rid your home of any bad energy by decluttering and tidying up to create a clutter-free, more inspirational environment.

Reaching for the stars

Suppose you feel like one of the few ways to achieve the growth you’ve never known before is to reach for the stars to test your true capabilities. For example, you may think that starting your own business is the key to your success. Furthermore, you’ll need to choose a business structure that has success written all over it, such as an LLC, for instance, because its benefits such as greater flexibility, lesser paperwork, and the fact that it has more tax advantages stand out to you as a recipe for success. Just be sure that if you decide to start an LLC, you check what the filing regulations are in your state, as the rules and requirements can change from place to place.

Thinking more positively

Focus on what you’re thinking about if you want to change the course of your future. While this may seem like a piece of advice that’s too good to be true, it is helpful advice that could end up fast tracking your quest for personal growth quicker than you thought possible. Moreover, thinking positively leaves little room to think negatively, something you should avoid if you don’t want to be held back.

Adopt better habits

Lady eating a bowl of fruit to stay healthy

Suppose some habits in your life could be changed for the better, then you should focus on identifying these, so you can adapt and change them for the better. For example, you might find it challenging to get up on time, and the day just seems to slip away from you timewise. Then make it a habit to wake up earlier at the sound of your alarm clock, so you can get to more and be more productive during the day. Or perhaps it’s unhealthy eating that’s your downfall, or not exercising enough, in which case you need to take those steps towards a positive and healthier lifestyle. Reaching your goals growth-wise is sure to be quite the journey. But you’re likely to appreciate your efforts, especially when you emerge more robust, resilient, and capable than ever.

Categories
short stories

Perspectives and Perceptions throughout society

      Perspectives and perceptions are different in life for everyone. As one person sees something as the correct way, another may view it as completely wrong. This could be due to the way we are raised, or to the society we are associated with. If you move from one society to another, is it not true, your views of the way you see things change as much as the society changes? Your perspective or perception of the way you view things may and usually do change as you get older. The question becomes whether this is due to age and wisdom, or to the different society we become associated with as age creeps in? I would like to think of it as a wisdom change, however,  there are many factors to consider.

Married man and woman show their wedding rings

       These differences of how we see things will show up between male and female as well. This is probably the one that most individuals see as the biggest difference. Since a male tends to think using only logic, and a female thinks mostly with feelings, this falls in bold print on the wall of different perceptions and perspectives. This may be why a strong marriage can conquer anything that comes up within it, while a weak marriage can be destroyed in a very short time. (As I have mentioned in an earlier post, love can only take a marriage so far. Other factors must come into effect to make it work). Don’t get mad at me, the difference in the way males and females think has been scientifically proven. I’m just the messenger, my friends.

      Now, we have seen the different perspectives and perceptions of individuals. However, this difference in how we see things goes much deeper, but nobody seems to pick up on it. Let’s take another simple situation, and see how different perspectives and perceptions show in our everyday society. A person is brought up on charges for a crime that involves a jury, lawyers and a judge. All evidence is brought forward and shown to the jury as well as the judge. The lawyers involved will take the same evidence and use it in completely different ways to sway the jury and judge in two different directions. The jury will find the defendant either guilty or not guilty. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, the jury finds the defendant guilty. During the time the jury is in discussions, there are twelve different perceptions and perspectives that come together to come up in agreement to the conclusion of guilt. The judge now has to decide what the punishment will be, and uses his/her perspective and perception for the punishment of the crime. The defendant has now been found guilty and punishment is set by many perceptions and perspectives.

Judge writes while listening to Lawyers form arguments about case

       Here comes the kicker in our case from above. If, for instance, there are different lawyers, a jury and a judge, trying the same case, the defendant may receive a different punishment, or even found innocent. Even though the evidence is exactly the same, the difference in the people involved will see the case with different perspectives and perceptions. Wow, isn’t that something to think about?

      Now let’s stretch this perception and perspective idea even farther. Within the United States, where I am now, each state has different views of how we should live and deal with the surrounding society. Each state has different laws, and society can be completely different from one state to the next. A person that lives in California has a different perspective and perception of how things should be done than someone that lives in Tennessee. Northern states view society different from Southern states, and so on.

      If we go even farther and look into religion or politics, the views can stretch to the moon and back! If we go into different countries, we see perceptions and perspectives that are vastly different from one to the other. So does that mean perspectives and perceptions play a part in wars between countries?

Female holding a world globe

      I believe if we were to look at the other person’s perception and perspective, we could learn to live a more peaceful existence. Instead of trying to push what we see as correct, we look at how and why someone else’s opinions are different. The old saying goes, “Walk a mile in my shoes”. This saying should be studied in more depth, and maybe we would, could get along with our neighbors. These neighbors could be considered anywhere from someone who lives next door to someone who lives on the other side of the planet. We are all human, and we all have our own brains to use to connect with each other. Where are these views when it comes to dealing with someone that has a different perception or perspective of things than you? Could it be possible for countries to use this simple method to look for peace instead of war?

      I know there will be different perceptions and perspectives of what I have written, and this is my point being played out right in front of us in black and white. Some will say this is plain fluff, and I’m just full of it. Others will see what is written, and start putting more thought into this process. Either way, I respect your opinion, and I won’t take a side one way or the other with you. All I’m doing is putting information out there for you to think about. I have my own perceptions and perspectives of the way I believe and see what is correct, however, if I were to push my side, I would lose half my readers. I plan to keep all of you with me as I write my posts, I hope by standing off to the side, and not taking a side, my readership will grow.

      I hope you have enjoyed this post, and I look forward to the discussion this will bring. I will warn you, by taking one side and posting it for others to see, there will be someone taking an opposing side. Furthermore, I just ask for everyone to show consideration for others and keep your responses clean in nature. If you use foul language, I will change such words before your response will be posted, however, all responses will be posted. All are welcome, just keep it family friendly. Thank you, my friends, I will write again soon.

Categories
short stories

C.S.I blog origins

      I have said this a few times within my writing and even in my profile, within a couple of places these post show up. Yet, I have not told the whole story of how and why this website (readcsi.com) came about. As I sit here trying to figure out what I should post about for you, my readers. I have decided to tell the story of how this blog came about. This may or may not be something that interests you, and either way is okay. Since this blog is starting to gain steam, I think it’s time to share. You may not see it on your end, but some things have happened recently, that is about to affect my writing in a good way. As a matter of fact, I may be expanding my writing to include another website where I will be working on short fictional stories. I also have some surprises coming to Common-Sense Interaction that I believe will be good for the old school thought movement going forward! Without further rambling, let me dive into my story.

       Some of you may know that I was injured while working in a copper mine. If you don’t, that’s alright and not of importance at this time. That’s a story I may write about in the future. The main takeaway is that because of this accident,  I became disabled and unable to continue to work. After so many years of working, I became what I feared of as a useless man. That was my first mistake, I had never become useless, that fluff was all in my head. I felt the world come tumbling down around my ears, and I was putting undue stress upon my family as well. The doctors preformed this treatment and that treatment with little result. Finally, it was decided this was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life.

        The pain was pretty bad, and I was prescribed morphine for it. I was in and out of doctor’s appointments, and I was prescribed a higher and higher amount of morphine. With this drug, I got to the point of being a blubbering idiot. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I was driving my family crazy and I couldn’t see why. Furthermore, I didn’t realize how bad that opioid was making me. What made sense to me was gibberish to everyone around me. The worst part was, the drug didn’t help the pain at all. I was basically a jellyfish sitting in front of the television all the time. (Talk about useless, there it was).

