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.

Where did respect go?

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

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

Man holding door open

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

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

Man shaking lady's hand

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

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

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

Father’s vs Daddy’s

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

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

Daddy reading to his daughter while they sit in tent

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

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

Daddy sleeping with his child on his chest

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

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

Picture of my Daddy

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

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

Respect truck drivers

         I know you have seen those big rigs and some are driving them as I write this post. Truck drivers deserve all the respect in the world. 

     I drove some of these big rigs before  I worked in the mines (and sometimes when I was on layoffs from the mine). Now let me say this first,  I was in the military where I was a firefighter. I also have worked in plumbing and welding along with my time in the mining industry. Now I’m not saying those are easy jobs, but in my experience,  over the road (O.T.R) drivers have the hardest job with the least amount of pay for the work they do.

Three semi trucks pulled off to the side of a small paved road in the country

      Not only are the hours ridiculously long, but some of the people you have to deal with on a daily basis are, well…. not the most understanding, saying it nicely.  People look at these big rigs and think,  how hard can it be to sit on your butt all day and hold a steering wheel? Let me say that is the break you get when doing this job unless you are driving in a blizzard, on black ice or even during hurricane force winds!

       If you want to be a truck driver, there are plenty of schools to get your CDL license and give it a try. During one of the layoffs from the mine, I worked as an instructor to teach this valuable job. I knew It was a difficult job, but I never knew how few make it a career.  On average, about 15% of people make it the first year, and it drops to about 2% that make a career of it. What’s the reason for this? It’s simple,  it’s a very hard job! Don’t believe me? Let me give you a small example that happened to me.

      I showed up at a grocery warehouse with a 42,000 pound load of canned green beans, canned corn, canned mixed vegetables and canned carrots all mixed up together on slip sheets (these are flat cardboard sheets they sometimes use to avoid using pallets). When I showed up at this warehouse in California, I was informed that lumpers (guys you can hire for unloading your truck for you) were not allowed on the property! Oh, it gets worse. Not only was I  not allowed to hire somebody to unload this massive load, but they wanted  all these mixed up cans separated and put on pallets. Wait, that’s not all, after they were put on pallets,  they had to be staged at dock number one where they will be checked by the fork truck driver that worked in the warehouse. Now they had me docked at number twenty-two.  I had to use a manual hand pallet truck to haul them to dock number one because the guy “resting” on the fork truck wasn’t allowed to touch anything until all the product was checked at dock number one!

      Needless to say, this task took all day to accomplish.  After all was said and done, I thought well at least my company is going to pay me for it. This company  MNX out of Joplin,  MO. (which is no longer a company that I know of) would pay a lumper $100-$150 depending on what they had to do. I was thinking this had to fall into the $150 range. Imagine my surprise when I got paid for this massive undertaking, it was $35! This has to be a mistake! Of course, it wasn’t,  this was the highest amount they would pay their truck drivers for unloading.

     Anyways, if you are planning to be a truck driver, toughen up, because it’s nothing like the movie Smokey and the Bandit. Show some respect to these hardworking men and women.  Remember, the truck drivers keep this country going!