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No longer living where it is -20 with 4 feet of snow on the ground…. but still a Merry Christmas

December 22, 2018

…a long ago photo by Tricia Lynn of Christmas in my cabin in Alaska

With my daughter visiting from Alaska,

my family gathered around me

and Christmas

only days away

I wish everyone of you

who have walked life’s road with me

through the words in this blog

a

Merry Christmas

and

a safe, blessed and prosperous

New Year

 

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Its the little things… that are sometimes blocked by the clouds

December 17, 2018

A view of one of my bookshelves and a ‘very’ important hammer

….the smoke was now thick enough to make both seeing and breathing formidable as the fire was now less than 2500 feet from my cabin. A crew of battle weary smoke jumpers had erected a number of sprinkler systems to keep my cabin wet while they worked tirelessly to cut a fire break hopefully wide enough to stop the fire from devouring my cabin.

Stop reading for a minute and take a close look around the room you are in. Study closely the bookshelves, table tops, window sills and the walls and go over what you see piece by piece. Whether you are 20, 40 or 60 you have over your lifetime collected items that are important to almost no one but yourself, individual mementos of certain people, places or events that you consider relevant and evoke warm memories however unless you are a person of some notoriety when you die no one will be the least interested in saving most of your ‘junk’.

Over the decades, first by necessity (moving from a home in the city to a cabin in the woods) and as time moved on by choice I have gradually been paring down my ‘junk’ until now I believe it would fit in maybe three or four average sized boxes. I believe I was motivated to this ‘pairing down’ because of a fire that happened a couple years after I moved into the bush………..

****  ***** *** *****  ****

Isn’t it sad that this posting about what we personally consider important has been stopped dead for weeks and its now languishing on my desktop. Then again it is not alone in its static state, there are more than 27 postings in one state or another waiting to be finished but I just do not feel the spark to finish them.

The reason I believe for their ‘cryonic’ like slumber is depression. I have searched WordPress for postings on depression and it seems that very few are willing to write about their experience. Over the years if you have been following my writings you know that the three dominant things that enhanced my living alone in the wilderness, armature radio, fishing and writing for this blog, are now gone with my lack of postings to attesting to the latter.

I have found myself staying up till 2am or later and not rising until 11:30 added to that I binge TV shows from 5 pm till I go to bed just to keep my mind from thinking of anything important and during the day when I normally would be writing I am playing computer games, I believe I am definitely in some kind of depressive stage.

Now back home in Alaska when I felt a whiff of something like this coming on I always had one or two close men who I could reach out to and where I could go and just let it all out without fear of those I spoke with getting worried or judging. These friends were sounding boards just like a psychologist they would let me talk and only rarely responded. Here I have only spoken out maybe once or twice and even then because I am speaking to my family who love me it is one of the rare times I censor what I say.

So here I sit
pondering not what to accomplish
but what souvenirs I have accumulated
over the 70 years of my life.

Words can hurt….but an 7.0 earthquake can hurt more

December 5, 2018

Just a quick observation after seeing the video below in an Alaskan newspaper and realizing how different some children and people are. Living now in Texas and listening to more national news it seems that people are more thin skinned than ever and their tolerance not only for others ‘freedom of speech’ but things and sayings we took for granted has been rubbed bare as witnessed by the crying and anger witnessed after Hillary was defeated by President Trump. This delicate ‘snowflake’ attitude is absorbed by their children and is evident when they now protest the most innocent of actions by other children in their pear group.

However witness first hand how a small classroom
of Alaskan school children deal with a major earthquake
and the end result is not fear, or crying but…….
whether they will get the rest of the day off.

 

Life after death…. from my eyes

November 28, 2018

Photography by Tricia Lynn

I have not had any near death experiences so I cannot personally testify to what lies on the other side of this life based on actual experience and though I wish otherwise my faith is not so strong that I would happily face my mortality, so here I sit like millions of others vacillating back and forth between belief and skepticism.

Almost half the population of this earth says that nothing happens there is no afterlife we are merely a physical being no better than any other animal walking this earth. We live for a time and then we are no more is their philosophy….

but for those who insist on scientific evidence

I would like to postulate the following…..

….What if one day astronauts land on the moon or Mars and discover a functioning “bio-dome” one similar to the one in Arizona and when one stands at the control panel all the dials are set just right for human life. The oxygen ratio is perfect; the temperature is 70 degrees; the humidity is at 50%; there’s a system for replenishing the air and radiation is at a rate not harmful to living beings. Looking closely you can see the dials have a huge range of possible settings and it is obvious if one were to adjust one or more of them a little bit the environment would go out of kilter and life would not be able to exist.

What conclusion would you come to if this occurred on a future space mission? Could it be that it just happened into existence? The obvious answer is someone took great care to match the settings to human life and it was not there by accident. Some intelligent being designed and prepared it to support humans and that is the analogy I carry over to our planet earth.