Man acting drugged

       Finally, I got off morphine (I went cold turkey. One day on, the next day off for good) with help from my family a great physician and psychologist at the Veterans administration. It was a surprise to find the help that I needed at the VA. Once I was myself again without the opioid poison coursing through my veins, I once again wanted to be of help somewhere. I couldn’t work at a normal job, (for me) and I wasn’t ready to lie down and quit. My wife helped me start a small farm to keep me busy. What I could do, I would and what wasn’t possible, my daughter’s helped me with.

       I have always been a nighttime person, but after the accident, this became acute insomnia. Watching television night after night became boring and it wasn’t helping my IQ any either. I needed something to keep my mind busy and off my pain. Finally I starting writing a little. I started with a personal blog (The Billy thoughts) and it got me nowhere. I’m not the kind of person to do something without making it better than before. I wanted others to read my stories and if nothing else, feel sorry for me. I know that’s horrible, but that’s where I was at during this time of life. So, I decided to start writing of my experiences and things that I had learned through my life. I wrote a few things, had my wife look over them to check for spelling and punctuation errors, and posted them on my new blog Common-Sense Ideology). People started reading and I found out, I was helping others as much as myself. What once was personal therapy, now was therapy for others as well!

Man typing on a laptop holding a note pad

I continue to make small post on my blog, and the more I wrote, the more people read. It was such a surprise that I started getting excited. I have always been good at teaching others hands on work, but teaching through my little post about life skills, who knew? All of a sudden, I’m no longer writing for myself, I’m writing for my readers. I have to get busy and make this something to be proud of. I worked on different little things, like colors and making different pages. Furthermore, I looked at the name Common-Sense Ideology, which was the whole name to log in with (Commonsenseideology.com) and thought, something isn’t right. On my page, it actually said CSI because I thought I could get some alien chasers to my blog. I did it as a joke, but it caught on! Then as I was reading the definitions of common sense and Ideology, I discovered they were complete opposite. They worked against each other and made me look like a moron.

I still wanted to keep CSI, but needed to change what the “I” would mean. I literally got out a dictionary and started going down all the words starting with the letter “I”. This may be simple for you, but for me, it took many hours to decide what to go with. I finally decided to go with “Interaction”, and it seemed to fit. So now my paid domain would read “Commonsenseinteraction.com”. Still seemed wrong, too damn long. While I started thinking what to do to fix that, I decided I needed a catchphrase, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Old School thought” was exactly what I wanted. It all fit, except for the outrageously long domain name. It took me three months to come up with something simple for others to remember. And so “readcsi.com” was born! I still kept the “CSI” that I wanted and came to be known by. Short, simple and to the point, I had it all figured out.

Now the only thing left was a logo to fit all my ideas into. How hard could it be? Crap, a lot harder than I thought! I’ve had a few different avatars. (see avatars at bottom of post) Some looked okay, some looked terrible! Six months and I finally made one I like. I sure hope you like it as well because I’m not changing it again, too much writing to do to worry about anything else. I will continue to update my site and welcome any ideas you might want to shoot my way.

Well, if you kept reading to this point, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. As I said before, there are a lot of exciting things on the way, possibly even a sister site. Thank you for reading and being a part of this community. If you haven’t signed up for emails, you are welcome to join this community for free. Let’s get together and spread “Old School thought” using “Common Sense” with our “Interaction” and watch it grow! Stay tuned and take care, my friends. Great things are on the way!!!

Categories
poetry short stories

She said yes

  • I bought her a house
  • She made me a home
  • She gives of herself
  • I’ve no need to roam
  • I give her my seed
  • She gives me a child
  • I pound on my chest
  • She calms me with smile
  • I’m never in dark
  • She is my light
  • If not for her, mess I’d be
  • I give thanks each day
  • She said yes to me
Married couples hands showing their wedding rings
For my wife “Nicole
Categories
short stories

I’m Enjoying a Happy Day Today!

     Today, I can say, will be a happy day!

     Do you feel as though you are in an endless cycle of time? You wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, go to bed and then start all over again. Unless it’s the weekend, days just seem to drone on. The weekend goes by like a flash, then back to work we go. I’m not saying that you don’t enjoy your job, but isn’t there more to life? Of course there is! The problem is, most people never find out what life’s about until age becomes a factor that slows the process down, yet tends to speed time up. The time on the clock doesn’t actually speed up, but it does feel like it as we grow in age. We want to savor everything more, and yet there is no time left to do so. We have wasted so much time while young, that we try to catch up in our later years. These are things we all will experience and learn from. We must learn to be happy with the time we are in to truly enjoy what time we have left.

Retired husband and wife enjoying the day together with a cup of coffee

     Why do things appear to be so different when retirement shows up? When we are working, we look forward to retirement. When we retire, we wish we once again were back at work. This may not be the feelings of all who read this, but a great majority will agree with me. We rush through life to that small part of our life when it becomes available,  then we take a look back. All of our conversations start by talking of things in our past.

      When will civilization figure out to enjoy the part of life we are in, and stop trying to rush though it? I myself ended up retiring early because of an accident at work that left me disabled. Every day I think of how it was to go to work, and do what I was so good at. Here I am, retired, and yet my enjoyment seems to be in the past. I tell my stories of things I did, and witnessed back then. I forget to enjoy the day that I’m in. Furthermore, I wonder if my best days of happiness and being of use are behind me. There seems to be a fog, or veil in front of me with the sun always at my back. I’m not a rich man, so I can’t go do things I would like to do. All the time I have wasted to get to this point, and the best I can think of is what movie I may watch. When did I lose the enjoyment of life?

      Then there are days like today. Nothing is really different except for my perception of the things around me. I walk outside and there is a light breeze with small clouds moving through the sky. Birds are singing and the leaves on the trees are rustling. What is different about today? Why is it today I feel so alive and happy? Were these same things happening yesterday and the day before? Yes, almost exactly as today. Why then is today such a happy day? Why is my heart beating a little faster? Why today, I ask myself, why today? For all the questions I ask myself, the answers are in my perspective of how I will greet this day.

      Today is different from yesterday, for I am different today. My perception of things around me has changed today. I am happy, because I choose to be happy. I am enjoying today, because I choose to enjoy it. Furthermore, I am living to the fullness of life today. It is a beautiful day. Today, I am a happy person in all parts of my life. I write to you, and I can almost feel your eyes upon these words, and I feel the wander in your thoughts. The more I write, the more I feel a little more of my soul being poured out over these words. Will I be this happy tomorrow? This I will decide tonight. Should I be as happy as I am today, tomorrow? The answer is completely up to me. If I choose to be happy, I will start the day happy, and that is the way it should be. Most of the time, our feelings are in our control, this does not hold true 100% of the time, but I would venture to say, 85% of the time, we feel how we want to at any given moment in life.

There are always variables, such as a sudden death in the family. This may throw your feelings into a tailspin. However, if you started the day choosing the more positive approach, you will be able to handle this tragedy with a clear mind. Whereas, if you started with the negative, you may fall into a place with no sense of direction. Your feelings were already in the toilet, and when the tragedy hit, you just flushed them. One scenario allows you to function, while the other has you with a complete loss of control. In both instances you are sad for your loss, but in the positive case, you are able to help others instead of being the basket case needing help. How you start out the day is in your control, and nobody can choose this for you. You have a decision to make, what shall you choose?

Are you willing to wake up happy tomorrow, or will you choose to have a rotten day tomorrow? Things may go bad tomorrow, but if you choose to start off in a good mood, you can weather the storm. On the other hand, if you decide it’s going to be a rotten day, it will be a terrible day. And what if something great happens tomorrow? If you have chosen rotten already, you won’t be able to enjoy it because you have already decided it is going to be bad. Negative people rarely have a good day because they choose not to. On the opposite side, a positive person has very few bad days because they choose not to have them. Am I getting through to you yet?

