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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #41
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    What lovely writing and description to start my day. Thank you Williamsmith!

  2. #42
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nswef View Post
    What lovely writing and description to start my day. Thank you Williamsmith!
    My writing is horribly rudimentary. I am often embarrassed by its plain speak. The only thing I insist on being is authentic. It is simply a stream of conscious thought without any attempt to be pretentious or flamboyant. I'm glad a few people can relate to it and consider it a great privilege to be able to share impressions with others. But if no one read it.....I would still think it worthwhile.

  3. #43
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    A wonderful perspective on getting a new perspective...
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #44
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    WS: you would have to be crazy to be embarrassed by your writing) It is awesome!

  5. #45
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    My only contribution to reversing climate change is a solar birdbath that sits on my patio. A certain song sparrow has adopted it has his combination water hole and afternoon spa. I keep the fountain running and full of water and in exchange he sings me a few tunes daily before he leaves.

    Ninety percent of the community residents leave before the weather gets ugly. Another five percent vacate after the leaves turn in the fall. I stay. I don't have a place in the Villages in Florida, out in Vegas or Arizona or along the Outer Banks or Hilton Head. I'm okay with it because I don't have expensive tastes. I still put venison in the freezer just before Christmas. As a State Trooper I never made anywhere near three figures and when I first started I barely made two. There was no extra at the end of the month to save for a winter haven property.

    Dont get me wrong. I'd like to own one of those $120,000 RV's like the neighbor or a BMW but I am perfectly happy with my little Toyota Tacoma. Still, I'll watch HGTV with the wife and dream about owning a bungalow on an island in the Caribbean.

    Since I'm one of the only full time residents and since everybody knows what I used to do....I get to babysit some of the condos while their owners are gone. I make enough to pay for my golfing during the summer. One of the guys just came by driving one of those golf carts you commonly see in Florida. He stopped long enough to suggest to me that I ought to take up golf instead of sitting on my porch. I told him I played last night. He couldn't help it and asked, "How'd you do?" I told him I shot a 41. I guess that was better than he is used to shooting because he drove off without a word....pedal to the metal. I wanted to tell him that his golf cart looked about as stupid as a four wheeler with a plow would look in Florida.

    Well, it's the first of the month and HOA fees are due. I've been asked not to write checks out anymore. They prefer electronic transfers. Time to walk to the mailboxes and drop #1599 in the slot. I can't help but stir the pot.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Our little community sits smack dab on the downwind flight pattern of our small county airport. This is a fact that does not go unnoticed to the residents but for different reasons. Some think it is a small inconvenience of the noise pollution kind, others worry one of them might fall out of the sky and go kaboom in their living room, but at least one....me.....looks skyward and appreciates the miracle of flight.

    I have always had infatuation with flying things. My parents used to take me to the county airport when I was a kid and we would watch the airplanes taking off and landing. That is what used to pass for entertainment before the internet and gaming. Once I went to the Pittsburgh International Airport and watched with awe at the large passenger airplanes coming and going.

    My dad must have had the same feelings and passed them onto me. I have a black and white photo of him on Saipan during WW2. He is in his service attire, with his right foot up and resting on the bumper of a Jeep but the background is an Air Force bomber. Later after he returned home, married and had us kids, he would come home from the mill, have dinner and go into the basement where he worked on his balsa wood airplanes. It was amazing how intricate these models were and with nothing but wood, glue, dope and paper...he would create a WW1 bi plane.

    That inspiration was planted like a seed. I had a high school friend who loved to built plastic fighter jet models. We fed each other's interest and both of us agreed we would go into the Air Force and fly. At sixteen my mother came to me and said she had saved $3000 for me to do something important with. I was knocked off my feet. That was a lot of money. I never have asked where she got it at.

    I decided to take flying lessons. My dream was coming true. My friend could not afford it and I felt a tinge of guilt about that. The same county airport I used to watch airplanes take off and land was the venue for my lessons. On my 17 th birthday I climbed into a Piper single engine fixed wing with an FAA flight instructor and took my test for certification. I was as nervous as one could be without throwing up......but I did well.

    My friend did join the Air Force and learned to fly. He was piloting a T-38 in a training formation when something went horribly wrong. Sadly, he lost his life. He was only in his mid twenties.

    When I am flying these days I often think about my friend, model airplanes, my dad and that wad of cash my mom suddenly came up with. I think about how people make dreams take flight.

  7. #47
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    Wow, William Smith. Beautiful story.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    After running afoul of one of the members by insulting their sensitivities, I endeavor to stay out of discussions and promise myself to avoid political controversies if only for the simple reason that no one is pursuaded one way or the other anymore. But I thought maybe I could restrict myself to posting here and here only and since I started this thread, well maybe peace and tranquility will live here too. After all, this is simply a repository for my ill conceived thoughts on life's inequities and/or inquiries into the deep dark questions ....like, "Why do dogs lift their legs to pee long after their bladder is empty and what does this say about human nature that dog owners have to be shamed into cleaning up their own dogs crap from somebody else's yard?"