I do not believe that it could have happened just by luck that this one planet in the billions upon billions of planets in the universe had the perfect environment to nurture and sustain human life. If this belief sounds rational based on those facts then I think you must take the next logical step that only God could create that one in a billion planet ready for human life. You might now ask what does this have to do with life after death…. everything because it is a large part of the very foundation of the belief in God and therefore his teachings in the bible about heaven and hell.

Like I have said my faith at times weakens
not for lack of desire
but because I know to share in Gods glory in heaven
I must lead a life free from sin
and though rewarding
that is not an easy walk down life’s road.

Life after death…. myth or fact

November 23, 2018

….the sound of a lone cough echoed off the marble floor and cement walls as the priest cast his penetrating gaze seemingly at me from the front of the church. I was 14 soon to go to high school and this would be my last school mass and sermon. He started off like he had a number of times over the years with the words, remember if you commit a sin you will burn in the fires of hell.

Not a good way to start your school day but one familiar to some Catholic grade schools in the 50’s where a mass and sermon on the benefits of being good and the consequences of being bad were normal fair. Now however 58 years later I am finding myself thinking more and more about the, hopefully metaphoric, fires of hell. I have for years wanted to write a posting about God, faith and death but have always held back because like politics it is a subject that can ignite strong emotions, today however I thought I would give it a shot.

Stating the obvious the one thing everyone of us share whether we are black or white, Christian or Muslim, liberal or conservative, male or female is we will all die. The day you are borne you are sentenced to die with no hope for a stay of your death. Most do not think of it for decades until they start to age and realize their time is running out others fight their whole lives against that end by turning their lives into one long physical fitness marathon which of course always ends the same way…. death.

Finally we have those who believe without a shred of doubt that their death is merely a doorway of sorts to their next stage…. life in heaven with God the Father. In between the two we have those who were raised in faith and know about life after death but do not live the life that merits it, and those who never heard about heaven and everlasting life and live their day to day existence exclusively for personal pleasure and gain.

So who is right?

No answers
but my beliefs
in our next posting

Just another November day…. NOT!

November 19, 2018

I apologize for this short vent, but today was not what I was prepared for. I got up early at 9:30, (hey for me that’s extra early), because I had some laundry to do before doing my regular food shopping…. but what I encountered was not a day of accomplishment but frustration.

Those of you out there who are on the ‘old’ side of being a senior citizen understand that getting up and going out the door are two very different things. It seems this was another thing our parents never mentioned about getting older in that there are a number of things that must be taken care of before we venture out our door. So when I say extra early that also means getting one’s body ready to be seen in public.

In any event arriving at the laundry the parking lot did seem a bit crowded but I have seen it worse however what I faced when I went in was that practically all the washers and most of the dryers were being used and more people were coming in the door behind me. Suffice it to say I decided rather quickly to abandon my desire to do the laundry today and instead get a jump on the supermarket shopping.

Pulling into my local Kroger (aka Fred Meyers) parking lot it seemed there were more cars than usual, but then again I did not have my coffee yet so it could just be a brain fart. However when I went inside I was greeted by maybe not a black Friday crowd but at the very least a weekend volume of shoppers.

Every isle once as wide open as the Texas plains was now closer to a New York subway at rush hour with carts piled high with Turkey and other holiday foods. Suffice it to say I grabbed my meager 21 items and got away from the crowd as if they were infected with Ebola.

….as I left the store
someone was heard to say
you should post signs at the door
warning old men like myself
that today would be a good day
to stay in bed!

One year later…. still no ‘Smoke on the water’

November 15, 2018

Just wishful thinking…. my bike from the 80’s

….It has been almost 18,480 days or five and a half decades since I lit up my first cigarette and on November 16th I will recognize 365 days – one year of sobriety since I put my last cigarette out. Most of the time I never think about this decision to stop smoking but there are days when I am keenly aware of my hand reaching over to light one up.

Some have asked was it a miracle drug or some form of psychological therapy that brought about that massive force of will to stamp out a habit that was for decades holding me captive and was ingrained in every action of my daily life, others knowing me better half jokingly asked if it was divine intervention.

Even one year after I stopped smoking and look back in hindsight the answer is I do not know for sure. Now not being a stupid man I was sure the wonderful things promised to happen when you stop smoking I was painfully aware would not materialize for someone who is 72. No you would not see me once again, as I used to enjoy so much, riding my bike the 20 miles back and forth to work or the evenings when I would go out and do laps around the nearby airport. The most I was looking forward too was better stamina in my daily activity and a lower risk of lung cancer this late in life.

What I found was an detrimental weight gain to the extent that it hampers daily activity. I often joke (with myself) it would have been better to keep smoking than deal with this new problem.

So here I sit

one year to the day

after I extinguished that last cigarette…

am I better off because I quit

the jury is still out.