Lady smiling at herself in a mirror

      Life is too short to live it, one miserable day at a time. Try to make it a happy day, and see how much better things can be, even if there are bumps along the way. Let’s all have a great day tomorrow and continue this trend every day. If you want a little saying to help you, just remember, positive thoughts will lead you to positive things, whereas, negative thoughts can only lead to negative things! Take care, my friends, and stay positive. There are better things in store for you tomorrow.

Categories
poetry short stories

Choices

  • Reach for the stars, all shiny and bright
  • Stuck on the earth, so firm it holds all weight
  • Fly like the eagle far up amongst the clouds
  • Slither with the snake under foot on the ground
  • Life carries on with day and with night
  • Living and dieing, where do we end our plight
  • Our lives will carry destiny with the choices we make
Homor Simpson with good angel on one shoulder and bad angel on the other
Which one will you follow?
Categories
short stories

Sometimes love isn’t enough

       People fall in love and usually get married soon after. Is love the leading factor in marriage? Of course, it is, but is love the only thing that is needed in a marriage to make it work? This I believe would be a hard no! There are many other factors that are necessary to make a marriage work and last.

Man and woman just married, embraced

       What are the factors that add up to a good marriage and are needed to hold it together. As we grow and change as people, do we need more than what was first given? How are we able to hold the vow of better or worse till death? When the worse shows its ugly self, do we have what it takes to stay within that vow? As the marriage grows in age, what once was plenty, now is not enough.

       A married couple that has been together for many years, know each other’s good and bad sides. The problem lies where the bad tends to grow faster in one’s soul if not taken into great depths of consideration. There may be something that he/she did that was cute when you first married, but now becomes a thorn in your side.

      Many long term marriages end and both the husband and wife will say, “We just grew apart.” Is this reality, or is this just a way of saying they no longer have any new to look forward to? It’s like working on an assembly line putting that one little part in a toy over and over again, a million times. After the hundred-thousandth time, you tend to get bored. Where do we go from here when it’s the same routine with no end?

      If you don’t keep your marriage fresh, it will wither and die like the lettuce in your refrigerator. When it gets to that point, do you continue and let the love die the same way everything else in the union has, or do you allow your partner to leave with love still a factor? The song by the “Beatles” states, “all you need is love”, but we must remember, it’s just a song and doesn’t fit real life.

        So where are the answers that we need to continue what so long ago was wonderful and fresh? This is not an easy question to answer, but if you wish to keep things together, it must involve both sides to want it. If one side decides, the marriage must end, the other side is better off to let them go. Holding on will just cause more problems when the time has finally come to call it quits.

Married man and woman, both with crossed arms, discussing divorce

      Have you quit doing the things that made your significant other fall in love with you in the first place? If this is true, and you want to save your marriage, it’s time to bring those things back into existence. This is not a guarantee by any means, but it is better than giving up what you don’t wish to lose. Is there one cheating on the other? In this case, the marriage has already headed into the depths of destruction, and the chances of a reconciliation is extremely hard. It is very difficult for the other side to e ever trust him/her again, ever!

      All marriages go through rough patches, and only the strong survive. People are naturally selfish and want what best for themselves. The hardest marriages to keep connected, are those where the two people are of different religions. This puts a great weight on the marriage and there must be a true respect for one another, more so than those of the same religion.

      Once married, the two become one and, if you do not believe this, your marriage is already on the rocks. If one tries to have control of the other, this is slavery, not marriage. This is where people make their biggest mistake. It’s all even between the two until the honeymoon is over, then both wish to have control. If this is you, you are already failing in your marriage. This is something to be thought of before you ever get married. Are you willing to share your life with this other person, and are they willing to share theirs with you?

       Arguments are going to happen, but abuse should never even cross your thinking, even during the worst argument. Abuse can be physical as well as mental. Belittling your spouse is almost as bad as striking them. Have you ever considered this?

       So love is a huge part of marriage, but there are other aspects to it. You must think through all aspects if you wish to celebrate your twenty-fifth or fifty anniversary. It’s a long haul with many bumps along the way. A long marriage consists of two strong people willing to give, even when you would rather take. And last of all, if there are kids involved, don’t ever make them feel they had anything to do if a divorce is immediate. Make sure you both are civil with one another when you are around the kids. Also, don’t ever say anything bad about your ex, or soon to be ex, to your children. This is the number one course of action to follow.

Woman and man's hand together shows wedding bands

I have now been married for twenty-one plus years, and we have found a way to make it work through the good times and bad. Marriage takes work and complete respect for each other. Without this, we would never have lasted five years, guarantee. When I started writing this post, I was deep in an argument with my beloved. I can say the finishing touches of this post has ended with the argument over and peace in our household. If you wish to ask, which one of us won the argument, the answer is both of us. We are one and will be until death do us part.

I hope I find all of you that are married, or thinking of marriage, in good spirits and with peace in your home. If there are those reading this that are going through a divorce, I wish you well, and I hope you both find what you are looking for. Take care and God bless.

Categories
poetry short stories

Mr. Shadow Man

Man standing on a pier, looking at his long shadow
Sometimes it takes some darkness to appreciate the light

Mr. Shadow man…. I turn, and you are there, watching my every move. I cannot hide unless the darkness envelops me. The world keeps moving, spinning to and fro. I try to follow, but am slowed in curiosity of the one who watches my every move.

How can I be alone when you are always there? I do wrong and you show the world. All I want is to be myself, but you won’t leave me alone. Who am I? Am I your shadow, or are you mine? Am I in control, or just a figment of my own imagination? Why do you keep an eye on me, even when I’m not watching you?

Are you the darkness swallowing me whole for my wrongful deeds, or will you lead me to a better world? With strength of heart, I continue, even with thoughts that follow my every move. I will try to do right with hopes you will go away.

Am I a part of you, or are you the part that rules? Are you my shadow or am I yours, Mr. Shadow man?

Categories
short stories

A Writer’s life within

     Only a writer knows what he/she will put down on paper. Whether it is fact or fiction, the writer must enter the pages before a word is even spelled out. To live in a writer’s mind would be unnerving to most. To take all the threads of thought and be able to string them together for the reader to understand, is a miracle in itself. How do these people function in the outside world with so much yet to be written? How do we put aside our writer’s thoughts to function outside the pages of his/her next great work spelled out for you, the reader.

Man typing on old typewriter
Trying to put emotions into words

      The paragraph above has truly been in my thoughts, as I to live in a writer’s world now. Before the accident that sidelined my career, I myself could never string two sentences together to help someone understand what I was thinking. I would’ve never been able to allow someone to look into my thoughts on any given subject, whether fact or fiction. Why now then am I able to do so? Why can I now paint a picture in someone’s mind using nothing but the words I put into print? I have a lot to learn to write a book and keep my audience engaged, but I can write short stories and keep my readers’ attention throughout.

     I have always been a good talker, (some would suggest, I am way too good at it) I can tell a story in casual conversation and make you feel as though you are living it as I speak. But, to write something and get the same reaction, now that’s a lot harder to accomplish. For you see, when I write, I have to imagine your expressions while you read. I cannot see how you are taking my stories while you are engaging in them. Face to face, I can adjust my emotions to help you get more from the story. But, when I write the story down, I can only use the words, without facial expression and imagine how you are taking my words in. How you are understanding what I am trying to explain is different and difficult.

     Everyone has their own imagination and without the help of the writers emotions being seen, how can I decide what words to use. Is there a universal set of words that all will understand? So what changed for me to be able to get through to you using only my thoughts and written words? I have found my answer to these questions, that satisfy my own mind, but I can’t speak for other writers and their thoughts on this subject.

Man studying papers at a desk, deep in thought
Finding the right words to use

     My adaptability to using the words on a page comes from speaking to myself within myself. I use my inner thoughts as an audience to my writing. I do ask a couple of family members to read some of my post before I publish them, so I can see their emotions as they read. This usually gives me confidence, however, I do get a feeling sometimes, they are just being kind. It takes the person I don’t know to give me a review before my confidence really goes up. I have also learned a lot from my wife with how to write down an idea and to explain it. (I am very thankful for her help) I have since moved on to using my own ways, whether they are correct or not.