    Not having any real transition into the next topic, I'll just jump right in. I am looking forward to this afternoons solar eclipse. Probably for a different reason than most. Sure, I realize this hasn't happened in a century and I appreciate the rarity of that but I have kind of rooted for the underdog all my life and the moon is most certainly a celestial underdog to the sun as far as the solar system is concerned.

    As a kid, my first dog was obtained from a local farmer. My parents took me out to pick my puppy. As a natural underdog rooter....I took the runt. Not conincidentally, it was not a purebred. It was what we all refer to as a mutt. That dog , "Sparky" became my most important possession. He went everywhere with me, I fed him and cut his nails and brushed him when he would sit still. I don't recall trips to the vet because we could barely afford a trip to the dentist to remove a decayed tooth let alone a vet. He was an outside dog. He had a box that I kept stuffed with straw and in the winter a carpet tacked over the opening to keep it from being drafty. That was fifty years ago and Sparky has been dead almost as long ....he got run over by a car....I still have a Polaroid of him and me in my dresser drawer. Proof that an underdog is not often forgotten.

    The saying goes dogs have their day and I believe when their day comes underdogs really have a great one. So today, when the moon totally eclipses the sun....I will think of all the underdogs I have known including myself that have had their "moment in the sun" so to speak or moment eclipsing the sun as the case may be. I'm not all hepped up about religious symbolism much anymore but I do think today's solar eclipse is to many a spiritual happening. That's a cool thing and just at the right time when things down here on the ground seem to be so decidedly unspiritual lately. For two minutes the country will focus on something celestial and root for the underdog.

  9. #49
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    You don't have to quit posting on the forums on my account. If you knew me, you would know I tell you what I think ... and then let it go. Carpe diem!

  10. #50
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    In a certain neck of the woods and somewhat near some small to medium sized cities, chances are if you grew up in the late sixties and early seventies, you found yourself roaming around a pretty large neighborhood. You got on your Schwinn stick shift bike with the glittery banana seat and sissy bar and made your rounds trying to find a neighbor kid at home whose father wasn't sleeping after working the graveyard shift. If you made the mistake of ringing the doorbell or making the dog bark, well you didn't make it again.

    On the wekend you would probably play baseball in the summertime, football in the fall and basketball in the late winter. You wouldn't come home until the streetlights came on and you would have kept hydrated from one or another of the neighbors garden hoses that they kindly kept attached to the outdoor spigot in a convenient spot.

    As you got older you graduated from the bike to a Nova Super Sport that had more holes in it that your mother's colander. It wasn't much to look at until you got it into shape and installed an eight track tape player, a green pine scented thingy hanging from the mirror and some left over bright colored carpet on the dashboard. At that point if you could afford to put gasoline in the tank, you could get girls with big eyes to go out with you.

    Eventually, you got a steady girlfriend and along about senior year started talking about what you were going to do when you graduated. By now your dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball player had been interrupted by an understanding that you couldn't throw as hard as you thought, hit as far and as often as you thought and ran slower than molten slag into the Ohio River.

    During one session on the couch at the girlfriends house, you let it slip that you were going to college at the big state school in the middle of nowhere. She expressed her distrust of you being around other girls and you promised to be true. About a week after starting college, you broke that promise but didn't hold it against yourself. How could you know know there were so many attractive girls in one place? Your dad comes and picks you up every other weekend and brings you home so you can see your girlfriend and after a couple months of this ....the relationship falls apart. You suspect that when your parents went on the business trip shortly after the break up, that it was probably a celebration party.

    You tough it out for a couple years at college actually attending class the majority of the time but that majority usually fell on the middle three days of the week. You couldn't concentrate Friday in anticipation of the weekend and on Monday you were too hungover and sluggish from experimentation. Eventually, like a Ponzi scheme, the whole thing falls apart and you admit you are on probation and have been asked to leave school. Mom and Dad don't seem happy anymore.

    After coming home and reflecting on your failure and waste of money.....and after realizing you are going to have to find a job....you resolve to attend another college and get a degree. You have matured and there seems to be less enthusiasm for your presence around the homestead. Time to sink or swim.

    You manage to get your act together and start getting good grades. Then you meet another girl with deep dark almond eyes. Only this time she seems actually interested in some of the same things and when she is not ....she is strangely tolerant of it. You are beginning to kick the "love" word around. In some strange way, you are enjoying the fantasy of settling down. You graduate college and are surprised to be still dating the same girl for four years. It is about now you realize you have no credible way of supporting a wife let alone a family. Your degree in Environmental Resource Management prepares you for a job in virtually no field. You start looking in the paper for Civil Service Exams.

    Your first attempt is abject failure. Who could have predicted that the Fish and Game Commission test would be so hard. I mean, who knows the gestation period for White tailed Deer? You manage to pass a test for Air Traffic Control after President Reagan fired all the Air Traffic Controllers. It happens pretty suddenly and you find yourself in Oklahoma City during a sizzling hot summer. But before you left you romantically proposed to your girlfriend and she accepted. She is at home planning a wedding. You are collecting a check.

    Continued.....

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