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.

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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!

Baby Steps

GE DIGITAL CAMERAEllie May is the newest addition to my family. She was formerly known as Baby Girl at the pound where I got her. She dug up most of my garden her first week here. Rather than punish her I added more fencing. She was just doing what came natural. Now we are both learning how to interact with each other in ways that are mutually beneficial. Baby steps towards a lifelong friendship.

After making efforts to keep her out of the garden, I spent more time doing what she likes, mostly play-fighting and fetch. I also expanded my garden on the other side of the fence. I added two more raised beds, each with more tasty and nourishing plants. Baby steps on my way to sustainability.

Tomorrow I plan to visit my parents and work in Dad’s garden. His is much larger than mine, but last year he lost almost all of his plants to pests. Pickle-worm destroyed multiple types of squash, melons and cucumbers. The use of raised beds may reduce the damage from these pests. The pigs, coons and armadillos¬† are a different story. Another Baby step towards self sufficiency.

I hope someday to reach a state of complete self reliance, until then I’ll keep taking Baby steps.

Rememberring 911

Today marks the twelfth anniversary of September 01, 2001. It is not a day to be celebrated as is the case with many anniversaries, rather a day to reflect on what has or has not changed in our fragile world.

America, the most powerful country in the world, got a wake-up call from a group of fanatic, radical terrorist. Using symbols of our freedom, the airliners, to attack symbols of our capitalism, the towers, and symbols of our democracy, the pentagon (and quite possibly the white house).

The attack successfully brought the U.S. and surrounding nations into panic mode. Flights were diverted, grounded, or aborted. Aircraft running low on fuel were forced to land in Canada, as aircraft heavy laden with fuel were sent to dump their fuel to achieve safe landing conditions. The president, who was reading to school children in Florida, was whisked off in Air Force 1 to seek shelter. First responders risked life and limb attempting to save as many lives as possible. Brave men and women sacrificed their own lives to crash an aircraft in a field rather than permitting the terrorist to succeed in hitting another target.

More than three thousand died that day. Mothers lost children. Children lost parents. Families were ripped apart. As I listened to radio I felt helpless. Unable to do anything, but listen and pray.

Since then the U.S. has been in multiple conflicts overseas. Bin Laden and Hussein are dead. Many American forces lost their lives in these conflicts, many more returned home physical and/or mentally scarred for the remainder of their lives.

People in the middle east have been fighting each other for thousands of years. Today they still fight. There are, and always will be, radical extremist hell-bent on bringing down the U.S. Twelve years of fighting did not put an end to the hatred. As long as there exists prejudices there will be hatred.

Please remember September 11th as the hell it truly was. Keep our guard up. Continue to enjoy our freedom, it truly is not free.