      I began to have a lot of time within my own mind after my accident. I have gone through a bout of self pity, but have used that to help others. Depression has been a great part of dealing with myself, and I have been able to turn that into a positive through my written words. As I write, I feel a power of positivity flow through me and into my hands. This flow is what you are reading in my post. Depression is completely gone as long as I am writing.

     All in all, I have decided, the reason I have been able to write the way I do is simple. I have learned to spend more time inside my own thoughts and less time outside my own head. We all talk to ourselves from time to time, but I spend hours in deep conversations with myself, although not showing it on the outside. If I were to have my conversations with myself out loud, I would be writing with crayons inside a sanatorium. Best to keep my conversations quite, I think.

     I would like to hear how other writers are able to do what they do, or if they even know. Does it just come natural to some, most or all of them? Am I the freak amongst the crowd, or am I on the normal side of things with how I write? Of course, if this is normal, I worry about the great “Stephen King“. I would be afraid to discuss with myself in terms of the things he writes. I believe that would drive me insane. Furthermore, I know I will never be a great writer like Mr. King, but the thought that he discusses things with himself, the way I do, would be intriguing to know.

      I’m being selfish with this post because, it has been written as much for me as for my readers. I have been reading many post from many authors about anything and everything. As I read other post, it came to me about how they are able to write as they do. Are we the same, or am I a loose cannon? I would love to hear thoughts from other authors on this subject. Do you also talk to yourself and read to yourself to figure out how your audience will respond? Are the things you write about already a part of you, or do you have to go outside your mind to get your stories? Give me some answers here, so that I can better understand how I came about this ability to connect with others using printed words.

Bearded man in straight jacket yelling
Crazy to have conversations with one’s self?

     I suppose, if some guys with white suits show up at my door offering me a jacket with sleeves that tie in the back, I will have my answer of going crazy or not. Just in case, I won’t give you my address for now. Well, that’s it for now. I look forward to reading your thoughts. If you are an author, let me know if you write fiction or non-fiction and how you come up with your writing abilities. Take care, my friends. Until next time, remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
short stories

Monsoons are blowing in Arizona

      Anyone, that hasn’t lived in Arizona through monsoon season, has no idea of the heavy rains we encounter this time each year. The only thing that is thought of when mentioning Arizona is hot and dry desert. Although we do have extreme heat in the middle to southern parts of the state, we also have snow up north, lots of mountains all over, and yes, heavy rains!

     The monsoons add another layer to our weather that is interesting, to say the least. 110 °F with super high humidity and flash flooding is what we look forward to each year around July. These rains come in fast, hard and heavy. Afterwards, in a short period of time when the rain stops, water disappears as fast as it showed up. The sand sucks it into the ground as though a great mouth had opened up and took a big drink of it. The only way you can see that the water had been running like a river down your street, is by the debris that is left behind. Things such as branches from trees, sand, gravel, rocks, cacti and palm leaves can be seen wherever the water ran.

      Most people would think, we had a man-made river running, where nothing but sand had been a few minutes before. We have what we call washes here, that are like creeks, only with few rocks (mostly sand and shrubs) and no water to be found for most of the year. When the monsoons hit, these washes become full-blown rivers for a short period of time.

Video of flooded wash after monsoon in Arizona. Presented by Brett Scaggs

      It happens every year that some people get their cars and trucks stuck, (if not taken down the wash) because they don’t realize or believe the water could be that deep and run that hard in such a short span of time. These are usually people who are spending their first year here during the monsoon season, although, there’s always that one idiot, with no common sense, that thinks this time they can make it across. This is in the middle of the desert and yet, you would think we were down by the Atlantic coast for a little while. Even though these rains can do a lot of damage, by the time the monsoon season is upon us, we are ready for some water. Not necessarily that much that quick, but anything to break up the heat and bring the desert back into full bloom. The cacti spring to life and creatures, big and small, breathe a sigh of relief from the hot sands beneath their feet. The underground water tables are once again filled, and we can look towards the thing we all want to see come soon, …. Winter!

Dark monsoon clouds breaking up at dusk
Monsoon clouds that are breaking up after a big rain photo by “Brett Scaggs

     We have a lot of people that like to spend their winters here to get away from the harsh winters in their own state. We call these “Snow birds“. Once the heat starts to rise, they pack up and head back to their home states. Quite a few will love it here so much, they will decide to make Arizona home. We have people from all over the map move here and after their first year, the same question always comes up, “What happened to Spring and Fall?” Those of us who know, will smile and simply say, “Other than about three weeks a year, we are either in Summer or Winter”. Do we have Spring and Fall? According to the seasons on the calendar, yes we do, according to temperatures, no, we really don’t feel that to be true. We like to believe so, but when we walk outside, Mother Nature just laughs and laughs.

Sunset after storm in Arizona. Clouds look almost on fire
Arizona sky at sunset after the storm    Photo by “William Glen Snelgrove

      So if you want to know a little more about Arizona, watch the Weather Channel for the next two months. Who knows, you might get a glimpse of me floating by on your television screen. I’m just kidding, I know better than to cross a flooded wash, and I don’t own a boat. Take care my friends, stay safe wherever you are, and I will try to stay dry in the Grand Canyon State!

     If you enjoyed this post, you need to listen or read this one from July of last year Press here

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short stories

Quit trying to be someone else!

      We all have our heroes, but you need to be you. Quit imitating others, you are the only you there has ever been or will ever be. You are special and need to figure that out today.

      Do you have any idea what makes a leader? A leader is their own person and has ultimately figured this little piece of the world out about themselves. Followers are those that are still trying to figure out who they are and where they belong. Once a follower decides to be who they are, they are no longer followers. They have now become leaders and the followers will come, mark my words.

Twin women standing on opposite sides of wall. Both are individuals, but one is trying to be more like the other.

      There is nothing wrong with looking up to someone, but don’t go as far as wanting to be them. (The only people that can pull this off and not look ridiculous are twins, even though, they too are individuals who should follow their own path.) If you try to be them, you are a follower who is just an imitation and have yet to find yourself. Everyone has something special about them, the trick is to find out what is special about you. Once you have figured that out, you can step out of the shadow of someone else and lead a fuller life.

      Being a leader does have its downside. As a leader, you start to see others imitating you, so you have to try very hard not to put a step wrong. As a follower, nobody pays attention to you, you are just another face in the crowd. You have no significance as far as others see you. This may work for you, but for most of us, it’s better to have a little pressure put on us to be known as someone and not a nobody.

      Are you ready to step up and step into who you are, or will you continue to be someone else’s shadow? Nobody can answer that question but you. I can tell you, in this day and age, we could use some more leaders. Followers are readily available, but leaders are getting harder and harder to find. I think everyone truly wants to be their own person, but they are afraid of failure. It is true that you will see failures along the way, but a true leader can weather the storm and come out better for going through the struggle.

      Let’s attack this another way and see if this helps with your decision. If you are a follower and the one who leads you fails, what happens next? If they crash and burn, you will also crash and burn with them because you are just following without making a decision for yourself. Wouldn’t it be better if you held the reins and made the decision for your own life? You may find yourself making a bad decision once in a while, but at least it was your decision, and you can learn from it. As a follower, you have no decision capabilities, along with no way of learning from the failure that you were just dragged into.

Sun sets beneath the clouds. "Be the leader that shines for others to follow" Photo by Brett Scaggs

      I personally choose to make my own decisions of who I am and in turn, have others that follow in my footsteps. I also encourage these followers to step out on their own and learn who they are. Furthermore, I have been a follower and I have been a leader, both have their ups and downs. The main reason I choose to be a leader now is because I no longer wish to follow others when they fail.

