Scrambled Eggs

As we go about our day….. we need to take a moment to remember what once was…….

 

over medium

As I sit here this morning eating my breakfast, two eggs over medium and one link sausage with coffee, I find myself thinking back of how Donna Hickerson used to like her eggs over medium. She would always smash up the runny with the firm whites to give the eggs a creamy texture.  (If you remember, I wrote an article on her Husband Jesse titled “My time with a Veteran”). Donna and Jesse were of the older generation and liked things their way – hard and fast they were not subject to change and fought it every step of the way (unless they come up with the idea).  I still sit with Jesse from time to time but he no longer eats his eggs over medium – he reverted back to his old ways of soft scrambled with light cheese.

It’s funny, in a way, how we carry a little bit of these people who have touched our lives in such a small way as we go about our day. Little things that remind us of them and things that they have exposed us to that we have adopted for our own.

As I get older, I find myself reminding me of my Dad in so many ways. Certain things he would do, his mannerisms, some of his actions – I understand that this is fundamentally inherited but many of the things from the people that meant the most to us, we carry on. By the same token, I carry a lot of my Mothers traits with me as well but she is still with me at 72 years old now and I am truly blessed to have her for another year.

Over the years, I have met so many people in my life – people who have guided me, influenced me, corrected me, befriended me, and loved me. These people are forever locked in my memory bank to be put away until the right time as to be remembered. To brighten my day and bring a smile or to remind me of a time when I was not so seasoned and honed into the person that I am today.

redeemed

My one true hope other than making it to the Promised land is to leave with my Children and my Wife the Love and honor that I had having them in my life. They are my real treasures.

Thank God you’ll never know who I used to be for I am no longer that person – It is but a faint memory that has now become a stranger in my own mind. Someone I look back on and think “was that really me”?

We are the ever living-Ghost of what was………….

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Still ….. Living in the Promised Land

Still ….. Living in the Promised Land

Living in the Promised Land – a song written by David Lynn Jones and recorded by Willie Nelson in 1986

Willie Nelson

For those of you who have never heard of this song, I urge you to read the lyrics or better yet, listen to the song. This song depicts what America is all about. From the very start of it all – we are one nation…… “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under”. (Ronald Reagan).

The “Promised Land” is a religious term, which can mean land promised to a people by God.

It has several Biblical lines, and is about an America that needs to continue caring about others, especially immigrants seeking the American Dream.  That there is room for everyone is a multicultural message.

One verse from the song says:

“So they came from a distant isle
Nameless woman, Faithless child

like a bad dream
Until there was no room at all
No place to run, and no place to fall”

“Give us our daily bread
We have no shoes to wear
No place to call our home
Only this cross to bear

We are the multitudes
Lend us a helping hand
Is there no love anymore

Living in the Promisedland.

These lyrics clearly identify with a people who have nothing – nothing to call their own. No one to turn to and no place to go. These people are looking for shelter, love and Hope! So we as a nation, offer them shelter and “a place” if you will, but with our rules and our regulations and on our terms.

helping hands

Another verse goes like this:

“Living in the Promisedland
Our dreams are made of steel
The prayer of every man
Is to know how freedom feels”

THIS is what we, as a Nation, have created. Although we have let it slip away and decay a bit, it is still ours – our creation and our land and what we still believe in today. YES we are the United States of the Offended and for the most part – we sometimes act like we are entitled but the truth of the matter is….. we are still ONE NATION. If you have come to America with no place to go and no one to turn to, we are here. If you were born here, your ancestors came here looking for “a place” and they found it and made it what it is today. We are not entitled, we worked hard to establish this Nation and why it is important to see past the Color and let the “past” be the past. Come together as One Nation  and help Make America Great Again.

“Leave us your broken dreams

We’ll give them time to mend

There’s still a lot of love

Living in the Promisedland”

Now I say this – I believe that we are STILL living in the Promised Land where everyone is welcomed with open arms (IN GOOD FAITH). In good faith, we open our doors (borders) to any and all with a need or a struggle. We nurse the sick, bury the dead, clean the wounds and rebuild the spirit. All with the expectation that they DO NOT disrespect us or our ways – we, after all, are helping them. They should submit and adapt to our ways, traditions and heritages and because of this, is why we are the Greatest Nation in the World. Yes we should all learn from one another but the core is still the same.

With that being said, as with any infrastructure, there has to be guidelines, there have to be rules. As quoted from Forbes “America was founded as a religious and a Christian nation. BUT there is one inescapable fact: at the time of the American founding, the reason why so many Englishmen had come to settle in the United States was for religious reasons. They were Puritans and other sorts of radical Christians whose religion had been oppressed in Britain and who came to the United States to practice their religion in peace.

