Sunday, March 1 2020

Questions of a thousand dreams

We all have dreams and aspirations. Everyone has a past, family, and a future if nothing else. It depends on the present as to how the future will shape up or even if the future will take shape at all. Some plan and plan for the future only to never see it while some achieve what they desire and still others, lose in the battle. People give up a lot for other people I've been told.

I know I've lost a lot over my lifetime with very few regrets. I told my brother awhile ago after we ended a war that waged over 30 years that I had come to terms with a lot of things. Now, I didn't think that would be an open invitation for him to call me every Sunday because the truce is just that, a truce. There is an arms distance there like there is with just about anyone in my life now. It use to not be that way but I guess years, wars, and people sometimes make one jaded. I look around me and see everyone else talking, laughing and interacting not only with their siblings, but their cousins, their kids and everyone else pretty much with the same last name as theirs.

I asked my daughter last night why she thought things weren't that way with my immediate family because my brothers and I haven't been all together in the same room in 25 years. The closest encounter was five years ago which turned disastrous. She looked at me and told me that we were the "Forrest Gump" of the family. The puzzled look on my face pretty much said that I hadn't a clue as to what she was talking about. I've been called many things in life but never Forrest Gump. She put her hand down on the seat next to her and said "you can't sit here." She then looked straight at me and said that's pretty much what the entire family was saying about myself and my brothers because my brothers and I barely talk and when we do, it's usually quick and simple.

Now this was a family that had cookouts at least twice a year with everyone in attendance from young to old and they were nothing short of spectacular on a warm summers day. Occasionally we ran into rough weather but even those were good times. Those days died off when the older generation who put them on started dying off. They stopped shortly after my father passed away with the exception of one final cookout for the creator of the cookouts shortly before he died at the farm he once owned.

Now, everyone is scattered about here and there with little communication even in our digital society. As I write this from my laptop computer, I'm listening to music through the headset from a streaming service. When I started out, there were no such things as blogs and a computer was almost a piece of furniture. I payed less than a third of what I payed for the original computer and it's more powerful than that by a hundred fold. What keeps a family together? What are the dreams that keeps people communicating and there when the tragedy's strike?

In the old days, the phone would ring, mom and dad would be out the door and on their way to assist another family member through their specific tragedy. There was no asking strangers for support or go fund me, the family took care of family. In my sphere, it's the "what do you want me to do" mentality. When my uncle's pump house blew down in a storm it was my father, my uncle, my other uncle and the kids who were out there taking things apart and rebuilding. State Farm had nothing to do with things just like when my dad wanted to pour concrete for a patio at our house. Saturday came around and there was my uncle, sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my father waiting for the cement truck. After the job was done, the beer came out of the refrigerator and the two sat on the driveway on a hot summer day with a cigarette and a beer. Now I'm sure there are families out there that still hold those values and I applaud them. It saddens me that I had to fight a war for over 30 years with one family member while the others walked away.

Thursday, December 12 2019

Evolution

Everyone debates evolution vs creation and it's a topic that some people to agree to disagree about. Where do you side on the subject or do you have a side? It's not too difficult to dissect because it only involves some elementary thought. Sometimes, I have some time to spare or someone jogs my memories about things and I come up with some interesting theories.

I firmly believe in evolution and creation both because all you need do is look around you. If you've been around long enough, you'll see it for yourself if only you took a minute. Here's an example. Where I lived, there use to be a grocery store on the corner. That evolved into a furniture store when the grocery store closed and finally into a Thrift Store. Somewhere though, someone had to create the building which was done by the grocer initially. There is a creator and that creation evolved into different things.

Creation takes on different roles though when "progress" happens. When you tear something down to replace it with something new and modern, does that involve creation or evolution? Actually it involves both because what was there before was created by someone, evolved into different things and ultimately, replaced with something a new creator though up. Then what we have is history limited to those who remember or, records that are kept.

Case in point. I use to get my hair cut by a barber named Cecil back in the 60s. He had a shop on the opposite corner from the grocery store and my brothers and I would go there after school for haircuts. Dad gave it a valiant effort but, in the end, failed miserably. Dad would stop by on his way home from work and pay Cecil for his work and everyone would be happy.