       I have no idea why I felt the need to write this post. Maybe there are a few of you that needed to hear it, or maybe it is something that I needed to hear for myself. I do know I had an overwhelming need to write this. If this is something that you needed to hear, please let me know. If you don’t want to comment for others to see, you can always email me at [joinme@readcsi.com] Thank you for reading and may all your wants and needs be met. Take care, my friends. Until next week, remember, we are all in this together.

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short stories

Faith Quote By Brene Brown: “Faith is a…”

I received this from “Elena” and had to share. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Click link below to see more from Short Wisdom.

Don’t let the quotes you love the most go into the forgotten corners of your mind! Use the notebooks I created and published on Amazon to keep your quotes together! PS: If you enjoy my content, I will think of you while drinking my coffee. – BuyMeACoffee And if you are interested in reading some […]

Faith Quote By Brene Brown: “Faith is a…”
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Make time for Needful things

       In today’s world, we are in such a rush that we are forgetting the most important things in life. We hurry to work, eat fast food, while time for family and friends are laid to the wayside. Is this what life is all about in society today? It sure seems that way, but is this a healthy way to live? The answer to this question would be a resounding no. If we don’t find time for the needful things in life, then what kind of life are we really living? This answer would add up to be a very empty life indeed.

Small girl sitting with a smile

       All the money in the world won’t be near as precious a gift as a smile from your child. A child’s smile is more than enough reason to find the needed time for family and friends. How many people live their whole lives working and look back from an old age, knowing they have waited a lifetime? This is such a sad existence and one that should never be lived in the first place. Did you take care of your family with all the work you did? Of course, you did, but how many birthdays did you miss because you got called into work, and you took it upon yourself to answer the phone?

       It is true that working hard for your family is very honorable, but what did you miss because of work? Don’t get me wrong, I respect a hard worker, and I’m sure your family does as well. The thing I’m talking about is the downtime to enjoy your family and friends. Do you find yourself spending all spare time in front of the television or reading all about the bad stuff happening in your newspaper? When was the last time you spent free time teaching your daughter to fly a kite? Maybe it’s something even of a shorter time, like explaining a math problem or teaching your child how to bake a cake. The key is to find time when it seems like there isn’t any to spare. If you can’t spare it now, then when?

        Using your free time wisely is extremely important! Some of this time must be used for relaxation of the mind, other parts need to be used for connecting with loved ones and friends. If you don’t find time for others, why would they find time for you later? Many people grow old alone because they didn’t have time for others earlier in life. Don’t set your life’s goals only upon working that nine to five job. Finding the downtime away from work leads to a much healthier and happier life for you as well as those around you. Why wait until that one-week vacation to find out who is important to you.

Old man sitting alone reading a book

      We live our lives sitting on a time bomb! What I mean by this is, we never know when our time is up. Some die at a very young age, while others live to be very old. Are you going to lay odds that you will have time to enjoy life later? How old will you live to be? More importantly, how long will your family and friends live to be? Will they still be around when you decide it is time to get to know them better? Furthermore, will they be willing to give you the time of day after so many years of being ignored?

     I understand, in this day and age, it is hard to make a living for your family and many friendships may be put aside because of the stresses you have to deal with every day. I also understand how important it is for us to have friends and family in our lives in a social environment.

Dog getting a pat on the head by his owner

      Let’s think of a dog for a moment. Your pet dog is a great pet because they are always happy to see you! You could leave the house and be gone ten minutes. When you return, your dog is so happy to see you that he can hardly stand still. As long as you give your dog a pat on the head or a quick scrub on the belly, your dog is happy. He is always looking for another way to get that pat or scrub. Why do we call dogs man best friend? Because they are forgiving and ready to please you anytime day or night. Now, people are very different in this nature. People have to be reminded that they are loved and needed. If you go long enough without reminding them of this love and need, they will forget and look for another place to receive these things. Dogs are loyal to their owners, but people are their own owners and only loyal to those that show loyalty to them. Are you willing to pass a time to show your family and friends your loyalty? How long do they have to wait on you? Besides, your dog tends to get more attention from you than your family and friends, even if it is only a pat on the head. This is very sad if you think about it.

       When your children were younger, do you remember how excited they were to see you, even if you had been gone only a short time? As you become too busy to spend time with them, are they still as excited or are you now just someone that lives under the same roof? There was a time when you would call your friend, and they were excited to come over for dinner. Now, when you call, they seem to have other things planned. Do you feel any of this happening in your life? If so, then it’s time to find time for others, even if it’s just a few minutes to let them know you care. Make the connection today, or live to wander later when you are alone.

Father and children holding hands and playing

       One final note, and I will let you consider if my words hold truth for you. If you don’t want to grow old alone, I suggest you take this post to heart, and do so today. Don’t wait until it is too late. Remember, people are different from dogs, besides most of us outlive our dogs. Show a need and love for your family and friends today. Tomorrow may be too late. Take care, God bless and remember, we are all in this together.

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short stories

Repair your inner core to look younger

      I have been watching and learning from people all my life. Some feel this to be normal, but I look into the thoughts and actions of people deeper than most. We all come to a point in life where, no matter what your age, want to become something we can no longer be. The older we get, the younger we try to become. This concept has engulfed most of my thoughts while studying others. Whether it’s make-up for women or lifting weights for men, we are always trying to turn back the clock of life. Let it be known, you will be a day older tomorrow, regardless how much you do today to try and change it. Once you are thirty years of age, twenty-nine is gone forever. So are we trying to turn back the clock to help others see us as we were, or are we trying to help ourselves live a long and healthy life?

     Watching people can teach you a lot about yourself, but one thing it won’t teach you is to be happy with you! You can lose the weight, run five miles a day and eat all the right things, but you are still you. If you believe losing ten more pounds will make someone love you more, you are sadly mistaken. If anyone has ever made this statement to you, then surprise, they don’t know what love is. And if you believe it, then guess what, you don’t know what love is any more than they do.

Lady with lots of make-up with scowl
Make-up doesn’t cover up meanness

In the time it has taken you to read this far, you have gained age, and nothing you can do will change that. You can make the package look better, but you are still the age you are. I have nothing against anyone that wants to improve themselves physically, but you’re not turning back the clock, you are just putting a new coat of paint on it. God Bless those that try, but remember, we are still who we are. If you were a rotten person at three hundred and fifty pounds, you are the same rotten person at two hundred pounds unless you fix the inside, not just the outside.

As I watch, most people try to do the upkeep of their bodies, not for themselves, but for others. This is a huge mistake! If you want to truly improve yourself, put as much work on your inside as you do on the outside. And some might take this wrong and yell at the screen, “I am eating right!” This has nothing to do with what I am suggesting. To fix the inside (inner core), we must fix numerous things that have nothing to do with what we eat. We must repair our attitude (positive rather than negative), humor, thought process and even something called love for our fellow humans. Do you treat others the way you wish to be treated, or just expect them to show you kindness while you treat them like dirt? Are you making people feel welcome or slamming the door in their face? These are inside things that can be fixed with less will power, than it takes to leave the cookie jar closed.

You have now gained a few more minutes of age and there’s no going back. The good news, you can change for the better and make the world a better place beginning now. It may take a long time to lose the weight. It may take a long time to be able to lift them free weights you have been staring at. But you can start making yourself a better person by the time you finish reading this post. All it takes is to decide to do it. Once you have made this decision, it will start making you a better person immediately. Do you feel good about who you are? This question has nothing to do with weight, muscles or what job you have. I ask again, do you feel good about who you are? Can you look someone in the eyes when talking to them, or do you have to look away? Are you trying to hide who you are, or are you proud of who you are?