It is this crucial fact that gave the wonderful balance that gave rise to America: because so many Americans were fervently Christian, the Nation would have a Christian culture and society; but because they had seen their religious freedom oppressed, and because they were so many denominations, the government would be neutral with regard to institutional forms of Christianity and with regard to specific denominations. It was seen as self-evident that in a country where most people were Christians, their democratic representatives would govern according to Christian values.

And of course, it is no coincidence that the Founders proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that the reason why people had human rights was because they were so endowed by their Creator. (Even as they said nothing about the precise identity of this Creator, to protect religious pluralism.)

In short, it is totally correct to say that America was founded, yes, with a “secular” government, but as a religious Nation.”.

“There is a Winding Road

Across the shifting sands

And room for everyone

Living in the Promised Land…..”

“Leave It to Willie Nelson  – Only he can bring together Republicans and Democrats.”

 Willie Nelson once said in speaking of Texas (but I have to add that this applies to America as a whole) – “I know a lot of good people down there. I know more nice people than I do assholes. There’s a few of them down there also, but tell me a place where there’s not!”.

Statue of Liberty

“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

lifenotsmiley

Let’s face it – we all have plans for the future – whether it be the immediate future or the long-term goals that we so dream about. Marriage, children, buying and or building a home, buying a car, you get my drift. Anyway, just when you start dreaming of what you want to do – “Life” steps in and changes are made. Just look at the current weather situation in Florida. We are planning a vacation to the Keys in the near future but what if it would have been this weekend or next weekend? Monies would have been paid, time taken off of work, “plans” made all for what? Just to be rearranged, cancelled, or even lost. The fact remains that yes we make plans but plans are made to be changed. Just because you get pitched a curve ball doesn’t mean that your life is over or that it is the worst thing in the world. Think about all of those people in the Caribbean that were planning on – well – tomorrow! Their tomorrow will never come and their families will be asking themselves “what could I have done different”?

I have a very dear friend that, on and off over the years, we have kept in contact with each other and from the very first day that I met Mike Holland, I knew there was something different about him. Something strange! Strange in a good way though – the type of strange that you don’t see any more in this day and age. I was working as a Rent-a-Cop – a Security Officer at a local Mall in Henderson. This was all before I went to the Police Academy in 1990 to become a real Police Officer. I had been working there for over a year and was tasked with training all of the new hires and getting them acclimated to their surroundings. Mike Holland was hired on and he and I were assigned onto a shift together. Over the course of the next few weeks, he and I worked together and I learned a lot about him. For one, he built and worked on computers and from what I remember; he was quite brilliant at it too. Secondly, he had a religious upbringing and was very family oriented. Mike was an avid firearms nut and had a sense of self-sufficiency about him. He and his father later opened a towing business in the Lickskillet Community and ran that for some time.

Mike later joined the Marine Corps and served his tour of duty with them and learned many valuable lessons and skills which he transitioned into his civilian life when he got out. I am proud of and thankful to him for serving our country and doing his part for “our” freedom. Now Mike had this “thing” about him – he carried himself as “just a dumb ole country boy”  NC Redneck and never tried living above his means. Always treating others with respect but if you ever crossed him or done him wrong, you would definitely know about it – he has always been a straight shooter. You see, Mike is very intelligent and very well-educated but he interacts with people on their level. He was able to speak to the average person so that they would understand exactly what he was saying and he had a way of explaining himself to where you could understand it.

Mike married his high school sweetheart Kim and they had 4 beautiful children together. Since the beginning, he has always been the spiritual leader of their home and they have always, and I do mean always, helped out others in need. Since day one, he has lived his life to serve God and his fellow-man. After the military, Mike has held many jobs, some at the same time, but he has always worked in serving people in some form or fashion. From being a Law Enforcement Officer, a Licensed Private Detective, a Pastor, a counselor, a chicken farmer and countless other jobs,

Mike has learned a thing or two about people and he tries every day to teach you about what it means to be a servant of God. He truly lives what he preaches and leads by example. No – he is not perfect and he will be the first one to say it but at the same time, he knows what it takes to be highly favored by God. We have all been exposed to the “Instruction Manual” – Gods Holy Word – at some point in our lives – he just happens to follow it to the best of his ability.