One day, I saw Cecil move his barber shop down the street and the building which originally housed his shop was leveled to make way for a gas station. His original creation was gone but replaced by someone else's creation. Cecil was still going about his business and ultimately moved a second time when he was dissatisfied with the place he leased previously. The creation of someone else didn't fit Cecil's criteria so he moved on to something that would suit him.

Cecil became ill and sold his business to someone from out of town and he was never heard from again. His creation and evolution stopped and is only remembered by pictures and those who remember him. He created something tangible, that creation was then removed for someone else's creation and Cecil evolved into history.

If you trace things back far enough, you'll find that something is created and it ultimately evolves into something else or stays with the creator indefinitely. Creations are not limited to just structures and things that can be seen. People evolve into whatever their environment determines. Don't believe me? Think about this then.

Take someone who lives in the northern part of the United States and move them to the deep south for a year. The accent they had in the northern part of the country will give way to a southern one. People adapt to their surroundings just like anything else. There is an influence around that will move things the natural way of life. Now, there are some that believe their way is better or they were taught something different but that is the nature of their environment, including upbringing.

If you take religion for example, there are many to choose from. Some believe in God, some believe in a God and Goddess, some believe in nothing and some believe in Mohammad. Some seek out what they are comfortable with while others keep to the beliefs of their ancestors. Sometimes, it takes a significant event to move someone off of their belief while other times, the slightest hint will change someone's mind. My wife, for example, gave up on traditional religion when she witnessed her grandmother shunned at a church she went to her entire life over something that to this day can't be explained.

Families evolve with outside influence. They either accept change or reject it based on personal beliefs. Children have friends, get married, have children which all effects the family unit. Sometimes, the new spouse causes great turmoil and sometimes they are incorporated into the family as an asset. The family then evolves based on the influences surrounding it. In the end though, the family had to have been created by someone or something. You can do genealogy all day and night and never come up to a families origin. Some base origin on Adam and Eve but if you read the story, it doesn't make sense.

In the end, things are created everyday. From cookies to people, the creation process never seems to end and neither does the evolution. If you're religious and take offense to this trend of though, remember that I take your beliefs into consideration and respect them. Do I believe in God? I believe that God watches over me along with those who have gone before me that I know and love. That's what gets me through the day.

All of my friends with the exception of one have gone. There has been no evolution into new friends because it's hard to replace what you've grown to trust for many years. My wife is also gone and everyday is a challenge to evolve from loving husband to widower. Will that evolve into something else? Nothing has presented itself so I think maybe the evolution of that relationship was good enough for the time being.

Sunday, April 28 2019

Getting a lot of ideas, but don't want to do the project

We had ideas and plans that suddenly came crashing down on an early October morning. She always laughed and said that she thought my mother wouldn't like her but I assured her that she would. I knew her father liked me because we talked all the time and got along well. If he needed something, we were right there. The rest of the family was another story on both sides and we never pursued it until I got sick in 2001.

When our daughter graduated college, Dayna would have been so proud until the day of the graduation party. That turned out to be the reason why my side of the family doesn't talk much anymore and I for one was glad that day ended without nobody in the hospital or jail. I know, by the end of the day, I was taking many a deep breath and hoping things wouldn't get any worse and luckily, they didn't. It wasn't long after that the time came to sort things out, donate a bunch, separate things and close the house. That was a dismal day indeed.

The first thing that came into the house was Dayna's broom and that was the last thing to exit. I consulted with a witch to ensure that the movement of the broom and the use was proper so with it wrapped in a sheet, surrounded by sage and lavender (which was her favorite scent), the broom was carefully taken off the wall where she placed it and wrapped up in the sheet so her magik wouldn't escape. The door was closed that the house empty and now gone.

There hasn't been a lot of inspiration since Dayna died to anything. Some days it's hard to get up and go to the gym even after this length of time. I remember my mother looking over to my father's chair many years after he died and seeing a small tear. I use to ask her what was the matter and she'd just smile and say nothing. I knew that losing him was a very hard hit for her but I never came out and said it. Now, I know just how hard a hit it was.

Maybe one day, I'll find a muse or get inspired to do something again. People have told me in the past that some of the things I did would be hard to top but I usually could find a worthy hopeless case to get behind. Who knows, I may be able to get back to the gym five days a week. That would be impressive not to anyone else but me.