Lady running in triathlon with smile on he face
Good inner core makes all the difference

Here’s the good news. Once you start working and repairing your inside, it will become easier to repair the outside! All of a sudden, it will be easier to lose the weight or run them five miles, if you wish. And as far as turning back the clock, the glow you put off to others will make you look much younger than what you are. We can’t turn back the clock of age. We haven’t the technology of a time machine yet. Make-up may cover the rust, but when it is taken off at night, the rust will still be there. But an inner core can be repaired and will show on the outside as though you have the ability to turn back the clock. You have the power, but do you have the will? This is my challenge I lay before you. If you should accept, I promise you will become a new you, and you don’t have to believe an infomercial to receive it. God Bless, I wish you well, and I will talk to you again next week.

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short stories

Pain dealt with using humor

     A person in pain with no sense of humor is a miserable person indeed. However, a person in pain that has a sense of humor, may still be in pain, but is able to deal with it a lot easier. Is it not true that laughter is the best medicine? Try to laugh (I don’t mean fake laugh, I mean a true laugh) and think about being miserable at the same time. Can’t do it, can you? You are trying to cause two opposite emotions to invade the same place at the same time. So a person who has a great sense of humor has a hard time not laughing at something or someone that is funny, even if he or she is in pain at the time. This in turn will, even if for just a few seconds, will allow the pain to be forgotten. This few seconds are worth a million bucks to someone who lives with pain all the time.

Laughing baby

     As someone who deals with pain on a daily basis, I am always looking for the next laugh. Heck, there are days that a small chuckle would be worth its weight in gold to me. The days that I can’t find something to laugh about are the worst days by far. Now I’m not saying I have a great sense of humor, I’m saying I have a great sense of humor for me. Everyone has a different kind of humor, but we all started out with the same kind. You heard me right, have you ever seen a baby’s first laugh? Anyone who can watch a baby laugh and not smile themselves, has completely forgotten whatever sense of humor they ever possessed. How many baby’s have you known that never laughed? I will await your answer……

Okay, I’m done waiting. We must move on now. So since we all agree that as babies, we have a sense of humor, then where did some of us lose it? Was it a bad childhood, something happened after growing up, or was it trained out of us? That is a question you must answer for yourself. I had a few years that my humor left me, it was the heartbreak of divorce. It took a few years for me to locate it again, and oh, how I missed my old friend (humor). Once I allowed my humor back into my life, my whole life returned to me. Shortly afterwards, the love of my life entered my life, and we have been married now for twenty-two years and still going strong. It was up to me to allow my humor back and because I did, the pain I once went through with heartbreak has now been replaced by the love of my life. Why must I tell you this, easy, because I want to show that it is very possible to regain the humor you may have lost somewhere along your lifespan.

After getting injured during a mining accident, even though it caused a physical pain and not heartbreak, I find my humor helpful. The days that are my worst are the ones without a good laugh. Now I look for ways to laugh every day, regardless how bad the pain is. It works, my friends, it really does!

Lady sitting in chair, with hands on her head, looking very happy.

The whole point of this post is to let you know, pain exist, and it hurts, but humor does help. No matter what you are going through in life, a little laugh now and then can only help. It most definitely won’t hurt. You don’t need to be happy all the time, and humor won’t fix a broken heart or broken bone. It will, however, make the situation a little easier to deal with. I leave you with this final thought, why not take humor for a spin and see if it helps you? Take care my friends and remember to smile, besides it takes more muscles in your face to frown.

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short stories

No longer 10 feet tall and bulletproof

      I am reminded every day, as I get older, of my wild and crazy youth. Once my body was made of steel, now it’s made of petrified wood. At one time I felt that I could do anything even if it meant putting my body through rigorous pain. Now I know to search for the easy ways instead of blasting through head first. Once I was ten feet tall and bulletproof, now I know I was just stupid at the time. I am now paying for the heroics of my youth with a much wiser set of rules for myself. Am I any more fragile than when I was young? I don’t believe this to be true. In all actuality, I’m probably stronger now than I ever was. The difference is, now I understand how much abuse the human body can withstand. Now I know with great feats of strength, come great pains of what was in the beginning.

      I’m not sure why, as young men, we must try to blast through that concrete wall when it is much easier to use the door. Some say it’s the testosterone running through us and yet, others claim it is the rite of passage. Maybe, just maybe, it was that pretty girl that walked by, and she must be shown how massively strong this young buck was. Of course, later in life we realize that she, who turned the young buck’s head, thought we were just stupid. She, of course, was correct, but we are blinded by the beauty and the testosterone will boil! There is a certain dynamic to these tales that will be relived over and over through our lives. And when the magic 3-0 rears its head, the pain will drive a man to think twice about going through the wall instead of using the door.

Car wreck at bottom of hillside

      I believe in my heart, for most men, wisdom begins at thirty. How much damage have we done through our twenty-nine years of being untamed, stupid and just plain not right in the head before this time is anyone’s guess. We all have the stories of our wild and crazy youths but, you have to ask, was it worth it? The answer depends on how much your body reminds you of your wild or shall I step on and say, “Stupid” days. Did you break some bones or almost die from something that seemed like a good idea at the time? Did you wreak your first car by trying to make that 20mph curve at 60mph? Did you do something that even you knew at the time was idiotic, just because someone dared you to do it and out of the corner of your eye, you seen that pretty girl that you wanted to get to know? And afterwards, did really feel stupid when you did it and you got hurt, let alone seen that pretty girl leave the scene with someone else? Ya, me too!

     All the cases above had some form of truth to them in my own life. I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the barn. However, I have become much wiser for my misadventures so in some ways, it wasn’t so bad, I guess. I do feel all the twinges of pain more and more as I gain age. Even though I never broke a bone growing up, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. In all actuality, I believe the good Lord was taken care of me. Many times, I should have died from my variance, but it wasn’t until much older that I experienced my own death. Of course, that is a story for another time. So was it all worth it? Well I didn’t get the girl, I messed up a lot of vehicles along with my body, and I’m feeling a lot more pain from my adventures. I guess I would have to say, yes it was. I am who I am because of my stupidity and I enjoy a wisdom, I never would have without my misadventures.

       Would I live my life the same way over, given another chance? I guess I would have to answer no to that question. This would be because I now have the wisdom, so unless said wisdom was taken away, my answer would have to stand as no I wouldn’t.

Boy jumps his skateboard onto stair railing

      Another part of this would have to include my sons and grandson. I raised my boys letting them know, I didn’t want them to do stupid things, but knew they would. I never held it against them, of course there was always punishment that would be handed out. They are getting close to their thirties now, and I know, the wisdom will come when their time is at hand. I have one grandson now, and I hope his daddy will show him the same tolerance. We are all boys and as the old adage says, “boys will be boys.”

      As fathers, we must remember our youth and allow our sons to find their way in life, too. We must be stern when they mess up. We must teach them respect, and we must allow them to grow up to be good men. They will find wisdom on their own path in their own time, but don’t take away their rite of passage. They are going to mess up and cause themselves pain along the way, but it will make them stronger and wiser men. The last thing I must add, be careful telling them of your youth. Pick and choose your stories careful, at least until they reach the turning point from stupid to wisdom.

I once was 10 feet tall and bulletproof! I am now not so tall and no longer bulletproof, but I am much wiser for the things I have been through. Furthermore, I would love to hear your coming of age stories. Was there ever a point when you just knew you turned the corner from stupid to wise? If you had a chance to go back and try again, would you? What are your feelings on this subject? I hope you enjoyed this one. Take care, God bless, and I talk to you again next week. Remember, we are all in this together.

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Blog posts short stories

My squirrel hunting cat

     Every once in a while, I enjoy writing about  something a little different. I choose to write about some of the experiences I have lived through. I enjoy sharing these tidbits of my life. If you are following my blog, you have noticed how I throw these funny yet true stories in every so often. Most of these stories involve me learning a lesson the hard way, usually showing comedy with me being shown as the butt of the joke. In all of these posts, there is also a lesson that I have learned and passed to you, hopefully helping you not make the same silly mistakes. I have had great success with these post and continue to go back through my memory to pull one out sometimes. This story is one that involves an amazing little creature I had the pleasure to witness at his absolute finest. For once, I didn’t make a grand mistake making me the stooge in an event of my life. Actually, there’s no funny in this one, just pure amazement. I hope you will continue to read and allow me to introduce you to “Smokey” my truly amazing cat!

     I had this cat that was the best darn  squirrel hunting dog that I ever owned. Did I say dog? He might as well have been. I know that just sounds plain crazy to start my story  like that, but when I explain farther, you will think that was the best way to start after all. Spending my teenage years in the Ozarks of Missouri, I did a lot of hunting for various reasons. Sometimes the reason fell upon food for my family, other times it was for the hides so rich people could wear strange clothing. If you have never lived in the country, you probably wouldn’t understand the need for hunting. It’s probably not a far stretch that you city folk wouldn’t understand the pure joy of hunting, either. The joy of hunting is a pleasure that is hard to explain. Was it bloodlust? No, it is the joy of being in the woods, watching and listening to everything around you. It brings a special piece to one’s self. It settles the mind and teaches us the gift of the great outdoors. The hunt is the necessary part, the other is the pleasure one is given for such an adventure.

     Part of hunting sometimes includes a good hound dog who can lead you to prey one seeks. A good squirrel dog will drive squirrels up a tree and run around barking, keeping the squirrel treed. This term treed means just what it sounds like, the dog will keep the squirrel in one tree, not able to flee to another tree. Once his master finally gets there, this brilliant dog will walk around to the opposite side of the tree, giving the hunter a clear shot at his prey. For those of you whom have never paid attention to squirrels before, when you are walking towards the tree the squirrel occupies, he will climb around to the opposite side, staying out of your view and in a safer place. This leads us to the good hunting dog I spoke of. The hunter once taking up his position at the tree will signal his companion. This brilliant animal will do what he is taught and circle around to the opposite side of the tree. Once he is in position, he will growl, bark and jump up against the tree. The prey will see this craziness and want to get to a safer position, climbing around the tree away from the danger to the opposite side. What the squirrel has now done is take himself away from something that can’t get to him into the sights of something that can, the hunter!

Gray cat laying down
This is not Smokey but could be his twin

       I feel this is the time to introduce you to the cat I had back then. His name was Smokey. I named him that for the most obvious  reason. He was gray from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. There wasn’t a speck  of any other color on him. Smokey was a great friend to me. Living on a farm, we had lots of cats, but Smokey was the only one I liked. As he reached adulthood, I noticed that Smokey started following me on my hunts. “Stupid cat, he thinks he’s a dog” I thought. Later on, he would be known as a genius kitty by me.

       I went for a squirrel hunt one day and happened to catch a glimpse of Smokey following me through the woods. Once again, all I could think of was, stupid cat. All of a sudden, I seen some squirrels looking for nuts around this large oak tree. I slowly kneeled down and patiently watched these little creatures running to and fro. It dawned on me that I hadn’t heard Smokey moving behind me. I knew if he was moving around, he would have to make noise in the dry leaves that covered the floor of the woods. Did he go back home? Nope. As I slowly turned to look behind me. There he was, maybe fifteen feet behind me, sitting still as a brick wall. Another thought jumped into my head. This stupid cat is going to run across them leaves on the ground and alert the squirrels of my location. This isn’t what was happening, he just sat there, watching, with me as still as he could be. He’s not crouched down waiting to leap, just sitting there patiently watching along with me.

     A little while past and I watched as the squirrels headed up this other tree, maybe one hundred feet away. This is when I slowly started my walk to their location. I would have them treed, and the only problem I would have now would be to get them in my sights to shoot them. I could have shot one from my original position, but I would lose track of the others and probably wouldn’t be able to get them. When hunting, I always believed I should bring home enough for at least one good meal for my family. Any less than that and I would feel like I failed the reason for the hunt.

Gray squirrel in a tree

     As I got within fifty feet of the tree, I stopped and waited for the first squirrel to get curious enough to come around to my side of the tree. I knew this would take a while since I didn’t have a dog or a hunting partner to walk to the other side. I waited maybe five minutes and I heard something coming from up from behind me through the dead leaves. Furthermore, I turned and seen that it was Smokey. I thought once again, “stupid cat.” I believe he must have read my mind. He must have been thinking, “I’ll show him who’s a stupid cat!” All of a sudden Smokey ran past me and headed for the squirrel tree! What the heck is he doing? When he reached the tree, he slowed down and slowly walk to the other side. Once there, he jumps up on the tree and ran up about ten feet. I was surprised to see he’s looking around the tree, where he had stopped, right into my eyes. The best that I could come up with was him asking if he was in the right place. Of course, he may have been thinking, “stupid human. Here I am running the squirrels to his side and all he can do is stare at me.”

      Once Smokey was in position, the squirrels worked their way around to the opposite side of where he was. This put the three squirrels on my side. It caught me by such a surprise, that it took me a minute to get through my brain what was happening. Once the shock left me, I picked up my rifle and was able to get all three squirrels, Smokey had sent to me. When the squirrels hit the ground, Smokey came down out of the tree and ran towards me. Once again, shock hit me. This cat was running towards where the loud sound had just originated from. Wow, that is the best squirrel hunting dog I had ever witnessed, and it is feline, not canine!

       I took the squirrels home and prepared them for my Mom’s famous squirrel and dumplings. I relived the moment of the hunt while sharing my story with my Mom and Dad. My Mom thought it was a sweet story, while my Dad ask what I had been smoking. I’m serious Dad. It really happened, just like I said. I don’t think he believed me at the time, but he would in the near future.

     I went out many times squirrel hunting, and every time Smokey went with me. Not only did he go, but every time he would do the same thing as before, jumping up on the opposite side of the tree, giving me the clear shot I needed. My Dad finally had enough of my story telling about Smokey, so one day, he decided to go on the hunt with me. Smokey followed us out and when we got the squirrels in the tree, Smokey once again showed his trick. My Dad was absolutely floored. He had just witnessed this with his own eyes and still had trouble believing what he had just seen.

     I continued to go hunting with Smokey over the next two squirrel seasons. No matter how many times I have seen Smokey do his little trick, it was still hard to believe. Smokey passed away towards the end of the second season. I guess I should’ve sent my story to the papers at that time, but I don’t think they would’ve printed such a crazy story.

     I have had a few cats since then, but none with the talent that Smokey had. I hope you have enjoyed my story. It really did happen, crazy as it seems. For those of you that are against hunting, I’m sorry if I offended you. For those of you that enjoy hunting, I hope you have the fortune of a talented cat that helps you on your hunting trips. Take care, my friends and remember, we are all in this together.

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short stories

Cameras at the mine

  My debut on screen

     I would have to say this was maybe the hardest, craziest and possibly the most embarrassing thing I have ever done. I was actually in a television show for one episode. The show is Heavy Metal Task Force. I guess you could say I had a starring role, even though I didn’t feel that it was.

Clapperboard used for takes while making films

     A few years back, this television show decided to do an episode at the copper mine I was working in at the time. I happened to be the safety representative for my crew that they were filming. It was the luck of the draw I guess that they used my crew. Actually, it was because we happened to be on day shift at the time. Quite a few of my coworkers and friends were in the film as well.

