Kicking and Screaming into 2018

 

Is it just normal to be this hopeful for the upcoming year or is this just because 2017 was such a bloody hemorrhoidal tissue kind of year?  2017 was like a cockleburr suppository and I didn’t much like it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have much to be thankful for.  I survived!!!!!!!  2018 has got to be better…didn’t I say that about 2017?  I guess I did and 2017 was the worse year since 1968 in my humble opinion.

I don’t do resolutions…I do have ambitions like certain fitness goals, and once again I have fallen short as 2017 closes.  It’s not my fault I’ve gained weight.  My body just doesn’t absorb doughnut calories as well as it used to…could be that bone on bone rubbing in my knee slowing calorie absorption down.  It is also keeping from doing any kind of running so the marathon is probably out.

Back to the subject. I don’t do resolutions but if I did I would use the trite, too often used, “Be the man my puppies think I am.” While I am good to them, I treat them better than I treat my fellow man.  I realize that I need to be a part of something bigger than me and my puppies.

Our world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket…but in my little part of the world, I’m not sure that is true although I know there are many people suffering.  My puppies don’t think it’s true.

I watch the people I interact with and see what their love can do to improve the world I am lucky enough to live in.  My best friend, Mike Hawkins, carries blankets around to give to the homeless he runs into.  My brother, Steve Miller, saw a need and works tirelessly to support a soup kitchen. Leland and Emily Browder models what it means to be a follower of Christ and have passed on their beliefs of service to their God and humanity to their children and grandchildren.  I give thanks to them and others.

In a climate that seems to breed boorish behavior, that seems to extol disrespect for those who you disagree with.  When humility is portrayed as a weakness rather than a strength, men, and women like Mike, Steve, Emily, and Leland go about their daily business of doing good.

Watching their efforts has made me aware of my shortcomings as a caring and gracious human being.  It is time to get off the sidelines and quit watching.  We all need to start acting,  get into the game and leave our political beliefs in the stands.

I’m not going to attempt to start a movement, run for office or pontificate ad nauseum.  I’m just going to try and make a difference, one person at a time,.

For more of Don Miller’s pontifications, you might be interested in clicking on the following link:   https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

PINK COCONUT AND OTHER CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all.

Ravings of a Mad Southerner

Normally when I can’t run, it is a bad thing. My head, knees or hips won’t let me. Today it was a good thing to quote Martha. My running interfered with where I wanted to be in my head. Usually, I create stories when I run to avoid the pain endured while running. This was not the case today. In my head, I was remembering the “Ghosts’ of Christmases Past.” Consider this a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday present to you regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I don’t think it will offend anyone’s sensibilities and, rest assured, I love all your sensibilities…and idiocrasies. Peace on Earth! We can all agree on that along with good will toward men…and women. I miss my wide-eyed wonderment during the Christmases of my youth. Having to grow up was and is a trap and I have been caught in it for…

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Remembering Sandy Hook

Thank you lobotero!

In Saner Thought

My Closing Thought–14Dec17!

This week we remember the heinous attack on the school at Sandy Hook…..that unless you are a mental midget and fall for the crap that the killings never happened that the deaths were nothing more than actors……it is silly!

A video depicting a local news broadcast about a school shooting that has yet to occur is the latest public service announcement created by Sandy Hook Promise to help bring awareness to the warning signs often displayed by people who are at risk of hurting themselves or others.

In the minute-long video, which was released just days before the fifth anniversary of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a reporter interviews people about “tomorrow’s shooting” involving a 15-year-old boy who kills four students and two adults before committing suicide.

Classmates, teachers and parents all reveal warning signs, including bullying, social media threats and…

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Waiting for the Sun

I feel the cold seeping into my bones. The cold and the darkness. The same ambiance that makes our home such a wonderful conversation piece is freezing me to death. Behind those beautiful beadboard walls is…nothing…but the cold.

I wonder…how much my shivering is the old farmhouse’s lack of insulation and how much is just me. There was a time when all it took was a minimal movement to create heat and perspiration. A byproduct of my weight loss or my age?

I am depressed…it makes the cold worse. I shouldn’t sit in the dark, but I am desperately searching for a hint of light on the southeastern horizon but it is not yet visible through my French doors. Maybe when I see it I’ll turn on the overhead light. I despise the winter, I hate the cold.

I often wonder about the people who lived here before me and how they survived the cold. There are five fireplaces in my old home. I doubt the former tenants could have kept them all fed because the one I still use, the one I sit close to warming my feet, has a voracious appetite. I have a chainsaw…they had crosscut saws and axes. My chainsaw wears me out…quickly…but it does cause me to sweat. Splitting the wood makes me sweat. Firewood heats you several times I guess.

