Thursday, July 9, 2009

Communication Plus

It's always nice to have the youth visit. This 4-H group from Pennsylvania was part of an exchange program with several of our local counties.

Communication. It's so important. I think of uncomfortable, sad, confusing occasions resulting because of its absence. I can remember the time Brad received a phone call to serve as a pall bearer at a funeral. The person on the other end asked if he would serve as a pall bearer for their mother. Brad agreed, no questions asked. After the call we both discussed who this person might be and decided maybe we would recognize people when we got to the service. Brad lost his parents and the genealogy of his family has some holes in it, so occasionally we are in question of our relationship to certain people, and we have no immediate family to ask. We attended the service, he served as pall bearer but because of poor communication, we were never sure for who!

Then there was yesterday. My dad loves animals...dogs, cats, birds, horses, you name it he loves it. A mother Kildee had laid her eggs in our son's driveway and he had placed an old cream can next to it so people wouldn't drive over them. He told my son about the eggs, but no one else. I drove in last week and questioned Newley, our son, if I needed to move the can. He explained the Kildee situation, so I left it. A large group of 4-Hers were coming to our place, destination for their noon meal was our barn. Their route; through Newley's driveway. My dad and I drove up to turn into the driveway to our barn to meet the group. We commented as we drove in the driveway about the crowd that was there, 30 or so people were gathered. Suddenly he asked me, "Where's the cream can?" I had forgotten about it. As we approached, a good protion of the group was standing on the location of the nest. My dad asked one of the 4-Hers about the cream can explaining it was protecting Kildee eggs. One of the boys said he'd moved the can afraid that someone might run over it. Everyone immediately started looking around for the eggs. At the feet of one of the boys the three eggs lay in pieces. I thought my dad was going to cry...I almost did. Everyone felt terrible. The mother bird was screaming and fluffing her feathers. We were all sad...because of poor communication.

This morning I read the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah. Lack of communication left Jacob waiting another 7 years for Rachel's hand. He had to marry Leah, who was older and not his true love, first. I wondered as I read the story if Jacob ever questioned his communication ability asking himself, "Shoot, why didn't I check this out 7 years ago."
As I get older I've learned to never assume anything, don't be afraid to ask questions and life is simpler, happier and more productive if you make communication a priority.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Punkin Ridge

Today I swept the old white one room schoolhouse my mom and dad moved onto our property about 15 years ago. Punkin Ridge had been left to deteriorate on one of our places but my folks decided to salvage it. My grandfather Lenard, my dad's dad, used to tell about watching his first motion picture there. Today visitors- mostly past reminiscing students-enjoy coming by and telling about the time when...
The old schoolhouse stands neglected much of the time, but tomorrow a bus load of Pennsylvania 4-Hers are coming to visit our place and the school house is one of the stops. Today I sweep the dust from deep crevices in the rough hard wood floor, some of that dust probably tracked in from my grandad's shoes as a little boy, I think to myself. As I sweep, I catch a glimpse of my 11 year old grandson through the tall glass paned windows. Trystin's job today is to mow the large lawn the surrounds the Punkin Ridge and our family cemetary . My grandparents are buried there. I watch as he stops the mower, gets off and starts to carefully pull weeds from around his great-great grandparent's headstones. A feeling I've not experienced consumes me. Overwhelming gratitude and humbleness. I thank my Lord for this moment and the life I've been blessed to live.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Liberty Lost?

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," "Give me liberty or give me death," Lady liberty. LIBERTY. What is it? Do we know or care? Webster defines it as: the quality or state of being free, the power to do as one pleases, freedom from physical restraint, freedom from arbitrary or despotic control, the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges, and the power of choice. Like a spoiled child tiring of a new toy doll, I had used her and tossed her aside. I didn't purchase her, someone else had and I haven't been taking very good care of her. I had taken her for granted. Thanks to over 40 million men and women who fought for her, she was given to me as a gift. Because of that gift I can fear God and keep his commandments, pack a pistol, speak my mind, run MY business, vote and make a difference;drive the car I choose, to the bank I choose, to get money I earned, to purchase food I like to eat, then visit the doctor I prefer. Until now I have been able to do pretty much what I wanted (within reason).
For the past 8 months or so I've decided to pay a little more attention to her, take better care of her realizing her value. Her price: over a million patriots. Since January I can feel her being pulled from my hands, but the spoiled kid in me is coming out. You'll have to fight to take her away. I've reclaimed her and I think she's pretty special.
P.S. If you don't know what despotic means I looked it up for's the opposite of LIBERTY. A ruler with absolute power and authority, a person exercising power tyrannically.

P.S.S...and if you don't know what arbitrary means I looked that up too. Yep...opposite of LIBERTY.
Not restrained or limited in the exercise of power: ruling by absolute authority, an "arbitrary" government, marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power.

P.S.S.S. If you haven't gotten involved in one of the Conservative groups fighting for her I would suggests the 9-12 Project and American Majority. They hold meetings across the nation. In Oklahoma there are several chapters.

Nothing New Under the Sun Including Sustainable Development

  I wrote the piece below last summer after listening to KrisAnne Hall speak at the CICA Convention.  As the Global and U.S. Roundtable fo...