Mike and his wife Kim are always taking in people in need of shelter, heck he even volunteers his services to the homeless shelters and other places in the area. He has taught his family how to be self-sufficient, growing their own gardens, raising their own chickens and farm animals; he is even a licensed beekeeper and harvests his own honey. His children help him in every task required and he does his very best to teach them what it means to help others. peoplehelpingpeople

Now I have given you a good example of what Mike and his family do on a daily basis but what I need to explain to you is what he does aside from all of that. Mike is always going around to the elderly and making sure they have what they need to survive, he constructed a food truck to feed the homeless and hungry, he has cut and donated firewood to those who needed heat in the winter, he has Pastored to the lost in the prisons and he has traveled out of state to help others – all at his own expense. Just this past week in the wake of the Texas flooding – he, along with his family and friends, drove a caravan of supplies out there to donate his time, money and supplies to those in need. All to what end? Not for the fame or fortune but for the Glory that God himself will reward him with. Salvation and that leading others to God is the way that it was meant to be. You see Mike believes in the Bibles’ teachings not as a suggestion, but as a commandment from God. A requirement and guide on how we are to treat one another.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Now to ask you this – is your life worth more than anyone else’s? Is how you live your life now able to help anyone other than yourself? What about those who were planning on but never got the chance to see their tomorrow? What if that was your Mother or your brother? What could you have done different? What will God think of you now?

God gives a good chuckle when you are making plans. After all – He has the final say-so in these matters!

If you get the chance – check out Mike Holland’s efforts and life at giftedfaithful.org

You just might be glad you did!

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU

Where do you fit in….

square circle

I woke up Tuesday morning to hear the news of what happened in Durham, NC on Monday after the Charlottesville incident. Some people (white and black – male and female) and a Woman who climbed up a confederate statue, tied a rope around it while others pulled it over off of its’ base and to the ground. Then if that weren’t enough, they kicked it, stomped on it, spit on it and gave it the “finger” as if it were a living thing with feelings – taking pictures and videoing it and cheering like it was a prize bull that the Bullfighter had just conquered – all for what?????

bullfighter

I hear of all this stuff going on around the word but this hit really close to home for me – literally! I’m like 45 minutes form Durham. Really People – this really shows your true character. This type of behavior is totally unacceptable and you all need to grow up. You act as if you are entitled and when you don’t get your way – you throw a stomping little tantrum to bully others into giving in to your cause. The sad part of it is – the majority of the people in this land (America) have become so offended and so afraid of Offending that it is easier to fall into the crowd rather than stand up to the crowd. Everyone wants something for nothing and they all want their 15 minutes of fame – Good, Bad or Indifferent. People have stopped standing up for what is right! They have looked the other way thinking, Whew, glad I didn’t get caught up in that mess.

The national consensus is as divided as it has ever been. We have lost sight of God and our faith is so far recessed that we cannot make clear minded, level headed decisions. We “ACT OUT” instead of using our hearts and minds. What happened to us people? You think that the Government is against us and there is some sort of conspiracy against you.

Everyone likes Sausage but nobody wants to know “HOW” the Sausage is made. We just want the final product to taste good.

Allowed and Rejected

Now as far as the 22 year old Woman who climbed up the statue to help pull it down. This Young Person who was never really directly involved with or impacted by Slavery. She has been arrested and she should be held accountable for her actions. She destroyed something that she really knew nothing about. Just what others have influenced within her. She jumped on “the cause” and she listened to others. Remember, Hitler was a Genius – he was able to get thousands and thousands of people to do his bidding. You think this is just an isolated incident? What about Kim Jong-il, Lenin, Hussein, and Charlie Manson. See the pattern here. These cold-blooded leaders did not care for the value of life as much as they did achieving their own selfish motives of domination, power, and immortality. We are quickly becoming just like them! We all have it in us to do bad things. Scripture says that we are born sinners and that we are by nature sinners.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

They say that it takes compassion for humanity, love for country; and a strong pursuit of justice and mercy to become a strong and respected leader. President Trump was tasked with a job that no one else could handle any better. Let the man do his job. The job that WE gave him to do. Just because you don’t like his methods doesn’t make him a bad leader. Again, nobody really wants to know “HOW” we make the sausage!

We are all searching for something. We get some answers along the way. We make good and bad decisions – but we haven’t quite found our way yet. That’s the typical exploration of anyone who is on a path to somewhere, but the destination is not in sight yet.

The more I write about this the more I get fired up! (but here’s the difference – I don’t have to stand in the street screaming or pull down statues of Martin Luther King to get my point across).

My roots are as diverse as this country. My father and his side of the family were from Kentucky but my Mother and her family were from Wisconsin. North and South combined and United  – they made a family. We love each other, we disagree with each other, we help each other but we are still a family. We don’t think any less of either side. Now 49 years later, I have family spread all over this country. From North to South and East to West – by Blood and by Marriage – complied of  different Ethnic Groups, black, white and Hispanic. I have roots that extend back from Norwegian, German, American and Sweedish. So what does that make me? I was born and raised in the United States of America and so were my Parents and Grandparents. So I consider myself American. Should I self-identify with my German heritage, should I self-identify with my Norwegian heritage? No – I am American. I’m not African American as a lot of people claim to be, I’m not a Sweedish American nor am I German American. All of these peoples Parents and Grandparents were born here in the US too just like me. We are Americans. We have a duty to God and our Country.

Mark my words – there is coming a day – where there will be another all-out Civil War followed by a true Revolution of sorts. Not just some pissed off people who want something for nothing.

Remember – God won’t Bless No Mess!

Praying

The New Bed

The New Bed

loft bed

Ever since I got out of Law Enforcement in 2005, I have made it my goal to always be there for my children and I can brag a bit and say that I have accomplished just that. Every time they want or need, I am there for them. I am involved in their lives on a daily basis and I wouldn’t want it any other way. At the end of the day, I don’t have to ask myself, “I wonder what my kids have been up to”. I have long said that, “If you want to know what your kids are doing, get involved”. After all, it is YOUR job to raise them – not someone else’s. They cannot be left to figure life out on their own without some sort of guidance.

When I was in Law Enforcement, I worked a lot and was gone most of the time and I missed my oldest son growing up.  I know – I know, my fault and my choice, not someone else’s! I was young and life was all about me at the time. I missed ball games, school functions, family dinners, yeah I was a real looser as a parent and a husband – But I was great at my Job. I think that was the only thing that I took seriously back then. Late nights, Badge Bunnies, loneliness and a desire to feel more and more love and companionship overwhelmed me and after 15 years of working, being gone and fighting with my wife, we divorced soon thereafter and parted ways – What I didn’t expect was to lose my son in the process. I made this bed and now I had to lay in it.

I remarried shortly after when I found my Sandy – Sandy was just what I needed to teach me what life, love and family was all about. She had me – hook, line and sinker from the get-go and it seemed as if I had no control as to how far and how fast our relationship progressed. We were destined to be together and nothing was going to stop us. We even tried calling it off a couple of times in the beginning but that never worked out. We just couldn’t walk away from each other and our love seemed to be on fire from the very start. From the very start – I knew I wanted that kind of life and I knew that I had a lot of repairing and changing to do within myself – and my son. Then we had Ivy and my life changed dramatically!

Ivyxoxo

To date for the past 14 years, I have been there – I have been to every one of my daughters Softball games and Volleyball games and even helped coach some. I pick her up from school, I ask her each day how her day was and I tell her that I love her more than 20 times a day it seems.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my boys! I am just as involved with them and they know that I love them but there is something about that little girl and the way she says “I love you Daddy” that just makes me turn into Jell-O. She has me that’s for sure and she knows it too. Good, bad or indifferent, she has me and being the baby (just as I was), seems to get her a free pass on some things or at least more leniency. It drives my boys and my wife crazy. I know I spoil her but she doesn’t act like an “entitled little brat” either. She knows her limitations and just how far to push.

Ivy1

So I have said all that to set the stage for my story – Yesterday, my 13 year old “little girl” – asked me to design and build her a new adult sized loft bed. You know the kind with a couch or seating area underneath.  Something a little more sophisticated for a growing young woman. WAIT – WHAT – MY Little Girl is Growing Up???  My heart kinda swelled and then broke a little at the same time. Of course I was honored when she asked me to build her a new loft bed and I have always been handy when it comes to working with wood, in fact, it is my hobby and I love to build things.

builder

So I spent the latter part of last night looking up loft bed plans and trying to design a suitable living/sleeping area for my daughter – something that would reflect the love that I have for her and the pleasure that I felt in being able to make her something that she would enjoy and be proud of. My mind is racing at the prospects and I am still looking for that perfect plan but I will be starting this project soon. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when I get it all set up. I think I am more excited than she is.

Food for thought … and the people in our lives.

Life Brick wall Single Word Text Background Clean Concept

Life Shouldn’t Be A Brick Wall……..

Food For Thought…. and the people in our lives.

Being brutally honest — Change sucks – especially at times when it comes to the people in our lives.  Just when you feel comfortable, safe and secure in your “atmosphere”, out of the blue it happens. You don’t even see it coming – poof – change – Some good, some bad but almost always totally unexpected. You’re not ready for what’s to come, it probably hadn’t even crossed your mind but you are totally blindsided and it sends you reeling in the opposite direction. Nothing is ever guaranteed in our life, except death.

It is inevitable – people come and go, in and out of our lives constantly. Most people you can count on to stick around for longer periods of time but there are several throughout our lifetime that just seem to disappear into the darkness. For whatever reason, be it life, love or circumstance. It happens, they don’t mean to cause hurt or hard feelings and in reality, most of the time, they do not even realize what has happened until it just hits them one day – “whatever happened to so and so” and then fades back into the memories of our mind.

happy_people

People come into our lives showering us with their presence, a new common bond or thread, a new feeling or experience. Some of these people last for years and years and in actuality by the time you reach your golden years, you can count on one hand how many true friends that you have had throughout the years. Sad – I know but true. People call us their friends and even at times they truly mean it but as time goes on, their friendship fades and diminishes over time.

Human nature dictates our future it seems and unless we have a firm grip on our convictions, we lose ourselves along the way. I have been family, I have been a friend, an enemy, a lover, a son, a brother, a husband, a Dad , laughing-smiley-face-emoticon-RcA6KpMRi but through it all I have been me. I have been real, I have been fake, I have loved and I have been loved. Just like the rest of us here on this great big rock that we live on. We all acclimate to our surrounding in some form or fashion and try to fit in the best that we can. We must always remember – that we are all human; we make mistakes and bad choices. We try to learn from the negative and correct it and strive to make us a better people.

Sometimes in a relationship, people leave us or choose to be with others instead and that most oftentimes hurts – a lot. Others – well not so much. The cause varies and people move away, they find other friends or choose activities that do not resonate with you and they move on. They get busy, they get different jobs, they develop other interests and sometimes relationships grow apart at times. People pull away for one reason or another. Sometimes you understand it and sometimes it remains a mystery. And then there are some times, distance, choices or some other situation simply ends a friendship. Cuts it right on the dotted line and removes it all together.

Whatever the reason, life does move on – new people and new friends will come along with some new and unexpected experiences. Sometimes it’s not them that outgrow you but you that outgrow them. Life has a way of teaching us and exposing us to other interests throughout each season and some of these things we tend to gravitate toward instead of away from and with that come even more people who share the same interests and objectives. Life ebbs and flows constantly just like the sea and with each new “tide” bring new treasures, new experiences and new memories. Life – Live it, Love it, and then leave it for others to enjoy.

candle out

I would like to try and live my life so that people would remember me not for all the mistakes that I made along the way but for all the good that I tried to do – Funny how life gets in the way of that. I have always been the type of person who looks for the good in people, for that silver lining. I almost always find the bad but there is still a lot of good in this world. And in this world, it’s just me and you. It is up to us to look past the hurt, the color, the negative and see the real person, see the real situation and try to make the best out of this real situation. We all need to quit making more out of certain conditions and finally become “the human race”. We all need to find that common bond that unites us all as children of God and stop all of this backstabbing, undermining and negative things in our lives – The circumstances that we have created and somehow choose to be in.

After having grown up a bit (it only took me about 30 years) I want people to know that they can count on me and even want to be around me. I want to show people that there is love in this world. I would like to always show people my best side and be there for them at all times whenever I can. I have many regrets from my youth for the way that I have treated people in my life and there have been times in my life where I wasn’t such a great person. I have never claimed to be perfect and I am sure that my actions may have even driven people away from me. Life’s experiences have taught me many things and I can finally be truthful with myself. You see – that is the key to true happiness. If nothing else – just be honest and true to yourself first, and you will quickly see just how life is not so bad after all. Just as a Junkie or an alcoholic, you must first admit your shortcomings, your mistakes and your bad choices. Then you must make a conscience effort to avoid making those same mistakes and try living your life a little more positive. One step at a time is all it takes and consistency is the key.

heart rockenjoy-life-691462.jpghappiness rock

Grateful for my Readers…

Grateful for my Readers…..

Thank-you.jpg

I just wanted to say Good Day to you all and Thank You so very much for those of you that have stopped by and read my posts and articles. I started this Blog back in November of last year to give me an outlet and try my hand at writing my thoughts and experiences in my rural community. I have to say that I have really enjoyed expressing my life through this method and I hope that you come away from here with just a little better understanding of my life here in Rural North Carolina.

I know (from my standpoint at least) that this blog may seem small and trivial but, to me, it is a great accomplishment just putting myself out there for anyone to see. I have read so many blog pages and articles that, quite simply, put mine to shame but there again, I am just getting started and I have a new passion – there are times that I get up and I just can’t wait to begin writing. I have quite a few articles that I have started and put aside for later development and I look forward to publishing them in the near future.

Thanks again for all of your words of encouragement and remember, please know that any and all critique, feedback, tips, assessments, observations and commentary are welcomed and will be put to good use.

Have a blessed day

> TugTip my hat