     My job as the safety guy was to follow this film crew around and make sure they were safe because they were filming in a working mine. I didn’t think this would be a very difficult job. Boy was I in for a surprise! First off, I would like to say that film crew camera men and women are a unique crowd. I think you’re nuts, but you do get the hard shots of film that make it look so real! The camera man that was on this crew really kept me on my toes. I thought, at any given moment, I was going to have to call for mine rescue to pull a body out of a 150-foot drop. This guy was relentless, positioning himself in places that would make a bird nervous, and here I was responsible for his safety. “What is this guy, part mountain goat?” I can honestly say, I walked around with my underwear sucked up my dark side because of all the times I had to catch my breath.

Open pit copper mine

     In comes the producer, who was very good about getting my attention, so the cameraman could do his job. I have always been a talkative person, but this guy was the equivalent of three teenage girls. Questions, stories, suggestions, whatever it took to keep my attention. I have to say, he was very good at it! The only one that I would consider halfway sane was the sound guy. Yet he did a great job of keeping my attention as well. These guys worked very well as a team for sure.

     All three of these gentlemen were very kind to me, but they wore me out trying to keep up with them. We would get out of the Ford Expedition on one of the higher levels of the mine, and they would all take off in different directions at once. Of course, they were doing their individual jobs, but how am I supposed to keep an eye out in three different directions? And talk about fast, these guys were like gazelles. They would have any two-year-old gasping for breath inside ten minutes. This film crew would get done with their individual jobs in one place, pile back in the Expedition, and off we would go to our next destination. Even though I was driving and still answering a billion questions, this was the time I would have a chance to slow my heart rate down again before the next stop.

     I was asked by the producer to find certain types of people that I thought would do well on film. I would take them to these people for a ride along in heavy equipment and for interviews from others about their jobs. (To all the miners that were in this film, let me apologize now, most of you were handpicked by me). I can confess this now because I’m retired and am fairly safe from any retribution.

      One situation that came up was wet weather driving. We had a lot of footage, but the problem was it wasn’t raining, and the producer said they needed rain for the story. When I asked why, he said that he heard from a couple of the haul truck drivers that that’s when it gets crazy out here. I told him he was correct because I was a haul truck driver myself. We had good cloud coverage but no rain. Then I had an idea that almost got me into a lot of trouble. I suggested that I could have a water truck driver over wet a section of road, and they could get shots of the mud and back sprayers of the water truck for rain. Along with this suggestion, we could go up to one of the dumps that were being leached with all the sprayers going. All this sounded good to him, and we did this. Then the request came from him to see a haul truck sliding. I don’t know what I was thinking upon this request, but I had another brilliant idea. Me and my alligator mouth, now overloading my Mickey Mouse ass, is about to cause a painfully close call.

Black and white picture of a 400 ton mine haulage truck
Actual truck I used to drive

     I got hold of a good haul truck driver I knew and asked him to do a small fishtail slide on the section of road we just had soaked down. This driver wanted to do a good job for me, and boy did he! It wasn’t a small slide, it was a Huge slide, and he almost lost it! I could see management’s eyes now while I try to explain that it was my idea and the wreak of a three million dollar truck was my fault. On top of that, other drivers seen that we were filming the slide and decided to help out by sliding their trucks too! After three trucks had done this, it had messed up the road to the point no trucks could come down that hill without sliding, wanting to or not. Three, six, nine million dollars, how many millions am I going to be responsible for?!! Everybody made it safely, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

     The next request was from the cameraman, who wanted to get a close-up of a haul truck driving by. So I had a haul truck drive slowly past us as I’m begging the cameraman not to get too close. So far, so good. Other than the hundred heart attacks I have had so far, nobody had gotten hurt or wreaked any equipment. All this stuff had happened in a few days time. Of course, with everything these three men were putting me through, it would be the longest three days of my life.

    There was this one point where we were driving up onto one of the dumps. I was as helpful as I could be, giving them ideas along the way and kidding around with them about anything and everything. As we were driving across one of the dumps, I was goofing off and made a comment about seeing money and not dirt ahead. This being said, I had no idea that I was being filmed from the passenger side of the back seat. Ultimately, this ended up in our little movie.

Tv cameraman with ball cap on backwards looking through camera

     The producer told me he needed a supervisor to be on film for the story. The supervisor they wanted couldn’t come out because he was in meetings all day. That supervisor and all others wouldn’t be available in time to do what we needed to get accomplished. So the producer asked me to play a supervisor just so when a supervisor was available they could piece them in. Sounded reasonable the way he explained it. What did I know about movie making, I mean I’m just a miner? Besides, I might have a little fun acting crazy at the supervisor’s expense. There aren’t too many chances you get to make fun of your bosses and not get into trouble.

     Here I was doing all kinds of crazy things on film, thinking it was just to set up for the supervisor to be placed into my spot. I had a lot of fun with it. It was like acting without worrying if someone actually seen it other than the one’s around me at the time. Along the way, I got a couple of mechanics that I knew to do a little skit for the film. Wow, did they do a great job! Also had the film crew go on board a shovel and film my friend and favorite shovel operator loading trucks and interviewing him. I’m not sure that he has forgiven me for that yet. We went to dispatch, and they interviewed and filmed my friend doing his job keeping up with everything going on in the pit.

One man standing by tire, another man standing by bucket of huge mine loader
Actual loader used in film

     The final day came, and I was exhausted, but we had to film the loader one more time, as we had filmed the loader and operator earlier in this process. That’s when I got the shock I did not expect. While the cameraman and sound guy were filming the loader and operator,  the producer asked me to talk to him in the Expedition. The operator of the loader was also the main safety guy over me, so I said ok as long as I can still see the other two members of the film crew. “Billy, you have done a great job so far, and I only need one more thing from you.” the producer said. “What’s that?” I asked. “I need you to sign these papers, so we can use the film we have of you and make you the hero in our production.” He said. This was not easy for me to do because, I was just messing around and not being serious at all. The sound guy and cameraman got back in the vehicle and asked the producer if he had asked me yet. I couldn’t believe it, they had all already talk about this, probably in the motel they stayed in the night before. The cameraman told me I was good on film and wanted to use the footage. They finally talked me into it and I kinda had a dull pain in my gut because I had just signed to let others see me as the opposite of who I really am.

There was only one part I couldn’t get right on the final day. The producer told me he wanted to take some still film of me for the end. I asked him what he meant, and he said it’s what they call a “hero shot” in the film industry. I tried my best to pose for this hero shot, but it just wasn’t what they wanted. Furthermore, I think the reason I couldn’t get it right was because they called it a hero shot. Besides, I wasn’t any kind of hero, I just played a part in our little film. Maybe if he would’ve called it the still shot or dull shot, I would’ve gotten it right?

     Finally, everything was done, and we had no idea when our little film would show, what show it would be on or anything for a few months. Finally, we got word that our show would be on “Heavy Metal Task Force” season two, episode two. The show finally aired and when I seen how they chopped things up and how they had filmed me without even knowing it on the dump, I was more embarrassed than ever. The one thing I can say was how proud I was of the people I worked with every day. To see my friends doing their jobs on film was a thing of beauty.

       Heavy Metal Task Force always has three different places they are showing on the same episode, and we got top billing! If you watch it, you will see how the show starts and finishes with us at the Ray mine just outside of Kearny, AZ. You will get to see the names of people in the film, but I left their names off here because I didn’t get their approval. I hope you enjoy the film and make as much fun of me as you want. It is pretty funny, after all. All the people at the mine have already had a lot of fun at my expense. I still have one guy that calls me “Hollywood” every time I see him. I really don’t mind anymore, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. Take care and remember, we are all in this together.

Watch Heavy Metal Task Force Season 2 episode 2 on Prime Video https://watch.amazon.com/detail?gti=amzn1.dv.gti.cca9f723-963a-f870-e6e8-377102d25efb&ref_=atv_dp_share_seas&r=web

Categories
short stories

Suicide, the selfish way out