Truth or Facade

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How important is what others think of us? How far do people go to be liked? Is fitting in important? Does being alone really mean being lonely?

I’m not a philosopher, but I have been witness to many a peculiar human act. As a species we truly seek the company of others. Sometimes we wear a proverbial mask that portrays¬† us similar to those around us, even if on our own we would not act the same. Sit and observe a group of teenagers at a mall if you don’t believe me.

I have seen people get haircuts, etc to blend in. Get tattoos because others did. Buy a certain brand or type of clothing. Why do we do this? I don’t need to look like, act like, or dress like someone else to love myself. Yet at times I feel I have done just that.As if I needed their approval to be okay. I AM OKAY! Just the way I am.

Not everyone wants to grow a portion of their own food. I do. Not everyone wants to spend solitary moments in nature. I do. Not everyone wants to continually learn new things. I do do.

Do I want to fit into society? Of course I do. But at what cost? I don’t want to quit being me just to be accepted by someone else. As Popeye said, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”

I am not perfect. I have flaws. But I can look in the mirror and respect the man I see. I served my country. I give an honest day’s work. My life is not a facade. I am a simple man leading a simple life.

If GOD provides me another chance at romance I’ll give it a try.But until then I’d rather be alone and happy than be in a relationship where I sacrifice my happiness for that of someone else.

Enough rambling for one night. But it feels good to finally write again.

Dog Days of Fall

Its November. The weather here is stuck in Summer mode. Matching or breaking previously set record highs. Almost daily thunderstorms. Yard work really is a chore, either too hot or too wet. A/C runs continually, tea won’t stay cold, mop the floor just to drag in a fresh coat of mud. Did I mention its November?

On the bright side I don’t have to manually water the garden each night. Plants that normally would be difficult in November are thriving. Weeds are also thriving, but that’s okay. Into every-life some rain must fall. Flowers on the Okra plants hint of upcoming stews. Bright green Kale glistens in the morning dew. Trimmings from an overgrown Rosemary bush are hanging inside just for the aroma, I could never use it all for cooking or garnish.

Rainy nights make for great sleep. Tomorrow it will be back to work, but this week is split by Veteran’s Day, so there will be a brief respite. I actually enjoy my job most of the time and although there is always a wrinkle in our plans we seem to find a way to work through it.

Not sure what the future holds. Today, I plan to sit on the couch with my dog and enjoy the moment. The weather will change in due time. Did I mention its November?

A Glance Back

My Family Years Ago

This morning I read a post by Bare Naked in Public. I hope she doesn’t mind my reference to her blog. She always seems to be speaking directly to me, although I know that is not her intention. I would like to suggest you check out her blog and judge for yourself. After reading her post I felt inclined to reflect on my past.

The picture above was taken back in the early 80’s. My mother, on the left, was a single woman raising 3 children with no help from their father. My beautiful sister, on the right, now has 2 gorgeous daughters of her own and recently she was blessed with twin granddaughters. My brother, on the right, has a daughter entering college and a son in high-school that loves sports. I, on the left, have a son that is currently working as a chef at a local restaurant.

Back when this picture was taken I was in high-school. I didn’t think I was poor. I didn’t think working was a burden. I attended school and then went to work at my uncle’s crab shop in the afternoon. It all just seemed normal to me.Many of my friends didn’t have jobs and therefore had more time for other activities. At the time I was slightly jealous, now, I’m glad that I had the life I had. I don’t take things for granted. I have what I have because of the effort I extend and because others that truly love me have been there to support me along the way.

I have made many mistakes on life’s highway. As a husband I failed twice. As a father I made many wrong choices. I can’t change the past. I can only try to make each day worth remembering for the right reasons. My family loves me even knowing my faults. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all accepted each other as is.

Once upon a time, my mother, brother, sister and I all shared one bed at my grandparent’s home. Now, we are all separated by time and space. I wouldn’t trade a single day of my past for a day enjoyed by royalty. I don’t live a life of luxury, but I have what money can’t buy, LOVE!

Where I find PEACE

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FGCU Campus waterway

Most of my life I’ve been here in SW Florida. I’ve never been too far from water. I grew up in a family of commercial fishermen. I was taught to respect our environment. Now, as a not so young man, I find that Nature nurtures. When I’ve had a bad day, or hell a bad week, I find Peace just observing GOD’s creation.

Something as simple as feeding the squirrels in my back yard can somehow ease my stress. Putting the canoe into the water just after daybreak, smelling the fresh air, feeling the light breeze,¬† being alone with my thoughts can temporarily transport me out of the everyday hustle and bustle. Picking a fresh tomato, cuke, or pepper from my small garden provides a satisfaction that couldn’t be matched by purchasing a bushel of each at the market.

There have been times I’ve cussed the rain, complained its too hot, bitched about mosquitoes, but I always return to Happiness when I accept that I’m just one small part of a very grand design. Without the rain, crops don’t grow. Without the sunshine, nothing on earth would survive. As for mosquitoes, they’re food for bats and other creatures.

I can’t paint one perfect picture of nature with my mere words. Many talented writers have come before me giving us wonderful works describing their experiences. Photojournalist have given us pictures of nature in almost every possible situation. For me, one minute spent in Nature, is worth a hundred seeing it through an others eyes.

Next time you’re feeling blue try visiting a local park or conservatory. I’m thankful for the protection my home provides from the elements, but those elements are what make Earth the only viable location for human life.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!