I think I know where the people before me congregated, trying to stay warm, trying to sit out the winter…although I doubt there was much sitting as they cut the wood to feed the fireplaces. The beadboard in the old dining room is darkened from what I suspect is the many wood fires lit in its double fireplace. There or in front of the old wood burning stove I found in rusted pieces in a ravine behind my house. I can visualize the former tenants wrapped in handmade, patchwork quilts sitting close to the fireplace attempting to warm themselves. Shivering as the north wind made its presence known…basking in the feeble light. With it dipping into teens in the South Carolina mountains, I think you can keep your good old days.

I need to go walk. My armor against depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. The southeastern horizon has lightened but I wait for the sun to peak above the tall trees on the hillside’s crest. We are still eight days from the winter solstice and the shortest daylight of the year. Seven hours, forty-five minutes and a few seconds before the days begin to lengthen again. With the mountains in the west, less sun for me I think. It seems a lifetime until the summer solstice.

I’m reminded of an old Sunray’s song,

“I live for the sun (sun sun sun sun)
Because it makes fun (fun)
Pretty girls with their guys
Such a love you can’t buy
Baby, we all live for the sun.”

A cheesy, wannabe Beach Boys kind of song. I don’t know about the fun but the sun gives me hope and the illusion of warmth. “(I) live for the sun.”

Don Miller is a multi-genre, Indie writer. Please drop by his author’s page on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/cigarman501.

The Old Man

The old man sat on the top step of the porch and watched the movement of children as they played tag. His vision was bad and he squinted attempting to see. Cataracts had thickened, reducing the children to ghostly apparitions. Too much time spent in the blazing sun. He could still see their blurry forms and could discern the gaily clad little girls in their summer dresses from the little boys in their shorts and long pants. Thank God! My hearing is still good.

Someone wanted to take a picture with their new-fangled camera. Something called a Brownie. He sat a bit slumped, his hands resting on his thighs. An eighty-year-old…today. His once red hair was now white as the cotton bolls bursting in the fall. His beard, years ago red and sparse had thickened like his cataracts. White and long, it spread to the middle of his vest. Tobacco juice from years of chewing stained the sides of his mouth.

His gaze shifted to the distant horizon. His once blazing, blue-green eyes had faded but his vision was still sharp…with the visions of the past. He smiled at his thoughts. He couldn’t remember what day it was, but his memories of times now past was as sharp as the old boning knife he once carried. He spent most of his time gazing back at the past. Mostly he spent his time with the memory of Lucretia, now dead nearly fifty years.

He had been lucky. He had loved three times. Three fine women had warmed his bed and brought him comfort and joy. Lucretia, Genevieve, and Josephine. He had loved them with all his heart. The old man had been unlucky too, he had outlived all three. He cherished the memories of them all, but Lucretia was special. She had been his first…. He liked to remember her in the emerald green ball dress. High waisted, it bared her shoulders and dipped low showing her décolletage. An emerald ribbon held her mother’s cameo and brought attention to her long slender neck. He remembered slowly taking her out of the dress…Damn, I almost felt something stir.

Timmy, Tyler James’s youngest, sat down beside him. A chap of six, he recognized the boy’s voice when he asked, “Whatcha’ thinking about Grampy?” He was John William’s youngest grandchild. John William was not the old man’s grandson but his grandnephew, Arlo and Stella’s boy. He had sired no children but had been adopted by John William and his brood.

“Timmy, I was thinking about Grammy Lucretia. I wish you had the chance to meet her. She was a special woman.”

“As special as Grammy Josey?” He asked as if he might be worried about my answer.

“Oh yes, oh yes she was…and Josephine loved you very much.”

“I miss her…’specially her molasses cookies.”

“I miss her too…and her molasses cookies.”
He missed his friends too. All were gone. Sean, Arlo, and Stella, Alexandre’ and Shailene, James. All had been gone for ages. “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” from the book Momma Edwards had taught him to read from. He had been here too long. It was time to move on.

“Tell me a story Grampy.”

Well, maybe it’s not quite time to move on quite yet.

Finis

I’ve always wondered about the picture I used to illustrate this fictional piece that may or may not become a novel. It is a picture of my great, great-grandfather, Marion DeKalb Rodgers, who was born in 1842. I have no idea when the picture was made…and it really doesn’t matter. It’s his tanned and weathered face, along with the squint, that captivated my thoughts. I wondered what he was thinking and what his life was like, the sights he saw. I understand he was a farmer and a carpenter. I know as a seventeen-year-old he went off with his father to fight in the Civil War and was one of the lucky ones who returned. Again, I just wonder.

Don Miller is a multi-genre, Indie author. He has just released his second work of fiction, South From Sutherland’s Station. It along with his other works may be purchased or downloaded at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM.